The Regional Mothra Mismatch Problem

8 04 2015

Rebirth of Mothra (Toho Co. Ltd. - 1996)

Recently I moved my PS3 back into my bedroom from its home of many years; the front room. I decided to do this because it’s hard to play on it standing up, and I hardly go online with it anymore other than to download the many updates for the machine/games as well as to post my trophy winnings on Facebook. By moving it back upstairs however, I am more able to get into the games I play plus I am now more able to watch my small collection of Blu-ray discs (I still prefer DVD’s). Why am I talking about this, well, the other day I discovered a problem.

PS3 Logo

Back in about 2011 I managed to purchase a copy of the first two Heisei Gamera films on Blu-ray. I already had Gamera 3 on DVD, but had not seen the first 2. The opportunity to watch the first 2 was a big one, but also a very risky one. For a number of years now, I have collected Region 1 Godzilla films. Why region 1 in particular? Well that answer is rather simple: DVD Region Codes. Basically, there are very few Godzilla films released in the United Kingdom (and probably most of Europe), at all. Thanks to the BFI though, I have a copy of the 1954 film on DVD. King Kong vs Godzilla  meanwhile was released in about 2006 to coincide with the home media release of the 2005 King Kong. And of course the 1998 and 2014 films have been released also. But apart from those cases, no other Godzilla films have been released. It was once the case that channels like Channel 4 used to air them, and as such is where most of my fandom of growing up with Godzilla came from. But for some unknown reason, not a single classic nor recent Japanese Godzilla film has really been shown (other than KKvG, 1998 and 2014) on UK television for some time now. It really does surprise me that these films are not shown on channels like Film4 or even more bizarrely; SyFy.

Godzilla 2014 (Legendary Pictures - 2014)

When a Japanese Godzilla DVD/Blu-ray does get released, or re-released, The UK (and probably most of Europe) is seemingly ignored from the release, and no plans for a Region 2 release are announced. It is possible to purchase the Region 1 films through places like Amazon UK, but in order to watch them; I need to have access to a machine that can play Region 1 films. The first time I tried I discovered my PC could; so no problem there; but the problem is just escalating. With the approaching dawn of more and more Blu-ray’s being produced, eventually it will become the standard format; much like DVD’s did for VHS. So in order to counter this issue I will need to locate a device to play Region 1 Blu-ray discs. But then; with the likelihood of Internet streaming taking over, I will need to find a way of accessing them from there, but as is the case; many internet sites prevent some countries, from looking at things from other countries (as is the case sometimes with YouTube), so it will either be the case of finding one website that allows the opportunity of watching such films in the UK, or, (more likely) not watch them at all.

YouTube

The only way around this problem really, is to have a UK/European release of these films (which could bring the possibility of a box set, maybe, but not likely at this rate) from companies who have produced Region 1 releases of the films, from Toho themselves or from a UK/Europe based home media company. One other option, is that Japan has the same region code as the UK (and possibly most of Europe) so a UK release or imported copies might not be too much of a problem, however, I don’t know if they will come with  either English Subtitles or an English Dub (or, I suppose I could learn Japanese).

Toho Logo

I am trying really hard not to turn this into a rant.

Biollante

Anyway back to the Mothra problem; my PS3 does act as a multi-regional Blu-ray player, and so I was able to watch that Gamera Heisei box set, plus the recent Godzilla vs Biollante release, as well as region 2 Blu-ray coded films. The other day however, I discovered a problem. Back in October time I managed to get the Rebirth of Mothra Blu-ray set. Finally an opportunity to watch the Rebirth of Mothra films and get to see Desghidorah in movie form. The other day I loaded it into the PS3, and I got a message saying there was a mix-match/miss-match problem involving the region coding. I went back to the PS3 menu. It recognised the disc as the film, but just would not play it. I reloaded the disc, same thing again. I loaded the second disc, same problem. I then decided to load my Blu-ray copy (region A) of Godzilla vs Biollante just to make sure it wasn’t the machine. It loaded fine. I then tried the Gamera disc, fine too. What it meant was that despite being the same region as the two other discs, I am unable to watch my copies of Rebirth of Mothra (at least for the time being). I have no idea what to do, so for now I am just letting it gather dust in the hope that one day I may get to watch it (unless the problem I stated above persists, in which case I may never get to see it).

Aqua Mothra

For now, I don’t know what to do. My hope is that someday, someone may finally release Region 2 copies of the Godzilla, Gamera, and the Mothra films (some Ultraman might be nice too) for people in the UK and Europe to watch in a Region 2 format. Until then it remains a constant struggle of hoping something will work on a machine, and coping when it doesn’t.

Desghidorah

GENEPOOL (This is pretty much the same reason why I am not all that much looking forward to the new Japanese Godzilla film in 2016, as I highly doubt it’s going to get released in the UK, either on DVD/Blu-ray, or in cinemas).





King Ghidorah

31 01 2011

King Ghidorah 1964 - Present

Last week I did a film review of Godzilla vs King Ghidorah. I thought that some of my readers may be a bit confused by the film and most likely some of its characters. So here is a Profile of one of the Film’s Characters and also Godzilla’s Greatest Enemy – King Ghidorah.

King Ghidorah was created by Japanese Special Effects Director Eji Tsuburaya and first appeared in Ghidorah The Three-Headed Monster. Originally the monster was only known as Ghidorah, it was not until Godzilla vs Gigan that King was added to make King Ghidorah. King Ghidorah’s appearance has been the same throughout the series with only little modifications added as special effects improved.

King Ghidorah originally came from space, In Ghidorah The Three-Headed Monster a meteor crash lands in Japan.Later the Meteor breaks open and Ghidorah is released. The combined efforts of Godzilla, Rodan and Mothra cause the 3 headed dragon to retreat into outer space. Ghidorah then appears another 2 times in the 1960’s series in Invasion of Astro-Monster and Destroy All Monsters where Ghidorah is defeated by the Earth’s Monsters. King Ghidorah returns in Godzilla vs Gigan. In Godzilla vs Gigan King Ghidorah teams up with new monster Gigan and faces Godzilla and Anguirus. Then King Ghidorah does not appear again for almost 20 Years and returns in Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, this time however King Ghidorah is no longer a space monster, King Ghidorah is now a Genetic Monster and later becomes Mecha-King Ghidorah. Ten years later King Ghidorah returns in my Favourite Film – Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack, this time King Ghidorah is one of three Legendary Guardian Monsters. King Ghidorah’s most recent form was in Godzilla: Final Wars as Keizer Ghidorah (even though Keizer Ghidorah is seen as more of another version of King Ghidorah and not the actual King Ghidorah, I like to think that Keizer Ghidorah is King Ghidorah). King Ghidorah also appears in the Rebirth of Mothra Films.

King Ghidorah’s main weapon is the Lightning it fires from all 3 mouths. This can be very devastating and can do a lot of damage when flying through the air.

King Ghidorah is also one of the Toho’s Big Five (see rating system below). They are called the Big Five because of their many appearances in all three areas of the Godzilla Franchise as well as spin offs, The Big Five are Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, Mecha-Godzilla and Rodan. King Ghidorah is one of my top favourite monsters in the series (Godzilla is my Favourite) and one of my top favourite Film Characters (My Favourite is Godzilla).

King Ghidorah, Godzilla’s most Powerful Enemy.

GENEPOOL

Off-Topic: I might do another post this week.








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