More Like Re-Girth of Mothra ;) (Part 1 of 2)

rebirth_of_mothra_poster_1996_02First and foremost, Black Lives Matter, Arrest the Cops that Murdered Breonna Taylor, Defund the Police. Furthermore, Trans Rights, Love is Love, No Human is Illegal. Also, wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance–it doesn’t matter if you’re not at risk for COVID-19, doing those things will save the folks that are.

So uh, everybody having an extremely cool, normal time here in the year or our lord two-thousand and twenty?  I’ve been struggling (and failing) to get back on the monthly review train, and living in the middle of a hell shit nightmare garbage world isn’t really helping. BUT some slick new hardware (my very own first ever laptop!) should help me turn that around going forward!

But let’s not dwell on the fact that every time you make the grave error of accidentally paying attention to the news it’s a firehose spraying four hundred quadrillion gallons of boiling hot diarrhea directly into your open eyes, nose and mouth.  How?  BY REVIEWING A GOOFY-ASS, FEEL-GOOD, KID-FRIENDLY, VERY 90s MONSTER MOVIE MY FRIENDS.

I’m finally digging into the Rebirth of Mothra (or just Mothra in Japan) trilogy here on MONSTERS CONQUER THE WORLD! Reasonably enough I’m starting with the first entry in the trilogy, 1996’s Rebirth of Mothra.  I’ve seen all three entries, but it’s been at least 10  years now (probably closer to 15?).  Something about these left a… not-awesome taste in my mouth. The taste was so not-awesome that I knew I’d really need to work up some chutzpah to revisit and write at length about these films.

EXCEPT THAT SHIT ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT APPLY TO THE FIRST MOVIE.  What happened?  Did I change?  Did the movie change?  Is some other movie to blame for this trilogy’s dookie-riffic reputation (HMMM?)?  Can Mothra save us from the relentless dogshit hell nightmare reality of 2020?  Read on and find out!

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Don’t be a Godzilla: Ding-a-ling of the Monsters, Check out Godzilla: King of the Monsters!

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Holy goddamn, guys, it’s here! It’s been here for a little while now!  Didja see it? If not, go see it before you read this!

Of course I’m talking about John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum!

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Uhh, joke or not, you should actually totally see this if you haven’t yet. I mean I love kaiju shit more than most, but the J-Dub movies fucking S L A P. Totally pure, no bullshit, pedal-to-the-metal, balls-to-the-wall action/revenge movie paradise. 3’s got axes, horses, MORE dogs, Halle Berry with dogs, and of course, the universe’s favorite son Keanu doing all the Keanu junk we all love.

No of course I’m talking about Godzilla: King of the [MOTHER FUCKING] Monsters! It is… so much. The five year wait is finally over, and Big Fella is back on silver screens tearing shit UP.  By now you’ve probably heard a lot about KOTM–what critics thought, what box office bean counters thought, and you might have even already heard what my friend Ralph and I thought IMMEDIATELY after watching it.  But some time has passed, I’ve actually had a chance to process it, and I wanna REALLY dig into this mo-fo.  You know, do that old school MONSTERS CONQUER THE WORLD SHIT.

Are the critics right?  Are the fans right? Is it like a lot of things in life, something nebulous in the middle?  Did I ascend to the next plane of consciousness watching this thing?  Hop aboard the Argo, fire up the Orca and say hi to Kevin, because we’re entering the realm of GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS

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MCTW Podcast: Godzilla: King of the Monsters

godzilla-kingofthemonsters-japaneseposter-full-700x991Ralph and I saw Godzilla: King of the Monsters, so you better believe we’ve got a big, juicy, turgid new episode of the Monsters Conquer the World podcast ready and waiting for you! We’re on the Google Podcasts app now, so you can’t escape us! We’re everywhere!  But in a cool, fun way. Like cheeky prankster ghosts or helpful, centipede-eating spiders.

We dig into the great, the good, and the uh not-quite-as-good aspects of the film. We go frickin’ spoiler crazy starting at 14:50, so you’ve been warned! Ralph is as insightful as ever, but there is also a non-zero chance he may hail from a parallel dimension.  We also wax philosophical on the World’s Strongest Man competition, cinematic treasure Jason X, and  indulge in some extended Bradley Whitford appreciation.  Either hit us up on your pod-catcher of choice or click below and SMURSH that play button:

https://monstersconquer.podbean.com/e/godzilla-king-of-the-monsters-1559636457/

Digging it?  Liking it?  If yes, be sure to subscribe, rate us, tell your friends, whatever you can do! Anything you can do really does help, and you taking the time to do that means the (Monsters Conquer the) world to us.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters — Micro Review

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Just got home from Godzilla: King of the Monsters.  Here’s my spoiler-free micro-review:

HO-LEEEE FUCKING SHIT

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If you are reading this I can all but gurantee you will have a shit-ton of fun seeing this bad boy in the theater.  There is so much to unpack here, gang.  Fuller, deeper, spoiler-ier thoughts and content are on the way (after at least one more viewing 😉 ). Until then, check out this actual footage of me watching the movie:

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“Hahahah yay, horray!”

MCTW Podcast: Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster!

A1mC2faIfpL._SY679_Holy shit!  A full-blown, for-realsies podcast episode! I (a monster movie fanatic) yak with Ralph (a kaiju-curious new guy) about Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster! I’ve got the trivia nugs and industry secrets, but Ralph’s fresh eyes see a thoughtful, deeper meaning in the mayhem! Plus we frame the subs vs. dubs debate with the timeless classic Hercules in New York, reflect on the heart-wrenching father-son drama of A Goofy Movie, channel the wandering spirit of Don Knotts, get FUCKING PSYCHED about Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and more! Open the link below, slap that play button and join us!

https://monstersconquer.podbean.com/e/ghidrah-the-three-headed-monster/

Like it? If so, SICK! We’re gonna do more! You can find us pretty much anywhere you get podcasts (the iTunes store, Spotify, Stitcher, and coming soon to the Google Play Store). Bon appetit!… for your ears?!?!

Revenge of the Most Punchable Face in the Universe!

Godzilla_Anime_2_PosterSo the monthly reviews haven’t exactly been uh, monthly in a while, have they? A solid six months of the hiatus (starting last July) I can pin on getting, struggling with, and moving on from a job that was not a good fit.  The months after that are on me: adjusting to a new job, trying to make time for my people, balancing my other creative endeavors, and wrangling my stupid trash brain all left me without the normal level of chutzpah (and just, you know, time) I need to crank out reviews for your brain and eyeballs.

That stuff’s all true and accurate, but I couldn’t put my finger on why the holdup went on for so long after I worked out the job stuff.  Why have I had blogger’s constipation block? The big reason hadn’t dawned on me until VERY recently: IT’S BECAUSE I’VE BEEN SUBCONSCIOUSLY PUTTING OFF REVIEWING THE SECOND TWO GODZILLA ANIME MOVIES.

I wasn’t exactly crazy about Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters, so the prospect of two more full feature films in that world didn’t have me champing at the bit to do more watching and writing.  I’m the one fucking bizarro-world film fan that would rather write about stuff I love than dunk on shit I hate (which to be fair, I don’t hate PotM, just its cruel narcissist protagonist). Big ups then are in order for friend of the blog Ariccio, who Anime_Godzilla_3graciously hosted a stream of Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle and Godzilla: The Planet Eater.  Powering through them both on my own wasn’t something I looked forward to, but knocking ’em out with a bud was a pretty fuckin’ fun afternoon. It also helps that the movies genuinely get progressively better!

Since both sequels were handled by the same creative team as Planet of the Monsters, and since they all collectively tell one big, over-arching story  in the same unique world, I’m rolling my reviews of the two movies into one slightly lighter than normal article. A lot of the behind the scenes/deep dive stuff I normally do was already covered in my PotM review, anyway, so there’s just less junk to ramble about. That said, there’s still plenty of junk to ramble about! Put on your spacesuit, slather yourself in bug-dust, and pray for the second coming of Ghidorah, because we’re finishing this fuckin’ trilogy!

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Haruo Nakajima, 1929-2017

20663700_674725719385595_4713927030550513171_n.pngHaruo Nakajima, the man inside the original Godzilla (and many other classic monsters like Mothra, RodanKing Kong, and various Ultraman baddies) passed away on Monday August 7th, 2017. He was one of the best and bravest performers in film history, bringing to life one of the most iconic and beloved characters of the last century.

Nakajima was a founding figure in the genre, having played Godzilla for the first twelve consecutive films.  Nakajima imbued rubber suit monsters with an impossible amount of emotion, personality, and humanity.  He didn’t just endure the hellish conditions inside the kaiju suits (more often than not at risk of drowning, asphyxiation, and/or burns from pyrotechnics), he thrived, using his expertise to coach his fellow suit actors and choreograph the creature brawls that have thrilled audiences all over the world.  He was The Man of a Thousand Monsters, and he’s directly responsible for some of the coolest shit to ever happen in cinema.

Fans from all over the world have stepped up and shared their favorite Nakajima stories, pictures, and tributes online, so I’ve collected some personal favorites here. Click through to check them out!

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Happy Mothra’s Day!

mothra-410-x-611How the fart have I not reviewed the original 1961 Mothra yet? I’m correcting the fuck out of that oversight in honor of “Mothra’s” Day last Sunday.  Mothra is easily Toho’s biggest mon-star other than Godzilla himself, and that’s got a ton to do with how awesome and original this movie is.

This isn’t just another big bug movie, it’s a groundbreaking genre film that brought wild fantasy and colorful adventure to the kaiju formula and put the monster’s motivation and personality front and center.

It’s alsobeautifully shot, well acted, tightly plotted, fun, funny piece of classic kaiju fiction with some eye-popping action setpieces and visuals.  I’ll talk about all that, plus the scrapped (heh) plane crash ending (and the suicide scare it caused!), the serialized novel the movie is based on (sort of???), the fact that it’s a stealth King Kong remix, and MOOOOORRRRE!!!

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OMG GMK LOL BBQ DTF

Guys, I’m fucking pumped.  This month I’m reviewing one of my all-time favorite movies: godzilla-GMK-posterGodzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (or GMK for short). It’s a movie as rad as its title is long.  Directed by Gamera wunderkind Shūsuke Kaneko, this 2001 movie masterfully mashes together monsters, magic, and mystery.  It stars a deliciously evil Godzilla, bolstered by heady themes, spectacular visuals, engrossing human characters, and slam-bang oh-shit monster wrassling insanity.

Let’s pick apart what makes it so fucking awesome, find all the juicy little Easter egg-y nuggets, talk about how we almost got Godzilla vs. The Mutated Spaceman instead, and reveal which GMK star spent the 70s shredding in a funk band!  Kick over some little statues and absorb some souls, it’s time to All-Out Attack!

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Godzilla vs Mothra vs her split personality “The Thing”

1964-mvsg-poster-jon-2Easter’s come and gone, but in the spirit of the holiday (and spring in general) I just had to review Mothra vs Godzilla.  It hits all the right notes! A pastel-colored stripey egg, themes of birth, death and rebirth, more eggs, a giant pink humanoid rabbit shitting out jelly beans, and tiny singing ladies.  Okay, maybe not those last two. More importantly, MvG is straight up one of the best Godzilla films, and an absolute classic giant creature feature.  It takes the blueprint Toho shakily put down in the previous King Kong vs Godzilla and refines it into the now-standard monster vs. monster formula while perfectly tying together Toho’s two most famous beasts.  It’s also the first Godzilla flick to make it more or less unscathed to the States, with the exception of a schlocky marketing gimmick. Steal the Reese’s eggs out of your loved ones’ Easter baskets and cuddle up with an electrified steel net, because we’re talking about Mothra vs. Godzilla!

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