Godzilla: Final Wars Ryuhei Kitamura

Apparently, this is the end of the road for the city-crushing hero, as parent company Toho has decided to retire the old rubber suit after 50 long years. In many ways, Final Wars helps the franchise go out with a bang, regardless of the fact that the film itself could have been so much better. On one hand, the best way to view a Godzilla film is to turn off one's critical functions and enjoy the campy elements and appreciate the mayhem happening onscreen. The problem here is that the filmmakers spend far too much time on the Matrix-like subplot involving malevolent, leather-clad aliens and a Power Rangers-ish mutant hero who may just be humanity's one great hope. It takes a good hour to insert Godzilla into the action and then the film finally kicks into gear. Godzilla has to fight his way through a menagerie of other monsters from the course of the series that are under alien control. He tears his way through most of them with little or no problem and the film climaxes with a lengthy showdown between him (with a little help from Mothra, of course) versus Gigan and Monster X. To director Ryuhei Kitamura's credit, this sequence is nicely shot and lit and captures the chaotic spirit of the series. Not to mention that the updated redesigns for Gigan and Monster X. are nicely done. On the other hand, if the film was about an hour or so shorter, Godzilla could have rode off into the sunset with his head held much higher. The only bonus feature is the Godzilla: B-Roll to Film featurette, which shows the elaborate staging for certain scenes followed by the finished product. (Sony)