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Godzilla, Mothra, And King Ghidorah:
Giant Monsters All-Out Attack
(Region 3)
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Japanese Title: Gojira, Mosura, Kingu Ghidorah:  Daikaiju Soukougeki (“Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah:  Giant Monsters All-Out Attack”)
Director: Shusuke Kaneko (Gamera, Guardian Of The Universe)
Original Release Year: 2001
Running Time: 105 minutes

DVD Released By: Universe Laser & Video (Hong Kong)
Video: Widescreen
Audio: Japanese 2.0, Cantonese 2.0
Extras: None
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Closed Captions: None
Region: 3
Format: NTSC
Chapters: 9
Packaging: Keepcase
MSRP: $35 HK
UPC #: 4895024939285
Catalog #: 6308
Status: Available


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Reviewed by:  Zillamon51
The Film: For almost 50 years, the nation of Japan has been at peace.  For most Japanese people, the devastation of WWII and Godzilla’s attack in 1954 are nothing but stories of a distant past.  However, that is about to change.  The destruction of a U.S. nuclear submarine off the coast of Guam signals the return of Godzilla!

Two people following Godzilla’s movements are Taizo Tachibana, an admiral in the Japanese military, and his daughter Yuri.  Yuri is a reporter for
BS Digital-Q, a tabloid TV show known for cheap programs about paranormal phenomena.  While the Admiral struggles to prepare the skeptical military to defend Japan against Godzilla, Yuri sees her opportunity to finally cover an important, "real" story.

As other monsters are sighted across Japan, Yuri meets Isayama, an old man who seems to be a prophet concerning monsters.  He warns that Godzilla, far from being merely a dinosaur mutated by radioactivity, is driven by the angry spirits of those who died in the Pacific war!  He also claims that three ancient monsters will arise to protect Japan from Godzilla.

As Godzilla thunders across Japan, the guardian monsters move to stop him.  Baragon is the first to challenge Godzilla.  Though he struggles valiantly, the burrowing reptile is no match for the overwhelming power of Godzilla.  When Godzilla marches on Tokyo, the two remaining guardians, Mothra and King Ghidorah, combine their power in a final battle against the unstoppable juggernaut.  Will Admiral Tachibana and the military be able to tip the scales in favor of the guardian monsters?  Can Yuri stay alive long enough to tell the story?  Can anything stop Godzilla?

One of the many great things about
Godzilla, Mothra, And King Ghidorah:  Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (GMK for short) is that it is both a tribute to the classic Godzilla films of the 1960’s, and is also unique and inventive.  The multiple-monster format and military-planning subplot are familiar from Godzilla vs. Mothra; Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster; and Destroy All Monsters.  The likeable human characters and new roles for classic monsters keep it interesting.  Godzilla hasn’t been portrayed as this dangerous and unstoppable since the original Godzilla, King Of The Monsters.  As Yuri Tachibana, Chiharu Niiyama lights up the screen in every scene she’s in; her good-natured enthusiasm really shows through.  Ryudo Uzaki brings a real commanding presence to Admiral Tachibana.  He’s stern and reserved, but never one-dimensional.  The late Hideo (aka "Eisei") Amamoto is great as the enigmatic Isayama, a role written especially for him.  The special effects are very good.  Baragon and Mothra are perhaps the best-realized Japanese monsters yet.  While the Godzilla suit has its shortcomings, some great suitmation acting effectively conveys Godzilla’s aggressive nature and bad attitude.

From the first fleeting glimpse of Godzilla’s fins moving underwater, and the opening titles shown over the hides of the monsters (with Ko Otani’s unique and driving music), the audience is in for something special.  Director Shusuke Kaneko revitalized Daiei’s
Gamera franchise, and kaiju fans have been eagerly anticipating him directing a Godzilla movie.  He doesn’t disappoint, because GMK is one of the best.  Grade:  A

Video: GMK is presented in widescreen.  It lacks anamorphic enhancement, which is a big disappointment.  Most of the time, the image is clear and sharp.  However, it’s too dark in some places.  Darker scenes (such as night and underwater scenes) are murky and lack detail, making the action hard to see.  Grade:  C+

Audio: Both the original Japanese language track, and the Cantonese dub, are presented in 2.0 stereo only.  The lack of a 5.1 option is disappointing.  The Japanese track sounds good, with all of the dialogue, music and sound effects well reproduced.  The dialogue on the Cantonese track sounds a little artificial (though not bad for a dub), and the background sound effects are slightly muted when the characters are talking.  Grade:  B

Extras / Menus: The main menu is a still image; the chapter select menu has animated film clips in the selection windows.  Neither of the menus has any music or sound.  There are no extras, not even a trailer (trailers are standard on Universe’s other releases).  Grade:  F

Final Analysis:  An excellent Godzilla movie presented in widescreen, and its original language with subtitles (that are more accurate than the region 1 subtitles), for a low price.  Despite a disappointing transfer and lack of extras, any kaiju fan with a region free DVD player may want to consider picking this up.  Final Grade:  B
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