The King Is Dead. Long Live The King of Monsters.

Anyone who knows me, knows I have a love for a LOT of different things. Some wonder how I can keep track of it all, but I’d say if you ask the people who really know me what my favorite things are, they’ll tell you, tacos, coffee, road trips, Dinosaur Jr, cardigan sweaters, and Godzilla.

So it is with a very, very heavy heart that today, we say goodbye to Haruo Nakajima. Better known as Godzilla.

Not just ANY Godzilla either. Nakajima was THE original King of Monsters in the 1954 film. However, perhaps more importantly, he remained to play Godzilla in throughout the Showa era until his retirement from the role, ending with 1972’s Godzilla vs Gigan. These are the Godzilla movies that most of us who grew up with them know and love the best. From starting out as the frightening, then transforming to the goofy, the crazy, the occasionally trippy, the monster, the hero. The King.

Below this, I’ve listed all the kaiju movies he’s done. You’ll notice that he wasn’t JUST Godzilla. He was the original Mothra, Rodan and Mogera as well as a host of others.

Outside of the beloved Kaiju movies, he was also in a few of Akira Kurosawa’s famous samurai film, notably, Seven Samurai.

Nakjima is still considered the best suit actor ever. To the Japanese film industry, he was what Andy Serkis now is to mocap. You knew when he was in that suit because he had certain moves, the way he walked, fought, waved his hands around, reacted to things… So many people are dismissive of Godzilla movies as rubber-monster-camp. To an extent they’re right. Just watch some of the goofier entries. I won’t deny the campiness of those films. What you can’t be dismissive of, is the talent that really brought Godzilla to life for so many of us. I’ve often said that the greatest actors are the ones that make you forget who’s behind the portrayal. With the heavy suits on though, Nakajima instead reminded us who was inside the portrayal.

In an interview, he was asked, “What is Godzilla to you?” and his response nails it;

He’s my partner! He’s my partner. He can’t be a character without me, but I get inside and he’s the boss.
He’s the boss, but I’m his partner. We can’t stand alone. We’re partners because we share the same feelings.

The wonderful thing is, he never stopped being a hero to legions and generations of kaiju fans. Up to this past year, he was still making the rounds. Hitting the convention circuit, always smiling, always happy to meet new and younger fans. He was kind and humble for his station. In this new age of CGI, as wild as it is, you can never replace the fun and heart of those older films.

Just as you can never replace Haruo Nakajima.

Here’s a short video of the last time Nakjima donned the Godzilla mantel. In 1983. The suit he’s wearing here was made for Godzilla’s 25th Anniversary in 1979. However, the wonderful thing is, once he’s going, he IS Godzilla. Those classic, signature moves, the stance… That’s love.

  • 1954 – Godzilla (Godzilla, Newspaper Writer)
  • 1955 – Godzilla Raids Again (Godzilla)
  • 1956 – Rodan (Rodan, Meganulon, JSDF Officer)
  • 1957 – The Mysterians (Mogera, JDSF Officer)
  • 1958 – Varan the Unbelievable (Varan)
  • 1961 – Mothra (Mothra)
  • 1962 – King Kong vs. Godzilla (Godzilla)
  • 1963 – Matango (Matango)
  • 1963 – Atragon
  • 1964 – Mothra vs. Godzilla (Godzilla)
  • 1964 – Dogora, the Space Monster
  • 1964 – Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (Godzilla)
  • 1965 – Frankenstein vs. Baragon (Baragon)
  • 1965 – Invasion of the Astro-Monster (Godzilla)
  • 1966 – The War of the Gargantuas (Gaira)
  • 1966 – Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (Godzilla)
  • 1967 – Son of Godzilla (Godzilla; water scenes only)
  • 1967 – King Kong Escapes (King Kong)
  • 1968 – Destroy All Monsters (Godzilla, Military Adviser)
  • 1969 – Latitude Zero (Gryphon, Manbat, Giant Rat, Lion)
  • 1969 – All Monsters Attack (Godzilla)
  • 1970 – Space Amoeba (Gezora, Ganime)
  • 1971 – Godzilla vs. Hedorah (Godzilla)
  • 1972 – Godzilla vs. Gigan (Godzilla, Comic Book Publisher, Defense Forces Officer)

Credit to who ever made this collage. It’s awesome.

Review: Netflix’ “Castlevania”

I’m going to go for the top 10 reasons here. I’m not making a top 10 list per se, I’m just going to list the reasons as they’re in my brain. A word of warning. Here there be spoilers.

………Okay, just so you’re listening, there’s spoilers. I mean, go watch the series, it’s only 4 20-ish minute episodes.

Okay. You’ve been warned, here it goes: Continue reading

The 13th Doctor Has Been Revealed!

And for some reason, people have a problem with it… Not that this surprises anyone.

This is a long and difficult post. However, I really need to get this off my chest.

A friend of mine and I had a good conversation a while back. It was about gender/race swapping comic book characters. He, as a black man, had some pretty good insights on the subject. Honestly, he’s one of the smartest geeks I know. He will beat you in quite a lot of comic book trivia. But ultimately his opinion boiled down to a simple truth;

If it doesn’t define the character, it doesn’t matter.

I’d never thought of it that way, but Continue reading

We Talk, They Listen: An Unrivaled Follow-Up

If you thought that the Unrivaled Tournament Series was starting to sound like those emails your grandma gets from a Nigerian prince with untold fortunes, that’s exactly how Darren Holt, Executive Producer of the Unrivaled TS, felt as he jokingly discussed his concerns about the initial public perception of the event. After reading my original article about my excitement and apprehensions, Holt reached out for a quick phone interview to clarify some of the information I had reported. In addition, CEO/Founder Michael Williams of Oomba also took the time to write an extensive comment regarding the public’s concerns. Here’s a breakdown of the information gathered from these sources:

The Unrivaled Tournament Series encourages players of every level to support their local game stores while promoting a love of gaming as a whole. This will help to expand the market, drawing in new players of all ages. Because of the rise in the gaming industry, Holt sees a place where tSports (Table Top Sports) are almost equal to eSports.

“Legitimacy is everything,” Holt states, in regards to the information given and displayed to the public. When asked about the lack of details to the public, Holt explains that it was necessary to Continue reading

It’s here….JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE – Official Trailer

It’s a movie that you didn’t realize you wanted to see as bad as you want to see it. People don’t generally say, “Man, I loved Jumanji/Zathura”, but they do. For some reason none of us can explain, we love this series.
It’s like “Hackers”. Man, that was a cheesy movie, but not only will I watch it every time it’s on, I will sometimes just be in the mood to watch it. Why? I can’t explain it. It’s just fun.

So….Who’s coming to see the new Jumanji with me?

Can You Expect Survival in the ‘Unrivaled’?

unrivaled-tournamentUp until recently, if you were labeled a professional gamer, most people would think that you must be involved in the rise of popular competitions for eSport games like Overwatch, Rocket League, League of Legends, etc. However, table top gamers have been waiting in the shadows for their chance, and now it is happening.

Enter Oomba and the Unrivaled Tournament Series 2017. Oomba, a tournament management system and social network for sports and games, has created a tabletop tournament series like Continue reading

A Worried Man Searches For The Human Highway

This started out as a Facebook post. Then it got long. Then it turned into a story that I thought was better shared here. If you enjoy it, awesome. If you don’t, I get it. It’s long, but not as long as my wait for a song.

Here’s one of many tales of being a nerd in the days before the internet. I’ll peg this around 1989 – 1990-ish. Continue reading

Star Wars Celebration 2017: The Experience

Earlier this week, Monday, April 17th, 2017, the halls of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida were quiet.

The four days earlier, however, were a different story.

This year celebrates 40 years of one of the largest, most beloved film franchises of all time, Star Wars. Since 1999, just before the release of the first prequel movie, The Phantom Menace, there has been intermittent gatherings of the fans as the Star Wars Celebration conventions have been held all around the world.

America, Japan, England, Germany….the phenomena that is Star Wars knows no boundaries and can be found in the hearts of fans of every age, gender, race, religion, culture, and creed.  Many of them were in attendance at this past weekend’s Celebration, and Amanda and I were glad to be counted among the masses.

Day One – Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Acclimation. Learning the ropes. Looking around, eyes wide, and testing the waters before the real waves hit.

Exhausted from spending  the day before at Disneyworld (my first time!), we decided to Continue reading

Reading Without Walls

Of all the social media “challenges” I’ve seen over the years, this is perhaps my favorite, and it’s happening now, in the month of April, but you can feel free to continue it as long as you like.

Reading Without Walls is happening now, and anyone can participate — teachers, librarians, book-sellers, and readers. Just find something new and different to read — and let books open up the world around you.

Thanks to books series that have been made popular through movies and TV series like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), Twilight, and I’m sure upcoming, American Gods, the hobby of reading books has retained a love and following that I once feared becoming extinct.

This year, however, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Luen Yang, has issued a challenge to the world. #ReadingWithoutWalls

The challenge goes like this:

It’s that simple! Once you’ve finished (or heck, before you even start!) don’t forget to challenge your friends as well. Also, make sure to use the hashtag #ReadingWithoutWalls on your posts to join the community and spread the word.

Reading Without Walls aims to promote diversity and learning through exposing people to ideas, cultures, experiences and concepts outside of their normal circles and/or comfort zones. To help us all better understand one another at a time when we couldn’t feel or seem more divided.

READING WITHOUT WALLS is an inclusive way to spread appreciation and understanding for others — and to learn new and exciting things.

Poll: Which Video Game RPG Is Your Favorite and Why?

RPGs have long been a staple of the hardcore geek/nerd. Some people think this started with Dungeons & Dragons. In the current incarnation this may be true. Although I’m not sure of what or how, something tells me there has to have been Continue reading