Important Updates! (Don’t Restart Your Computer)


It’s been awhile since I have updated personally on what’s been going on.  I started this blog as a semi-personal update blog and a place to slap all my writings, but it has grown a bit more beyond that and I wanted to share some really cool updates.

First of all, as I mentioned in an earlier post from January, I have been spending the better part of the past 10-ish months as the church planting intern at Appleton Gospel in Appleton, WI.  It has been an incredible experience with some great chances to preach, counsel, lead, and learn.  David, our lead pastor, is an exceptional leader and friend that I have enjoyed spending time with and learning from.  As of last week Friday, we had our follow-up meeting on the assessment process and now approved to church plant with the EFCA!  +4 Church Planting Powers!  Tina and I are both very excited to continue on this journey towards planting a church, and you can now expect some regular updates on us, where we will be planting, and what’s next and how you can pray and help!  We would love to hear from you and , Lord willing, join us in planting the gospel in a community of the Fox Valley!

Second, since I last did a personal update on here, Tina’s cake decorating and cupcake business has exploded!  I have always reaped the insane benefits of her baking mastery, but things have gone crazy around here.  She now has a cupcake club for the local Appleton and Fox Valley area and is delivering cupcakes to a bunch of people twice a month.  She is designing and decorating the cake for my brother Nick’s wedding in October, and I couldn’t be more excited for the future.  The dream is to one day have a brick and mortar location, but one step at a time to that goal!

Also, she has been writing as of late, as well.  I shared one of her posts here last week, and I wanted to highlight going to her blog to read all her posts.  She typically writes once a week on topics that personally relate to her life as a wife and mother, but is honest and true to the struggles of life as well as the joys.  She writes at OUR BIT OF CHAOS.  I love her and I love her writing, and I am positive you will love her writing, as well.

Lastly, after some conversations I had over the past week and culminating on Tuesday night with Mikey Fissel of Reel World Theology, I have officially joined Reel World Theology as a content creator for weekly posts on the site as well as sometimes co-host for the Reel World Theology Podcast.  Fizz contacted me shortly after I started Movie Church, which I posted about last week, and it made total sense for the two of us to combine our like-minded goals and merge what I was starting with Movie Church into what Fizz has already been doing with Reel World Theology.  Movie Church is no more but it is new beginnings with new friends at Reel World Theology.

What Fizz has done with Reel World Theology is fantastic and I am super excited to join him in helping people to redeem entertainment and see the reflection of God’s character in the movies and TV shows we watch.  You can read that daily content starting September 16th and I will link to where to find that content below.  Thanks for supporting me and Movie Church!  The journey is not over, it now has a different name.

Thanks for all who care and now that some pieces are being put in place, I will be writing on ministry, culture, movies, etc. on here a bit more often than I did over our busy summer.


Links to Stuff I Talked About:

Appleton Gospel

Forest Lakes District of the EFCA

CrabbCakes (Tina’s Bakery on Facebook)

Our Bit of Chaos

Reel World Theology (website)

Reel World Theology on Facebook

Reel World Theology on Twitter


Mental Illness and Real Life



Between the high profile suicide of Robin Williams, a tragic loss of a hilarious and fine actor, as well as the awareness being built surrounding the tragedy of Rick Warren’s son, , mental Illness has been on the Christian radar a lot as of late.

This struggle hits close to home for myself and my family, as my wife has struggled with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since a very traumatic event in her life 12 years ago.  I will not share specifics but know that she was traumatized and had to relive that trauma multiple times in a short period of time where she almost took her own life, like Williams and Warren did do.

Not only is it a struggle to live with such trauma, but it is almost equally a struggle to be a Christian believer and live with the expectations, imposed from both inside and out.  It can be difficult for other Christians to understand the plight of someone with a mental illness, but a good portion of the population of America struggles with it in one form or another and it is important for people to speak up and speak for those with mental illnesses.

My wife thought it was time to speak up and add her voice as one that can understand and advocate with those who struggle with PTSD and other mental illnesses.  She wrote a great post I wanted to share here so that you, fine reader, can get help or help someone with a mental illness.  You are not alone in this struggle, and my wife speaks beautifully to that in her post over at Our Bit of Chaos.

Click on the post title to read my wife’s post: …Robin Williams…Mental Illness…and Real Life…


The First Time We Saw Him


I am a regular and very avid listener to podcasts.  My favorite time to listen to podcasts is when I am conscious.  Rarely will I complete the menial tasks of my work day without listening to the Cracked podcast, Extratime Radio, /Film podcast, sermons, Comedy Bang Bang, etc.

Yesterday I got around to listening to one of my favorite podcasts on the whole wide internets, the Storymen podcast.  I instantly knew I would love this podcast when I first listened since it combines my three favorite obsessions and passions; theology, pop culture and history!  It says it right on their main banner!  (Could this count as my, “When I First Heard Them” moment?)

Anywho, they have some great guests on the show, talk about really interesting and engaging topics, and I love it when they get around to talking story, narrative, and culture.  Speaking of story, this past Friday they interviewed one of their own, Matt Mikalatos, on his new book, “The First Time We Saw Him.”

His new book is an effort to re-tell Jesus’ parables in a more culturally updated form.  When Jesus told a parable, he was striving to make the audience who heard it, and us, the readers, through the gospel writers, feel uncomfortable and confront their traditional and errant views of salvation, justice, obedience, etc.  Mikalatos’ new book aims for us to feel uncomfortable and the confrontational power of those stories by contextualizing the stories for a modern day audience that might not get the significance of the racially and heretically offensive Samaritan or the significance of a lost sheep.  Trust me, he shares those two stories and they are really powerful and I can only imagine the rest of the book has just as much substance.  I highly recommend listening to this podcast.

LISTEN to the podcast – “The First Time We Saw Him”

Even more than listening to the podcast, pick up Matt’s book that drops today!  I plan on picking up a copy and doing one of those binge reads where you ignore most of life until you’re done!  It’s only $9.99 on the Kindle and $11.24 in paperback.

The First Time We Saw Him
Click here to pick up a copy!


I Am a GODzilla Fearing Man

Re-View (Black)


Every movie, TV show, or documentary is not just entertainment but has truth claims that shape the message and story of that medium.  Re:View’s mission is reviewing movies with God in view.  Echoing Paul’s charge that, “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” (1 Corinthians 10:31), Re:View looks to see where God’s truth can inform stories and where His truth can be found in the narratives and themes of the movies we watch.

Godzilla (2014) – Directed by Gareth Edwards



There are many people, directors and fanboys alike, who would love to have Gareth Edwards’ life right now.  After a successful directorial debut with the 2010 sci-fi/fantasy drama Monsters, which garnered tons of fans and the admiration of late, great movie critic Roger Ebert and others, Edwards’ landed the $160 million budget Godzilla reboot.  Shortly before the resulting Godzilla movie landed in theaters in May 2014, Edwards was hired to direct one of the Star Wars standalone films that will be released between the new trilogy movies.  Edwards’ must be somewhere muttering Han Solo’s famous line, “Sometimes, I amaze even myself.”

Tossing aside the amazing exploits of the past 4-ish years by Gareth Edwards, he did some serious work to make the new Godzilla movie a better version of Roland Emmerich’s 1998 version of the movie.  It has been well documented that previous incarnations or re-cuts of the Godzilla movies have not translated well from Japan to America.  This movie definitely stressed a more rooted return to the 1954 classic that launched Godzilla into the pantheon of movie monsters.  From naming one of the characters after the eye-patched Dr. Serizawa of the original film to the first part of the movie and a major plot device focusing on nuclear testing and nuclear power, Edwards’ Godzilla was not going to repeat the mistakes of the past with the “King of the Monsters”.

Although opinions vary on the new Godzilla movie, I join the chorus praising the movie for its overall success and introducing a better and truer Godzilla.  My partiality on this may be a bit more of my own personal preference for how the film was directed and the influence some of my favorite directors had on the movie.  For one, the name Ford Brody is a dead giveaway that Edwards’ was influenced by the great Stephen Spielberg.  Edwards even directly stated the feel of what he was going for was to replicate the suspense of Spielberg’s JAWS.  Throw in a sterling performance by Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston that came off with a bit of a Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones style intensity and you had a recipe for a Spielberg-ian feel to this movie.

Another small influence on the movie that I could definitely see was the influence of the late HR Giger and the Alien movies.  Edwards also has said that he really wanted the darker, more suspenseful portions to mimic the more fearful moments of Alien.  Towards the end of the movie when Brody and other soldiers are down on the ground level of San Francisco you can feel that tension and darkness through the thick clouds of wreckage.  It’s slightly terrifying and definitely something you do not expect from a movie with a 350-foot monster.

In an ode to Giger and Spielberg’s JAWS, what Edwards accomplishes in Godzilla, and what was masterfully done in Monsters, is to play on the elements of suspense and fear surrounding the impending monster while also probing the deeper fears of our collective societal sub-conscience.    

Edwards wanted to take the fear we associate with being shocked on-screen and take it into a deeper realm that the original 1954 Godzilla had done with Japanese fears of nuclear warfare.  However, the threat of a nuclear disaster has not reared its head in the American public conscience since the Chernobyl disaster in the 1980’s.  Edwards had to ask, “What did American and global audiences fear with similar intensity to nuclear fears that gave rise to the Cold War?”  In Edwards’ own words:

“You have to ask yourself, “What does Godzilla represent?” The thing we kept coming up with is that he’s a force of nature, and if nature had a mascot, it would be Godzilla. So what do the other creatures represent? They represent man’s abuse of nature, and the idea is that Godzilla is coming to restore balance to something mankind has disrupted.”

The nuclear power plant, the nuclear warheads, military prowess, giant skyscrapers, monorails, fighter planes, among many other things are props and motifs showcasing human and scientific mastery over nature and the elements.  The opening scene of the jungle-scape of the Philippines being marred by a giant quarry is the opening salvo of the war between man and nature.  Godzilla and the MUTOS rise out the depths in response to human abuses of nature and act as a counter-balance to what human progress has knocked out of balance.

In the opening sequence we see a JFK-like cut of old film reels and ancient artifacts showing historical depictions of sea serpents, dragons, and other symbolic and religious imagery of giant monsters.  Edwards acknowledged, “[T]he idea is that for all of time man has always found that there’s something out there for us to worship or fear, and it’s gone away for a while but in our film it returns.”  Nature can be fearful and unknown and as a people we have always been struck with the awe-inspiring wonder of what we see

The GOD in Godzilla is a testament to this wonder and fear we rightly have toward nature and the unknown.  Throughout history we have tried to quantify this fear of nature and its unknowns through dragons, sea serpents, yetis, etc.  Today’s modern version of these projected fears of the unknown and powerful are to make giant 350-foot monsters that rampage across our big screens and into our collective social and cultural consciousness.

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. Romans 1:19-20

It is no coincidence that Godzilla’s name starts with God.  Edwards mirrors the Apostle Paul’s assertion that what we fear about nature is really a greater fear of the God who created all these things.  We can perceive God in the giant mountains, the great depths of the seas, and the intensity and far off wonder of the sun.  We see His eternal power and supernatural character and we rightly fear nature and perceive the divinity ruling over nature.  This fear is captured brilliantly in Godzilla through the camera perspectives that avoid the typical movie-like panoramas or frames of the monsters and it focuses on human and ground-level perspectives of the monsters that give the movie this awe-inducing and massive-scale.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”  Proverbs 9:10

All of these elements witness to the rightful fear we have over nature and the great majesty and power behind all of it.  The epic King of the Monsters points us to the even more epic King of Kings who created all things and whose majesty and power are behind every created thing.  In a time where we believe nature is at our mercy due to scientific knowledge and vast human progress, Godzilla points us to the eternal truth of our finitude and counters our supposed mastery of the natural elements with every squished building and MUTO digested nuclear missile.

“For he knows our frame;
    he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.”  Psalm 103:14-16

Our great and powerful creator, the God of the universe, knows that we are mere dust.  Every city destroying moment of Godzilla reflects the plain truths of man’s grass-like nature.  Like David Strathairn’s character, Admiral Stenz, we try to suppress the truth like the people Paul refers to in Romans one.  However, we cannot hide the 350-foot monster in the room.  The fall in the garden of Adam and Eve has led to the ills described by Edwards in Godzilla; man’s abuse of nature, death, strife, nuclear war.  It has also created a literal gulf between us and our creator and separated us from him.  Our sinful repression of God’s truth bears the same fruit as trying to hide the rampaging of kaiju; it reaps death and destruction in our lives and in the world and reveals the wrath of God.

“But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all.”  Psalm 103:17-19

But God has not left us under His wrath, which is revealed against our unrighteous suppression of the truth, and has fully revealed his steadfast love in His son, Jesus Christ.  Like the soldiers halo jumping into the hell-torn cityscape of San Francisco, the literal saviors from the monsters, we are safe from His destruction and wrath through the condescending into history of Jesus Christ, our savior from the monsters of sin, Satan, death, and hell.

 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”  Romans 3:23-24

We no longer have to fear the destruction wrought by our sin and have been redeemed through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross and given a new life to walk with him in faith.  Godzilla is that reminder of the destruction sinful man has wrought and points to the God who has given us a savior in the perfect man, Jesus Christ.

6 Hilarious and Crazy Pieces of Drama To Get You Excited for the World Cup


If you were not aware, today is the start of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.  If you are aware and are as excited as I am, let’s be friends!  If you are not aware, please see this overview from the Bleacher Report and come back to this article once you are done!  You’re back now?  Cool, are you excited?  Let’s be friends!  If you read that and/or already were aware and you do not care, please park your eyeballs on my blog over the next month and you will get super-excited for the World Cup!  If not for the actual product on the field, then hopefully these six bits of hilarious drama will jump start your interest in some of the storylines for the beautiful game’s pinnacle of soccer glory.

Sacré bleu (and other French profanities no French person actually uses!)

French international Samir Nasri is one of my favorite players and a critical cog in my team, Manchester City.  His goal against West Ham ultimately proved to be the Premier League Winner, and his goal against Sunderland in the League Cup Championship won that competition for the Sky Blues, as well.  After a disappointing 2012-13, 2013-14 has been quite good for the French Midfielder.

However, he can, at times, have a bit of a personality problem.  His poor season from 12-13 was rumored to result from disagreements with former Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini, and he has been called a bit of a diva and has had turbulent go rounds with his French National teammates.  When Nasri was left off the roster for the World Cup, for a second time, by French National coach Didier Deschamps, the French coach admitted it was due to Nasri’s standoffish behavior and it was selection that took into account team chemistry.  Ouch!

So how does the talented French left Mid respond?  A stern letter?  A press release?  Crop circle?  Airplane banner?  Naw, let’s throw caution to the wind and have his girlfriend draft an expletive-laden rant against the French coach!  C’est magnifique!

The only problem with said rant?  Apparently it is a civil offense in France to commit a public insult (we’ll leave the “WHAT?” moment of that out of this story) and now Deschamps had his feelings hurt and is filing a civil suit against Nasri’s girlfriend, Anara Atanes.  Oops.

Atanes response to the whole dustup?  Atanes has since tweeted: “I apologize if i offended anyone from france, My tweets were not aimed at the nation as a whole.”  Well duh and way to take back nothing…

LD is LOL’d

Probably the bit of news you were most likely to have heard was the exclusion of the iconic Landon Donovan from the USA’s final roster of 23 players that will be headed to Brazil.  It was and still is a huge controversy and will be an overly belabored talking point in all US Team coverage.

Controversy on the decision aside, the more hilarious part of this story was the son of US National Coach Jurgen Klinsmann posting a tweet laughing about the fact that Donovan was left off the roster. 

Every person knows that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t convince some people to not post things to social media.  Jonathan Klinsmann, Jurgen’s son, quickly learned a valuable lesson.  Not only did he receive major backlash from the Twitter-verse, but he suffered the stern admonition from his dear old dad.  The US under-18 goalkeeper had his twitter account deleted and got a talking to.  Jurgen said, ”He realized what he’s done, so he was devastated yesterday. And obviously as a father you put him in line and he owes him a huge, huge apology. That was highly disrespectful, and I think he got his biggest social media lesson that he could imagine.”  A talking to from your dad?  It happens.  Having that talking to publicly broadcast across the entire world?  Lesson learned.

If the last two points have taught us anything, fine readers, it is to make sure your brain moves faster than your thumbs/typing fingers.  Also, if anyone connected to you is famous, especially your immediate family (are you listening Victoria Jennings?) you might want to just skip it all together and vent it all into the old fashioned diary.

Cameroonian Players Grounded due to Unpaid Bonuses

Apparently Cameroon’s players wanted their World Cup bonus a little early and more than originally promised.  They dis-liked what they were getting so much they initially refused to board their plane for Brazil until the matter was settled.  One way to rally your country for a dark horse run in the World Cup is to put up the equivalent of a teenage tantrum for not getting an advance on your allowance while 30% of the population of Cameroon don’t have jobs and 48% are below the poverty line.  The whole saga comes off as a bit of privileged whining from a roster of players that are only made up of two players that play in Cameroon.  But don’t worry folks, the matter was resolved and you won’t miss out on all your favorite stars from Cameroon!

You might be asking how all this was resolved so quickly before the World Cup?  Well, when the Cameroon Football Federation was left in this pickle, it solved the problem by taking out a personal loan in order to pay the players their bonuses before leaving for Brazil.  Heartening to know one of the 32 teams in Brazil are playing on an IOU.  Comforting, surely.

Cameroon took a page out of the book of Homer.
Cameroon took a page out of the book of Homer.

No Boom-Boom Before Big Fight

For some reason, despite research the contrary, coaches continue to view amorous liaisons as having a detrimental effect on to the efforts during a game.  Miguel Herrera, the Mexican National coach, outright banned his players from having sex during their time in Brazil for the World Cup.  Herrera was quoted during a press conference, “If a player cannot endure a month or 20 days without having intercourse, then you are not prepared to be a professional.”  Apparently Herrera is shooting for the whole repressed sexual aggression vibe to stoke the fires of winning amongst his players.  Something that would not sit well with Charlie Sheen, the King of Winning.

Not to be outdone in weird, sexually repressive demands, Brazil Coach Luis Felipe Scolari said of the World Cup favorites, “The players can have normal sex during the World Cup. Usually normal sex is done in a balanced way but some like to perform acrobatics. We will put limits and survey the players.”  I don’t think there have been any studies done on the injuries involved in “acrobatic sex”, but safe to say I am glad I am not the assistant of some assistant on the Brazil team, because the Brazilian team’s “acrobatic sex survey” is going straight to that guy and that is not something you can proudly tout on your resume.

Italian Jesus at the World Cup

Not to be outdone by the Italian National player, Andrea Pirlo, who actually looks like Jesus, Mario Balotelli, the controversial and always ridiculous Italian striker, decided to post this picture on Facebook of himself as the Christ the Redeemer statue:

Um, k…

Honestly, if you want a reason to watch Italy’s games, it is this guy.  He is wonderfully talented, incredibly imposing when on his game, and exciting to watch.  He is also constantly creating headlines for on the field and off the field antics.  When he was a part of Manchester City, he allegedly set fire to his bathroom with fireworks and then was made Manchester’s “Ambassador of Fireworks Safety” a few days later.  And that is merely the tip of the iceberg with this guy.  Stay tuned, if Balotelli is on his game, Italy could win it all.  If not, he could end up head-butting a guy in extra time.

Brazil is a Dystopian Warzone

Don’t be deceived by all the wonderful and colorful pictures of Brazil and Rio that you see during the World Cup.  Brazil has been under-fire for years now due to economic and social instability, police-state tactics, and labor strikes leading right up to the days before the World Cup.  Police invaded flavelas, inner-city slum areas, in order to clear out potential problems leading up to the World Cup, and have been known to just swoop in on suspected criminals and gun them down in public.  Brazil resembles less of a progressing first-world country and more of the dystopian movie, Brazil.

The crazy thing is that the next World Cup is in Russia, who will have the same problems with human rights and political strife that it had in this year’s Winter Olympics.  And then the next World Cup in 2022 is supposed to be in Qatar, a country full of political corruption, rumored slave labor building towns and stadiums for the World Cup, and requests to investigate fraud, corruption, and bribery in the selection of Qatar as the host country.  But happy World Cup everybody!  If you can’t get excited about the soccer and the players, at least get excited about the crazy crap that could happen while you tune in!

Meddling in Foreign Affairs: America’s Short and Silly History With Godzilla and Hope for Better Times


Ishiro Honda’s 1954 movie Gojira, stands the test of time as a classic of film.  Godzilla, the skyscraper-crushing, train-eating, King of the Monsters, is a fairly obvious and stunning metaphor for the nuclear fears that still gripped Japan only 9 years after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the devastation in cities like Tokyo from the nightly fire bombings of US and Allied planes during the closing stages of World War II.  As the movie progresses we are gripped by heart-wrenching scenes as a mother comforts her children shortly before the building they are in is bulldozed by our radioactive protagonist, as well as countless scenes of citizens on stretchers and injured people being monitored by doctors and scientists with equipment monitoring radioactivity.  These scenes are not just dark and tragic but were reality for a whole country that had laid eyes on this kind of devastation less than a  decade previous.

When the Japanese military successfully defeat Godzilla at the conclusion of the movie using the deadly Oxygen Destroyer super-weapon, Dr. Serizawa, the inventor of the super-weapon, burns the research for his weapon and then takes his own life so the knowledge of the weapon dies with him.  The Japanese not only feared the bomb that had desolated their cities, but Honda placed a stark commentary on what they would do with knowledge of such a weapon.

The movie made waves around the world, but was all in Japanese.  This movie was A-list quality, but it needed a different cut in order to keep its A-list billing in the United States and cater to American audiences who had not yet developed a full sense of hipster snobbery about foreign films.  The American re-cut of the movie, “Godzilla: King of the Mosters!”, keeps the story of Godzilla, but waters down the narrative with the unfortunate addition of Raymond Burr as Steve Martin, an American reporter who delivers commentary on the disaster as well as added scenes to help explain the film to an American audience.  It is not Bur’s performance that ruins the movie, but Burr’s commentary and dialogue is a horrible addition that breaks up the tension and suspense of the film and extinguishes a lot of the narrative momentum that made Honda’s film so good.  Thus started a long history of Japanese products being lost in translation to the American audience (“All your base are belong to us”).

Like a determined grandparent set on getting their kid Frozen for Christmas but being duped into buying the cheap knock-off Snow Queen, America would persevere to churn out the regurgitated version of Godzilla 1985: The Legend is Reborn.  Once again, as if paying homage to the fact they messed up the first one, Raymond Burr reprises his role in the American version of this film.  This movie is not up to the Japanese quality of the first Godzilla, so you can imagine how bad it was as an American version.

Probably the most notoriously bad of the Godzilla movies is America’s first attempt at making their own Godzilla movie.  Forget the 40 year history of Godzilla and all the other Kaiju that had been built up around the “King of the Monsters” mythos.  Remember that movie Jursassic Park?  Yeah, how about a Godzilla that looks more like a T-Rex!  And those Velociraptors?  Those were so awesome!  How about Godzilla babies that are velociraptor-like?  Ka-ching!

Unfortunately, or maybe not, the American public saw right through that and the movie famously flopped.   Although I have heard a good case made that the Roland Emmerich 1998 Godzilla performed just as well as the new Edwards’ Godzilla movie currently is, the movie was hyped with expectations that ultimately failed to deliver for fans or for critics.

Borrowed from
Borrowed from

The Japanese had their own take on the new, re-designed Godzilla.  In the movie Godzilla: Final Wars, the 1998 re-design was lampooned as a kaiju named “Zilla” that is onscreen for about 10 seconds before he is radioactively toasted and booted out of the movie by Gojira himself.  The makers of that film have been quoted as saying that the 1998 movie had taken “God” out of “Godzilla” and therefore deserved the shortened moniker, as well as the atomic halitosis and quick exit.  There had now been three famous instances of Godzilla flaming out when Americans got their hands on remaking the radioactive, fire-breathing king, and it was getting hostile out there.

The dream would not die, however.  In 2010, Legendary pictures hired Gareth Edwards to remake Godzilla.  Edwards was fresh off making his indie-debut, Monsters, a film about an alien-invasion in Central America that is one part suspense, one part drama, and one part social commentary.  Edwards seemed like an ideal fit due to his careful design of the alien “monsters”, as well as the suspenseful drama he had managed to build around the few actual glimpses we get of the aliens in his movie.

When Edwards was asked what he planned on doing with the Japanese kaiju king, he said;

“You have to ask yourself, “What does Godzilla represent?” The thing we kept coming up with is that he’s a force of nature, and if nature had a mascot, it would be Godzilla. So what do the other creatures represent? They represent man’s abuse of nature, and the idea is that Godzilla is coming to restore balance to something mankind has disrupted.”

The mascot of nature, Godzilla himself, was coming to a theater near you with great hope and trepidation, from fans and critics alike, to restore not just the balance of nature in Edwards’ film but restore the balance of Godzilla movies.  American remakes had been a collective cannon ball weighing down Godzilla movie-dom and Edwards was tasked with righting the ship of one of movie’s most beloved monsters.

Four years later the vision of Godzilla came to fruition in a to-date box office of $177 million domestically and a worldwide gross of over $376 million.  The story of this movie has not been fully written, and although it is not an eye-popping, runaway smash that most expected, Godzilla delivers on Edwards’ vision and, I feel, done a serviceable job of making more American Godzilla movies viable and watchable.  There is hope for the future, America.  Godzilla in 2016!

Make sure to follow 13Past1 on Facebook or follow Josh on Twitter to get updates on all the posts and kaiju happenings. 


5 Pros and 5 Cons from Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla


I made a pretty big deal about seeing Gareth Edward’s take on the new Godzilla movie.  I had read in multiple places, namely interviews Edwards had given to British press and the Daily Beast, that Edward’s was going to harken back to the original 1954 film by Ishiro Honda.  After watching Godzilla (1954) a couple days before seeing Godzilla (2014) I am thankful my palette has been cleansed of the vomit-inducingly bad Godzilla (1998) and there are now two quality cinematic Godzilla movies.  The B-movies, however, are a different story of awesomeness.

All of that aside, I still had some troubles with this movie and I don’t think the movie gets a pass on critiques for making a movie that trumps the aforementioned Emmerich disaster.  Overall, Edwards’ aim is true and the movie delivers on the popcorn fun as well as some pathos (albeit more for Godzilla and others) and truth that allows us to dig deeper and take this movie beyond the four walls of the local cinema.

Without further ado, I offer up my not really that spoiler free and equitable 5 Pros and 5 Cons of Gareth Edwards’ summer epic, Godzilla.  Per the usual, each point is delicately constructed into tweetable form as to make them easy to digest, simple to share, and fun for the whole person reading this.


Slow Reveal of Godzilla

The build up to the MUTOs & #Godzilla is unexpected for a popcorn #movie, suspenseful & masterfully done #edgeofmyseat #heartpalpitations

Cranston brought much needed gravitas to Godzilla. And there was much rejoicing.

Bryan Cranston

An aptly Harrison Ford-esque performance from the star of #BreakingBad was magnificent and I can’t wait 2 see him in more #movies #Godzilla

Monster Fights!

Monster fights not overdone, far from boring, & epic! #Godzilla wasting the MUTO with fire down it’s throat is worth the whole #movie ticket

MUTO Snuggles

The MUTO cuddle scene made me sad #Godzilla had 2 pound them into Mothra burgers.  Edwards’ proves chops at making sympathetic #monsters

godzilla-jump-skyBeautiful Scenes/FX

Halo jump, plane malfunction scene, Golden Gate Bridge scene & camera perspective make #Godzilla visually stunning & awe-inducing in scale


Slow Reveal of Godzilla

The build up to the monsters is agonizing & at times you needed 2 be reminded you were watching a #Godzilla #movie #WherestheZilla? #CmonMan

Flat Characters

Only Cranston stood out.  So many good actors, so little quality script.  #Godzilla was more human than Ford Brody #Imseriously

Unfortunately, this box had more dimension than most of the characters.  Hooray for box!
Unfortunately, this box had more dimension than most of the characters. Hooray for box!

Monorail Scene

1 minute Ford is holding on for dear life, a new sequence starts & he magically survived & is looking for survivors #Godzilla #badediting

Narrative Silliness

Ford Brody is always at the center of disaster & it follows him across the Pacific. Lazy writing makes story silly & improbable #Godzilla


North Haverbrook and Marge still aren't sure how Ford made it out alive.
North Haverbrook and Marge still aren’t sure how Ford made it out alive.

Military Inaccuracies

Every soldier knew exactly what was going on.  I saw #Godzilla with 2 army vets.  They assured me this is dumb & ridiculous #story oversight




Overall I thought this movie was more than what I bargained for.  It was worth dropping the ticket on and I would see it again for the suspenseful build up, the stunning visuals, and of course, Godzilla fighting the MUTOs and the “How About a Little Fire Scarecrow?” scene.  Despite the flat, boring characters and narrative holes, I loved the homages to the original movie and am again thankful this is a much better film than Emmerich’s Godzilla.  Fine work, Mr. Edwards.  A special shoutout to Bryan Cranston, as well.  It is a shame there was not more of you in this movie.