BWAAHHHHH!! THIS MOVIE WAS GREAT!!!!! FWEEEEEEEE!!!!
Alright, with that out of the way, let’s get to it, shall we.
Full disclosure: I have been a Godzilla fan for as long as I can remember, but I’m pretty sure it started with the 1998 version, WHICH I ACTUALLY LIKED. Sure, watching it now makes me cringe at the graphics, but it was 1998, what do you want? But the plot was as solid as a Godzilla movie is going to get, Godzilla himself was sleek, fast, and memorable. Yeah, it was vastly different than the original, but who cares? That’s the point of a remake. And don’t even let me get starting on singing praise for the show they made for Fox after the movie failed to inspire a sequel. SO GOOD. If you have Netflix, GO WATCH IT NOW! But all that rambling doesn’t mean I don’t love the original. Like I said, I love Godzilla in all shapes and forms.
*ahem* Moving on.
This movie was a weird one for me to go see. In literally all the trailers and taglines, I couldn’t figure out what the plot was supposed to be. It was very vague, which set off some alarm bells for me. See, generally, when not a single trailer shows us what we’re supposed to actually be looking forward to (other than the giant lizard we all are paying to see), it means that there isn’t much to it.
Turns out, I was right. The plot is very shallow. Oddly enough, that doesn’t detract too much from the film.
What does detract (somewhat) from the movie is the director’s dipshit idea to only give us 30 seconds of monsters at a time. CURSE YOU GARETH EDWARDS!!! WE CAME HERE FOR THE MONSTERS!!!
Ok, so here’s the point where I say SPOILERS AHEAD!!! GET OUT NOW IF YOU WANT THE OBVIOUS PLOT RUINED!!!
The story starts in 1999 in the Philippines, where a mine has fallen in and some scientists were called in to look at the weird remains they found in the pit. From the start, there was some weird symbolic shit that never got resolved in that the company the scientists were working for is called “Monarch” with a completely non-ironic butterfly logo. First of all, anyone who has ever seen The Venture Bros. will immediately think
And that’s never a good thing, because it’s all I could think when they repeated the name. Second, I wasn’t sure if they were deliberately trying to invoke the Mothra nostalgia. The thing about that is that I’m not sure how many people know about Mothra, even those who like Godzilla. I mean, it might just be because my roommates’ relationship to pop culture is about as intimate as a long distance relationship with a squid, but the 1960’s Godzilla isn’t exactly making its way around “kids these days”. Whatever. It was funny to me, albeit confusing, so that’s all that matters, right?
Going back to the actual plot, I’m not sure what kind of remains they were supposed to be, but they were huge and they were locked away with two egg sacs, one of which is empty, a big gaping hole in the mountain implying that something big and bad has escaped and is on the rampage.
Which brings us to the sort of main characters. In one of those saccharine openings that just screams DISASTER AHEAD!!, we see the main kid, Ford, waking up and trying to put up a banner for his dad’s birthday. His dad, played by Brian Cranston, is obsessed with some weird anomalies involved in the nuclear factory that he and his wife work at, and it’s sort of implied that he’s kind of one of those negligent fathers, but honestly, other than this one time, we don’t have any reason to feel like he would be, especially when we see him interact with his wife.
Actually, the entire first half hour is really depressing. I think it’s the only part of the movie where there’s any actual character development, which is damning with faint praise since there literally isn’t any throughout the entire rest of the movie. Cranston’s wife dies in a tragic and unexplained accident at the plant, the entire scene uncomfortably “real” for me. I was like “shit, is this going to be the tone for the entire movie??” and the question wasn’t really answered until after the first monster actually made it on screen.
So, blah blah blah, 15 years go by. Ford grows up, gets married, has a kid, joins the military, and is estranged from his father. Alright, monster movie checklist done.
List off a cliche and it’s in this movie. I’m not even mad about it, but it was awkwardly obvious to the point of letting me get distracted from action to nitpick while watching. Also, there are a lot of inferences to the old Godzilla, including a not even shameful reference to Mothra (aside from the Monarch stuff mentioned above), a bizarre foreshadowing to the monsters to come.
Ok, so Brian Cranston gets arrested in Tokyo so Ford has to go get his ass out of jail and gets dragged into the conspiracy theory that the accident at the plant was actually something else. Ford, of course (since we’re still careening straight through the cliche grab bag), doesn’t believe him and just wants to have a “normal” family. But then Brian Cranston convinces him to break into the quarantine zone just to get his old floppy disk research from the day of the accident, because he’s been monitoring exactly the same patterns recently.
So shit goes down real heavy real fast after they get arrested and talk some more.
The monster is able to eat radiation and emit EMP pulses that shut down literally every electronic thing ever in, like, a 10 mile radius at least. I call them “Cockroaches from Hell”, although to be honest, and sine I just took an invertebrate zoology class, they’re a weird combo of cockroach, tick, spider, and imagination. A point in favor of this movie is that the monsters feel big, and the humans feel small, and that’s probably partly why they’re all so insubstantial (the humans, not the monsters). Also, their roars are, like, the coolest things ever! I wish I had a sound clip. Guess you should just go see the movie 😉
So here I have to turn briefly to the issue of the radiation thing. Holy shit! These things EAT radiation! This is a thing that would make disposing of nuclear waste easy as pie and they never address it! Just call up Godzilla every few years and toss the waste to him! He’ll be happy and won’t destroy things and then the world wouldn’t have that bullshit about disposal of this stuff to whine about and we could solve the energy crisis! What the hell!? It’s never even brought up in the film! I DEMAND ANSWERS FILM!!
So the Muto, for that is what they are calling them for reasons I didn’t catch, flies off and kills Brian Cranston on the way. It’s never a good sign when the first thing I thought when that happened was “shit! he was the only relatable character!” even though he was also obviously going to die.
There’s some more talking and I think this is about the time when Ford encounters the military.
The military in this movie is hilariously useless. It’s basically like this:
for every monster in this film. They all shrug off even missiles like “meh”. It’s actually hilarious to watch the military continue to try to shoot these things.
Hey, remember that there’s supposed to be a Godzilla in this movie? Well, I forgot to mention that he does show up a little bit here and there in the beginning. They kind of do a little tip of the hat to the original movie, but it’s not a direct “sequel”. But they do basically say that everyone in power and in science knew about these huge radiation eating creatures that live at the bottom of the sea because . . . . reasons . . . . yeah, don’t think about it. The science part of this science fiction is . . . . well, it isn’t, but it sounds solid.
BUT WHO CARES MONSTERS!!
So Godzilla finally shows up after much mayhem caused by the Muto, and it is suggested by the wide-eyed scientist (who I swear is on drugs the whole time) that he will eat the Muto. He suggests just letting him take care of the Mutos (for yes, there are two) because then he’ll just go back to the ocean afterward. Which makes the stuff from the 50’s when they tried killing him the first time completely confusing, but whatever. It makes for cool visuals and a blatant disregard for nuclear bomb rules.
Ok, Godzilla is literally the best part of this movie. His general attitude is thus:
The tagline for most of the movie could just be “Godzilla don’t a give a shit.”
AND IT’S FRICKIN AWESOME!!
He fights the Cockroaches from Hell in Hawaii and then in San Francisco and each time, he’s the most badass thing on screen. Screw the main character! He’s fine, but he’s bland. MOTHER FUCKIN GODZILLA IS HERE!!!!
He just cruises around the screen, in absolutely no hurry to further the plot. He feels colossal, like he doesn’t really do much most of the time. When he swims, they says he’s moving fast, but I think that’s because of his sheer size because he certainly doesn’t move like he gives a fuck. He knows where he’s going and the humans’ deadline isn’t his problem.
So they all finally converge on San Francisco and there’s this really hilarious moment on the Gold Gate Bridge where Godzilla is just doing his cruising thing and stops for literally no apparent reason and rises up out of the bay just so he can destroy the bridge. It was like he was suddenly like “oh, shit, there’s the Gold Gate Bridge. My contract says I must destroy it.” and therefore does. It’s a weird scene in that they also try to cram a sequence of “main character’s son is in danger”, but nothing comes of it really, so it’s just pointless distraction from the monster the director seems really reluctant to show us for more than 30 seconds.
Seriously, I know you’re trying to build up the suspense for the final fight sequence Gareth Edwards, but the rest of us came to watch the monsters, and we’d kind of like to see them! There were moments of monster cock blocking in which (I kid you not) the entire theater went “OH! come on!”
So for the final fight, we’ve got the wife trapped in the city, the main character twatting around with a nuclear bomb (I really couldn’t even begin to explain that clusterfuck of a plot point), and Godzilla fighting the two Mutos. And when we finally get to see them fight for more than thirty seconds it’s like
YEAH!! MONSTER FIGHTS!!!! THAT’S WHAT WE’RE HERE FOR!!
But here’s the thing. The monsters really appear to be intelligent. Like, they can solve problems, as seen by the first Muto escaping the net thing they had it in in the beginning, they can discern what is a threat to them, like the military, they show some emotional connection to their young, which blow up in a Godzilla (1998) homage, and Godzilla seems to be able to discern what is trying to help him and what needs to be eaten. So he ends up being even more appealing than even the one in the 1998 movie.
Which makes the end all the more of an emotion jammer. See, he gets seriously wounded by the Mutos cause they gang up on him like little bitches and stab him with their sharp evil claws. But he still pushed through and manages to destroy them with his MOTHER FUCKING ATOMIC BREATH! But in the process, he sort of has a moment with the main character and a building collapses on him and then the second Muto stabs him some more and after giving a triumphant roar, he dies.
Wait . . . .
One usually has to go into a Godzilla movie made by Americans with the knowledge and acceptance that Godzilla will die. But never have there been so many reasons for him to not die. And they made us get so super attached to him by the end that it was actually like
Oh, and the main character survives and is reunited with his family and some shit. And they disregard nuclear bomb rules again.
Pff. Had you going there, didn’t I?
But seriously, it was actually one of those moment where I was sitting there going “But – no – you can’t . . . .” before there was a bit at the end where he sort of comes back to life for no apparent reason, but it’s like I didn’t even care any more because HOLY SHIT A GODZILLA MOVIE ENDED WITHOUT HIM DYING AND HE GETS TO GO OFF TO SLEEP ON THE OCEAN FLOOR AGAIN CHEERED AS A HERO!!! That hasn’t happened since the 1960’s films where he faces off against Mothra and Mechagodzilla! It’s one of the best feelings in the world and that’s actually probably the main reason I loved this movie so much. Because the minute that big, lovable lizard appears on screen, I just adore him to bits and never look forward to the ending where the military destroys him and everyone cheers
the tossers So seeing them cheer him on as he just sort of returns to the sea was one of the most heartwarming things I’ve ever seen.
And that’s about it. Fade to black. There was probably an after credits scene, but I forgot to check.
So that was Godzilla! As I’m writing this, I realize there’s nothing in the movie to make me enjoy it, but somehow, I do. I enjoy every over the top scene, every explosion, every monster sound, ever roar, every fight, and every goddamn time mother fuckin Godzilla was on screen. Hope you go and enjoy it!
Continuing my ongoing saga on the adventures of my roommates’ and my odd video game playing, we recently finished Pirates of the Caribbean: Legend of Jack Sparrow.
I actually first encountered this game when my sister bought it. She loves pirates and the Pirates of the Caribbean movie (the good one) and so getting this game, which boasts being able to play as all your favorite characters and . . . . stuff. I can’t remember the box blurb, but it must have been appealing since my sister doesn’t part with her money for just anything.
Anyway, we tried playing it and I remember thinking it was pretty boring. So we stopped.
Flashfoward years later to now.
I ran across it for two dollars at the local used game store, and naturally remembered it as being bad and had to buy it.
This motherfucker is an awkwardly short game for being so padded out.
We start vaguely after the events of the first movie, but it’s not totally based on the movie except for, like, three levels? It’s a weird game. We start in Panama of all places, with Jack and Will being sassy at each other and breaking into a fort for . . . . reasons.
The controls for this game are bizarre. It’s like they were contractually obligated to use every button on the PS controller at some point, so there are all kinds of things that you have to interact with the further the game and to get upgrades on combo and special moves that you will never use. It’s not even that we didn’t try to use them,
as I often do with upgrades when I’m playing on my own it’s just that they’re a) hard to use and b) freakishly inaccurate. There’s a spinning jump kick . . . . thing that almost never hits because by the time your character has launched himself in the air, the enemy has moved out of reach and there’s nothing you can do about it.
I dunno. Maybe there’s some magic trick to it, but I doubt it.
So Meggie was my partner in crime with this game, once again, and she had a blast being faithful sidekick to Jack’s shenanigans. Mostly because Jack could throw things that set people on fire and the sidekicks can throw hatchets (or fish, which are basically hatchets. don’t ask). The hatchets are a lot more effective (generally) than the fire things.
So, like I said, you start in Panama, and then are captured by the Spanish. In an effort to kill time, Jack starts telling a series of random stories about adventures that vaguely had something to do with the situation . . . . .
So you go through a bunch of random levels like Tortuga (fighting fat pirates that can bitch slap you to oblivion), China (fighting a giant demon dragon and a bunch of terra cotta warriors on the way), Scandinavia . . . . vaguely (fighting some evil ice Vikings), Nicaragua or something (fighting a Black Beard wannabe), most of the plot of the first movie, and then finally back to Panama to escape. As we go through the levels, which are stories Jack is telling and/or making up, we get to break the fourth wall a bit by dragging the sidekicks along. It’s actually quite funny. The sidekicks are Will and Elizabeth, but both are basically the same, so whatever.
Meggie is a destructo-gamer (a term I just made up. Trademark.) and is quite funny to watch, running around smashing everything that could be smashed ever. Sure it makes the gameplay longer, but she’s all like
and loving every minute of it! This is why she’s very good at the LEGO games 😄 It didn’t really make much of a difference for this game, but man was it fun.
When playing two players, the camera basically fixes position, which is really one of the few reasons any part of the game is hard. There are times we could get stuck just because we were pinned by enemies on opposite sides of the screen and then we would die.
This is a game that still holds onto the finite number of lives system, so if we ran out, we had to go aaaaall the way back to the beginning of the level!!! And some of these levels were LONG!!! Or had really hard bosses to fight that we just barely managed to get through with even one life left and then had another hard one after! Oh, and did I mention that there were five lives for the two of us to share?
So that was a pain in the ass. There were a couple of times we had to drop out of Co-Op mode and fight the bosses with just one person to beat the level! The most memorable occasions this was a thing was in the China level, where there was this dragon thing that we just had to run away from, but could not friggin get to the end with two of us playing!! So we dropped out of Co-Op and Meggie hoofed it alone and we found out that we were literally within five steps of beating the level!! Wat!! Lol! The other instance was at literally the very end when I ended up beating the video game without Meggie!
I wasn’t actually sure I was going to be the level, so it was a surprise and I do feel kinda bad about it, but she can always go back and beat it herself, right? Aheheheheh. . . . . .
So that’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Legend of Jack Sparrow. A silly game for silly people! It’s actually one that I really wouldn’t recommend, but it was funny to play at the time. We have since moved on to that Lord of the Rings game (which is disgustingly short and we’re almost done with it) and replaying the LEGO Indiana Jones game.