We have one of my school books from infant school somewhere - a book where half of each page is given over to a drawing, and the other half is ruled with wide lines to allow for a story to accompany the drawing. The book in question has a label on the cover with “Weekend News” written in very tidy handwriting - obviously the teacher’s - and is filled with mostly fantastical stories that either never happened, or are embellished somewhat enthusiastically. Sometimes the stories are accurate though - like the page devoted to a Godzilla movie.
When I was young it’s fair to say that I was a monster-movie fanatic. Actually, it wasn’t just monster movies - it was anything to do with dinosaurs, monsters, space-lizards - it really didn’t matter too much. My Nan called me “Professor Stegosaurus”, and my Grandad wound me up expertly by mis-naming dinsaurs as humorously as possible. I seem to remember “Ippy-dippy-docus” being a particular favorite.
I remember one weekend (before the days of video cassette recorders), the movie “The Valley of Gwangi” was going to be on television. I would have been about 6 years old. It was a Saturday afternoon - I remember it vividly. Moments before the beginning of the movie, the BBC announcer apologised that the movie had been replaced at the last moment by something else. I cried all afternoon. In those days there was no “on demand”, and no recording - if you missed it, you missed it - that was that.
Anyway. Let’s get back to the “Weekend News” book. There is a page in it devoted to a monster movie involving both Godzilla, Mecha-Godzilla, and another monster that could use it’s tail like a fan to blow everything away (read: blow cardboard houses away). In three sentences, the page give a fairly accurate run-down of the entire plot of the movie, and the accompanying drawing is by far the most impressive of the whole book. If memory serves, I might have added an X-Wing fighter in the air-battle above Godzilla on the battlefield too.
Where am I going with this? Maybe I’m just letting you know how far back I go with Godzilla. So you can imagine how excited I was to take my 18 year old daughter out tonight to watch the latest Godzilla movie. I’m not going to write a capsule review of the movie - you can read those anywhere - and it was brilliant - but I am going to talk about going to the cinema.
Why do cinemas let people buy noisy food? Why do some people not realise how annoying they are? Why can some people not eat with their damn mouth shut? And why oh why in a cinema would you finish eating the incredibly noisy bag of whatever it was you munched through for the first hour of the damn film, then screw the bag up and throw it on the floor, before slurping on your drink seemingly as loudly as possible too ?
There was a point - about half an hour in - when I realised I was missing huge chunks of dialogue, because my ears had attuned to the crunching, munching, slurping, rustling, huffing, and puffing of what must have been an Olympic level eating competition going on a few rows back. I seriously thought about leaving the cinema and demanding a refund. Thankfully the movie got really loud not long after, and the eating competition seemingly ran out of food.
We were at another movie recently - Rocketman - and some single guy came into the cinema with both hands full with both bags of food, and trays of tacos. He ate for the ENTIRE movie. I thought he should perhaps have been awarded some kind of award for it - given that we could hear him eating from 30 feet away throughout.
Godzilla was great though. And the post-credits scene was great too. I’m guessing Tywin Lannister is going to grow a new King Gidora in a lab, and it’s all going to go very, very wrong - so wrong that both Kong and Godzilla will need to team up to defeat it. That’s just my guess. I suppose we’ll have to wait four years to find out.