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IN GOJIRA WE TRUST
THE 1954 UNCUT JAPANESE CLASSIC IS FINALLY ON DVD
WIN A TRIP TO TOKYO AND MORE GOJIRA GOODNESS!

It's almost a safe bet that everyone has seen Godzilla in action in some way shape or form, but few have seen the 1954 Japanese Gojira in its uncut glory.  In America, the retiled Godzilla was released with 20 minutes was cut out and scenes featuring Raymond Burr were hastily shot and edited in.  While the English dub version has its detractors, it's still a fun movie as well, and the folks at Classic Media wisely include both the original and revamped version in this really nice 2 disc set.

Amazon has it bargain priced at $16.49 and it's quite a good value for the dollar.  The packaging resembles a glossy high quality hardcover book, and it comes with a 16 page book that discusses the making of the film that's pretty damn informative.

The film is a lot more sad with a feeling of dread than any other Godzilla film.  Made just a decade after the Hiroshima blasts, the atomic age symbolism is thick.  It's one of the only Godzilla movies in which you really aren't cheering for the monster at all, and every bit of mayhem and destruction seems tragic.  The work with miniature sets is amazingly well done for the time, and when you consider the tight budget and that the film was shot in just under a year, it's a tremendous accomplishment.

The extras on the discs are great and are clearly a labor of love for all involved.  My favorite piece is a slideshow featurette about the making of the suit.  The photo and anecdotes that illustrate the trial and error that went in to crafting the big rubber monstrosity are fascinating and hilarious. For example, the first prototype costume ended up being so heavy and stiff that the actor couldn't even move inside of it.  While a second more flexible version was made, it still weighed nearly 200 pounds and could only be worn for just minutes at a time, with cups of sweat drained from it regularly.  One of the photos shows the poor Godzilla actor collapsed to the ground from exhaustion.

My only nitpick about the set is that the print doesn't appear to have been restored very well.  While Godzilla attacks Tokyo at night, there's a ton of white sparkly bits of damage all about.  And the sound seems uneven and off balance at times as well.  But again, this isn't a deluxe edition, and to even see this on American DVD at all for under $20 makes it forgivable to me.  It's just a shame to see the nice care and attention given to the cleaned up 1933 King Kong film that was part of Godzilla's inspiration wasn't shared here.


GOJIRA PHOTO GALLERY
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CLASSIC MEDIA LAUNCHES “RETURN TO THE KING OF THE MONSTERS ™  HOMETOWN” SWEEPSTAKES TODAY
TO CELEBRATE THE RELEASE OF “GOJIRA” ON DVD

One Grand Prize Winner Will Receive an 8-Day, 7-Night Trip For 2 to Tokyo, Japan

New York, NY – August 16, 2006 – Godzilla wants to show you his hometown!  To celebrate the US release of GOJIRA, the original 1954, uncut Japanese Godzilla movie, Classic Media kicks off the Return to the King of the Monsters Hometown Sweepstakes.  

Starting today, Godzilla fans can log onto www.godzillaondvd.com to enter to win one of more than 250 monstrous prizes.  
 
One grand prize-winner will receive an 8-day/7-night vacation to Tokyo, Japan for two, including travel and first-class accommodations.  Classic Media will also give away one SONY PSP ™ per day for the duration of the sweepstakes, running from August 16 – September 16, 2006.  Additional prizes include 50 “Gojira/Godzilla: King of the Monsters” DVD sets and 200 limited-edition Gojira DVD movie posters.

For “Return to the King of the Monsters ™ Hometown” sweepstakes details, rules and regulations – please log onto www.godzillaondvd.com.  This promotion is produced by T.E.A.M. Group, Florham Park, N.J.

 

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