Godzilla 1984 Blu-ray Review
“The Return of Godzilla”…On Blu-ray!
In “Godzilla 1984” (AKA “The Return of Godzilla”), the Big G once again reappears and is wreaking havoc on the high seas. With confirmed reports of his sightings popping up, Japan is preparing some defensive measures with the expectation that he will arrive on their shores once again. Will Japan be powerless to stop Godzilla or have they discovered a way to stop him?
Aside from the main storyline, there are also key subplots involving nuclear weapons, a newspaper reporter (Maki), a Godzilla attack survivor (Hiroshi) and his sister (Naoko), and a homing device.
After a bit of a lull, a new catalogue Godzilla title has hit Blu-ray and it’s a big one- “Godzilla 1984”! As many Godzilla fans out there know, this is the first time this version has ever been released on home video in the U.S. Unfortunately, the American release of this film known as “Godzilla 1985” is not included on this release due to rights issues. Hopefully, we will be able to see that version on Blu-ray one day. Despite that issue, the release of “Godzilla 1984” is something to celebrate as it is a top tier Godzilla film.
The film (which was released during Godzilla’s 30th anniversary back in 1984) is a return to the roots of Godzilla. The story is serious in nature, Godzilla is back to being a menacing monster, and the film contains poignant commentary about nuclear weapons and nuclear wear. While I appreciate the silly Godzilla films and combat centric Versus films just as much as any fan, Godzilla is always at his best in the more serious minded films like “Gojira” and “Godzilla” (2014). I’m always more into a Godzilla film that has something to say about the world and “Godzilla 1984” certainly does that.
Tone and messages aside, “Godzilla 1984” is just a flat-out well made Godzilla movie in its own right. Sure, one could argue that the pacing could be tightened and that Godzilla stands around a bit too much at times, but the first hour build-up and the payoff are so undeniably strong that it doesn’t matter much.
Presentation: 16:9 1080p. How does it look? A very impressive and colorful transfer. This is easily the best the film has ever looked. It’s also great to see the film in widescreen on home video too!
Audio Tracks: English and Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How do they sound? The English dub is actually pretty solid but the original language track is the way to go for purists. In terms of the quality, the dialogue sounds a little soft, but the action is lively.
The only extras are a theatrical promo and trailers for other Kraken Releasing titles (“Godzilla Vs. Gigan,” “Godzilla Vs. Hedorah,” and “Ebirah-Horror of the Deep!”.
Overall Thoughts: I’m always happy to see a new Godzilla Blu-ray release and this “Godzilla 1984” Blu-ray is no exception. Given that there are still a few titles yet to be released, I hope Kraken Releasing is able to put out more down the line.
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