Godzilla opened this past Friday, so I thought I'd be hip and do a post that's somewhat tied to the beloved kaiju and throw in a mini-review, to boot.
Pictured above is a two-inch-wide matchbox label featuring a terrifying Tyrannosaurus.1 The words under the dinosaur — Druhohory Křida — are from the Czech language and translate, roughly, to "Mesozoic Chalk." Now, the Latin word for chalk is creta, which is the root of the word Cretaceous. So I believe the label is simply telling us (correctly) that Tyrannosaurus lived during the Cretaceous period, which was the last of the three major periods of the Mesozoic era.
Want some more big words? The collecting of matchbox labels is part of the hobby of phillumeny, which covers matchboxes, matchbox labels, matchbooks, matchcovers and more. There are many great websites filled with information about phillumeny. This will not be one of them. So here are some links to get you rolling:
- Phillumeny.com (website of the British Matchbox Label and Bookmatch Society)
- On Phillumeny.com: A Beginner's Guide to Phillumeny by Tony Gallaher
- Matchbox-label.co.uk by Steven Smith
- Home of Phillumeny - The Meeting Place For All Collectors
- "Phillumeny and Phillumenists," a 2011 article by Steven Heller
Mini movie review
(Warning: Contains spoilers)
Sarah and I went to see Godzilla on its opening night.2 I would give it a B+. It's a million times better than Godzilla vs. Ferris Bueller. But I feel like I was a bit misled by the trailers, which seemed to promise a lot of Bryan Cranston. He's the most compelling human in the movie, but doesn't make it past the one-third mark. The baton is then passed to Ken Watanabe to carry the film's gravitas, and he does just OK while being surrounded by a lot of cardboard cutouts. But we don't go to kaijū eiga for the humans, so I wish there had been more Godzilla. The Big Guy shines when he's on-screen (and they got his roar perfect)3, but those moments are too few and far between until the final half-hour. As for the plot, I like the way that The New York Times summed it up: "Whole cities are wiped out so that two enormous bugs can be prevented from having sex."
- Polish poster for "Terror of Mechagodzilla"
- World War II matchbook covers
- Festive Christmas matchbook from D.F. Stauffer Biscuit Co.
1. I got this matchbox label from Manto Fev, which, as of today, sells them in batches of six for $1. Their website is a dream for ephemera lovers and scrapbookers.
2. Sarah and I have seen a LOT of movies in the theater already this year. I would rank them as follows:
- 1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (A)
- 2. The Lego Movie (A-)
- 3. Godzilla (B+)
- 4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (B-)
- 5. Brick Mansions (C+)
- 6. Rio 2 (C)
3. NPR has a neat piece titled "What's In A Roar? Crafting Godzilla's Iconic Sound."