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MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY LEGEND THE MOVIE DVD Mini Review

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MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY LEGEND THE MOVIE DVD Mini Review

Old 05-15-10, 09:14 AM
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MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY LEGEND THE MOVIE DVD Mini Review



Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend The Movie is one epic Ultraman movie. If you want to see a non-stop action movie which is like a mish-mash of Green Lantern, Star Wars, martial arts, Godzilla-style monsters, then this movie is for you! If you've watched commercial Japanese movies, then you know what to expect concerning the story writing and the depth of characters, meaning, there is none. But at least in this film, they stick to what they know how to do - just make anime-style action. And i'm glad that they didn't put an ounce of filler in this film - it's just straight-up non-stop action mayhem.

Ultraman is one of Japan's most popular superheroes, so i'm pretty curious about a movie of Japan's biggest pop culture characters. I've never seen an episode of the Japanese show, and I've only seen another Ultraman movie, "ULTRAMAN THE NEXT" released in 2004. That movie was somewhat entertaining. After seeing this new film, I now see ULTRAMAN THE NEXT as a Japanese interpretation of the Green Lantern origin story with Hal Jordon the pilot. In the ULTRAMAN THE NEXT film, the main character is a pilot that becomes Ultraman, so it's very similar to Hal Jordan's origin in Green Lantern. So now with this new Ultraman film, this movie is basically Green Lantern and Corp fighting Sinestro and his henchmen monsters in outer space to prevent Sinestro from taking control of the universe. There's even a supreme light power in this film just like in Green Lantern's Central Power Battery.

There are tons of Ultramen, which I was not aware of - they are basically a race of Earthling-type people that have to live as Ultraman (it's not a suit, it's something they transform into) on their planet because of their bright sun or something in their environment. The villain of the movie was a former Ultraman (Sinestro) and just tries to kill all the Ultraman throughout the whole film. There are even some Star Treky Japanese space travelers that help out the Ultraman. This movie has tons of characters and it's a bit hard to keep track of all the different kinds of Ultramen, but it doesn't really matter because this movie is all about the action.

For Japanese commercial movie standards, the special effects are excellent in this film. It's a lot of green screen CGI, which is not up to standards as CGI in a Hollywood film, but what it has is creativity, so the special effects are worth seeing, especially since it's using outerspace and different planets as background for all the action in the flick.

This movie is directed by Koichi Sakamoto, the director of the Power Rangers tv show. The movie is a bit like a big-budget tv episode, but it works just fine. The movie just gets props for its visual creativity. If you are looking for story, characterization, and originality, don't even watch this film. I've realized long ago that Japanese screenplay writers for commercial films are non-existent in Japan.

This Ultraman movie is a nice appetizer for the upcoming Green Lantern film. I really hope that GL film spends a majority of the time in outer space and on different planets other than Earth.


The Japanese DVD is of good quality. The anamorphic widescreen and DD 5.1 Japanese audio is of typical good quality on Japanese DVD releases. The English subtitles are excellent as well. There's a blu-ray release of this film as well, but I don't recommend it because that would cost a fortune. If you are not a huge Ultraman fan, then just stick with the DVD.

MOVIE: 7
DVD VIDEO: 8
DVD AUDIO: 8



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Old 05-18-10, 11:34 AM
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Re: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY LEGEND THE MOVIE DVD Mini Review

Thanks for your writeup. Nice to see this kind of thing getting some love on this forum.

I ordered this one from CDJapan and got my copy on Saturday. I wasn't expecting English subs on it. And there they were! What a pleasant surprise.
I watched the first half-hour of it that night but didn't have time to stick with it. It sure has a lot of action. I'm a fan of Koichi Sakamoto, which is why I bought this.

I have to confess I'm not that up on recent developments in the Ultraman universe, so I can't say I've kept track of the various Ultraman incarnations of recent years (the last 30 or so). (I'm backed up with Ultraman tapes/discs from various series.) I tend to prefer the older shows from the 1960s and '70s, shot on film and often on location and with those great Tsuburaya effects and production design. Love that stuff.
Old 05-19-10, 02:43 PM
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Re: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY LEGEND THE MOVIE DVD Mini Review

Ash, check your PMs!
Old 05-20-10, 07:44 AM
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Re: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY LEGEND THE MOVIE DVD Mini Review

I saw this in Tokyo last Dec and I thought it was one of the best Ultraman movies in recent history.

If you've watched commercial Japanese movies, then you know what to expect concerning the story writing and the depth of characters, meaning, there is none. If you are looking for story, characterization, and originality, don't even watch this film.
If you are comparing to films with depth and strong storyline, obviously this is not the movie you are looking for. It's a Ultraman movie where the main audience group are kids and fans who grew up with Ultraman. But for old fans like me, I appreciated the effort they put in building the story, characterization, and originality for the Ultraman Legend.

I enjoyed seeing the trial and tribulation of UltraSeven's son Ultraman Zero. It was the first time that the villain in the Ultra-verse was a "ex"-Ultraman (instead of your usual monsters) and I thought he was quite a bad ass. It was also the first time that the homeplanet of the Ultramen was featured so extensively. I am aware that these are not new plot devices but it was a blast for me to see how new elements were infused into the Ultraman's mythos.
Old 05-20-10, 09:28 AM
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Re: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY LEGEND THE MOVIE DVD Mini Review

Originally Posted by overider View Post
If you are comparing to films with depth and strong storyline, obviously this is not the movie you are looking for. It's a Ultraman movie where the main audience group are kids and fans who grew up with Ultraman.
I was comparing commercial/children's movies from abroad to commerical/children's movies from Japan. Mainstream Japan cinema (for kids or for adults) knows not one single thing about basic writing. This has nothing to do with Japanese culture versus non-Japanese culture. Poor writing is poor wherever it comes from. Commercial/children's films from abroad have more depth, stronger storyline, better pacing, better acting than Japanese ones. Since this is a Japanese film about Ultraman, it gets a curve. But to compare this to other commercial/children's flicks, this Ultraman movie would be at the same level as the Dragonball Z movie or new Streetfighter movie. The above-listed aspects (story, acting, pacing) of this Ultraman film is nowhere even at the same level of some mixed-reviewed commercial/children's films from abroad such as Percy Jackson, Stuart Little 2, Astro Boy, CJ7, Transformers, Arthur and the Invisibles, Spiderman 3, Alice in Wonderland, etc. I'm a curver when it comes to most commercial Asian films, and the writing is just piss-poor in the majority of them.

But like you said, this Ultraman movie seemed to be the best Ultraman flick, and I liked it regardless of its faults. The movie would have been so much better if it just focused on UltraSeven and his son Ultraman Zero, because that had a story and emotions to work with.

Last edited by toddly6666; 05-20-10 at 09:31 AM.
Old 05-20-10, 12:27 PM
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Re: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY LEGEND THE MOVIE DVD Mini Review

I was hopping that
Spoiler:
UltraSeven would die in the end, passing the baton to his son. But of cos that meant killing a cash cow character and that wouldn't sit well with some fans. It would also freak some kids and their parents out but it would make the struggle against the evil Ultraman & his monsters seem more challenging and worthwhile.


This movie would definitely worked better if it had focused on the father & son angle but then again, in recent Ultraman movies (specially after Ultraman Mebius & Ultraman Brothers movie back in 2006), they been digging up & featuring the older Ultramen. I believe there's a nostalgic demand for it and they are cashing in on that. Unnecessary detours but fans will be glad to see them in action again.

There's also the recent Ultraman monster series (Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle) which they tried to link up with this movie. Personally I got no idea who they are or what they meant but I had fun watching how they got mixed into the Ultra Galaxy Legend. For me, it was a convenient way to catch up on what's happening to the TV series so far.

What I'm saying is that for fans who had been following the older/newer Ultramen would probably appreciate what had been done to reboot this franchise.

Mainstream Japan cinema knows not one single thing about basic writing. This has nothing to do with Japanese culture versus non-Japanese culture. Poor writing is poor wherever it comes from.
I would like to recommend Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and Departures (which some deemed as unworthy winner at the Oscars but then again, I guess we have different ways of appreciating a film). They should be Mainstream Japanese movies and they are pretty well crafted. There are many more that I liked but then again, our views on what's good and what's terrible writing could differ vastly.

and If you are comparing this movie with the Hollywood version of Dragonball Z (the one with Chow YunFatt) and new Street Fighter movie (the one that focused on Chunli), I felt that Ultra Galaxy Legend was way better than them. It's more faithful to the original material and yet they were able to branch out to something new. Maybe I'm biased but personally I thought this Ultraman movie was far more engaging and absorbing than Percy Jackson, Stuart Little 2, CJ7, Transformers, Spiderman 3, and Alice in Wonderland.

Anyway thanks for highlighting this movie here. I have been itching to talk about this movie but most folks around me have zero interest in this movie.

Cheerio
Old 05-20-10, 01:07 PM
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Re: MEGA MONSTER BATTLE: ULTRA GALAXY LEGEND THE MOVIE DVD Mini Review

Originally Posted by overider View Post
I would like to recommend Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and Departures (which some deemed as unworthy winner at the Oscars but then again, I guess we have different ways of appreciating a film). They should be Mainstream Japanese movies and they are pretty well crafted. There are many more that I liked but then again, our views on what's good and what's terrible writing could differ vastly.
Miyazaki/Ghibli films are in a whole world on their own - better than most films (all films - mainstream and art-house). I've seen everything that involves Miyazaki/Ghibli. I have found English subtitled DVDs of everything involving Miyazaki/Ghibli, but i'm having trouble finding an English-subtitled DVD of CHIE THE BRAT. That's only one i'm waiting for to be released with English fan subs. Nothing is better than their films. Nothing! I have a Japanese friend and she says that she rarely sees Japanese films because: they suck and Japanese theater movies are expensive. The only time she and many Japanese go to the theater is to see the new Miyazaki/Ghibli film, which of course makes sense, because Miyazaki/Ghibli films are the only above-quality animated films that get released out of Japan nowadays.

Anyway thanks for highlighting this movie here. I have been itching to talk about this movie but most folks around me have zero interest in this movie.

Cheerio
my pleasure! I would have also thought it would have been a better film without the human being characters. A lot of people think "characters that have helmets/masks on" can't convey emotion, but I disagree. I thought all the Ultramen characters were more believable and more respectable than that human beings in this film.

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