I know it’s a good movie when I feel like this. When we walked in the theater, the rain was coming down and the sky was dark, but it fit the mood of the story. For two and a half hours I’m swept away by chaos, perfectly orchestrated tugs on my heartstrings and a story that peeled back its secrets one minute at a time. I know the heroes are going to win, even though the apocalyptic city skyline is crumbling around them, and in the end I feel like I’m standing with them in the victorious aftermath. When I get out of the movie theater the sun has come out and the humidity of the storm has made my hair wild and my eyeliner is smeared, smoky, and careless, and it reminds me of when I was thirteen. At 3:05 on a Friday in 1980, I jumped on my bike after school and rode a mile to the Northridge Mall. Not for one second did it seem sad that I was going alone–it was Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and I didn’t need any company. Besides, that year I was a freshman caught between a group of friends who tolerated me so they could feel better than someone else and another group of friends constantly on the edge of things I didn’t want to be a part of. When I sat in the theater I wasn’t lonely–I was with a story that I loved and an experience that stayed with me for years afterwards. I barely noticed the bike ride home, still sucked into light sabers, Luke Skywalker and a hopeless rebel cause.
I’m not saying Godzilla was as good as Star Wars, but it managed to make me feel that summertime blockbuster nostalgia, where the present has all the best tinges of the past and the future holds the possibility that I could be a part of something epic and grand. Zombies, Godzilla, vampires…whatever.
Sigh. Manic movie rush–good stuff.