Throughout the 1960s and 70s, United States prisoners became the victim of scientific research the country over. A new golden age of scientific progress demanded countless scores of human lab rats to test medications, creams, deodorants, etc. on and who better to experiment with than a captive population with rock bottom demands for their participation. The new film from French filmmaker Claire Denis is a response to the age of the Stanford Prison Experiment as High Life blasts a vessel loaded with death row criminals into the stratosphere to see what happens. But even that minimalist description can’t set the stage for what is in store with this hairy meditation on humanity and scientific progress. Read More
Controversy has plagued Ghost in the Shell since the day Hollywood “It” girl Scarlett Johansson was cast in the pole position. Adapted from a serialized Japanese manga of the same name, Ghost in the Shell tells the story of Major, a Japanese cybernetic counter-terrorist agent. Before anyone starts yelling “Whitewashing!”, it’s easy enough to see the problem lurking. Even those without a ton of processing power may be thinking to themselves, “Hey, but Scarlett Johansson isn’t Japanese…what gives?” Indeed, what gives? Johansson being the most bankable actress in the world, teeing her up to lead an effects driven potential franchise starter makes perfect sense. From a financial perspective, the move is logical. But… Read More
Ever since last year’s Comic Con, fanboys have been going nutso for the upcoming Godzilla reboot. And while many, myself included, didn’t understand where all this enthusiasm was coming from, looking back at the history of the monster icon reveals why he’s had such a massive cultural impact throughout the world.
Originally made in Japan, 1954, Godzilla was a dressed up metaphor for nuclear warfare, achieved by a mostly immobile man dressed up like a monster in a big green latex suit. Since the 50s, Godzilla has been on a continuous silly streak, battling other big baddies like Mothra (literally just a big moth) and King Kong and has since had a run, backed by Japanese production studio Toho, that sees minor Godzilla movies ever couple years. At this point, there are 30 official Toho Godzilla films.
Roland Emmerich re-imagined Godzilla for American audiences, in his 1998 film that takes the name of the monster, as a big preggo lizard to not so glowing results. Gareth Edwards looks to right that wrong with a much more classic take on the Godzilla design.
With a cast that includes Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Juliette Binoche and Ken Watanabe, Edwards seems to be on the right track and this first trailer does exactly what a trailer should (but nowadays hardly ever does) – it teases. Instead of giving away the events of the first, second, and third act, it drops us into the situation and let’s us see the horror, confusion, and madness for ourselves. Surely, this doesn’t mean that Godzilla will be a guaranteed layup but it looks far better than I would have first thought.
Take a look at the trailer and see if, at this point, you’d be onboard to check it out in theaters.
Godzilla is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Juliette Binoche and Ken Watanabe. It hits theaters May 16, 2014.