TriStar Pictures via Everett Collection
The 1998 version of Godzilla had so much promise before dollars, indecision and lack of respect ruined it. It could have been a monstrous smash at the box office, one that Hollywood would remember and perhaps build a franchise around. The unstoppable repitlian star of countless Japanese movies would finally get a terrific American treatment. But we all know what happened instead.
TriStar Pictures acquired the rights to the monster in the early 1990s, immediately attaching serious talent to develop the film. Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, the writing team behind Aladdin and, later, Shrek and Pirates of the Caribbean, penned a strong script in which Godzilla was a misunderstood beast who would later save humanity by defeating a threatening monster called the Gryphon. You can read the script here.
This version would have pleased hardcore Godzilla fans and average moviegoers alike. In fact, TriStar wanted Godzilla's most famous villain, Ghidrah, to battle Big G in this film. Toho, the Japanese company which held the rights to Godzilla and all of the monsters in that universe, wanted more money for the use of Ghidrah. Here is Ghidrah in action throughout the years:
The issue of money is why the film went south. Jan de Bont, director of Speed and later Twister, was attached to direct Godzilla. But the budget swelled up too much (around $130 million, a lot for the 1990s but not that much today) and the film veered off in a totally different direction.
Independence Day Invades Godzilla
With the budget an issue, the creators of Independence Day came in and promised that they could deliver a movie way under that proposed dollar figure. Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich ditched the original script and basically did what they wanted. But they didn’t respect the mythology of Godzilla and rushed a script out in the same way a kindergartener colors a random worksheet.
"Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, I'd argue, screwed it up," Rossio wrote on wordplayer.com. "Godzilla became a mom who wanted to go lay eggs in New York City. And when military guys fired guns at him, Godzilla would… I can't believe it even as I type it... Godzilla would actually squeal, turn, run and hide."
Devlin and Emmerich had tremendous success with ID4, but Rossio's observation about Godzilla was 100 percent right. Godzilla fans and critics wouldn't approve of this version.
The 1998 Godzilla was so unacceptable that fans gave him this nickname: G.I.N.O. (Godzilla In Name Only). Godzilla had always been played by a guy in a rubber suit; now with all the American special effects and hype, it somehow became a subpar product. Kenpachiro Satsuma, a veteran Godzilla actor, walked out of the Japanese premiere and said, "It's not Godzilla. It doesn't have his spirit." Maybe Matthew Broderick was the wrong choice to star in the movie. What about the rest of the cast? A bunch of voice actors from The Simpsons and other no names? Only Jean Reno (The Professional) seemed to fit the bill, but even he could have been tougher.
In the end, Godzilla still had a budget of $130 million. The worldwide box office took more than $379 million, which was good, but not franchise good. Not sequel good. Godzilla was no longer a larger-than-life monster in the '98 version. His death by 12 high-powered missiles would have never killed a normal Godzilla. Missiles like that would have simply annoyed the monster. The potential of the version featuring the Elliot-Rossio script with de Bont at the helm could have meant there would be no need for the Gareth Edwards incarnation. Perhaps a franchise would have been possible in the same way we have Marvel Comics, Fast & The Furious and James Bond movies. For your viewing pleasure, here is the death of 1998's Godzilla. May we never see such disrespect for source material again.
ABC Television Network
The worst kept secret on this season of Grey's Anatomy finally finished up: Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) left Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. But how would she exit? And would she make it out alive?
Season finales of Grey's have a way of scaring the hell out of fans as cast members have been killed off with little or no notice. In the past, a gunman invaded the hospital, a plane crash turned numerous lives asunder and last season a bus accident and blackout threatened the future of many. Season 10's major threat was a potential terrorist attack at a local mall. Yang narrated the beginning and end of this episode, a task usually reserved for best friend Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). We all knew it was Yang's last day there, yet her narration hinted at the worst: what if she got hit by a bus? Considering that her good pal George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) died in Season 6 by this fate, that wouldn't seem too far fetched.
Yang's final episode wasn't sudden. Her exit was milked by Grey's this entire month. Commercials and teasers on ABC gave us the hint: "Hey, you better tune in, Cristina is leaving." Finally, Yang, the surgeon with the elite skills and even better potential, earned the exit necessary for someone of her talents: she zipped off to Switzerland to run a hospital, at last becoming the cardiothoracic surgeon god she had longed to be even as an intern.
Thankfully, Yang made it through the finale, but not before too-brief goodbyes with her co-workers. The most difficult of all was with Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd), Yang's on again-off again lover. This couple never really had a chance; Hunt wanted to settle down while Yang yearned to climb whatever ladder she could to become the best surgeon possible. Their last encounter wasn't a strong hug or deep kiss. Hunt was busy operating and all Yang could do was watch from the viewing room, waving and saying goodbye in the easiest way possible, kind of like ripping a Band-Aid off. Before officially leaving, Yang had to dance it out with Grey, her closet friend. "You're my person," they would always say. They hadn't called each other that in a while as their lives took different routes, but that final dance was a proper sendoff for the best friends, who may or may not see each other again.
The Season 10 finale tied up some story lines and brought some cliffhangers for next season. Here are the biggest questions for Season 11:
Grey vs. Shepherd: Who Wins?
All of Derek Shepherd's (Patrick Dempsey) neurosurgeon work paid off as the White House had asked for his help. Shepherd had been consumed with work so family life and normal hospital duties sometime suffered. The solution? Move to Washington D.C.
Grey, however, realized she didn't want to move across the country. Her life, friends and work were in Seattle. This stalemate looks to be ugly next season, especially since Shepherd had accepted the job and even got his wife a position too. They won't move. They can't; how could Grey's take place in two locations?
Who Gets the Empty Board Seat?
Yang's exit leaves an opening on the board of directors. Initially, Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.) told Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) that it would be a done deal and she would take that seat. But wait, what wrinkle do we get at the end? Yang left Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) a package, which basically gave him the empty seat. Can she do that? Bailey needs that seat to continue her research, which will get cut because of budget issues. Karev doesn't need it, however, he does thrive when added responsibility comes his way.
How's the Baby?
The entire hospital now knows that April Kepner (Sarah Drew) is pregnant. She had kept it a secret for some time. She had kept her marriage to Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) a secret too. What other secrets does she have? Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) and Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) plan to have a baby, but which one of them will carry? Or will they use a surrogate? Anytime a baby is expected, dramatic events are bound to unfold.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
Godzilla is such a gigantic part of popular culture, but most people don't even know how the Japanese monster grew into a worldwide phenomenon. This is a guide to everything a casual fan should know (hardcore fans, enjoy the stroll down memory lane).
The Atomic Origin
The very first Godzilla film came out in 1954. His name is actually Gojira, which in Japanese is a combination of gorira (gorilla) and kujira (whale) — basically what Godzilla was conceptualized to be: a monstrous gorilla-like creature, but with aquatic origins. The beast came about as a metaphor for nuclear weapons. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were still fresh in the minds of the Japanese. Godzilla was a serious, dark film that was truly a cautionary tale of what effect nuclear weapons would have on the world. Here is the monster destroying a city for the first time:
That destruction was serious stuff. A sequel called Godzilla Raids Again was released the next year. It was also dark and serious, but didn't convey the same message as the original. Godzilla fought against another monster and moviegoers enjoyed it, so the sequels started churning out.
More and More Monsters
Some movies were good, others horrible. Dozens of monsters were introduced throughout the years. Toho, the film company responsible for the Godzilla flicks, gave a few monsters their own movies, most notably Rodan (1956) and Mothra (1961). Even King Kong got in on the action — Toho really had to fudge the size in King Kong vs. Godzilla since the lizard in question is the size of a building while Kong is just a really big ape.
Toho created so many beasts it released a film called Destroy All Monsters (1968), a sort of all-star movie featuring Godzilla and 11 other creatures. That's a lot of special effects and men in rubber suits.
Unfortunately, Toho was too focused on making Godzilla movies. Many of them were ridiculous and maybe shouldn't have been created in the first place. Gone was the legend of Godzilla and the cautionary tales of nuclear weaponry. Instead, we got Godzilla defying the laws of gravity:
Toho continued to make movies in the 2000s. The company, along with every Godzilla fan, was far from pleased with the American adaptation. The 1998 Godzilla was considered a joke. Renamed Zilla, the '98 version of the monster was included in the 2004 film Godzilla: Final Wars. The real Godzilla fights and destroys Zilla in a matter of seconds.
Now, Godzilla is as recognizable as any movie star. There have been almost 30 films to Big G's credit. Put "zilla" at the end of anything and you know it must be a force to be reckoned with (Carzilla — must be a lot of cars; Foodzilla — expect an abundance of grub). Blue Öyster Cult made a song in 1977 called "Godzilla." Former New York Yankee and Japanese baseball superstar Hideki Matsui, a great player and World Series '09 MVP, was given the nickname Godzilla. The Godzilla franchise is 60 years old and could be livelier than ever if the newest American adaptation is a hit with audiences.
ABC Television Network
Soon the Grey's Anatomy cast will be down to just two characters who were wide-eyed interns back when the show first started. The original five interns have gone through vastly different paths to reach their current careers. Some have a place in future Grey's episodes while others will never see an operating room on ABC ever again. So what does time have in store for the original group?
Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo)
Although it's an ensemble cast, Grey is the closest thing to a main character, hence the title. She is a good surgeon, but known mostly as the wife of top neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey).
What’s her future? Staying by the side of her husband, providing moral support to the hospital, performing common surgeries.
Dr. Alex Karev (Justin Chambers)
The guy's a jerk, yet he always winds up with such lovely women. Seriously, almost every female throughout the years have had some type of relationship with Karev. He's excelled at pediatrics the past few years.
What's his future? It looks like he's trading his everyday scrubs for a bigger bank account in a private practice. Can't blame him; more money and better hours are always good.
Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh)
Yang was always the intern with the most potential and she has clearly established herself as a top surgeon. Her skills rival even Shepherd's.
What's her future? She has been offered to run a rich hospital in Switzerland. Yang is officially off the show after this season, but you never know, we could see her again in an episode or two.
Dr. George O'Malley (T.R. Knight)
Always the nice guy, O'Malley never got a chance to develop his surgical skills because of a terrible accident.
What's his future? None. O’Malley died in the Season 6 premiere after complications from his accident. Unless there's some flashback episode, Knight will never be on Grey's Anatomy again.
Dr. Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl)
Stevens proved to be irresponsible (Denny and the LVAD wire, indecision) and gets so sick, she hallucinates seeing Denny, who had died after a heart transplant. Stevens just kind of leaves the show with little explanation, but that has more to do with Heigl than Stevens the character.
What's her future? None. Stevens is still alive, but Heigl pissed off so many people from Grey's, her return will never happen. Heigl claimed she wasn't given good material to work with. Ouch. Why is Heigl such a diva?
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Whether it’s Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield swinging from building to building, Spider-Man has faced some formidable opponents. Some of these villains have stayed true to their comic book form while others have fallen flat. Here are our rankings from the Spider-Man trilogy and The Amazing Spider-Man.
In theory this could have been great. But the execution felt forced. Thomas Haden Church takes on the role of Flint Marko, a criminal who steps into a particle accelerator and can now control sand. Kind of a lame power, right? The tension feels forced because after two sequels we find out it was Marko who killed Uncle Ben, who was Peter Parker’s father figure. Sandman teams up with Venom, but their efforts fall short. Spider-Man wouldn’t get killed, come on now.
4. Green Goblin
Played expertly by Willem Dafoe, Green Goblin is a deranged bad guy who poses a major threat to Spider-Man. His powers stay true to the comics, tossing pumpkin bombs and flying through the air with his Glider. The Goblin is really millionaire Norman Osborn, who eventually finds out that the webslinger is really Peter Parker. As a major villain, Green Goblin is a threat, but not a threat to the rest of the world.
Another victim of the lackluster Spider-Man 3, Venom had potential to be the top villain. Unfortunately, this Venom was not faithful to the comic book at all. Venom is really Eddie Brock, a beefy journalist who possess incredible strength and that’s before an alien symbiote invades his body. Topher Grace is not buff at all. Where was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for this casting? Venom is still a credible bad guy with his alien superpowers. Like the Goblin, he doesn’t pose a huge threat to society.
His strength and speed are extremely dangerous and he has a nefarious plan to change humans into lizards. Rhys Ifans plays Dr. Curtis Connors, who transforms into a giant lizard thanks to a science experiment gone bad. Lizard climbs near the top of this list because his grand scheme is a big threat to all of humanity, not just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
1. Dr. Octopus
Watch out! As long as Doc Ock is around, the world could be doomed. Dr. Octopus (Alfred Molina) is the toughest enemy in the Spider-Man films universe. Dangerous mechanical arms make sure Doc can match strength with anybody and his experiments with nuclear fusion reach out-of-control levels that threaten the existence of every human. Otto Octavius had to be stopped — this proved to be Spidey’s most difficult task.
Lindsay Lohan's return to TV added a lot of stress to the two main characters on 2 Broke Girls. Lohan guest starred as Claire, an indecisive bride to be, who suddenly turned Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline's (Beth Behrs) cupcake business into one that would make a big, flashy wedding cake. Never mind that neither knew how to make wedding cakes.
Throughout the episode, Claire changes her mind about what sort of cake she wanted, causing a lot of stress for the girls and their business. Despite her numerous run-ins with the law and history hard partying, Lohan is still a skilled actress, one who fits in well on a comedy. 2 Broke Girls is a flexible show; characters shine for a variety of reasons, whether they utter funny one-liners, perform physical gags or behave randomly. Lohan wasn't outstanding in her role, but she wasn't poor.
After all this time, Lohan still has a screen presence. She's no longer the teenage girl who must bank on the ingenue roles that started her career. No, Lohan has graduated to a thespian who can hold her own despite being out of practice for a while. Her 2 Broke Girls performance was just a small sample of what she is capable of. Lohan delivered her lines with purpose, well, at least as much as one can when your character can't make up her mind. (Claire wanted a cake that was traditional, then old school, then hipster, then spring-theme, then colorful...)
Maybe TV isn't such a bad idea for Lohan. There are many opportunities so if the big screen is unforgiving, guest stints and maybe something juicy on HBO, Showtime or Netflix are just around the corner. LiLo's career isn't dead, but a little mouth-to-mouth on the small screen wouldn't hurt.
In a big change of pace, Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) didn't have to kill any major bad guys this season on Justified. The villains still met their end as the heroin business took its toll before sales even started. And like always, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) somehow survived it all.
Season 5 of Justified leaned heavily on the dysfunction of the Crowe family. The arrival of Daryl Crowe (Michael Rapaport) and his crew caused a lot of headaches for Raylan. Daryl even joined forces with Boyd to smuggle heroin from Mexico. The newest Justified villain proved that he can't be trusted as he turned on Boyd, which made the Mexican cartel that provided the drugs angry, and worst of all, convinced nephew Kendal Crowe (Jacob Lofland) to confess to shooting Chief Deputy Art Mullen (Nick Searcy). Daryl was the man holding the smoking gun, but he'll let Kendal — a minor — rot in lockup, even if it meant he gets tried as an adult. Even for a bad guy, Daryl is a world-class lowlife.
Justified is never short on antagonists. Many criminals are up to no good, but this season underutilized some baddies. In the beginning of the season, Wynn Duffy (Jere Burns) and Boyd teamed up to move heroin. It appeared that Mr. Duffy would play a big part in the criminal underworld, but then he stayed in hiding where it was safe. He probably didn't want to get tortured by the Mexican cartel, fuming because of all the trouble Boyd and Daryl caused getting the product across the border.
Ava Crowder (Joelle Carter) spent the entire season locked up for trying to dispose of a dead body in season four. Although she was no use to the outside world, her prison adventures were an interesting side story this season. However, the presence of the cartel was completely wasted. Yes, the three members played a prominent role in the finale, but they could have evolved to be the main antagonists. And only three members? Certainly they could have brought more backup. If there had been more members, Boyd wouldn’t have outsmarted them by luring Marshals Rachel Brooks (Erica Tazel) and Tim Gutterson (Jacob Pitts) to Ava's house. The cartel members all died on the front porch after a shootout.
Raylan Never Got His Hands Dirty
Rough outlaws such as the Crowes usually meet their maker after Raylan pulls the trigger. Not so this season. Danny Crowe (A.J. Buckley) actually faced off against Raylan, but accidentally killed himself when he misstepped and pierced his neck with his own knife. The big showdown between Raylan and Darryl never materialized as Wendy Crowe (Alicia Witt) shot her own brother. Raylan wasn't even there to take down the cartel members. Kind of anti-climactic.
Boyd’s Big Brain and Big File
Finally, Boyd will be brought to justice. Or killed. Next season, Justified hits the home stretch. In the final season, we know the marshals plan to nab Boyd for his crimes. Miraculously, Boyd's intellect has saved him from death numerous times, most notably in wiggling his way out of the cartel's grasp. But the case against Boyd, represented by a thick file full of paperwork, is strong. Murder, drugs, prostitution, and other crimes will stick when Raylan and the other marshals pin all their evidence on Boyd. Anything less than a shootout or standoff with Raylan will be a disappointment.
FOX Broadcasting Co.
All of the futuristic gadgets, zany crimes and mashed-up metal on Almost Human have malfunctioned. The show finished its 13-episode run with a lot of gaps in the story. That was way too quick. It has been enjoyable watching John Kennex (Karl Urban) and Dorian (Michael Ealy) fight crime, but Almost Human has a ton of untapped potential. Questions need to be answered such as...
When Will the Antagonist Reappear?
Dr. Nigel Vaughn (John Larroquette) has established himself as the main bad guy. Or at least he is potentially. Vaughn is a rogue cyborg creator on the run. A crazed robot called an XRN (Gina Carano) still exists and as long as it's around, lives are at risk. The XRN killed countless people during the first run-in with law enforcement. When Kennex and the rest of the crew realize the XRN is functioning again, they quiver like a bunch of rookies on their first patrol.
The Insyndicate, the top tier of organized crime, still needs to be taken down. Kennex barely survived the Insyndicate's attack that killed his partner. And what about Kennex's ex-girlfriend, Anna Moore, who helped the Insyndicate in the attack? Almost Human must address these antagonists in future episodes. We got basically nothing from Season 1.
Stahl Is a Chrome. So What?
Nobody's perfect. Except maybe chromes. In Almost Human, chromes are genetically superior people who live longer, excel at everything, and mingle with their own. Valerie Stahl (Minka Kelly) is a detective, which surprises her fellow chromes. Usually, law enforcement is beneath a chrome. She has a lot in common with Kennex. The possibility of these two getting together seemed like a formality. Unfortunately, romance must take a back seat as Stahl was last seen dating some hotshot chrome. Would a chrome date a normal human?
The Wall and Future Sci-Fi Terrain
Many characters make references to the wall, a structure built to separate cities. People aren't allowed to cross the wall and it's not a place you casually visit. Vaughn made his escape (along with stolen XRN materials) by scaling the wall. What's on the other side? And what else can Almost Human do to wow us going forward? Dorian could clash with other cyborgs in potentially limitless action sequences. Kennex is weighed down by his inner demons. Investigating crimes, Dorian's partnership and Stahl's smile keep him sane. Let's hope he stays that way.
HBO's True Detective has really livened up since the methodical first few episodes. We've seen shootouts, blow-ups, and morally questionable decisions made by Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson). Cops who don't play by the rules are common in police dramas, but these two have really changed the playing field. Their behavior leads us to ask, should we even be rooting for these guys?
Cohle and Hart's pursuit of their twisted serial killer has amounted in many leads and even more dead ends. So they have done what's necessary to catch the bad guy. But some of their methods (not to mention their means of "unwinding") shouldn't be part of the job.
Let's start with Hart. He had been the cop who had played everything straight until he shot an unarmed Reggie Ledoux in the head. Off the job, however, he cheats on his wife with the large-chested Lisa (Alexandra Daddario), who can't see other men because Hart won't allow it. What kind of double standard is this? Then Hart had the stones to get upset that his mistress told his wife about their affair. Is this what a hero does?
Cohle was just weird at first but graduated to certified outlaw with his "undercover" operation that nobody except he and Hart knew about. Breaking and entering, armed robbery and kidnapping are just some of the charges that could have been brought against Cohle. As illegal as this was, it gave us an incredibly insane six minutes of chaos (NSFW). How did a murder investigation turn into a war zone? A little bend of the rules is acceptable for cops, but this crossed the line.
These guys are True Detective's main characters, however, they have evolved into anti-heroes. There's no turning back from their transgressions. Can they redeem themselves? Or will they get theirs in the end the way all villains do?
If the Autobots are stuck in a major throwdown, Optimus Prime is going to need some backup. When the fate of the world is on the line, sometimes Bumblebee won't cut it as the second in command. Enter Grimlock.
Yes, the long-awaited leader of the Dinobots will finally make his film debut in Transformers: Age of Extinction, but his design will surely spark criticism from Transformers fans. (The trailer doesn't give much confidence for his role in this movie, either.) Let's compare the new dino against the classic Generation 1 robot.
Stubborn as hell, but monstrously powerful, Grimlock was a standard Tyrannosaurus Rex who beat up Decepticons with ease. His strength made him a valuable asset to the Autobots. Unfortunately, because Grimlock was so stubborn, they couldn't always count on him to make wise decisions. His behavior was unpredictable. When he was on board, however, Grimlock was one of the most powerful robots in the Transformers universe.
Every Transformers fan must have felt a surge of joy when they heard Grimlock would be in the new movie. He's seen, very briefly at the end of the first Age of Extinction trailer, to be huge, dwarfing the already giant Autobots. And he's a juggernaut, busting through a wall as if it were a screen door. His silverish look is plain, nothing like G1 Grimlock (all of the original Dinobots had yellow and red colors mixed in their metallic gray look). Worst of all, he's diminished because Optimus Prime rides on top of him like a horse. What the hell? Grimlock would never let that happen. That better be some overwhelming plot point or something because that is most definitely not faithful to the Grimlock character.
So what’s your choice? What Grimlock do you prefer?