A Perfect Vehicle for Michael Bay

Screenshot 2018-02-11 19.53.04And that’s not a sentiment I come by all too often because Bay’s movies are all about what’s on the surface, and typically lack anything approaching nuance (though to be fair he definitely knows his audience.)

Though that audience is generally not terribly discriminating, which is why it’s so maddening when the Transformers movies do so well (except for the last one), while Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim performed particularly weak domestically and would not have warranted a sequel if it hadn’t done so well in China.

As you can probably tell, I’m by no means a fan of Michael Bay as a director though if you’re looking for someone to handle big, brash spectacle, they’re few directors that can wrangle chaos as beautifully.

When he plays to his strengths–Transformers, Bad Boys, The Rock–he can be pretty amazing. though when he doesn’t (pretty much every other Transformers movie, Pain and Gain) it’s typically not too good because Bay typically has a tin ear as far as dialogue and the way humans actually interact with each other.

So when I heard that he’s considering directing a movie based on DC’s Lobo, I was okay with it because Bay is like the Main Man himself: shallow, all about bombast and climax not so much about anything approaching nuance and character development.

Advertisements

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. 

Zoombies – Trailer

You might thing that I was intending to wright ‘Zombies,’ but if you did you probably weren’t aware that this is from The Asylum.

Zoombies is not about the typical–zombies have become so mainstream that I can write that without a bit of irony–undead but instead zombified animals at a safari park that begin to go after the humans in attendance.

And while it’s a terrible, unpunny title, that’s not the worse of it.

That would have to be  The Asylum’s overarching ambition.  To look at the trailer you’d think that the movie is being patterned on movies like Jurassic World and Jurassic Park–they even mention it on the splash page of the trailer, though I could tell from the helicopter shots in the opening.

Which is the problem, namely why don’t they aim lower, but make better movies?

Just looking at the trailer you know that it’s going to involve tons of CGI, most of which is going to end up looking pretty hinky, so why do it when you could, just maybe, spend the time to invest in a good story and try to tell it as best you can.

But we’re talking about The Asylum, so why do that when you can make a janky Pacific Rim knock-off?

Guillermo del Toro Can’t Catch A Break

Let’s be clear, Guillermo del Toro doesn’t need my sympathy because I imagine he’s quite content making some of the most innovative genre movies in recent memory.

That being said, he also can’t seem to catch a break.  His latest, the Gothic Romance Crimson Peak, has currently earned almost $28 million worldwide, after four days.

That’s not a long time, you might be thinking, and you’d be right though the problem is that del Toro’s movie is rated R, which means that no one under seventeen can see the movie without a parent or guardian (which limits your argument pool significantly, as if the fact you’re making a gothic romance didn’t do that already).

Which is the exact opposite of a movie like Goosebumps, which is PG and has earned almost double that amount domestically.

Continue reading

Is Marvel On The Verge Of Regaining The Fantastic Four?

This post is based on (admittedly) thin evidence, though there is a logic.

This year Fox released their latest version of Fantastic Four, which was–to put it bluntly–a box-office disaster, earning almost $167 million against at budget of at least $120 million.

At this point, to break even (typically double the production budget), which is the most that Fantastic Four can hope for at this point.  There are a lot of people who hope that Marvel Studios regain the license to the characters, though this was before one of the producers, Simon Kinberg, announced that there were plans for a sequel.

Which is utter nonsense, and little more than the producer of a failed movie saving face.  The proof is easy enough to see because you’ll find few companies willing to take a franchise that has already failed–and blatantly so–and pump more money into it.  By way of example, Disney’s Tron: Legacy earned over $400 million on a $170 million budget while Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim earned $411 million on a $190 million budget.  Most of that money was earned internationally, which was probably why Universal was so reticent about going in on a sequel with Legendary.

Both films were moderate successes, yet neither are getting sequels (though hope springs eternal for the latter). Continue reading

‘Horrible Bosses 2’ Teaser Trailer

Have you ever seen a movie that should be funny, one that seemingly has all the elements, like good comedic actors, an engaging premise and plenty of awkward situations, yet for some reason just isn’t?

That’s the way I felt about the first Horrible Bosses (and The Heat, but that’s another matter)  It wasn’t a terrible movie, but it wasn’t particularly hilarious, either.  Something about Colin Ferrell, appearing balding and with a paunch–quite unlike the actor typically appears–feels more like stunt casting than anything else.

Besides, I suspect that there are lots of actual balding, paunchy actors that could use the work.

Then there’s Dr. Julia Harris, DDS (Jennifer Aniston) character, who seems to be less an attempt to create an actual person than a walking, taking manifestation of libido, who in the first film had no other reason for being than to lust after Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman), who relied more on shocking viewers with what she had to say more than anything genuinely funny.

In fact, Charlie Day was wittier in Pacific Rim, which considering that that movie is not only a comedy, but one about giant robots and monsters, is a pretty good indicator of how mediocre Horrible Bosses really was.

And if this trailer is at all accurate, things are getting a little scatalogical up in here.

Why ‘Pacific Rim’ Will Spawn A Sequel, Part II

In September of last year I wrote of how Pacific Rim Will Spawn A Sequel.  One of the reasons that I said that this was the case was because Guillermo Del Toro said at the time that he was writing it with Travis Beacham, who wrote the original with Del Toro.

Yesterday ScreenRant mentioned that Del Toro is no longer writing with him, but instead is working on the sequel with Zach Penn because he was no longer available (Travis Beacham is working on a new series, Hieroglyph, on the Fox television network).

That Del Toro is still working on a Pacific Rim sequel, despite the fact that his original writing partner is no longer available implies there’s enough interest on the part of Legendary Pictures that they are at least willing to see where a sequel would go (which I assumed would be co-financed with Universal Pictures this time around, as opposed to Warner Bros).

And that’s still not a guarantee that it will happen, though as I said, it shows that Guillermo Del Toro is still interested in revisiting the world that he’s built, which if all the planets align in their proper orbits, makes it even likelier that it will happen.

Continue reading