Pacific Rim: Uprising – Teaser Trailer

1993’s kaiju versus giant robots epic Pacific Rim never appeared to find its audience domestically–earning three times more ($102 million vs $309 million) at the foreign box office (primarily China). 

And it’s hard to understand why, epecially when you take into account it had more heart and was more clever in it’s first five minutes the all the Transmorphers movies combined (that’s not a typo.  I despise those movies so much I dare not type their names) and those made gobs of money. 

On the strength of the aforementioned foreign box recepts we’re getting a sequel: Pacific Rim: Uprising (speaking of which, who’s doing the ‘uprising?’  The first movie revolved around extra dimensional beings who entered this world through a rift in the bottom of the Pacific Ocean though the subtitle implies a significant change in relationship between humans and the aliens).  

What I know for certain is that Guillermo Del Toro will not be directing this time around (that honor goes to Steven DeKnight). 

And I am not sure how I feel about that.  Part of my problem is that I tend to over-emphasize with Del Toro (a person I have never met, and vice versa) on the strength of his movies.  

I really–somewhat irrationally, I know–really want him to succeed despite there being little (other than having seen a well put together and interesting movie) benefit or incentive for me to feel that way. 

Though there’s also the feeling that so many lesser directors manage to be much more successful on top of  the list of projects he has either abandoned or never got to make (The Hobbit and At the Mountains of Madness come to mind though I’m still holding out for the latter) for various reasons. 

Though if anyone were to replace Del Toro, Steven DeKnight is a great choice (check him out on Twitter at @stevendeknight he’s interesting, opinionated and refreshingly free of bs and pretentiousness). 

Kind of like Del Toro himself. 

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Crimson Peak – Review

Crimson Peak

When Guillermo del Toro says that his latest movie, Crimson Peak, isn’t a horror movie, but a gothic romance, he means it.

A gothic romance is a type of movie that, while horror-adjacent, visually, beckons back to movies like The Innocents, where elaborate costumes and sets help to set the mood and atmosphere.

And like Jack Clayton’s 1961 movie, there are ghosts.

And insects (this is Guillermo del Toro, after all), plenty of insects.

Despite–more often than not–great dialog I tend not to be particularly fond of long stretches of it (everything in its place).  That being said, del Toro and Matthew Robbins (who co-wrote the movie) understand that extended scenes of dialog aren’t a problem when they involve interesting characters and they bridge the more horrific elements.  And while the movie is not at all concerned about violence for violence’s sake, when it happens it’s pretty intense (primarily because you don’t see it often enough to take it for granted).

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Spring – Trailer

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead‘s Spring is an apt trailer to post since just earlier this week I was writing about H.P. Lovecraft.

The movie revolves around (Lou Taylor Pucci) who meets Louise (Nadia Hilker) in Italy, and falls madly in love.  Sure, it’s weird that Evan can only see her at night, but what relationship doesn’t have its quirks?

Though if that were Louise’s only problem, Spring wouldn’t be much of a movie.  The added bit is that it seems that she…changes at certain times to something not quite human.

It sounds like vintage Lovecraft, and until Guillermo Del Toro makes his At The Mountains Of Madness, I’ll take it though I get the feeling that Spring is not going to get a theatrical release.

Help Us, Guillermo Del Toro, You’re Our Only Hope!

And in case you don’t get the reference…

And you should know that I don’t take to paraphrasing Princess Leia lightly, though I think that it’s warranted in this particular case.

Call Girl Of Cthulhu trailer

The point being, I have just seen the trailer for Call Girl of Cthulhu and it looks to be in the vein of movies like Re-Animator and From Beyond, by which I mean the gory, gooey stuff is mixed with liberal doses of humor and/or camp, though I am not implying either of them aren’t entertaining and gory-good fun.

Though what they lack is a sense of the majestic, the feeling that they what we see on screen is only the tip of the iceberg and that the horrors out there in the vastness of space are way more horrific than we can even contemplate.  It’s present in Lovecraft’s writing–and especially in August Dereth’s–though no movie has dealt with the more cosmic aspects of his writing–though John Carpenter’s In The Mouth of Madness, has been the closest.

As far as the other movies go, there’s a certain tawdriness that’s not touched on in any of his writing that I have read–be they written by Lovecraft or not.

At The Moutains Of Madness 1

At The Mountains Of Madness 2

Two images of Guillermo Del Toro’s (so far) aborted film of H.P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness

And that’s not to say that the sexiness that seems a part of Call Girl of Cthulhu isn’t present in someone’s writings, but I would at least like to see some of mysticism, the subtle horror evoked by his writings.

Which is why I plead to Guillermo del Toro to please bring At The Mountains Of Madness to the big screen because as far as I can tell no other filmmaker has the understanding of the Mythos, as well as the respect for its creator, to do it justice.

From what I have read of Del Toro’s take he intended to treat perhaps the seminal Lovecraft story with the piousness and gravitas that it deserves, and it’s about time.

‘Ouija’ Trailer

Originally the movie Ouija was going to be huge, in terms of budget, before Universal (the studio releasing the horror feature) balked and almost abandoned the project.  The story was tweaked, and it was brought in significantly cheaper, and the rest is history.

It always mystified me why it was originally planned as a big-budget feature (other than the property being owned by Hasbro, the people behind–or should I say culpable–for the Transformers).  The movie revolves around a ouija board, a Hasbro product by the way, which are creepy just sitting on a table, never mind interacting with the damned (pardon the pun) thing.

And while I think that Universal not producing Ouija as an expensive feature was a great idea (which should pay dividends at the box office) abandoning Guillermo del Toro’s version of H.P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness wasn’t.

‘Battleship’ In Rocky Waters

While it’s not good form to revel in the misfortune of others (which pretty much means that I am about to do just that) I have to admit that hearing that Peter Berg’sBattleship” looking very John Carter-ish makes me feel a bit better than it should.

First, it means that “The Avengers” continues to run riot over the box office, which is good for anyone who wants Joss Whedon to return for the sequel (and the hope that he doesn’t feel the need to kill anyone else off).

Second, there’s Universal, the studio that released ‘Battleship,’ passing on Guillermo Del Toro’s passion project, “At The Mountains of Madness,” which would have cost somewhere in the ballpark of $150 million.

Which is significantly less than the studio will probably lose over “Battleship” (which is assuming that ‘Madness’ would have been unsuccessful, which I doubt).

Guillermo Del Toro Stares At The ‘Rim’

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Guillermo Del Toro, unable to get his version of H.P. Lovecraft’s “At The Mountains Of Madness” off the ground, was originally slated to direct “The Hobbit,” with Peter Jackson producing.  Because of financial problems at MGM (the studio that would have released it) he left “The Hobbit,” and moved on moved on to Legendary Films “Pacific Rim” (though he makes abundantly clear that he has not given up on ATMOM).”

At this point I am unsure what Pacific Rim is exactly about, though what I have read seems to indicate there will be giant monsters (Yea!) and giant robots to fight the aforementioned monsters (Double Yea!)

I imagine this as The Shogun Warriors, crossed with “Robot Jox,” which is in its own way similar to Michael Bay’s Transformers films, except that “Pacific Rim” will hopefully not suck like the second Transformers film, which scarred me to such a degree that  I am literally afraid to see Transformers: Dark of the Moon” despite it having a very cool trailer.