Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving thanks

As another Thanksgiving holiday is upon us I thought I'd list some of the things I'm thankful for as I rapidly approach fifty years of age:

  1. I'm thankful for high definition, flat panel LCD televisions: I can watch A T & T U Verse HD channels without having to put on my bifocals in order to adequately see the television images
  2. I'm thankful that I can still perform my work(landscaping and gardening) with a reasonable degree of success given my age and growing number of aches and pains I have now
  3. I'm thankful for "allopurinol", a prescription medication that I take to lower my uric acid levels and consequently ward off painful gout flareups that I would otherwise suffer in my right knee, either feet and both elbows
  4. I'm thankful for the reliability of A T & T U Verse: I pay more for their combined internet and cable TV package than I like but they are generally reliable and I've had only two router breakdowns in three years. My previous ISP and cable provider was Comcast and their service was prone to frequent and prolonged outages, one reason why I cancelled my account with them back in 2008
  5. I'm thankful that so many of the classic Godzilla and other dated, obscure horror movies I watched as a kid are being released to quality DVD
  6. I'm thankful that Legendary Pictures has signed on to produce another American "Godzilla" movie. I'm confident that this studio will produce a Godzilla film that will be a lot better than the '98 Centropolis produced Godzilla movie which was roundly blasted by the majority of Godzilla and giant monster movie fandom
  7. I'm thankful that I still retain some modicum of a sense of humor regarding our world and society in general
  8. I'm thankful for the close friendship of two good men I have known now for fifteen years
  9. I'm thankful for the social media website Facebook, which has enabled me to reconnect with college and high school classmates as well as help me stay connected with an old high school friend and her husband
  10. I'm thankful for my landlord, an elderly widow who is kind, generous and very much like a grandmother to me
  11. I'm thankful that my internet message board, Monsterland Forums, has retained regular posting activity by a small group of high character people who share a love for movies

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Under pressure: Dante's Peak(1997)

Back in 1997 two disaster movies featuring volcanoes(and their eruptions) were released to theaters. One was Volcano, a film in which a volcano erupts underneath Los Angeles, California. I enjoyed this movie, especially the sequences where firefighters and other civil defense personnel must fight the devastating lava flow that burns through the city.

The other movie, and my favorite of the two I'm referring to, is Dante's Peak, released by Universal and directed by Roger Donaldson. In this film a vulcanologist(played by Pierce Brosnan) is dispatched to the small, cozy town of Dante's Peak, located in Washington state to investigate recent rumblings from the towns' resident and mostly dormant volcano. The town of Dante's Peak, we learn in this film, has been voted the second most desirable place to live in the United States. The vulcanologist sets about investigating the town's volcano and sees ominous signs that the volcano may be on the verge of an eruption. The vulcanologist, "Harry Dalton" must overcome the town's skeptical reception to his fears about the volcano as well as those of his boss(played by Charles Hallahan). Of course the volcano eventually erupts and all hell breaks loose as the town, and other adjacent surroundings, are wiped out by fires, floods and one awesome looking pyroclastic cloud.

House warming: a lava flow incinerates a lodge in the film DANTE'S PEAK

If you're a disaster movie fan(like me) and haven't seen either of these two films I definitely recommend watching them on DVD, especially Dante's Peak. Both movies are available on DVD and Blu Ray. To see the DVD of Dante's Peak for sale at Amazon click the DVD cover art image above or the title of this blog entry.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

KAIJU GALAXY - Seven years on the web!

Back on this day in 2004 a young high school student living in Michigan started up a kaiju themed internet message board called Kaiju Galaxy. This site's founder, Donny Winter, is now a college student at Central Michigan University. Kaiju Galaxy, a message board in Zetaboards format like my own board, continues to flourish and has 500+ members and over 160,000 posts. Looking to read kaiju themed fan fiction and other creative poems, short stories and fan submissions? You'll find some of the best fan creativity at this board. There are also general chat and entertainment forums and Kaiju Galaxy has its own Facebook page. To check out this marvelous message board click the link: Kaiju Galaxy

An appreciation of giant monsters - NERONGA

From time to time I'm going to give some props to various giant monsters who have endeared themselves to me. The first of these monsters that comes to mind is Neronga. This monster first appeared on television in 1966 in episode #3 of the classic Ultraman television series, the episode called "Go Science Patrol!"(one of many various English translations for this episode). The monster, an ancient dinosaur defeated by medieval Japanese warriors, has survived by consuming electricity. The energy from the electricity causes the monster to grow and also enables the huge creature to render itself invisible, as long as it's fully "charged" with energy. Physically, Neronga is a 35 meter(116 feet) tall, 10,000 ton behemoth, the monster bulky, generally quadrupedal, usually walking on all fours and possessing a ridged back, huge tail and possessing a large horn on its face. Neronga can, when agitated, rise up and move about on its hind legs. Besides being able to make itself invisible, Neronga also can fire large blasts of electricity from its horn.


The Neronga "suit" used in the classic Ultraman TV series episode was worn by "Godzilla" suit actor Haruo Nakajima and was a modification of the Baragon suit, Baragon a monster appearing in the 1965 Toho film Frankenstein Vs Baragon(aka "Frankenstein Conquers The World").

Neronga eventually is confronted and killed in battle by Ultraman but gives Ultraman a decent fight. I've always liked the design of this monster and Neronga would go on to appear in other "Ultraman" series. I own a collection of giant monster toys including a Bandai figure of Neronga(5-6" inches tall).

Click the video below to see Neronga in action against "Gudon", the battle from an episode of the TV series Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle:

Gudon vs. Neronga by ExOrochi

To see Neronga fighting Ultraman(in the '66 episode "Go Science Patrol!") click the below video:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Monster Island News: Max Borenstein Brought In To Write GODZILLA 3D

Monster Island News: Max Borenstein Brought In To Write GODZILLA 3D: Written By: Ken Hulsey Source: The Hollywood Reporter Legendary Pictures continues to bring in new blood to work on their highly anticipa...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monster Island News: Monsterpalooza 2012 Announced

Monster Island News: Monsterpalooza 2012 Announced: by Armand Vaquer As you can see from above, Monsterpalooza 2012's dates have been announced (April 13-15, 2012). It will be returning to...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The New Trailer for Underworld Awakening!

The New Trailer for Underworld Awakening!

Click either of the above links to see the new, full trailer for Underworld-Awakening, which opens in theaters on January 20, 2012.