Hey all, I hope everyone has gotten to enjoy Godzilla (2014) by now. I’ll forego a full written review at the moment (unless someone asks for one) until we discuss it round-table in a podcast. However, I will quickly state that, as someone who’s seen every North American theatrical giant monster movie release in the past 20 years, I think Godzilla fits somewhere squarely in the middle of a spectrum between Gamera, Guardian of the Universe and Dragon Wars.
In honor of having a new Godzilla movie in theaters this week, I’ll try to justify every news story as being somehow Godzilla-related. You know, because I can.
- Gareth Edwards, director of Godzilla ’14, made his initial breakthrough with a low-budget giant monster movie called Monsters. A new trailer is out for its sequel, Monsters: Dark Continent, which moves the story from Mexico to the Middle East.
- The Godzilla movie Giant Monsters All-Out Attack was directed by Shusuke Kaneko. Here’s a dubbed trailer for Kaneko’s new action movie Danger Dolls (少女は異世界で戦った, which translates to “Girls Fight on a Different World”) starring Rina Takeda. It’s supposed to hit US theaters in September. [via Scifi Japan]
- Godzilla designer Eiji Tsuburaya had a grandson named Hiroshi, who in 1984 played a TV superhero named Space Sheriff Shaider. Shaider and Space Sheriff Sharivan are both returning for V-Cinema releases, along the lines of the revival of the recent Space Sheriff Gavan movie. While original Sharivan actor Hiroshi Watari will be appearing, Tsuburaya has unfortunately passed away. Koichi Sakamoto is directing both films, more details at Henshin Justice.
- Dark Horse Comics concurrently released Godzilla comics and Masamune Shirow’s Appleseed. So far three movies have been made from Appleseed (two of them CGI flicks from Shinji Aramaki), and another Aramaki CGI installment, Appleseed Alpha, hits DVD/BD July 22. [via IGN]
- Much like there was no Godzilla movie in theaters between 2004 and 2014, there was no Sailor Moon show on TV between 2004 and 2014. Viz has licensed both the classic Sailor Moon anime (200 episodes, 3 movies, and specials) and the upcoming Sailor Moon Crystal (the live-action series is sadly not part of the deal). They’ll be producing a subtitled version and a new dub, and releasing the series on DVD, Blu-ray, and to hulu. Seeing as this series is both a beloved juggernaut of pre-2000 anime fandom and notoriously difficult to procure in its entirety, this is a heck of an achievement on Viz’s part and some of the most exciting licensing news of the year.
- Part of the impetus for the creation of the original Godzilla was the successful re-release of King Kong. Kong stop-motion effects wizard Willis O’brien also worked on The Black Scorpion, which, like two of the Godzilla movies, was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Now the MST3K episode featuring The Black Scorpion (season 1 episode 13) is coming to home video as part of Shout Factory‘s MST3K Volume XXX collection (nothing pornographic, it’s just the 30th one!). Don’t hold your breath to ever see the MST3K Godzilla episodes re-released, though!
- Godzilla was in a two-part Dr. Pepper commercial in 1985, showing that multi-part giant monster shorts can sell soft drinks. To that end, I present the Japanese Pepsi Nex Zero x Momotaro campaign:
- Much like Godzilla Island, Ultraman Ginga is all about selling a Bandai toy line by using the vinyl monster figures as actual characters. Here’s a trailer for the second season Ultraman Ginga S:
- Have a 24″ Godzilla toy and want something else in scale with it? Consider the new line of 1.5 cm tall Kamen Rider Micro figures from Banpresto! The 1/140 scale figures are released in Japan today, and the first wave has Kuuga, Ryuki, Blade, Kabuto, Kiva, W, Fourze, and Gaim, with 24 more planned for release in the next two months. [via ANN]
- Godzilla costumes were recycled for use in the 10th episode of Ultraman (among other Toho kaiju costumes used in other episodes). If you want to watch the original Ultraman, you now have one more option of a way to do so, as Mill Creek Entertainment has launched a channel for Roku called Iron Fist TV. It’s $4.99 per month to watch Ultraman, Super Robot Red Baron, Iron King, the Daimajin trilogy, the 90’s Gamera trilogy, and martial arts stuff like Fight Dragon and a lot of kung fu movies. Of course, Mill Creek’s DVDs are dirt cheap, so it might be more economical to just buy them, unless you plan to watch 150 episodes in one month or something. [via Scifi Japan]
On to actual Godzilla stuff…
- IDW’s Godzilla comic miniseries have by and large been much more interesting than their ongoing, and it appears that their most recently announced mini, Godzilla: Cataclysm, will continue the trend. Written by The Sixth Gun‘s Cullen Bunn with art by Dave Wachter, it’s set in a post-apocalypse caused by kaiju, a neat take which has not been done with Godzilla before. The series starts in August.
- Someone put Godzilla and Mechagodzilla in Skyrim this week [via ANN]
- James Rolfe’s Cinemassacre just had a nice look at Zone Fighter. Seriously, someone license that show. Media Blasters? Discotek? Shout Factory? Please?
- The 2014 Godzilla is also getting MonsterArts treatment. Hope the MUTOs do as well! [via Bluefin]
- Lastly, this is largely accurate: