Thursday, June 19, 2014

American Godzilla is a Fatty!! ゴジラでぶだよ!! OR Godzilla: God of War

No matter what you do, some just won't be satisfied.  "Fat Godzilla"  was reaction I heard from a Japanese friend who just saw pictures of the revised Hollywood version of Godzilla.  A lot better than "Fake Godzilla".  A reference to the 1998 American attempt at Godzilla directed by Roland Emmerich.  Japanese Godzilla (or Gojira /ゴジラ in Japanese)  fans don't even acknowledge that version as it's referred to as "Zilla".    So, Hollywood must be making progress.

Asking which was his favorite version of Godzilla, (there have been so many) I was surprised to hear, "The first Godzilla."  ゴジラ / Godzilla (Toho 1954).  He said that war was still fresh in the minds of Japanese in 1954, as World War II was only nine years before. 

"Japanese see was war is a kind of monster. It is not controllable and it has a will of its own.  It comes unexpected wreaks havoc and then just leaves the same way.   (Kind of like this monster)  Those who are affected the most are innocent civilians who have no alternative but to evacuate or ride out the storm.  This is what Japanese had to endure during the Tokyo bombings. " 

Imagine what it must of felt like seeing Godzilla in 1954, surviving the fire-raids of Tokyo only a few years before.  

As a New Yorker who experienced the 9/11 attacks in 2001, I always had a feeling of discomfort seeing whole skyscrapers crashing down in films like Transformers and most recently,  Man of Steel.  It comes from being very aware of the devastation and that kind of  carnage (not action) creates.    (Makes me wonder if the 9/11 attacks were in Hollywood,  would they handle those kinds of visuals in the same way.)

Word is that the new Godzilla is supposed to be an "Eco-Godzilla", punishing mankind for not going green.  Guess that's Hollywood's idea of what's relevant  or bringing gravity to the film.  We will see if  でぶゴジラ / Debu Gojira (Fat Godzilla)  will catch on with Japanese audiences.

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