Rose City Comic Con #Mothra #Cosplay Debut #RCCC #Godzilla

Cosplay Newt meets Cosplay Mothra--Squeeing happens

Today is the first day of the Rose City Comic Con. As was my goal and plan I debuted the Mothra cosplay today. The hat is sturdy and the band nearly invisible once it was under my hair. The wings were a bit warm but very wearable.

We started off the day with the Kaijucast Godzilla VS. Everything panel. It was the best panel discussion I’ve ever been in. They showed clips from Godzilla movies for a whole hour. They also related trivia and lore about the filming of the movies and the actors. It was delightful. If you love all things Kaiju you should really wander on over to

the fine people who host Kaijucast, a monthly podcast about Godzilla and other Kaiju, were the one’s to turn me on to Daimajin which is a fantastic old trilogy about a kaiju that is based in myth. This year they were talking up the 1990’s Gamera, or as I like to call them, the good Gamera movies. Look for a picture of Mothra on their website at the end of the day today. I visited their booth (B5) at the con and had a lovely chat with them after the panel discussion. Also check out this fabulous Newt cosplay from Pacific Rim, totally squeeing over Mothra (totes in character if you ask me).

Cosplay Newt meets Cosplay Mothra

Cosplay Newt meets Cosplay Mothra

The cosplay today was amazing. I saw my first Yzma and Kronk from Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove. That’s a completely underrated movie if you ask me. This cosplay is fantastic too.

Yzma and Kronk

Yzma and Kronk

With Guardians of the Galaxy being so popular and the most recent Marvel offering I was expecting to see a plethora of Star-Lords and other characters. I only counted 2 Star-Lords, 2 Ronins and the cutest Groot you could want to see.

Dancing Groot

Dancing Groot

Star-Lord and Ronin set aside their differences fora photo shoot.

Star-Lord and Ronin set aside their differences fora photo shoot.

If you follow this blog you will, of course, already know that I consider the cosplayers to be easily half of the attraction of a con. I love to see how creative people are and I love to see the cosplay and the cosplayers enjoying displaying their efforts and talent. So without further adieu here are a bunch of pictures of cosplay from today at the RCCC:

The family that cosplays together stays together.

The family that cosplays together stays together.

Midna gets a glimpse of her future with cursed Midna

Midna gets a glimpse of her future with cursed Midna

Sasha of Cherno Alpha along with Newt and Gottlieb.

Sasha of Cherno Alpha along with Newt and Gottlieb.

The Joker

The Joker

Last but not least, you may be wondering how people reacted to the Mothra cosplay I wore. Well it’s a fairly obscure character so not a lot of people realized who I was. One guy even thought I was some kind of Pokemon (really?). The people who got it though were really excited about it. Their eyes would get wide and their faces would light up and then they would tell me how much they love Godzilla and Mothra. It was fantastic. I loved hearing their stories and I really am happy that my cosplay could make some other people so happy too. It was delightful. And yes I bought the soundtrack for the Godzilla movies and played the Mothra song periodically. (Totally stuck in my head right now too, thank you very much). With the theme song people seemed better able to recognize the character.

I will say that the folks of the Godzilla vs. Everything panel did have me stand up and show their audience before the discussion started and they sang the theme song for me. One gentleman stopped me as I walked across the lobby, “Mothra! Can I take your picture?” Of course and I was delighted to show the wings too. All in all, despite the relatively low number of people recognizing the character, I would say it was quite a success. I’ll be back tomorrow for the second day of the con and I’ll be Mothra again. K.

Mosura

Mosura

Godzilla’s Revenge: MST3K Bait If Ever There Was

Godzilla's Revenge DVD Cover

Godzilla's Revenge DVD Cover

Godzilla’s Revenge DVD Cover

Godzilla’s Revenge
Starring: Kenji Sahara, Machika Naka, Tomonori Yazaki
Director: Ishiro Honda
Writer: Shin’ichi Sekizawa

I’ve been reviewing all of the Godzilla movies in order at The Geek Girl Project and I’m moving the reviews over to M31 and Random-words. I’ve also been putting off Godzilla’s Revenge because it is, in my humble opinion, the worst Godzilla movie ever made. 1969’s Godzilla’s Revenge kicked off almost a decade of awful Godzilla movies. As I’ve said before: The 70’s were not kind to Godzilla. But they do get better than Godzilla’s Revenge.

So it is with a box of Swedish fish and a pint of beer (with more in a growler in the fridge) I am girding up my mental loins and pushing play on this movie. A movie I own more for completeness sake than because it’s worth watching. I make this sacrifice for you gentle reader, and it has taken me months to brace myself for this viewing.

Godzilla’s Revenge makes no bones about how awful it is. It starts off with a soundtrack that lets you know exactly what you’re in store for. This movie is about a little boy (and you know my thoughts about children in monster movies) who is bullied by other children. The name of the biggest bully is Gabera, which in another shout out to what we are in for as hapless viewers, is the name of the big monster that Godzilla must fight.

To keep things spicy there is also a robbery and whilst running from his little tormenters Ichiro finds and pockets one of the robbers’ driver’s licenses. Worry not; the soundtrack is rife with extraneous and ridiculous sounds so that we never forget we are watching a painfully bad movie.

Most of the movie is actually the vivid imagination of young Ichiro. But don’t worry if the effects aren’t enough to let you know you’re in someone’s imagination the Disney-esque music will. And that’s perhaps the most insulting thing about this affront to Godzilla fans everywhere; the whole thing is this little boy’s dream. It’s like the Dallas of Godzilla movies, only with super annoying voice dubbing.

Little Ichiro, in his imagination, with no one else around, apparently feels the need to announce the name of every monster he sees during his imaginary trip to Monster Island. He also seems to feel the need to mispronounce about half of them. Then again these voice actors aren’t the first, or perhaps that’s last to mispronounce Anguirus.

Ok I said that it being a dream was the most insulting part but I stand corrected. The most insulting part of this movie is the way young Godzilla was voiced as if he was auditioning to be Goofy. Yes Disney’s Goofy. And since this movie is goofy I guess it stands to reason.

So the real plot is the giant, possibly full grown, Gabera who looks like he might be Gamera’s cross-dressing brother and has the cry of a strangling rooster (actually that could be what his cry is) bullying the little Minella and how big daddy Godzilla tells him to pretty much suck it up and punch the bully in the face. Not really a great message for young monsters or young humans. I do have to give them credit for taking on the topic of bullying almost 50 years before it became popular to do so.

Not to be outdone Minella has a misshapen head that reminds me of some of the things kindergarteners might make with clay in art class and sounds like a jackass, no really–the animal.

There’s also a lot of stock Godzilla footage in this movie. It’s a budget movie on a budget. We see a lot of footage from previous Godzilla movies. Then we get to the new footage, hooray….oh, wait…dear lord the new footage is of Godzilla teaching little Minella how to throw a punch, well ok nuclear blast breath. Again, not the best lesson an adult can teach a child.

For fun they throw in a gratuitous attack on Monster Island by the Japanese air force. I don’t know why and they fly off without ever hitting anything or explaining themselves. Maybe they were getting tired of waiting for Godzilla to head into Tokyo to knock over Tokyo Tower and wanted to give him a little reminder missiling. After all, nothing says, “I miss you,” like a missile attack.

Godzilla’s Revenge makes us long for the straightforward monster terribleness of such painful gems as Godzilla vs. Gigan or even, dare I say it, Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster.

I don’t know what the makers of this film were on but their greatest crime was not sharing with everyone who sat through this awful movie. Children and Godzilla as a fuzzy, cuddly protector do not mix. Godzilla is not cuddly. Godzilla is not a friend to children and Godzilla will not march into town to protect a kid from his tormenters.

If you’re tempted to watch it—don’t. It’s billed as a children’s movie and even kids know this is awful. To be fair Godzilla’s Revenge was filmed during the time Ichiro Honda and company were experimenting with humor and humor is a tricky thing. But this movie, and I say this as a long time Godzilla fan; is just awful. K.

Saving Mr. Banks A Surprising and Touching Movie

Saving Mr. Banks Promotional Poster

Saving Mr. Banks Promotional Poster

Saving Mr. Banks Promotional Poster

Saving Mr. Banks
Lead Actor: Tom Hanks
Lead Actress: Emma Thompson
Director: John Lee Hancock

Despite my fondness for Kaiju movies: Godzilla, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Mothra and more recently Pacific Rim and the Jaegers and Kaiju from that fantastic movie; I also enjoy Disney movies. I’ve loved Mary Poppins since I was a young girl and it was one of the few movies my ultra religious parents would allow us to watch. I confess that although I am an avid reader, I have never read the books that the movie came from. In a sense I am glad that I have not.

By now anyone who has read and loved a book then gone with high hopes and expectations to a theater knows that no movie ever lives up to the book. Especially if you’ve read the book first. I was recently reminded of this when after falling in love with Hiccup and Toothless in How To Train Your Dragon, I ran right out and bought the books and read them, only to find they were wholly unlike the movie. Thankfully I’ve encountered this truism often enough to be more philosophical than disappointed any more but I had hoped to read more along the lines of the characters I fell in love with in the movie.

As a complete aside the trailer for How To Train Your Dragon 2 ran before Saving Mr. Banks and it was as breathtaking and amazing as those first flight scenes in the first How To Train Your Dragon. Once again I got goosebumps watching Toothless and Hiccup fly. I am sorry that they did not show the Godzilla trailer. Now you may think that Godzilla doesn’t really belong in front of Saving Mr. Banks but they showed two war movie trailers, including the new Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow (which smacks of Phillip K. Dick if you ask me). So why not Godzilla?

But I digress. I also like Tom Hanks so I was eager to see Saving Mr. Banks, even if I had to go see it by myself. Thankfully my doting husband went with me. Once again we went to the Swanky Cinetopia, where I had a beer and a delicious turkey club during the movie.

*Warning spoilers ahead*

I find that oftentimes when I really enjoy a book I elevate the author in my mind so that they are good and generous people, the kind of person I would like to get to know. That is probably a conceit on my part but it is something I find myself doing. So to say that I was shocked to discover that Mrs. Travis, the author of the books from whence Mary Poppins came was quite literally a female curmudgeon is a bit of an understatement. I was surprised that she was so disagreeable. Here was an author responsible for a character all but universally beloved by children and she was sour, almost bitter.

Also the format of the movie was surprising. It started with a retrospective, one of her memories and at key points in the film her memories took center stage, weaving a poignant story around a movie about the making of an already poignant story. And Disney studios showed remarkable restraint in that they made the movie about P. L. Travers, keeping Walt Disney’s screen time to a bare minimum–especially having cast such a high powered star in the role.

Emma Thompson was supurb in the role of P. L. Travers. She carried the movie as a tormented author and she brought warmth and humanity to a very distant personality. I never saw the Nanny McPhee movies, had no interest to be honest (strange I know) but I might go back and watch them now.

Everything about Saving Mr. Banks was done with sensitivity, subtlety and a level of storytelling that is rarely seen in movies where being over the top is so often rewarded at the box office. Saving Mr. Banks is truly a companion piece to Mary Poppins, with an epiphany and a touching change of heart that, while perhaps not true to life, makes for a very strong and moving story.

While I, personally, think Pacific Rim is the best movie I’ve seen in many years, Saving Mr. Banks deserves all of the accolades it’s been receiving from fickle and particular critics.

Disney’s Frozen Could Have Been So Much More

Disney's Frozen
Disney's Frozen

Disney’s Frozen

*** Warning Mild Spoilers***

I saw Disney’s Frozen this weekend in the swanky and cushy Cinetopia in town and it was a good movie. I enjoyed it. I was very pleased that the prince wasn’t really as charming as the prince always seems to be in Disney movies. I am pleased with the trend of Disney princesses becoming more independent and self-sufficient, less helpless and less in need of rescue. I am exceedingly pleased with Princesses who rescue themselves, a trend we can thank Shrek for starting. These are very good things Disney is doing.

Frozen is a beautiful story about two beautiful princesses and it is beautifully rendered. The ice palace is breathtaking. Princess then Queen Elsa’s gown is one of the best designed by Disney in a long time and yes I do want my princesses to be wearing beautiful gowns. Then again if I could I’d dress like Stevie Nicks or a princess every day so it’s a little bit of vicarious princess living on my part. We all have our vices.

I have to confess that I left the theater feeling slightly let down by Frozen though. Queen Elsa has real power and I think the Marvel franchises have proven that you can tell a story about someone coming to terms with their power. Frozen side steps that issue and spends most of its time telling the story of Elsa’s little sister, Princess Anna, finding true love.

Granted Disney did show a sophistication and wider examination of what form true love can take, be it between a prince and princess or the love two sisters share; and that is a welcome expansion of what “true love” has always been limited to. But Elsa should have been the star. She had a lot to come to terms with and her upbringing, despite loving parents, was almost abusive. Disney would have had a stronger story and perhaps the start of their own super hero franchise if they’d gone for it rather than falling back on the eternal and by now over-done princess finds her true love story.

Frozen would have been a far better movie if the love story had been secondary rather than the main focus of the movie. And as much as I enjoyed it, and I did enjoy it, I still feel a little cheated by the story that should have been. K.

Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove An Underrated Movie

The Emperor's New Groove

The Emperor's New Groove

The Emperor’s New Groove

Disney is known mostly for its Princess movies and the recent acquisition of Marvel, along with the subsequent Marvel Universe movies, Iron Man, The Avengers, Thor, Captain America and the like.

There were some other movies Disney has produced over the years and one of them really stands out. That movie is The Emperor’s New Groove, released in 2000. It is one of the funniest, most original movies I’ve ever seen. I think Disney hired an all-star cast to do voices, including but not limited to the late (and great) Ertha Kitt, John Goodman, David Spade and Patrick Warburton, and then told the writers they could write whatever (Disney appropriate thing) they wanted to.

The plot is strong enough to carry the movie and the voice acting is fantastic. The story’s main players are young Emperor Kuzco (David Spade) who is spoiled, selfish and privileged; his royal advisor Yzma (Ertha Kitt) who is power hungry, cold, and equally self-centered; Kronk (Patrick Warburton) who is Yzma’s latest assistant and Pasha (John Goodman) a humble and goodhearted peasant with a charming family.

Yzma hatches a plan to do away with Kuzco so she can be the emperess but due to a mix up in potions turns him into a llama instead. Pasha ends up taking the llama Kuzco home and from there it’s a delightful and hysterically funny romp while Yzma and Kronk chase Pasha and llama Kuzco through the jungle and over the mountains of South America trying to finish their botched assassination attempt. Kuzco doesn’t realize that Yzma is the one trying to kill him, he thinks she can save him. Pasha tries to get Kuzco back to the palace and along the way Kuzco learns some compassion and humility.

The dialogue is snappy and the action is non-stop. I laughed out loud several times. There is so much going on in this movie that it stands up well to repeated viewings. There were jokes that I didn’t catch until the second time I saw this movie. Also there are a large number of very quotable lines from this movie for those of you who like to trot out snappy quotes from movies.

In all The Emperor’s New Groove is a delightful story told well. The Emperor’s New Groove is a smart movie that plays well to young and old alike. It doesn’t talk down to anyone and it avoids the cheap jokes. I think it is one of Disney’s most underrated movies.