by Chris MaGee
To say that The Criterion Collection has become the high watermark for DVD and Blu-ray releases of classic and art house films is a bit of an understatement. Many home collectors don't feel that a film has done proper justice until the folks at the Criterion give it their loving care and release a DVD restoration complete with their legendary extras. It's a pastime for many film buffs to writes up wish lists of films that they hope The Criterion Collection will add to their catalogue. One film that many have hoped would eventually make the cut is Ishiro Honda's genre-defying kaiju film "Gojira". Now, according to kaiju expert August Ragone and Twitch fans of the giant prehistoric lizard have something to be very happy about.
Although it has yet to be confirmed by The Criterion Collection themselves, Ragone blogged that it is nearly a done deal that Honda's 1954 original "Gojira" and Terry O. Morse's re-cut American release "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" will both becoming part of the Collection in the very near future. There are a few out there who may ask what makes this such huge news given the fact that both films were already released on a pretty impressive (and economical) two disc set by Classic Media in 2006. Well, it's because of the source material that Criterion has tracked down for their possible release. Apparently The Criterion Collection have found a "fine-grain sub-master" 35mm print of the film starring Raymond Burr and released by Jewell Enterprises Inc. in 1956. This is the equivalent of finding an original mint quality print, so obviously the hope is that not only will "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" will look better than it's looked in decades, but that the footage in it from "Gojira" will contribute to an equally impressive DVD of that film.
August Ragone goes into much, much greater detail of this potential release and what makes it so important, so we encourage you to follow the above link to his blog to read up on this some more.