|Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II
(Marketing-Film) (Region 2 PAL)
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|Japanese Title: Gojira vs. Mekagojira (“Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla”)
Director: Takao Okawara (Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth, Godzilla 2000)
Original Release Year: 1993
Running Time: 101 minutes
DVD Released By: Marketing-Film (Germany)
Video: Anamorphic widescreen
Audio: English 2.0 (usually doesn’t work), German 2.0, German 5.1
Extras: Music recording featurette, photo gallery, Akira Ifukube biography, Rodan character biography, notes on the Godzilla series, trailers
Subtitles: German (non-removable)
Closed Captions: None
Packaging: Keepcase (translucent blue)
MSRP: 9.99 EUR
UPC #: 4038637250020
Catalog #: 250002
Status: Out of print
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About the Site
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|The Film: Scientists discover a prehistoric egg on Birth Island. The flying monster Rodan is very protective of this egg, and attacks to defend it. Godzilla then arrives on Birth Island, and battles Rodan for possession of the egg. The scientists escape during the fight, and take the egg to Japan for further study. A baby Godzillasaurus hatches from the egg! Godzilla heads to the city in response to the calls of Baby Godzilla. However, the JSDF has used futuristic technology salvaged from the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah to develop the ultimate weapon against Godzilla: The super-robot Mechagodzilla! Rodan will also return to protect the young creature that it still sees as its own sibling.
Sound good? It is. The film is really good. It doesn’t have a dull moment, and there is even some warm humor in it. The battle sequences are very well done (although they don’t destroy that many buildings this time). Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II is a solid piece of work. Grade: A-
Video: This disc has a very similar transfer to the other Heisei Godzilla DVDs from Marketing-Film. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and it’s anamorphic. The movie starts with the Tristar logo, and the credits are in English. The transfer is very good. Some minor film artifacts can be seen in some scenes, but not that much. Colors are also quite rich. This print has player-generated (English) credits, and only the film’s title is in its original Japanese. The Japanese end song is there only briefly, and the end credits are cut. The German subtitles are forced (at least on my stand-alone player), but the font is small and white, so it’s not that annoying. Grade: B-
Audio: There should be 3 audio options. There is English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround, German Dolby Digital 2.0 surround, and a German Dolby Digital 5.1 upmix. The problem is, the English track is very temperamental. It is on the disc, and PC DVD drives seem to be able to access it. However, it doesn’t work on stand-alone DVD players. There is a “trick” to get to the English track, but it may not work for all DVD players. Here it is: First, play the GvMGII trailer. Then, go back to the extras menu and select the Rodan bio. Finally, go back to the main menu and select “play movie.” The movie should now play in English.
For those who can access it, the English track is quite clean, with nice surround activity in several scenes. The English dubbing isn’t that bad (only dull), but the original Japanese would’ve been a better choice. The overall sound level was slightly low (compared to the menu music and the German tracks), so you might have to turn the sound up a bit. Very good 2.0 surround track.
The sound levels of the German audio tracks are a little bit higher than the English track. German DD 5.1 and German DD 2.0 surround sounded quite equal, but since the 5.1 is discrete, you should get a little better surround activity than with the 2.0. Grade: A- (If you can get the English track to work.)
Extras / Menus: The biggest extra on this disc is a featurette about the recording of the film’s music score, with Akira Ifukube. It runs 39 minutes, and is mostly just footage of the recording sessions, with very little narration. After a slow start, it also combines some behind-the-scenes material from the making of the film, and that makes things a little bit more interesting (although the music is very good). It’s a nice little featurette. Then there is a photo gallery, which contains 25 photos (film stills, and poster and cover art). It’s in a slide show format, and runs for 4 minutes. Next is a biography of composer Akira Ifukube (in German). Then we have two text slide shows, in German: “History of Rodan” and “Die Geschichte Des Monsters Tell 1”. The latter seems to be some notes about the history of the Godzilla series (parts 2 and 3 are on Marketing-Films’ other German Godzilla DVDs). Finally, we have Japanese trailers for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II and Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla, and an English trailer for Godzilla vs. Destoroyah.
The menus are very basic and static (4:3 format), with some music. There is a Dolby Digital trailer when the disc starts, before the main menu screen appears. All the menus are in German, but they are easy to navigate. There is no booklet. Grade: B
Final Analysis: Since this disc is inexpensive, the movie is great, and the featurette is a nice addition, there shouldn’t be any reason for PAL-enabled fans not to get this. However, the non-working English language track makes buying this disc a gamble. This DVD has been available for a while, so there’s no reason Marketing-Film couldn’t have fixed the authoring by now. Final Grade: D
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