March 22nd, 2015 Movie – Invasion Of Astro-Monster (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs Monster Zero)

godzilla 06 - invasion of astro-monster

Sometimes one scene, for better or worse, can wind up being the most memorable scene of a movie. You see, I think this movie was responsible for many critics panning a lot of the Godzilla movies from the Showa era. I am not saying the whole movie is bad. But there is one scene, that stupid dancing scene, that just goes over the top in being ridiculous. Still, they won’t always be a movie with an epic story to tell and it is an entertaining movie so let’s all enjoy today’s movie, Invasion Of Astro-Monster (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs Monster Zero).

The plot: Astronauts Fuji and Glenn are on a special mission to the newly discovered planet, Planet X. When they arrive on the planet, the soon discover that a race of beings called the Xiliens living underneath the surface. While they are in the Xilien city, they witness King Ghidorah attacking the surface of the planet and learn that King Ghidorah is the reason the Xiliens are forced to live underground. The Xilien controller asks the two astronauts for the use of Godzilla and Rodan to battle King Ghidorah and in exchange, they will be given a tape that has the cure to all diseases. Upon returning to Earth, they relay the news to their superiors before they go to dinner with Fuji’s sister Haruno and her inventor boyfriend Tetsuo, whom Fuji does not approve of. The next day, three Xilien saucers appear on Earth and after meeting with members of the Japanese government, they locate Godzilla and Rodan and take them to Planet X. Once on the planet, Godzilla and Rodan do battle with King Ghidorah and manage to drive it away. Meanwhile, Fuji and Glenn are exploring the Xilien base and discover several women that look just like Glenn’s girlfriend, Namikawa. Upon arriving back on Earth, Fuji and the government officials learn that the Xilien’s lied as the tape contained demands for the Earth to surrender to the Xiliens or they will destroy the Earth with Godzilla, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. Meanwhile, Glenn has gone to confront Namikawa, where she tells him that she is a Xilien spy but since her feelings for him caused her to betray her race, she is killed by the Earth’s Xilien commander and Glenn is imprisoned with Tetsuo, who had been captured earlier. Finding a note from Namikawa that mentions the Xiliens weakness to sound, Tetsuo uses his invention, a panic alarm, to incapacitate the guards and the two men make their escape. At the same time, Fuji and Dr. Sakurai figure out how the Xiliens are controlling the monsters and find a way to cut off their control. Glenn and Tetsuo manage to get all of the TV and Radio stations to broadcast the sound his device makes which causes the Xiliens to experience massive malfunctions and destroy themselves, while Fuji’s team use their device to free the monsters from the Xiliens control. When the monsters revive, they begin battling each other again ending when all three monsters wind up toppling off a cliff into the ocean, with King Ghidorah eventually surfaces and flies away.

This is a good movie to watch in this series for a couple of reasons. The actors were pretty good in their roles and the human elements of the story actually were a main part of the movie so it worked out well when mixed with the monster battles. This was also the first time that aliens try to take over the world, a theme that would be used in several other movies. The suits for the monsters were pretty good, especially the suit for Rodan, which was the best one from any of his appearances in the Godzilla series. The special effects for this movie were pretty good and the plot actually made sense for a Godzilla film. The only problem I have with this movie…..IS THAT STUPID DANCE THEY HAD GODZILLA DO. After Godzilla and Rodan chase off King Ghidorah on Planet X, Godzilla winds up jumping up and down for joy. I honestly think that was added to help make Godzilla seem more “kid-friendly”.

In spite of my raging over the dancing scene, this is still a good movie that is worth giving a shot.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5


March 21st, 2015 Movie – Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster

godzilla 05 - ghidorah the three headed monster

It’s funny, but even though it came out the same year as the previous movie (Mothra Vs Godzilla), today’s movie has been considered by many to be the 10th anniversary film for Godzilla. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that it introduced Godzilla’s most popular foe, King Ghidorah. King Ghidorah’s popularity is evident by the fact that, in some form or another, he appears in 10 of Toho’s 28 Godzilla films, as well as the final Mothra film from the 90’s. Not too shabby for an armless, three-headed dragon from outer space. And it all started with his debut film, Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster.

The plot: As some scientist are attempting to communicate with a flying saucer, they are surprised to see a sudden meteor shower occur, one of which lands near Mt. Hida. As this is going on, Detective Shindo is assigned to guard Princess Selina Salno during her upcoming trip to Japan. However, before the plane lands, Princess Salno is possessed by a Venutian and jumps out of the plane right before it explodes. The next day, a geological team, led by Professor Miura, heads to Mt. Hida to investigate the meteor, which they discover to be highly magnetic. Meanwhile, Princess Salno, with no memory of who she is, tells a group of reporters that she is from Venus and that some strange events will precede a great disaster to the planet, but the majority of the reporters scoff at her warnings. The next day, she appears at Mt. Aso and warns the tourists that Rodan will emerge from the volcano’s crater. Nobody believes her at first but suddenly Rodan does appear just as she predicted. She then appears at the docks, trying to warn a ship not to leave harbor. Shindo’s sister, Naoko, believes Salno’s warnings and gets her to come with her to a hotel so she can interview her. Shindo meets his sister at the hotel and explains to Naoko who Salno really is, but while they are downstairs, a group of assassins, sent by Salno’s uncle, break into the hotel room and attempt to kill Salno. Shindo is warned about the assassins by the Shobijin and manages to chase them off. At the same time, the ship that Salno was trying to save is destroyed by Godzilla. Shindo takes Salno to a famous psychologist to see if she can be cured, but they discover nothing wrong with her. She tells them that a monster named King Ghidorah destroyed Venus ages ago and now that monster is on Earth. At the same time, the meteorite explodes,  unleashing a giant winged, three-headed dragon which begins to destroy everything in it’s path. The assassins make another attempt on Salno’s life but Shindo is able to chase them off once again.The Shobijin summon Mothra but knowing that the larva will not stand a chance against Ghidorah, have it try to convince Godzilla and Rodan, who are fighting nearby, to help defend the planet from this menace. The monsters refuse at first but after Mothra leaves to fight King Ghidorah by itself, Godzilla and Rodan decide to help. As the three monsters battle, one of the assassins manages to shoot Salno, but only grazes her head and snapping her out of her amnesia. Shindo tries protecting her but he is shot in the arm, but just before the assassin can finish the job, a stray blast from King Ghidorah causes a rock slide which kills him. Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan are eventually able to beat King Ghidorah and send it flying back into space.

Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster received fairly positive reviews form the critics, earning an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This was the first movie to feature Godzilla as a hero, instead of the villain Just like almost every Godzilla movie, there were some changes made when it was released in the U.S. The main one being that instead of Venus, it was a Mars that was destroyed by Ghidorah and a Martian that possessed Salno. This was probably due to the fact that American audiences had a tendency to associate Mars with most outer space aliens at that time. The other thing they did was to change King Ghidorah’s name to Ghidrah, which to be honest is rather minor.

This was a good movie although the human plots did seem to be a little much. The human actors all did a good job, and the dubbing for the English version wasn’t that bad. The suits used for Godzilla, Rodan, and King Ghidorah looked great and the marionette for Mothra, and the flying Rodan and Ghidorah were also well designed. The special effects were decent and aside from the sub plot about Salno, the story was pretty good, The one problem I had with the film is simply a matter of continuity. In the previous film, there were two Mothra larvae, but there was only one in this movie. They never explain what happened to the other larva. That was the only thing that really bugged me about the movie.

So if you want to see the introduction of Godzilla’s greatest foe, then you need to watch this movie.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 4


March 20th, 2015 Movie – Mothra Vs Godzilla (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs The Thing)

godzilla 04 - godzilla vs mothra 1964

With the success of King Kong Vs Godzilla, Toho Studios decided to once again bring in a monster from another movie monster to fight Godzilla, but this time they decided to use one of their own monsters. This actually started a trend of Toho bringing monsters from some of their other movies into the Godzilla series. In this case, they decided to use Mothra, the winged avenging moth famous for it’s own movie. So let’s see what happens when these two monsters clash in today’s movie, Mothra Vs Godzilla.

The plot: After a typhoon ravages a coastal village, reporter Ichiro Sakai and his photographer, Junko Nakanishi, are covering the destruction when Junko discovers a strange scale floating in the wreckage. Later, a giant egg is discovered off the coast of the village. Professor Miura is beginning to stop when he is ordered to stop by Kumayama, an entrepreneur from Happy Enterprises, who had just purchased the egg from the local villagers in the hopes of making it into a tourist attraction. Later that night, Kumayama meets with the head of Happy Enterprises, Jiro Torahata, to make plans for the giant egg when they are interrupted by the Shobijin, the tiny twin priestess of Infant Island. The Shobijin beg the two men to return the egg to Infant Island but the two men ignore their pleas and try to capture them but the Shobijin escape. Miura, Ichiro, and Junko encounter the Shobijin, who ask for their help in getting the egg back, but the men from Happy Enterprises refuse to give back the egg and instead try to buy the Shobijin from them so the Shobijin leave, warning that destruction will come to the city if the egg hatches. A few days later, Ichiro and Junko are asked to visit Miura, who puts them into decontamination, explaining that the scale the brought him was highly radioactive. The three people go back to where Junko discovered the scale and witness Godzilla emerging from underneath the ground, where the typhoon had buried him. As the JSDF tries to stop Godzilla, Ichiro, Junko, and Miura travel to Infant Island to ask the Shobijin to send Mothra to help them with Godzilla. The Shobijin and the natives refuse at first, but are finally convinced to send Mothra to help, in spite of the fact that the giant moth is dying. Godzilla’s rampage has finally made it’s way towards the egg but Mothra arrives and begins to battle him. Mothra gets the upper hand initially but after being blasted by Godzilla’s atomic ray, she flies towards her egg and dies. As Godzilla heads towards a nearby island, the egg hatches to reveal two giant larvas. The two monsters head towards the island and begin to fight with Godzilla, eventually covering him in a silken cocoon to the point that Godzilla is barely able to move and tumbles over a cliff and back into the sea, leaving the twin Mothra larve free to travel back to infant island.

Mothra Vs Godzilla is one of the most favorably reviewed movies from the Godzilla series, earning a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This was one of the few movies in the Godzilla series that was not heavily edited before it was released in the U.S. The main change that was done was to the title, being released as Godzilla Vs The Thing. This caused some confusion to the audience because many of the movie posters displayed Godzilla fighting some sort of tentacled monster. The confusion did not end when it was released on video in the 80’s since the video was released as Godzilla Vs Mothra but the characters constantly called Mothra “The Thing” in the movie.

This is definitely one of the better movies from the Showa era of Godzilla films. The plot was pretty good and the human characters did a good job of helping move the story along. I liked the slight changes that they made to the Godzilla suit because it actually made him look more evil in appearance. The Mothra puppets/models were also in good condition considering they were the same ones used in Mothra’s solo movie. The fight between Godzilla and the adult Mothra, as well as the fight between Godzilla and the Mothra larvae, were very well choreographed. They did a good job of making the fights seem more believable. The special effects were also very well done, in spite of some mishaps that occurred. A great kajiu movie that is worth watching.

I know that on paper, Godzilla vs a giant moth does not sound entertaining, but this movie is worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5


March 19th, 2015 Movie – King Kong Vs Godzilla

godzilla 03 - king kong vs godzilla

If you really want to get an audiences attention, one of the best ways to do it is to have some star power in your movie. When it comes to monster movies, the star power isn’t in the actors, but the monsters themselves. For Toho Studios 30th anniversary, they decided to have two of the biggest monsters duke it out on screen. This epic clash was memorable for several reasons, not the least of which is that this was the first time that either monster had appeared in a colorized film. So let’s go ahead and watch the Eight Wonder of the World take on the King of the Monsters in today’s movie, King Kong Vs Godzilla.

The plot: The head of Pacific Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Tako, is upset with the low ratings that the television shows he sponsors are receiving. When a doctor returns from a trip to Faro Island and tells Mr. Tako about the legendary creature that is supposed to exist there, he sends two men, Sakurai and Kinsaburo, to Faro Island to find and capture the beast. At the same time, the American submarine Seahawk is exploring some strange events in the Arctic when it suddenly becomes trapped underneath an iceberg. As the Seahawk sends out a distress beacon, the ship’s geiger counters detect a massive surge of radiation before fire erupts inside the ship. As a rescue chopper arrives to where the Seahawk was, the iceberg begins to break up, releasing Godzilla who begins heading back towards Japan. Back on Faro Island, Sakurai and Kinsaburo were back from an unsuccessful hunt of the monster when the native village they were staying at was attacked by a giant octopus. As the two men, alongside the natives, try to fend off the creature, they are shocked by the sudden appearance of King Kong. King Kong easily drives off the Octopus and then falls asleep after drinking berry juice that the natives collected, which allows Sakurai and Kinsaburo to capture him. Kong is placed on a large raft and towed to Japan, but before they get there, the JSDF tells Mr. Tako that Kong is to be sent back to Faro Island. However, Kong breaks free from his bindings and heads towards Japan where he faces off with Godzilla but is forced to retreat when Godzilla burns him. The JSDF try different methods to keep Godzilla out of Tokyo, eventually using a barrier of power lines to keep him out of the city. The barricade has the opposite effect on King Kong as he actually gets stronger when exposed to electricity and he feeds on the power lines as he plows through them on his way into the city. The JSDF fire rockets filled with the Faro Island berry juice in order to subdue Kong and then use giant balloons to airlift him towards Mt. Fuji, where Godzilla was currently located. Once there, the two monsters renew their struggle, with Godzilla seemingly coming out the victor. However, an electrical storm revives King Kong and he continues fighting Godzilla until the both go plunging off a cliff. The fight continues underwater until Kong emerges and begins swimming back to Faro Island, while no trace of Godzilla is seen.

Now let me go ahead and dispel a long standing myth about this movie. When this movie first came out in the 60’s there was a myth that there were two different endings to this movie. In the English version, King Kong won while in the Japanese version, Godzilla won. This story was printed in the film magazine Famous Monsters Of Filmland a couple of times, which helped the myth spread. This myth was still going strong in the 80’s, when I first heard about it, and was so prevalent, that there was actually a card from Trivial Pursuit that asks “who wins in the Japanese version of King Kong vs Godzilla” and lists Godzilla as the answer. Well that answer is wrong because there is not a different ending, and since I have both the English version as well as the Japanese version, I should know. The ending you see in the American version is the same that you see in the Japanese version. Both monsters go off the cliff and eventually King Kong surfaces and swims away. Now you can interpret it however you want (Godzilla chased King Kong off or King Kong killed Godzilla) but that is simply a matter of your opinion.

King Kong Vs Godzilla is the most commercially successful movie in the entire Toho Godzilla series. In it’s initial theatrical release, it made over 350 million yen in Japan, making it the 4th highest grossing film in Japan that year. However, the U.S. critics did not think much of the movie as it would only earn a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. For the most part, it was the seemingly low grade effects that the critics did not like.

Godzilla and King Kong in the same movie? What more could a kid ask for. This is a great movie to watch. The plot was actually pretty good and did give a little bit of reasoning for the monsters conflict instead of the usual “two monster meet and immediately start fighting.” The Godzilla suit was changed some to look more reptilian in appearance, and was one of my favorite suits used in the movies. In contrast, the King Kong suit looked pretty bad and is probably why a lot of critics did not like the movie. The fact that this was also the first Godzilla (and King Kong) movie to be filmed in color also made this movie memorable because you now knew what color Godzilla was (charcoal-grey as opposed to green like many people believed). The color filming actually helped some of the effects look better, such as the blue flames from Godzilla’s atomic fire. The fight between the two monsters was well done, although the few scenes where models were used did look a bit ridiculous.

Two of the biggest movie monsters of all time battling it out. Who wouldn’t want to watch this movie?

Rating: 4 out of 5


March 18th, 2015 Movie – Godzilla Raids Again (a.k.a. Gigantis, The Fire Monster)

godzilla 02 - godzilla raids again

Wanting to capitalize on the success of the first film, Toho Studios immediately put a sequel into production. This movie would set the stage for all future Godzilla films. For one, this movie featured another giant monster that would battle Godzilla, becoming a common theme for 25 out of the 26 movies to follow. It also established a continuity within the series, albeit a continuity that was somewhat fluid and changeable, depending on when the movies where made. Also, this movie would introduce my brother Blake’s favorite monster, next to Godzilla of course. So without further ado, let me introduce you all to today’s movie, Godzilla Raids Again.

The plot: Shoichi Tsukioka flies a spotter plane for a tuna cannery in Osaka when he learns that his fellow pilot, Koji Kobayashi was forced to make an emergency landing near some deserted islands. Tsukioka manages to spot Kobayashi’s plane and goes to rescue his friend. While on the island, the two pilots witness a battle between two giant monsters, one of them Tsukioka recognizes as being Godzilla. After the monsters battle results in them both falling off a cliff, Tsukioka and Kobayashi fly back to Osaka to report what they saw to the authorities and after looking through some books, the two pilots identify the second monster as Anguirus. Professor Yamane, from the first movie, is at the meeting and tells the assembled people that there is no way to kill Godzilla, since Dr. Serizawa died and destroyed all of his notes, but that they should try to use flares to lure the monsters away from the city. Godzilla appears on the shore of Osaka and, after initiating a city wide blackout, the JSDF uses planes to drop flares and succeed in luring Godzilla away. However, a group of prisoners manage to escape from their transport truck and wind up causing a wreck which results in a huge explosion. Godzilla sees the lights from the fires and heads back to Osaka, where he begins to destroy the city. At the same time, Anguirus also arrives in Osaka and the two monsters resume their fierce battle. Godzilla eventually defeats Anguirus and, after burning the body with his atomic ray, heads back towards the ocean, leaving a burning city behind. Vowing to rebuild his cannery, the owner transfers Kobayashi and Tsukioka to Hokkaido, where they start working at a new plant. One evening, Kobayashi surprises Tsukioka by inviting some of his former Air Force comrades to a dinner party. During the party, the group is informed that one of the company;s fishing boats has been destroyed by Godzilla. Tsukioka spots Godzilla on a small, icy island and radios the location to the cannery. Kobayashi flies out to take over for Tsukioka but as the JSDF planes arrive, Kobayashi tries to distract Godzilla in order to keep him on the island, but Godzilla blasts Kobayashi with his atomic ray, causing him to crash into the mountain and cause an avalanche to occur around Godzilla. Seeing this, the JSDF planes begin launching their missles into the mountains, causing an avalanche big enough to bury Godzilla under tons of ice.

So when the rights to Godzilla Raids Again were first obtained for a U.S. release, the studio that bought the rights wanted to completely change the movie by removing all of the Japanese cast, altering the special effects to make the monsters appear to be the size of normal dinosaurs, and removing all scenes of Godzilla breathing radioactive fire. However, this never happened because the studio wound up closing it’s doors in 1957. The next year, a different group of producers bought the rights but wanted to market this as a different monster. So they switched the trademark roar of Godzilla with that of the new monster, Anguirus, and called the film Gigantis, The Fire Monster. However, the audiences were not fooled and the changes were met with a lot of criticism from fans and critics alike. About the only good thing to come of the dubbed version is that it would be George Takei’s first movie role.

Not as good as the original, but this is still a good movie to watch. I think the suits used for the monsters were very well done, especially the one for Anguirus. I also liked the accident in regards to the filming of the monster battles. The were supposed to be filmed in slow motion but the camera was not set up correctly so instead of slow motion, the action appeared to be much faster than normal. The only problems I really have with the movie.I do think the idea of switching the monster’s roars was stupid, especially since they were not consistent with it. There were a few times that Godzilla would use his normal roar and then shortly later, in the same scene, he would use Anguirus’s roar. The dubbing was also pretty bad as far as the voices that were used.

A good sequel to a great movie, but can we please do a better job with the dubbing?

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5


March 17th, 2015 Movie – Godzilla / Godzilla: King Of The Monsters

godzilla 01 - gojira

This. This right here is the reason why the letter G is my favorite letter when it comes to movies. If there has ever been one constant in my life, it is my being a massive fan of Godzilla for over 30 years. I asked my dad once why I became such a huge Godzilla fan and his response was that I liked dinosaurs and it just sort of transferred over. Godzilla is one of, if not THE biggest, pop culture icon to come out of Japan, having been featured in almost 30 movies, cartoons, books, video games, and more. I personally, aside from owning every one of the movies that Toho has produced, have collected all sorts of memorabilia revolving around Godzilla, from comic books and novels to video games and toys. And it all started because of a Japanese movie called Godzilla (Gojira).

The plot: Late one night, a Japanese fishing boat is destroyed by a mysterious burst of fire that seems to come from under the ocean. When a second ship is sent to investigate, it meets the same fate. When some survivors wash ashore on nearby Odo Island, reporters fly there to continue investigating, and are told by one of the village elders that the disasters are the work of Godzilla, That night something comes ashore during a massive storm and destroys several village huts, as well as the reporters’ helicopter. Noted paleontologist Dr. Yamane leads an investigation to Odo island where they discover massive radioactive footprints as well as a trilobite, a prehistoric animal that was long believed extinct. Suddenly, an alarm is sounded as Godzilla appears on a nearby hill. The villagers flee in terror as Godzilla makes its way back to the ocean. Upon arriving back in Tokyo, Dr. Yamane delivers his report to the government and theorizes that Godzilla had been brought to life by the repeated nuclear tests performed in the area. The navy sends ships out and attempt to kill Godzilla by using depth charges. Meanwhile, Emiko, Dr. Yamane’s daughter, is attempting to end her arranged engagement to Dr. Serizawa, by telling him that she is in love with Ogata, a ship’s captain. Before she can say anything, Serizawa shows her a demonstration of his latest experiment, the Oxygen Destroyer. Emiko is horrified by what she sees and, after Serizawa swears her to secrecy, she leaves without ending the engagement. That night, Godzilla surfaces in Tokyo Bay and attacks the city. The next day, the JSDF constructs a line of electrical towers in the hopes that they will deter Godzilla, but Godzilla easily breaks through the blockade and attacks the city again. After witnessing the destruction that Godzilla has caused, Emiko tells Ogata about Serizawa’s invention and the two of them go to try and convince Serizawa to use his invention to kill Godzilla. Serizawa refuses at first but after watching a program about the tragedy, Serizawa agrees, but destroys all of his notes so that no one would be able to build another device. A navy ship takes Ogata and Serizawa to where Godzilla is located and the two men dive down with the Oxygen Destroyer. As Godzilla approaches the two men, Serizawa has Ogata head back to the surface while he activates the device. As the Oxygen Destroyer begins to work, Serizawa cuts his air hose and line back to the ship, then with his last words, tells Ogata to take care of Emiko. Ogata, Emiko, Yamane and the rest of the crew are left to mourn while Godzilla thrashes in the ocean before being completely dissolved by the Oxygen Destroyer.

When Godzilla was released in 1954, it was met with mixed reviews in Japan, with many critics saying that the events of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Lucky Dragon Incident were still too fresh on the people’s minds. However, Godzilla would go on to be the 8th most attended film in that year. It is also the second most profitable movie of Toho’s Godzilla franchise, only falling behind King Kong Vs Godzilla. As for American critics, most of them had never seen the original Godzilla, having only been exposed to the Americanized version with Raymond Burr. However that changed in 2004 when, as part of the 50th anniversary of Godzilla, Rialto Pictures showed the film as part of a traveling tour limited release in various cities in the U.S. And yes, I did go see it in the theater when it was shown in Atlanta. The critics were highly positive about the movie, as evidenced by the 93% rating it has on Rotten Tomatoes.

I love this movie. It has always been one of my top five Godzilla movies (I think it is currently #3). When watching this movie, the main focus should not be on the actors, or even Godzilla. This movie is all about the imagery. The people of Japan have experienced one of the worst events that have ever occurred in modern history. They actually experienced an atomic bomb detonating in not one, but two cities. All of the destruction, pain, suffering, and helplessness that they experienced is shown in Godzilla. But this time, it is not some “evil” country that is attacking them, but rather a giant monster. Godzilla is described as not necessarily being evil, but merely a force of nature a theme that would regularly be used throughout most of his movies. As for the actors, they all did a good job in their roles. I think Akihiko Hirata (Serizawa) and Takashi Shimura (Yamane) were probably the best two performers. Of course you also have to mention Haruo Nakajima and Katsumi Tezuka, who are responsible for playing this legendary character. You also have to give credit to Akira Ifukube for the music in the film as it made the somber tone of the movie feel even more human.

godzilla 01b - godzilla king of the monstersI had been debating on whether or not to do two separate reviews for Godzilla and the Americanized version, Godzilla: King Of The Monsters. In the end, I decided to just review the original but point out the differences. Obviously, the biggest difference is the appearance of Raymond Burr, which was to make the audience able to connect more with the movie. They also cut about 30 minutes of original footage, including several of the political, social, and anti-nuclear themes. Since they filmed new footage with Raymond Burr for this movie, the way they tried to splice his character into the original movie was to use look alikes but have their backs to the camera so you could not see their faces as they interact with Raymond Burr. They also got rid of the original soundtrack and used music from other movies, such as The Creature From The Black Lagoon. While this did help American audiences relate to the film better, it also is the reason why many critics considered Godzilla a low grade film.

So one of the greatest monster movies of all times but I recommend you watch the original version if you have the opportunity.

Rating: 5 out of 5 (Godzilla) / 3 1/2 out of 5 (Godzilla: King Of The Monsters)


March 16th, 2015 Movie – Go


I think one of the more interesting concepts in movies is when there are several interconnecting stories that all manage to make one movie. Events in story A influence events in story B while story C had been running parallel to story A when all of a sudden it is crosses over to story B. You can usually tell how good a director is if he gets a script like this and can turn it into a fantastic movie. Today’s movie, Go, is one of those movies.

The plot: Ronna has just finished a 14 hour shift but agrees to fill in for her co-worker Simon as she needs the money or she will be evicted. While working the checkout counter, she is approached by two men, Adam and Zach, who ask if she can score some ecstasy for them since their usual dealer, Simon, is not there. Ronna meets up with Simon’s supplier, Todd Gaines, but does not have enough cash for all of it so she leaves her friend Claire with Todd while she goes to make the deal. However, when she meets with Adam and Zach, a third person is there and keeps pressuring her for the drugs. Thinking it is a trap, she flushes the drugs down the toilet and manages to get away. She then replaces the drugs with aspirin, which she gives to Todd before Ronna and her friends head to a rave. Todd realizes that he has been given fake pills and goes after Ronna but before he can do anything, she is hit by a car and flung off the edge of a small cliff. While this is going on, Simon is heading towards Las Vegas with three of his friends. When they get there, Tiny and Singh get sick from food poisoning so Simon and Marcus go gambling without them. Simon quickly runs out of money and crashes a wedding reception, where he winds up having sex with two of the brides maids before they accidentally set the hotel room on fire. He then meets back up with Marcus where, after stealing a car, head towards a strip club where the wind up getting a private dance. Simon grabs one of the dancers, which causes the bouncer to start roughing up him and Marcus. Simon shoots the bouncer in the arm and the two guys make their escape, grabbing their friends before heading back to Los Angeles with the bouncer and his club owner father hot on their heels. Back to Adam and Zach, who happen to be two TV actors that got busted for drugs. The police are trying to use them for a drug bust but when their normal dealer is unavailable, they get Ronna to get the drugs for them. When they get back to their apartment, Burke, the police officer in charge of the sting, is too over eager and Zach warns Ronna to leave and she flushes the drugs down the toilet. Burke then convinces Adam and Zach to have dinner at his place where he and his wife try to pitch them into joining his Amway- style company. After leaving Burke’s place, they go to a liquor store and realize that though they are in a relationship, they cheated on with the same guy. They go to the rave that he is attending and cut off some of his hair. As they are leaving, they accidentally hit Ronna with their car and, realizing that they still had the wire on, they leave her where she will be found and can receive medical attention. The next morning, Claire goes to a nearby diner hoping to run into Ronna but instead, winds up talking with Todd. The two start to hook up at Todd’s place before they are interrupted by Victor Sr. and Jr., who are looking for Simon. Simon runs into Todd’s apartment and Claire winds up leaving as the men talk about shooting Simon in the arm as payback. Claire heads to work, where she sees Claire there and after talking for a few minutes, realize that they left their friend Mannie at the rave and go pick him up and make plans for their next adventure.

Go was praised pretty highly by the critics, earning a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Many of the critics made comparisons to Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, with Roger Ebert saying “Go is an entertaining, clever black comedy that takes place entirely in Tarantino-land.” The movie was a box office success as it would make over $28 million off of a $6.5 million budget. The director, Doug Liman, would go on to direct several more successful movies such as The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Edge Of Tomorrow.

I love this movie. It is one of my favorite movies to come out of 1999. I thought all of the actors in it did an incredible job, with too many funny scenes to really focus on any one individual. The story was incredibly well written and Doug Liman did a great job of taking three separate stories and working them into one movie. The only thing I didn’t particularly like was that the told each story separately. I would rather that they were all mixed together, especially Ronna’s P.O.V. and Adam and Zach’s P.O.V. since they practically happened at the same time. But other than that, this is just a fun movie to watch.

Rating: 4 out of 5