Thursday, September 30, 2004

More Final Wars photos

New "Godzilla Final Wars" photos have turned up. These include shots of Rodan, Angilas, King Seesar and Atragon. The shots apparently came from a Japanese magazine. I don't know about the Godzilla suit in this movie, its profile looks kind of odd.
Also, since I last checked in here, a second band has been announced for Final Wars: Zebrahead; and a release date of Dec. 14 has been announced for the DVDs of "Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S." and "Son of Godzilla."

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Garuda gets some attention

Well the reviews are starting to come in for Garuda, a "Thaikaiju" film (I can't decide if that word is too silly or not), a giant monster film from Thailand. At Stomp Tokyo, they give it 2 out of 4 lava lamps.

For those viewers hungry for good old-fashioned romp-n-stomp destruction, however, Garuda may well be what you crave. The monster design is certainly unusual enough, especially if you haven't read many comic books, and he proves surprisingly difficult to kill for a creature with bones light enough to allow flight. (Let's just say that if you're a fan of the "villain thought dead returns" gag, you're going to love Garuda.) At fifteen feet tall the title creature technically qualifies as a giant monster, but don't be surprised when he does more damage to the city's inhabitants than to the city itself.

At Digital Monster Island, they seem to have a better view of the film.
Luckily, the film is made with enough style to elevate it above its Sci-Fi Channel brethren. While Garuda has its share of flaws, it gets enough things right for kaiju fans to look forward to more monster films from Thailand. Grade: B

Unfortunately, Rotten Tomatoes doesn't seem to have the film listed. Every time I search for it, I get The Dream of Garuda, a much, much different film. Here's an entry for Garuda at Ken's Force.
Interesting side note, Garuda is the first Thai movie to be shot entirely on digital. And another side note, if you're a China Mieville fan, you probably recognize the word Garuda. He uses it for the name of his bird people, including Yagharek, one of the main characters in Perdido Street Station.

New Japanese Giants

Japanese Giants magazine has a new issue at the printer. Japanese Giants is a very irregularly published, but excellent magazine for daikaiju fans. Here's what you'll get:

Japanese Giants #10
Commemorative Issue for the 50th Anniversary of Godzilla (1954)
64 pages printed on high-quality slick paper with color cover

Color wraparound cover illustrated by Hugo Award winning artist Bob Eggleton
Godzilla (1954)
* Making of Godzilla by Ed Godziszewski
* Staff biographies by August Ragone and Ed Godziszewski
* Original story by Shigeru Kayama - synopsis
* Who was Gojira? by Richard Pusateri
* Deleted/Altered Scenes
* Godzilla-The Radio Drama
* Japanese Film Industry circa 1954 by Stuart Galbraith
* Haruo Nakajima interview by Steve Ryfle and Oki Miyano
* Godzilla-The Score by Jim Figurski
* Akira Takarada interview by Steve Ryfle and Oki Miyano
* Rialto Pictures-The Uncut Japanese Original by Keith Aiken
* Oxygen Destroyer Blueprints by Bill Gudmundson
Acting in Tokyo SOS by Norman England
50 Years of Movie Making and Movie Watching by Neil Riebe
Profile of Toho Production Designer Yasukyuki Inoue by Oki Miyano
Toho Production Design Roundtable Discussion by Oki Myano
Mini Reviews
* Onmyoji by Bob Johnson
* Giant Robo by Jim Walsh
* When You Sing of Love by Andre Dubois

Featuring several rare and unpublished photos, design sketches, and quotations.

Order by sending check or money order for $10 ($8 plus $2 postage), payable to Ed Godziszewski:

Japanese Giants
PO Box 30078
Chicago, IL 60630

For more information on this issue as well as back issues, please contact:

Monday, September 13, 2004

Godzilla vs. Sum 41

Monster Zero News informs us that "Godzilla: Final Wars" will feature a song by Sum 41.
This has increased some of the misgivings Godzilla fans are having about this movie. There was a lot of excitement about all these monsters and old ideas being thrown into this movie. But now, people are wondering, how can this movie work? It's starting to sound like it will be one big mess. I'm not prejudging, I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of monster mash Kitamura can pull off. But to have a pop-punk band attached to your Godzilla film before a composer is named, well that worries me.
UPDATE: Tokyo Monsters has an mp3 of Sum 41's song "We're All to Blame" in its media section. It's the song that will be used in "Godzilla Final Wars."

Friday, September 10, 2004

King Kong toys

In other King Kong news, Playmates Toys will be in charge of making toys for the new King Kong movie. Playmates currently make the Simpsons and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys. It'll be interesting to see what they do with Kong.
On message boards at Club Tokyo there seems to be some doubt about how well this company can pull it off. But we'll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, I'm glad I have my McFarlane version of Kong looming over my computer.

King Kong site corrects unfortunate misinformation

So there is this pretty neat King Kong Web site called Kong is King. It looks like it will be good for news, but an entry on their The History of King Kong section has me doubting their credibility:

"King Kong VS. Godzilla" - 1962

Another addition in the "Godzilla" series, the Japanese certainly have their own unique, and fun, take on the great ape. In the Japanese version, Kong lost, but in the American version, he won.

I can't describe to you how much I cringed when I saw this. For those of you who don't know, there has never been, never was and never will be two endings to "Godzilla vs. King Kong." There is one ending in which Godzilla and King Kong topple into the sea and we see King Kong arise from the ocean and head back to his home island. That's it. I own both versions of the film so I can confirm what any good Godzilla fan knows, there's just one ending.
The worst thing is this bit of misinformation keeps reappearing over and over at official sites. It's awful.
Also, I didn't like their description of "Son of Kong":

After the wonderful reaction to the first film, a sequel was produced. Carl Denham returned, this time meeting a little Kong. The film was considered mediocre at best. (An interesting note: Both of these early films feature a character known as a "Witch king." Sound familiar?)

Of course, "Son" was not as good as "King Kong" (few movies are) but it was far from "mediocre at best." It think it's a highly underrated film.
As for that bit about the witch king, a reference to the Lord of the Rings, what relevance does that have? Lord of the Rings was written after King Kong (and no, I don't think it influenced the books) and the characters are totally different. Whatever.
Anyway, I hope the Kong news site cleans up a bit. I would like it to be a good place to go for information, it isn't currently, though.

UPDATE: Kong is King has corrected the entry on King Kong vs. Godzilla, which makes me very happy. Hopefully everything else is fact checked. In the meantime, it's a great site to watch for the new King Kong movie news. Check it out.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Gamera series to continue?

According to Monster Zero News, Kadokawa studios has mentioned doing a new Gamera movie. This is good news, although there is only one line in the original story stating that the president of the company is planning on continuing the series.
The Gamera series of the '90s was quite possibly the best (and certainly three of the best) giant monster movies of all time. Now continuing the series without director Shusuke Kaneko is a gamble, but we'll hope for the best.
(And for those who are having problems with Monster Zero hotlinks, here's the Web address, just paste it into your browser: )

Friday, September 03, 2004

Godzilla vs. Honda

Godzilla is shilling for Honda now. The first of their commercials is online.
Actually, when I first saw the title, "Godzilla X Honda," I thought it was some cheeky name for a documentary about Godzilla director Ishiro Honda. Too bad it wasn't the case.