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Friday, October 14, 2011

Official Specs and Artwork - Godzilla: The Criterion Collection


It's finally here!

It was just a few months back that news of a Godzilla Criterion DVD/Blu-Ray
was being developed.

There was word that a master copy (the so-called "Rosetta Stone") was found for this project, and that a bunch of extras were being developed along the way.

Now official word has come regrading all of these extra goodies!

Here's all of the info for your reading pleasure:

New high-definition digital restoration (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
• Audio commentary by David Kalat (A Critical History and Filmography of Toho’s Godzilla Series)
• New high-definition digital restoration of Godzilla, King of the Monsters, Terry Morse’s 1956 reworking of the original, starring Raymond Burr
• Audio commentary for Godzilla, King of the Monsters by Kalat
• New interviews with actor Akira Takarada (Hideto Ogata), Godzilla performer Haruo Nakajima, and effects technicians Yoshio Irie and Eizo Kaimai
• Interview with legendary Godzilla score composer Akira Ifukube
• Featurette detailing Godzilla’s photographic effects
• New interview with Japanese-film critic Tadao Sato
• The Unluckiest Dragon, an illustrated audio essay featuring historian Greg Pflugfelder describing the tragic fate of the fishing vessel Daigo fukuryu maru, a real-life event that inspired Godzilla
• Theatrical trailers
• New and improved English subtitle translation
• A booklet featuring an essay by critic J. Hoberman


And as you can see in the above picture, that will be the official front cover for the release.

While I'm extra giddy about all of the great extras, it's the cover that somehow throws me off.

Why is it only showcasing Godzilla's back?

It seems really weird compared to every single Godzilla movie cover before, and how they've always showcased Godzilla in his full glory (with the exception of the teaser posters for the Godzilla 1998 film).

While I realize most people will immediately recognize his body and shape, thus negating any need to show his face, does this have something to do with Toho?

Toho is notorious for milking anything in terms of extra licensing fees. So could they have wanted more money in order to officially display Godzilla on the front cover?

Such turnaround tactics as this cover are usually done by publishers in order to avoid further licensing/royalty fees (see any book cover having to do with sci-fi properties for further proof), so I wonder if Criterion is doing this as well.

In any case the new Godzilla: The Criterion Collection is coming to DVD/Blu-Ray on January 24, 2012, so the wait is almost over.

Godzilla 1998 makes a top 5 list of the worst remakes ever


Highdefdigest.com has composed a pretty good list of what they consider to be the 5 worst remakes of all time.

(This is all in line with this week's newest remakes of "The Thing" and "Footloose").

Some of the films listed make sense (sorry but the recent "The Day the Earth Stood Still" was boring and bad) but some shouldn't have been on there.

Like the newest "Clash of the Titans". It's an action movie on steroids, what else did people expect. I always like any battle from the Gods and of course the Kraken, which was amazing.

In any case the 1998 Godzilla movie makes the list, which is called the worst of the bunch apparently.

I agree with the sentimentality presented.

They're not calling it the worst because it was the worst movie. They're calling it the worst due to the potential it had.

As I've chronicled in my various YouTube videos on this topic, this movie could have set up one of the best sci-fi franchises ever.

We could be on the 4th movie of this franchise by now, with Godzilla fighting MechaGodzilla, or Destroyah, or who know what other worldly threat.

Now all we have left is a bunch of could-of's and maybe's, which becomes all the more frustrating.

In any case here's a direct link to the list for further reference:

highdefdigest.com: HDD Study Hall Top 5 Terrible Remakes

Thursday, October 13, 2011

39 Things we learned from the Cloverfied commentary


I loved the Cloverfield movie.

I thought it was one of the best non-Godzilla "Godzilla" movies ever released, as it pretty much encapsulates everything that would make a great Godzilla movie.

Fantastic special effects, great tension/terror from the monster, a seemingly ineffective and continuous attack from the US military, and a group of characters all trapped in the middle...what more could anyone ask for?

Take for instance the attack from the military as the characters are walking down a street.

It was so instant, so fast, so relentless.

All we saw was a giant monster trying to dodge these strikes as the characters ran into a nearby subway station, all while missiles and bullets and explosives are striking nearby.

And because it was all shot in first-person perspective, it was almost as if we were truly there!

If Gareth Edwards could incorporate something like this and make it in 3D at the same time, Godzilla fans would be in heaven.

I sincerely hope that Gareth and Co. use this movie as a reference point when making their Godzilla movie, as there's a lot of good things that can be utilized.

(Although I would highly omit any of the nonsensical teenage drama that made up the first 30 minutes of the film).

In any case here's a great link showcasing some trivia from the film, and I thought I would post it here for all the other "Cloverfield" fans out there.

Enjoy!

Filmschoolrejects.com: 39 Things We Learned from the Cloverfield Commentary

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters Vol. 1 TPB Review


There's a good review over on IGN.com about the newly released Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters TPB.

Anyone who has followed my posts on this series (seen under my Godzilla Comic book news section) knows I do not have much love for it.

Most of the blame falls on the sophomoric attempts by writer Eric Powell at trying to mix off-brand humour within monster battles.

From his crazy obsession with satirizing pop symbols (Lady Gaga, The Jersey Shore) to stereotyping certain political parties and states (Republicans and Texans), I was surprised at the level of absurdity found within each issue.

What's frustrating is that there are still times when things are a good read.

Such as when Powell has the President and team form an official response to the attacks, or the introduction of the soldier looking to find himself within these battles.

In any case here's the link to the IGN review, and the author here has a more positive response to this particular volume, including his own thoughts on artist Phil Hester's work (which I had previously chided):

Comics.ign.com: Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters Vol. 1 TPB Review

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Retrofantasma: King Kong vs. Godzilla and Mothra screening


Near Durham, NC this Friday the 14th?

The Carolina Theatre is holding a special Kaiju-centric screening, utilizing original film prints no less.

Starting with fan-favorite "King Kong vs. Godzilla" and ending with "Mothra", this is sure to be an event any kaiju fan would love to see.

And it's all for the low-low price of $8 a ticket!

I've mentioned in the past that the Alamo Drafthouse franchise near my residence is known for such kooky events.

From Batman to Horror to other Sci-Fi movies, they've done it all.

But for whatever reason they've never opted to go with something like this. Maybe Toho is too expensive is something.

How I wish I could see vintage Godzilla on the big screen again, and I would pay premium prices for this privilege too.

There's just something about watching such movies with a kaiju-loving audience that cannot be matched.

North Carolina residents, you are extremely lucky in this regard.

IDW to repeat their "Infestation" event


If you were a fan of IDW's last "Infestation" event, then you're in luck because it's happening all over again.

For reference "Infestation
" had previously involved zombies running amok within the IDW universe.

From Transformers to Star Trek to G.I. Joe, all of these heroes faced an enormous onslaught of zombies that threatened their very existence.

Well it's happening all over again, only this time new characters will be involved.

Fan favorites the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dungeons & Dragons and 30 Days of Nights will be introduced, with the threat being this time giant "Lovecraftian" tentacles/beasts overrunning the universe.

The biggest news though is....where's Godzilla?!

A giant monster is attacking worlds, ready to bring untold amounts of destruction...and Godzilla is out of the picture?

Is this not the perfect opportunity to have Godzilla fight back, dare I say lead the fight too?

Hopefully there will some one-shot eventually showcasing Godzilla, especially since he's a favorite right now amongst IDW publishing.

In any case here's a good link for further info:

Seibertron.com: IDW Press Release: The Infestation Spreads Again

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

John Carpenter wants to do a Godzilla film?


Legendary filmaker John Carpenter just did an interview for heyuguys.co.uk, where he talked about his past and current works.

Anybody who's followed Carpenter's career (like me) knows that the man can do fantastic work.

From "The Thing" to "Halloween" to "Big Trouble from Little China", the man has made enough memorable films to last several lifetimes.

I personally LOVED "The Thing
", and still find it to be one of the best horror films within the past century.

Carpenter knows how to seriously create mood and tension, and capitalizes it with great storylines and fantastic special effects.

How amazing it was then to hear that when asked if he'd ever do a big monster movie, the first thing he said is that he'd love to do a "Godzilla" movie.

How great would that be!

You want horror and terror within a Godzilla film, you've got it with him.

You want ground breaking special effects intertwined with good characters and a storyline, you've got it here.

Oh the possibilities.

In any case here's the full interview for further reference, and I highly recommend everybody to give it a read.

Enjoy!

Heyuguys.co.uk: Exclusive John Carpenter Interview

Terror of Godzilla Motion Comic...part 3

Here's part 3 of the great motion comic that YouTube user "metalmonkey666" made, all based on the Dark Horse Godzilla 1985 comic
.

Here things start to really get good, as we're now into a full-battle mode between Godzilla and the Japanese army.

Plus we get to see the original scene between the Russians and their satellite nuclear missile.

In the original film version the missile was accidentally launched...but in the American (controversial) version, it was made to appear that the missile was purposefully launched.

Enjoy!



Win Tickets to a Kaiju Big Battel in Philadelphia


Now THIS looks like a whole lot of fun!

If you're near Philly, you now have a chance to win tickets to the "Kaiju Big Battel" happening Sunday October 17th.

What is a "Kaiju Big Battel" you ask?

Essentially it's a bunch of people dressed in goofy kaiju-monster suits play-fighting each other.

Think of wrestling meets Kaiju-Monsters
and you've got the idea.

There's "villains" and "heroes" who fight against each other, sometimes against a city backdrop no less...just like a Godzilla movie!

Want further proof, here's an official video on the matter:



As you can see it all looks like a major BLAST, and I wish something like this was here in my neck of the woods.

I mean look at some of the costumes...they look fantastic!

In any case here's the website where you can gather information on when/where the event is at, plus it gives you a nice chance to win free tickets too.

Origin.avclub.com: Win Tickets to the Kaiju Big Battel

Monday, October 10, 2011

What Could Have Been, Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla



Now this is something I would have been happy to see!

Apparently in the 90's Toho was considering making one more Godzilla right before Sony released their summer blockbuster.

This one was also going to follow the supernatural theme that Toho had earlier teased with "Godzilla vs The Devil".

Here's the official info:

“GODZILLA VS. GODZILLA”—TOHO planned on retiring Godzilla in 1995, expecting the US remake to be a massive success. A proposal, also known as “Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla”, featured the restless spirit of the 1954 Godzilla rising from the grave to destroy Japan. This enrages the modern Godzilla, who doesn’t enjoy sharing his turf, and a supernatural brawl ensues. TOHO decided Godzilla has already face 2 enemies in previous films who resembled him, three would be simply too much.

What a fantastic concept.

I love the idea of the original Godzilla coming back to life to battle the current Godzilla.

There's nothing better than someone of equal power battling our hero, although it comes with an excellent twist in that ultimately who's the hero?

I'm certain Ghost Godzilla would have given the King of Monsters quite a battle, as no doubt his powers would have included disappearing and reappearing elsewhere, phasing through buildings, perhaps even telekinesis and other ghost-like qualities.

Both monsters would have easily battled each other to a standstill, which would have been something to see.

What's also interesting is the little blurb that Toho was so sure Sony's Godzilla film was going to be a success, they were ready to retire their own Godzilla films right then and there!

Terror of Godzilla Motion Comic...part 2



Here is part 2 of the "Terror of Godzilla" motion comic that YouTube user "metalmonkey666" has created.

For reference is again utilizes the Godzilla 1985 Dark Horse comic, each panel showcased throughout this video with metal rockband music in the background.

This particular video is for issue #2 of the series.

Enjoy!

Godzilla actor Doug Savant talks about his latest work


Doug Savant of course played a minor (but memorable) role within the 1998 Godzilla film as Sergeant O'Neil.

He was the military officer who kept stuttering within each of his scenes, almost like a nervous way of displaying the magnitude of the problems he was facing.

I remember in an interview Doug had mentioned that it was this purposeful stuttering that eventually won him the role.

Apparently Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich liked that he spontaneously did this throughout his auditions, as they felt it perfectly suited the character.

In any case Doug would eventually find further success with "Desperate Housewives", the long-running series that seems to be coming to an end now.

In a video interview with a local ABC network Doug talks about this and his thoughts on the show in general.

If you're a fan of the show check it out. The link is right here: ABClocal.go.com: 'Desperate Housewives' stars talk to 7online.com

I personally found Doug's work within the Godzilla film to be acceptable.

He did what he could with the material provided, and he certainly made something out of nothing.

It's a testament to his acting that he created a memorable role that was neither annoying nor corny.

He even read the audiobook
for the film, which he did a fantastic job on.

I own a copy and highly recommend everybody to obtain one as well.

If you want a way to experience that Godzilla film through first person perspective, this is it as the entire novel is read in this manner.

Great stuff.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Terror of Godzilla motion comic...part 1

This is another great Godzilla motion comic that I found on YouTube, this one made by user "metalmonkey666".

It's not necessarily a motion comic of sorts, but rather a running of each comic book panel with some recurring metal background music.

This is all based on the "Godzilla 1985"
movie, and is a color reprint of the original B&W comic that Dark Horse printed back in the 80's.

I have those original issues and thought everything was a great read.

It goes beyond what the movie portrays, as it adds many more scenes and dialogues not present in the film.

The artwork is fantastic, and seeing it now in color adds much more of an impact.

Take a look if you're interested, and I'll be adding more of these videos/issues along the way.

Enjoy!



What Could have Been: Godzilla vs the Devil?



Yes such a bizarre concept was considered within Toho Studios.

It actually stemmed from the supernatural trend that many movies had at the time.

Here's the official word:

“GODZILLA VS. THE DEVIL”—After the success of “The Omen” and “The Exorcist”, TOHO tried to give the Godzilla series a supernatural angle. The 1978 proposal involved humanity’s sin bringing forth a giant spider, a giant fish, and a giant rat. Godzilla defeats these, resulting in a fight between Godzilla and Satan himself. Despite being a Japanese/American production with a generous $4 million budget and a longer 110 minute running time, the project died a quick death.

What's interesting about this theme is how it would work throughout most of the world.

In the traditional Western World (i.e. North America) there's a very strong concept of God and the Devil.

But in most other parts (i.e. Non-Western) it's more Good vs. Evil, and how this battle stems from within rather than some supernatural force.

In any case such a movie had little chance of being made.

Besides this bizarre notion instantly alienating most Godzilla fans, such a large budget would have guaranteed Toho going under if it all failed.

Toho is not known for spending large amounts of money on their own films.

Even by 2004 dollar standards, their largest budget ever was for "Godzilla Final Wars
" at $19 million.

Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla makes a Top 10 list


Extratv.warnerbros.com recently developed a Top 10 list of the most outstanding robot movies of all time.

Included in this list are "I,Robot", "A.I.", "Blade Runner" and so forth.

It looks like what constitutes their list are movie robots who are either battling for/against human coexistence...which explains why other famous Robot movies (Transformers, Star Wars, etc.) didn't make the list.

I'm happy to report that "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla" makes their list at #7.

So it's not bad. Not too high but not too low at the same time.

Mechagodzilla is a unique character.

What could have been a one-hit wonder turned out to be one of the best recurring villains within the Godzilla franchise.

His looks is iconic, very powerful and fearsome, and his powers (almost comparable to Godzilla himself) always give Godzilla a run for his money.

Of all of the monsters I want him and King Ghidorah to eventually be in Legendary's new Godzilla franchise.

Take a look at the rest of the list to see where your favorite robot movie stands. I thought the list was pretty well made.

Extratv.warnerbros.com: Top 10 Outstanding Robot Movies