Step up, Iron Man and get your ass whippin!
By: Kent B - MSTv
Pacific Rim: a simple nondescript title for a new film, that in itself brings up thoughts of some crappy World War II movie. This would be considered the fiction..
However, the reality is that this killer new film of giant monsters versus robots will probably actualize the hopes of millions of fanboys and adults who grew up on Saturday morning and weekday cartoons. I mean really, how long have most of us been waiting for this type of film to emerge?
Action packed trailers and write-ups have told us all we need to know to build up a rabid frenzy. We know that the new film involves giant robots called Jaegers, fighting equally giant monsters called Kaiju (Japanese for "strange beast") who've risen en mass from the ocean to kill humanity.
Do we need to know any more?? Probably. Remember, just because its sounds good and is all shiny and pretty, doesn't mean it might still be a shiny pile of crap.
All things media portray this film to be cool as hell, yet its concept is hardly new. In fact, its actually old hat to our Japanese cousins who consider big monsters and robots to be standard fare. But for us who grew up watching the likes of Voltron, Ultraman and even Power Rangers, for the slightly younger of us, this film is pure wish fulfillment.
And that's exactly what Warner Bros. and Legendary Films are hoping will fuel its box-office receipt furor.
Early reviews and trailers show that like "Man of Steel," Pacific Rim is very strong on the special effects and action. But, does the general story of this 200 million dollar investment, play as weak as the dubbed and Americanized versions of the classic giant monster Japanese fare of our youth? T
These simple questions have some believing that those who are seeking a "good" version of this type film, might have to wait a little longer.
These questions have also cast doubt on the film's earning potential as some are too strongly comparing Pacific Rim to Power Rangers kiddie fare or the Japanese sentai, kaiju and tokusatsu series of film and television.
But, Warner Bros.and Legendary Pictures are confident in the capabilities of their new sci-fi action flick and have released all-new clips to serve as appetizers.
The clips show various dramatic scenes between the actors and a very high intensity scene of monster versus robot action that ends with a finishing move that will make even the most jaded geek scream with delight.
Warner Bros. has released a total of 4 new clips so far. And as they did with Man of Steel, a making of/behind the scenes featurette will be released this weekend or Monday.
The studios are banking that these actions will whet the appetites of movie-goers as the same tactic was used to make Man of Steel more marketable. But like "Man of Steel" will the July 12th film release slightly disappoint much of its audience. Or will this classic flight of childhood fancy be nipping at the heels of last year's "The Avengers?"
Enjoy the new clips below, but look at the 1st one and realize I'm rooting hard for this movie!
Yeah, I know used the vehicle Voltron!! So what?!
The new film "Man of Steel" is an amazing movie to watch. Visually, it's spectacular to look at. The story is compelling as well. Not only does it recap the origin, but it shows more of life on Krypton than has ever been shown on film before, outside of the animated Superman films.
I had a conversation with a friend about the movie and she mentioned that movies always stray a bit from the source material. To which I responded, which source material?
Superman's origin story has remained relatively unchanged over the past 75+ years, but the details of that origin have changed drastically over the decades. So, do you use the original origin story from the 1930s & 40s? The revamped origin from the 50s & 60s? The Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths origin in 1986, which was also titled "Man of Steel"? The origin from the "Birthright" story in the early-2000s? Or the origin story from the New DC 52 from 2011?
Well, regardless of the source material, this version of the Superman origin, I think, followed well the precedent set by "Batman Begins". Telling a linear story with non-linear elements, giving the audience the information needed to advance the story. No more, no less. It paces itself well, not lingering long in any one area of the story.
This story begins, as any Superman origin should, with Kal El's birth on Krypton and the events that lead to Krypton's eventual destruction. As I mentioned before, "Man of Steel" goes further into life on Krypton than has ever been depicted outside of the comics and animated series. It shows Krypton as a vast space-faring civilization with a genetically-based caste system. The citizens of Krypton are bred into the roles they play in society. Scientist, warrior, worker, leader, priest, artist. These are the role predetermined for you at the moment of your conception on Krypton. Except for Kal El. Jor El & Lara decided that they would conceive Kal without his life being predetermined. "Krypton's first natural birth in centuries."
The glimpse of Kryptonian society gives you an indication of what the antagonist of the film, General Zod, if fighting to preserve, flawed as it may seem to Kal El.
We then see the escape of the infant Kal El in the rocket bound for Earth. This part of the story, for me, gets less and less plausible as the years go on and technology changes and we're able to track celestial objects on course for Earth. The landfall of Kal El's ship as depicted in the "Smallville" television series seems to make more sense than every other depiction I've seen to date.
In "Smallville", the infant Kal El's ship arrives surrounded by fragments of the now dead Krypton. It seems to me that, in the 21st century, the ship would be more difficult to spot during a meteor shower that if it were just a lone craft falling to earth. If any government or military leader found a large enough chunk of meteor rock in the fields where the barrage fell, they would most likely be satisfied and not want to search forever for the lone object that just made landfall in a Kansas cornfield. This story, however, depicts the lone craft, and even makes mention of my concern when Jonathan Kent tells a teenaged Clark, "We expected someone from the government to come and take you away from us, but no one came." It makes me wonder how they'll address the presence of kryptonite in later films.
We pick up with an adult Clark Kent as he wanders the world trying to find his place in it. With his powers growing every day, he lives as a drifter, never staying in one place long. Although his wanderlust seems to be leading him to a specific destination, if not a destiny.
He eventually finds himself at a military encampment in the Arctic that has found a long-buried Kryptonian scout ship. He also has the first of his many encounters with Lois Lane over the course of the film.
After Clark takes possession of the ship, he meets the A.I. shade of Jor El and learns of his Kryptonian heritage.
As mentioned above, Kryptonian soldiers are born and bred to the protection and defense of Krypton, so General Zod was, I think, a great antagonist for this film, as opposed to going back to the the tired trope of bringing in Lex Luthor right outta the gate. Zod bridges the gap for Kal/Clark between what was lost on Krypton and, to an extent, why it should stay lost.
All-in-all, "Man of Steel" works on every level. If you haven't seen it yet, add it to your to-watch list.
Marvel Film Studio's "Phase 2" releases
By: Gere Iverson - MSTv
Its no surprise to anyone that Marvel is the hit-maker of the comic-book movie genre. Having built up their 52 (though, technically its more like 75) year history of producing tragic heroes that appeal to the everyman, Marvel offers closer wish-fulfillment, usually, then their "distinguished competition."
That being so, after the incredible success of the “The Avengers” and the popularity of the individual superhero movies that built up to it, (called Marvel Studios’s Phase 1) anticipation for the launch of “Phase 2” ran at a fever pitch. But, could this new batch of upcoming film releases copy the magic of the first wave?
Phase 2 began with Iron Man 3; meaning the project launched with a good start. But, will the streak continue? Let's take a brief look:
1. “Iron Man 3”? It’s a certified blockbuster that had a huge $175-million opening weekend.
2. “Thor: The Dark World?” It appears a “Game of Thrones” director in the realm of Asgard should be a good mix.
3. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier?” Bucky’s back? That certainly bodes well.
4. "Ant-Man?" Thoughts of a mini-crimefighter busting heads with an army of ants? Could be "This is the End" funny.
5. But if there was one wild card in the bunch, it came in the announcement that Phase 2 would also feature a film called “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Huh??? Who the hell are they??
These guys will protect the galaxy? Run!!
The hardcore fanboy might be familiar with Marvel’s multiple comic-book versions of GOTG, but the casual comic-book fan? Even non-comics readers know who Steve Rogers, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are. But what about Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Gamora or Rocket Racoon?
To the uninitiated, The Guardians of the Galaxy are a team of proactive, but misfit, interstellar heroes protecting the galaxy, rather than reacting to crises as they happen.
But after one look at the photo to the left, would you think such characters might assure the same blockbuster reception previous Marvel submissions have garnered?
Well, Marvel and Disney are betting on this almost as much as its holding faith J.J. Abrams can preserve the Star Wars mythos for new generations. Adios George Lucas, while you yell out "suckers" all the way to the bank!
Although Marvel could easily just trust the success they’ve had adapting multiple properties to the big screen, they’ve taken a smart approach with GOTG, accounting for the fact that the characters in this space tale aren’t as recognizable as their big guns.
But if that’s not enough reason to even give GOTC a chance, Marvel is making sure the film packs star-power along with modern comics.
Chris Pratt (from “Zero Dark Thirty”) has signed on to play Peter Quill; Zoe Saldana was recently announced to be playing Gamora; and Dave Bautista will play the muscle of the team, Drax the Destroyer.
So, if their gamble pays off, 2014 might seal the deal on Marvel's current hold on comic/film domination. Because if they can make a hit out of a second-rate Like Skywalker and crew, what possibly can stop them?