Monday, April 7, 2014

Aspiring writers could take a few cues from the inventiveness in Godzilla because clever is the new black

I'll just get right to the point: there's a new extended trailer out for Godzilla (due out next month) and you should watch it to prove you're not a complete dullard. Most of the footage in it seems to be new. I don't know if you're one of the people that's following this like I am (I am my own particular brand of crazy), but it is pretty exciting. At around the 2:15 mark there's a glimpse of what looks like a new kaiju through the window of a train. And when Bryan Cranston seals his wife into a contaminated area of the plant they're both working at there's a pink/lavender mist that looks really ominous and has nothing to do with supporting breast cancer. I kept asking myself "What is it?" which is probably what I'm supposed to be asking. But when I ask questions like that I just produce even more questions:

1) Is the Godzilla in this movie going to be some kind of angry god? Or will he be Earth's protector and champion like Toho later evolved him into?

2) What are these new kaijus? Are they enemies of Godzilla? Do they have cool powers?

3) Is anyone else tired of the Golden Gate Bridge getting trashed?

4) Could Bryan Cranston make me believe anything? Seriously...this guy's acting ability could sell me on using paper towels as toilet paper. He's that good. Example: Bryan Cranston is panicking? Okay shit just got real folks.

5) Is the plant featured in the film (that has a nuclear accident) Fukushima? Are they really going to go there? That probably means either the Japanese are going to love this film, or they're going to hate it. There won't be any middling "feels" here. The last time Americans made a Godzilla film, the Japanese put out one of their own (in short order) that featured the Godzilla from the Mathew Broderick film. It got its ass kicked by the real Godzilla in under ten seconds. I'm not kidding.

The film coming out next month has the awesome potential to be a really huge deal because it has a solid cast, a good story, and effects that are impressing the hell out of me. And by solid story, the writing seems to "frame" history in clever context. Take (for example) these particular talking points (and yes I know I've used up my allotted ration of bullets):

1) All those nuclear tests that we did in the Pacific? The public was told they were tests...but what was really happening is that the army was trying to kill something huge.

2) And if that is Fukushima going up (with the purple mist that kills Cranston's wife) then the earthquake that started it all may have been caused by Godzilla. How cool is that? Or uncool if you don't like the idea that a huge fire-breathing lizard thing is responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.

Either way, I like it when writers get clever with history. It feeds into my "conspiracy theory" gene that for the most part remains dormant. I'll even go so far as to say this: aspiring writers could take a few cues from the inventiveness in Godzilla because clever is the new black. As I edit my own manuscript this week, I'll be thinking of ways I can frame historical context or scientific observation to make sense of the weirdness in my stories.


  1. You are crazy about Godzilla. But crazy awesome because you keep me wickedly informed. Thanks Mike.

  2. Big questions and lots of what if scenarios. The writers packed in a lot and Edwards has brought it to the light. I didn't expect anything less.

  3. The good thing is you only have to wait another month to find out. It's always hard trying to figure out a movie from the trailers because of how they scramble everything up--and sometimes put stuff in that isn't in the final cut.

    So are you going to post about Game of Thrones? This is the only time of the year where I could even somewhat coherently discuss it.

  4. You are your own brand of crazy, true that. :P

    I love your enthusiasm, though. You've got me excited to watch Godzilla now. :))

  5. i'm leaning towards the idea that Godzilla is going to be more the "savior" as he fights other Kaiju. But then i could be wrong.

    And yes on all the Bryan Cranston points. Dude is amazing. I think america should pay him more.

  6. After Pacific Rim, I just can't muster any enthusiasm for this.

  7. I'm avoiding any more trailers. Going to try to experience it for the first time when I see it.


  8. I"m looking forward to this new version of Godzilla.

    By the way, now that I've finished all episodes of Breaking Bad we've moved on to The Walking Dead. We're really enjoying it although we don't watch during the dinner hour.

  9. Here's hoping the best thing about the movie is not the trailer. We hope the movie is clever. I've been disappointed too many times before to buy into any hype.

  10. A pink mist that has nothing to do with supporting breast cancer? You've got one twisted sense of humor, Michael!

    I'm not much into monster flicks, but if Brian Cranston is in it then that's a mark of quality. There's a reason why the man is popping up everywhere these days, including Broadway where's he's playing Lyndon Johnson -- wish I could see that play.

    I never got much into conspiracy theories, but then the Iraq War happened (thank you, Halliburton, for that disaster), and Snowden proved that our worst paranoid suspicions were real.

  11. Oh, these are good questions. You have a writer's perspective.