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Godzilla [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [1954]

  • SKU: 4840743
  • Release Date: 01/24/2012
  • Rating: NR
$27.99
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    Overview

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    90% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (17 out of 19)

    Special Features


    • Audio Commentary for both movies by Film Historian David Kalat
    • New Interviews with Actors Akira Takarada and Haruo Nakajima and Special Effects Technicians Yoshio Irie and Eizo Kaimai
    • Interview with legendary Godzilla score composer Akira Ifukube
    • Featurette detailing Godzilla's photographic effects, introduced by Special Effects Director Koichi Kawakita and Special Effects Photographer Motoyoshi Tomioka
    • New Interview with Japanese-film critic Tadao Sato
    • The Unluckiest Dragon, an illustrated audio essay featuring Historian Greg Pflugfelder describing the tragic fate of the fishing vessel Daigo Fukuryu Maru, and real-life event that inspired Godzilla
    • Trailers for Godzilla and Godzilla, King of the Monsters

    Synopsis


    Gojira
    One of the longest-running series in film history began with Ishiro Honda's grim, black-and-white allegory for the devastation wrought on Japan by the atomic bomb. As his visual metaphor, Honda uses a 400-foot-tall mutant dinosaur called Gojira, awakened from the depths of the sea as a rampaging nuclear nightmare, complete with glowing dorsal fins and fiery, radioactive breath. Crushing ships, villages, and buildings in his wake, Gojira marches toward Tokyo, bringing all of the country's worst nightmares back until an evil more terrible bomb -- capable of sucking all the oxygen from the sea -- returns the monster to its watery grave. The original film is chilling, despite some rather unconvincing man-in-a-suit special effects, and brimming with explicitly stated anti-American sentiment. All of that was removed for the U.S. release directed by Terry Morse. It was replaced with bad dubbing and tedious added footage starring Raymond Burr. The resulting edit was just another monster movie, but was still popular enough to assure future Toho Studios monster films a wide American release. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

    Cast & Crew


    • Akihiko Hirata
      Akihiko Hirata - Daisuke Serizawa
    • Image coming soon
      Momoko Kochi - Emiko Yamane
    • Kokuten Kodo
      Kokuten Kodo - Gisaku, Oto Island Patriarch
    • Image coming soon
      Fuyuki Murakami - Dr. Tabata
    • Image coming soon
      Haruo Nakajima - Newspaper Employee (Japanese version only)/Power Subs



    Customer rating

    Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars with 19 reviews

    89%
    would recommend to a friend

    Most relevant reviews

    See all customer reviews
    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Smashing!

      Posted
      XAvenger
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember
      • Top 100 ContributorTop 100 Contributor

      This is one of my favorite movies. This Blu-Ray has the first, and the best, Godzilla movie. A movie that spawned so many squels. In this film, a mutated dinosaur is awakened by atomic testing and goes on a rampage. Godzilla's rampage destroys a large section of Tokyo and threatens more destruction if it is allowed to continue. This could have easily been a B-moive, but it is an outstanding film and a timeless classic thanks to the work of Tomoyuki Tanaka, the film's producer, legendary special effects artist Eiji Tsuburaya who created the amazing (by 1950's standards# visual effects of Godzilla, Akira Ifukube who composed the powerful and stirring score and director Ishiro Honda. It is because of them that Godzilla is still popular to this day. The original version is riveting! There are many exciting, suspenseful and heart-rending scenes. The scenes of Godzilla destryoing Tokyo look realistic and boast many terrifying moments. The scenes of the aftermath are shocking, the prayer for peace sung by a choir of young women is turly stirring. This is one of the finest sci-fi/fantasy films ever made. The extras include interviews with surviving cast and crew members #including Haruo Nakajima who wore the Godzilla suit). These offer some fascinating insights into this enduring classic. There's also a piece on a fishing ship that strayed too close to an atomic test and the crew came down with radiation sicknees, a real-life event that inspired part of the movie. Godzilla does have an anti-atomic weapons message, but it does not beat you over the head with it. Rather than using the approach Godzilla used in dealing with Tokyo, the movie is more subtle. Very effective! The Blu-Ray is fantastic! The movie looks great and almost all of the scenes are sharply defined with just a few source material issues evident due to the age of the film. All in all, this was an exemplary job of restoration and HD transferring. The Americanized version does not quite have the same impact as the original movie, and the scenes with Raymond Burr are obviously tacked on. They edited this movie a little too much. This is the start of a legend! A classic that has stood the test of time and one of Toho's finest films. Essential for any sci-fi collection!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Powerful Movie, Incredible Remaster

      Posted
      Thom
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      MOVIE: There's not much to say about this movie that hasn't already been said. Now, the main feature on this disc is the original Japanese-language 1954 cut of the movie, as opposed to the 1955 Raymond Burr version (which is included as a bonus feature). It's a darker movie than many would think, not so much a giant monster romp as a powerful allegory for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. This movie is deeply upsetting and even frightening, with haunting cinematography, excellent acting, an incredible musical score and a script that's complex at its core but executed with graceful simplicity. VIDEO: This movie was previously released on Blu-ray by Classic Media--avoid that release and go for the Criterion version. The film print may not be in great shape, with a fair deal of scratches, but Criterion has still done a wonderful restoration. Detail is extremely strong and vivid, contrast is perfect and there's a very good sense of depth throughout. This is the best the movie has ever looked on home video, and will likely remain the definitive release for a long time. AUDIO: This LPCM mono track provides more depth than one would expect from a 1.0 track. It sounds fantastic. Clarity and fidelity are outstanding, dialogue is well-pronounced and the score sounds fantastic. BONUS FEATURES: As per usual, Criterion have provided a wealth of features.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

      Misleading specs

      Posted
      ablox
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      I've always been big on the Godzilla thing since I was a little kid back in the early 60's. Even the awful ones where he's all campy and turns good with no stomp on everything session. I was excited to see the original first Gojira released and on Blu-Ray! But that was replaced with disappointment when I tried to watch it. I checked the website twice, the specs say audio is English / Japanese, but it's only in Japanese with English subtitles. Which is freaking annoying and too often impossible to read. Same annoying nonsense with the original Gamera.

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      An alltime classic!

      Posted
      csjonesy
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      I grew up watching all of the Godzilla, Gamera, and many other Japanese monster movies. So its a real treat to finally see them being released now remastered and given all kinds of special features. Both versions of the movie looks fantastic here. I highly recommend adding this set to your collection!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Original Monster Madness

      Posted
      LJ429
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

      Criterion never disapoints, but this one is extra special. Digibook case with a pop up godzilla effect, a book, 2 versions of the movie, and of course an immaculate transfer. What is there not to love. Go and buy it now!

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Classic Godzilla at its best

      Posted
      NeoQuintessence

      If you are a fan of the original Godzilla, then you will like this. The only drawback has nothing to do with the movie itself, but with the packaging. I have never been a fan of having to slide one thing out of another. It is clunky and feels like it could have been thought through more.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Gojira the real story

      Posted
      JinRoh
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      My favorite sci fi movie special effects are dated but the attempt was to make it as believable as possible The original story was a warning about the potential danger of the nuclear age Much better than the commercial follow ons which make Gojira a buffon

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      The Original and Best!

      Posted
      kaiju
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Of all the movies of this genre to come along, none of them can quite match the original Japanese Godzilla movie. Of all the releases of the original Japanese Godzilla movie to come along, none can quite match the quality of the Criterion release.

      I would recommend this to a friend



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