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(aka "Uchű daisens˘" or "The Great Space War")

 

Directed by Ishir˘ Honda
Japan
1959

 

In 1965, a series of mysterious and devastating incidents are happening on Earth. These incidents range from a railroad bridge levitated off the ground causing a train wreck in Japan; an ocean liner lifted out of the Panama Canal by a waterspout, destroying it; severe flooding in Venice, Italy; and the destruction of the J-SS3 space station.

A UN-connected international meeting is called at the Space Research Center in Japan. Major Ichiro Katsumiya, Professor Adachi and Dr. Richardson open the conference and describe the disasters, adding that the survivors suffered from extreme frostbite. Dr. Richardson theorizes that some unknown force lowered the temperatures of the objects so as to lower the Earth's gravitational pull, thus making the objects easier to lift, regardless of their size and weight. Katsumiya determines that such an action could only be accomplished by a force beyond the earth.

***

With his name firmly ensconced in film history as the creator of the Godzilla and Rodan films, director Inoshiro Honda continues to shape and mold a dramatic sci-fi story in Battle in Outer Space. As in the record-setting Star Wars sagas of the future, special effects also get star billing here. The nations of the earth are banding together to fight off invaders from outer space. At the core of their defense is an attack in which two space ships from the earth land on the moon -- the aliens have set up their base of operations there. But this pre-emptive strike is not enough because back on terra firma, heat-ray guns are called into action as the invasion of flying saucers swings into a full-scale operation. Parents will soon note that this outer space rumble is geared to the youngsters in the audience.

Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 26th, 1959

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Comparison:

Sony Pictures Home Video (3-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Sony Pictures - Region FREE - Blu-ray

1) Sony Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Sony Pictures - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

  

  

Distribution Sony Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC Sony Pictures - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:30:15 1:30:21.791 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.67 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s    

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,998,708,554 bytes

Feature: 23,911,170,048 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 28.83 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio DUB: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0) 

DUB:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1997 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1997 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 2149 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2149 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None English, English (SDH), None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary on Battle in Outer Space by authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski
• Commentary on DUBBED (English) Mothra by authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski

DVD Release Date: August 18th, 2009

Keep Case
Chapters: 28 X 3

Release Information:
Studio:
Sony Pictures

 

2.35:1 1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 23,998,708,554 bytes

Feature: 23,911,170,048 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 28.83 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• 
Commentary by authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski
 

Blu-ray Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

 

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Sony Pictures - Region FREE - Blu-ray - November 2018': The new Sony Pictures release of one of the schlock 50's sci-fi flic, Battle in Outer Space, has about 5X the bitrate of the previous DVD that was part of the Toho Icons of Science Fiction Collection released in 2009 (reviewed HERE) which included The H-Man and Mothra. The colors - show some warmer skin tones and richer reds but otherwise support the scheme of the last DVD. The Blu-ray benefits almost solely with the resolution as it comes from the same restoration - hence it is far smoother in-motion. As per the commentary this has elements utilized from both the English and Japanese versions obtaining the best, least damaged segments from original prints and interpositive as color references. It's thick, textured, has some surface scratched and speckles but is very watchable.

NOTE: This is the 90-minute US cut - not the, 6-minute longer, Japanese cut of the film.

Sony Pictures use a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono (24-bit) track in the original Japanese language and English DUB option. There are a few audio effects with explosions, rockets, ray guns etc. but benefitting the film experience is the score by composer Akira Ifukube (Anatahan, The Mysterians, the original Godzilla - and other Godzilla features like King Kong Escapes - the bulk of Zatoichi series, plus Kurosawa's The Quiet Duel and many others.) that can be base-heavy maintaining the futuristic sci-fi mood. There are optional English and English (SDH) subtitles on the Region FREE Blu-ray, with it looking like DUB-titles - not a new translation.

Extras include a commentary by authors and Japanese sci-fi historians Steve Ryfle (writer of Japan's Favorite Mon-star  - The Unauthorized Biography of Godzilla) and Ed Godziszewski (Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo!: The Incredible World of Japanese Fantasy Films). They work well together and seem prepared and professional with plenty of details about the film(s) and science-fiction in general. The commentary can be accessed on both English or Japanese versions of Battle in Outer Space but the authoring does not offer subtitles for the commentary. They talk about the restoration with audio from Michael Friend and how with Elise Richter who remarked that her hips were padded because someone determined she wasn't curvy enough. The commentary is excellent.

Well, you can certainly say that they don't make them like this anymore - hokey, lovable sci-fi adventure. It's painted effects are baaaadd but in an entertaining way - a pretty good B-effort to start a Friday night 50's film-fest in your home theatre - perhaps followed by This Island Earth? This Sony Pictures Blu-ray has its loyal audience and I am pleased to be one of them. Recommended!

Gary W. Tooze

 


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Distribution Sony Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC Sony Pictures - Region FREE - Blu-ray



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