Making a Godzilla Movie: a Seven Part Guide

Photo: John Stanowski,

Photo: John Stanowski,

Hello, big-budget filmmakers! As summer approaches, I am sure that you are all ready for another opportunity to destroy great swaths of our culture and civilization — on film, of course. And I’m not here to stop you, but instead to inspire you! Let me humbly suggest that you pick Godzilla for your latest 90 Minutes Wanton Destruction. You see, making a Godzilla movie isn’t all that difficult. There are only a few clear-cut elements that you need to utilize in order to create another movie starring humanity’s favorite fictional killing machine.

Part I. Intro

The film’s introduction is one of the most important elements (besides Godzilla, of course), as well as one of the most inflexible. It must be a montage of Pacific Island nuclear bomb tests. This will serve as both an origin story as well as a throwback to the original anti-nuclear genesis of Godzilla. And no, having an explicitly anti-nuclear viewpoint isn’t necessary anymore because this intro, no matter how ambiguous, will cover that for you. (Nowadays, nuclear weapons and nuclear energy aren’t prescient enough topics to warrant possibly alienating your audience over, so just sweep those topics under the rug for the remainder of the film.)

Side note: In a just world, the Pacific island nations that endured these nuclear tests would get royalties every time a film includes footage of some foreign force obliterating their island paradise. Unless they have forgotten about it.

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Listen to this Lovely Playlist While You Stuff Your Face With Half-Price Chocolate

I know that this is two days late and only serves to remind you of the chore that Valentine’s Day represents to most human people (whether you celibate — er, celebrate — it or not). That said, your unflagging author has taken it upon himself to make a romantic playlist — putting slightly more effort into it than he put into finding a date on the actual holiday (zero effort is an easy thing to surmount).

And, on the topic of this playlist’s tardiness, I might add that the smart people wait a day or two to celebrate love and flower delivery people anyway — I mean you’ve gotta be dumb to pay full price for heart-shaped chocolates when you know they discount it heavily if you only wait one day. Use your brain!

So check out this playlist (which is totally earnest). I promise you’ll both love and be in love with it. After all, I put my heart into it.

Feb 14 + 2 on Grooveshark

Or, listen to it on Spotify.

The Giant Eye of Dallas Sees All and Knows All

Tony Tasset's The Eye in Dallas: Front

So you’re walking along Main Street in Dallas when you happen to look up from your phone and make eye contact with this. No, you’re not tripping (well, probably not) nor are you going crazy (though that’s debatable). No need to get your eyes checked; you are staring at the world’s largest cyclops fossil, or, if you believe the powers that be, a giant sculpture appropriately titled Eye.

A recent import to Dallas by way of Chicago, this portent of doom from beyond the black gate of the apocalypse was crafted by Tony Tasset in 2007 (though I choose to believe that it has always existed and will always remain, even after it devours the Universe on the day of judgment). Some say Tony crafted this based on his own eye, but in truth Tony’s eye is a scale-model of this 30-foot behemoth.

Eye is currently residing at 1607 Main Street in Dallas, behind some fences in a construction zone (no word on whether the fences are for the safety of the eye or the safety of visitors. Chicago didn’t fence it in, WHAT ARE THEY NOT TELLING US??).

Once you get past the fact that it’s staring deep into your soul it’s kinda cute, right?

Tony Tasset's The Eye in Dallas: Side

Tony Tasset's The Eye in Dallas: Back

Dallas Video Fest Expanded Cinema is a 23-Story-Tall Sight to Behold

In 7 Minutes

The sun slowly sets behind the Trinity River levee as an urban tumbleweed (in the form of a plastic bag) blows across Riverfront Boulevard. Cars stream past Hickory House BBQ, under the Houston Street Viaduct, and onto the outsized parking lot-slash-gravel pit1 next door. But, while I’m sure that Hickory House has wonderful barbecue, that’s not why I’m here.

The scores of visitors and I have assembled here, under a billboard in this figurative no-man’s-land between Interstate 35 and the banks of the river, to watch films — not just any films, but ones created specifically for the twenty-three-story-tall walls of the Omni Hotel. If you’ve driven through or into downtown Dallas in the last few years you probably know the Omni as ‘that building with the cool glowing walls.’ On any normal day it’s a landmark, but today it’s hosting the main attraction. I’m talking about the Dallas Video Fest Expanded Cinema.

As we in the expectant crowd (and the frustrated drivers backed up on the lanes of the interstate) watched, the image on the walls of the building began to count down. 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 7 minutes… Then it began! Photos don’t do it justice, but that’s all there is; one-night-only events are unforgiving in that sense. So enjoy, and read a little description below the images and one short video.

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Pie Times: A Quick and Easy Apple Pie Recipe To Cure What Ails You

Apple Pie

I’m sure many of you are thinking to yourself right now “Make a pie? That’s crazy! Why make a pie when I can buy one that’s ready to eat?” I know this because I once thought the same way, believing that pie-making should be left to the “professionals.” While the professionals should be in control of many things in life, pie-making is definitely open to the masses (that means you!). Also, it is scientifically proven that you’ll value a pie you make yourself more than one you buy at a store.

So, I’m not going to judge you if you use this as inspiration to go out and find a wonderful ready-to-eat pie (We’re all busy people and either way you’re still treating yo’ self) — my argument is that making a pie is quick and easy but, at the end of the day, I can’t promise that it’ll be a cakewalk, especially if you have no baking experience (though remember that everybody must start somewhere). There is the possibility of disappointment along the line, but in my experience this recipe is a fool-proof way to achieve self-fulfilling self-indulgence in the form of a hand-made apple pie:

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Team Walt Explains Away Mr. White’s Latest Breaking Bad Atrocities

Spoilers are all relegated to below the fold, but if you haven’t seen any Breaking Bad (and plan on doing so at a later date) then you should just avoid this whole post.

Breaking Bad is two episodes from it’s conclusion and we’ve just seen what is arguably the best hour of television ever. Things are getting tough to watch, but as always the debate over how we should view Walter White rages on in select corners of the internet.

We’ll hear from both sides in this post. First, Team Walt gives us some sympathy for Mr. White and explains how he’s making the best out of a terrible situation. Then, a rebuttal from those who aren’t drinking the cool blue kool-aid. You know, the sane people.

Spoilers aplenty beyond the ‘Continue’ link, so watch out!

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Top 4 Apps Everybody Should Own

In today’s fast-paced world it’s impossible to not have a smartphone. Whether you’re an up-and-coming unpaid communications intern or a two-year-old learning to use the potty, there is an app that will make you fitter, happier, smarter, healthier, wealthier, more attractive and more productive.

So, without further ado, we’ve partnered with our good friends Andrew, Ulysses and Ben at AT&T Apps to share this sponsored post on the top 4 apps that will improve your life!

1. EsteemKeeper

EsteemKeeper app icon

Has your massive personal online over-sharing alienated you from your friends? No more! EsteemKeeper provides you with a social scorecard that always goes up and finds the silver lining in your sad, lonely online existence. Subscribe for further features, including our service that counters the perception that you are an isolated hermit by supplying you with an army of engineered online friends. These EsteemFriends™ will cheer you on after you post momentous life occasions, such as getting a promotion, finally asking that cute neighbor out on a date, or sharing your opinions on Star Trek Into Darkness.

2. Fartr

Fartr app icon

Finally, an advanced cloud-based system for tracking your personal emissions: Fartr! Download the app and immediately begin logging your flatulence — the most intimate measure of your atmospheric footprint. Powerful social features extend the already incredibly robust abilities of this app. Share your logs on Facebook or Twitter and tag your friends in your FartStream™. Upgrade to FartrPRO for advanced tools such as the ability to anonymously mark which of your friends dealt it and the ability to route your walking route around regions of recent flatulence. It’s great for your health and the environment!

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No More Complaints About the Internet Ruining Society. Seriously.

I enjoy Zen Pencils a lot. He’s a good illustrator with fine organizational instincts who takes his time with his comics. Above all, he selects consistently good subject matter and usually avoids filler — I tend to excuse his preference for overly sappy/dramatic/grandiose quotes by checking my cynical streak at the door (plus being positive and inspirational is kinda his mission, right?).

I’m used to paid bloviators (who are, as a rule, of an older generation) ranting in broad strokes with fact-less and overly-condescending1 tones on the subject of us narcissistic, attention-challenged youth who are ruining our selves and the world with technology. This one, though. Yeesh. Posting on Twitter or Facebook makes you an attention addict, on par with a heroin addict? Is that what we’ve come to?

That said, all afternoon I’ve been viewing my Twitter and Facebook feeds as if I was wearing a pair of advanced Ray-Bans that revealed every post to be some variation on “Look at me!” or “Validate me!” (and also “OBEY” and “CONSUME” but that I see that surprisingly often).

Is all posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc by definition a cry for attention and acknowledgment? Nope.

Is there room for simply sharing cool stuff because it’s entertaining/useful/important? Sure.

Is “I’m simply sharing!” a self-important, self-deluding excuse that screams “I have super awesome taste! Validate it, my friends!”? Probably.

What about the irony of tweeting this cartoon to disagree with it? I’ll pass on that one.

So there’s my opinion in 3 answers. I argue that there’s a difference between sharing cool or informative articles, videos, music, etc vs narrating one’s life into the intertubes as depicted in the comic2. This will just devolve into another “Is there such a thing as a selfless good deed?” conversation, but throw out your anecdotes and opinions below if you have them.

P.S. ‘#drugsarebad’ is definitely a hashtag Reagan would’ve used had Twitter been around in the ’80s (Related and hilarious).


  1. Looking at you, Time. (I just can’t bring myself to link to the actual article.)
  2. Ignore the fact that I’m on a dirty toilet sprawled out like a heroin addict as I write this.

Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

Sorry for the absence, other things have taken focus lately but we’re back (or at least I am)! Enjoy!

Star Trek Into Darkness

As you may know, especially if you haven’t been living under a rock or if you know at least one nerd, Star Trek Into Darkness is the sequel to 2009’s Star Trek, which in turn is a reboot of the Star Trek franchise that consisted of ten movies and approximately 500 different television series. In this latest film, the young crew of the Enterprise continue to traverse the galaxy, partaking in dangerous adventures and facing exactly zero consequences when their half-cocked plans inevitably fall apart. That is, until a dangerous man (who’s literally the best because he’s played by Benedict Cumberbatch) arrives and shows them what a real adventure is! Best summer ever!

With that boilerplate out of the way, lets discuss the good and the bad. First off: the title. Maybe if Park Chan-wook or Christopher Nolan were directing this film it could be called Into Darkness and actually mean something but, as far as I know, J.J. Abrams doesn’t have a dark bone in his body. He doesn’t do dark. This movie is not dark. So forget the title.

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