Yesterday afternoon walking into an completely empty IMAX showing of Zack Snyder’s latest fan boy fever dream Sucker Punch, I found myself wondering why in the first 16 days of release the film had only made $33 million domestic at the box office, with a total $66 million worldwide gross, dropping off almost 65% after it’s first week.Was this fall out from the Watchmen film that didn’t really connect with mainstream humans like 300 did? Is Snyder loosing his chops and audience per say?
With the reviews at best being lukewarm in scope, I was expecting a watered down slick looking PG-13 action eye candy piece with heavy emphasis on style over substance, or candy over story if I may. From the opening Warner Brothers logo, almost the same logo as used in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge (opening red curtains on a classic theater stage), we get a sense of a Musical genre film to follow the likes of Chicago, Nine, Sweeney Todd and/or Moulin Rouge.
In the first 5 minutes the people the film is marketed to(13- 25 year old males) might find it hard to impossible to sit though what seems like a introduction to the ultimate chick flick fantasy dancing movie , I how ever was sucked into the story instantly by the dark imagery and great visual storytelling. The real clincher for me what the action scenes placed in the spots where the traditional “song and dance” number would be. the instant the music starts and the main protagonist Baby Doll begins to dance for the onlookers, she is transported in her head to a fantasy world battle for survival populated by the other character in the movie. These action sequences are peppered through out the film and every entrance to this fantasy land battle ground raises the level of action moving through every geek/fan boy situation you could imagine from Nazi zombies to giant demon samurai. As my heart raced and my balls tingled seeing the heart pounding action sequences unfold in front of my eyes, I could only utter WOW over and over again. Seriously F@#king WOW!For me this film cements Zack Snyder as my favorite action director working today. The action is jaw dropping and is unmatched at this level. No stupid over use of shaky cam and unnecessary quick cuts here. Every shot beautifully executed, obviously fully story boarded and thought out. Once you let yourself surrender to to the world Snyder has put you into the more you feel the pure cinema experience he’s created here wash over you.This is a film to see on the biggest screen you can possibly find, get bent, sit back and soak up the awesomeness.
Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.
A few weeks ago the news hit the trades that Guillermo del Toro ‘At the Mountains of Madness’ feature film had collapsed at Universal. This marks the second film that the director has had problems actually beginning principal photography in just under a year. Some ten months ago he passed on directing The Hobbit due to its now-infamous production delays. The Pan’s Labyrinth creator has opened up about just what happened with the ‘Mountains’ adaptation , saying that he will finally be behind the camera again this fall, on Pacific Rim.
With James Cameron producing, del Toro was poised to bring author H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness into a $150 million 3D film with Tom Cruise in the lead. It’s a project that should of been a no brainer for the studio, but of course the marketing department is most likely scared to death of a film like this. They really don’t see potential of this kind of material I figure. With what Guillermo has done with meager budgets and ‘out there’ material before is amazing. I was really looking forward to this film and seeing what Del Toro could do with a proper tent poll budget. Now we can only read about what could have been and hope some day that the project is resurrected by a brave studio head and Lovecraft is brought to the screen in all his glory.
Deadline sat down for a Q&A session with del Toro, in which the filmmaker admitted that he doesn’t know exactly why his Mountains of Madness collapsed:
“I haven’t had a face to face with [Universal chairman Adam Fogelson and co-chair Donna Langley] . We’ve exchanged a few phone calls. In my mind, we were given the parameters of a budget and screenplay, and I was given the chance by the studio to create a visual presentation. They were blown away by the visual presentation, they openly admitted to loving the screenplay, saying it was dead on. And we hit the target on the budget they gave us, not a figure I arrived at.
“This came after months and months of storyboarding, haggling with VFX companies, and bringing down the budget number. The week before the decision, I was scouting in the border of Canada and Alaska. We were a week away from opening offices in Toronto. We were crewed up, and frankly, I am as puzzled as most people are.”
The del Toro-produced remake of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark will finally arrive in theaters this August, and he (del Toro) describes that as being the sort of R-Rated “very intense movie [made] in a very classical mold” that he was aiming for with Mountains of Madness. An R-Rating for the Lovecraft adaptation was very much a deal-breaker for him too, according to del Toro. He seems aware that this may have contributed to the project’s termination, but points out that he’d made his feelings on the matter quite clear to studio heads:
“Ultimately, I think the MPAA could rule the movie PG-13 because the movie and the book are not gory. If that is the outcome, fine… The only thing I know about ‘Mountains’ is, I do not want it to be bloody, I do not want it to be crass, but I want it to be as intense as possible. And those discussions were had in the open. Everyone knew this was my position, that I knew I was asking the chance for the movie to be what it needs to be. I don’t think it’s a good idea to relinquish that on paper.”
Fans of del Toro can rejoice in the news that his next directorial effort, Pacific Rim, is set to begin principal photography this September, with Legendary Pictures looking at a Summer 2013 release. While directors lips were pretty much sealed about the picture – which is officially described as being a futuristic sci-fi thriller in which Earth must defend itself against attacking creatures – he did offer the following tidbit:
“People got it confused with the ‘Godzilla’ movie a few months ago but we cleared that up. I can say the scope and imagination that have been outlined in it are absolutely appealing to me. I cannot say more, it’s not the time.”
Well I guess Pacific Rim sounds interesting, anything that del Toro directs I’m there to check out. It really is a bummer that the Lovecraft epic will have to wait till a future date. Here’s hoping sooner than later.
Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.
Before Matthem Vaughn was announced as the director of X-Men:First Class I was having anxiety nightmare about A “Twilight styled” Marvel flick taking a huge bowel movement on my boyhood heroes; But alas Vaughn has surprised me yet again with where he has convinced Fox to take the story. Going back to the 60’s Kenndy era and WWII (the era the original comic was published and set in) is a stroke of pure genius.
Bringing Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Cold War into the mix will ground the characters in our world and bring a new dimention to the series. I trust the Vaughn to bring something special to the table and it looks from the first trailer he’s made a pretty solid X-Men film. Now here’s hoping it will be epic in scale and scope, fingers crossed.
An interesting fun little Saul Bassian type 60’s style opening credit sequence popped up online today. I’m pretty sure this is a fan made deal, but it is very cool none the less.
Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.
Something that has been in the trades for weeks now is director Darren Aronofsky will no longer be helming the Wolverine sequel for Twentieth Century Fox.
I can’t remember when any news about a movie has filled me with such disappointment and sadness. I was so looking forward to the Wolverine Japan story line to be handled by someone special and when it was announced that Aronofsky was helming the project I felt as a fan of the character I had hit the jackpot on talent as far as director. With Christopher McQuarrie’s script it was on track to being an epic Marvel film. Now who know the fate of the project as far a director.
In a statement issued by the studio, Aronofsky said, “It became clear that the production of The Wolverine would keep me out of the country for almost a year. I was not comfortable being away from my family for that length of time.” (The film was reportedly going to be shooting in Japan) “I am sad that I won’t be able to see the project through, as it is a terrific script and I was very much looking forward to working with my friend, Hugh Jackman, again.” Twentieth Century Fox echoed Aronofsky’s regret: “While we are of course disappointed that Darren can’t do The Wolverine, we also understand and respect his reasons … Hugh Jackman and Fox both remain fully committed to making The Wolverine. We will regroup and move forward aggressively.”
So there you have it. I’m scared to death about who Fox chooses to replace Aronofsky. No matter who steps into the directing seat on this one has got a lot stacked against them. Living up to the artistry that Darren brings to every film is near impossible to duplicate. Another strong minded artist is what the project needs at this point, I’m really hopping we don’t get a X3 type treatment again. Continuous rapping of my favorite Marvel character by Fox is getting extremely tiresome. I see more pain in my viewing future..
RIP “Darren Aronofsky’s The Wolverine”.
Till Next Time. Stay Tuned.