Once again it’s summertime, and the living is… well, in many instances… mobile. What with enjoying the seasonal events and travels, and the upcoming weekend of big racing at the Kentucky Speedway, I started thinking about the symmetry between two of Americas great loves: cars and movies.
With all the various platforms available for movie delivery these days, there are some films that totally slip by unnoticed, since they don’t get a regular theatrical release. Such is the case with The Angriest Man in Brooklyn. It had a one-week run in New York and Los Angeles, and then went to the video-on-demand section of your cable or satellite provider. Despite the title, and presence of star Robin Williams, it’s not a comedy. Williams plays an attorney in Brooklyn whose hard knocks have completely soured him on life, and he’s determined to take it out on anyone who’s handy, which he does with great regularity. A minor incident causes him to go to his doctor, who is out of town. The attending physician tells Williams that a previous scan revealed a brain aneurism and that he is likely to die within the next ninety minutes. So what would you do in such circumstances? Live it to the fullest? Try to reconnect with those from whom you are estranged? Or be even angrier?
In the never-ending search for critical adoration and separating moviegoers from their hard-earned dollars, filmmakers seem to embrace the theory that “more IS more.” They try to cram 10 pounds of “stuff” into every two-pound bag to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. That’s to be expected with the blockbuster films, but it sometimes works its way into the smaller, low-key titles as well.
It’s summertime, and the movies are, generally, quite predictable. During this high-volume season of ticket sales, the major studios seem preoccupied with loading the schedule with masters of disaster. If it’s not a remake, reboot, retread, or sequel, then it’s not on their radar. Every so often, that’s not a bad thing, such as last summer’s hero-packed epic The Avengers, or this year’s second Captain America tale. But more often than not, the studios either sidestep or totally ignore what the vision should be for any given summertime movie.
Such is the case with Godzilla, the first atom age monster spawned in Japan in 1954 as a mournful cry against the surge of the uber weapons. The very first Godzilla film was not welcome in America in its original form, since it was against something we were promoting… nuclear weapons. It wasn’t released here until two years later in a badly cut version with added scenes of American actor Raymond Burr, just on the verge of becoming TV’s Perry Mason, as a reporter telling the story from a different perspective. And, of course, dubbed in English.
We are all on a journey of discovery from birth to death, and most of us have the help of friends and family to fill in the blanks. But what if you had to connection to your past, and were ready to enter adulthood with no clue as to who or where you came from.