I’ll say this much for now…

…people really should get out to “Sucker Punch” this weekend.

I can’t promise that everyone will “like” it; but it’s the first “big” movie of 2011 that’s actually worth talking about. It’ll be making a lot of lists, stirring a lot of heated discussion, and being used as a baseline comparison A LOT as we head into Summer – so if nothing else you’ll want to have an opinion on it.


Shit-ton of work to do. No time for commentary.

I’m not loving the generic techno-thumpy music in this trailer – should be something more… “Greatest Generation-y,” I guess. Other than that, fucking awesome. Fucking. AWESOME.

3 quick things

…about the “Eastern vs. Western Game Stories” thing, which apparently everyone finds vastly more fascinating than the rest of the episode…

1.) Good Story is not the same thing as Good Writing. It’s entirely plausible that Western game-writers write better screenplays – I wouldn’t know, because I can neither read speak Japanese fluently nor read Kanji, and it’s unfair to critique writing based on (usually poor) translation. So, yes, I’ll take “every gonzo thing we can think of regardless of genre of aesthetic plus maybe somebody is a giant walrus just because” (Japan) over “Tom Clancy but shot like Black Hawk Down – unless it’s period, in which case shot like Private Ryan, unless it’s medieval in which case copypaste LOTR, unless it’s scifi in which case Star Wars” (West.)

2.) With rare exception, I will take “characters who emote too much” over “characters who do not emote at all, or only emote flippantly.” Also, I am neither an insecure 13 year-old nor a bitter 90 year-old – thusly, male characters who display quasi “feminine” traits, grow out and/or color their hair are not innately infuriating to me.

3.) Just a thought: If HUNDREDS of people rushing in to “disprove” the opinion in question keep citing as evidence, independently of one another, the SAME five or six titles – two or three of which are from the same company running on a VERY similar story engine… that MIGHT kinda be making the point for me. Just sayin.

"Attack The Block"

Trailer for THE big hit of SXSW – a group of teen-and-younger UK street toughs (and Nick Frost) defending their block (read: housing project) from alien invaders:

Stateside, the film’s hype has been almost overshadowed by rumors that distributors are considering dubbing or subtitling it because of the thick English accents. Yes, this again.

Y’ever notice how this ONLY ever comes up with contemporary and/or urban-set British films? I think that’s the real issue… whether people realize it or not: It’s not so much that most Americans don’t “understand” the accents, it’s that they don’t think of the UK as having an existence outside of cottage country or posh period-dramas. When Joe n’ Jane Sixpack hear English accents coming out of these kids – who look just like “our” street kids – or the contemporary gangsters in Guy Ritchie movies, it doesn’t “add up” to them: “Wait wait… they’ve got GHETTOS in England? Holy shit… they’ve got BLACK PEOPLE, too!!?? When did that happen!!!??”

(UK readers, seriously – “Harry Brown” was THE scariest movie that American middlebrow yuppie-scum saw last year, because they always only thought of your country as a wholly-pleasant, genteel place they might “escape” to if things just get too sketchy here.)

"Zangief Kid" is alright by me

(Warning: Video clip is pretty brutal)

By now people have probably seen this, either in it’s original form (after the jump) or in “remixed” form with Street Fighter sound effects. It’s been all over the net, turning it’s “hero” into an interweb sensation.

Short version: A “stocky” schoolkid in Sydney, Australia who has apparently been a long time victim of bullying, was being verbally and physically assaulted by another classmate… and did something about it. Specifically, he grabbed the bully, hoisted him into the air and smashed him head-first into the ground, “pile-driver” style – amazingly, the bully was apparently not seriously injured. The incident was caught on tape – where it can be seen that the bully was being “cheered on” by several others at the time. Both boys were temporarily suspended, but “Zangief Kid” (nicknamed for an Street Fighter character with a piledriver move) has already become the latest internet nerd-culture folk hero. Onetime victims of similar torment have offered praise; and “Anonymous” has turned it’s Sauron-esque gaze upon the school, the bully and his family.

I’ve been hesitant to jump right in on this one, because you can just FEEL the other shoe waiting to drop… but yeah, I’m sorry – I have NO real problem with this whatsoever. Yes, it’d be nice if bullies and all other problems could be solved without violence. Yes, a piledriver on concrete is possibly a touch too far, YES, “Zangief Kid” and his “fans” are all lucky as HELL that the bully in question wasn’t killed – which looks to have been a distinct possibility.

But… yeah, on behalf of bullied kids and especially bullied “fat kids” in the past, present and future… ROCK ON, kid.

And this week’s bad turn of luck for Guillermo del Toro is…

New Pet Theory: Guillermo del Toro is “Movie Geek Christ” – the Film Gods allow him and his various passion projects to be repeatedly crucified for the sins of all other projects, so that they might live to see a greenlight.

Today’s round of whippings: “Pacific Rim,” the Kaiju-tribute giant-monster movie he signed onto when “At The Mountains of Madness” as refused a go-ahead by Universal, is now going to need an extensive rewrite to remove references to destruction in Japan – for obvious reasons. Making things stranger, Legendary Pictures (the producers) are apparently leaning HARD on del Toro to also rewrite the script so that the “main” monster is Godzilla, rather than whatever the original was.

“Rim” started out as a hotly-pursued spec-script in which a portal to another dimension opens up in the ocean and starts spitting-out Godzilla-style giant monsters, which humanity (apparently) resists using giant robot battlesuits. That THAT premise can now be an original spec that becomes a bidding-war blockbuster is kind of wonderful.

The no-more-Japan thing makes total sense… but the Godzilla angle sounds suspiciously phony. Everyone knows that Legendary bought “Rim” at first looking to possibly rewrite it into a Godzilla movie… except they later signed “Monsters” Gareth Edwards to a straightforward Godzilla reboot a few months ago. For this to be true, they’d have to have canceled Edwards’ project, or is this more of a crossover/cameo thing?

Either way, not good news – because del Toro’s general reaction to studio interference is to just pack up and move on… and it’s getting to the point where I’m worried the guy might just up and retire at this point.

Wonder Woman looks like Wonder Woman…

…would look as rendered by a higher-end Cosplayer.

EW (hat tip to Devin) has the first image of Adrianne Pallicki in-costume as Wonder Woman in David E. Kelley’s new TV series. Let’s call this the ultimate in mixed-bag results: On the one hand, it’s somewhat shockingly faithful – there’s absolutely no mistaking who this is supposed to be, and while I’m always more fond of the bare-leg look (both because it emphasizes the athleticism of the character and YES, also for more obvious reasons) the blue pants thing is a reasonable compromise for an actress doing a weekly series. Really surprised they kept the heels.

On the OTHER hand… gah! What’s with the cheezy reflective-latex look? Again, I like the DESIGN… but ye gods, the material makes it look like she’s wearing a WW costume for a Halloween episode of some other show, not “playing” the character. Maybe it looks better under proper lighting?

Actually, I’m wondering if A.) this IS the “real” final outfit, and B.) if, in that case, the cheese-factor is supposed to be the point. The audition tapes had actresses reading from a script where the character referenced her “old” outfit as being less “appropriate” than her current one, and bemoaning that people still considered the old one more “iconic.” This pretty-much IS the old one, just with pants. So maybe this is meant for “flashbacks” to the older suit, and the silly-looking material is meant to accenuate how “lame” it was?

Of course… that same script/scene ALSO involved WW being insecure about her breasts not being big enough (really) and based on this image that’s just NOT going to be a believable sentiment; so it goes without saying that the script itself has probably undergone post-casting changes.

I’ll say this… she looks better than Nu-Spidey does, so far.