Saturday, July 13, 2013

SharkNado Spoiler-free Review

Is it good?
It's so bad that it's not good.

Is it technically good?
The special effects are worse than an iOS handheld game.
The acting is bad, though I'm pretty sure that Tara Reid thinks SharkNado happened for real. All the actors take things, way too seriously.
The music is bad, though it's a step above Under the Dome. (What's up with Under the Dome's music?)
The bizarre editing and overuse of stock footage makes large portions of the movie incoherent.

What does it promise - and does it deliver?
Insane lo-budget Syfy disaster - and it's certainly a disaster, but not quite bad enough, or self-aware enough, to be fun.

If you liked these, you'll like this: Troll 2.

Pacific Rim Spoiler-free Review

Is it good?
It's kaiju-crunching good.

Is it technically good?
The jaegers (giant piloted robots) and kaiju (giant monsters) feel big and real.
The acting is solid, even if Charlie Hunnam's accent isn't, and Idris Elba Idris-Elbas all over everything in a good way.
The music is epic, scored by Ramin Djawadi of Game of Thrones fame.
Director Guillermo Del Toro doesn't take the auteur approach, which is a-OK considering the kind of movie it is.

What does it promise - and does it deliver?
A live-action giant robots vs giant monsters movie that out-robots Transformers and out-monsters Cloverfield - and yes, it delivers.

If you liked these, you'll like this: Transformers, Cloverfield, most '80s cartoons, your childhood if you were born between 1975 and 1990.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Top 10 Reasons to Go See Pacific Rim this Weekend

1. Charlie Hunnam.
He's come a long way from his start on the UK Queer as Folk, and this star of FX's Sons of Anarchy deserves a big screen presence. And since he's not a "star,' there's no way that he's phoning it in as much as Brad Pitt in World War Z.

2. Giant robots without Michael Bay.
Right now, Michael Bay has a monopoly on the giant robot movie. That means that every giant robot movie has slightly too many explosions, lots of sweaty people, ridiculous lens filters, and stereotypes that are just a little close to being racist. I've watched all three Transformers movies more than twice each, but it's time to put those robots in a different cinematic context.

3. Charlie Day.
The best part of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia makes everything better. What part of giant robot maintenance is Charliework?

4. GLaDOS.
Recognize that robotic voice from the trailer? That's GLadOS, the AI from the beloved Portal games. Knowing Valve's turnaround time for new games, it'll be a while before you get another Portal.

5. It's not a superhero/Hasboro/videogame/reboot/YA novel movie.
There aren't that many blockbusters that are new ideas anymore. We'll keep getting retreads unless we demonstrate we pay for new IP.

6. Idris Elba.
Stringer Bell. Luther. Heimdall. He's canceling the apocalypse.

7. Nerd cred.
Movie studios need to see that the movies that get standing ovations at conventions can still bring in the dollars if they're going to keep making them. Nerds whine about the lack of good sci fi/fantasy/horror, but there's a direct line from their wallets to the studios' ears. Imagine what different movies we'd get if Upstream Color had made as much money as Twilight.

8. Hellboy 3.
Whether or not the third BPRD movie gets made may depend on the success of Pacific Rim.

9. Guillermo del Toro.
There aren't a whole lot of people you can trust to make a good genre flick. Del Toro is one of them. Sure he's had some missteps (Hellboy 2), and you might not like everything that he's produced. But Pan's Labyrinth redeems 99% of the bad things you might say about the director, and he knows his way around an action picture.

10. Giant robots vs giant monsters.
Did we really need the other 9 reasons?