Hey there, conservatives (especially you conservative males!), let’s talk about the Barbie movie. Yes, I know nothing makes you want to take your AR-15 to the local Toys ‘R Us for a well-deserved shoot-up than a film about a girl’s toy (please don’t do it!). I mean, how dare anyone make a movie without guns, car chases, explosions, bullet storms, babes in skimpy outfits, and a beefy male action hero like Jason Statham or Daniel Craig to deal mayhem and … click below for more!
I‘ve hesitated to write this review because, of all the films in the Godzilla franchise, I dislike the campy-cute, family-friendly Minilla, the so-called “son” of Godzilla. Minilla appears in three films: Son of Godzilla, Destroy All Monsters, and Godzilla: Finals Wars, but the most saccharine of them is this one: Son of Godzilla. And it is, by my standards anyway, one of the worst of the franchise in many ways, not least of all in the remade Godzilla suit, but … click below for more!
In 1966, the original director of the Godzilla series, Ishiro Honda, left to do other projects and left the next film — Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, aka Godzilla vs the Sea Monster — in the hands of director Jun Fukuda. At the same time, composer Akira Ifukube was replaced by Masuro Sato, and special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya was replaced by Sadamasa Arikawa. Names, of course, that mean little or nothing outside aficionados of the franchise or Japanese cinema, … click below for more!
Can a movie featuring aliens, dinosaurs, spaceships, one of the main actors from Star Wars, and a giant asteroid about to crash into the planet be bad? Sadly, yes. The movie 65 manages to take what could a been another Godzilla or Kong: Skull Island. instead, it’s a watered-down Jurassic Park. Severely diluted. I love scifi and fantasy. I’ve been reading it since the mid-1950s when I got my first Tom Swift jr book. I read Jules Verne at age … click below for more!
Godzilla films had already begun to move into the cultural camp mode from the second film, Godzilla Raids Again, and away from the monster-threat-to-Earth and Atomic-bomb-symbol of the first film. It was firmly planted into it by the time 1965’s Invasion of Astro Monster came along (aka Great Monster War). It’s a rollicking, madhouse of a movie. Camp — a term that entered the language in 1909 but remains notoriously difficult to define — was described by Susan Sontag in … click below for more!
Toho didn’t waste any time cashing in on the popularity of the latest Godzilla movie, and released two G films in quick succession that same year (the only year to ever see two Godzilla films released). But this time, they went all-out in a throw-in-the-kitchen-sink manner because they were rushed to get the second film out. By this time, they must have realized Godzilla wasn’t just a character, but was the keystone of a growing franchise and one that could … click below for more!
Toho was not about to let another seven years slip by without a sequel to a successful Godzilla film, but what to do now? The last two films had all featured Godzilla battling another monster (kaiju), and since that worked for audience approval, why not do it again? But this time there would be several differences. And those differences not only resulted in another popular film, but one that is considered by aficionados as perhaps the best in the Showa … click below for more!
What was to prove the most successful of Toho’s Godzilla films is, to me, at times one of the hardest to watch in the edited, Americanized edition, even though it included two of my favourite movie monsters. But even in the Toho version, King Kong is not the Kong of the beloved 1933 film. That Kong had majesty and flair. This one, well… read on. The film was released for Toho’s 30th anniversary, in 1962. Toho paid a huge royalty … click below for more!
The unexpected success of the original Gojira film led Toho to find a quick and cheap way to cash in on the popularity. And within six months, they released the second Godzilla film: Godzilla Raids Again (aka Godzilla’s Counterattack). Since most of the previous film’s crew were already working on other projects, new composers, directors, actors, and most of a new special effects team had to be brought in. And a new Godzilla suit (lighter, and more maneuverable) was made. … click below for more!
I admit to a nostalgic affection for the American (dubbed) edit of the original Gojira — renamed Godzilla, King of the Monsters — because it was the first film in the franchise I ever saw. It helped give me a love of monster movies I still have, more than 60 years later. At that time, I also saw a lot of other scifi and monster B-films in the ’50s and ’60s on TV, in theatres, and at the drive-in, but … click below for more!
Like most North Americans, my introduction to Godzilla (aka Gojira) came later than the first (original) film. For me, it was the 1956 American edit of this film (Godzilla: King of the Monsters, with Canadian actor Raymond Burr; review to follow), watched sometime in the late 1950s. I didn’t actually see the unedited, Japanese original until fairly recently, although I’ve known of its existence since the 1960s. After it was first released for North American audiences in 2004 (now on … click below for more!
To pass the time doing two things I enjoy — writing and watching Godzilla films (and, yes… reading books about Godzilla films…) — I thought I would watch each Godzilla film in order, one per week, starting with the 1954 original, and write a synopsis/review of each one, trying to look at each one from my current perspective and knowledge (no comments about being in my dotage, please). I’m also preparing myself by renewing my knowledge of the franchise in … click below for more!
I can’t recall exactly when I watched each of the great original monster films (the classic “Universal Monster” films) — Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, The Mummy, and the rest — some I saw before my teens, others in my very early teens and others throughout the ’60s. And I’ve seen them, their sequels, and many of their knockoffs since, often several times. I have numerous of the films on DVD and Blu-Ray; I sometimes watch them in the late afternoons, while … click below for more!
With possibly two new Godzilla films coming to theatres in 2023*, it may be time to refresh your memory and appreciation of the previous films in the franchise. And what better way to do it than with a brand-new book about them? And perhaps re-reading some of the content in your older book and movie collection (especially that Criterion Collection of the first 15 Godzilla films on Blu-Ray — see below — which you can start watching now to build … click below for more!