Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mothra is My Homeboy

Brace yourself. There are about to be a lot more empty couches in the basement bedrooms of Moms everywhere in the United States as San Diego's annual celebration of the surreal, Comic-Con gears up and officially opens this Thursday.

I thought Harry Potter mania or whatever last week's outpouring of support by devotees of Harry Potter and the Final Payday (yes?) for the last movie in that series was overwhelming, along comes Comic-Con and the scale shifts again (I think the Potter movie is only the last one until someone figures out a way to resuscitate the franchise, and if there's enough money, someone will).

I should be careful where I tread. I'm the guy who gets up on Sunday mornings to read Prince Valiant in the newspaper so I really should find rocks that are as hard as marshmallows or get thicker curtains for my transparent walls. The kinds of devotion people have to comics, or should I say graphic novels (and are they separate items or extensions of the same art-form or....y'know what? I don't care) is harmless or, for the most part, harmless. Especially when you're eleven. Too much beyond your 'best if used by' date and the cuteness quotient declines precipitously as far as I'm concerned.

Right now, we're loving the comic book heroes (or we're making a lot of movies about them) with Transformers, Green Lantern, Captain America, Tim Pawlenty (okay, three out of four and Tim doesn't even know Megan Fox, whom it turns out doesn't know Michael Bay or a money-making franchise when she sees one). But, child of the novelty that I am, and with every manner of revival in full ka-ching mode, I wonder why no one has revisited Godzilla and that entire genre of cheesy lunacy.

I don't want them remade with a kabillion dollars worth of effects, cameos by George Clooney, Jessica Biel and Matt Damon or music by the London Symphony Orchestra. Heck, they don't even need to be in color. They were almost perfect the way they were, right down to the obvious toy truckness of the 'army' vehicles one or the other of the horrible creatures destroys on their rampage to and through Tokyo (I LOVE the narrator of the clip; anyone this serious about anything this silly needs to chill).

The greatest thing about any of these movies are the ones where Mothra puts in an appearance, along with her pin-sized posse, the "Cosmos" (okay, maybe some special effects money invested here wouldn't be such a bad idea; and feel free to hire a coach to teach Mothra to swim, please). I wouldn't be surprised to learn there are studies somewhere suggesting when economic times are tough(er) the appeal of fantasy, as books, records, movies, you name it, increases. And I believe we need all the pint-sized people singing in high-pitched voices we can get, even in Congress.

Their appeal? I think it's because so many of us want to believe in something bigger and beyond ourselves. If Jesus is just alright, then Yoshimi, they don't believe me but you won't let those robots defeat me. At least until we have a prequel and sequel deal plus merchandising rights on three continents. Our machines will call your machines and do lunch.
-bill kenny

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