N710

As I sit here at my desk pretending to do work that matters, I find my thoughts woozily drifting off to to the stars of 2183 and interstellar space travel. Sipping my green shake in my N7 hoodie, I fondly remember my expedition with Garrus, Wrex, and most importantly Commander Sheppard. Ten years have passed, and still the journey is as fresh as the day I started.

With Mass Effect: Andromeda released earlier this year, the Mass Effect series celebrates a Continue reading

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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.

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

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?

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

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.

Five Years

Yes. That’s a Bowie nod.

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With that post, I gave up on trying to get one of my close friends to commit to a regular weekly podcast, I gave up on trying to appease other people’s ideas of what was or wasn’t worthwhile content, and I decided to, for better or worse, plant my own niche on the internet, and see how it would grow.

Has it been as successful as I originally Continue reading

The Greatest Robots of Sci-Fi Cinema

Greatest Robots of Sci-Fi Cinema

Man….who loves science fiction that doesn’t love robots?

Here’s a list, in no particular order, of the best robots of Science Fiction Films!!

The only real rules on this list are, a) I’m going to stick to just robots. No androids (an easy excuse to not actually create a robot for the film, or save money by just having an actor walk around claiming robotness) or cyborgs (with one arguable entry). Also, I’m going to Continue reading

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – A Treat for Witches and Wizards Everywhere

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

2016 has been a special year for Harry Potter fans. First we were able to get our hands on another Harry Potter book focusing on the children of our beloved characters, The Cursed Child. Now, JK Rowling has given us a brand new set of amazing characters in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

In Fantastic Beasts, Harry Potter and friends do not even exist yet. Set in the mid 1920’s, we get to experience the wizarding world across the pond in New York City focusing on the adventures of Newt Scamander, author of one of the famous Hogwarts textbooks, wait for it, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t Continue reading

Hero Within: Geek Chic’s Next Level

Today is a special day.

My friend Tony, who is very well integrated in the nerd world (he hosts many panels all over the US, including San Diego Comic Con, and runs his own blog ‘Crazy4ComicCon‘), is bringing fashion and geekiness together with a line of nerdy clothing for men with a slight twist on what we’re used to.

I met Tony a few years ago through common fandoms and interests on social media, and officially at Philly Wizard World when he had reached out to me regarding panels he was set to host, and looking for knowledgeable nerds for panelists, and knew I had quite a few connections. Since then, he’s referred to me as his ‘Nick Fury’ if you will (Nicolette Fury?). I gather geek professionals for his Philly Wizard World panels, and it’s a blast.

What I’ve always noticed each year I saw Tony, even through pictures that he posts on his many con adventures, is that  Continue reading