Godzilla 1998: A Rose by any other Name?

Recently, I have heard a common comment made about the 1998 film, Godzilla, which boils down to this: “If this movie wasn’t called Godzilla, it would be pretty great!” The opinion is depicted in the below video, in part as a defense of 1998 remake. 

Now I have already stated some of my thoughts on this film years ago and I really don’t have too much desire to rehash here. To sum up: I don’t care for it. That’s just my opinion, it is no more valid or objective than anyone else’s. I don’t mean to belittle those who enjoy this film – heck, I’m glad someone does! 

So why am I writing this? Well, at one point in the video, the speaker brings up that the sole reason many people dislike this film is because it is called “Godzilla.” For the record, he’s not wrong. I have been to numerous G-Fests and have heard variations of this dialogue a lot. Like a lot a lot. It was even the reason for the older post I linked you to above – I wrote a whole article about how the 1998 film is nothing like the 1954 original and should not be used as an introduction to the Godzilla mythos. 

That said, would I like this film if it was called say The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms or Reptilicus or Skippy the Super-Sized Iguana? No, I would not. Well…maybe that last one…

Continue reading Godzilla 1998: A Rose by any other Name?

Masculinity in Jackson’s Kong

My post examining racism in the 1933 King Kong gave me a new appreciation for Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake, and the changes he made to remove or at least minimize the unconscious prejudice of the movie. So much so that I decided to pop in the Blu-ray and give it another watch. While I’m a fan of Jackson’s version, I won’t deny the film definitely has bloat. It’s a massive movie, clocking in at over three hours if you watch the extended edition (yes, there is an extended edition).

That said, I always find that there’s a lot more that I like in the film than dislike and, even after numerous viewings, I’m still catching new things. This time – well I picked up on a greater thread that I hadn’t noticed before. Oh sure, I’m seen pieces, but I never realized just how much was there. Way too much to be coincidence, that’s for sure.

Now – I still don’t know what everything means or even how much I think it works. But that’s the benefit of having a blog. I can write out my thoughts and see if they make sense. And who knows, maybe someone will tell me this was all obvious and I was very late to the party. Let’s look at masculinity in Peter Jackson’s King Kong.

Continue reading Masculinity in Jackson’s Kong

Is King Kong Racist?

Whenever people ask me to name my top ten films, I can’t do it. How do you narrow down hundreds of exceptional motion pictures to a measly top ten? I’m sure if I thought long and hard enough about it, I could make it work – but I just don’t have that kind of time.

I am, however, always able to answer the question: “What’s you favorite movie?”

King Kong – the original 1933 stop-motion special effects film starring Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, and Bruce Cabot; directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. I don’t know  how young I was when I first saw it but I have watched it countless times since. It, more than any film, impacted my sense of creativity and my desire to tell stories.

Continue reading Is King Kong Racist?