Friday, March 28, 2014

Godzilla 1985 (The Return of Godzilla) Review Part 1

This is the review of the original "The Return of Godzilla", the unedited version without Raymond Burr.
This is from a DVD copy that I brought down here in Puerto Rico (visiting family) in one of these small MOM POP shops that still sell Lps and cassettes!
This copy itslef is from a Laser Disc version (I was told) that is Spanish dub with no English Dub and no subtitles. Only when there is Japanese lettering on the screen that there is spanish subtitles. A Screen shot included explains how that looks.
So I had to listen to the whole movie in Spanish including scenes which I have never seen before. Family helped me with some sentences.
For those who read my review on the blu-ray  "Monsters" Blu-ray by Director Gareth Edwards,
I broke down the review into catagories and timings. This will be a short verison of that, because honestly it would take me about 5 pages to go through the whole movie. That how much editing was done. I compared this with a Torrent version of the American release on the internet playing on my laptop  while playing the DVD version on the television.
But the funny thing about is, you are not missing much at all. The shorter version is the better one.
And this is coming from a purist! From a certified editor this had to be a nightmare for the film's editor as scenes were edited out, trimmed down, inserted new material, rejumbled scenes around, and to cut it down for a short 90 minute release.

 So what are the major differences?
1. First of all the Godzilla scenes are exactly intact, no footage was deleted or added in both versions.
2. Scenes of the couple were cut down for the U.S. to the point you wouldn't notice. Basically they both looking at each other while things are happening around them.
3. And the bulk of the editing was the Japanese Cabinet deciding what the hell to do with the big guy.
Lots of talk which continues when the Americans show up and nobody in the room can decid what to do. A good 20 minutes, all in the second act, were completely edited out. A good choice. This is where they added the American Scenes of Actor Raymond Burr and the Military drinking Dr. Pepper looking at a screen.
4. The Russians are the good guys in the original. In the U.S. version we are at a cold war with Russia.
More explain in the editing section.

The following will be a technical scheme of both movies and is divided in 3 parts a this is the basic structure of most movies.
1st Act = 30 minutes, 2nd act = 45 minutes, 3rd act = 30 minutes
So what were the editing choices? I present this in order of the movies:
Act 1:
1. Rearrangment of  the opening with the boat in the storm.
2. Fighting the giant bug was longer as the hero had a tug of of war with it before stabbing it to death.
3. The 2 guys yacked longer on the boat before the helicopter rescued them.
4. Intro of reporter at his house by the water.
5. Submarine Scene: They much talk about scene and only 30 seconds edited out where the captain talks to his second in command which the sonar could be from another submarine called "Los Angeles".   ."Then it must  be from the new american nuclear submarine Los Angeles"
See picture above.

The submarine is the highlight of Act 1; To give you an idea of the difference of both pictures:
Original Version: 21:00 to 24:30 Minutes into the movie.
American Version: 15:00 to 17:45 minutes into the movie.
As you can see 45 seconds were cut out of the scene hence the photo above. You can also see how the editing is effecting the timing of the picture as approximately 5 minutes have been edited out of the original release. And it gets crazier with with the second act.

End of Part 1: We are going to wrap up the 1st act and then describe the 2nd act as thats where most of the butchering happens and end with the 3rd act where most of it is intact with Godzilla fighting the Super X (still looks like a waffle iron to me).I gave you an idea of how the editing process works above the 2nd part will be more user friendly and shorter as to just mention what scenes were cut.

Part 2 will be posted next week.


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