What is it? – The sixth Godzilla feature finds our titular monster pitted against giant pterodactyl Rodan and the three-headed dragon King Ghidorah. Meanwhile, humanity faces off against an alien race bent on world domination.
How do I get it into my brain? – you can watch it on Netflix (instant streaming), or buy it! The DVD actually has the original Japanese version on it, too.
Though my original exposure to them was through the classic cheese processing facility known as Mystery Science Theater 3000, I have developed an appreciation for Japan’s particular kaiju–or “strange beast”–genre. The first, most popular and most enduring of these is definitely Toho Studios’ Godzilla. Originally envisioned as a metaphor for the devastation of nuclear weaponry, Godzilla (or Gojira in his native land) soon became a mascot of sorts, owing to his portrayal as a powerful yet misunderstood creature. A 165 foot-tall nuclear Frankenstein’s Monster, a sympathetic beast that was roused to defend itself. Longtime franchise director Ishiro Honda had said at one point, “monsters are born too tall, too strong, too heavy—that is their tragedy”. The original Japanese Godzilla is a dark, spooky, and ominous film, but future iterations would find the monster’s menace diminished as he became more of a heroic figure in the films. Here in the sixth feature, Godzilla is in full-on sympathetic portrayal mode, even comedic at times.
What is it? – A third-person adventure game created by small newcomer studio BitMonster, set on an island populated by wooden automatons and the forest spirits which subjugate them
How do I get it into my brain? – currently available for certain iOS devices
So here was a nice little surprise. The iPhone and iPad are turning out to be pretty swell casual game devices, but the marketplace is flooded with so many thousands of variations on the same game types that it’s a bit of a dig to find something interesting. That can be a bit of an adventure in itself, but here we have a unique little adventure game that lends itself well to this platform. I honestly wasn’t expecting to have too much to say about it… the only reason I looked at all was because the developer and some of the reviewers hinted at a story. Especially on these platforms, so many small-scale games eschew any sort of narrative, settling for a simple premise and letting the gameplay stand as the hook. And yet, more than the gameplay itself, I found myself compelled to proceed to see how events in the story played out, and what little discoveries were waiting behind locked doors and in treasure chests. Plus, I figured out how to take screenshots with my iPad, so I am taking the opportunity to play around with article format some more!
Well, that was fun! I am still feeling around for format. Since this was a live stage show, I felt compelled to explain it at length, as there were many things the story guide don’t get across. Future things, depending on ease of access, I’ll try and gauge how much detail I go into. Speaking of getting a feel for the format, I think I’ll try isolating several specific subjects and discussing how they succeeded or failed. Continue reading →
When we left off, the Joker had taken young Dick Grayson hostage to serve as bait to lure Batman to him. One could safely assume that Batman would be coming after the Joker sooner or later anyway, having pieced together his whereabouts from Zucco’s grim rictus and the fact that the circus is a clown’s natural habitat. However, this show doesn’t give us much of Batman being a detective, which is definitely a weakness, as oh, what was that comic that Batman first appeared in? I think it was “Lucky Coincidence Comics #27”, right? No. No, it was “Detective Comics #27”, and don’t you forget it (well, I suppose I can forgive it if you forget the exact issue number). Continue reading →
Na na na na na na na na Batman! One of the most popular characters of all time (notice I did not diminish this by pigeon-holing him as just a super-hero or just a comic book character), his stories have graced every medium imaginable, with the exceptions of ballet and opera. I still hold out hope, though. Fortune found me in possession of tickets to see a live stage production, and I was in eager attendance to see how and/or if it could be accomplished. The act of adaptation from one medium to another always poses unique challenges, with both source and destination influencing how a story is shaped. In the case of Batman, there is a rich visual history to draw upon, with bold and recognizable characters, an iconic setting, and a wealth of kinetic moments to shape fight choreography around. Continue reading →