Anyone care for a bit of news? Even though some of it is days old by now...
I like this sort of teaser. The kind that could easily have been an actual part of the movie proper - maybe it still will be - and expends on the story as a whole, though it can as easily be missed (in defiance of the contemporary tendency of viral marketing campaigns to divulge certain plot information that would have been better served appearing in the film itself where the addressed matter is irritatingly left open (I'm looking at you, X-Men: Days of Future Past!)). Of course it works only for those who have seen the previous two installments of the saga, as those who have not can only wonder what all this is about, nor do I think this theaser convincing enough to tempt them into seeing the first two films pronto. Like all teasers, it serves to forewarn the imminent arrival of the film in question into theaters, while this one also hints up front at the fate of poor Peeta Mellark now that the sinister President Snow has his hands on him. The video shows us what we already knew (if we indeed witnessed the previous films), that the Capitol of Panem will not take kindly to rebellion. There's been enough Games, now it's time for war, as this intimidating speech makes perfectly clear. Unless those insubordinate districts get in line before their insolence rains destruction down upon them. Fat chance.
This news has already seen an update since I posted it, in which Shane Black stated the new Predator movie would not actually be a reboot, but more of a soft sequel. In many ways, it doesn't really matter much, considering the differences between both terms are negligible. As the sequels Predator 2 and Predators, as well as the occurrences of the violent trophy collectors from outer space in the duo of Alien vs Predator spin-offs, already showed, there's only so much you can do story wise with extraterrestrials hunting humans for sport. Since it would have been unlikely this new movie would follow the events of the first movie directly, a reboot seemed the better choice, reintroducing the Predators as they go about their usual gory business, but not hunting the same people twice (though considering Arnold Schwarzenegger's interest in repeating past successes, he might very well be up for anouther round). It's pretty much a given a 'soft sequel' will manage the same type of story. In this day and age of post-postmodern hyperintertextuality, no doubt both ways would have contained their fair share of references to past installments (and probably dragged the Xenomorphs into this mess for a gag or two as well). Whatever you call it, it's the same thing. I do like the irresistable irony that the guy who, as an actor, was the first to get mauled on-screen (though not as explicitly as some of the victims that followed in his footsteps) by one of the murderous creatures in the very first movie from 1987, now is chosen as the director to breath new life into the franchise. I do hope that goes to show his heart is in it and he means to make this a kick-ass horror/action gorefest of a thrill hunt, like the franchise started out to be. So far his track record as a director isn't enough to convince me of his capabilities in that department. I for one thought Iron Man 3 was the most disappointing Marvel Studios' flick thus far. But I'm not ready to hang him high in a jungle three just for daring to tackle Predator for that. Unlike the evil alien did himself back in '87.
A rather standard trailer for what appears to be a rather commonplace WW II movie. After all the initial fuss about this movie and Brad Pitt's lead role in it, I was expecting something more than this fairly basic war drama. All the usual ingredients are there: an isolated group of men on a dangerous, seemingly hopeless mission, a battle hardened, gruff commander who cares first and foremost about the troops under his command, a rookie soldier's first time into battle and the emotional distress that comes with this initiation into manhood, tension amongst the camaraderie when faced with increasingly insurmountable odds, etc. I don't see any stand-out elements convincing me of the need to go see this movie. Brad Pitt alone doesn't cut it for me. I already saw him fighting WW II the American way in Inglourious Basterds: another thing entirely of course, which was also what made it so memorable compared to more typical movies like this one. Of course, it's only a trailer, and trailers can be deceptive to say the least (like the trailer for, again, Inglourious Basterds, which made the movie look like something it ended up not being for the better part). There's no particular appealing names in the rest of the cast, while Shia LaBeouf's presence serves more as a deterrent from watching this film for me. Fury doesn't look bad per se, it just doesn't look furiously good.
Another trailer which doesn't look as good as it ought to be is this debut preview of Dracula Untold. A fairly good cast and a somewhat intriguing, though hardly novel, plot notwithstanding, this trailer screams 'B-movie' all over. The cheap Gothic imagery and the poorly executed effects work doesn't bode well for the Prince of Darkness' origin story as told by total newcomer Gary Shore. Coupled with the fact this movie will open, in IMAX nonetheless, in a month plagued by the absence of attractive features (IMAX or otherwise) in theaters, its themes cannot help but remind me of the dismal action adventure flick I, Frankenstein earlier this year. It's regrettable IMAX feels the need to turn to visually unimpressive substandard budget fare that is not suited to the excessively big screen experience it boasts, to ensure there's always some title available in the format, even in slow seasons. The moody posters gave me hopes for this movie, but the trailer takes some away. As said before, trailers are no fair indication of the completed movie viewing experience, especially when heavy FX work is involved. Undoubtedly some of the shots seen in this preview remain to be polished before the film's release, even though it's not produced on the most stellar of budgets. But aside from the visuals, there's still a thing or two to be said against this film based on what this trailer show us. Or is that indeed Charles Dance playing the demonic character? That would sure help pull me in a bit more!
If Guillermo del Toro says he wants to make a movie, it gets made. Even though it's a sequel to a not all that profitable predecessor. It happened on Hellboy - thankfully, as Hellboy II was a heck of a lot more awesome than the already not so bad first installment - and it seems history is repeating itself on Pacific Rim. The fact overseas box office turned out far more lucrative than the disappointing domestic sums the movie garnered sure helped the studio suits to greenlight a sequel. I don't mind, as I like Del Toro - a nerd turned director is always something that agrees with me - and I generally like his movies, some more than others obviously, but so far he hasn't made a single one that I consider to be bad. Pacific Rim sure sat well with me as the ultimate hommage to the Japanese Kaiju genre, which outdid nigh all of the entries the Japanese themselves made into that phenomenon. Monsters are my forte, giant or otherwise, so another round between titanic creatures and ditto robots sounds neat enough. Can't say it's particularly inspired, but an hommage doesn't have to be. Though I would welcome something new in a second film, but I'm sure Del Toro can come up with something before the 2017 deadline that suits my desires for giant monster/robot mash-ups.