Sunday, May 18, 2014


THERE ARE JUST A FEW THINGS I WANTED YOU LADIES TO NOTICE about the 2014 release of GODZILLA, Yoshimishitsu Banno's TRIUMPHANT RETURN to the Godzilla arena.


>> In this one, Goji does battle with a breeding pair of MUTOs.  David Strathairn's character explains that the acronym stands for Massive Unidentified TERRESTRIAL Organisms. 

>> Their foe, and OUR HERO, is pretty much amphibious -- if not simply AQUATIC.  Like all other incarnations of Big Green, he emerges from the ocean to kick tail on land -- but he always finally heads back to the sea.  Please note that in this movie, he swims from the Far East to the West Coast of the USA without ever apparently coming up for air.  YOU HAVE TO LIKE THAT.

>>  Our daikaiju expert in this story -- none other than Dr. Serizawa! -- never makes a fool of himself (the way Worm Guy did in Fraudzilla)  trying to over-explain what he sees going on.  He simply says, in effect, "Well, I'm far from sure, but this scenario fits what we've seen so far."  That's a pretty good scientific attitude, considering the mental limitations of the average Homo sap.,  and in general the scientists in this story acquit themselves pretty well.  He also gives the right answer to the guys in camouflage:  "Let them fight,"  he says.

>>  We never know whose side the daikaiju experts are REALLY on -- the MUTOs or the King of the Monsters? -- because of their organization's name:  Monarch.  The MUTOs are little more than gigantic insects (with a mere whiff of Cloverfield thrown in), and they do seem to hatch their young out of cocoons of some sort -- and that says "monarch" (butterfly) to me.  As if to underline the point, the movie's hero visits the home he abandoned as a child when the reactor next door cracked open, and we see him glance wistfully at the butterfly cocoon still attached to its twig in his old bedroom.  In the end, though, the newscasters declare Goji "King of the Monsters" and now there is a second monarch for you, of another kind entirely.

>>  The scientists at Monarch may or may not understand the dynamic they are seeing:  The land animals get out of control and the sea creatures need to come ashore to take names and KICK TAIL.  That's only as it should be.  But do the humans really get any of this?  We do see the unnamed sidekick of Dr. Serizawa see Goji off with a hand clapped over her mouth and tears of gratitude in her eyes.  I was also surprised into something not unlike tears when Goji stood up and stumbled off into the bay for a well-deserved rest. 

>> I was intrigued that Joe Brody (Played by Bryan Cranston), the one man determined to RIP THE VEIL AWAY FROM THE HIGH-LEVEL COVER-UP, is the one to end really badly.  I don't know what that was meant to say to a human viewing audience, but to a member of the Fish Army it simply means that his whole agenda was nonsense.  THE SHAVED MONKEYS ARE NOT IMPORTANT HERE, EVEN IF THEY THINK THEY ARE.  At one point in this movie, someone made a comment to the effect that humans are so arrogant that they think they control nature, when the opposite is always true.   (Wasn't that Dr. Serizawa?  I think it was...)

>> I was ready to be cynical about the happy outcome for the hero's entire family of procreation -- you knew the pretty wife and their son (obviously the milkman's kid -- how do two light-haired, blue-eyed parents have a baby with dark hair and coal-black eyes?) were all going to live, no matter how narrow their escapes from disaster -- but I suddenly felt less cynical when I noticed the writing across the front of our hero's uniform.  Sure, sure, the filmmakers want you to think EOD simply stands for Explosive Ordnance Disposal, but you and I know it also stands for the name of the only human church of Piscatorial Love -- the Esoteric Order of Dagon.  The only guy in the movie wearing that uniform was the one who did the most damage to the MUTOs, and who did nothing but stand back respectfully when Goji arrived on the scene to clear things up.  My question is, did ANYONE on the filmmaking staff -- producers, scriptwriters, best boys, lighting stand-ins -- GET that?  Was it deliberate? 

>> If you think the previous paragraph is a lead-up to me listing on the Internet which members of the cast and crew are OUR OPERATIVES, you're insane.  Never happen, baby.

>> I like what they did with the whole "nuclear menace" thing.  Just watch and see.  It's pretty well-thought-out and nuanced, especially for a Godzilla movie!

>> I like all the loose ends tied up by this movie -- the way Goji seems to reincarnate as needed; the explanations they came up with for what was going on; the solutions they found; even the old footage from the earliest movies of Haruo Nakajima fainting in his rubber suit under the hot lights and damaging the set, which has been puzzling kids since the 1950s, got cleared up for good in this one. 

You'll love this film, I promise.  There's something in this movie for almost everyone.  The only thing missing was a man in a rubber suit.

(Even the hearing impaired will love it.  Like all movies made in about the past 10 years, it's UNBELIEVABLY LOUD.)