Summer movie season is half a year a way, and here in Montreal most of us are more concerned with hunkering down for the oncoming winter and anticipating the arrival of the Frost Trolls that usually set up shop on St. Catherine around this time of year. Last year I had to wrestle one of the tenacious buggers for one of those disposable hand warmers.
But still, Hollywood is more concerned with hyping us up for next year’s cavalcade of special effects and bad scriptwriting than the oncoming battle with the forces of winter. And as such trailers for everything the survivors will get to enjoy have started flooding the internet, so this week let’s take a look at what’s out there to take our mind off memories of the crushing jaws and icicle teeth we’ll soon be meeting head-on.
From the moment I heard that they were adapting Max Brooks’ fantastic novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War I knew this was either gonna be amazing, or a rocket powered kick in the nuts. I believe the ice bag cradled between my thighs can tell you which it is.
Now, the problem with a book like WWZ is that you really couldn’t make it into a big effects laden summer movie without ripping out the guts of the thing and doing something other than what they SHOULD have done, which is essentially make it as a faux documentary. Like Waltz with Bashir but fake. And with zombies.
But to think that they’d basically turn the novel into the flashbacks from I Am Legend but with running zombies swarming over each other like fire ants in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull just makes me want to curl up with the book and tell it that it’s ok, everything’s gonna be ok. Don’t cry, book, I know it hurts.
Also, hi Brad Pitt’s bad haircut! Haven’t seen you in a while, how’s the family?
Excitement level: Brains! Eat more brains!!
Zac Snyder. Where do I begin. Ok, so 300 was kind of amusing if you can muscle past that it’s basically a fascistic wet dream, but I’m on point as saying Watchmen sucked on ice and I don’t even need to tell you what a disaster Sucker Punch was.
All that said, his propensity for larger than life visuals could theoretically make for a good match with a Superman movie. So why does it look like it was directed by Terrence Malick? What’s with all the gray filters, the sedate shots of craggy coastlines, Clark Kent working on a fishing boat rocking a beard? I can appreciate taking it slow and building some mood but this is more Tree of Steel than Man of Steel.
Granted, the bit where Superman taking off creates a massive dramatic shockwave like he just farted out the wrath of friggin God is pretty cool.
Excitement level: More powerful than a four-door sedan.
So yeah, the last one was kinda dumb. Kinda pretty dumb. But for some reason I never hated it. The whole time travel/alternate timeline thing was kinda clever, it had a good cast (with the exception of Chris Pine) and some good action set-pieces.
Now the whole crew’s back for part 2. Is it as dumb? We’ll see, I guess. But it does have Benedict Cumberbatch as the bad guy, and that’s pretty neat. Is he Khan? Maybe. Gary Mitchell? Maybe. Harry Mudd? Eh, prolly not. But whoever he is, he’s Benedict Cumberbatch and that’s all right.
The problem with the trailer itself is it tells us nearly nothing about the movie itself, just that it’s a Star Trek movie, Cumberbatch is pissed and Hollywood is still scoring it’s movie trailers with that obnoxious “BWAA!” sound. God, I hate that.
Excitement level: Get out, I need to go to my mind palace.
God, this one was a disaster from the get-go, wasn’t it?
Ok, so they’re making a Lone Ranger movie. Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer are at the helm, so it’ll probably be very dumb but competently shot at least. Who’s playing Lone Ranger? Armie Hammer, oh God. What about Tonto? Johnny Depp?? Good night, and good luck.
There’s inviting a shitstorm of controversy and “red face” accusations and then there’s painting a bullseye on your ass and running around Akwesasne screaming racial epithets.
So how does the movie look? Well, dumb but competently shot at least. But riddle me this, Verbinski. How come, in the trailer for your movie, the TITLE CHARACTER doesn’t have a single solitary line of dialogue? I’m not even kidding, unless he sneaks a line in during the voice over, he doesn’t speak once. Mostly it’s some guy talking about trains and Depp doing a terrible native voice.
Are we maybe not too confident in our lead? Well there’s a solution to that, you know, it’s called “not hiring Armie Hammer”
Excitement level: silver bullet to the brain pan.
God, these have mostly sucked so far, what’s last?
Huh, something about giant monsters, that’s up my alley.
“From director Guillermo del Toro”? Ok, I’m interested.
Oh hey, Idris Elba’s in it. Rockin.
Hey, that computer voice sounds like GLadOS from the Portal games. Like. Exactly like her.
Is that. Oh my God. It. GIANT ROBOTS!!!! Fighting monsters!!! With GlaDOS voices!!! Directed by Guillermo del Toro!
How could this get any be-ROCKET PUNCH!! It has a rocket punch!!!
Excitement level: It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction