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Trailer watch: Godzilla (2014)

King kaiju returns to stake his claim as film’s preeminent monster.

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Having laid dormant for more than a decade, one of the most celebrated monsters of cinema returns to the big screen in Hollywood’s second imagining of Japan’s biggest import. Godzilla, the much anticipated new film in the long running franchise stakes claim as the preeminent city-destroying beast once again next May.

Starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, David Strathairn and Juliette Binoche, Godzilla is the “epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, a spectacular adventure pitting the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.”

The film is the spiritual successor to the 1998 Roland Emmerich film of the same name. That film, while doing fairly well at the box office, failed to impress critics and fans of the series with its hokey dialogue and much revamped monster. Next year’s Gareth Edwards-directed film however, looks to be true to the original Godzilla concept, with the monster looking more like the traditional Japanese vision. I am however, one of the few that enjoyed the 1998 version of the film, but this new movie certainly looks much larger in scale and far less comical than its predecessor. The trademark Godzilla roar at the trailer’s end was all I needed to be on board come next May.

The trailer unfolds in a strange serenity; a beautiful descent from the skies into the destruction, madness and chaos of a world torn apart by monsters. Straitharn’s narration gives the film gravitas, and the smoke-clad unveiling of Godzilla almost awe-inspiring.

Godzilla features a screenplay co-written by Frank Darabont, Max Borenstein and David Callaham. If we’re lucky, Puff Daddy and Jimmy Page will be nowhere near the soundtrack.

May 16th, 2014, Gojira returns.

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The Making of Motown, the Making of Hitsville

Motown Records was the soul of a city, the rhythm of a nation

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Few cities are as American as Detroit, be it for their rich automotive history or for their unique place in America’s music lore. There are few record labels as enshrined in American history and culture as Motown Records, the famed Detroit soul label famous for releasing a string of Top 10 hits by The Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Four Tops, and Marvin Gaye through the 60s. Founded by Berry Gordy, Motown is more than just the incredible records they released in the 60s, it was the immense cultural impact the label had on America.

Famed songwriter Smokey Robinson, who was the founder and frontman of Motown artists The Miracles, once said of the label’s impact;

“Into the 1960s, I was still not of a frame of mind that we were not only making music, we were making history. But I did recognize the impact because acts were going all over the world at that time. I recognized the bridges that we crossed, the racial problems and the barriers that we broke down with music. I recognized that because I lived it. I would come to the South in the early days of Motown and the audiences would be segregated. Then they started to get the Motown music and we would go back and the audiences were integrated and the kids were dancing together and holding hands.”

A new documentary detailing the history and legacy of Motown Records is being released on Showtime titled Hitsville: The Making of Motown. Featuring a host of historical footage as well as interviews with label founder Berry Gordy, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Smokey Robinson and more, the documentary will tell the story of the label, its formation, and its continued impact and influence on American music and culture. Directed by Benjamin Turner and Gabe Turner (The Class of 92), the documentary will air August 24th on Showtime.

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Anarchy in the desert in Desolation Center trailer

An old kind of lawlessness in the desert

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Long before music in the desert meant Instagram models, hipsters, and shitty pop music, it was about something more transgressive. During Reagan America, music was thrust into action as a voice for frustration and disappointment at the state of the union and was the catalyst for many social movements within music. Desolation Center is a documentary detailing part of that 80s rebellion, telling the story of music and performance art that took place in the (at the time) lawless confines of the desert.

Featuring interviews with an array of musicians from punk, rock, alternative, and industrial music, Desolation Center hopes to shed light on a little known movement that paved the way for countless music festivals like Lollapalooza. Interviewees include Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell, Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, and Minutemen’s Mike Watt, while rare live performance footage features the likes of Meat Puppets, Red Kross, Einstürzende Neubauten, and Sonic Youth.

The documentary was written and directed by Stuart Swezey and has been hitting the festival circuit this year. Desolation Center will open in US cinemas September 13th.

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