|Page 2 of 4:||   |
|Index||31 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Mothra" is another gem of a film from Toho Studios. This was their third big (no pun intended) star-Japan's answer to America's big three: Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman. A ship is stranded off an island ravaged by an atomic test. The survivors are radiation-free due to a juice given to them by the natives. An expedition led by a ruthless, greedy businessman goes to the island. They meet the twin fairies (played by the Peanuts-the Ito sisters). The girls are stolen by the businessman and exploited. With the help of a reporter and scientist, they call to Mothra for help. The monster costume in the larva and adult stages is spectacular. The acting is decent as is the dubbing (thanks to veteran voice actor Peter Fernandez). The miniature sets as usual are top-notch. The film has a crisp picture and is in color. The musical score enhances the action on-screen. A very good film to watch if yo're a fan of Japanese Sci-Fi films.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A motley group of folks embark on an expedition to an island that's been ravaged by radiation. The explorers discover a pair of diminutive twin fairies. Evil and unscrupulous businessman Clark Nelson (excellently played to the hateful hilt by Jerry Ito) abducts the girls and forces them to sing for him in a stage act. Complications ensue when the girls' giant moth guardian Mothra arrives and begins leveling Japan while searching for the fairies. Directed with real skill and intelligence by Inoshiro Honda, with a thoughtful script by Shinichi Sekizawa, a steady pace, exquisite widescreen cinematography by Hajime Koizuma, exciting sequences of mass destruction, a sweeping, majestic score by Yuji Koseki, a strong central message about the severe consequences of human greed and selfishness, a strangely beautiful and poetic creature, a potent and affecting conclusion, and fine and convincing special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, this film achieves a certain poignancy and resonance because of its unusually graceful and sympathetic monster who's essentially benign, yet still dangerous because of her immense size. Kudos are also in order for the uniformly sound acting by the able cast, with especially stand-out contributions by Frankie Sakai as likable bumbling journalist Senichiro Fukuda, Kyoko Kagawa as spunky photographer Michi Hamamura, Ken Uehara as the no-nonsense Dr. Harada, and Hiroshi Koizuma as the compassionate Dr. Shinichi Chujo. Emi and Yumi Ito are absolutely adorable as the sweet and gentle twin fairies. The island scenes have a tasty exotic atmosphere. Essential viewing for Japanese creature feature fans.
They'd done Godzilla. They'd brought us color monster madness with Rodan. Now Toho continue to improve their Kaiju films with Mothra. Once again Mothra is the result of nuclear radiation, but those themes are just around to explain her size. The main plot is Mothra's rescue attempt of two miniature women taken from her island. Strange? Certainly, but it's nice to see the monster with a clear agenda and some actual motivation. The models and effects are the best so far. Remote controlled vehicles, green screen, monster puppets, are all thrown in to give us some truly exhilarating city smash ups. Even when "people" are obviously dolls, it's OK. Films don't have to be a replacement for the imagination. I was never dragged out of the film's universe, and the scenes of the dam bursting had me appreciating film making more than any CGI filled computer game-a-like. The use of a fictionalized nation allows you to easily ignore any overbearing political agendas. It isn't as dark as the previous efforts. But when your monster is a big moth, you don't get as much horror. Luckily, it also manages to create a more atmospheric and artistic approach. Mothra's initial hatching is juxtaposed with a beautiful and rather trippy song. A tale of, once again, man's mistakes. Only this time, it's the exploitation of these mistakes that brings destruction.
I've always thought Mothra is one of my favorite Kaiju creatures of all
time. She is actually a nice monster, but she spares no ones life, because she
is more concerned about her sacred nymphs that were captured by people who
want money and money only. But for some reason, I've had a feeling that this
"might" have been an inspiration for Gamera to be another nice Kaiju. But
this is still pretty cool.
Toho has 3 Mothra movies for us now (including one being made this year)! They are just as good (if a bit campier) as this movie.
Shipwreck survivors are found on Beiru, an island previously used for
atomic tests. Amazingly free of radiation effects, they believe they
were protected by a special juice given to them by the natives.
Nothing much to say about this one. I only knew Mothra as an adversary to Godzilla and was interested in seeing the film where he debuts and predates his epic fight with the lizard of destruction. It is a good story and gets to the heart of the Mothra myth with the singing fairies that summon him.
While maybe not as iconic as Godzilla, Mothra is a kaiju worthy of his own film series (which he has), and those interested in Toho's work really ought to check it out.
Among Toho's repertoire of gargantuan and highly-destructive kaiju, who
would have ever thought that a giant moth would become one of their
most endearing characters? In the years that would come, Mothra would
make an appearance in seventeen films, including a bunch of Godzilla
films. In the beginning, though, the lepidopteran made its debut in
this old-fashioned monster flick.
1961's Mothra runs pretty evenly, allowing the story to breathe adequately before dishing out some modest mass destruction. The film's first acts, with scientists exploring Infant Island, remind me greatly of Skull Island from King Kong; the manner in which they use the fairies as a sideshow is not too far off from Kong either, only instead of unleashing a giant monkey's wrath, the fairies sing and summon a giant larva. It's weird stuff, but the film plays everything out with a straight face. This film ultimately sets the pattern for future incarnations of Mothra (you seriously can't have Mothra without the singing fairies, the larva, or without specific phases of attacks). As the original feature, however, the only formula this film adheres to is that of the classic monster picture, with a bit of adventure thrown in, and it's neat that way.
The story's pretty much outlined above; it is a well-structured plot with a cast of alright (and sometimes goofy) characters. With all the fairies and monsters on display, I always felt that Mothra was a grade more unbelievable than most other monster movies, but thanks to the film's earnest tone, it works as a fine and dandy fantasy (and it's pretty neat to see such fantasy being opposed by modern and ultramodern weaponry). The story touches upon a few themes concerning capitalism and greed, but is never overbearing.
This film uses solid, quality photography and editing. Acting is good from the original cast (but might be marred heavily by the English dubbing if you chose to watch it). Writing gets the job done pretty well. This production shows its age, but still uses fine-looking sets, props, and costumes. Special effects are a bit rough, but for its time, they are smashing. Music is not bad either.
No matter how silly or fantastic it gets, I have a soft spot for Mothra, especially in seeing her future clashes with Godzilla and other monsters. The first and most original Mothra film presents the basics of Mothra-lore, which in turn echoes parts of the original King Kong, and would stand proudly next to classic monster flicks like Godzilla. Fans of the genre should give this original film a rent.
4/5 (Entertainment: Good | Story: Pretty Good | Film: Good)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This time the monster subplot is not the usual Tokyo levelling rampage
without a reason. Mothra does level (some of) Tokyo, but trying to
rescue her twin miniature priestesses kidnapped on their native island.
The plot is straight. Crashlanded on a (supposedly) nuclear polluted
island, ship crew members are then rescued & found healthy...because of
the juice served by some natives. That triggers public curiosity and an
expedition is dispatched, including a clumsy reporter (the Japanese
version of Lou Costello ). They would wear special protective suits
equipped with an alarm bell. Now one of the characters is assaulted by
a giant carnivore weed, sets the alarm off & he's rescued by the
miniature girls. That shows the alarm bell attracts them. To make a
long story short, a greedy sideshow businessman fails to kidnap them
during the original expedition, but succeeds later on his own... His
goal is to showcase the 2 harmless creatures as sideshow sensations at
a freak show! He does so, but has to reckon with both the sympathetic
reporter & his friends and -of course- Mothra. In the end the greedy,
despicable individual perishes during a government warranted chase to
surrender the girls back to Mothra. This movie's meaning is clear-cut
and -for once- the monster has good reason to level Tokyo. The
disgusting businessman (and his lawyer cronie ) are portrayed as the
human waste they are, alas receiving adequate retribution.
Nice 60-ish movie. The goofy reporter and his friends make a good appearance as well (genre-wise of course). A movie more tied to some Disney tradition than one's usual monster movie, thus enjoyable.
Special effects aren't noteworthy, yet the plot sticks out as some of the most original among monster movies.
I first seen mothra back in the 70's on chiller theater channel 11 in new jersey,its not a chiller nor a scary movie.its a very well made sci fi fantasy about two twin women who are like 12 inches high that are kidnapped by a Japanese gangster while on an expedition on an island.well the twin girls have a guardian on the island,the god of their people,she is called mothra.now this is the debut of mothra and it begins as a giant caterpillar that eventually turns into a very pretty colorful moth that gracefully destroys Tokyo,not like Godzilla rodan and others.but mothra means well,the bad guy is the gangster(jerry Ito)who played a cop in the manster(59)and his thugs.so japan suffers because the twin girls are captive.the special effects are very good,not cheesy like most of the Japanese monster films.i believe mothra was made earlier then 1961,it was released by Columbia pictures in 1961 and dubbed for the American audiences.mothra was always my favorite of all the Japanese monster movies,sorry Godzilla.but mothra rocks.a very good movie for children and adults.10 out of 10.a must see for all Japanese monster fans.kudos to toho for producing a great gem like mothra.
Reading user kilroy-20's comment on the film, I was forced to
The so-called ''bad'' special effects were pretty good in those standards back then, and blew away anything Hollywood could come up with at that time (deny if you wish). But since monster movies usually are given a infamous reputation for having ''cheap'' special effects, it seems to you it does. Like many others, usually folks think any plot or story that focuses on a kaiju (monster in english) is completly stupid, when they don't even bother to give it a chance. I find it VERY amazing how YOU believe every foregin monster film, translated into english, has BAD dubbing. Also, I truly don't understand how the hell can you say MOTHRA has horrible acting, when you are just listening to American voices. That would be like me saying ''this Asian guy can't act'', when I'm only hearing a enlish voice. The film MOTHRA is all good in those standards if you ask me, but since the monster here is a Moth, you can't help but laugh at it.
You call all Godzilla films stupid and bad, yet, you continue to watch a genre you don't even like. The company has made descent movie pictures, but since you hate the (Japanese) monster movies, and have been brainwashed into believing ''There trash and cheap'' (sp?), you seem to have little care. Just goes to show you how folks about Japanese entertainment these days.
BTW, forgive me for any mis-spells, I'm not that good in english, hence the fact I live in a different country not far from U.S.A.
For the person who is bitching that Japanese movie monsters are trash,
proves how this guy is doing nothing but nitpick on the film, and HELLO,
course the special effects looked fake! Their from the 60's damn it, oh
the way, they were considered good at their time. You believe toho fims
bad movies, well then, their ten times better then the crap the U.S.
buy the way, did anyone tell you these reasons for hating the movie are
quite patheic. Bad acting you say? Well, since you believe you can do a
better job then them, I want to see YOU do it.
But since you think your such a master at films, I want to see YOU make a better film. Anyway, Mothra is one of the best kaiju films I've seen, it's the best since the orginal Godzilla. The acting, story, characters, what more can you ask for, not to mention, the 60's were a golden age for kaiju films. The movie also had good SFX at it's time, hell, it's actually far surpiror to the U.S.A's SFX to. Mothra is also one of my favorite kaiju, and I enjoy watching her movies, no matter how bad people say they are.
Anyway on a scale of 1-10, I give it a 10
|Page 2 of 4:||   |
|Newsgroup reviews||External reviews||Parents Guide|
|Plot keywords||Main details||Your user reviews|
|Your vote history|