Review of Godzilla 1954

By Ben Velazquez

2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the king of all monsters, Godzilla. The last time I saw a Godzilla movie was back in the mid 1980’s. After Godzilla 1985 came out,WPIX here in NY (channel 11), would air his  “classic” films on Sunday evenings. Some of my friends and I would watch the big green monster battle aliens from Dimension X, become a parent with having a Baby Godzilla and team up with likes of Ultraman.

Yet, in all those years, I have never seen the film that started this dynasty, the original Godzilla. I know it was recut in the States and Raymond Burr was added into the film, yet I never had the opportunity to watch it. Fast forward to this past week when I was invited to a press screening of the remastered 60th anniversary edition. That’s right, no Raymond Burr. This is the original Japanese cut of the film.


Showing up on a typical rainy day in April, I was the first to arrive (despite getting lost a few times)


to the premier of the 60th anniversary of Godzilla at the Film Forum.


As soon as the movie began, the credits were off a bit graphically. So much so that it had me considering a trip to the eye doctor, but I was wrong. The movie simply had to be restarted due to a minor malfunction.


From the beginning of this film, director Ishiro Honda did a spectacular job keeping your eyes glued to the screen. Although the movie was released in 1954, it seemed new and fresh because of the story, the actors, and the action. Everything seemed to fall in its place perfectly.

This isn’t some run of the mill monster trashing through the city, the typical image that we think about when the name Godzilla appears.

No, it’s the simple details such as Godzilla becoming what it is because of nuclear radiation due to the after effects of World War 2. The power of the romantic story that was thrown in the middle of the mix added more suspense to this wonderful movie.

There was never a “cheesy” moment in this movie. A little comedy, sure, but most of all, it was very well put together and a movie that will stand the test of time. This movie was so good that it made me a fan of Godzilla all over again.

The original cut of Godzilla is being shown April 18-24 to commemorate the film’s 60th Anniversary at the Film Forum. Go see where it all started before the new film debuts!

Maid Cafe New York Grand Opening

Maid Cafe NY grand opening

On August 18th, Maid Cafe NY officially open to a packed crowd.
But have they given the fans the true Maid Cafe experience? Or at least made changes that we had so desperately asked for?

Lets first explain what an actual maid cafe should be: Maid cafes (メイド喫茶 / メイドカフェ Meido kissa / Meido kafe?) are a subcategory of cosplay style restaurants found predominantly in Japan. In these cafes, waitresses dressed in maid costumes act as servants and treat customers as masters (and mistresses) in a private home, rather than as cafe patrons.

Maid cafes come in all shapes and sizes. Most provided a vivid depiction of master and servant without crossing the ecchi line (creepy). Usually, the cafes aren’t about the level of food but more about the experience. It’s a little weird to Westerners because you’re basically waited on hand-and-foot.


Here’s a link to a bunch of sample maid cafes:

So, our correspondents attended the grand opening only to find that nothing has changed at all.

Still no awning…






Still no TV screens…



and no actual “Maid” service.


They had J-Pop music and girls on stage but this was just for the event and held in a separate restaurant above. Plus, there was a 5 dollar cover charge, for a cafe grand opening?


They did nothing to bring the true experience of a Maid Cafe to life. Most of the girls looked as if they didn’t even want to be there. This is a grave mistake and we feel the owner, who is Japanese, is “phoning it in” just to make a quick buck and figured Americans wouldn’t even know the difference, but we do.


The Japanese Curry was sub par and the lack of decor was still uneventful and empty.


If they would have called this an Express Maid Cafe or something else, fine, but making a Maid Cafe without the interaction is like going to Disney and not meeting Mickey or Goofy or riding on any rides.


In the end, we were hoping to recapture the unique and wonderful experience we had in Tokyo, but all we got was a watered down sweet shop with some young women dressed in maid outfits. This is not the same thing as an actual Maid Cafe.

So to all the Otakus and Japanese fans looking for something you only read about in Manga or seen in Anime and J-Dorama, look somewhere else. The best thing to do is to buy a plane ticket and head to Akihabara or Ikebukuro.




Final thoughts: Hopefully, if Maid Cafe NY wants to keep their doors open for a long time, they simply need to add something truly authentic that could only be found in Japan. Unfortunately, many other Maid Cafes have tried but could not keep their doors open for very long: click here

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