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Veritas: The Quest (2003)
Absurd and Carbon Copy
Like so many of the other comments on this show, the main premise is so badly written that it doesn't even pass the laugh test. The teen angst against the distant, but protective father plot is so boring and tried. I would love to have seen Alex Carter and Ryan Merriman be more or less on the same page. They'd lost a wife/mother and therefore should have drawn closer together. It seems in every episode thus far, they spend more time at each others throats than remembering they're father and son still grieving the death of a loved one. It seems as though this show also suffers from the "carbon copy" syndrome. It's no surprise that ABC wanted to capture the same elements as its other hit show "Alias" with the relationship between Sydney and Jack Bristow, but these two actors in "Veritas" aren't even close to the talent of Jennifer Garner or Victor Garber. To me, the only saving grace for this show is to expand the enigmatic character of Vincent played by "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns" Arnold Vosloo. Who isn't used to his full capacity.
While I understand that this show is still young, I cannot get over the amateurish way the show is being presented. Of course it is geared toward the under eighteen crowd, but still, there should be enough for the adults to want to watch. For me, it's solely Arnold Vosloo's presence. I know for a fact, without his talent, I would not be watching the show. "Varitas" doesn't know what it wants to be. Is it "The X-Files" with the syndicate, or is it "The Mummy" with the pseudo Rick O'Connell and Alex sans Evie? Or is it just masquerading as "Lara Croft" only without the girl with the gazagas, since this is familiy entertainment. Or does it want to be Indiana Jones, "The Early Adventures of Indiana and Henry Jones". I don't know. Every show has its growing pains but this one seems stunted. "Alias" and "The X-Files" hit the ground running with their characterizations and plots. "Veritas" just can't seem to think of what it wants to be. So far, the people of the Veritas "Squad" have found two artifacts...mmmmmm? Reminiscent of the Alliance attempt to find the Rambaldi artifacts in "Alias"? They've had their jet crash and have had to trek across the Antarctican plain to get to a buried heat source that supposedly helped adventurer Sir Ernest Shackleton and the men of The Endurance survive their ordeal. Why can't this show just be original and have "real" characters and stories? Because, the more one tries to reinvent the wheel, it's bound to get screwed up somewhere. This wheel still has square corners.
One saving grace: Beef up Arnold Vosloo's part. Make him the focus, I'm sure there are far more interesting tidbits in this character's background to mine rather than have us sit through this agonizing father-and-son-angst thing.
To sum this documentary up in a few words is next to impossible. Every fiber of your body tells you that this is not happening right from the opening montage of rapid-fire images, through to the last shot of the clean up at Ground Zero, but every frame is real. The story was thought up by two French brothers living in New York. Jules (28) and Gideon (31) Naudet (pronounced "Nau-day") want to make a documentary on New York City Firefighters, beginning with a "newbie" from the academy and follow him through the nine month probationary period to full-fledged firefighter. Seeking the help of their close friend, actor James Hanlon (36), an actor and firefighter at Station 1, Engine 7, the Naudets sift through the "Probies" at the academy and find one, Tony Benetakos to focus the bulk of their documentary on.
Tony becomes the butt of jokes and slowly learns the ins and outs of station life through the members of this close-knit family. Firefighters have a superstition about "Probies." It is that they are either "White Clouds" or "Black Clouds," meaning that with the latter, all kinds of fires follow the "Probie." The former means that very little fire activity follows, but one day, there will be the mother of all fires. Tony is a "White Cloud." After some initial growing pains, Tony settles into the firehouse as if he were a seasoned vet. Then the unthinkable occurs....
September 11, 2001 begins with a clear blue sky and an early morning call to go and see about a supposed gas leak not far from Wall Street. Because Jules has had little camera experience, Gideon hands a camera to his younger brother and tells him to ride with the chief, T. K. Pfeiffer. Arriving at about 8:42, the firefighters begin to use their gas detectors over a grate. Then the sudden roar of what seems to be a low flying airplane rips past the scene, and as Jules pans upwards, we see the first strike of the day. American Airlines Flight 11 smashes into the face of the North Tower of 1 World Trade. Pfeiffer orders his men into the fire engine and they head for the World Trade Center. Once there, Jules asks to accompany the Chief into the tower. Pfeiffer tells Naudet to stick close to him. Once inside, the full impact of the growing disaster begins to show on the faces of the men whose sole purpose is to save lives.
Gideon Naudet decides to leave the firehouse and walk down to the impact area. Once there, he captures the impact of the second plane, United Airlines Flight 175, with 2 World Trade. He knows Jules is with Chief Pfeiffer inside the towers. Watching and capturing the crowds' reaction to the unimaginable, Gideon begins to capture on tape the growing fear in Lower Manhattan. Inside tower one, Jules records the last view the world, or loved ones will have of their sons, fathers, uncles, grandfathers, husbands, boyfriends, friends as one by one, each firefighter, carrying 60 lbs of equipment begin the long arduous climb up 80 stories to rescue the injured and trapped. Jules also catches the last glimpse Chief Pfeiffer will have of his brother, Kevin, as he leaves to do his selfless duty. Also caught on video is the gutwrenching sound of falling bodies hitting pavement from victims choosing to jump from the higher floors above the impact zones, sooner than face death at the hands of the flames and smoke. But Jules is respectful, never once does he capture a sensationalistic moment...the money shot. His work is professional through his baptism of fire. He also catches the sight of debris falling from tower two after it is hit by the second plane and the ordered way the firefighters evacuated civilians from the building. Then Jules is caught in the collapse of the south tower and the first official victim is taken: Father Michael Judd, the Chaplain for the fire department. Then as Jules and Chief Pfeiffer make their way from the fallout of the collapse of tower two, tower one begins its structural collapse.
What results is a breathtakingly, poignant view from inside Ground Zero as Jules and Gideon work separately to document that day. Not knowing if either is alive, each fearing the worst. As each firefighter arrives at the firehouse, they greet each other with joyous hugs at having made it back. And in one moment of overwhelming emotion, Jules and Gideon are reunited. As Jules cries on his brother's shoulder, Gideon embraces his younger brother as Hanlon makes the filmmakers the subject. There is one fearful moment when Tony Benetakos, who left the station with a former chief, is believed to have been lost...but returns to the fold, this "Probie" has proven himself.
Shown with only three interruptions, 9/11 is a stunning achievement in documentary filmmaking. It ranks up there with the Hindenburg footage in showing history as it unfolds. The Naudets are to be commended for their deft handling of the subject. In lesser hands, the tendency would be toward the sensational, but the Naudets temper their eye toward dignity and compassion. Narrated by Hanlon, we get the feel of his words as he takes the audience through the events of September 11. Robert De Niro hosts the program in a sombre, restrained way. He never seeks the camera for his own glory, rather he lays out the scenes you are about to see. I also commend CBS for their bravery at airing this special. Chastised for their attempt at grabbing ratings, they temper their editing toward the emotions of the relatives of those who perished. This is a must see for anyone who needs to be reminded of what true heroism is. It isn't about dribbling a basketball, or selling an album of hate lyrics...9/11 is about humanity at its best. Heroism at its finest and the cost of freedom.
NOT AS BAD AS IT MAY SEEM...LOOSE THE NAME THOUGH
In direct response to this movie and the many comments on both sides of the fence on this issue, I thought another look at the movie was due. What I found wasn't a bad movie. At least not as bad as I first perceived. This version of "Godzilla" is not bad as a movie apart from the series I remember as a child from the great Toho Movie Company. The only thing I wish is that it had lost the title of that Japanese Kaiju Monster. "Godzilla" for me always stood in one realm: Mythological. The whole background of the story of the original monster meant that it had to do with the crucible of fantasy and myth. The great dragon come up from the hellfire of man's folly to do battle with legendary beasts then go once again into the pit to resurrect itself again and again when the need arose. "Gojira" as he is known to Eastern cultures is that legendary beast. He is so known for his mythic birth, death and rebirth that I think it's hard to think of anything else with the name attached to it.
With this Emmerich/Devlin production, I think what the purists have issue with is the treatment of our mythological monster. The only things left in tact from the original was the roar, the birth and the name. And on a whole the movie is not bad...but not as a "Godzilla" film. Some of the other reviews stated that this movie is just a "sequel" of sorts to Jurassic Park. They're right. This monster and it's offspring are very much like the Raptors from Jurassic Park. Everything about their appearance and nature conjure the ferocious little creatures from the Universal release. And I think that is what should have happened. It should have either remained as a "fish out of water" story much along the same lines as the remake of King Kong (1977), or it should have broken apart from the mythology of "Godzilla" and made it's own statement. The story of nuclear tests isn't just a Japanese-owned concept. Yes they made the need for nuclear disarmament a frontburner topic, then cloaked it in such a way for younger audiences to understand the higher meanings. This is what Devlin and Emmerich should have done. Made an Americanized tale with the same impact as the Japanese version but not called it Godzilla.
The effects are top notch. The casting, in a way, typical of an American made movie. Done for kitche rather than substance. That is a lesser flaw. The redemption is in Jean Reno's "Roache". He is a class act all the way. In a sense recreating his role of Leon from "The Professional", his role of a French Secret Service guy trying to "clean up" his country's sins in Pacific nuclear testing is brilliant. A star in Devlin and Emmerich's column. Maria Patillo is also good for what she does. Her need to redeem herself in the eyes of Matthew Broderick's "Nick" is a good storyline and Hank Azaria's "Animal" is a good sidekick who provides most of the movie's best quips and one-liners. And Broderick himself, does as he always does: Stumbles his way around in the movie trying to find out if he belongs. Again, these are lesser evils.
What makes this movie good is it's use of New York landmarks and makes not one attempt to keep the city as sacrosanct. Coming on the heels of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the city, the reminders of the army and airforce presence is a little disturbing, but it is good that all these things haven't been airbrushed out. To do so would be ridiculous. This is just a movie. And I think that is how this movie should ultimately be judged. On its own merits rather than on the mythology of another nation. The creature is good. The design is in line with komodo dragons who inhabit the islands of the French atolls in the Pacific. So it is possible for this monster to look like it does. The situations that the creature finds itself in are also plausible, though I still don't know how and why New York was chosen as its stomping ground. That it came from the Pacific and trekked its way across the world just to nest in Madison Square Gardens is just one of those little sniggling difficulties I had with the movie. The old Gojira of the movies always had his beef with the Japanese. Tokyo or Osaka were always prime ground for Gojira's rants, but again I don't understand why this Godzilla didn't go after Los Angeles or San Francisco or Hawaii for that matter. But again a minor bit of nitpicking. LAX would have provided a good nesting ground. And to see it interact with the HOLLYWOOD sign would have been a personal touch that would have been uproarious in the face of how the town takes itself entirely way too seriously.
The homages this movie pays to its predecessor are subtle. Necessary to keep it in line with the origins of the 1954 Japanese non-Raymond Burr version. And some of the other homages to movies like "Jaws" and "King Kong" are evident. I say that this movie should be taken on its own and not as part of the Kaiju Showa, Heisei or millennium series. For anyone to say this movie needn't have been made is silly. It has its moments and again is not all that bad as a stand-alone in line with Emmerich and Devlin's other disaster flick "Independence Day" but not as original as "Stargate". To bash it outright is also silly. The raison d'étre of this movie can be that as a companion piece to the Japanese version. As I said, it just should have lost the name. Calling it "The Beast" or "It" could have sufficed and not have caused such an uproar to the legions of Godzilla fans around the world. I think that is where Devlin and Emmerich stumbled over themselves...to think they could have rescued a legend and made it "better" was a fine bit of hubris on their part. One cannot hope to eradicate over forty years of a series of magical movies and claim the franchise overnight. Some bit of humility would have been appreciated. I think that is where the schism between the purists and the newbies ripped wide open. Devlin and Emmerich should have been mindful of that fact. That they weren't shows they had no intention of honouring the original Godzilla. That was a shame. And since when is suitmation a dead art? Sometimes computer CGI gets a little boring. It's good to see some ingenuity still exists. That Toho in its newer films haven't completely succumbed to Western commercialism is refreshing. I did love the "homage" Toho payed to the 1998 film with its "Godzilla 2000" release. The recreation of certain scenes from the Devilin/Emmerich movie shows that there was no ill will towards the filmmakers. In fact, I feel it was an attempt to show that even Gojira has a sense of humour.
The Helter Skelter Murders (1970)
As someone who has studied this case from beginning to end, this movie is completely flawed. It sticks only to the facts when it serves the purpose of being completely sensational. The beginning is a mix of jumbled scenes that seem to have no correlation to each other with the exception that it has the actor playing Charles Manson reiterating Manson's 'isms' to ad nauseum. "Cease to exist". "Death to the piggies". This type of garbage used along with Manson's own music makes this movie too disturbing for words. The depiction of the actress Sharon Tate, one of the most famous of the seven Tate-LaBianca victims, is depicted here as a screen goddess. The Waltz number in this movie is laughable, suggesting that due to her 'star-status' Sharon Tate deserved what she got living so high on the hog, as it were. That the victims lived high and that is what this movie does to the detriment of the memory of the victims: Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowski, Steven Parent, Leno LaBianca and Rosemary LaBianca. It makes the viewer who is not acquainted with the facts think that this is the truth of what happened, when it only sketches the truth with one outrage after another. The movie shows in graphic detail what was done at Miss Tate's home, taking almost a full half hour of the movie to do so. Almost the time it really took to commit five homocides then leave the scene of the crime. Mercifully it stops short of going into the murders of Leno and his wife, Rosemary. All one sees is a street sign that tells you it is the street where the LaBianca's lived and the murderers walking up the lawn to a house that bears again, only a vague representation of the house on Waverly Drive.
It is told in black and white for the most part which gives it a scary feeling when you watch it. The only time it adds colour is when we see the 'revered' Sharon Tate playing the part of an Ingrid Bergmanesque 'Anastasia' arriving at a grand ball where a handsome 'Prince Charming' leads her in the dance. This scene is used again when we are forced to see it intercut between the dead actress and the live 'Anastasia' dancing at the ball. Where this movie botches its facts it tries to cover with shock value nonsense. It has a scene where victim Steven Parent is stopped in his car before arriving at the gate, and there is an agonizing few moments in which we see the actor playing Tex Watson taunting the young man before he shoots him to death. Again, no facts and big on propaganda. So do I suggest you see this movie? No. If you can get the video or see the superior 1976 version with Steven Railsback as Manson and George DiCenzo as Prosecutor Vincent T. Bugliosi, I highly suggest you do. If only to get the real facts of the case, and to get the memory of this one out of your brain. Disturbing. Disgusting. Forgettable.
The Mummy (1999)
DOSEN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!!!
I first caught this movie on my pay-tv service. Having not been to the theatres in almost eight years I wish I had seen this one on the big screen. It deserves to be seen there not on a 28-inch television that lacks the ability to show the movies beautiful landscapes. The cast of Brendan Fraser, Rahel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, Kevin J. O'Connor, Jonathan Hyde, Erick Avari, Aharon Ipale, Patricia Velasquez, Tuc Watkins, Stephen Dunham, Corey Johnson, Omid Djalili and Bernard Fox are magnificent. I listed them all because I feel this movie wouldn't have worked without a single one of them. This movie worked not only because of them but because of Stephen Sommers' able direction and writing. From the moment it opens the audience is transformed to a world where the impossible is possible. I believed this movie. It had a heart at its centre and a truth far beyond anything that has been filmed in the genre of late. Boris Karloff fans and admirers of the original 1932 version will be disappointed, but please give this one a shot. It has all the elements of those old classics and more. Sommers has done his homework on this one replete with all the Egyptian lore. I think though he excells in capturing the feel of the time and essence of flawed chracters. There isn't one character in this movie that isn't flawed and that is fresh. These days you have characters played by actors who aren't supposed to be flawed (Harrison Ford). You accept these idiosyncrasies as endearing traits and either root for them or boo them depending on the side you take. Particular attention should be paid to the music. Jerry Goldsmith scores a big one here. His lush love themes and expansive melodies (epecially the Caravan and the Camel Race) are reminiscent of Lawrence of Arabia. If I could give this one more than a ten star rating I would. All I can say is, I reccomend this movie highly. Don't come to it with pre-conceived prejudices from the bad reviews or other comments. View it with an open mind and heart. It is 2 hours and 5 minutes of the best damn action I've seen on film in a long time. Kudos to all involved!!!
***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** To describe this movie is in one word: SENSATIONAL! I was not prepared for how this movie would effect me. It seems silly to say that a monster movie could touch someone but this one does. In a nutshell, this movie picks up where Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth left off. Mothra is a few years older at the beginning (I don't know what that is in human years). She has just given birth to an egg and is on Infant Island recuperating from the difficult birth. We are introduced to her 'friends' Mol and Lora the 'Elias' sisters. In Hokaido an old gowth forest is being leveled to make room for industry and expansion. A ancient carving in stone is found with what seems like a medallion at its centre. A man takes a knife and works it free. Somewhere else, Belvera, the older and meaner sister of Lora and Mol is gleeful atop her fairy Desgaru (a litle dragon-like creature that breaths fire). She knows that the removal of the medallion will set off the chain reaction toward the end of the earth. Because of an accident caused by Belvera the stone carving begins to break apart causing the ground to heave up begetting an even larger stone structure. From this a fiery three-headed dragon appears. It is Desghidorah, and even fiercer cousin of King Ghidorah. It begins to feed off the forest killing the trees and flowers using their lifeforce to grow stronger. With Desghidorah released Lora and Mol must call upon the only one who can banish Desghidorah for good. Mothra on Infant Island summons all her strength and leaves her egg to go help mankind. There is a Japanese family who become imbroiled in this mess and who help Lora and Mol to help Mothra. During one of the many great battle scenes Mothra is hurt, her strength diminished. On Infant Island, the larvae inside the egg calls out to its mother and begins to work its way out of the egg. Once feed it makes its way to its mother. Mother and child are reunited when the baby is attacked by Desghidorah and Mothra with all the strength she has left deals the dragon a terrible blow and takes flight with her child in her grasp. Mothra though by this point is dying, she can no longer help mankind and succumbs to her wounds. This is the most touching part of the story. My heart broke as Mothra with her last breaths tells her child it must continue the battle. I believe Mothra told the larvae where to go to enhance itself. The baby begging Mothra to stay, goes to comfort her before she plumets to the bottom of the ocean in a poetic dive to her death. The bay heads for an island that has the oldest growth forest in Japan. There the baby spins it coccoon as the trees and ancient woods impart their knowledge and their strength to the little one. Fianlly in a beautiful swirl of kaleidoscopic colours the new Mothra is reborn, stunning, and different than her mother. As she harvests all her strength and courage this cheeky little girl flies off to battle Desghidorah to the death. Of course she wins sending Desghidorah back to the hellfire from which it sprang, but the world has changed. The forest is dead and lifeless. Mothra has one more trick up her wing. Using the force she received from the ancient forest she sets about to reseed the flora creating the most beautiful garden, this in final tribute to her mother. this movie succedes on different levels. For me it was one of the most orginal plots I've seen in kaiju films. Sure the environmental issue was there, but this goes beyond that. It is a human endeavour. How does a child best serve a dying parent? Complete the work that was started and leave a monument to that parent. In this case the reseeding of the dead forest. There wre human actors in this movie, however, I feel that the message was there from Mothra and her chld. All in all the best of the giant monster films. This one comes highly recomended as a must-see.
THE HEAT IS PALPABLE!
The Lover is not just a movie, it is sensual, breathtaking and intimate sometimes bordering on voyeurism. From the outset the scenery directs the action taking the viewer into a world of a young girl and a Chinese man that embark on a doomed love affair in 1929 Colonial Vietnam. Jane March plays the young 15 year old 'girl'. That is all we know of her as she stands on the front of a ferry cruising the Mekong Dekta. She dressed in a cheap short sleeved dress, straw hat and high heels and heavily rouged lips that belie her age. She is on her way back to a girls' school in Saigon when she is first 'seen'. The second time she is summoned to a black sedan where she meets The Chinaman, smouldering Tony Leung, sitting in the back seat of the car attired elegantly in a tailored white suit. He offers her a ride to her school where a simple, impulsive kiss on the window leads to a frustrating passionate love story laced with cultural misunderstandings. This movie is fueled right from the start with sexual tension. March and Leung are perfect as the two nameless leads who are taken on this journey of first discovery, through latent but palpable lust, then finally to ruin. She cannot love him and he cannot commit without betraying his family's honour and heritage. She will be nothing but his lover, never his wife. I felt a deep sadness for these people, their isolation evident as they silently scream for their individuality in a world that will not accept either of them together, or apart. Jean-Jacques Annaud has done for The Lover what he did for The Bear and The Name of the Rose, gave us characters that are haunting and memorable. The cinematography here is sparse, pale so as to give the story a poignant futility. Gabriel Yared's score is sensual almost brutally so as these characters' bodies come together while their souls never connect. This movie is not for the faint of heart. It IS sexual. The scenes border on artful pornography. Annaud never quite goes that far as to allow it to delve into hard-core, but the scenes are hard to watch. They are so intimate that we believe the leads are making love before our eyes...but we are compelled to watch, transfixed by the intimacy. Throughout we are reminded of the toll the affair has had on the young girl with the tremulous grosgrain narration of the always excellent Jeanne Moreau. She underscores the events and emotions of the sometimes perversely detached lead character. The Lover is based partly on the life of Marguerite Duras of whom March's young girl is almost a dead-ringer. Annaud imbues this story with every emotional nuance forcing us to use its characters as a mirror of our own hidden desires. This is a movie that made me long for what is hidden deep within my secret heart...and a little afraid of what I might find there.
Some Extra Information
Someone asked in another comment about why Matt, played by Peter Outerbridge, would give his life to Sandra, Molly Parker. It is simple. After reading the short story "We So Seldom Look On Love" written by Canadian author Barbara Gowdy ("The White Bone"), I came to understand the movie a little better. Matt is infatuated with Sandra. To be with her is complicated. The simplicity of love itself is not an issue here. He knows he cannot have her true love because that only goes to her "special" lovers. To truly feel, she must indulge herself in her passion. Matt is powerless and cannot give Sandra what she wants, until the end. He knows that only then can she love him completely. When Matt hangs himself, he crosses over and can be loved by Sandra the way he wants to be loved by her. As she performs her loving touch on him as one of her many lovers, Matt has become hers in mind, body and soul. He will be inside of her forever, the way he wanted to be.
Supervivientes de los Andes (1976)
Not As Bad As Some Have Let On
To begin to compare this film with its successor "Alive" is like comparing apples and oranges. This movie as well as Frank Marshall's "Alive" are both capable of telling the story of the 1972 crash of the Fairchild #571 and the Uruguayan Old Christians Rugby Team in the high cordillera of the Andes Mountains.
I think somewhere if you amalgamate both movies, one would get a reasonable representation of the truth of what happened that Christmas of 1972. Both are very good movies, this one is particularly dark with the relationships between the principles at its center. Though the real names of the crash survivors are not used, those who read the superbly poignant book by Piers Paul Read know who they are. One cannot help but be moved by the struggle, and this film does not gloss over the element of cannibalism of this tragedy. It shouldn't.
I am disturbed by the association some of the other commenters have made with some horror movies of the genre. This shouldn't be made out to be a horror movie. It's not that at all. It does have a heart. The scenes in which the father of one of the crash survivors goes all out to find his son is touching. I think it's perhaps the main thing that sticks out in my mind about this movie. That and the music. The vignette at the beginning and end of this movie is touching. The happiness of a group of young men enjoying being together, as most of the Old Christians did considering they were from the same neighbourhoods and their families were so close to one another, juxaposed against the tragedy of the end where we see the survivors rescued and the fate of some of the 44 passengers known to the world, this movie does a pretty good job of showing the truth of what went on.
"Alive" is not a bad movie. The fact that it had the sanction of the survivors and Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa served as technical advisors cannot be overlooked. Their attention to their plight lent a definite authority to the movie, but in some cases, incidents were manufactured to give a sense of dramatic license. What more did one need to make the story "worse" than it already was. "Survive" I feel was more pulled in, less showy. Again, considering the budget they didn't have for this movie, the scenes that depicted the crash and the moments afterwards were pretty good for the time and budget. Marshall recreated the site of the crash and the crash with a lot of realism, the Cadenos couldn't considering the budget restraints. To compare this movie with that of a Roger Corman schlock film is unfair.
This movie still gets me everytime I see it...which hasn't been recently. The last time I saw this it was back in the eighties. With the advent of the infomercial, there isn't much room on the dial for late night movies like this one. I'd love to see it again, if not to tape it, but to be able to correlate it to "Alive". Both movies are not bad and this one isn't terrible. Give it a chance. It's worth at least one viewing. You just might think it's worth another.
Gojira vs. Mosura (1992)
In short, this movie puts the team of Roland Emmrich and Dean Devlin to shame. Although put out before the North American debacle, Godzilla & Mothra: The Battle for Earth is a beautiful amalgam of classic Godzilla stomp and Mothra poeticism, but it also gives us something else; a menace by the name of Battra (The Black Mothra). Having viewed this movie several times I can say it gets better with each watching. When we first see our old pals, Godzilla and Mothra, Godzilla is safely ensconced in the Marianas Trench having a deep-sea siesta, while Mothra is serenely tucked away in her egg on Infant Island. However, after a metor crashes on the earth the egg is unearthed and we meet another baddie, Battra, Mothra's twin buried in a sea cave underwater. After a sup-plot involving an Indiana Jones-like robber, the action gets going. Mothra's egg as well as the Cosmos (the two fairy twins who keep watch on Infant Island) are being brought to Japan. The egg is being towed on a barge when the Big G appears madder than a hatter and wanting scrambled eggs. With the twins' help the egg hatches and Godzilla and the larval stage Mothra engage in battle. Godzilla none to pleased to be facing his old webbed menace. Suddenly Battra shows up to enjoin the fight. We really don't know at this point whose side Battra is on, except that she or it is one mean worm with an attitude. Mothra ducks out leaving Godazilla and Battra to go at it. The action moves to the city (of course) where the Cosmos are taken. Mothra arrives to rescue them and is met with military force. She finds the girls and is told they're out of danger and to stop hurting people. She then goes away making a'bee' line for the capital building where she coccoons herself for the next stage of the battle. During this time, Godzilla appears and begins to wreck most of the city before Mothra escapes and heads straight for the Big G. While batting Godzilla Mothra is injured and a transformed Battra comes along to help her sister. Between the two of them they get the better of Godzilla, but Battra is mortally wounded and in the most thrilling scene since Godzilla's entrance in the original Gozilla vs. Mothra (1964) they in tandem hoist Godzilla into the air and take him to be drowned in the ocean. But Battra gives her life to save the world. Mothra pays homage to her fallen sister by sealing the sight and ensuring Godzilla stays buried (which we all know won't happen). Mothra then goes out into space to save Earth from an impact with a meteor. The End. Whew!!! There's so much in this movie that it takes your breath away. The music is excellent here. Godzilla and Mothra are represented by their prospective themes and you're left with awe after the movie ends. The makers of this one really outdid themselves and I for one thank them all. A wonderful addition to the Godzilla series and is perfect staging area for the future films in this series. It also spawned a series of movies where Mothra is on her own to battle the despicable Desghidorah and her offspring from that movie goes to battle Daghara (Mothra 2) and a revamped King Ghidorah (Mothra 3). Check all of these treasures out, they're worth the time!!!!!