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Godzilla 1954 DVD review
on 5 November 2016
Fantastic release, BFI did a brilliant job restoring this Japanese masterpiece and jammed packed with bonus content also being informative about Godzilla's history. My only criticism which it doesn't hurt it's 5 stars it's why include the US trailer if the american version is not included, while Classic Media and The Criterion Collection do include it?
The film's striking and serious tone makes it really stand out from other monster films, even films in general. excluding the 14 films from the Showa Era that came after the original, more into it's true sequel in 1984 The Return of Godzilla from the Heisei Series (or in Japan it's just called Godzilla) and the recent film in the franchise Shin-Godzilla, these films do address Godzilla as the metaphor for the atomic bomb itself, especially coming from Japan who had experienced the deadly power of nuclear weapons, but in the american version (Godzilla King of the Monsters) loses this metaphor completely.
While people are spoiled now with CGI effects and they would rather criticize Godzilla's effects for being cheep/dated, to me the effects still hold up and have charm to them. The acting is strong to make these characters well-developed and memorable, either emotionally or tragically, something about some movies now a days lacking strong characters. The film's Sountrack by Akira Ifukube is haunting which matches film's serious tone, plus he made Godzilla's roar by rubbing a leather glove on a Double Base.
I can't praise this movie enough for being one of the most influential movies of all time, I call it the Citizen Kane of monster films, but it's a shame that most people in the UK only think that there's 4 movies, this film, King Kong vs. Godzilla, 1998, 2014 and that's it, while everybody else in the world has all 31. I don't see how hard it is to release all of them here, there are plenty of fans here who would love to see them all, rather than importing them or pirating them. Plus I'm willing to bet if Shin-Godzilla doesn't get released here, it will be the most pirated Godzilla movie in history, if BFI sees this review maybe they would consider to release more of them, I say films shouldn't be restricted even region codes. Overall the original Godzilla or Gojira in Japan is a masterpiece and he definitely deserves the title KING OF THE MONSTERS.