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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 12/18/00

Godzilla 2000
2000 (2000) - Toho Company, Ltd. (Columbia TriStar)

review by Todd Doogan of The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

Godzilla 2000 Film Rating: B+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/A/A

Specs and Features

99 mins, PG, letterboxed widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, single-layered, audio commentary (with the writer/producer of the American version, Mike Schlesinger, and American version editor Mike Mahoney and sound designer Darren Paskal), behind-the-scenes featurette, talent files (Takao Okawara and Godzilla), 2 theatrical trailers (for Godzilla (1998) and Godzilla 2000), film-themed menu screens, scene access (28 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 and DD 2.0) and French (DD 2.0), subtitles: English and French, Closed Captioned

Japan killed him off and we tried to bring him back... but that was a miserable experience, wasn't it? So that the taste of Godzilla (1998) wouldn't be so sour, Japan had no choice but to bring the great green one back again. And, proving that you can't keep a good monster down, Godzilla immediately puts the smack down on Tokyo. This time around, Godzilla seems to have an issue with Japan's major power stations, wanting to knock them out of commission. While all this is going on, Godzilla Prediction Network (GPN) head Shinoda, and his daughter Io, go head to head with the CCI (Crisis Control Intelligence, an organization whose sole purpose, it seems, is to destroy Big G) as they try to protect Godzilla and learn from his newly discovered "healing factor". Things get complicated, however, when a rock discovered on the bottom of the ocean comes to life and unveils a sinister life form inside - Orga. It would seem that Orga harnesses enough power to destroy Godzilla, which for us as a human race may be a good thing. But is Orga friendly, and why do all the information warehouses specializing in Godzilla research keep getting drained? Is Orga somehow studying Godzilla to know it's enemy or is it for some other reason? A reason linked with Godzilla's healing factor?

Godzilla 2000 is an extremely fun ride. It captures everything that hooked me into watching as a kid in the late 70s and early 80s. In fact, this is a nice little retro throwback to those Godzilla films, with a new design and some state-of-the-art CGI effects thrown in. It's got monster on monster action, bad dubbing and fun back and forth between man, woman and child. I highly recommend this to fans young and old, because if this tainted soul can have fun, then anyone can.

If you decide to give Godzilla 2000 a try, make sure to do it on DVD. This is a nice little package. The video isn't the greatest, mostly because this isn't a transfer made from the original negatives. How could it be, considering that the film was reedited and modified from its original Japanese version for its U.S. theatrical run? That said, though, the DVD is still pretty nice. Detail is crisp, without edge-enhanced shimmer. Colors are nice and you shouldn't see any compression artifacting. There's some moments of heavy grain, but this is probably from differing camera stocks being put together. But the audio is where this version shines. This is a much better soundtrack than the original Japanese, with improved effects and a more playful nature. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is overflowing with stomps, explosions and that trademark Godzilla roar. The stereo track isn't too shabby either, but who needs it when you have 5.1, right?

Godzilla 2000 isn't quite chock full of extras, but for what it is, it's a keeper. There's a short bit of behind-the-scenes footage of a guy in the G-suit stomping around a mock-up of Tokyo, which gives us a nice perspective of what it's like to be on set during one of these films. There's a cast and crew bio/filmography of the director and Godzilla, and there are also a pair of trailers. But the real prize on this disc is the commentary track, which is a fascinating inside look at how a Japanese film is taken apart and put back together again to become more Western friendly. The commentary is by the team of American filmmakers that retooled the film for U.S. audiences. We hear about what was trimmed, why and where. We learn what was added, what was mixed around and how the voice cast was picked. It's pretty cool. For everyone who ever wondered how the process works, this is a great listen.

Godzilla - the Japanese Godzilla - is back. And he's so very cool. A whole new audience of kids is getting back into the great green one, and I'm glad. This is a great little film to set the kids in front of. Plus, for all you adult fans, it's a nice snapshot look inside the Americanization of a Japanese phenom. Have some fun and pop this one into your player. It'll help rid the you of the memory of an overgrown iguana storming around New York. I know it's hard to shake... but this disc helps. I swear.

Todd Doogan
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