Archive for the ‘furry’ category

Original “Godzilla” Actor Dies…

August 8, 2017


He waded out of the Pacific Ocean in 1954, and into cinematic history.  He was one of the great ones, in every sense of the word.  And now it is with regret that I report that the original actor to play Godzilla has died of pneumonia at the age of 88…

Haruo Nakajima played Godzilla in twelve films, his last outing in 1972’s Godzilla vs. Gigan.  To prepare for the original role, Nakajima went to the Tokyo zoo to study the movements of elephants and bears, believing that Godzilla had to move convincingly to avoid being a farce.  The suit that he wore weighed up to 220 lbs. as it was crafted in part of ready-mixed concrete.  Stomping among miniaturized sets, Nakajima suffered for his art as wearing the suit caused him to sweat terribly.

Nakajima began his movie career in samurai and war movies before becoming a monster movie icon.  Not limited to one role, Nakajima also played Rodan, Mothra (my personal favorite), and King Kong! – – Thank you, Haruo, for bringing the King of the Monsters to life!  

Advantage II for Cats Huge Flea Commercial…

July 25, 2017

Fleas the size of humans are the stuff of nightmares, especially if you happen to find them watching a movie with you, or (shudder) squirreled away all cozy in your bed… 

The giant fleas in the Advantage II for Cats commercial are both repulsive and oddly fascinating; it’s hard to look at them or away from them, perhaps because they’ve acclimated to human life so well.  They seem like world-weary couch potatoes, not really trying to make a fuss but just fit in.  And so it is when the woman vacuuming approaches the giant flea encamped on her couch, the insect very accommodatingly lifts a hind leg to allow her work to continue.  The flea fits in all too well, and is possibly less offensive than other house guests.  

If your cat has fleas, you probably do also” is the commercial’s disturbing message.  Perhaps in a sequel, we’ll hear the pitter-patter of not-so-little flea legs around the house, or see the one on the couch pick up the phone to order a pizza…

Samsung’s “Do What You Can’t” Commercial

June 26, 2017

I can’t remember the last time that I saw a commercial featuring an ostrich, so this gem from Samsung is unusual. Blundering along the African plain and coming across a dwelling, an ostrich pecks up a few crumbs on an outdoors breakfast table, managing in the process to wind up wearing some virtual reality goggles also left lying there.  Our boy’s horizons are radically expanded through a flight simulation program running on the goggles, and so he is inspired to attempt the impossible for his species…flight.  With Elton John’s Rocket Man as the theme, the ostrich extends his wings, and is soon soaring like a mighty eagle!

Some viewers have called this commercial Samsung’s best ever, and it manages to be funny, touching, and inspirational all at the same time…

 

“The Three Rings of the North” on “Mountain Monsters”

May 26, 2017

 

 

With an episode title like “The Three Rings of the North,” (S5/Ep6), you might think that Mountain Monsters was getting into some kind of Tolkienesque fantasy, but the rings referenced were of grapevine, and hobbits were nowhere in sight.

In the last episode of this increasingly strange series, a bloodied Huckleberry was left inside their base camp, and it seems that he claimed to have gotten into a knife fight with a creature he had driven off.  Huck understandably contended that they needed to fortify the camp, at which point Jeff walked off, saying that he needed some air.  “I’m falling apart here bad,” he told pursuing team member Buck, who was able to talk Jeff down and arrange another private meeting with him the next day.

During that meeting, Buck described his getting lost in the last episode, and hearing the “sickening cackle” of the “Woman of the Woods.”  Becoming upset in this recollection as well as a video left on his cell phone, Buck decided that he had missed something and needed to go back to the woods alone to search for clues.  Doing this without even a cameraman, Buck had another fleeting encounter with a little girl who seems associated with the “Woman of the Woods,” and left the site.  

The next day, the team met with their leader Trapper, and Jeff who had been serving as a double agent confessed that he was not a higher-up in the other organization.  An electrified fence was erected around their base camp, with blood found on trees outside the camp, presumably from Huckleberry’s knife fight with the mysterious creature in the camp itself.  Trying to continue his role as defector, Jeff met at night with members of the other team and was told that his tenure there was done; a scuffle ensued when Jeff insisted on hearing that from the other team’s boss.  Jeff was taken away by the other team, later managing to text the AIMS team to turn on the radio that Willy had stolen from the other team in the previous episode.  Listening to this radio, they heard that the other team was headed north to the “three rings.”  They headed north themselves on foot, eventually finding a large grapevine construction of three rings with torchlight illumination.  Jeff himself was wandering about the scene, apparently in a daze and holding a torch…

…the plot thickens, huh?  Not exactly gripping entertainment, but the show’s attempt to live up to their opening promise that “In the Dark Forest, the mystery ignites.”  At this point in the series, the cryptids are almost a peripheral consideration to the soap opera and mystery elements.

Nigel the Wise Owl…

March 28, 2017

 

Owls have long held our respect and are associated with wisdom, and they are increasingly being used as advertising icons.  Their presence in the Harry Potter movies further spiked their popularity to the extent that some misguided people sought them as pets…bad idea, at least for most people!  

Recently used memorably to sell eyewear for one company, owls have now entered the rather competitive allergy medication OTC market.  Enter then Nigel the Xyzal Wise Owl, pictured above.  This feathered guy has class; in one spot, he’s shown in a library with books, wearing a natty jacket, a monocle, and speaking with a British accent! Clearly, this guy is no flyweight, and knows his stuff; he appears to have the right credentials.

With many allergy medications having transitioned from prescription to over-the-counter status, recruiting a feathered sage with the voice of authority like Nigel might help carve out a niche for another product…

Kong:  Skull Island

March 15, 2017

Magnificent, isn’t he? – – And that’s as it should be, because it’s hard to imagine an imaginary creature with the history and pedigree of King Kong.  This is not a “monster,” but rather royalty…and from his cinematic origins in the 1930’s original, Kong has spawned a variety of movies, such as the 1976 and 2005 versions.  Nothing breeds imitation like success…

While we aren’t going back to the world of 1933 in this version, it’s set in the era of 1973, and is part King Kong reboot and part homage to such Vietnam era movies as Apocalypse Now and Platoon, complete with period cultural references.  The movie runs almost two hours, and we’re introduced to the big guy after about half an hour. Most of the human characters are two dimensional stereotypes and are basically monster chow, although such notables as John Goodman appear as a “tinfoil hat” crazy theorist. There’s lots of good mayhem, with Kong not only taking on humans but also a giant octopus and Huey gunships, one of which he spikes like a volleyball.  We visit also a gigantic water buffalo and enormous ants; Kong isn’t even the baddest creature to inhabit this lost world.

Kong:  Skull Island is also a launching pad for a “MonsterVerse” of additional but related movies which will include the re-emergence of Godzilla, and of course the inevitable battle royal between these two cinematic icons.  It should be a fun ride, and it’s playing now in theaters…

 

Deer Motorists…

February 2, 2017

 

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It’s an all-too-familiar scenario; out driving late at night, when suddenly deer appear on the road, blundering into the way with negative consequences to both the deer and the vehicle.  Since turnabout is fair play, we are shown a reverse case safety promo where two deer are motoring when a clueless human walks onto the road, totally absorbed in his texting.  The deer are forced to brake sharply, and honk their horn.  The clueless human looks up from his texting, startled, and hastens to finish his transit across the road.  The deer couple look at one another, and shake their heads.  A moment later, a trio of texting humans perform the same stunt before the now-stopped vehicle. They often travel in groups, you know…

“Don’t text while on the road,” the public service announcer then intones.  “It’s bad for deer, and for humans”.  Some humans are every bit as self-absorbed, location inappropriate, and clueless as those portrayed, too…