Much has been said about the state of the Godzilla film franchise already. Mostly good, but some surprisingly bad. There’s a long list of ticky-tack complaints ranging from how sexy Godzilla looked, the convenient and coincidental plot points (such as a soldier who just had a run in with Godzilla just happens to hitch a ride with a bomb intended for Godzilla and just so happens to be a bomb expert for that particular bomb), the lack of overall Godzilla screen time, the thickness of Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s neck, and the total absence of Bryan Cranston.
To what I say: What do you want?!
More Cranston and more Godzilla screen time would, of course, make the latest incarnation even better, but the same could be said for every film ever made (picture Citizen Kane, now picture Citizen Kane with Godzilla… see what I’m talking about?). As my mother always said, some Godzilla is better than no Godzilla. And, yes, we were oversold on Cranston and they way under-delivered. Woefully so. However, we did get one great Breaking Bad level Cranston monologue, which is one more Bryan Cranston monologue than most movies have.
Some will say that any non-Japanese kaiju flick is an unforgivable travesty, but I am someone who’s all in for an American Godzilla:
- Bigger budgets
- Better special effects
- Stars of Ferris Bueller magnitude or higher
- Destroyed buildings I’m familiar with
Godzilla vs Gojira
I am down with it on all accounts. I am even down with Roland Emrich’s 1998 Godzilla movie with Matthew Broderick and velociraptor/Godzuki babies. Whatever. It’s fine. I mean swimming across the Atlantic to lay eggs in Madison Square Garden, yes, who even cares that it’s far easier to swim across the Pacific? My issue with an American Godzilla (1998 or 2014) is the Anglicization of his name. Both the old one and the new US film have scenes with a Asian guy calling it “Gojira,” then white characters immediately calling it Godzilla. I mean pointless explosions is one thing, needlessly pronunciation changes is where I draw a line.
These scenes are basically there to say, "Hey, check out how authentic this is... yeah, that's a genuine Japanese guy. Asian Approved."
I kind of get it though. Long time Wolf Gnards readers will know that I rarely if ever spell anything correctly. I’m lucky to get too consuckative words spelled right, and I pronounce things just as poorly. I have what many specialists call “Mushmouth Syndrome.” But I try. I fail but I try. So, if I were thrown into a Godzilla type situation where I had to not only devise a plan to destroy an atomic fire breathing monster (or a frenemy of an atomic breathing monster) and whatever scientific jargon that entails, but I also have to pronounce a foreign word as well, I’d probably mess it up every conceivable way: goalirrrrrra, gordita, godzirry, gondola, Gonzo from the Muppet Babies, Wayne Gretzky, go-realbully, before giving up and saying Godzilla.
The new film tried to cover it up by calling it the “God” of “Zilla” or some such...
Authentic Asian Guy: We call him...Godjira.
Some Lady Scientist I Can't Remember: The top of the primordial ecosystems, but God for all intents and purposes.
...but that makes no sense whatsoever because as we we all know Godzilla’s name comes from a combination gorira meaning gorilla, and kujira meaning whale… or gorilla whale. Read a text book.
Which means this old man is whispering “Gorilla Whale” over and to himself:
The larger problem here should have been that he knew neither what a gorilla or what a whale looks like, and all the intel was suspect at this point. It was French intelligence though... ZING. Take that France! Freedom Fries! Freedom Fries! Freedom Fries!
However, I think my concern is if someone was saying “godzira” or “gojira,” I personally do not assume there’s two “L”s in that spelling, or even one “L.” And I wouldn’t then pronounce it with the two “L”s I had assumed it was spelled with. If you’re going to take naming advice from the semi-coherent ramblings of an old man, you might as well stick to it.
It could have been worse though, it could have easily been called Bighuge or Gigantilarge. Had an modern PR team actually been in charge of naming Godzilla I can’t imagine it being much better. Probably something like T-Rex II or Tohosaurus. I’m partial to Monstergate 2014 (which I imagine the CNN headline would be). And most likely he would have breathed sharks instead of atomic fire because sharks are cool.
Nothing can compare to the unadulterated joy of seeing the Ecto-1 real life. It’s as close to being a Ghostbuster as most of us will ever know. And there’s also nothing like the defeat of realizing that it’s the Ecto-1a.
I realize I should be happy with any Ecto-1, even an Ecto-1b, but I’m not. What’s the real difference between the Ecto-1 and the Ecto-1a? Everything… and not much. Mostly a little “a” on the license plate. I mean they’re both fake cars to transport fake Ghostbusters to capture fake ghosts. And they’ve both presumably had Bill Murray sitting in them (or a stand-in of approximate Bill Murray height and hairstyle, or a fanboy who vaguely looks like Bill Murray).
If you’re unfamiliar with busting ghosts or feeling good, the Ecto-1 was the Futura Ambulance/Hearse used as the Ghostbusters' vehicle in the first Ghostbusters film. The Ecto-1a was the "updated" hearse used for Ghostbusters II. The same make and model, the only noticeable differences being the digital readout on the roof and the sequel’s logo painted on the door. Of course, the Ecto-2 probably would have made more sense, but the Ghostbusters already had a helicopter from the cartoon and toy line with that name.
Why change the logo at all though? A sequel to a movie is one thing, but a sequel to a business is a ghost of a different color. Let me try that again... is a headless horseman of a different color. No... um... it's different. Forget it, what I'm saying is that for some reason the Ghostbusters as a corporate entity changed their company branding from a “Say no to Ghosts” to a “Say no to Ghosts holding up two fingers.”
As film goers, we know that we’re watching a movie and I believe it's touchstones like these that remind us that, “Yes, I am currently watching a sequel to a movie that I previously enjoyed.”
It’s like McDonald’s having a McDonald’s Part II, or more accurately Blockbuster creating Blockbuster II. However, I have a theory. In the time between Ghostbusters I and Ghostbusters II, it is implied they were sued by everyone, by basically the city of New York. Not to mention Stay Puft Marshmallows for trademark infringement. Which means they would have filed for Chapter 7 and closed down the company, and each Ghostbuster went their own way: Ray opened a book store specializing in rare books no one would read or purchase, Venkman had a late-night psychic talk show almost as good as Bass Masters (it’s a fishing show), Egon got funding for waiting room/puppy experiments, and Winston did something (that presumably paid, at least, eleven-five a year). Even Louis Tully quit his somewhat successful career as a certificate accountant (Proof he was successful: 1. He could afford an apartment in a fancy New York high-rise and 2. he had enough clients to fill that apartment for a moderately fun party) to become an incompetent lawyer. But I digress, the point is that the Ghostbusters were dissolved and “the debts of the corporation or partnership theoretically continue to exist until applicable statutory periods of limitations expire.” Or so says Wikipedia. Unless they could cover their previous debts the Ghostbusters would not be able to reform their company in it's present state. And if the costs of cleaning the city after the first movie are anything like snowfall in New York then it would cost 1 million dollars per inch of marshmallow to clean up. Not to mention waste disposal or building damage, the Ghostbusters just don’t have that sort of bread. So, when they returned it was not as the Real Ghostbusters but as a different company so as not to be sued for everything related to the first company.
However, they didn’t have to start a new company from scratch because Ray still owned and operated a small side business for children’s parties. This company was comprised by just Ray and Winston: two Ghostbusters or Ghostbusters 2. So, not only is Ghostbusters II: the Movie a sequel but Ghostbusters II: the Company is a sequel.
As always I am late with my C2E2 post… a lot late. Late to the point of not posting this. Although, technically I’m super early for C2E2 2015! So, it’s my postview preview of future C2E2 2015!
So, why no posts? I’m still recovering actually do to a combination of walking, germs, junk food, and walking. Pro tip: don’t double fist churros. Or do.
Bellyache + flu * baby / laziness = not much writing (Also, diarrhea but perhaps I’ve shared too much)
This year's C2E2 was fun, as always, and is in my seldom humble opinion the best Chicago convention yet it wasn’t as appealing as years past. Mostly, I think it was because the roster was so wrestler heavy. I understand the logic behind it, there’s a good-sized overlap between comic book fans and wrestling fans. It’s similar but almost opposite of the horror films to wrestler fan contingent. Strange how our circles run.
This feels like a classic Wolf Gnard’s Venn diagram… no.
Also, at the current rate wrestlers are dying (due to a combination of steroids, body damage, hard drugs, hard living, tanning for some reason, and green house gasses), wrestlers could become extinct by 2018. And that’s a conservative estimate. Now is the time to rassle.
- A lot of Harley Quinns and Harley Quinns & Poison Ivies – which is to be expected, I’m sure, it just seemed like an overly high percentage.
- There were like 5 different Iron Men. Do you build these suits, do you buy them?
- So many goddamn Red Hoods… and I’m going to say it, I’ll be dead in the cold, cold ground before I recognize a living Jason Todd. There’s a reason no one parts their hair in the middle anymore. If I'm going to take my time to call a 1-800 number to kill a comic book character then they better stay dead.
Onward to pictures...
Brilliant Death Star cosplay... and this is the same woman who dressed as the Up house. Meaning her thing is to dress up as pop culture buildings and as things go, I approve. May I suggest the Fortress of Solitude?
However, one thing did make C2E2 well worth it… and that’s, of course, Stan “The Man” Lee.
Too many wrestlers doesn’t matter because Stan “The Man” Lee. Super late post don’t matter because Stan “The Man” Lee. There is a finite number of Stan Lee photo ops left in this world, so when the opportunity comes up, you have to take them. My only issue was that right before the picture they ran through a laundry list of things that you can’t do with Stan. You can't touch Stan. You can't stand too close to Stan. You can't breath on Stan. All of which I understand because he's getting too old for our shenanigans, but it terrified me. I couldn’t even look at him because I was so scared my glance would break him in two.
Some pictures by Hey!Look Behind You! (Note: I did stand next to her while she took a lot of these pictures, so that should count for something)
The inner workings of superheroes can be a weird and wonderful thing. I'm not talking about what makes Batman cry or why Iron Man attends AA meetings (though both are interesting). This is more anatomical like how come Spider-Man’s web spinners aren’t in his ass? Or why does Power Girl have a boob hole? And while much has already been said about Captain America’s build (i.e. his chest that is nearly 6 times the size of his head), the eternal question remains: how much does Captain America poop?
Or, at least, I question it.
According to the 2011 movie, Captain America’s metabolism burns 4 times faster than that of the average person’s. This is why he can’t get drunk anymore and presumably how he survived in a block of ice for over 60 years. So, if he’s burning that much energy, this means he has to replace that energy with something. Most humans do it with food, so how many calories does that mean he has to eat in a single day? Or in oily abs terms, how much Muscle Milk does Cap’n America even have to guzzle, brah? And what does eating all those calories mean to his digestive system?
At 4 times the metabolic rate, Steve Rogers has to eat 4 times the average amount of calories per day. So, if the average is 2000 calories, Rogers needs to eat around 8000 calories. Which is actually 4000 calories less than Michael Phelps… fatty.
Or in other terms:
Or 80 Cartons of Muscle Milk
Or 127 Raw Eggs
But What about his Morning Craptain!?
If this is what Captain America intakes, what exactly does this mean for his output? Metabolism and digestion are unrelated. So, while Steve Rogers has to drink 80 Muscle Milks a day, we still have no idea how many trips to the bathroom this ends up being. There are two distinct possibilities though: either 1) his digestive system is as ramped up as he is, or 2) he has a normal digestive system.
If he has equally superpowered digestion and his bodily waste is processed at a higher rate then Captain America would have to poo between 4 and 12 of times per day (the average is between 3 times a day and once per three days, depending on the person and their diet), and these would be average sized stools. Let’s say 8 medium poops per day. So much like Hydra’s motto: if one head is cut off, two more will take its place.
However, if his digestive rate is normal, but his metabolism is increased up to superhuman proportions we may find Captain America poos once a day, but it’s an unholy poo. Those 8000 calories will all get displaced in one teeth grinding sitting. However, stool size is really more dependent on diet than the number of calories, so it’s more important in what he eats than how much he eats of it. If Captain America, for example, has a 1940’s diet of steak and potatoes every meal then this could be more like once every three days or once week! Given the weight of meat & potatoes and assuming that a normal human expels 50% of that weight and he goes to the bathroom no more than once every 3 days then that’s a 12 and half pound turd! Excelsior!
All of this is hypothetical, of course, the only certainty is that you don’t ever want to use the bathroom after Michael Phelps.
Simple math would say that combining Jean-Claude Van Damme with a Jean-Claude Van Damme yields two Van Dammes, but not so says the Law of Diminishing Van Dammes. The law states that as you increase the number of Van Dammes in any environment, the tolerance of Van Dammes decreases.
Not to sound bias but two things you should know about me: I love full splits and I love bad accents. Yet there’s a ceiling, and it’s a relatively low ceiling of how much I can handle seeing Jean-Claude Van Damme. I wish the world could handle more, but it cannot.
He’s just been in one commercial after another recently:
Van Damme Coors Light Commercial
Van Damme GoDaddy Commercial
Van Damme Volvo Commercial
These are all great commercials, too, and on their own they’re wonderful. The concepts are good and he’s good in them. These commercials make him seem like not a coked out lunatic (legally you see I specifically just said that he is not a coked out lunatic). However, when viewed together they become less wonderful.
It’s like running into an old friend: which can be great. Then having to talk to that old friend about their job and/or kids and/or nerd blog: which can be less great. Then running into them the next day: which is now terrible.
Go away “old friend.” *Footnote
With another Olympics behind us, much has been made of the decline in US figure skating. Everything from lack of competition, racism, and/or a change in the scoring system has been mentioned. To which I only have to say that a pipe to the knee never helped no one, Michelle Kwan, and everyone else is being scored in the same system.
The real reason figure skating has been down is because of the sharp decline in The Cutting Edge viewings.
Note: The dip in 1994 was most likely caused by our focus on the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandel when it should have been on reruns of The Cutting Edge.
This past Olympics I caught The Cutting Edge on TV once… once! For me to be in the proper frame of mind for figure skating, I need to be thoroughly brainwashed by a will they/ won’t they, opposites attract kind of love story. And I need more than one viewing to do this. There was a time when The Cutting Edge flowed on TBS every hour on the hour. It has all but been replaced by endless reruns of The Big Bang Theory, which has demonstrated no discernible correlation to gold medal or taste or humor.
It’s not lack of desire or training that’s hurting today's figure skaters, it’s a lack of D.B. Sweeney. A top skater needs to figure out that it’s not about classical music or rock and roll, but some sort of compromise of a generic jazz song (?) that you don’t need to pay licensing rights for, that’s what’s important. That’s what wins Olympics.
Lessons from The Cutting Edge
- The importance of toe picks
- To appreciate the smell of the ice
- Form or precision doesn’t matter, what matters is blurry jump cuts that may or may not be actual skating on ice
- It doesn’t matter if you’re blinded in one eye or you’ve alienated every person in figure skating, there’s always the next Olympics
- A 31-year-old guy and a 24-year-old women are not over the hill for championship level pairs figure skating
If you’re not going to show The Cutting Edge, at least, give me some Cool Runnings or Mighty Ducks 2.