Friday, August 31, 2007

"1-18-08" News? This looks like a job for... someone else.

With all the rumors and supposed spoilers that have been spilling out onto the net on a near-daily basis regarding J.J. Abrams’ upcoming giant monster movie, I could easily devote the majority of the entries on this blog to covering tidbits and theories on that subject alone.

Instead, I think I’ll defer that duty to a handful of devoted bloggers who are committed to reporting the newest information about the film as it shows up. Listed below are a few “1-18-08/Cloverfield” sites that appear to be really on top of things:

Cloverfield News blog

1-18-08 Project Cloverfield blog

Cloverfield Clues blog

As for me, I think that I’ll just bide my time until the really substantial (and confirmed) news items roll around.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monsters vs. Aliens

Another tidbit of upcoming film news- Dreamworks’ Monsters vs. Aliens is an animated entry into the crop of 2009 summer movies and will be presented in stereoscopic 3-D (both Disney and Dreamworks are apparently working towards releasing all of their future CG-animated projects in that format). Little is known about the plot other than it obviously involves monsters and aliens, but it has been described by Dreamworks as a “reinvention of the classic 1950s monster movie into an irreverent modern-day action comedy”. Hopefully that doesn’t mean an endless stream of smug, pop culture reference jokes in the vein of Shrek...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sleeping Giant

While snooping around in the depths of the internet as I am prone to do, I stumbled across some info about an upcoming comic book called “Sleeping Giant” from creators Jeremy Mauney (writer), Joey Mason (artist) and Zad Arshad (colorist). The synopsis from the comic’s MySpace page:

Maverick, a young American college drop-out suddenly wakes up in Japan, not knowing how he got there. To give him aid and clues of his arrival are a young Japanese boy, an African forest dweller, and a small forest creature... Spooky things are going on around Mt. Fuji, and Maverick has been enlisted to investigate and help stop the horrors ahead.

Giant monsters, forest creatures, and strange twists galore, this story is like Princess Mononoke, Godzilla and Donnie Darko all mixed into one with a comedic twist!

Sounds good to me! Some links of note:

The official “Sleeping Giant” MySpace page (warning- keep your speakers at a modest level due to the background music)

Joey Mason’s deviantArt page (with some comic samples in the gallery section)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Monstrous Music

What does Godzilla and rock music have in common? Well... nothing, admittedly. But musician Adam Alexander is doing his part to bridge that gap with his CD album called The Monster Project; an offering of various Godzilla scores (as well as some other non-Godzilla music, but still monster-related) reinterpreted with an art rock twist. You can get the details here along with some audio samples from the album.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Book Review: Daikaiju! Giant Monster Tales

Kudos to editors Robert Hood and Robin Pen for assembling this great anthology novel- as almost every other subject matter imaginable has been done by fantasy anthologies, I’m surprised that a compilation of short fiction tackling this theme took as long as it did to make an appearance.

The majority of the stories (plus a handful of smaller pieces) in the collection are solid, fun reads with only a couple of entries that I didn’t really care for. I found that the works which I tended to warm up to the most were ones wherein the writer displayed an obvious level of familiarity and fondness for the theme; although there were a couple of contributors who were clearly not as familiar with the particulars of the genre that ended up with some interesting takes on the subject nonetheless (The Transformer of Worlds by Mark Rainey comes to mind). The final piece in the book is an essay regarding giant monsters in film called Wonders 8 Through 88.

A quick list of the stories I particularly enjoyed:

Running- A man participates in an amateur sport which amounts to a monstrous take on the “running of the bulls”.

The Transformer of Worlds- Two rivals adept in traversing and manipulating the alternate existences known as “dream worlds” conduct a battle in our reality with destructive results.

Seven Dates That Were Ruined By Giant Monsters- details of how living in the shadow of daikaiju can also affect one’s love life.

Notes Concerning Events at the Ray Harryhausen Memorial Home for Retired Actors- Those monsters you see in old films? They’re not special effects. They’re real. They’re thespians. And they also eventually get old and retire to specialized nursing homes...

Watching the Titans- a researcher in the vein of Jane Goodall accounts her experiences while observing daikaiju in their natural habitat.

Calibos- an elite military team is dispatched to stop a malfunctioning deep-water probe (a gigantic, mechanical crab) that is destructively carrying out its data-collecting mission on land.

Park Rot- When an enormous robotic mascot goes amok in the Thrill Acres amusement park, Kazuo Tabuchi and his domesticated giant monster, Itara are brought in to solve the problem.

Kungmin Horangi: The People’s Tiger- In a world where nations use daikaiju as weapons of war, North Korea unleashes a most devious creation.

Man in Suit- The brilliant scientist Dr.Nomura is coerced into using an untested invention to rid Japan of the monster Ragnaroka.

If you’re a fan, I definitely recommend hunting down a copy of this book. According to the publisher’s website, a second volume has just been released (and will be available on shortly) as well as plans for a third installment. Cool beans!

4 out of 5.