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Subj: Godzilla Vs. Mothra: The Battle For Earth
Posted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 01:52:56 am EDT (Viewed 122 times)
1992's Godzilla Vs. Mothra is the 19th Godzilla movie from Toho Studios and the 4th of the Heisei series(1984-1995). As the title states, this film features the giant moth Mothra in her first appearance since 1968's Destroy All Monsters. Unadjusted for inflation, this movie is the highest grossing Godzilla movie from the entire series, with over 4 million tickets sold in Japan. Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment didn't release the film in the US until 1998.
A meteor land in an ocean trench, awakening Godzilla, while an Indiana Jones-type treasure hunter takes a job that leads him to an island where he meets the Cosmos fairies. The Cosmos tell of an ancient battle between the giant monsters Mothra and Battra, creatures the earth created because of man's attempts to control the planet's climate. Due to modern changes in the environment, the two monsters also reemerge and plan to resume their battle. Both beasts wind up meeting Godzilla, though, with Battra and the King Of The Monsters getting swallowed in a crack in the ocean floor. Later, Mothra attacks the city in an attempt to retrieve the Cosmos fairies and then transforms from her larval stage into the flying moth monster. Godzilla and Battra resurface from the Mt. Fuji volcano, having travelled under the earth's crust, and Mothra convinces Battra to work together to defeat the giant lizard. Battra dies in the battle, but not until after the two flying beasts are able to remove Godzilla from the mainland and deposit him at sea.
Based on what I've read on line, Godzilla Vs. Mothra is a popular movie from the genre, but I'm afraid I have to buck that trend. Of the 6 Heisei movies, I'd rate this in the bottom half. The film kind of assumes that the viewers are already familiar with the monsters. I'm sure most were, but that doesn't help with creating mystery and intrigue about them, as was the case in the original Godzilla Vs. The Thing(1964). The Cosmos fairies are a bit annoying, either delivering a ton of expostion or stating the obvious. They also beat the viewer over the head with "man is ruining the earth" without ever giving real examples of how. Subsequent movie fairies have never matched the original twins from Mothra, Godzilla Vs. The Thing, and Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster. Of course, the dubbing has something to do with that, too. Mothra looks too much like a cuddly stuffed animal instead of a monster and I don't really care for Battra. The battle scenes, like most of those from the 80's and on, occur at night with lots of smoke around which is less effective at promoting realism.
That said, there were some really good moments in this movie. The miniaturized city at the end battle between the three monsters is great as are some of the special effects and suitmation(monster suit acting). Larva Mothra's trip through the city is pretty realistic. The human plot is pretty good, with memorable characters and nods to Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Godzilla looks fearsome, though a bit plasticky, and the scene in which he emerges from Mt. Fuji was really a sight.
This promo video gets it wrong, asking "Will the Earth be ripped apart by Mothra or will Godzilla save the day?"
The movie was so successful that Mothra would go on to star in her own trilogy of movies titled The Rebirth Of Mothra I, II and III from 1996-98, which I haven't seen yet.
You can watch this movie in several places:
Crackle - http://www.crackle.com/c/godzilla-vs.-mothra
Dailymotion - http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkwvfv_godzilla-vs-mothra-battle-for-earth-1992-part-1-8_tv
Viooz(without commercials) - http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkwvfv_godzilla-vs-mothra-battle-for-earth-1992-part-1-8_tv
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