Gojira / Godzilla / Special Edition : 5 of 5
This fantastic DVD set, containing both the original 1954 Japanese version and the 1956 American version, has really increased my appreciation for Godzilla! Watching the original version (which I enjoyed at the theater a couple years ago) was incredible, especially with the fantastic audio commentary (one of the best I've ever heard), which discusses the story, effects, music, and even cultural background, answering questions such as "What would a Japanese audience be thinking when they saw this scene?" I discovered many new effects that I hadn't noticed before, including flawless matte paintings that were used to show Godzilla's footprints and other destruction. Seeing the American version, which was completely re-edited to include Raymond Burr playing a reporter named Steve Martin (oddly enough), was also really interesting. Even though they only used less than an hour of the original film, they really made some creative choices (such as starting the film in the middle of the story) that helped bring this movie to the US, and without this version, I'm sure Godzilla would have remained unknown and this DVD set wouldn't have been made. There are also some short documentaries about the making of the film, including the fact that this was the first Japanese movie ever to use storyboards, and of course, lots of anecdotes about the creation of the Godzilla suit, with originally weighed over 200 pounds! This DVD really respects Godzilla as one of the greatest monster movies ever made, and I'm thrilled it's finally been released in its original form.