The Cove follows a group of activists as they struggle with police and fishermen to gain access to a secluded cove in Taiji, southern Japan, where dolphins are hunted.
The film angered local fishermen, who argue dolphin hunting is part of their culture, and they slammed the covert techniques employed by the filmmakers.
Protesters took to the streets of Tokyo on Friday (04Jun10) to fight an upcoming screening of The Cove, calling on locals to boycott the film.
And their loud actions have worked - bosses at Japanese film distributor Unplugged Inc. have cancelled their planned 26 June (10) showing in response to the backlash.
Executives at two more theatres, another in Tokyo and one in Osaka, have also cancelled screenings, meaning no Tokyo theatre is scheduled to show the film.
Unplugged chief executive Takeshi Kato revealed cinema staff had suffered harassment as a result of the protests but revealed bosses were still searching for alternative venues in Tokyo to screen the controversial documentary.
Defending the film, he tells The Brisbane Times, "The Cove is hardly an anti-Japanese movie. We believe that it's necessary to have a deep and healthy debate about the film's content."
Godzilla rises from the deep and fights the Japanese military. Then another more terrifying enemy appears so Japan decides to leave Godzilla alone so he can defeat the bad guys. It's a formula that has remained unchanged for 46 years and 22 movies. Why mess with success? The Japanese Godzilla looks like a man in a rubber suit walking through a model city but hey he's King of the Monsters because he delivers the goods -- unlike that unspeakable digitized American 'Zilla from 1998.
Be honest. When it comes to Godzilla movies you don't care how good (or bad) the Japanese actors are. What matters is the dubbing and in this case it's actually not all bad. TriStar Pictures hired mostly Asian actors for that "authentic" sound. The English dialogue ranges from somewhat witty (there are references to "Patton" and the old "Superman" TV show) to the naively stupid (like when a scientist exclaims: "Let's use the electron microscope!"). The lips don't match the words (as usual) so if you still think that's funny you'll laugh.
What matters here is the special-effects wizardry. The effects aren't up to "Phantom Menace" standards (remember this is a $10 million movie) but they're better than in the Godzilla flicks you remember from childhood. The Godzilla costume is better than ever: never before has the monster looked so truly huge and his incendiary death ray is more impressive and destructive. There are lots of good miniature cities too. Still the alien spaceship and the extraterrestrial monster it begets (a clumsy big-fisted thing that tries to eat Godzilla) are less than stunning.