August 4, 2013

Men of steel and titans of metal

Been a while since I posted anything here so might as well talk about the two movies I really loved so far this year.

MAN OF STEEL

More of a reaction to the negative feedback of most viewers/critics whose rallying cry was that the thing was "too dark" and---my favorite--- that "Superman doesn't kill". Wonder if those same people had the same sentiment about issue #75 of the comics where the Man Of Steel met his "demise" in the hands of Doomsday. I'm sure that titanic face-off between the two ridiculously superpowered beings didn't produce any casualty at all. Just buildings and other inanimate objects because it would have been too dark a tone for the Norman Rockwell-esque world the blue boy scout lives in. Or that Superman has no intention of killing someone whose threat level is insane because, well, he doesn't kill. I'm sure that final blow he gave to that character was meant to only "stun" him.



I don't know. Maybe these chronic complainers have a better solution to that Zod-Superman smackdown that does not involve desperate, last minute solutions like snapping your opponent's neck to prevent him from killing some more. And that the character who did the killing was a first-timer at this kind of business. 

As for the "critical" mass who apparently found the violence and "lack of humor"  so off-putting, well tough luck gentlemen, sometimes genre entries like this revolve more around actual action than subtle artistic metaphors on life and deep meditations on existence. Snyder's unfairly lumped into the Michael Bay category of all flash and mindless mayhem devoid of good stories that may in fact be grounded on something---except that David Goyer and the Nolans are behind the writing that any more comparison with the former is far-fetched. This film was simply a reaction to the Singer-directed Superman Returns that managed to stoke the critics but left a stale taste on the mouth of most its target audience, including myself.

Donner's version is fine, but it's time for another take on things.


PACIFIC RIM

Best movie of the year. If only for the sheer ambition of making a big-screen tribute to those 
Japanese mecha/kaiju anime and manga that gained popularity during the 70s and 80s. I was a huge fan of Voltron, Daimos and Voltes V when these shows aired on free TV. And watching Guillermo Del Toro's fanboy output of giant robots bludgeoning giant monsters with makeshift weapons like a massive ship, that elation you had as a kid jumping out the sofa mimicking those cartoon robots as they administer their brand of justice to those giant invading monsters with extreme prejudice---comes back. Del Toro obviously made something he wanted to see as a fan, and that translated very well on the big screen. 



This obviously won't be winning any awards for best picture but this is clearly the best picture of the year. You advertise robots beating monsters to a pulp and live up to it. 

In this aspect Pacific Rim lives up to its promise.

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