Mothra Cosplay Makes The Rounds

Mosura-ya

Mosura-ya

Mosura-ya

After much thought, and many second thoughts I must confess, I shared a fairly unflattering photograph of my Mothra cosplay on the Mothra fan page. I should not have been worried. The people that run it are lovely and so are the fans. I chose the photo I did because it is the one with the best lighting and shows off the wings the best of any I’ve had taken so far. I look ridiculous since I’m trying to make the wings as big and visible as possible but that’s the beauty of Cosplayers and fans–they don’t judge, they love the cosplay and appreciate the work that went into it. Anyway it’s been shared on the Mothra page:

https://www.facebook.com/Queenofallkaiju

And on the Gabara page:

https://www.facebook.com/kaijugabara

on Facebook and while I don’t normally do this I’m pleased to share links to their pages. Kaiju fans feel free to check them out.

Echos of #RCCC2014 #Mothra #Kaijucast & Gareth Edwards #Monsters

Mosura-ya

Mosura-ya

Mosura-ya

The wonderful people at Kaijucast posted a picture of the Mothra cosplay on their web site. If you love Kaiju you should really check them out. Their panel discussion at the Rose City Comic Con was so much fun.

I haven’t had a chance to catch up on all of their podcasts yet but they are the fine folks who suggested Daimajin to me and I really enjoyed those movies.

Kyle of Kaijucast with Mothra

Kyle of Kaijucast with Mothra

As a huge Godzilla fan (you might have noticed) I checked out Gareth Edwards short independent film Monsters while waiting for Godzilla to get released on DVD. While the film showed clear indications of potential greatness, it never quite delivered on its promise. As a first film it was brilliant. As a movie, not so much. Gareeth Edwards ideas about women were questionable at best but there were scenes and suggestions of what might be that were just breathtaking.

When I heard that, due to the success of Godzilla, Gareth Edwards was going to turn Monsters into a trilogy I was less than enthusiastic. And yet, I am willing to give thin and the movies a chance. Godzilla was very good. Sure the human characters weren’t the best and the story wasn’t anything that will change your life, but it was a solid, entertaining and well done movie. There were scenes on Godzilla that were spectacular. One of my favorite was the one where you see the huge traffic jam with the plain down in the middle of it. Another is at the airport in Hawaii and the leading edge of the Tsunami heralds Godzilla’s approach. It’s brilliant touches like that that I saw the potential for in Monsters. You can just tell that Gareth Edwards knows how to put together a scene that will have impact and make an impression. The shot of the male MUTO diving into San Francisco bay after that boat is just spectacular, brilliant and the way the movie almost goes black and white in spots gives it that war-time feel that the original Godzilla was after.

I think as Gareth Edwards grows as a director the flaws will get ironed out and he won’t make rookie mistakes like in Monsters having a woman who is unaccountably unhappy to be going home to her wealthy fiancee but the man who is interested in her not having the depth of character or human decency to ask her about it before displaying clear interest in her. Then again if a guy who had professed interest in me, in any way, had lost my passport to a one night stand he just couldn’t do without, I wouldn’t be quite so forgiving. Just sayin’.

Those are the kinds of things that get in the way of a good movie. Just ask Kevin Costner. If people don’t like any of the characters, or have no reason to care about them (Water World) they won’t enjoy the movie.

With all that being said, I love giant monster movies. I love Kaiju. So despite the fact that I didn’t much care for Monsters, I could see moments of brilliance and the promise of a great director in it and I am kind of starting to look forward to Monsters: The Dark Continent. K

Going Dark for #Godzilla & #Kaiju Haiku #PacificRim

You may wonder, gentle reader, why I’ve gone dark the closer we get to the Godzilla movie’s release. As huge a fan as I am I don’t want the whole movie to be spoiled before I get to watch it. So as the internet hype has reached a fever pitch, I have gone dark. Rest assured I will review Godzilla, and if my review is not posted here I’ll let you know which webzine picks it up.

To tide you over, how about some original Kaiju Haiku? The only form of poetry I should ever be allowed to write.

Nuclear bomb
nature’s wrath
Godzilla

Ocean surges
City burns
Godzilla

Mystic singing
Tiny twin priestesses
summon Mothra

Kaiju surface
wage war against us
Gipsy Danger

(Yes and whether or not I should even be allowed to write Haiku is questionable, but here you go.) K.

Movie Review: Daimajin & Return of Daimajin

Diamajin DVD Cover
Diamajin DVD Cover

Diamajin DVD Cover

Daimajin
Return of Daimajin
Studio: Daiei Co
Producer: Masaichi Nagata
Writer: Tetsuro Toshida

So I heard about this old Japanese monster movie Daimajin at the Kaiju of Pacific Rim panel at the Rose City Comic Con. Now I have been a Godzilla fan since I can remember and I tend to enjoy giant monster movies. I like the kaiju stomping through cities and the countryside and I appreciate the relative lack of gore. I enjoy the morality stories embedded in the plots and I like the old school mad scientist vibe they have. So when one of the members of the Kaiju panel was asked what his favorite monster was that hadn’t been mentioned during the panel discussion Daimajin was his answer and I immediately took note so I could hunt it down. (Godzilla came up during the discussion. Of course he did, he’s the first Kaiju and the undisputed King of the Monsters.)

Daimajin was produced by Daiei Co in 1966, the same fine studio that gave us Gamera. While not black and white the films (there are three, all made the same year) have that feel about them and have recently been made avalable on a region 1 DVD through Mill Creek Entertainment. Although I tried to turn off the subtitles it didn’t work, which could be operator error and to be honest I enjoy reading the subtitles. In this case they were particularly entertaining as they had little to do with what the voice actors said.

****Warning MAJOR SPOILERS****

My first impression is that there was a lot, and I mean a LOT of plot getting in the way of the monster. Not that I mind a good story but I was looking for a monster movie. After thinking about it for a bit I realized that these stories seem to be patterned after, if not actual retellings of, Japanese myths, fairy tales or legends of some kind. This makes them all the more interesting if you ask me.

The first two, Daimajin and Return of Daimajin both follow a similar plot. In Daimajin an orphan taken in by a local nobel plots to attack and wipe out the nobel and his family during a holy ritual the villagers (serfs) perform each year to keep the evil spirit of the mountain trapped by the statue of a good god. Legend has it that the evil spirit was defeated by a warrior and entrapped in the mountain. An elder priestess leads the ritual and intercedes for the people with the god to keep the spirit trapped.

What follows is an ancient morality tale wherein the evil and ungrateful orphan murders the nobel and his wife while a faithful servant rescues the children, a boy and a girl. The priestess hides them on the holy mountain and for 10 years while the evil overlord’s minions hunt for them, provides them with what food and clothing they need. Meanwhile the villagers are treated brutally, forced to work without adequate food or shelter and with no concern for their health or their families.

Finally the young prince and his faithful servant are of age to free their oppressed people. First the servant is captured then the prince when he tries to rescue his friend. The priestess goes to warn the Evil Overlord that his actions are angering the god. He kills her for challenging his absolute authority and sends his minions, who betrayed their former lord for him, to destroy the statue. The climax comes when the princess is captured by the Evil Overlord’s minions and told that her brother and faithful servant are to be executed at daybreak the following day and that they are going to destroy the holy statue.

The princess tries to protect a child who came to the mountain to plead with the god to rescue his father and is taken captive by the evil minions. Once they reach the top of the mountain she tries to protect the statue but in the face of so many armed men cannot. So she falls to her knees and prays to it. All seems lost when the men begin to drive a huge spike into the statues forehead. Then the statue bleeds. Terrified the men flee only to be swallowed up by an earthquake. The girl once again falls before the statue and pleads with it to save her brother. Finally she offers to sacrificer herself to the god if only it will save her brother. She even runs to the nearby waterfall to throw herself over but is prevented by the child and then another earthquake.

The statue comes free from the mountain and marches down to the village where her brother and the faithful servant are to be executed. Since the sun is already rising Daimajin becomes a ball of lightening or magic to cross the distance in time to save the prince and his friend. He kills the evil overlord with the very spike that had been driven into his own forehead (that’s a nice touch). Then, still in a rage the giant statue god starts to head for the village where all of the poor villagers are.

The young child tries to stop it but falls right in front of it. Horrified the princess runs and throws her own body over the child to shield him. Daimajin stops, foot upraised and after a moment steps back. The princess pleads with the god to spare the people for they are innocent and as her tear strikes it’s titanic stone foot it relents, then crumbles to dust.

The Return of Daimajin is similar in that it is about a good and kindly lord verses a cruel and greedy lord who attacks the country for its riches and disrespects the people’s god. This time the statue is on an island and is destroyed by the evil invader. Once again it is a princess who has a kind and noble heart who calls the god to save her betrothed and people.

Knowing more what to expect, I found the second movie more enjoyable than the first but both are quite good. They are from 1966 so the special effects are not what we might expect from one of todays blockbusters but I saw no strings and the models were well done. I haven’t had time to watch the third one but I am looking forward to it. K.

Rose City Comic Con Kaiju of Pacific Rim Panel Discussion A Real Treat

RCCC Logo

Crimson Typhoon from the Official Pacific Rim Stills on Facebook

Crimson Typhoon from the Official Pacific Rim Stills on Facebook

Those of you who read my movie reviews on The Geek Girl Project, or even have followed this blog for any length of time, will know that I am a huge Godzilla fan from way back. If you read my tribute piece on Pacific Rim you will know that it was my father who instilled in me this love of giant monsters by watching them with me when I was a small child. I recently learned that he got his love of Godzilla from his own mother, my late and beloved grandmother. So it was no small thing that there was, for the first time since I started going to Comic Cons (granted only in the past couple of years) that there was a panel discussion on Kaiju at the Rose City Comic Con.

Godzilla was the very first Kaiju (strange monster) or more accurately Daikaiju (giant strange monster) and all others have followed in the giant radioactive lizard’s footsteps. So with great excitement and anticipation I attended the Kaiju panel discussion at the Rose City Comic Con. They specifically focused on the Kaiju of Pacific Rim, which is, in my humble opinion, the best movie of the year (and yes I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness and I thought it was fantastic).

There were three speakers on the panel: Kyle Young of Kaijucast.com (shameless plug), Jeff and Brian. These guys know their Kaiju. They even gave me a couple of suggestions for movies I haven’t seen and I thought I was fairly up on my Japanese monster movies. Kyle specifically suggested a trilogy called Daimajin that was recently released in the US as an excellent example of feudal monster movies based upon Yokai, which is the Japanese equivalent of our mythological monsters like ghosts, the Loch Ness Monster, or Sasquatch.
They had a lot of interesting things to say about the Kaiju of Pacific Rim. For example Knifehead was patterned after a Goblin shark. Also that the names had meanings, like Otachi translates roughly as big sword or that Raiju is a reference to a Yokai.

Their final word of advice for Kaiju fans and specifically fans of Pacific Rim was to follow Travis Beacham on Tumblir. Something I intend to do as soon as I have 5 minutes to spare.

Overall it was an excellent panel discussion. My only quibble is that there wasn’t enough discussion of Godzilla or other classic Kaiju. Given that Pacific Rim is A) a fantastic movie and B) they only had an hour I can understand that they couldn’t cover all of the Kaiju they would have liked to. Since the panel drew a larger crowd than they expected and with a new Godzilla movie coming out in 2014 I am hoping to attend more like it at future cons.

Oh and one last thing. Kyle grabbed a bunch of promotional Godzilla posters from the San Deigo Comic Con and I was able to snag one. Thank you Kyle! K.

A Special Post About Godzilla, My Father and Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim Promotional still

Pacific Rim Promotional still

Pacific Rim Promotional still

Today, over at the Geek Girl Project is a special post I wrote about Godzilla, my father and Pacific Rim. It will tug at your heartstrings and explain why I love Kaiju so much. I’m thankful that they allowed me to run it there as a feature piece today.

In other Godzilla news, today is the big reveal of the new Godzilla at the SDCC. I’m going to be at a brewfest but I’ll try to see what he looks like and get some official promotional pictures to post.

Buzz is Building for In Saturn’s Rings, Godzilla 2014 & More

Pacific Rim Promotional still

In Saturn's Rings

In Saturn’s Rings

The good news is that more and more media outlets are picking up the story about In Saturn’s Rings. There was a feature article on Entertainment Weekly this past week. Check out their Facebook page and give them a like.

Legendary Pictures, responsible for Pacific Rim (I can’t wait for Friday!!!) is also hard at work on a new Godzilla movie. Check out my last update on it here. There are some exciting new tid-bits being revealed for the fans following the film. They’ve been showing some of the behind the scenes action, greenscreen shots and the like on their Facebook page or at their web site Godzilla-Movies.com. They’re going to be at the SDCC, natch, so look for cool reveals there and they’ve launched another website Godzilla Encounter to build more buzz about the movie.

SDCC Godzilla Promo

SDCC Godzilla Promo

Just announced there will be a Godzilla panel discussion at the SDCC and they’ve released some info about that on their official site. I cannot tell you how I wish I could be at the SDCC.

Fans are already eagerly awaiting its release in 2014. I’m certainly one of them. Godzilla even looks like Godzilla from what I can see. None of that “not Godzilla” stuff that Paramount tried to get to fly.

PacificrimpromoFinally Pacific Rim. I am so excited about this movie. I’ve heard some rumblings that this was a risk for Guillermo del toro to take. To put a big budget into a niche movie is kind of risky but isn’t that what people are asking for? People complain that Hollywood doesn’t take risks anymore because they know that anything worthwhile involves some kind of risk. So are we also going to condemn someone with great talent and vision for taking that risk? I hope not. I suspect there are plenty of people who will see Pacific Rim. I also expect word of mouth to do wonders for it. Everything I’ve seen so far makes me want to see this movie more and more. I’ve got my ticket. I will be reviewing it. K.

Latest Pacific Rim Trailer–Whoa

Pacific Rim 4 Days

Pacific Rim 4 Days

Pacific Rim 4 Days

Yes, I already have my tickets for Pacific Rim in IMAX 3-D. I cannot help but wish Star Trek style holodeck viewing were possible for this movie. This latest trailer is amazing.

Everything I’m seeing so far leads me to believe this movie may actually live up to the hype. I have very high hopes. I also hope my copy of the novelization comes today so I can get started reading that and have both reviews ready to go by the end of the week. I’ll keep you posted. K.

Want to know more about Pacific Rim? Check out this Kaiju featurette #5.

I don’t know about you but I can hardly wait for July 13 and Pacific Rim. What’s better is that Guillermo del Toro loves Kaiju too and a movie is always better if the director loves the subject matter. Check out this Kaiju featurette for more, more, more Kaiju.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSH506JWC0M#at=55

Yes two posts today but this news is too good to wait on. Besides, tomorrow I want to post about my garden. K.