Godzilla 2000 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. As far as SD-DVDs go, this was a decent but average presentation.
Sharpness tended to be adequate. While the image never seemed especially concise, it came with reasonable clarity and accuracy. I couldn’t claim it looked precise but it seemed fine for the format. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, but edge haloes cropped up at times; these could be a notable distraction at times. In terms of print flaws, occasional specks materialized but nothing serious marred the presentation.
Colors tended to be flat and pale. At no point did any of the tones seem well-defined; instead, they remained drab and lifeless. Blacks were acceptable, though they tended to seem a bit washed-out, and shadows were decent but occasionally dense. This could’ve been a less attractive image, but it could’ve been better as well.
I felt more pleased with the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Godzilla 2000, as the soundfield seemed broad and engaging throughout most of the film. All five channels received a nice workout as they blasted action that effectively conveyed the onscreen affairs.
While much of the audio blended together well and also displayed some adequate panning, at times I found the track to seem too “speaker-specific”; the environment appeared less seamless than I’d like. Nonetheless, it’s a robust mix that matches the action.
Audio quality seemed generally strong. Dialogue appeared artificial but accurate and distinct; I felt the speech didn’t blend well with the action, but I can’t criticize the intelligibility and clarity of the lines.
Music was bright and crisp and displayed solid dynamic range, while effects sounded vivid and nicely hyperrealistic. All of the fight sequences came across without distortion; they blasted the action cleanly and with strong fidelity. Bass response sounded deep and rich. All in all, I found the soundtrack of G2K to offer a very engaging experience.
When we shift to the extras, we get an audio commentary from writer/producer Mike Schlesinger, editor Mike Mahoney and supervising sound editor Darren Paskal. To my surprise, this was a pretty interesting track. Frankly, I never knew that so much effort was put into adapting films for American distribution; I’d thought they just translated the dialogue, dubbed it and left it at that.
However, as I learned during this commentary, the transformation is much more complex than that. In the case of G2K, the film was partially rescored and edited, and dialogue was changed to recast the movie in some different ways.
Schlesinger dominates the discussion and he does a nice job of describing all the ways that the American version differs from the original film. He also clearly is a big fan of the franchise, and his enthusiasm makes the commentary more enjoyable. In fact, he’s so worked up about the movie that it’s often difficult for Paskal and Mahoney to get a word in edgewise. Nonetheless, I think this track offers some interesting information and I like it.
We find two minutes and 15 seconds of Behind the Scenes footage. I expected a “making of” featurette here, but instead I got some entertaining raw shots from the set.
These all offer effects pieces, most of which concentrate on Godzilla as he stomped around the city. If you’ve seen Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and remember the part in which Pee-wee bicycled through the big lizard shoot, you’ll find similar footage here; it looks like that film captured the style of filmmaking accurately.
In any case, I really like these pieces, especially when we see the director (I guess) give advice to the actor in the suit. I can’t understand what he says, but it doesn’t matter - bad acting is universal.
The set also features trailers for Godzilla 2000 and the 1998 US Godzilla. The disc concludes with Talent Files for director Takao Okawara and Godzilla. The entry for Big G is cute but the extra seems fairly pointless.
Godzilla 2000 offers a campy experience that’s sure to please fans of the original Japanese films. Will it be compelling for anyone else? That’s more of a problem. The movie did little for me, as I found myself put off by its many flaws. The DVD provides mediocre visuals along with good audio and an interesting commentary. Maybe fans of campy Godzilla will enjoy this, but I didn’t.
To rate this film, visit the Blu-ray review of GODZILLA 2000