Review 9: Son of Godzilla

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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 also in the cheapness of … click below for more ↓

Musings on Sourdough Starters

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For many, many years, I owned and maintained my own, private zoo.* I fed and watered the creatures in it, occasionally neglected them, moved them from place to place, and when their population threatened to explode, I took out a large quantity and killed them. That’s what, in a nutshell, every baker does with their sourdough starter. A sourdough starter is a SCOBY: a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast; a complex colony of living creatures. It’s also what bakers call a preferment, like (but … click below for more ↓

Seven Faces of Marcus Aurelius

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I am going to assume that you, dear reader, already know who Marcus Aurelius Antonius was. I have respect for both the intelligence and education of my readers, enough to feel I can avoid making pedantic explanations and reiterating his biography that is more fluently available on dozens or hundreds of better, more encyclopedic websites. No, this is not a treatise on him, or even on his Stoic philosophy. It’s a look at how six different translators rendered some parts of his book, Meditations. But … click below for more ↓

Review 6: Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster – 1964

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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 link Toho’s other monster films … click below for more ↓

Review 5: Mothra vs Godzilla – 1964

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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 series productions: Mothra vs. Godzilla. … click below for more ↓

Review 4: King Kong vs Godzilla – 1962

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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 to RKO to use the … click below for more ↓

Review 2: Godzilla, King of the Monsters – 1956

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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 Godzilla holds a special place … click below for more ↓

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 preparation for the 70th-anniversary celebrations … click below for more ↓

Reading Animal Fairm

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Animal Fairm is a 2022 translation into Scots of George Orwell’s classic satire on Stalinist (and in far too many ways, modern conservative) politics and ideology. As the cover of this edition says, it was “translatit intae Scots by Thomas Clark.” I recently purchased the book for my reading entertainment. And quickly discovered it’s so delightful that it makes me want to read more of and learn more about the language. The book is published by Luath Press, in Edinburgh. Scots (no, not Scottish) is … click below for more ↓

Not the Chaucer You’re Looking For

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I received a couple of new Chaucer books recently and, despite my love of reading Chaucer, frankly, I was disappointed by both. My expectations for both greatly exceeded what little joy I received from them. I was deeply disappointed by both. And I’m here to tell you why. Let me back up a bit, before I get into my reviews. I have a couple of dozen books by or about Chaucer and his language on my bookshelves, which suggests he is a serious interest to … click below for more ↓

Musings on Haiku

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I can’t recall just when I first encountered haiku, that subtle, concise and often baffling Japanese poetry, but I suspect it was sometime in the late 1960s, not long after I was first introduced to Buddhism. I recall having the four-volume set of seasonal haiku by Blyth back in those days, but long since gone from my library for reasons I can no longer fathom. I’ve had several other books of haiku on my shelves since then, and turn to them to read now and … click below for more ↓

Musings on Collecting and Reading ERB

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As some readers here know, I’ve been a lifelong aficionado of Edgar Rice Burroughs (ERB, born 1875), particularly of his Barsoom (Mars) series, but also his Pellucidar and Caspak series. Well, I’ve enjoyed pretty much all of them, including, of course, the iconic Tarzan novels for which he is best known. Okay, maybe not so much his westerns (but then, I was never a fan of that genre). Burroughs wrote about 100 titles (and more information on them is here) between 1912 and his death … 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 Susan watches BBC and other … click below for more ↓

Breadmaker Tales: Blueberry Jam

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Longtime readers here know that baking bread is one of my passions (Susan might call it an obsession, one of my many), but I’m also I’m a reasonably competent cook (not as good as Susan, but I try…); I make my own fresh pasta and my own pizza, among other dishes. Of late, I have been branching out into new areas. None of them are terribly challenging, but they are new things for me to learn. And being retired, keeping my brain alive by learning … click below for more ↓

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