No great over-arching theme here, just two movies I saw recently and wanted to comment on:
Like a lot of 80s kids, I have fond memories of this film. Actually, one of my fondest memories involves some friends when we were in college, appropriating the "This is our time, down here" line to claim the kitchen from my brother and his friends. Which is one way of saying: maybe you had to be there.
But if you watch this movie today, even with that veneer of nostalgia (Cyndi Lauper had a music video featuring this movie), there are a couple of things that are hard to take. They are easier to take when you watch the movie at the Alamo Drafthouse, at their Master Pancake event, which involves several comedians giving the movie a Mystery Science Theater treatment: commenting on and occasional cutting into the movie.
For instance, the opening, which involves a prison break, works hilariously well as a Wes Anderson film if you layer some Paul Simon over it.
Otherwise, a not so polished film from a not so polished era. Heck, even as a kid I recognized the shoddiness of the dad throwing paper into the air, followed by more paper being thrown into the air from behind.
I read that it got good reviews, that it nicely balanced human-size stories against giant monster fighting. I didn't really feel that. There were some fun moments and scares, like the time when the kids are on a school bus, waiting for something monstrous to happen, and--bang!--a bird hits the window.
But the human figures are all so bland, the scale of destruction is so boringly big, that there's very little human connection. And it tends to hit all of the beats for this sort of film, with the military doing things their way and eventually--finally!--listening to the scientist who was of course right.
(Of course, I prefer the scientist being right to the 1950s movies where the scientist could be the bad guy and the military was right. The Thing, I'm looking at you.)
Meanwhile, all the nuclear stuff just doesn't feel important these days. I know that's an essential part of the Godzilla mythos, so they couldn't really leave it out. But then why even remake Godzilla?