In Issue # 71 of G-FAN, the focus is set squarely on Toho's provocative 50th anniversary "send-off," Godzilla: Final Wars. There is something intensely intriguing about the varied reactions to GFW and its premiere at the Grauman Chinese Theater. Reviews of the film range from the enthusiastic to the deeply disappointed (even offended) with the majority expressing qualified enjoyment of the controversial film.
(For what it's worth, my personal reaction to GFW has mellowed with time--to me, it's still a postmodern mess (with plenty of exciting "moments" that don't add up to a unified whole) and as such, my son and I usually watch it in "clip show" fashion, with a concentration on Godzilla vs. Zillah, the Kumonga web-whip scene, and the King Seesar "soccer match" sequence. You know, the "good parts.")
Armand Vaquer was kept quite busy with this issue. Not only did he ably recap the Hollwood events surrounding Godzilla's 50th anniversary and the GFW premiere (seriously, in how many cool G-events can one man particpate?), but he also teamed with Brett Homenick to summarize all of 2004's anniversary observances AND co-wrote, with J.D. Lees, "The End of Godzilla," an insightful history of the Millenium Godzilla series. The duo cogently traces the unfortunate trends that contributed to the Millenium movies' sad decline at the Japanese box office.
Michael Bogue wonders if kaiju conversations were a positive part of Godzilla's development in "Monster Talk: The Best or Just a Bust?"
Stephen Mark Rainey gives a thorough and favorable review of Tokyo Shock's DVD release of "The Mysterians."
A goodly portion of Teruyoshi Nakano's G-FEST XI interview is included, and it is the epitome of a great question-and-answer session; Mr. Nakano's answers are candid, humorous, and often genuinely surprising.
There is yet more enjoyable content in Issue 71, such as the 50th Anniversary Godzilla Soundtrack Perfect Collection Box # 1 by Richard Pusateri, Tom Tvrdik's third installment of his ornament series, eye-popping art artwork by Joylon Yates and Jeff Rebner, and Steve Agin's delightful toy parade.
Issue 71 is a fine example of how flexible a publication G-FAN can be. No less than thirty pages are devoted to GFW and its Hollywood premiere--and this momentous--perhaps once-in-a-lifetime--occasion deserved all the super-sized coverage it received.