Tag Archive | "Godzilla"

Godzilla = God Awful

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Newest installment of monster film may be worst movie ever!

 

 

The release of Godzilla filled theaters in its first weekend of release, but the movie left a lot to be desired in this author’s opinion.  An unexpected storyline and poor acting left this viewer underwhelmed.  In fact, the only redeeming factor of this movie for me was that I saw it at matinee price.

 

The 1998 remake of Ishiro Honda’s 1954 film Godzilla was not particularly well received.  As someone who saw that version of Godzilla as well, I can say that that poor effort was miles better than this one.

 

Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame is in this release of Godzilla, and he is one of the few who delivers a good performance.  Cranston is not in the movie for very long though, and after his appearance, the movie only goes downhill.

 

Without giving too much of the storyline away, Godzilla is a hero in this movie.  Yes, you heard that correctly, Godzilla is a hero (or anti-hero if you want to look at it that way).  How Godzilla and his nemeses came into being is complicated and doesn’t make much sense.  Conversely, the attempts to stop the destruction of San Francisco do make sense but only in the context of the weak plot line of this movie.

 

It’s difficult to describe just how bad this movie’s plot line was without giving away everything.  This strikes me as a situation where the director was attempting to be so creative and cutting edge that the plot line totally got away from him and became a jumbled mess.

 

The acting in this movie was abysmal.  Cranston was good in his limited role, however Ken Wanatabe, who in my opinion was very good in movies like Inception, The Last Samurai, and Batman Begins is very rigid and shallow in his role.  I would like to think this is the fault of the role in which he was cast.

 

David Straitharn, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in the 2005 film Good Night and Good Luck and was also a Screen Actors Guild Winner for Best Cast in Lincoln, was likewise nothing to write home about in his role.  In every role in this film, it appeared to me that the actors were never permitted to fully develop their characters.  This seemed the case with Straitharn as well as Wanatabe.  Again, this was, in my opinion, a fault of a plot line that created one-dimensional, cookie-cutter roles that didn’t allow their actors the opportunity to create truly memorable, multi-dimensional characters.

 

I would not recommend anyone see this movie.  I would give it a passing grad of a “D,” because it did have good special effects.  Yet, one would expect that of virtually any movie in 2014.  The best part of this movie was when it ended.  My advice is that, if you must go to the movies, see something else.

 

Where is Godzilla?

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Some say the world will end in fire;

Some say ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire,

I hold with those who favor fire.

But from what I know of hate,

I say that ice

Is also great,

And would suffice.

 

While still quiet young, I committed these words of one of our most noted Poet Laureates, Robert Frost, to memory.  Chilling on many levels, the poem resurfaced in my mind recently when Japan suffered major devastation last week, devastation that now seems to have no end.  Unlike those awful but oh so moral Japanese films of the ’50s, Godzilla will not rise from the ocean to combat the forces now plaguing her people.  There is no Godzilla; no deus ex machina — not for Japan and not for any of us.


Economists are arguing about the blow to Japan’s finances, the ripple effects upon our own economy and indeed, upon every other economy worldwide.  Environmentalists are decrying the use of nuclear energy and pointing to horrors of the past, chief among them, Chernobyl — and let’s not forget our own Three Mile Island.  But if one is not an economist and not an environmental scientist, how does one view the triple blow to Japan, a nation that has rightly earned the respect of nearly every other country across the globe?  One may seek a deeper meaning to this latest and most painful lesson of life on Earth in the twenty-first century.


A theory holds that the Earth on which we live is not an inanimate ball of rock but rather, a living entity.   This theory refers to Earth by the name Gia (pronounced Guy-uh).   It doesn’t take a wealth of intelligence to understand that there is merit in this supposition.  After all, does the Earth not renew herself each spring, and is her core not made of molten rock which, when released, reshapes our shorelines as it does continually on the black lava beaches of Kauai?


The Gia hypothesis, however, goes one step further.  It purports that Gia responds to changes, including subtle shifts, upon her skin (topography), lungs (atmosphere), and internal organs (the deep blue sea, the great canyons, and beyond).  And, she does respond.


If we drill for oil far beneath the Earth’s surface, do we not sometimes tick off earthquakes?  Hell, if someone poked a needle deep into your flesh, wouldn’t you react?


But this article does not concern Gia, per se.   It concerns the species, Homo sapiens, who inhabit her.


We walked on the moon, created technology that links us instantly with others worldwide, and implanted human hearts and other organs into the bodies of those whose own organs have failed.  We cloned sheep.  We read books from electronic devices rather than printed pages. We broke the genetic code.  We did all of this and yet, we’ve learned nothing.


We still wage war upon each other, if not in the streets, than in our own hearts.  We still assume that everyone is out to get us; that everyone plots to rob us blind of what we were supposed to have inherited as the most advanced form of our species.  We still screw each other over, time and again, and enjoy it (witness: our own government versus average law-abiding taxpayers, including our forgotten war veterans).


Life here has become almost intolerable.  Every day, we wake up to some fresh hell burning on our Internet browsers, and I don’t mean Charlie Sheen.  Ralph Waldo Emerson observed that “most men live lives of quiet desperation.”  Were he living here, now, he’d have included women in his observation.  There seems to be little hope, little joy in our daily lives.


We’ll send aid to Japan, and we should.  We’ll have benefit concerts, resultant CDs and DVDs, drives on public television, and of course, the Hollywood production of the events that felled a once-mighty nation.  But nothing will have changed.


It’s interesting that Japan is the nation now going through hell on Earth.  There is perhaps no more admirable nation.   Prior to World War II, she attempted the exact same thing that the U.S. was successfully accomplishing in the Pacific: gobbling up footholds for military stratagems and seizing sources of fossil fuel in order to run her increasingly industrialized society.  We didn’t like it; we perceived this as a threat and put a halt to Japan’s version of Manifest Destiny.  Robbed of a source of energy and viewing this as their cultural death knell, Japan reacted by bombing Pearl Harbor.  We reacted by destroying three of her cities via a force never before unleashed.


Instead of curling up and dying, Japan rose from her ashes, evolving into a force to be reckoned with.  Before last week, she had forged the third strongest economy worldwide, and she did this with minimal resources, including land.


So, if the third strongest nation on the planet can suffer such damage, what might possibly happen to the rest of us?  Clearly, no one and nothing is safe.


And still, we’ve not learned a thing.


Maybe when Gia decides to truly level the parasites living on her crust will we understand.  Maybe then, when our backs are against the wall, will we learn to share and trust.  Maybe then, we’ll realize that the Native Americans were not an inferior nation for not having had a written language; maybe we’ll realize that they were so much wiser than we can every hope to be.   Their way — sharing our resources and honoring Gia, who provides those resources —  will be our only way back to survival.


I wonder if we’ll learn.


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