Shin Ultraman (2022)
October 5, 2022 8:07 PM - Subscribe

As the threat of giant unidentified lifeforms known as "S-Class Species" worsens in Japan, a silver giant appears from beyond Earth's atmosphere. Released in Japan in May 2022, it has begun wide international release beginning September. Not sure about North America.
posted by cendawanita (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I do believe it had been playing in select cities and film festivals in N.Am though. I'm pretty sure the production team even attended one screening.

So! It opened last month in Singapore but it just released here today, with yesterday having advanced screenings. I thought the tokusatsu parts were pitch perfect for the most iconic run of Ultraman, which would be it's 1960s-70s era, down to the choice of staging the VFX and blocking the scenes.

Supposedly the principal photography was done in 2019 with COVID only complicating the post-production. If so, I'm a little disappointed. Like many, I really got into Shin Godzilla for it's human society angle, and I was hoping an even more emphasis on the wider human world with more actual extras-with-lines because Ultraman's whole deal is the constant interplay of the human task force response agency (acronym dependent on which Ultra). It's there, but so much of it is communicated through dialogue or setting choices that still had minimal people, which feels stark to me for the movie because this one really emphasized that once a human sacrificed their life it's the Ultra who inhabit their body, unlike most of the shows where it's like the humans were revived back to life with Ultraman only showing up during the fights.

Still I did cackle with Yutaka Takenouchi's appearance because this is now the Japanese Government Cinematic Universe.
posted by cendawanita at 8:17 PM on October 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

I saw this as part of Fantastic Fest@Home.

It was very weird to my American eyes to see a sci-fi spectacle that was essentially a critique of bureaucracy.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:12 AM on October 6, 2022

On that angle I find Shin Godzilla to be better in the execution -- it's the production ability to actually shoot with more people, I think (I'm guess COVID affected this movie that way, anyway). It's probably because this movie wanted to do something with Ultraman and he doesn't exactly have a sworn enemy per se but otoh I think Pacific Rim had a better narrative flow in setting up the absolute wreck human society was becoming (economically, politically) due to all the Kaiju.

What was interesting about this one is that they did set out to make something hopeful about humanity (which is more of Ultraman's vibe over Godzilla) but i couldn't help script doctoring it and thought it needed more group and crowd scenes with character beats amongst the extras to achieve that. I keep going back to this only because the fights were so good and had some character to them.

My friend had no idea Hideaki Anno wrote this and they were initially like, what's up with the scent kink??
posted by cendawanita at 9:46 AM on October 6, 2022

Stoked for this. Grew up on UM and the look of this one is very reminiscent of the 60's/70's TV version.
Really like the vibe of Shin Godzilla, my son is constantly reminding me that this director has also promised Shin Evangelion, so surely that's next.
Hoping for a screening near me and not just Netflix.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:20 PM on October 6, 2022

Can someone break down, for someone unfamiliar with the series, who has only seen this one, what the Shin series thing is about, in terms of unifying threads?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:23 PM on October 6, 2022

this director has also promised Shin Evangelion, so surely that's next.

Shin Kamen Rider is next.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 3:51 PM on October 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

Here's a synopsis of the Shin series I found online.
My son's gonna be bummed if it's true than Eva 3.0 +1.0 is the Shin Eva and not a live action film.
posted by OHenryPacey at 3:52 PM on October 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

Shin Kamen Rider trailer
posted by 1970s Antihero at 3:53 PM on October 6, 2022

what the Shin series thing is about, in terms of unifying threads?

With the caveat i didn't realize Eva 3.0 was considered part of this, the live-action ones are meant to be its own discrete universe kind of reboot. This is notable because these are iconic characters but crucially from different studios ownerships. There's no expectation of resetting the timeline for future sequels. (I mean, I really hope my market is included in the Oct 28th release but even as Shin Kamen Rider is coming out there's an upcoming reboot of Kamen Rider Black on Prime.) You can consider them taster films presenting a current take on the most iconic form of each character. So they tapped the first era of Godzilla (when it was still a primal threat), Ultraman (a silent guardian who just decided to assist humanity), and Kamen Rider, though with a splash of Black which is probably the best-known one worldwide (USA not included, naturally). I'm trying to be unspoiled for Kamen Rider but it looks like it's the same approach - so it'll be the first era where it's a guy who was turned into a cyborg for world domination but decided to escape, and his thing is his motorcycle and costume are grasshopper-themed.

But the more general point that also exists outside of the Shin series is i guess it must be unusual that government and military presence isn't automatically assumed to be a good thing. This is where I was expecting with this movie tbh - that first era was when Japan was feeling super confident about itself. No real worry about the atomic bomb again (Godzilla) or war (Eva).
posted by cendawanita at 5:43 PM on October 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

(heck, if Shin Gamera ever happens it'll be basically ET but with kaiju, so about a space turtle beloved by children and hunted by adults, probably)
posted by cendawanita at 5:48 PM on October 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

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