After being reminded of Roger Ebert’s amazing review of Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, I’ll lightly suggest we kick of Cichlidia Tuesdays with a viewing:
"Gamera: Guardian of the Universe’’ is precisely the kind of movie that I enjoy, despite all rational reasoning. How, you may ask, can I possibly prefer this Japanese monster film about a jet-powered turtle to a megabudget solemnity like “Air Force One”? It has laughable acting, a ludicrous plot, second-rate special effects and dialogue such as, "Someday, I’ll show you around monster-free Tokyo!’’ The answer, I think, is that "Gamera’’ is more fun.
There’s a learning process that moviegoers go through. They begin in childhood without sophistication or much taste, and for example, like "Gamera’’ more than “Air Force One” because flying turtles are obviously more entertaining than United States presidents. Then they grow older and develop "taste,’’ and prefer “Air Force One,” which is better made and has big stars and a more plausible plot. (Isn’t it more believable, after all, that a president could single-handedly wipe out a planeload of terrorists than that a giant turtle could spit gobs of flame?) Then, if they continue to grow older and wiser, they complete the circle and return to "Gamera’’ again, realizing that while both movies are preposterous, the turtle movie has the charm of utter goofiness–and, in an age of flawless special effects, it is somehow more fun to watch flawed ones.
The whole movie is on YouTube, and here’s a trailer:
Subject to change!