Lindsey Patterson writes: Japan has made a bold move, making Godzilla an official resident. It’s unknown if Godzilla sightings will be a daily occurrence, however, many local businesses wouldn’t mind. It’s believed by many that fortune follows any place that is destroyed in a Godzilla film. Hopefully, they’re providing room and board for him as well because nobody wants to rent to a monster that’s always destroying cities. There has been no comment from Godzilla’s new neighbors but it’s suspected that his destructive life has been left behind, only to be utilized for his film career. Making Godzilla an official resident of Japan could be seen as claiming Godzilla, their own creation, and letting the United States know that they are only temporarily borrowing the idea for a couple of movies.
Born in 1954, it’s taken long enough for his residency paperwork to go through. Shinjuku also made copies of Godzilla’s residency plaque, for the first 3,000 fans that demanded proof of his residency.
The plaque of Godzilla’s residency reads:
Address: Shinjuku-ku, Kabuki-cho, 1-19-1
Date of birth: April 9, 1954
Date of becoming a Shinjuku resident: April 9, 2015
Reason for special residency: Promoting the entertainment of and watching over the Kabuki-cho neighborhood and drawing visitors from around the globe in the form of the Godzilla head built atop the Shinjuku TOHO Building.
Previous visits to Shinjuku Ward: 3 times; Godzilla (1984), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah(1991), Godzilla 2000 Millennium (1999)”
Shinjuku, a neighborhood in Tokyo, is home to Toho Cinemas. Toho Cinemas, the company that makes the Godzilla movies, erected a giant Godzilla head on their building, which is sure to make for some amazing Japan tour pictures. It is complete with glowing eyes and claws, making it stand out against the night sky. Not only is there a giant Godzilla head, but it’s animated as well. He roars and comes equipped with Atomic breath, too. Soon after the Godzilla head was erected, a ceremony was held, naming Godzilla the local Tourism Ambassador for the area and even awarded a plaque of appreciation. Surely, Godzilla plays an active role on day-to-day lives in the area. Japan tour guides won’t be complaining either. It’s likely that assigning Godzilla these new responsibilities will ensure higher tourism rates for the Shinjuku area, and possibly all of Japan.
It’s unknown if this move is related to the impending release of The first Japanese Godzilla movie in 12 years, but it’s likely that it is. Toho is planning on releasing the new Godzilla movie throughout Japan in 2016. It will be the first Japan produced Godzilla film since 2004 and should be expected to be a huge hit. The United States is planning an American Godzilla movie, to be released in 2018, it’s second attempt at taming the monster that Japan has perfected. The American Godzilla film did create a resurgence in fan support, making 3.2 billion yen ($26 million USD) in Japan alone and a whopping 57 billion yen ($470 million USD) worldwide. Toho is quoted as saying that they will be making “a film that will not bow down to the Hollywood film,” and is expecting to blow fans away graphics made possible by more recent technological advances. It isn’t surprising that Toho is not planning to link the new Japanese Godzilla film to the one made in the United States. The new Japanese Godzilla will stand alone. Does this mean that the cheesy style of the old Godzilla movies will be lost forever? Maybe. The styling of the new movies has not been released but, taking all things into consideration, fans will likely have to revisit their old favorites if they desire the original Japanese Godzilla feel.
[Image by Flickr]
It’s understandable why Godzilla is so dear to Japan. He is the embodiment of many historical moments that have effected Japan. He symbolizes the feelings that Japan had after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, being a mutation caused by nuclear testing in the Pacific. Despite the serious undertones of his origin, Godzilla has received several awards, including the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award and a star in Hollywood. It’s no wonder that’ during his residency and Ambassador ceremony, it was said that he is “the pride of Japan.
It’s unknown how much Godzilla’s salary has been effected by becoming Tourism Ambassador but he must be making movie star wages in Japan and the United States. Surely, he will be a lot busier this day, making movies, attending ceremonies, and possibly making the occasional appearance for Japan tourists, because why would anybody make a trip to Japan if seeing the great Godzilla isn’t a guarantee, right?
Like many great things, it all begins with an ape.
Like many great things, it all begins with an ape. Earlier cinema may have included some oversized spectacles in the past, but it was the arrival of King Kong that created a whole new genre of horror—the giant monster movie. A smash success, Kong had few imitators until Ray Harryhausen, a protégé of Kong Special Effects master Willis O’Brien, adapted Ray Bradbury‘s The Lighthouse and brought forth The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (included in this earlier edition of our “31 Days of Horror” series).
Now the giant monster genie was truly out of the bottle, where it soon spawned parallel veins of monster movies. In the States, we explored our Cold War anxiety with a series of atom age monstrosities, while in Japan filmmakers used Godzilla and his fellow Kaiju (“strange beast”) to initially explore the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki before taking a ’60s super heroic turn. And now, with the recent announcement of 2020’s Godzilla vs. Kong from Legendary and Warner Bros., those two veins become one again!
This groundbreaking achievement in movie-making is not just a supreme icon in the realms of the films of the fantastic, it is rightly regarded as one of the best movies of all time, period. On a mysterious and dangerous island, a film producer captures a giant ape and brings him back to New York in the hopes of capitalizing on his prize.
Released the same year as King Kong, sequel Son of Kong is a tribute to the prodigious skills of Willis O’Brien and company. The film opens on the day after King Kong fell, and Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong), is facing financial ruin. Fleeing back to the South Pacific, Denham meets Hilda Peterson (Helen Mack), and the two find themselves again stranded on Skull Island, where Denham finds an unlikely, lovable ally in the Son of Kong. This lost treasure is coming to Blu-ray on October 27, both on its own or as part of Warner Home Video’s new Special Effects Collection.
Lightning struck again when the team behind King Kong reunited to create another towering ape: Mr. Joseph Young. This simian may be shorter, but the SFX are just as Kong-sized. A slick nightclub owner (King Kong veteran Robert Armstrong) discovers the giant ape frolicking in Africa as the beloved pet of a young girl (Terry Moore). He brings both to Hollywood as a floor-show sensation, until some no-goods ply Joe with booze and the blitzed behemoth goes bonkers. Available on Blu-ray October 27, either on its own or in Warner Home Video’s new Special Effects Collection.
After The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms proved to be an enormous breakout success for Warner Bros., ever-capable director Gordon Douglas was tasked with delivering up “another Beast.” Although marketed in a similar fashion, the film that Douglas and his team delivered ended up being a whole other sort of giant monster movie—and an even bigger success. Part police procedural, part character drama, part military, Them! is 100% a Warner Bros. picture of the 1950s—and its stature only increases with age (no wonder it makes its Blu-ray debut October 27 and also appears on the Special Effects Collection Blu-ray set). Starring James Whitmore, James Arness and Edmund Gwenn, Them! begins in New Mexico with a child wandering in shock, a ransacked general store, and a battered corpse full of enough formic acid to kill 20 men. It ends with an epic struggle in the 700 miles of storm drains under Los Angeles.
A lean budget goes a long way when the master of movie miracles, Willis O’Brien(King Kong), is on hand to deliver up the SFX. After unexpected seismic activity unleashes a swarm of stupendous scorpions from the bowels of the earth, a pair of geologists leads the vanguard tasked with dispatching them back. Co-starring Richard Denning (Creature from the Black Lagoon) and pin-up queen Mara Corday (Tarantula).
The horrors of the Atomic Age threaten Britain when thousands of lifeless fish wash up on its shores and fishermen are found dead at sea. Two scientists investigating these mysteries discover something far more frightening than their worst nightmares: a giant, radioactive sea creature horribly mutated by the effects of radiation staggers from beneath the ocean depths bringing death to every living thing in its path. Even worse, they realize the monster is heading for London! Read the rest of this entry »
The Yomiuri Shimbun reports: Godzilla is playing a leading role again — this time as a tourist attraction in the Kabukicho district of Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, where the monster is working to resurrect the area’s reputation as a film hub.
“The 12-meter-high Godzilla head is a centerpiece of the building. The sculpture is installed 52 meters above ground level — matching the height of the original monster that appeared in the first film in 1954.”
The 30-story Shinjuku Toho building opened Friday in Kabukicho on the site of the former Shinjuku Koma Stadium theater. Thanks to the installation of a colossal sculpture of Godzilla’s head, the monster himself appears to be hovering over a terrace on the eighth floor. The new building houses a fancy movie theater and a hotel with rooms from which Godzilla can be observed close-up.
Kabukicho shopkeepers, restaurant owners and other business operators expect the new building to help reinvigorate the district as a center for cinema lovers. “We’ll do our best to make Kabukicho a safe, secure place,” said Mototsugu Katagiri, the 66-year-old head of the district’s commerce association, at a dedication ceremony Thursday.
Kabukicho was formerly home to more than a dozen movie theaters, but that number has dwindled as fewer people have been going to the cinema. Shinjuku Milano Theater was shuttered at the end of last year, leaving the district without a single movie house.
The Shinjuku Toho building was constructed on the site of the former Shinjuku Koma Stadium theater, which closed in 2008. The new facility features a hotel and a movie complex.
With 12 screens and 2,347 seats, Toho Cinemas Shinjuku occupies the third to sixth floors. The theater features deluxe seats equipped with marble tray tables and power recliners. Read the rest of this entry »
Billiken Godzilla, 1954 (Model Kit Box Art)
TOKYO — Mark Schilling reports: Ten years after “Godzilla: Final Wars,” the last Toho Godzilla movie, trampled across the screen, the Japanese studio is gearing up to make another film featuring its iconic character.
The movie is scheduled to begin production in the summer of 2015 and bow theatrically in 2016, Toho sources have revealed. Details, including director and cast, have yet to be announced.
The inspiration is the success of Gareth Edward’s 2014 “Godzilla,” which earned $525 million worldwide and JPY3.2 billion ($26 million) in Japan, with Toho and Warner Bros. Japan co-distributing.
Toho has launched what it calls the Godzilla Strategic Conference (Godzi-Con), a committee of studio executives and directors whose aim is to reboot the Godzilla brand, including the new “Godzilla” pic. Read the rest of this entry »
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) May 14, 2014
One of the benefits of subscribing to Jonah Goldberg‘s G-File is the pleasure of scrolling down to the bottom of his informal collection of weekly thoughts, essays, opinions, wisecracks, dog tales, and think tank coffee break items, to get to the sugary dessert at the end: His links. ‘Various & Sundry’. I sometimes borrow from this list because there’s always better stuff in his browser history, even on a slow news week, than there is in mine, any week. Where he gets this stuff, who knows. Maybe those NRO guys collect and share items from procrastination browsing, tweets, emails, post-it notes on the medicine cabinet, bartenders, cab drivers…
Instead of posting relevant material from the main course of the weekly edition of Jonah’s G-File, I’m cheating, skipping right to the dessert, and sharing it here:
Various and Sundry:
I’d like to see what she’d do if a squirrel tried this.
Who knew the faces of Olympic figure skating could be so creepy?
This, however, is pretty cool: view from on top of an Olympic ski jump.
Another reason to like cows: They dislike Euro-club music. Cows make more milk when listening to slow jams.
The favorite books of all 44 presidents of the US.
Candle company releases manly musks like gasoline, wet grass. That’s fine, but I want to copyright my term for man-smell: “manbrosia.”
If I wasn’t on a low-carb diet, I would so try to beat this. Man eats four Chipotle burritos in three minutes.