Posts tagged "Momoko Kochi"

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (Review)


Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

aka Gojira vs Desutoroia

1995
Directed by Takao Okawara
Written by Kazuki Omori


This is the final film in the Heisei series. It is also the final film in March of Godzilla 4. Funny how things work out, almost as if it was planned… So when Godzilla vs. Destoroyah was originally coming out, it hit the press because Godzilla dies. Thus, the entire ending is completely spoiled. Good job, publicists. This was the time when everyone was dying. Godzilla, Superman, Orville Redenbacher, Kurt Cobain, Jonas Salk, and Motoo Kimura. Everyone was dropping dead. It became passe, especially since everyone who died seemed to pop up good as new in a year or so. Originally, Godzilla was to stay dead for ten years so America could have their own Godzilla trilogy. But then Dean Devlin/Roland Emmerich managed to mess that up something awful, and Godzilla had to be rushed into making a reappearance to make up for how terrible the American film was. Even years later, Toho still hasn’t made up for how horrible Emmerich/Devlin’s Godzilla film was.

But enough of complaining, we’ll do plenty of that once we get around to that bastard of a film. For THIS film, Toho decides to connect it to the original film more than any previous Godzilla film. The oxygen destroyer is mentioned often, and is the source of the new villain who appears to fight Godzilla. It seems that no matter what mankind does, it creates giant monsters that destroy Tokyo. Maybe Tokyo should move five miles away from where it is located, that will probably solve all the problems.

Godzilla will be all red and smoking, as he inches closer and closer to nuclear meltdown. So now the poor actor in the suit has to sit around as dry ice is pack onto him before each shot, so the proper amount of steam sprays out. The fact they went and made a new Godzilla suit is probably a good idea, as the older suits were beginning to wear out and it helps emphasize the change in Godzilla is permanent and unavoidable.

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah didn’t hit the US for a few years thanks to the lack of US distribution, so for a while all you could see it on was bootlegs. Then the VHS tape with the dubbing came out in the late 90s, and eventually it got released on a double DVD with Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, which is the only DVD release in region 1 so far. So the US has never been able to see this the way it was originally created, unless you get an import DVD.

Miki Saegusa (Megumi Odaka) – The psychic girl is back to read more minds, begin to lose her powers, and cry a lot. At least she murdered the person who came up with her wardrobe and hair from the last film and has gone back to looking normal. This is Megumi Odaka’s last appearance in a Godzilla film, and she has since gone on to disappear completely.
Professor Fukazawa (Saburo Shinoda) – Profesor Fukazawa returns from Godzilla vs. Mothra where instead of studying volcanoes and how that relates to Godzilla, he is studying Godzilla and how that relates to Godzilla. Recruits the Yamane spawn into G-Force, and plays a pretty respectable scientist character, so props to Saburo Shinoda.
Kenichi Yamane (Yasufumi Hayashi) – The son of the adopted son of Dr. Yamane, nephew to Emiko Yamane and self-learned Godzilla expert. Was not a success in school but manages to find fame on the internet and get hired by G-Force. Yes, crazy success fantasies from internet blogs were in movies all the way back in 1995. Perhaps someone will read TarsTarkas.NET and hire me to fight giant monsters.
Yukari Yamane (Yoko Ishino) – The daughter of the adopted son of Dr. Yamane, niece to Emiko Yamane and famous TV journalist. Yukari Yamane is pretty smart, yet somehow decides to hide in cars when big monsters are chasing her. Ends up the romantic love interest of Dr. Ijuin.
Dr. Kensaku Ijuin (Takuro Tatsumi) – Scientist who follows the work of Dr. Serizawa and develops microoxygen, which is related to the oxygen destroyer weapon that defeated the original Godzilla. Ends up becoming sort of an action hero when the smaller Destoroyah monsters appear.
Emiko Yamane (Momoko Kochi) – The daughter of Dr. Yamane from way back in the original Godzilla film returns to warn mankind of the dangers of oxygen weapons when technology catches up to the levels her former fiancée was operating at. It is not even revealed if she married Hideto Ogata. This was Momoko Kochi’s last film, she died of cancer in 1998.
Commander Takaki Aso (Akira Nakao) – The angry General in the past few films also is around for the last hurrah, so at least he gets to see his nemesis die even if it is outside of any action done by Commander Aso. Akira Nakao would fight Godzilla again in Godzilla: Final War.
Meru Ozawa (Sayaka Osawa) – US special agent for G-Force, also a paleontologist, wears a beret, and has ESP powers that are fading Sayaka Osawa was one of The Cosmos, and was a semi-constant presence throughout the Heisei series of films.
Major Sho Kuroki (Masahiro Takashima) – Pah, Major Sho Kuroki, whatever, we know that this is Masahiro Takashima, who played Kazuma Aoki in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2, and now he is piloting SuperX3, not this “Major Sho Kuroki” guy.
Godzilla (Kenpachiro Satsuma) – Godzilla returns for the last time except not really the last time because there are plenty of movies made after this one, but he does die again. Godzilla loves to die because it makes him feel all tingly, but then he keeps coming back to life and gets angry and blows stuff up. Godzilla will be all red and smoking because he’s having digestive problems, and G-Force can’t figure out how to get him to drink his Pepto Max.
GodzillaJunior (‘Hurricane Ryu’ Hariken) – LittleGodzilla hit puberty and is now GodzillaJunior, a lamer version of his dad. He is so lame he even manages to die after a battle instead of by a superweapon. But he returns back to life when his dad explodes, so I guess he’d still be around if anyone cared to revisit the Heisei universe. I predict that GodzillaJunior was eventually killed when that giant rose floating in space crashed on his head. That seems like a way this lame-o would die.
Destoroyah Aliens form (Puppets) – Destoroyah decides it is a good idea to rip off Aliens and kill a bunch of Japanese policemen who are armed like Colonial Marines for some reason. The Aliens form of Destoroyah also hate cars and like to stalk women, so they have lots of problems psychiatrists will be analyzing for centuries.
Destoroyah Medium form (Ryo Hariya) – The Medium form of Destoroyah manages to get beaten up a lot, even by GodzillaJunior! Eventually blown to pieces, but then the pieces reform and become…
Destoroyah Final Form (Ryo Hariya) – The final form of Destoroyah is huge, so bg it can fly while carrying GodzillaJunior. After killing the spawnling, Destoroyah tries to pick a fight with daddy, which manages to get him killed twice! What a loser.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 3, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cozzilla (Review)

Cozzilla

aka Godzilla, il re dei mostri

1977

Directed by Ishiro Honda and Terry O. Morse (USA)
Italian rearrangement and direction by Luigi Cozzi

cozzilla
Godzilla, il re dei mostri (hence after known as Cozzilla) began life long ago as 1954’s Gojira. After becoming a box office hit in Japan, the film was recut for America with scenes added starring Raymond Burr (at that time relatively unknown.) Godzilla, King of the Monsters proved to be a hit in America as well. Sequels were spawned, a franchise was born, and new Godzilla films were being produced 50 years later. The US cut of Gojira is not the only overseas modified version. Another one has gained some fame for the many odd alterations done to it. Writer/director Luigi Cozzi is a big fan of Godzilla, wrote a book about Big G, and is even nicknamed Cozzilla by his friends. Cozzi is best known here for being the director/Writer of Star Crash, Contamination, and the Lou Ferrigno Hercules movies, as well as the writer of Devil Fish (featured on MST3K.) None of those films are known for their stellar plots or special effects, but instead their cheese and terribleness. Here, one finds that even with a great movie base to work off of, you can ruin a final product.

Cozzi set out to share with Italy the great monster film, but he knew he would have to alter it for Italian audiences. In 1977, no one went to black and white films, thus Cozzi set up an elaborate colorization process known as Spectrorama 70. Colored gels were set behind frames of the film, oversaw by Armando Valcauda. New music cues were put together by Alberto Moro to go with the altered length of the film. Scenes were chopped out, and much new footage was added, but mostly World War II stock shots of bombed cities, weapons firing, and dead bodies. Yes, actual dead bodies. Also, a shark fights an octopus from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms towards the end.

The only known copy of this film is a VHS tape that had direct footage from a 16mm print (complete with reel announces.) As the tape was old, parts of it are choppy, and it appears to cut off abruptly at the end. wtfFILM got a hold of a copy of the tape and helped allow the world to see it, first by providing DVDRs and then uploading the film to Google Video. You can see the film here with their review. Some of the background information mentioned here was revealed there, and they even subtitled the movie themselves! As of this writing the store is closed, but hopefully it will be open soon, he has some other neat stuff around (including a trailer I saw for a restored version of Cozilla, which looks like it might be re-color-altered from Godzilla KOTM DVDs! Maybe that will get compelted soon and we can have a real treat!)

cozzilla
Godzilla has always been an allegory about the dangers of the atomic bomb, even when he was dashing out of a cave to save TV hero Zone Fighter (okay, maybe not then) but this version of the film takes that to an extreme level. It is so extreme, I was expecting the film to be chugging Mt. Dew and snowboarding out of airplanes into a volcano. It is a depressing kind of extreme, as Godzilla turns into an indictment of war and the human race in general. Thanks to the ample WW2 stock footage, we see far too many real dead bodies for anyone’s taste. Sure, the original film was about the horrors of the atomic bomb, but they didn’t make you want to go curl up in a hole and cry. Talk about brushing your teeth with a shotgun! Thankfully, the VHS quality and the Spectorama 70 color bleed takes the wind out of the sails on some of the images’ graphic details.

The overall use of the color does some nice work setting the atmosphere of the film at times. Godzilla’s attack and the Tokyo destruction are shown as bright red, and makes it violent, chaotic, and tragic at the same time. I enjoyed that choice of color, but at other times the random blues, greens, and yellows seemed to be chosen haphazardly. Some of the screenshots will just look odd because of that. I tried to make many of the shots identical to the ones in the Godzilla, King of the Monsters review, so you can flip between them and see how the color made them different (ignoring the obvious difference in video quality.) In addition, I threw in new shots of the older altered movie and the new inserted footage. As we go along the plot, I’ll point out what differs, and copy over some of the similarities, as the basic story is the same.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 24, 2007 at 1:57 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Godzilla, King of the Monsters (Review)

Godzilla, King of the Monsters!

aka Kaijû no Gojira

1956

Starring
Raymond Burr as Steve Martin
Takashi Shimura as Dr. Kyohei Yamane
Akira Takarada as Hideto Ogata
Momoko Koochi as Emiko Yamane
Akihiko Hirata as Dr. Daisuke Serizawa
Frank Iwanaga as Security Officer Tomo Iwanaga
Toyoaki Suzuki as The Boy from Oto Island
Directed by Ishiro Honda and Terry O. Morse (USA)

Disclaimer: This is the 1956 American-cut version of Gojira. The 1954 film Gojira will be getting it’s own review eventually. Comparisons between the two will be discussed, but will not go into in depth at this time. So let’s get dangerous!

The original cinema production that introduced Godzilla to millions of Americans is still a powerful piece of film. Unlike later installments, when Godzilla was relegated to defending the world mode, here he’s non-stop brute force. People die, casualties of his attacks are seen in detail never reached again. Even so, the film is watered down from the original Japanese film. Thus, we’ll be hitting the brutality the hardest when the original is recapped. Be that as it may, we’re here with the American version, and we will soldier on. The major difference to even the most untrained eye is the addition of Raymond Burr. This was pre-Perry Mason. Pre-Ironside. Pre-Godzilla 1985. Raymond Burr plays American Reporter Steve Martin, no relation to our Steve Martin. He’s not a wild and crazy guy, he was not born a poor black man, and he doesn’t star in terrible remakes with 9,000,000 children. Burr and his translator wander around, inserting themselves into scenes from the original movie, basically recreating the film around him. Instead of a straight shot, the movie is recut to begin with a flashback to before Godzilla’s initial attack on Tokyo, and then regains real time after the plot has reached the initial beginning point. Thus, American audiences instantly see the destruction of Godzilla, without seeing the monster behind it. And so shall we…


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 31, 2006 at 9:30 pm

Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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