Reviewing Godzilla Films

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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!

Musing on Universal Monsters

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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!

Books for the Kaiju Aficionado

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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!

Yesterday’s Laughs

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It may be a small conceit to say I was brought up watching the Marx Brothers movies on TV, but there’s some truth in that claim. I remember seeing them on our small, B&W TV set on weekends when my brother and I were allowed to watch the programs of our choice. I also recall seeing the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and others between the cartoons and kids’ shows in the 1950s and ’60s. The Marx … click below for more!

Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, and Kong

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I’m not sure if I should be elated or disappointed after watching Godzilla vs. Kong (GvK), the latest film (2021) in the Legendary/Universal, Godzilla/MonsterVerse saga. That’s Kong, not King Kong, by the way, because of a squabble over licensing rights, but, yes, it’s that Kong in person if not name. The kaiju formerly known as… Almost two hours of Godzilla and the gang onscreen, with tremendous monster fights, should be a delight for any kaiju aficionado (as readers here know … click below for more!

The Godzilla Soundtracks

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDeU42u2s2Y Akira Ifukube. If you’re not an aficionado of Japanese film or a follower of Japanese symphonic music, his name won’t be familiar. But for millions of kaiju fans around the world, he is a legend. He composed the music and soundtracks for many of the Godzilla films, as well as many scifi and other films produced by the Toho film corporation. He has been ranked among the world’s great film composers along with people like John Williams, Ennio Morricone, … click below for more!

Musings of a B-Film Junkie

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I put a DVD of the 1939 film, The Gorilla, into the player and sat back to watch. Bela Lugosi (above, centre) starred beside the Ritz Brothers (trio above), a popular American comedy trio contemporary with the Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, and the Marx Brothers. This would be the last year the Ritz Brothers worked for Fox; they stopped making films entirely in 1943. It’s the first full film of theirs I’ve seen, but am not impressed. Lugosi is … click below for more!

Still Watching the Three Stooges

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There’s a bittersweet pleasure in watching the Three Stooges these days, knowing about them, their careers, their lives. What seems like zany comedy on screen was, like so many celebrity stories, much more complex, contentious, and even tragic at times. But there’s also an insuppressible joy in their work that keeps drawing me back to watch more. Moe, Larry, and Curly (and Shemp) will always bring a smile to my face. The subsequent replacements for Curly sometimes will, too, although … click below for more!

Big G and Me

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One of my fondest childhood memories is sitting between my parents on a warm summer night, on the front seat of the family car, watching a movie through the windshield, above the dashboard. A single, metal-wrapped speaker hung from the glass of the half-opened window on the driver’s side. A box of salty popcorn passed between us, soft drinks too. Around us were dozens of other cars, all facing the giant outdoor screen, their occupants nothing more than dark shadows. … click below for more!

One Million B.C.(E.)

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You can’t help but chuckle when Tumak runs down the rocky slope to battle the baby Triceratops (about the size of a Sheltie) and ends up rolling in the dirt with the all-too-obvious rubber model. I half-expected it to squeak like a dog toy. It’s just one of the many scenes in the 1940 version of One Million BC that make makes it fun to watch. Corny, yes, cheesy, perhaps. But mostly fun. And it was the top-grossing film of … click below for more!

The Mummy, the remake and the re-imagining

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Nineteen thirty-two. The year Aldous Huxley’s novel, Brave New World, was published. The Great Depression was at its worst. Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Republican Pres. Herbert Hoover to become the American president in a landslide win. Gandhi went on a hunger strike. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Eighty-four-year-old Paul von Hindenburg was re-elected president in April, defeating Adolf Hitler. Charles Lindbergh’s 20-month-old son was kidnapped from his New Jersey home. … click below for more!

Shin Godzilla: the reboot

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk7KaxjTz-0 I’m almost embarrassed to admit that, of all the Godzilla films I’ve watched, I can recall the exact details of few. I cannot remember, just by looking at the title, which monsters were battling which. I need to look at the slipcase cover to see a picture to remind me which foe Godzilla was battling this time. Or foes, because there’s often more than one. In many ways, I prefer the original premise: a single Godzilla versus the world … click below for more!

War for the Planet of the Apes considered

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Pierre Boulle never imagined War for the Planet of the Apes, the latest film in the remade franchise. In fact, it would be fair to say the author of the original book never imagined any of the series, from the first in 1968 to the latest, released in 2017. They were far, far from what he had envisioned in the early 1960s. Warning: spoilers ahead. Boulle’s 1963 novel, Monkey Planet, was basically a satire and a social commentary. And it … click below for more!

Gojira, the original kaiju

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At the end of most Godzilla films, the audience is led to believe the giant reptile has finally been killed off. Blown up, defeated by another monster, killed by technology, sunk to the bottom of the ocean or suffered some similar fate. And yet there he*** is, hale and hearty in the next film, rampaging through Japan once again, and facing yet another kaiju (giant monster) – or often several. After 32 films, Godzilla still comes back. And so do … click below for more!

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