Well, God knows that I have weightier things to write about, but I’ve been run pretty ragged the last few months. Over the weekend, I took the opportunity to watch the new Godzilla movie.

First, the previews:
Maleficent. Post-modern deconstructionist crap. I will not be wasting any money on it, in any venue.
–There is another new movie coming out… I can’t remember the name of it. It looks like it’s going to be about thirty minutes of “this man tries to be a good father, but has unresolved issues with his kids” in order to attempt to get us emotionally invested in the next 90 minutes of pointless flying through space where nothing significant happens. Because of some man-made ecological disaster. In other words, everything stupid about the 1998 re-make of “Lost in Space”, without anything that was vaguely interesting.
–The Wachowski brothers have a new film coming out–Jupiter Rising. It actually looks to be very promising.

Now, for Godzilla:

Let me first of all say that this a thousand times, a million times, hell, INFINITELY better than the 1998 (coincidence?) Matthew Broderick fiasco. At least Godzilla actually LOOKS like Godzilla, and he does breathe fire. If you don’t know anything about (or don’t care about) science, the military, or the original movie Godzilla, this is a fun monster smash-up movie about the military using science to fight Godzilla (sort of). The pacing is decent, and there is actually a good balance between developing the human characters and watching huge monsters destroy cities (One of my favorite reviews of the movie so far is that the last half hour has no character development, just big monsters smashing buildings. Hello, that’s the POINT. What movie do you think you’re going to watch?). It’s fun, but it’s never going to be a considered a classic, for five reasons:

1) It’s a re-make. Seriously. Make an original movie, Hollywood.

2) Cinematography. The director had a really interesting idea to introduce verisimilitude into his sound-stage scenes by showing establishing shots with animal behaviours. This would have been BRILLIANT if had been done, say, twice. Oh, no. There are bugs and birds and dogs and coyotes and lizards and… Stop. Showing me. Animals. Literally minutes of film spent just watching animals walk around.

3) SCIENCE. Admittedly, science has never been the strong suit of the kaiju genre. But with the budget this film obviously had, and the interest the director otherwise showed in making this look more realistic, they could have hired someone to tell them that gas masks don’t protect you from radiation. That when a nuclear reactor goes into melt-down, you can’t just close a door and everything’s okay. I’m sure there’s more, but I’m not doing this from a DVD right in front of me. Gomen nasai!

4) The military. Okay, I have to give props to the movie for at least portraying the military in a positive light. This is a recent development in a Hollywood which has been entrenched in military-bashing since the late sixties, and a trend which needs to continue. But there’s a lot of stuff in here that just doesn’t happen. Military personnel don’t wear gas masks everywhere for no reason. Some Navy Lieutenant can’t just say, “Hey, I want to go on this mission” and go–for many reasons. Navy lieutenants don’t do EOD work themselves–that’s what enlisted techs are for. And oh, not every person in the military, especially not Naval officers, are qualified to do HALO insertions.

5) Godzilla himself. The director takes the tack of the later, more kid-friendly Godzilla movies, in which Godzilla is actually a protagonist. I don’t care which studio makes movies like this, it ruins the genre for me. The whole POINT of Gojira was not that he was some “balancing force of nature”, but that he was the fire-breathing, building-stomping, living embodiment of the destruction of atomic weaponry. Godzilla fighting other monsters is otaku-cool. Godzilla saving humanity? Please. That’s Mothra’s job. 🙂

Which brings up another (tangential) point: every time Hiroshima is mentioned in a Hollywood movie (they never seem to mention Nagasaki), the Japanese are really bitter and resentful about it. I’m sure that there ARE Japanese like that–not everyone can be happy about huge bombs leveling whole cities in their home country. I’m saying that Hiroshima and Nagasaki today, seventy years after being be devasted by atomic bombs, are thriving cities (in far better shape than, say, Detroit after seventy years of Democratic mayors). I lived in Japan for three years, and I never met a single Japanese person who was alive during WWII who was anything but enthusiastically grateful that the United States stopped the Japanese Imperial war machine.

Published by Little-Known Blogger

I spent the first years of my life in a trailer park outside of a tiny town in rural Missouri. I grew up to be a long-haired, gun-hating, military-hating, Presbyterian super-liberal. Well, perhaps the “growing up” happened later. While in high school, I was on the cross-country and wrestling teams, and actually won my weight-class in a State powerlifting competition. I went on to attend college on a Bright Flight scholarship, where I promptly became an atheist. I trained for a few years in Shotokan karate and Cheng-system taijiquan before training in my first real martial art, Hwarang-Do, under the late Franklin Fowlkes (later the Founder and Grandmaster of the Five Elements Martial Arts System). I married an older Taiwanese woman my junior year, got divorced in short order, and dropped out of college. After completing my AA in Psychology, I decided I needed a complete change of scenery and joined the U.S. Marine Corps (having early been assured that there was no way that a skinny liberal like me would ever survive Boot Camp). Contrary to what the Hipster Zombies will tell you, this did not “brainwash me into being a Conservative”. Instead, it made me a very unhappy, short-haired liberal, surrounded by guns and the military. However, I spent my whole contract (after schools) on the island of Okinawa, where I was exposed to points of view not dominated by the American liberal media. During this time, I taught ESL classes as a side-job, trained under some of the highest-ranking masters of karate on Okinawa, and discovered the practice of Buddhism. I also spent some time in Korea, where I got to train in hapkido. It was during this period that I came gradually to realize how stupid and evil American liberalism actually is. This was partly due to my Military Police command sending me to Small Arms Instructor school, which gave me more exposure to guns than I could ever have imagined—thus negating my idiotic liberal distaste for them. After the active-duty portion of my Marine Corps contract was over, I worked several jobs, from security contracts to operating a forklift in a warehouse. In 2002, however, when the invasion of Iraq was getting under way, I signed up with the Missouri Army National Guard, and have remained with them since, continuing as a Military Policeman. I am also full-time corrections officer, a member of the Anglican Church, and at one time was an Instructor Candidate in Dekiti-Tirsia Serradas Kali (until my instructor moved away). My hobbies (beyond blogging) include strength training, shooting sports, martial arts, creating digital art, and being a huge science and science-fiction geek.

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