Of all the things. There was a recent discussion on io9 on the upcoming Godzilla remake in the comments section for upcoming movie news yesterday. I've been a fan of the big green guy since I was a little kid, maybe even passionately so, which prompted me to type up a quick response on why I thought the character has proved so resilient (Despite obviously being a man in an unconvincing rubber suit stomping about equally unconvincing miniatures for more that 50 years). The general discussion prompted the creation of new thread regarding Godzilla's popularity, and my post ended up being featured at the top.
I am genuinely excited to see the new movie, especially after watching director Gareth Edward's earlier effort Monsters. If you haven't, Monsters is a low-budget indie film for which Edwards served as writer, director and creator of special effects. It has very simple premise: that matter from space that accidentally landed in northern Mexico and south of the U.S. border has spawned a plethora of giant-sized monsters straight out of the Harryhausen/Lovecraft school of the imagination. However, unlike the traditional Hollywood monster movies that focus on scientists or military personnel racing against the clock to destroy the beasties, Monsters is an entirely character driven piece, following two Americans who are forced by circumstances to travel from Mexico to the U.S. on foot through monster-infested territory. There are shocks, scares and surprises in store, but they are not the primary focus of the tale. If Edwards is able to bring the same sensibilities to a property like Godzilla, I think it will be an incredible marriage of indie attitude and large-scale commercial film-making.
I discovered Godzilla on local TV, like a lot of other American kids growing up in the late 70s/early 80s. I can't pinpoint exactly why he held my attention. It was definitely connected (or at least concurrent) with my typical boyhood fascination with dinosaurs. And of course, young children sometimes see in giant monsters an odd idealized version of themselves: the idea of being, large, powerful and unstoppable. And let's face it, the wanton destruction of Godzilla and other kaiju upon the urban metropolis does look a lot like a tantrum or the unbridled id of a youngsters released upon their ill-fated toys. A fond memory I have was when my father told me that he had actually seen the original 1954 Godzilla as a child at the (now shuttered) movie theater in Hanapepe on the island of Kauai where he grew up, and in the original Japanese no less. He was immediately cooler in my mind by an order of magnitude. Today my dad is 73 and I am 40, but I am hoping we can have a little father-son movie outing to catch the new Godzilla in theaters together.