Friday, October 14, 2011

'Godzilla' and Criterion Join Forces to Stomp on 2012

Before becoming the big green buffoon who faced off against giant moths and somehow sired a goofy mini-monster, Godzilla was a genuinely menacing H-bomb metaphor. Ishiro Honda's 1954 film portrayed the monster in grim terms, an adult alternative to the kid-friendly sequels most folks think of when they think of Godzilla. Criterion will soon be giving Honda and Godzilla the respect they deserve with lavish DVD and Blu-Ray releases on January 24, 2012. Here are the specs from Criterion.com:

*New high-definition digital restoration (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
*Audio commentary by David Kalat (A Critical History and Filmography of Toho’s Godzilla Series)
*New high-definition digital restoration of Godzilla, King of the Monsters, Terry Morse’s 1956 reworking of the original, starring Raymond Burr
*Audio commentary for Godzilla, King of the Monsters by Kalat
*New interviews with actor Akira Takarada (Hideto Ogata), Godzilla performer Haruo Nakajima, and effects technicians Yoshio Irie and Eizo Kaimai
*Interview with legendary Godzilla score composer Akira Ifukube
*Featurette detailing Godzilla’s photographic effects
*New interview with Japanese-film critic Tadao Sato
*The Unluckiest Dragon, an illustrated audio essay featuring historian Greg Pflugfelder describing the tragic fate of the fishing vessel Daigo fukuryu maru, a real-life event that inspired Godzilla
*Theatrical trailers
*New and improved English subtitle translation
*A booklet featuring an essay by critic J. Hoberman
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