Godzilla 2014

I just watched the new Godzilla movie. A few words that come to mind are: disappointed, boring, confusing, convoluted. I’ll explain later below.

I really liked Godzilla. When I was a kid we had it recorded off of TV on VHS. So I would make sure the tracking was set (remember tracking?) and set back and enjoy all the colorful characters and storylines. Really, it was interesting. You had those two little weird fairy twins that sang for Mothra or something. You had Mothra as a giant caterpillar and then turning into a giant Moth. It was awesome, even though it wasn’t great special effects CGI crap, it was really creative.

So this movie starts out with a Dr. Sandra Brody working at a nuclear plant in Japan. Her husband, Joe, is there as some sort of engineer. They have a son as well, Ford Brody. Well this is back in the 90’s, or something, and there is an accident there. But it’s not really an accident, it is a giant moth thing called “MUTO” which stands for “Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism”. So the idea is that millions of years ago there were these giant beings on earth, and that earth had much higher levels of radiation, and so these creatures could feed on the radiation. That’s why this winged MUTO went crazy and planted itself in the Japanese nuclear power plant, so it could feed. Got all that?

Oh, I should mention that in the beginning credits they show the story of how all the nuclear test were really efforts to destroy Godzilla. Ok whatever, interesting story.

So to cut to the chase Godzilla and the MUTO, which there are two of, a baby and a momma with more eggs to lay, start fighting in cities all over the planet. And the government thinks they can lure them out to the ocean to bomb the heck out of them with giant nuclear bombs. Sounds entertaining right?

Well, it’s not. Seriously, don’t waste your time with this movie. All it is is like taking two dinosaur toys with your kids and smashing them into each other and breaking lego cities you built, which is a better time spent than watching this piece of garbage.

The acting was ok, for the script the cast was given, but there is just not a whole lot there for them to work with. The plot is a bit weird and just not all that entertaining. You don’t identify with any of the characters, and you end of just not caring.

Go on to Netflix and watch the original, relive some great childhood memories with a bowl of popcorn and your fam. And just avoid this movie all together.

Interstellar and Biblical references

5b5Interstellar is one of my favorite movies, in fact I’m a big Christopher Nolan fan. I think his movies are genius. His brother, maybe not so much but he has some good stuff as well. Interstellar is a movie about a father and his love for his kids, especially his daughter Murphy. The planet is dying, plagued by blight. The planet is also running out of oxygen. This is the backdrop upon which these biblical references are found. I think on the surface we know there are biblical parallels they use for the storyline, but I wonder how far anybody has really broke it down and looked into. Here is what I have found.

 

Lazarus- Everybody realizes, and it was mentioned in the movie outright, that Lazarus was risen from the dead by Jesus Christ. To go a bit further, Lazarus was called out of the cave, just as humanity is being “called out” of earth, by the placement of the wormhole.

It is interesting to note that in those days of ancient Israel, burial was done by wrapping the body in cloth. Frankincense and myrrh where used in those rituals, most think to cover the scent of the decaying corpse. The astronauts are also wrapped, in a type of bag in some sort of hyper sleep. The worm hole could also be seen as the opening of a tomb as the travelers warp through hyperspace towards those beings who called them.

 

12 Astronauts are sent out to explore the 12 planets- Just like the 12 Apostles were sent out to preach the Gospel, so 12 space explorers are sent to the other galaxy to find a habitable home for humanity.

The Apostles went out all over the world preaching the good news, most of them being martyred by those they were trying to reach. Thomas was said to have gone the furthest outside of the Roman Empire. Christian tradition has it that Thomas, sometimes called “doubting Thomas” for his lapse of faith in Christ’s resurrection, went as far as India preaching the Gospel.

 

Water planet baptism- Not baptism by fire, but another kind of baptism. The first beacon that the explorers investigate is that of a ranger who landed on a planet full of water. The water is extremely affected by the gravitational pull of Gargantua, the black hole the planets are revolving around, causing gigantic tidal waves hundreds of feet high.

One of the astronauts, Doyle, is killed trying to rescue Dr. Brand who has her leg caught on the wreckage of the spacecraft originally investigating the planet. The Crew of now Cooper and Brand have their spacecraft almost destroyed by the incoming of monstrous waves. Perhaps this world, which appears to be totally made up of water, could be symbolic of the water baptism ritual.

 

Dr. Mann Betrays Group- Just as Judas Iscariot sells out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, Dr. Mann betrays the group as to the real status of his planet. Mann sends out a beacon, indicating his world is habitable. He then falsifies data about the frigid ammonia filled planet he landed on, and transmitted that data in hopes of saving his own skin. He commandeers a spaceship and attempts to strand the others. As Judas went and hung himself on a tree, then fell on a rock gushing his innards out, so Dr. Mann kills himself. As Mann tries to dock with the space station, he is repeatedly warned by Cooper and Brand not to open the air lock, as he had docked incorrectly. This caused a catastrophic explosion, blowing Mann up to bits. Jesus had also warned the disciples that there was a betrayer in their midst. A warning that was not headed by Judas.

 

     Dr. Brand replaces Dr. Mann- A replacement apostle is needed after Judas’ betrayal. Matthias was the one who replaced Judas, and Dr. Brand could be seen as the replacement Mann. She is the one who continues the mission, going to Edmund’s planet, which is the place where her love is guiding her to go to.

 

Cooper Could be Paul- There could be a case made that Cooper could be the Apostle Paul. In some Christian circles, it is believe that Paul had a special ministry, and that he was the one actually chosen by God as the replacement apostle for Judas, instead of Matthias, who was chosen by the other apostles by casting lots.

 

All the astronauts are martyred, except for one- This one may be a stretch, but it is still worth noting. In the Christian traditions, it’s generally believed that all the 12 apostles were martyred, save the Apostle John. All 12 explorers are believed to have died, save for Dr. Amelia Brand, who is marooned on Edmund’s planet, continuing the work of saving mankind. the Apostle John was marooned on the Island of Patmos for the remaining of his elder days.

 

     Love is the Holy Ghost- One of the big plots in the whole movie is the aspect of love. Love is the one force that is instantaneous, like gravity, and has the force to pull us together. Perhaps maybe love is even transmitted like a graviton particle through the dimensions of space-time. Cooper is seen finding his daughter in a hypercube that is set in the middle of a black hole, a space in time of his daughter’s bedroom. He is able to find a time in all the seconds gone by in the bedroom by the force of love. He then is able to communicate with her by manipulating gravity to cause all sorts of physical anomalies to occur. It is even said there is a Ghost making those things happen! He communicates through Morse which is translated to binary. Love also compelled Brand to seek out Edmund in the outer planets orbiting Gargantua. So Love could be seen as the Christian Holy Ghost guiding the believers.

 

Cooper is resurrected- Maybe this one is a stretch as well, but hear me out. When Coop and Brand are making their sling-shot maneuver around the black hole, Cooper jettisons himself from the space station, Newton’s third law, you have to leave something behind to get enough thrust to get where you are going. Cooper then is consumed by the darkness of the black hole, he transmits through Morse code the quantum data obtained from the inside of Gargantua, and the hypercube collapses on him. He is essentially dead, but is rescued by rangers patrolling the area close to the “Cooper Station”, and is “resurrected” when he is given medical attention at the medical facility there.

 

Cooper and Brand are Adam and Eve- When Cooper comes out of his little coma, he learns that his daughter had completed the theory of gravity to save humanity. The space station “Cooper Station” is actually named after her, not him. She is very old now, relativity doing its thing, and one of her death bed wishes is that Cooper should find Brand, who is out there alone. Hence, Cooper and Brand will now become the next Adam and Eve.

 

So there you have it. Perhaps Christopher Nolan put all these similarities in there on purpose or accident. But it is interesting that they are there.

X-Files Pilot

I remember I was so into this show when I was 9 years old. I would watch the countless UFO docs on A&E and Discovery and whatever else those type of documentaries would show up. I even got the “The Truth is Out There” poster (I wonder where that’s at now…).

I’ve had nothing but pleasant memories of this show. I’m not much of a horror genre guy, but man it was so fun getting scared to death watching this show! Yeah sure I had tons of sleepless nights peeking from the covers, wondering if space aliens where going to drill my teeth out. But man was it fun watching those shows on those warm summer nights on the farm with my older siblings, indulging in the suspense of what creepiness Mulder and Scully were going to dive into next.

So they have revived the show. They added another season of 6 episodes earlier this year, no one knows if they are going to have more. So I have decided to make the trek through the seasons. From pilot to season 10 episode 6. There’s going to be some fun jaunts through memory lane, and there are going to be a ton of episodes I’ve never seen before (I stopped watching at Season 7) and I am totally ecstatic to rewatch some of my favorites and talk about a show that has affected me so much growing up.

So here we go, the pilot, the one that got the whole ball of wax moving. A topic most people could care less about, UFO’s. Yet, the show found a way to package that subject in an entertaining way, and not just making fun of it. It was a breakthrough show, probably the most original since the Twilight zone at that time in the 90’s.

The first scene opens up with FBI agent Dr. Dana Scully having a meeting with Division Chief Scott Blevins. (Yeah, awesome name right?) That’s right, she’s a doctor. That’s one of the things they talk about, why she wanted to join the FBI. Scully felt it was a place she could distinguish herself. So the short of it is that they want Dana Scully to be partners with Agent Fox Mulder who is assigned to the X-Files for the sole purpose of discrediting him. There’s another guy in there and there is also, The Smoking Man. Apparently back in the 90’s you could smoke in the FBI headquarters.

Here’s something that I was thinking about while watching this. Is Scully working for these shadow government figures throughout the show? To undermine Mulder’s findings? I think at some point she figures it out, and by the end of the show she seems to realize she is being played. But why is she such a doubter all throughout the series? Just an observation.

There’s some classic 90’s background music. Seriously, its weird, whenever I here that music or see the clothes and such it’s like I’m sent through a time warp and I can see myself back there and all the feeling of being fascinated and creeped out at the same time watching this show.

Agent Scully goes down into the basement of the FBI headquarters or something and meets Agent Fox Mulder. I’ve never met anybody with the first name Fox. I think that’s one of the reasons I thought he was so cool when I was a kid. I still think he’s cool, actually. The opening line from Mulder is “Nobody here but the FBI’s most unwanted.” A survey of the scene by Scully reveals Mulder’s unhealthy obsession and the iconic “I want to believe” poster stands prominent in the shot. So they have a back and for and then off we go to Bellefleur, Oregon, on the first case.

So previously discussed by Mulder and Scully, he has uncovered a series of deaths around the country, the victims of which have two strange marks that appear to look like a bite on there body, by their lower back. Four teenagers also were found to have died in strange circumstances. The fourth having those marks and an unknown chemical compound found on her person.

The pilot episode almost encapsulates every aspect of the UFO phenomenon, as reported by those people in that world. Missing time, abductions, implants, strange magnetic anomalies, cars shutting off, bright lights in the abduction process, hypnosis, so a lot. Not to mention a possible government cover up to suppress the truth.

I’ll try not to spoil it all by going into super detail, I’ll just hit up a few more points.

I liked seeing Scully go all Doogie Houser typing her report on the laptop with a blue screen. There’s a scene where the power goes out. And also a scene where she is undressing, I guess they had to sex it up a bit. She discovers that she has two bumps on her back and runs to Mulder and asks his opinion. He assures her it’s just a few mosquito bites, saying he got eaten alive himself.

Scully scores an alien implant along the way. believe it or not there is a happy ending of this episode, in a way.

But what I really liked was the Indiana Jones style ending. When Scully presents the agents story and Mulders’ theories the FBI director asks if she has any proof? She produces the implant to the dismay of the director and the Smoking Man. The final scene is of the Smoking Man walking down an aisle of evidence somewhere in the archives of the FBI. He slides out a cardboard holder, containing a plexiglass container that had slots for these implants. He puts the implant with the rest and walks away.

I’m looking forward to going through the shows. I hope you watch them with me. It will be well worth it.

 

Frankenstein

I have always wanted to read the book Frankenstein. The monster is so iconic in our society, I can’t really think of a time when I didn’t know about him. Oddly enough, I believe I first was introduced to him by a character called Herman Munster from the old TV show “The Munsters”, ha, good times. So anyways, I felt compelled to explore the lore of Frankenstein by going back to the beginning, by reading the book by Mary Shelley “Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus.”

The book opens with letters from an explorer, Robert Walton to his sister, Margaret Saville, who is living in England. These letters are dated sometime in the 1700’s, which I guess is when the whole story is taking place. The book itself was written in 1818. In any event, Walton is bent on exploring the North Pole. Through his letters to his sister we find out that they have seen a huge person with a team of dogs and a sledge riding through the ice. In the next days they find another man who is on a sledge, but this man is near death. So they bring him up on board and nurse him back to health. This is Victor Frankenstein.

The story is then told to Walton, who is writing down the account of Frankenstein. It should be noted that we actually do not find out the mans name until about page 30. There are a lot of things in the novel that are not in any movies or shows I have seen. Which was good because it made the book fresh. They say the movie is never like the book and there is no more stunning example of that than what we have in this story.

The begging of Frankenstein’s tale has to do with him growing up. He is actually from Sweden and goes and does his studies in Germany, it what is called natural philosophy, which he takes an interest particularly in chemistry. So let’s get to what everyone is interested in this book for. The monster.

Surprisingly to me, only a few paragraphs is dedicated to describe Frankenstein’s monster, maybe not even that. There is no electrical charges powering through lighting rods to summon the monster to life. There are no bolts sticking out of the monster’s neck. He isn’t even described as green, but a sick yellowish color. It is never mentioned that body parts from corpse’s are use to construct him, but that Frankenstein used some other means of building muscle and such. Frankenstein did create him bigger though, about 8 feet tall! This monster is described as horrifying, so horrible that everyone was terrified when they saw him. The monster learns through various observations of humans how to communicate and eventually learns to read. He is quite a well spoken and complex monster, something that is not played up in a lot of movies, save maybe “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”.

The title is interesting. “Frankenstein, or the modern Prometheus”. From the little research I did Prometheus is in Greek translated “Forethought”. In the Greek mythologies Prometheus was a titan who was always fighting with Zeus. He was the creator of man. At first when I heard the title I thought perhaps it was referencing something to with creation, and that still maybe the case, but the story of Prometheus has some interesting parallels with Frankenstein. For one, the monster Frankenstein creators inflicts horrible psychological pain on him. The monster doesn’t really ever hurt the doctor, but harms his loved ones. Sending Frankenstein into terrible bouts of depression and guilt, as well as paranoia for the safety of his family and friends. In one of the myths of Prometheus, Zeus punishes the titan by chaining him to a rock and having an eagle eat his liver, and regenerate by night. An endless torment, much like Frankenstein’s torment that he can not rid himself of.

Secondly, as mentioned before, Prometheus was the creator of mankind, and Frankenstein was the creator of his own type of man. Except that Victor is sickened by his creation and abandons him upon sight.

To sum it up so I don’t give away any spoilers, the book is good. It’s worth checking out to see wear the lore and mythos of the hole Frankenstein genre originates from. Some parts of the book seem belabored at times, but I found it a really fascinating read. The author does keep a good pace in general, and you’ll be able to read it fairly quickly. You can find in for free on google books, which is how I read a lot of the classics nowadays.