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  • Invasion of Astro-Monster

    Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on June 8th, 2007

    Overall
    Film
    Video
    Audio
    Extras
    (out of 5)

    A mysterious new planet is discovered, and an expedition there discovers a civilization under threat from King Ghidorah. The inhabitants of Planet X ask to transport Godzilla and Rodan to their home for help. Earth agrees, and at first it seems that all has gone well, as Godzilla sends Ghidorah packing. But then it turns out that the Xians are actually invaders, and plan to use all three monsters to subjugate Earth.

    If you thought Godzilla grabbing at his butt after being zapped by Ghidorah in Ghidorah, …he Three-Headed Monster was silly, just wait for the infamous victory jig here. So yeah, the juvenile nature of the series is pretty much set in concrete by this point. This is also the first time of many that aliens will plot our conquest and using monsters somehow figures into their dastardly scheme. That said, the plot is livelier and more entertaining than the previous entry’s.

    Audio

    The audio choices here are interesting. Since less than two minutes distinguishes the American from the Japanese print, the selection comes down to either hearing co-star Nick Adams speak in his own voice while the rest of the cast is dubbed, or hear him dubbed into Japanese. Either way, the mono is clean and warm, with Akira Ifukube’s score being very well served.

    Video

    There is one oddity here: the American version’s credits are not in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, though the rest of the movie is. Said credits also look rather banged up. Otherwise, both prints are in terrific shape, with almost no grain or damage, and absolutely superb colours, contrasts and blacks.

    Special Features

    Stuart Galbraith IV’s commentary track is engaging and informative, full of background. Did you know, for instance, that Godzilla’s jig was controversial, not only with fans, but among the filmmakers themselves even as the film was being made? Producer Tomoyuki Tanaka gets the biographical honours this time (another fine job). The usual collection of (annotated) poster and still galleries and the Japanese trailer are here as well.

    Closing Thoughts

    Sure the movies were pretty silly by this point. But the transfer is very handsome, and it’s about time these films were treated with respect.

    Special Features List

    • Audio Commentary
    • Tomoyuki Tanaka Biography
    • Image and Poster Galleries
    • Theatrical Trailer
    Posted In: 2.35:1 Widescreen, Disc Reviews, Dolby Digital Mono (English), Dolby Digital Mono (Japanese), DVD, Genius Entertainment, Sci-Fi / Fantasy, Toho Master Collection

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