I’m REALLY behind on posts. Still, I have to TEMPORARILY put the blog on hold until I can finish my semester. Hopefully their will be another post before September. I’ll keep you posted and thanks for all the support.
Colossal News: Godzilla: Resurgence and Attack on Titan are coming to America.
If you haven’t been following the news from the San Diego Comic-Con you really should. They just made some big announcements about Godzilla: Resurgence and Attack on Titan’s Live-Action film.
The full story can be found over at my write up on Monkeys Fighting Robots. Give it a click you won’t be disappointed.
Destroy All Monsters
Sometimes studios have to retire a property for a while. When they do they sometimes try to have a celebration to show just how incredible the franchise was and all the joy it brought to others. Destroy All Monsters was this type of movie and was supposed to be the final Kaiju film from Toho. Then something glorious happened. It reignited the love and kept the series alive.
In the far future, mankind has quarantined the monsters of the world on an island called Monsterland and people no longer have to worry about their rampage. Until an alien race known as the Kilaak take control of the island and release the monsters onto the human race. Now a group of humans must work you to find a way to bring the monster under control and fight back against these alien invaders.
This movie suffers from a bit too much human interaction. Captain Yamabe and his crew essentially save the planet but they aren’t exactly the most interesting bunch. Also there is the whole “earring” scene where Yamabe removes the device controlling her is a bit disturbing. I mean how many other scenes in movies involve ripping a woman’s earring off her? Not many or at least not in Kaiju scenes. Also, it probably wasn’t the best idea of the Kilaaks to decide not to leave any of the monsters at Monsterland, especially when they decide to make it their base of operations on Earth. For an advanced race they really seem to make a lot of stupid mistakes.
The monsters attacking the world is cool enough. Seeing them rampage at the different locations across the globe is definitely the highlight of the entire movie. The final fight scene at the base of Mount. Fuji is a pretty good beat down against King Ghidora. It would have been better if there had been more evil monsters for the Kilaaks to send against the monsters of Earth. Ghidora had previously defeated by a pair of monsters the last time he came into the picture in Godzilla vs. Monster Zero and in this movie he is terrible outnumbered to the point he doesn’t really stand a chance against the monsters of earth. Also, the whole, firebird monster turning out to be the Kilaak’s ship is totally lame.
This was supposed to be Tohos last giant monster movie but it did so well they made more. It is good but it could have been better if their was more actual focus on the monsters instead of the humans. Still it resulted in more movies getting made so it’s influence can’t be overlooked.
Son of Godzilla
Monsters have often shown they are not too different from people. They often have feeling emotions, hopes, and goals. Sometimes they even have children. Today we look at one of the most famous monster children in existence, The Son of Godzilla.
On a supposedly deserted island, a group of scientists are working on a device which will control the weather. Unfortunately their work has caused radiation to leak out and have an effect on the environment. The most notable of these changes include the large mantis creatures called Kamacuras appearing and stumbling upon a discover, a large egg. When the egg hatches a new born member of Godzilla’s race emerges. Adopting the small creature as his own, Godzilla must protect and teach his young son Minilla the ways of the world. Still, will this new father be able to protect him from the looming threat of the giant spider Kumonga?
Ill be the first admit Minilla has never been one of my favorite monsters. I had seen him in Godzilla’s Revenge so many times I had associated him with his incredibly dopey dub voice and mannerisms. He’s cute enough but in a more “he’s so goofy look he’s cute” kind of way. Frankly a much cuter monster was Little Godzilla with his Chibi like proportions. Minilla, other than being adopted by Godzilla really doesn’t have anything distinct going for him.
The other monsters introduced into this movie are far more memorable and intimidating than Minilla. The giant mantis Kamacuras became symbolized with being the cannon fodder character of Toho thanks to how many of these characters are introduced and destroyed in this film. Kumonga, the giant spider was also introduced. Surprisingly, despite my arachnophobia his appearance had never bothers me. Instead I rather liked watching Godzilla kick he large eight legged butt.
This film isn’t without its redeeming qualities. The human characters are entertaining enough and the love story blossoming between Goro and Saeko is cute. Also, one of the biggest moments in this film comes with its ending. After a combined father son effort to defeat Kumonga, the pair try to escape the effects of the weather control device which is causing the island to become buried under snow. Minilla falls behind and instead of leaving his son to die, Godzilla comes back for him and holds him close to keep warm. This scene of the two of them being put into some type of natural suspended animation as they hug one another is a very touching scene which always tugs on the hearts of many fans.
The best way to wrap up this review would be to compare it to another film featuring a spawn of a Giant Monster, Son of Kong. Son of Kong is the better film but it is sadly not nearly as well known as this film. Thought this film does have the redeeming value of actually showing a father and a son interacting, it just isn’t as nearly as entertaining as watching the young ape try to step up and be the new contender on the island his father once called his kingdom. Sorry, Son of Godzilla, you did okay but there is far better Kaiju films out there and this is what hinders you most as a film.
Attention Crew, I will be attending Jafax 2016 this year and hosting a few panel. The panels include:
Transformers: The IDW Universe: Friday from 10:30 to 11:30 in Screening Room 3 (Emerald B, Amw.)
Godzilla: Still King Of The Monsters: Sunday from 9:30 am to 11:00 am in Panel Room 2 (River Overlook)
Are you killing your Fandom?: Sunday from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm in Panel Room 2 (River Overlook)
I hope to see some of you there. Don’t be afraid to come up and talk after the panel is over.
King Kong vs. Godzilla
Time to look at the legendary showdown of the Kaiju world. The King of the Monsters fighting the 8th wonder of the world. East Vs. West. The infamous international brawl of King Kong vs. Godzilla.
Mr. Tako, the head of a pharmaceutical company is looking for a way to boost the ratings of a TV show his company produces. Hearing a rumor of a monster on a far away island he dispatches two men, Sakurai and Kinsaburo to find out if the rumors are true. They soon discover the island is home to King Kong. Elsewhere, a submarine accidentally hits and iceberg and frees Godzilla. Soon, these two behemoths will come face to face and fight until only one is left standing.
Is this the devastating battle everyone makes it out to be? No, not really. The fact is this movie survives and is so well known because of the fact it stares these two icons. The battles themselves are not as impressive. In their first encounter Godzilla is able to scare Kong with fire from his radioactive breath. The fights are also not nearly as long as others in later movies.
The human characters are incredibly forgettable. The only one which really sparks any memories is Mr. Tako but this is do more to his cowardliness. Frankly, the film which follows this, Mothra vs. Godzilla, did a much better job of presenting a character who was trying to exploit monsters for his own benefit in the form of Mr. Kumayama. Without captivating humans to follow this film really drags at times.
King Kong really gets the short end of the stick. Sure Godzilla is just a creature of pure destruction in this film and presented as having a tiny brain (ouch), Kong still gets off worse. Despite this being one of his better moments including having changes made to the character such as increasing his size and giving him a new ability in an effort to stand against Godzilla, Kong is exploited once again. Out of all six King Kong movies (can’t count Song of Kong because it doesn’t star him) four of them involve him being exploited as a tourist attraction. Can’t the creators find a different way to work with the creature?
Despite its lack of any of more enjoyable fight or a message, the movie is still well known. This international fight is one people still talk about today. A representation of two cultures coming together for the entertainment of the world. The rumor of an alternate ending, one where Godzilla was the winner of the final fight has been spread for years. Sadly this wasn’t true and there was only one ending where King Kong won but helped to grow the legend behind this movie. The film was a bit of a let down but its influence cannot be argued. Just wish I had more of a desire to rewatch the film when given the opportunity.
Godzilla Raids Again
I’m planning on using the rest of the year to try and tackle the Godzilla reviews I haven’t got around to yet. The first one is the sequel to the original Gojira. Was the King of the Monster resurrected properly or was it far from his great second coming?
Tsukioka and Kobayashi are pilots who work for a fishing company. While on a routine patrol they come across Godzilla and Anguirus engaged in combat. Despite their efforts in the previous movie, Godzilla is still on a rampage and now there is no weapon which can stop him. Will humanity be able to survive the return of Godzilla?
The film is awkward. Its not entirely its own fault as the original Gojira was an incredible film which was able to become an iconic movie even out of the Kaiju community thanks to its message against nuclear war. In comparison, Godzilla Raids Again doesn’t really have a deep story to tell. Kobayashi wants a girlfriend, the malicious acts of humans draws Godzilla’s attention, Godzilla and Anguirus fight and someone sacrifices themselves to once again take down Godzilla. Nothing here really stands out as being exceptional. It could be argued the film is a look at how there is both good and bad in humanity but you really have to reach for this message.
This film also introduces the world to Anguirus who shows up too soon, his origin isn’t explained, and dies just as easily. They really don’t take the time to explain where Anguirus comes from, he’s simple there but they do take the time explain WHY he is fighting Godzilla. Turns out its in his nature to fight against “war-like predators” like Godzilla. After building up how Anguirus is a force to fight against Godzilla and framing it as if he will be the savior who will take down the giant monster and save the world, he is killed in the very next battle. Once he’s gone the film trudges to its ending at a very unsatisfying pace. Luckily, Anguirus would return and would find a place as being Godzilla’s brother in arms and help him to fight off many an invading threat. Unfortunately, his initial appearance isn’t really worth going back to visit even for die hard fans.
It should probably be noted this movie has the legendary “Banana Oil” dub line by George Takei in it. Yes, its a funny bit of old school dubbing but this joke is lost if you don’t watch the dub version of the film and instead try to watch it subtitled. It’s an amusing joke but still not going to save the entire movie.
This movie was the last of the Godzilla films I watched. It took so long to track it down because of the fact its release on DVD took forever to finally come around. Frankly, it was not worth wait. The studio really didn’t know what to do with Godzilla in his first sequel and it would take a while before they really figured out what to properly do with him at all. Sure sequels which come out have to live in the shadow of what preceded them but frankly, in comparison Son of Kong was a much better film than Godzilla Raids Again ever was.
Ever swear you have done something but then when you go back you realize you didn’t do it at all? This is the case with today’s review. I could have sworn I already took the time to review this movie but once I looked through the archives I realized that in fact I did not. Maybe it’s the fact I had voiced my disdain for the film so many times previously which confused me.
French nuclear tests have caused a creature to grow to an immense size. As the military calls in nuclear research, Nick Tatopoulos to investigate, the strange anomalies makes its easy to New York City. As Nick tries to dig into the mysteries behind the creature he runs into his past and discovers something about truly terrifying which could jeopardize the safety of the world.
Probably should try to start with the positive moments before ripping the movie apart. Jean Reno`s character is epic. Anytime that man has the opportunity to play a laid back bad ass is when he is truly in his element as an actor. Also Zilla`s (the rename he received when TOHO studios bought the rights for him) design when not compared to a form of Godzilla is very distinct and memorable. That’s all I got now onto the bad.
Despite the re-branding he would later receive there is no escaping the fact this was supposed to be a Godzilla film. It was introduced and marketed as such and if you want to wear the crown of the King of the Monsters you better be ready to bear the weight it holds. Zilla couldn’t handle this weight as he crushed under it for not emphasizing the important facts with Godzilla: he is a force of nature and despite all our resources we as humans will be destroyed in the wake of his destruction. Zilla is killed by a few missiles as he gets tangled in a bridge and is dealt with pretty easily compared to any other incarnation of Godzilla.
For years I thought the main problem with this film was its treatment of Godzilla. That by stripping away his power, it diminished the monster and gave him less presence when he was on screen. This is not the case at all. After repeated viewings It finally dawned on me why this film is such a terrible experience. Its all because of Audrey Timmons. Audrey offers nothing to the overall story. She doesn’t help anyone but herself. She uses her closeness with her ex-boyfriend to get a scoop and then feels guilty about doing it. She does report in the moment about the nest and give Nick the recognition he deserves but she would have done that anyways as a reporter. She is given far too much of a pass for all the crap she pulls in this film.
There has been arguments that when watching the film without thinking of it as a Godzilla film helps to give it a bit more weight when watching the film just as a giant monster film. I really can’t agree with this theory. The movie is bad. It’s too long, poorly acted and scripted, and doesn’t hold up to repeat views. Even when it was with the help of the crew at Rifftrax this film is an obstacle to take on. At best I can recommend it as a movie you watch once for the experience of knowing how poorly Hollywood can adopt a property and then walk away entirely. It’s not worth more than one torturous ride.
Gamera: The invincible
Time to go old school. To go back to the movie which first introduced the world to the fire breathing giant turtle known as Gamera. Is it as good an origin film as King Kong or Gojira?
Deep in the artist, a Cold War fighter carrying an atomic bomb is shot down. The explosion gives rise to an ancient creature known as Gamera: The giant monster. As he explores the world he is spotted by a turtle loving boy named Toshio and saved him from falling causing Toshio to insist Gamera is good. Despite his pleas humanity attacks Gamera in an effort to destroy him but there efforts seem futile. The Earth`s only hope is the operation called Z Plan. Will it save the world?
One of the most notable aspects of this film is Gamera`s appearance. He shows up much earlier than Godzilla or King Kong but even he doesn’t know what is going on half of the time. Yes, he rampages but he is attacked before even his initial destruction. For the most part Gamera is just trying to get more fossil fuels and fire for nourishment. Frankly, the humans should have come up with a better plan involving luring him somewhere but sadly the more go to plan was to try to blow him up.
Speaking of the humans, they are less than intelligent in this movie. They simply wish to blow up Gamera because they are focused on the fact Gamera is emitting an aura which dampens radars. This power would be dropped in later installments but this is the major reason they seem to be attacking Gamera as he is for the most part is more curious and exploring than he is being deadly. Also, Toshio is one of the few characters with any real development and even then he gets a bit annoying. Yes, he’s the only one who has Gamera’s back but Gamera is still doing damage and needs to be dealt with. Luckily, they are able to defeat him in a very interesting twist on how to beat a monster.
This film is infamous for being shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It’s one of the more hilarious episodes and the jokes they make about Toshio (Kenny in the English dub) kept obsessing over Gamera. The movie is one to watch with or without the commentary of the Satellite of Love but not nearly as essential as Gamera`s trilogy from the 90s.
Sadly, the film is not very good as the study really didn’t know how to present Gamera in a way which distinguished him from being a Godzilla knock off. I`ll be getting around to reviewing the rest of the more comical Showa Era films eventually but for the most part this year I’ll be more focused on finishing the Godzilla franchise. Gamera will get his day thought sooner or later.
The top 10 Women of Kaiju
Ladies, I feel for you. After Fay Wray`s performance in the original King Kong, women were stereotyped with the nickname of “Scream Queens” whose only purpose in the film is to be eye candy for the audience and scream in horror as the giant monster appears. Not the best role to have.
Luckily there are women who broke this stereotype and did it with style. These are the top 10 women of Kaiju. The fabulous ladies who can kick a lot of butt and easily hang with the big boys.
10. Konomi Amagi (Ultraman Mebius)
Im particul to this character since she comes from my personal favorite Ultra series, which is why I’m leaving her closer to the bottom. While the rest of the members of GUYS joined with innate special gifts that were immediately were evident of how they could contribute to the team. Konomi was different though, she was a school teacher with a kind heart. One would think this would have no place on team for fighting giant monster but this was were she was able to shine. Her kind nature made her able to connect with the capsule monsters, a feat no one else was able to accomplish. Her bond with monsters such as Miclas made it possible for Ultraman Mebius to save the world.
9. Ann Darrow (King Kong (2005))
Of all the different ladies that have formed a bond with the 8th wonder of the world, its Naomi Watt’s Ann Darrow that seems the strongest. Ann truly loves Kong. She sees him as a gentle giant that is misplaced and alone, not only in our world but in his own. He just wants something to bond with and Ann is there to be his shining star in a chaotic world. I already expressed my love for this movie last week and how I am willing to defend the ice skating scene despite the criticism of others.
8. Mako Mori (Pacific Rim)
Their were many mecha fans that left the theaters after seeing Pacific Rim and immediately proclaimed that Mako Mori was their new “Waifu.” Personally, I wasn’t that obsessed with her but still I admire her for the strong character that she is. Wishing to avenge her parents from a Kaiju attack she personally trained her self despite her stepfathers wishes. She knew she had what it took to pilot a Jaegar and make sure that no one experienced the same tragedy she did. Cant wait to see what they do with her in the sequel.
7. Mother of Ultra (Ultra Series)
The mother of Ultras is just as her name says, she is Ultramans mother. On op of giving birth to one of the greatest heroes of all time, Mother of Ultra has impressive skills of her own. She is gifted with incredible healing power that has allowed her to save many Ultra beings who have been in mortal danger. Shame she never go an episode dedicated to her. I mean there was an episode in Ultraman Mebius dedicated to Father of Ultra, why not one dedicated to her?
6. Miki Saegaesa (Godzilla – Heisei series)
After Godzilla series was brought back with the heisei series, Miki was introduced as the one character that came in during every movie. She was a woman with psychic abilities who started at a member of an ESP institute, became Doctor, and even a member of the anti-Godzilla team, G-Force. It was this transformation over the course of the series that made her such an interesting character. Sadly, the Studio could have done a bit more with her character and she came off as cold with that whole “others cant understand me because of my special powers” story line.
5. Time Force Pink (Power Rangers: Time Force)
Jen is a popular Power Ranger for many reasons. First, she was the first female leader of a Ranger team. She was played by a really strong actress. Her story line was interesting and despite the fact she had a love interest, it wasn’t her defining characteristic. Few rangers have been able to measure up to her level throughout the entire history of the franchise.
4. Akiko Fuji (Ultraman)
Akiko was on the first support team in an Ultraman series, the Science Space patrol and fought along Ultraman. Consider what this meant. This series took place at the same time as Mad Men, where wmen were designated to having to file paperwork and get the men coffee. Okay, yes there are scenes where this happens but there is also moments of her fighting along side the guys and kicking giant monster butt. Think of all the great female warriors that have fought alongside Ultraman and realize that without Akiko fighting the good fight.
3. Asagi Kusangi (Gamera: Guardian of the Universe)
I love Asagi. She is a strong young girl trying to find herself while at the same time willing to help those in need. When is given a mysterious jewel, t allows hr to share a connection with Gamera She deeply loves Gamera and does all she can to be the priestess and bond to humanity throughout the course of the three movies. We can only hope that the new human that bounds with Gamera next has half the characteristics that Asagi brought to the franchise.
2. Kumi Mizuno (Various Kaiju movies)
I`m cheating a bit on this one. Instead of a character the second spot goes to an actual actress. Kumi Mizuno stared in eight different Kaiju related films. Her time as the space alien from Monster Zero, the island girl from Ebirah the Sea Monster, or the scientist from Frankenstein conquerors the world. Yes, in a few of her roles she was scantily clad at times but her characters were always strong and willing to do all they could to help those around her. She is so exceptional as an actress that she is actually worshiped on an island in pacific.
1. The Shobijin/Cosmos/Elias (Various Kaiju movies)
Ah the Shobijin. Personally I like to call them the Cosmos after the heisei series as I hadn’t heard a subtitled version of a film where they referred to as the Shobijin. Still, despite their origins, they are always presented as the tiny guardians and confidants of Mothra. Their main purpose is to speak with humanity on Mothra`s behalf. Despite the sins of humanity they have yet to give up on humans and instead have fought along side Mothra several times with the ideal that humans can be more than violent, destructive beasts. In our darkest hour, the Shobijin will be there to sing their song of peace to call Mothra to aid humanity and never even rub our noses in fact they were right the whole time. You stay classy Shobojin.