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Godzilla 2000: Millennium
Godzilla2000jap
Japanese theatrical release poster
Film information

Directed by

Takao Okawara

Produced by

Shogo Tomiyama

Written by

Hiroshi Kashiwabara
Wataru Mimura

Starring

Takehiro Murata
Hiroshi Abe
Naomi Nishida
Mayu Suzuki
Shiro Sano
Tsutomu Kitagawa
Makoto Ito

Music by

Takayuki Hattori
Akira Ifukube (theme)

Cinematography

Katsuhiro Kato

Distributed by

Flag of Japan Toho
Flag of the United States Tristar Pictures

Release Date(s)

Flag of Japan December 11, 1999
Flag of the United States August 18, 2000

Running time

107 minutes

Language

Japanese

Budget

US $8.3 million

Godzilla 2000: Millennium (ゴジラ2000 ミレニアム Gojira Nisen: Mireniamu?) is a 1999 Japanese science fiction kaiju film directed by Takao Okawara and written by Hiroshi Kashiwabara and Wataru Mimura. It was the twenty-third film released in the Godzilla series. It is the only film to feature Orga. The film was released on December 11, 1999. Sony Pictures Entertainment's TriStar division released the film in the United States and Canada in August 18, 2000 as Godzilla 2000, the last in the Godzilla series to make a North American theatrical run. This film effectively begins and sets the tone for the Millennium series: It ignores continuity established by any previous films.

PlotEdit

Godzilla is a literal force of nature to Japan (after the incident in 1954). After Y2K, the Godzilla Prediction Network (GPN) functions independently to study the mutant dinosaur and predict his landfalls. Meanwhile, the scientists of Crisis Control Intelligence (CCI) find a sixty million year old UFO deep in the Japan Trench. As CCI attempts to raise the UFO to study it, it takes off into the sky on its own. Godzilla arrives and battles the Japan Self Defense Forces, now equipped with powerful Full Metal Missiles, but the UFO appears, searching for genetic information that only Godzilla possesses. It fights Godzilla to a standstill, driving the monster underwater, and then lands to replenish its solar power.

Yuji Shinoda, the founder of the GPN, discovers the secret to Godzilla's regenerative properties (named Organizer G1 in the Japanese version, but Regenerator G1 in the North American release), but so has the UFO. It frees itself from the JSDF's attempts to contain it, and heads for Shinjuku. After landing atop Tokyo Opera City Tower, it begins to drain all the files about Godzilla from Tokyo's master computers. CCI attempts to destroy the UFO using explosive charges, but Shinoda, attempting to find out more about the aliens, is nearly caught in the blast. He survives, and joins the rest of the cast on a rooftop, watching the UFO. Almost in response, the UFO broadcasts its message of invasion and a new empire on earth, and Shinoda reveals that the aliens are after Godzilla's DNA so that they may re-form their bodies.

Godzilla arrives and again battles the UFO. However, he is subdued by the UFO's assault, and it absorbs some of his Organizer G1, growing into a squid-like creature called the Millennian. However, the Millennian is unable to control Godzilla's DNA and further mutates into a horrible monster named Orga. Godzilla recovers and fights Orga, but it eventually gains the upper hand, and drains more of Godzilla's DNA, trying to convert itself into a Godzilla clone. Finally, Orga opens its mouth, intending to swallow Godzilla whole, but Godzilla tricks it by deliberately throwing his head into its throat. While Orga begins to transform, Godzilla unleashes his nuclear pulse, beheading Orga and blowing the alien to bits. Godzilla then kills Mitsuo Katagiri, head of CCI, before beginning a rampage through Tokyo.

OrgaEdit

Godzilla2000finalbattle

Godzilla battles Orga.

Orga (オルガ Oruga?): Orga is a Millenian that mutates after absorbing Godzilla's Organizer G-1, and the main antagonist of the film. Orga is a hunch-backed monster with thick, rubbery gray hide. He is an imperfect clone of Godzilla. Most prominent are Orga's massive three-clawed hands, which he uses to walk like a gorilla (though only in this movie; in all of his video game appearances, Orga walks normally). He has a short, thick tail and a short neck as well. His face has a square jaw with a prominent chin, lined with rows of serrated teeth. He can fire an energy wave from the hole in its left shoulder, and he is able to leap vast distances and heights. Finally, Orga is able to absorb an opponent's DNA through his bite to gain their abilities and appearance; and can even detach his upper and lower jaws like a snake to unfold a hidden membrane in order to swallow an enemy whole and morph in to it.

CastEdit

Character Flag of Japan Japanese actor Flag of Hong Kong Toho International English dub Flag of the United StatesFlag of Canada Tristar Pictures English dub
Godzilla Tsutomu Kitagawa
Yuji Shinoda Takehiro Murata Francois Chau
Yuki Ichinose Naomi Nishida Denise Iketani
Shiro Miyasaka Shiro Sano Jack Ong
Mitsuo Katagiri Hiroshi Abe Ron Yuan
Io Shinoda Mayu Suzuki Rachel Crane
Orga Makoto Ito

English Dubbing StaffEdit

Hong Kong International English versionEdit

  • Dubbing Director: Unknown
  • Media: Unknown
  • Dubbing Studio: Unknown

Re-dubbed North American English versionEdit

Box officeEdit

Godzilla 2000 was produced on a budget of approximately $8,300,000.[1] It opened in Japan on December 11, 1999 and grossed roughly $15,000,000 during its box office run, with approximately 2,000,000 admissions.[1] The film was a moderate box office success, and was Japan's highest-grossing domestic release of the 1999 holiday season, partially due to the Y2K hype of the late 1990s.

English versionsEdit

Godzilla2000img

Tristar Pictures theatrical poster for the 2000 North American release of Godzilla 2000.

There were two English dubbed versions of this film. As is standard practice for Toho, the film was originally dubbed in Hong Kong for use in Toho's international version. A few lines from the international dub can be heard in the theatrical trailer for Sony's theatrical release, although the film was entirely re-dubbed by Asian-American voice actors (Schlesinger deliberately made this choice because he did not want the characters to sound like they were "from Wisconsin."). Only one line from the international version ("As long as the beer's cold, who cares?") was used in the re-dubbed North American version. Toho apparently prefers the North American version so much that the international version has never been officially released anywhere in the world.

Tristar Pictures licensed Godzilla 2000 for theatrical distribution in North America. It would be the first and only Japanese Godzilla movie since Godzilla 1985 to be released in North American theaters. Mike Schlesinger, who supervised the North American release and adapted the script, said, "It (Godzilla 2000) was such a spectacular success in Japan, we decided it was worth taking a shot, maybe the time was right for Godzilla to come back to theaters."Script error Sony spent approximately $1,000,000 to re-edit and dub the movie in English,[2] and an addition $10–12 million to market.[3]

AlterationsEdit

The English dubbed version of the film runs 99 minutes - eight minutes shorter in comparison to the 107-minute Japanese version. Most of these were minor edits done to improve the pacing, and the sound design of the movie was completely re-worked. J. Peter Robinson composed some new music meant to supplement Takayuki Hattori's music. The dubbing has a somewhat humorous, tongue-in-cheek tone to it, apparently in homage to Godzilla dubs of the 60s and 70s, with lines such as "Great Caesar's Ghost!", "Bite me!" and "these missiles will go through Godzilla like crap through a goose!". Some fans have criticized the English dubbed version of Godzilla 2000 for camping up what they perceive as a "serious" movie;[4] however, Toho and Takao Okawara approved all the changes to the film in advance, and various amusing sequences throughout the story (such as people comically surviving Godzilla's rampage early in the film) establish a light-hearted tone and make it evident that it wasn't meant to be taken seriously.[5] In an interview in Video Watchdog #71, Schlesinger noted that people in real life tend to speak humorously; he also felt that giving audiences some intentionally funny dialogue would make them less inclined to laugh at the monster scenes, which were supposed to be taken seriously. Originally, the film ended with the words "The End?" in cartoonish lettering, but Mike Schlesinger and Toho rejected that. "The End?" was removed from later home video and television releases. The ending was mistakenly retained for the out of print Spanish-subtitled VHS of the film.

Box officeEdit

Tristar Pictures released Godzilla 2000 in 2,111 North American theatres on August 18, 2000. It grossed $4,407,720 ($2,087 per screen) in its opening weekend, on its way to a $10,037,390 final gross.[6] Future Millennium Godzilla films would be released direct-to-DVD in North America.

Critical receptionEdit

The North American release of Godzilla 2000 met with mixed to positive critical reaction. It currently holds a rating of 57% at Rotten Tomatoes among all critics. Among the top critics on the site, it holds a "Certified Fresh" rating of 71%.[7]

Bruce Westbrook of the Houston Chronicle said the film "taps into a now-rare and innocent sense of wonder," and that "its action scenes are well-conceived."[8] Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B" grade, saying that Godzilla 2000 "lands on an imaginative fault line somewhere between tackiness and awe."[9] Jay Carr of the Boston Globe called Godzilla 2000 "a ton of fun, and then some."[10] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said "it's great to have the big guy back."[11] James Berardinelli of ReelViews said the film "uses the Godzilla formula effectively" and "represents solid, campy, escapist entertainment."[12] Maitland McDonagh of TV Guide praised the film, saying that "fans won't want to miss this addition to the canon."[13]

Susan Wloszczyna of USA Today said Godzilla 2000 "may be dull, but the familiarity of it all makes it feel ceremonial, a reassuring ritual."[14] David Edelstein of Slate said that he "periodically tranced out," but added that "it's fun to see" and "it still manages to dispel some of the lingering stink of Roland Emmerich's 1998 remake."[15] Stephen Holden of the New York Times wasn't impressed, saying that "only a die-hard fan of the long-running Japanese Godzilla series could love Godzilla 2000."[16] Similarly, Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post remarked, "Godzilla, go home."[17]

Among kaiju-related websites, Stomp Tokyo said "there are some pretty impressive special effects," and concluded that "Godzilla 2000 delivers fairly well, if not spectacularly."[18] Toho Kingdom criticized the Japanese version, saying "it’s not hard to see why Godzilla 2000 was poorly received in Japan," but added that "the US version ... is infinitely better than its poorly paced Japanese counterpart. In all, the US version make numerous badly needed cuts from the film to tighten it up."[19]

DVD releaseEdit

The film was released on DVD by Sony Pictures on December 26, 2000.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Godzilla 2000: Millennium - Box Office Report, Toho Kingdom
  2. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2000/GOD2K.php
  3. http://www.imdb.com/news/ni0099510/
  4. William Tsutsui, Godzilla on my Mind, pg 124
  5. Godzilla 2000 audio commentary
  6. Godzilla 2000 Box Office Mojo
  7. Godzilla 2000, Rotten Tomatoes
  8. Review by Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle, August 2000
  9. Review by Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, August 2000
  10. Review by Jay Carr, Boston Globe, August 2000
  11. Review by Lou Lumenick, New York Post, August 2000
  12. Review by James Berardinelli, ReelViews, August 2000
  13. Maitland McDonagh (2000). "Godzilla 2000 Review". TV Guide. http://movies.tvguide.com/godzilla-2000/review/134644. 
  14. Review by Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today, August 2000
  15. Review by David Edelstein, Slate, August 2000
  16. Review by Stephen Holden, New York Times, August 2000
  17. Review by Stephen Hunter, Washington Post, August 2000
  18. Review by Stomp Tokyo, July 18, 2000
  19. Review by Anthony Romero, Toho Kingdom, November 18th, 2005

External linksEdit

Template:Godzilla Template:Takao Okawaraes:Godzilla 2000: Millennium fr:Godzilla 2000 hi:गोडजिला २०००: मिलेनियम it:Gojira 2000 - Millennium nl:Godzilla 2000: Millennium ja:ゴジラ2000 ミレニアム no:Godzilla 2000: Millennium pl:Powrót Godzilli pt:Godzilla 2000 sv:Godzilla 2000: Millennium zh:哥吉拉2000

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