Viras and Jiger are the two I've watched the least often.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
GAMERA VS. VIRAS: I have now moved from the apples of the MST3K versions to the oranges of the Legacy Collection. After five movies with Joel and the 'bots, there's just something about widescreen and subtitles that makes this seem like a more serious film. In any case, the subtitles force me to pay closer attention. I have nothing to add to your summary; you made every point I would have (not the least of which is how Gamera possibly survived being impaled by Viras near the end). I honestly cannot say whether I have previously seen this movie or not. I don't think so, but that bumblebee beachball spaceship looks awfully familiar.
"I honestly cannot say whether I have previously seen this movie or not."
I have. I own "Destroy All Planets" on knock-off DVD.
"Viras and Jiger are the two I've watched the least often."
Speaking of which...
GAMERA VS. JIGER: I have definitely never seen this one before. Jiger is like a Swiss Army Kaiju. At the point the boys take the sub into Gamera's innards the movie becomes Fantastic Voyage. The footage of the parasites in the elephant's trunk is undoubtedly the most disgusting thing Tracy and I have seen in... well, in a long time. One reason I like watching a foreign language movie is that the acting is always good (at least, so far as I know). But there are some lines in this one that, even in Japanese, I can tell the delivery is off. (Notably, Susan's mother.) Regarding the lengthy "flashback" sequences in these movies, I think their main audience (no, not us) doesn't really grasp non-linear storytelling and are happy as long as Gamera in on screen. Otherwise, those of the short attention span set would be asking their parents, "Where's Gamera?" every time he's off screen.
I know that the later Showa Era Godzilla pictures re-used footage from earlier pictures because they simply didn't have the budget to film new SFX sequences. I suspect something similar here.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
Regarding the lengthy "flashback" sequences in these movies, I think their main audience (no, not us) doesn't really grasp non-linear storytelling and are happy as long as Gamera in on screen. Otherwise, those of the short attention span set would be asking their parents, "Where's Gamera?" every time he's off screen.
Parasites notwithstanding, this is by far my favorite Gamera movie. I didn't enjoy seeing the big hero in distress but he was clever. The effects of the poison were well done. The journey inside with the boys and sub allowed the kids to interact with a kaiju differently. My only complaint was the wasted minutes of kids cheering at Gamera from the sidelines.
GAMERA: SUPER MONSTER: First of all, nice summary.
I find this to be the most original yet, counter-intuitively, most derivative of all the Gamera movies. For one thing... super-heroes? Where did that come from? Every once in a while there is a patchwork movie made of bits and pieces of unused footage stitched together into some thing "new," but this movie takes that "artform" to a whole new level. On the one hand, by 1980, most the the original series original audience would have grown out of the demographic and a whole new generation of children benefit by seeing "Gamera's Greatest Battles" in one swell foop (good news for the "short attention span" crowd).
On the other hand, the clips become less well-integrated as the film moves along, characterized by the on-scree caption: "Meanwhile, on the planet where the monsters are kept..." Wait, what!? Perhaps the most truly unbelievable thing is when the Space Women drop the wounded an unconscious Giruge, a stranger, off at Keiichi's house and his mother puts her in bed with her 10 year old son! Then, when she wakes up, his mother says, "Keiichi likes you so you can stay as long as you want."
I mean... I have no words. Who does that?
I question her fitness as a mother, anyway, because of the blatant way she manipulated Keiichi into giving up his turtle. I think she's the real psychopath of the film.
Also, I loved the Space Women's little "routine" when they transform. and I get that they can't be detected while in human form, but the alien technology lacks onto them immediately when they do, then loses them just as quickly when they change back, even though there location has not changed.
GAMERA: GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE: First, thanks for teaching me the Japanese word for "guano" as well as the plural for Gyaos. I'm still not certain what those magatama are supposed to be, however, other than that one one of them turns Asagi into a High Priestess of Gamera or whatever. I agree it's nice to see a Gamera movie with good special effects aimed at an older demographic. Gamera doesn't (fully) appear until 31 minutes in, but there are plenty of Gyaosim in the meantime.
I remember when this movie came out because there were full-page ads for it on the back covers of comic books. I really wanted to see it, but i went through several monie-going "phases" throughout the entire decade of the '90s. Sometimes I was comfortable seeing a movie by myself, sometimes I was not. sometimes I was comfortable seeing a movie with a friend, sometimes I was not. Sometimes I would only go to the movies if I were on a date. Gamera: Guardian of the Unviverse came out when I was uncomfortable going to the movies by myself, uncomfortable going with a friend, and couldn't get a date.
GAMERA 2: ATTACK OF THE LEGION: The captions seemed to lag behind the dialogue throughout the film. For some reason I turned the volume up, but that didn't help. The first Gamera sighting occurs 30 minutes in, and the first full-blown appearance occurs at 32, but there is plenty of "Legion" action leading up to turtle time. Gamera spins like he has never spun before, and his flipper-like front appendages make him appear more aerodynamic. (Bob, theorize Gamera can morph his front legs, but I suspect he may have two sets.) There is good continuity between this movie and the last, and Legion is one nasty lifeform!
GAMERA 3: THE REVENGE OF IRIS: Once again, nice summary. The only thing you left out was that, when Gamera accidentally killed Ayana's parents, he also killed her cat, Iris (pronounced EAR-iss). Was Iris responsible for Ayana's hatred of Gamera? Or was it her mother for going back to get the cat? Or was it her father for going back to get her mother? I don't often feel sorry for the cats in these situations, but that cat was terrified.
All in all, this was a nice little trilogy; it wasn't simply one decent movie followed by two quickie knock-offs. Each movie built upon the last and there were good character and story arcs bridging the three movies.
GAMERA THE BRAVE: Wait, are you telling me there's another Gamera movie? AARRGGH!
GAMERA THE BRAVE: We don't have this one on DVD (as I mentioned yesterday), but Tracy was able to cast it. In many ways, this movie marks a return to Gamera's roots as a child friendly film. I liked the preceding trilogy, but that was more "serious" whereas this re-reboot of the franchise was more kid-friendly, with fantasy elements and juvenile main characters. I wonder how young American children, who have not yet learned to read subtitles or even to speak, would react to this movie? I'm not sure children of that age necessarily follow a movie in their own native language by dialogue. I sometimes wish I had children of my own to run these kind of experiments on, but the upkeep wouldn't be worth it in the long run. I do have a nephew (two years) and a niece (six months), though.
I think we may have discovered Tracy's favorite Gamera, although she herself was noncommittal. (She still has a soft spot for the version of Godzilla we saw hatch and grow to adulthood over a series of movies). As for myself, I can't decide whether I prefer the "new" or the "classic" era. It's even difficult to choose between the new trilogy and Gamera the Brave. I absolutely like the four latest Gamera movies better than the recent Godzilla/King Kong ones. For one thing, these are brightly lit and the action is readily discernible.
I just thought I'd mention that my version of these movies captions the plural of "Gyaos" as "Gyaos" (not "Gyaosim"), although I'm willing to concede that both are correct.
Is Sgt. Frog a real manga?
Tracy and I had a disagreement about the fishing shack. I agree with you, that it's a fishing shack, but she thinks it's the boys' clubhouse. (These are the kinds of disagreements we have in our household.)
Zedus looks to me like an upright Komodo Dragon with dreadlocks.
Yes, it is.
Jeff of Earth-J said:
Is Sgt. Frog a real manga?
Doctor Hmmm? said:
Does he have Croaking Commandos?