July 30, 2013
Easily one of the best trailers I have ever seen in my entire life. Very excited for this movie
July 23, 2013
I was at Comic Con with my fellow movie/comic book nerds when Zack Synder announced that Batman would be joining Superman in the sequel to "Man of Steel." And even though it had been spoiled on twitter hours before, my mind was still blown to pieces when I heard it. It's no secret I'm a big fan of the Batman movies and while there were some good parts in "Man of Steel," I generally thought it was too long, too emotionally cold, and had way too much unnecessary destruction. And I'm not alone in this, critically "Man of Steel" received a mix reaction and the hardcore fans were mainly distraught over the insane amount of violence that Superman dishes out compared to the amount of people he actually saved. Which is why I think Batman is being added to the next Superman movie to save the Superman franchise from itself. This is not a good thing.
You see, for all their flaws, the Batman that we all know and love these days is the Christopher Nolan Batman. This is a Batman that is grounded so firmly in reality, there is never any mention of anyone having super-powers EVER in the movies. And you know what, audiences loved it, ask anyone why the Batman movies are awesome and you'll get a response along the lines of "it's so gritty and real," which is true. And even though "The Dark Knight" trilogy ended with a firm conclusion, we all still identify with this Batman and hope/expect to see him again. And the character appearing on screen again, like it or not, we will be bringing our pre-conceptions of the Nolan Batman with us.
We're doing for a massive moment of reckoning when the Batman that appears in this epic team-up is different than Nolanized version of the character. The reason for this is that if you're playing by the rules established in "Man of Steel," he totally has to be. How the hell is a Nolan era Batman going to compete with a dude who can punch people through buildings? Hell, he barely could handle Bane and he was (super) human! The answer is that the Batman we get in this movie is going to be radically different, he'll probably have to be way more intelligent and have access to serious technology. A great comic book friend pointed out that there is no mention of Kryptonite in "Man of Steel" so maybe Batman creates/discovers it? But keep in mind that the Nolan Batman is very physical, or at least he was in "The Dark Knight Rises," and he's not that smart, he got duped by Miranda Tate and tricked into a weak fight by Bane! Are you ready for this somewhat nerdy version of Batman? I don't think I am. I'm concerned that this new hero will come across as cheesy and bizarre, which is the opposite of what the Nolan films were all about.
I realize that DC didn't really have much choice and that had to put the two characters together. After all they had to compete with the Marvel cinematic Universe somehow, I just extremely worried that whatever this mash-up looks like will come across and totally strange and foreign. Let's hope that Synder is up for the task, because let's be clear about this, in the eyes of everyone he's not making a sequel to "Man of Steel," he's making a follow up to "The Dark Knight" trilogy, which is a super-heroic undertaking itself.
July 15, 2013
Pacific Rim was OK. It had too much hokey dialogue, stock characters, too many rain/night battles, and too many missed opportunities, specifically surrounding the finale. But it also was a really cool world, so rather than a traditional review, I'm going to try something new, here is how I would have ended this ULTIMATE POPCORN MOVIE. Warning here by typos!
Throughout the film I was a little disturbed by how much the daily lives of the people of the world goes on with these monsters destroying everything. Where is the sense of sacrifice? That collective unity? I want that Independence Day feeling of the entire world united vs them. They talk about it in the first 10 minutes, but it's not really felt throughout the movie when people are living in slums and getting on with their life. Raise the stakes! So here the stakes are raised to insane levels.
The scientists predict that the rift is going to open and whole bunch of monsters are coming and it's going to take more than some Jaegers to save humanity. I'm talking entire cities going onto their roofs with weapons both traditional and improvised. If Ron Perlman can cut through a baby with a knife and the Australians can "piss one off" with some simple flares, some rockets, bullets, ninja stars could some damage. Also, yeah the whole massive final fight for the human race is going down in Tokyo, because it's nice nod to the manga roots of the film and also Tokyo is cool.
And for the most part it works, Kaijus are getting there ass kicked by Jaegers and a united force of human, who have also booby trapped the city. You see the humans got smart and realized they sustain heavy losses at sea, but on the land, they can play ball. Skyscrapers are booby trapped, fire hoses are filled with gasoline and turned into flamer throwers. Everyone is helping out and kicking ass. They think they won..... until a Stage Five comes through the rift and towers over the city, everyone collectively deuces themselves. Unlike when we saw it underwater, we see how massive this thing really is because it TOWERS over the city. But then Idris Elbra speaks not to the Jaeger pilots but to everyone in the entire city. He says something like this:
So now we see what the they have sent to destroy us. Good, I like to know my enemy before I kill it. This is our land. This is our home. We may be from different countries and speak different languages but this is our earth. If you can, now is the time to fight. You will either die and wish you did more or fight and die and know that you did everything you could. People will perish fighting this demon, that is certain, but what else is certain is that we will slay this beast, just like we slew it's whole fucking family! So now, grab anything that can help and join with me! This is where we take a stand! Let us show these invaders how we, citizens of earth destroy those who would test us!People are obviously super fired up after that speech. They're grabbing forks, curtain rods, hair dryers, baseball bats, soccer balls, anything that can puncture Kaiju flesh and they take the buildings, the streets, and everywhere else. Every bomb shelter is vacant, then the epic final fight begins.
OG samurai dudes are leaping off their roofs with kitanas, entire dojos are emptying out full of ninjas, a multi-international Delta Force parachutes in and plants C4 charges on the Kaiju's back and detonates. The zookeepers let all the animals out of the zoo and jaguars and pandas are fighting side by side. Ron Perlman's henchmen army are using chemical weapons. It's a collective battle with Jaegers both kicking ass and aiding the little people. It's kind of like that ridiculous scene in Pearl Harbor where they shoot down planes with shot guns, but way cooler. People die, heroes are made, it's awesome, it's tragic, and most of all it's EPPPICCC.
Down goes Idris Elba and Warlow from True Blood. They're dying inside the Jaeger, they've lost power, citizens are jumping inside the busted Jaeger helping them, trying to get the power back on. It's not looking good though. The Kaiju is too big too strong. Then a massive roar echoes through the city...
Another giant Stage 5 Kaiju comes out of the ocean. It's heading for the city, the humans are doubting themselves, which sucks. The Stage 5 leaps out of the ocean and....SMASHES into the other Kaiju, what? We cut to....you probably guessed it, the two nerdy scientists, who have drifted with the Kaiju and are now controlling it. Yeah I know they say they wanted to save this for the sequel, but c'mon, GO BIG or go extinct, and extinct is called your movie not making enough money for a sequel.
You see besides the fact that embracing the nerds as heroes is COMPLETE audience wish fulfillment and a great metaphor for geek power, it would be so FUN to see what the nerds can do considering they're not fighters. Oh what you wanted the psycho meathead jocks who are hot-heads to be your heroes? What? Seriously? Let the nerds kick-ass instead of being bumbling idiots who make a small discovery related to the plot. . Anyway where were we? Yes, Charlie Day and the weirdo german nerdo are controlling their Kaiju who they call Betty and kicking ass, it's like in the end of District 9 where Wickus has no idea how to use the Mech but is still just destroying everyone. Gypsy Danger is on the action as well. It's like a WWF Tag Team fight, and the nerds and the Gypsy Danger are The Hardy Boys/Dudley Boys.
Together they turn the tide on massive Kaiju demon and administer a sick double fatality where they impale it on the Tokyo Sky Tree / Space Needle and then rip it in half together. The movie needed more fatality like kills based around the environment. Also more one liners like the "no pulse" line. Did I say the one liner that they drop, no, good, because it's either a very meta "Stick Around" or something simple more nerdy like "You're extinct!"
But they still need to close the rift/drift/ I can't remember what it's called, so of course, dying Idris Elbra manages to get his old Jaeger working and volunteers to take the bomb a la Mason in 24. Of course with Prometheus, this makes two movies in consecutive summers he goes out on a glorious suicide mission to save the planet, but hey, it's a good way to go. Yeah yeah yeah he gets his tearful goodbye to Mako and tells Jax Teller that he's gotta fight for the future and be excellent to each other, you know the drill.
The movie ends with Charlie Day and The Nerd having a pet/warrior Kaiju that they joke about domesticating. It's kind of like the Donkey/Dragon romance in Shrek. The rift is closed and life is good. The Aussie rugby player hot head celebrity dude survives and re-connects with his Pops and his bulldog, why was the bulldog in the movie. Actually the dog was in there so he could eat a piece of Kaiju and then burp/fart to close out the film. Fun (the band) starts to play on the soundtrack in a overly produced cover of Monster Mash.
Post Credits Tease: One year later, a distress beacon signal comes through the rift. It's coming from a jaeger? We cut down to the alien world where Idris is still alive and has gone Full Rambo surviving in the alien world. He looks up toward the rift and says I hope that worked.....