Yesterday morning, I decided to get a haircut and then catch the very early matinee of the new Godzilla movie. Thanks to time being fleeting and not infinite — seriously, who do I need to talk to about that? — I wound up only doing the second of those two things. Which why right now I’m still in real need of a haircut but I did get to see a giant lizard smash through giant buildings.
And you know, Godzilla is kind of an odd movie. I’d watched the original only a week ago, for the first time, and while I hadn’t loved that movie, it also hadn’t dimmed my interest in seeing the remake. (Interest that was sparked, really, by what I still think is a well done trailer.) But ask me about the movie now I think I can only tell you this: Godzilla’s very good in it. He’s probably the best actor. And that’s not even really a joke.
The giant lizard is definitely the most compelling presence in the film — a very shouty Bryan Cranston and not-even-a-little-shouty Ken Watanabe notwithstanding. But it’s altogether possible that that’s by choice. David Ehrlich of the Dissolve argues that the movie is ”
the first post-human blockbuster,” and I have to say, he makes a fairly convincing argument:
The filmâ€™s evocative closing shot serves as a resonant reminder that just because weâ€™re the planetâ€™s predominant storytellers doesnâ€™t mean that the story is necessarily about us.
Then again, even if you don’t buy the argument, or you don’t think it’s enough to account for (or overcome) the blandness of some of the characters, I’m not joking when I saw Godzilla is very good in the movie. If nothing else, it’s some pretty terrific CGI.
I can definitely not say the same for the next couple of movies I watched yesterday.
Heather has already written up yesterday’s “Bad Movie Night,” wherein a bunch of us willingly subjected ourselves to Storage 24 and the improbably named Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark and joked about them both over Twitter. I’m tempted to just direct you to her write-up, as she’s accumulated a lot of the best tweets from last night’s double-header. I’ll say this: neither movie was especially good, but both were wonderful fun to watch and laugh at. And, seriously, this happened. No movie in which that happens can be all bad, however hard it may try.
And besides, it’s less about the movies themselves — which by design are terrible — and more the great fun of watching them with friends.
Today, with my writing group friend Maurice, I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past, which was decent enough summer fare, enjoyable, but not remarkable. I do like the way the AV Club’s review describes it:
Itâ€™s a loose adaptation of one of the all-time great Marvel storylines, with Professor X and Magneto using Shadowcatâ€™s powers to send Wolverineâ€™s consciousness back in time to 1973 so that he can help their past selves set aside their differences and avert a dystopian, Sentinel-run future by preventing Mystique from assassinating Bolivar Trask. Readers who are confused by any or all parts of the preceding sentence should take it as a warning.
Honestly, though, there’s not a whole lot more to say about the movie. It does a pretty decent job of marrying the earlier X-Men movies, prequel and all, and is probably the only comic book movie we’re likely to see for awhile set largely in the early 1970s. But it’s not often very distinctive or inventive, even if it is decent enough fun.
In between all this movie watching, I finished reading and responding to all of my Kaleidotrope submissions. Which is a lovely feeling. I still have two issues to edit before the end of this year, but for the next seven months I won’t have to read another story I don’t want to accept. I didn’t run the actual stats for this past reading period, but I’d say out of roughly 250-300 submissions, I accepted maybe ten. Which, actually, seems maybe a little high.
I also wrote this:
Theyâ€™d made planetfall in winter, the team leader said, which explained the hardiness of the local population but also the scarcity of diverse genetic stock. Only ten dozen of the original settlers had survived that first season, and through the next fifty years, intermarriage had left them fit for the harsh conditions on the planetâ€™s surface but prone to illness, especially when traveling outside the valleys in Icarusâ€™ (relatively) more temperate zones.
â€œWhy Icarus?â€ one of the geo-engineers, Burke, asked. â€œIn the myth, didnâ€™t Icarus fly too close to the sun?â€
â€œAs near as we can tell, thatâ€™s local irony,â€ the team leader said. She glanced again at the planetâ€™s specs and her notes, which were not extensive. â€œThe settlerâ€™s original ship was thrown off course after miscalculating the gravitation of the smaller of the systemâ€™s binary stars. A joke,â€ she added, â€œthough obviously not a great one.â€
â€œIsnâ€™t this like the third Icarus weâ€™ve been called in on in as many months?â€ asked the pilot. Grace Wong didnâ€™t always attend these preliminary meetings, but team leader was glad to see her nevertheless. â€œDonâ€™t these people have any imagination?â€
â€œIn all fairness to this planet, they crashed before either Icarus Prime or Icarus II were colonized.â€
â€œAnd weâ€™re pulling them out anyway,â€ said Burke, â€œright?â€
â€œRight,â€ the team leader said. â€œThe Ic — the planet has become untenable. The systemâ€™s primary sun isnâ€™t dying, exactly, but theyâ€™ll be outside a shrinking habitable zone in less than another generation.â€
â€œWait,â€ said Wong. â€œWhat does â€™isnâ€™t dying, exactly,â€™ mean? Is it going nova or not?â€
â€œNot exactly,â€ the team leader said. Sheâ€™d been worried about this, but better to get it out in the open now before they ported to system. â€œCommand has reason to believe that whateverâ€™s happening with the sun is artificial, neither a natural nor man-made process.â€
â€œCommand?â€ said Burke. â€œSince when did we start taking orders from — wait are you saying Alterians?â€
â€œWe have reason to suspect their involvement, yes.â€
â€œAnd youâ€™re just telling us this now?â€ said Wong. â€œYou want me to fly us into beastie-controlled territory and you didnâ€™t even tell us til now?â€
â€œItâ€™s a little more complicated that,â€ the team leader said. â€œAnd thereâ€™s another reason why we have to evacuate Icarus.â€
I can’t say I much like it, but sometimes you just go where the prompt takes you. (Even if, in this case, I didn’t get the prompt itself in at all.)
I plan tomorrow mostly reading, maybe writing some. It’s a three-day weekend, which is nice, and hopefully today’s nice weather will last a little while longer.