I love when LIFE and other similar magazines do special issues like this. I also like to review the ones I pickup and read through because magazines are dying and I’d hate to see editions like these fade away forever.
It should come as no secret that I’m a massive Godzilla fan. It’s one of my favorite franchises and I’ve watched the movies as long as I’ve been alive. I also know this franchise just about as well as anyone can.
So with that, this was a pretty fun and engaging read. Honestly, there’s nothing new here as far as information and history go but for those who aren’t as versed as myself or other hardcore kaiju lovers, this magazine is a good place to start your education. Granted, there are much better and deeper sources to delve into but you might not be that obsessed.
This has some good articles about the monster, his allies, his enemies and the film franchise they live in. It was all pretty solid and I took my time with this magazine, not wanting to rush through it.
It’s also chock full of images from all eras and it’s just a good presentation, all around.
While this was technically released in a magazine format, it’s written more like a book, is devoid of ads and I read it on my kindle. Also, I want to read more specialty magazines like this for review purposes but since there are only a few I have, at the moment, I’ll categorize them with books for now.
This one looks at film-noir throughout history. It’s really broken into two sections: one that deals specifically with classic film-noir and then a latter section that deals with neo-noir, showing the effects and influence that classic noir had on later motion pictures.
The films selected here are all pretty top notch pictures in the genre. I thought it a bit odd that Sunset Boulevard was omitted but this magazine did seem to put its focus more on noir that were primarily crime dramas. But not really mentioning the impact of that film, as well as the influence of Citizen Kane, as far as style goes, seemed off. Especially when this does mention the stylistic influences it took from German Expressionism.
But I’m not going to gripe about those films not really being on the radar of the staff that put this together.
I think that this would have been a better and much richer read had it been put into something larger than a magazine. I blew through this in an hour and while I liked reading about the films discussed here, each chapter was pretty damn short. But I also get that this is more of a crash course and primer on noir movies than a full semester at film school.
The best part wasn’t even the write ups about the films, though. It was actually a lot of the captions that came with all the photos thrown in here. I learned more new information that way than from the film write ups themselves.
Reading this was a breeze but frankly, it left me wanting more… a lot more. But there are several great books on film-noir that give you a lot more meat and potatoes.
Pairs well with: other books on film-noir: Into the Dark, Film Noir FAQ and The Dark Side of the Screen.