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Entries in Giant Fucking Robots (17)

Monday
Mar242014

Yes, No, Maybe So: "X-Men: Days of Future Past"

In my superhero clogged mind, Spider-Man 3 has remained the gold standard of a dubious honor: by the time it had arrived you could justifiably feel like you'd seen the whole movie what with the multiple trailers, numerous clips and stills and two previous features with the exact same cast. X-Men: Days of Future Past has been teasing its teases and characters and counting down to its trailer for what feels like forever but it retains at least some mystery. I hope this is our last taste before the movie opens on May 23rd. It's not likely but I can dream. 

Because I am a glutton for punishment and The X-Men were a huge part of my developmental process as a human being (you don't even want to know how obsessed I was from the ages of, like, 8-18) will do like what we did with Maleficent. A Yes, No, Maybe So™ reaction to (almost) every last piece of the trailer.

Deep breath before the plunge. Okay let's go...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul192013

Trifurcated Link

actressssssssss
Buzzfeed Nine magical photos of Nicole Kidman's hair in the Eighties
/Film Kristen Wiig's new comedy film Welcome to Me gets a slew of new cast members including just-Emmy nominated Linda Cardellini (from Mad Men & Freaks and Geeks)
Jacket Copy Reese Witherspoon will play the leadiest of leads in Wild, (in that she'll be onscreen every second without much in the way of co-stars) based on the best seller about a woman hiking 1000 miles alone after her mother's death
Guardian on the climactic row between Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke in Before Midnight and acceptance vs. resignation in relationships
i09 check out Hailee Steinfeld's geeky nail art for Comic Con

tv mania
Vulture Matt Zoller Seitz on the pleasures and brilliance of "Suits" and why critics ignore it
Pajiba on the 25 best series which were never nominated for best comedy or best drama series in their runs. (Honestly I still look it up every time I hear that Roseanne was never nominated for Best Comedy. It seems so patently absurd that I resist the fact every time and scurry off to fact-check. But a fact it is.)
Slate *TODAY'S MUST READ* an excellent piece, arguing as I like to and have right here, that it's stupid to argue that "tv is better than cinema these days" for a variety of reasons but mostly for the dishonesty of this ubiquitous context-free argument.

it's Comic Con time so it's all genre all the time
Timothy Brayton reviews Pacific Rim. Kaiju dig it? 
i09 on the first ten minutes of Terry Gilliams Zero Theorem which they memorably describe as "Blade Runner meets Sesame Street"
Superhero Hype huge gallery of cosplay photos from Comic Con - my favorites are these gender-flipped X-Men boysThe Princess Bride couple and this tiny Hulk
The Playlist shares the very inspired teaser poster for Gareth Edwards reboot of Godzilla
MNPP which is hotter: Lee Pace blonde or blonder?
Towleroad Jamie Foxx "Electro" teaser for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Shit, guys, I was kidding about the looking like Mr Freeze part but now that I see more of him it's even moreso!
Coming Soon Character posters from X-Men Days of Future Past including Bishop (Omar Sy)
Cinema Blend the Sentinels design from X-Men Days of Future Past which will merge the superhero genre with the giant fucking robots genre at long last*

 

*that was facetious even though i'm a huge fan of that arc in the X-Men comics. 

Sunday
Jul142013

Box Office Notes: Pacific Rim & Sandra Bullock

giant fucking robots, the multi-franchise franchiseThis week's box office results are an example of why we can't have nice things. The top two films are both sequels. Audiences didn't get super worked up about the "original" opener, Guillermo del Toro's monster movie Pacific Rim. Yet the people decrying the general moviegoing public for "rejecting originality" -- a claim I keep hearing on twitter and on blogs -- have failed to admit that Pacific Rim looks JUST like Transformers Meets Godzilla in its advertisements. Which is not, you know a hallmark of the truly original, to look like a mashup of two excessively familiar things. Now, before I'm stomped by giant metallic or clawed kaiju feet, please note that though I haven't seen it I'm sure that Pacific Rim doesn't play like a Transformers sequel since one can't really mistake the filmmaking style of del Toro for Michael Bayisms. But audiences don't buy tickets based on how a movie is but how its perceived to be.

This wasn't a rejection of true originality. It was just a third place finish indicating half-interest in something that looked familiar but didn't sound familiar. Maybe they should have just called it Pacific Rim 2? Wouldn't it be awesome if some new franchise hopeful did just that, skipping the first film and testing the public's Pavlovian response to titles that end in numerals?

TOP O' THE CHARTS
01 DESPICABLE ME 2 $44.7 (cum. $229.2)
02 GROWN UPS 2 $42.5 *NEW*
03 PACIFIC RIM $38.3 *NEW*
04 THE HEAT $14 (cum. $112.3) Review
05 THE LONE RANGER $11.1 (cum. $71.1) Review

Of Note:  Fruitvale Station, which eerily opened on the weekend of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin fiasco, opened to a big per screen averages but given the timid amount of screens it didn't make the top fifteen of the box office. If they're aggressive in expansion you'll undoubtedly see a lot of editorial attention in the media.

And Finally...
We'd just like to say "congratulations" to Sandra Bullock who has her umpteenth $100 million hit with The Heat. No, she didn't deserve an Oscar to commemorate her career but applause she does deserve in an industry that's notoriously resistant to appreciating its actresses. You have to hand it to her: she's been a draw for 20 years now and that's true staying power. Here, courtesy of box office mojo are her biggest hits (adjusted for inflation)

SANDRA'S TOP TEN
01 THE BLIND SIDE (2009) $264 
02 SPEED (1994) $230
03 A TIME TO KILL (1996) $195
04 THE PROPOSAL (2009) $174 
05 MISS CONGENIALITY (2000) $151 
06 WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING (1995) $147 
07 TWO WEEKS NOTICE (2002)  $124 
08 * new entry * THE HEAT (2013)  $112
09 DEMOLITION MAN (1993) $111 
10 HOPE FLOATS (1998) $101

What did you spend your money on this weekend?

Thursday
Apr252013

Posterized: Michael Bay

I can't believe I'm doing this. It feels so perverse. But with the Notorious B.A.Y.'s 10th movie dropping this weekend, why not? Pain and Gain is winning generally favorable pre-release buzz for its dumb brute yuks and for Michael Bay's understanding of his own "gifts". And people are even asking if he's an "auteur"... which, well I called him that really early on because he is. Auteur means "author" so anyone with a clear ownership of their filmography -- where you can see their fingerprints all over their work -- qualifies. It doesn't mean "Great Filmmaker" though that tends to be how people use it.

Besides, I'm genuinely curious if you Film Experiencers have seen his movies. I've often bristled at the notion that movie buffs and cinephiles are elitist snobs. From my personal experience its the multiplex masses who are the true elitists, since they're so unlikely to seek out movies that are outside the mainstream comfort zones. Most "film snobs" I know will see just about anything and can find worth in just about any genre. Have any Michael Bay fans seen a film by Michael Haneke, Jane Campion or Lars von Trier?

Anyway... 

How many of Michael Bay's nine GIANT movies have you seen?

Bad Boys (1995), The Rock (1995), Armageddon (1997)
Remember when you couldn't escape these blockbusters? Actually I escaped them. I only saw Armageddon in theaters from Bay's Noisy Nineties Breakthrough period. Because his films were always on cable at one point I think I have seen sizeable portions of the others.

Pearl Harbor (2001), Bad Boys II (2003), The Island (2005)
Remember when Pearl Harbor had Oscar buzz. Hee!
Remember how profoundly uncool it was of Michael Bay to blame Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson for The Island's box office failure? As if they were to blame for him getting his arguably worst reviews.

Transformers (2007), Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Michael Bay has been directing giant fucking robots (or the green screens where they will eventually be super-imposed) for the past half decade. Now he's got actors again, though he very wisely chose cartoonish ones.

How many of these blockbusters have you seen? I'm surprised to realize that I've seen only 3 in theaters though it feels like I've seen them all from their ubiquity. I do plan to see Pain & Gain. You?

Sunday
Sep302012

What Compels You To Watch Bad Movies / TV?

I am officially cured of my pneumonia (and there was much rejoicing) but in my final few days of laying around feeling sorry for myself I found myself watching bad movies and television with abandon. Do you do that when you're under the weather? Does the brain demand a vacation when the body shuts down?

A few days ago The Boyfriend and I watched Real Steel and in my medicated delirium I really enjoyed it. Particularly the scene in the junkyard when "Atom", our robot hero, defeats a brutish robot boxer who was so ugly he was cute. He was made of old used parts like mismatched fender biceps and a sledgehammer fist. He malfunctions and turns on himself. The boyfriend sighed dramatically, utterly pained by the movie.

If only *I* had a sledgehammer for a hand to beat myself to death with right now."

Heh.

He demanded we watch Melancholia for a third time immediately thereafter for a palette cleanser which made for the strangest double feature imaginable.

Last night I watched Revolution a second time -- glutton for punishment! -- and it remains so so terrible. The leading actress is either one of the worst ever asked to carry a series or the writers don't understand that whiny repetitive stubborness is not necessarily an appealing character trait. Why do I give genre shows so many chances? Do you share this weakness? Or maybe you have another... 

I chased Revolution with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for which I blame Brooke Smith, the girl in the pit, who was playing a dangerous madame. I always love Brooke Smith but I do not love bad television. Tonight to rescue me from bad television for the forseeable future Revenge and Homeland return. Come to me awesome psychotic series, come to me!