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Godzilla vs. Biollante(1989)
Godzilla is freed from his prison in Mt. Mihara just in time to face a genetic experiment gone wrong in the form of Biollante, a huge hybrid monster made from plant, human, and Godzilla's DNA
For more about Godzilla vs. Biollante and the Godzilla vs. Biollante Blu-ray release, see Godzilla vs. Biollante Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on December 5, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Kunihiko Mitamura, Yoshiko Tanaka, Masanobu Takashima, T˘ru Minegishi, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Yoshiko Kuga
Director: Kazuki Ohmori
» See full cast & crew
Godzilla vs. Biollante Blu-ray Review
Shared genes, big battles, and everything that fans love from their favorite oversized lizard.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, December 5, 2012
At some point, Godzilla's going to have to take pity on his victims. Either that, or the good people of Japan are going to have to come up with something that keeps the creature away for good, not merely at bay long enough for them to assess the damage before the beast makes its not-so-triumphant return to wreck havoc on a shellshocked but determined people. Or the filmmakers can just keep churning out more and more Godzilla movies, which would be just fine with cinephiles the world over. Godzilla vs. Biollante is one of more than two dozen Godzilla pictures currently in circulation, and it's one of the finer of the bunch. Penned by a fan and packed with action, characterization, and thought-provoking ideas on genetics and the balance between good and evil, the picture impresses on most every level Godzilla fans demand.
When renowned Japanese Geneticist Dr. Shiragami (K˘ji Takahashi) loses his daughter in a terrorist attack that's a result of his work in the field of mixing Godzilla DNA with desert plants to ensure a greener and more profitable future for the fictional Middle eastern nation of Saradia, he leaves behind his life's work, at least in the public eye. That Godzilla DNA is in high demand all over the world; the Japanese believe they can fashion a weapon capable of stopping Godzilla once and for all with it, a weapon that would give the nation greater power and influence within the global sphere as well. Years later, a mournful Shiragami splices together Godzilla's DNA with that of a rose and his daughter both. The result is a potent creature dubbed "Biollante" that may be the only thing standing between a suddenly awakened Godzilla and another attack of mass destruction on Japanese soil.
With so many Godzilla films -- sixteen prior to Godzilla vs. Biollante -- one's attention understandably drifts away from the big G and towards the other elements within the story. Fortunately, the Biollante half of the equation makes for a fascinating study across two fundamental areas of concern: the boundaries and role of science and the fundamental idea of inherent good and evil in every living thing. The former proves a little more dangerous in terms of approach; genetics and modern science can be highly beneficial to society but also fundamentally frightening, issues the film doesn't explore in depth -- it's an Action film at its core -- but that are introduced and placed on the table, weaving them into the core story elements and leaving audiences an open forum for consideration and discussion when the lights come back up.
Arguably the more interesting aspect of Godzilla vs. Biollante stems from the new creature itself. It's an odd looking thing, beautiful and creepy both at once, but it's that which is underneath the physical appearance that makes for an interesting study. The film seems to raise questions of inherent good and evil and the contrasts between purity and beauty and internal and external ugliness. The rose is an interesting choice to blend with Godzilla DNA. It's a prized object of beauty, balanced by damaging thorns. Splicing it with both Godzilla's DNA as well as human DNA creates a fascinating creature that's inherently good in some ways and evil in others, beautiful but deadly, and in possession of something akin to human consciousness that gives the creature a heightened opportunity to explore the best and worst of each of its three main genetic ingredients. What the film tries to say, with that in mind, is up for debate, though it's perhaps stating that in everything there's some degree of potential, of leeway for decision-making and utilization of whatever gifts it may possess, and it's how a self-aware being perceives itself and uses its abilities for better or for worse that define it. Then again, that circles back to the difference between natural development and human influence on a species, tying the film together into a beautiful circle of thought-provoking cinema that makes Godzilla vs. Biollante one of the finer of all the Godzilla pictures.
At its core, however, this remains a Godzilla movie, and with that comes certain expectations for action and destruction on a large scale, the former of which the film delivers on as well as most any other in the series, the latter not so much. The fusion of science with the pop culture destruction aspects of Godzilla is one of interesting contrasts that cannot be separated deep down but that can be looked at separately on the surface. Much of the picture's charm stems from its model work and practical visuals. The miniature model work is outstanding, not necessarily convincing but a nice fit for the film and series. The second half of the picture offers almost nonstop action -- in contrast to the character elements and story development that defines the first -- and fans are treated to some classic vs. action as well as some high-intensity combat between Godzilla and the Super-X 2 combat aircraft. There's more missile fire and radioactive breath action and less of the city-stomping style of destruction that's associated with the Godzilla character, though not to the film's detriment. It moves fast in its second act and brings together all of its themes and actions into one very digestible picture that's equal parts smart and entertaining.
Godzilla vs. Biollante Blu-ray, Video Quality
Godzilla Vs Biollante makes its Blu-ray debut in a passable but somewhat disappointing high definition package. The image begins unspectacularly, yielding a bit of title wobble, soft details, and poor blacks that appear washed out/dark gray to such an extent as to distract from the film, and blacks continue to do so with each new nighttime scene throughout the movie. The picture fares significantly better in brighter scenes. Colors certainly never pop, but the splashes produced by an orange sweater, crayoned drawings, and green grasses all appear with acceptable balance and accuracy. The image remains rather soft, however, even at its best. Details never excite in any scene. Faces and clothes fall rather flat, the model Super-X II craft looks bland, and even the heavily textured Godzilla and Biollante characters offer only basic definition even in close-in shots. Grain remains, fluctuating at times in intensity but the flip side is an appreciated organic and naturally filmic appearance. The image does benefit from the uptick in resolution Blu-ray provides, allowing for greater stability on larger display surfaces. Nevertheless, the image largely disappoints. Fans will wish for better and casual viewers may wonder why it doesn't pop, but the combination of budget Blu-ray, softer photography, and other, scattered elements results in a watchable but forgettable transfer.
Godzilla vs. Biollante Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Godzilla Vs Biollante contains a trio of audio options, chief amongst them -- and the one most likely to be selected -- a Japanese language DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 presentation. As with the video presentation, this track never really dazzles, but it doesn't fall too terribly short of (meager) expectations, either. The opening action salvo disappoints with a decided absence of energy; crumbling and exploding buildings lack audible oomph, let along the amount of bass some might expect. Likewise, Godzilla's hallmark screeching plays meagerly with fair presence but lacking that ear-piercing sort of high-end energy it seemingly should enjoy. Uptempo action music enjoys sufficient clarity and front-side spacing, but not much in the way of aggressive volume. Dialogue plays with fine clarity and remains centered up the middle, save for a few instances of deliberate reverberation that comes off as a little sharp rather than naturally gentle and accurate. Note that the disc contains several different subtitle options, including "English: Screen Text," "English: Complete Translation (New Translation from Original Japanese Dialogue)," and traditional English SDH. Also note that while the menu claims the disc offers a "Japanese DTS HD 2.0 Stereo Track," the disc instead contains a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 presentation in its place (in addition to the correctly-listed Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks).
Godzilla vs. Biollante Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Godzilla Vs Biollante contains only two supplements.
Godzilla vs. Biollante Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Godzilla Vs Biollante entertains and leaves its viewers with something to think about when it's finished. The film satisfies core Godzilla action elements but also more than dabbles in some scientific, moral, and emotional aspects that round the movie into finer form than would be possible if it eschewed the drama and focused more on expanding the already exciting action. It's a well-balanced film and one that should be well-received amongst its target audience. Echo Bridge's Blu-ray release of Godzilla vs. Biollante features adequate video and audio presentations. A couple of extras are included. Despite a less-than-overwhelming Blu-ray package, Godzilla vs. Biollante's Blu-ray release comes recommend on the strength of the film as well as its bargain pricing.
Godzilla vs. Biollante: Other Editions
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Godzilla vs. Biollante Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Godzilla Vs Biollante Blu-ray - October 1, 2012
This holiday season, Echo Bridge Entertainment is releasing Godzilla Vs Biollante on Blu-ray. Toho and writer/director Kazuki Ōmori first let loose The King of the Monsters to fight Biollante back in 1989, under the Japanese title Gojira vs. Biorante. Godzilla ...
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