I LOVE JAPAN ❤ 日本の今を伝えたい! ゴジラ襲来 Godzilla Returns — and Sends Us Back to the Stone Age!


May 16 marks the opening of Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures’ new tent-pole remake of Godzilla, one of the most anticipated blockbusters of the year. The Hollywood hype machine has started gearing up, and the commercials are everywhere (in America, at least), but soon the audience will decide whether the “reboot” (to borrow today’s obnoxious vernacular) measures up to the classics of yesteryear.


Directed by Gareth Edwards, this version of Godzilla stars Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche, and David Strathairn, a cast usually not associated with films about giant radioactive monsters. But this innovative casting was the first sign that the movie was intended to be more than just a monster mash.


Although the 1998 reimagining of Godzilla, helmed by Independence Day director Roland Emmerich, failed with audiences and critics alike, time has proven that film not to be as bad as it may have first seemed. Still, the failure of that film seems to have kept American studios away from the franchise for years in its wake.


When Yoshimitsu Banno, himself the director of the cult classic Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, took his proposed 3-D Godzilla project to Hollywood, it quickly grew and morphed into the summer blockbusters set to hit theaters next month. Mr. Banno remained on the show as executive producer, and he eagerly awaits the final product to stomp its way into Japanese theaters.


Akira Takarada, the esteemed star of the original movie and several of its sequels, landed a cameo role, which was filmed in Vancouver last year. Mr. Takarada, who remains one of the most popular genre actors of his generation, was particularly grateful to have been cast in the 60th anniversary film to a franchise he help launch.


Godzilla hits theaters in Japan on July 25. Given the cultural significance of Godzilla as a Japanese icon — indeed, he has been compared to Mickey Mouse in terms of name recognition — the release of this film should be seen by readers of this blog as just another cash grab by a Hollywood studio. If the film succeeds, Hollywood may make more (and better) use of Japanese iconography. Do you really want to see another 47 Ronin with a horribly miscast Keanu Reeves?

新作「ゴジラ」の日本封切りは7月25日。日本の象徴としてのゴジラ — 知名度という点ではアメリカのミッキーマウスに匹敵 — の文化的意義は当然ながら、このブログの読者の皆さんにとって同作品の公開はハリウッド映画スタジオのよくある大型金儲け作品として映るはずだ。もしこの作品が成功したら、ハリウッドは日本の人気キャラクタ−をもっと多く(そしてより良く)使うかもしれない。ひどいミスキャストだったキアヌ・リーブスの「四十七士」47Roninの新作を見たい人はいるだろうか。

On July 25, let’s go to the movies and support our beloved Monster King. If enough of us support Godzilla, perhaps Mothra will be next to get her long awaited star turn in Tinseltown.

7月25日、映画館に行って我らが愛すべきモンスター王を応援しよう。 もし僕らが大勢でゴジラを応援すれば、次は多分モスラが待ちに待ったハリウッドに戻ってくるに違いない。


A new Godzilla movie is coming soon!




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