Baldwin: Godzilla stomps into cinemas

Published 9:20 am Friday, May 31, 2019

Greetings, good citizens and cinephiles of Winchester.

With another school year down and Memorial Day passed, this can mean only one thing: summer blockbuster time is upon us again.

Officially started with the big budgeted “Jaws” (1975) and “Star Wars” (1977), summer blockbusters are the cinema cash cows which translate to big budgets, huge profits and tons of heavy marketing in hopes to separate you from your cash on repeat screenings and merchandise.

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This summer is no different as the $200 million popcorn movie, “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” stomps into theaters this week.

“Godzilla” returns to our self-inflicted destructive planet as a hero to aid cryptozoological agency Monarch, as he has showdowns of epic proportion with legendary mythical creatures Mothra, Rodan and the three-headed King Ghidorah.

“King of the Monsters” is a sequel to the 2014 “Godzilla” American release and is the setup for the 2020 release of “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

“King” was directed by Michael “Krampus” Dougherty and stars Kyle “Catch-22” Chandler, Vera “The Nun” Farmiga and Millie “Stranger Things” Bobby Brown.

This “King of the Monsters” is not to be confused with “Godzilla, King of the Monsters!” 1956 and is the 35th release within the long franchise.

Since its first feature release in 1954, Godzilla has become an international icon landing this creature a plethora of films, cartoons, toys and his mean monster mug being adorned to clothing and collectibles of every sort.

Godzilla is a Jekyll-and-Hyde character living a dual nature as each film is different. He is sometimes a villain or a hero depending on the movie.

Godzilla was born as an allegory in response to Japan’s surrender in World War II because of the nuclear bombs which devastated their country. 

Over the years and within several Zilla films, politics, war and environmental concerns have been themes when the monster wasn’t busy decimating a town, a population or another monster. Now with all these heavy messages of concern for mankind layered efficiently throughout the Godzilla franchise, not all of them are serious.

Check out older titles from the mid-60s to the mid-70s and they are lathered in champ and injected with enough cheese to make you giggle.

Godzilla may not be your cup of tea or saki, but you should have ample amount of time to see it as I forecast it will be in the theaters for a while to recoup that $200+ million.

If you pass on G’zilla, you could check out the Elton John biopic, “Rocketman.” 

Wow, that sounds like a monster movie, Godzilla vs. Rocketman! Now I want to see Elton John do battle with creature from the sea.

Have a film-tastic day! 

Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker and film/music historian. He is president of the Winchester-Clark County Film Society. Find more from Rick on Facebook. He is on Twitter @rickbaldwin79 and can be reached by email at