Sunday, May 26, 2013

Pacific Rim is Coming...

Have you seen those trailers?

Pacific Rim is gong to be the first IMAX film I see, and the first 3d film I see. Yeah, I'm that technologically backwards.

I love monster films. Have for a long time. Godzilla is, among other things, my personal trainer. I own more films with Godzilla in them than any other character. One of the most expensive book I have ever purchased was the second edition of David Kalat's Critical History of Toho's Godzilla Series, 2nd edition. (In case you're wondering, the most expensive was the slipcased God of the Razor from Subterranian Press.) Because Godzilla films are fun to watch, and they also present an interesting history of Japan. As Kalat says, Godzilla is commonly understood to be a metaphor for nuclear bombing, it is also uniquely indicative of the Japanese experience. It almost always comes from the sea, like a tsunami. Under its weight, tall skycrapers crumble, as if from an earthquake. There is a power, and at their best a majesty, to these films.

I also enjoy Godzilla pastiches and homages. I've recently acquired Gorgo, the British version in which the titular monster stomps London. Yonggary is a South Korean remake. Each of these puts a unique national stamp on the story of the creature that destroys cities by stomping on them. The lost Bollywood version is Gogola, and I would love to find a copy of it. So would a lot of other people.

In the next year, two major American kaiju films are coming. Pacific Rim this year, and Godzilla next, which is the 60th anniversary of the release of the original Godzilla. I'm hoping that these movies will revive the viability of the kaiju franchises. I also hope they don't suck, like the last American version of Godzilla. If these two films are good and succesasful, we might have another wave of influenced films, especially in this climate of imitation over innovation.

Certainly the prices on certain Godzilla DVDs are astronomically stupid. Destroy All Monsters, released on DVD and Blu-Ray in 2011, just two years ago, is a hundred bucks on Amazon. And while Sony is doing a magnificent job releasing the earlier Godzilla films in both American and original Japanese formats (I'm a sub, rather than a dub sort of guy), their release has been spotty. Hopefully, the 60th Anniversary will prompt the release of the more obscure DVDs, such as Smog Monster, and finally an American release of Godzilla 1984 on DVD. We got Godzilla vs Biollante last year. Weird-o film Zaat just got a Blu-ray release, is it really that difficult to finagle a couple more Godzilla releases?

For the next year, I'll be intermittently (how can a blog that gets updated once a month carry on an intermittant series? Hell if I know). discussing Godzilla and adding a few thoughts I have on the Big Guy.