Tag Archive: Elysium

Chappie-1The third movie can often been more difficult than the first. Having established his aesthetic well and truly in his first two features, Neill Blomkamp must have been treading carefully when envisioning his next film. With his second feature Elysium failing to match the heights of his stunning début District 9 (although, Elysium does have its merits), Blomkamp seems somewhat at odds in regards to what tone to strike with his third film. Initially touted as a comedy, Chappie, comes across as something struggling to both stand out from Blomkamp’s previous efforts and respect the aesthetic and formula he has set down for himself.

Set in the near future, the high crime rate in South Africa is lowered day by day through the use of a new Robotic Police Force, designed by young engineering genius, Deon (Dev Patel). Despite the huge success of his creations, Deon is determined to develop the next step in Robotics, a concious A.I. When he finally cracks it but is vetoed by his company’s CEO (Sigourney Weaver), Deon uploads his program into a de-commissioned Robot. However, when he is kidnapped by a pair of gangsters looking for a big score (Die Antwoord’s Ninja and Yolandi), Deon’s creation falls into their hands. The A.I., named Chappie (Shalrto Copley), who has to learn like a child, soon picks up the ways of the gangster lifestyle, but trouble is further faced when a disgruntled co-worker of Deon’s (Hugh Jackman) discovers the existence of Chappie, and looks set to wipe him out. Chappie

Artificial Intelligence is well-trodden ground in Science Fiction, and is ground well worth exploring in an age where A.I technology is developing at such a fast rate. Blomkamp’s creation is something quite astonishing. His confidence with visual effects creates a character with a bright and fully formed personality, brought to life with child-like glee by Sharlto Copley in what they have described as the poor man’s motion capture (acted on set, then digitally re-created, rather than tracking the movements through the latest ping-pong suits). He works as an original character, very sympathetic and quite adorable, even when engaging in the gangster activity. He remains a naive, yet volatile character, but one we enjoy spending time with, knowingly drawing upon the charm of 80’s robot characters from the likes of Short Circuit and *batteries not included. 

The first half of Blomkamps’ third movie does well to both appear like a aesthetic continuation of his previous films as well as proving to be something different. The location is familiar, a dystopic South African locale, but the attention to character is refreshing, choosing to devote all the action to Chappie’s understanding of the world and his upbringing in a gangster environment. It is an interesting decision to have Chappie grow up in a very particular section of South African culture, namely the parent-ship of Die Antwoord.

?????????????????I don’t quite understand why the film is so painstakingly constructed as a star-vehicle for the South African Rap-Rave group, particularly when they’re not the best actors. Yolandi is the better of the pairing, as she is given the more affectionate role, but ultimately, giving a vast majority of the run-time to the pairing proves more detrimental to the film than it does its benefit, as the blurring between the real world version of themselves and this fictitious depiction proves far too distracting.

Where the film falters is in its final act, which is in fact what has happened in the previous two Blomkamp movies. Rather than stay on course to develop what could be called a comedy, Chappie descends into the gung-ho action that characterised the final acts of District 9 and Elysium. With Hugh Jackman unleashing his ED-209 rip-off, the film veers into Verhoven levels of violence which doesn’t sit too well with the good-natured sensibilities that have been attributed to Chappie. It sends the film down the wrong path, which is worsened by a rushed resolution which is far too ambitious and very clumsily thought out. The film has not finished dealing with one big scientific notion before divulging in to another, leaving the climax to feel unsure, all too convenient and just a little bit dumb.  Chappie-4.2

Chappie has been on the receiving end of some harsh criticism, only holding 30% on Rotten Tomatoes. While it is drastically flawed come the final act, it is most certainly as good as Elysium, if not better, due to its more personal nature and wonderfully designed central character. Blomkamp now has Alien 5 n his sights, and I think it will be to his benefit to play in a sandbox which is not originally of his own design. It should allow him to break away from his now all too familiar structure and deliver something fresher, but most importantly, it should allow him to finally escape from his own shadow.

3/5- Chappie is capable of being touching and exciting, but also muddled and frustrating, resulting in another sub-par effort from Blomkamp, but not one which makes you give up hope for the South African film-maker.



Elysium-1Neill Blomkamp’s 2009 debut District 9 is a true original within the Sci-Fi genre. Laced with politically allegory and a fresh concept to boot, District 9 proved to be one of the best films of the year; it impressed both audiences and critics and marked Blomkamp as a talent to watch. Out of the ashes of his failed Halo project, Blomkamp still managed to prove himself with a project that was much more personal, organic, and worthy of expressing his talents. Whatever the follow up would be (at one point it looked to be a District 9 prequel) it was certainly going to be a point of interest to many cinema-goers. And that follow up is Elysium; once again politically driven (immigration and class struggles coming under scrutiny here), and while it is a film that offers much in the way of its own visceral thrills, you are left wanting for the satisfying taste of some Prawns.

Set in 2154, the world has been ravaged by pollution and social unrest, leading to the wealthiest inhabitants of the Earth deserting and moving to a giant space station orbiting the planet, known as Elysium. The space station has the capabilities to cure any disease and keep its inhabitants living a life of over-abundance and luxury. Down on Earth, the lower classes are left in squalor and ruin, dealing with limited resources, illness, and rather limited career opportunities. One of these working class inhabitants is Max (Matt Damon), a Robotics Factory worker, who has dreamt of traveling to Elysium since he was a child. After a fatal accident at work, Max is given only five days to live, which inspires him to make a break for Elysium by any means he can.  Armed with a mechanized body suit to increase his waning strength, Max takes the fight to Elysium, as he soon finds himself in possession of incredibly potent information that could change the very fabric of society, both on Earth and on Elysium. Elysium-2

My plot description somewhat tones down a lot of the plot mechanics that are at work in the film; there is much going on within the system as it were. Politics come into play, characters are not to be trusted, and Jodie Foster attempts some kind of accent. Oh, and Sharlto Copley (star of District 9) tears through as a psychotic bounty hunter. Trust me, there is rather a lot going on for a film that should be pared down somewhat. The concept drives the film at its core, while the rest of the construction around it builds too many layers than we need, leading to moments of distracting exposition and cliched characterization. However, that is not to say that Elysium does not amount to a decent cinema-going experience. I thoroughly enjoyed Elysium, but now as I come to write my review, I feel a lack of passion towards it.

There is much to like about Blomkamp’s sophomore effort; the concept is to die for, and the design of the world is spectacular. Continuing his grungy organic feeling on Earth established in District 9, the future landscape is worryingly authentic and gritty; a fine balance between sophisticated CGI and props establishes a believable environment. Elysium itself is sleek, clean and polished, looking like most lifeless sci-fi movies of today. With Earth representing the sci-fi grunge of old and Elysium being painted as the sleeker modern-age of sci-fi, Blomkamp addresses not only political issues but also concerns within the filmic world, namely the sci-fi genre; that of it losing its edge and becoming white washed by having a sci-fi grunge world rebel and strike the serene sterile environment of Elysium. There is no faulting the design and the details of Blomkamp’s world and the technology throughout is cleverly employed.

Elysium‘s problems lie in its many sub-plots and bizarre performances. The action is stunning, with a great number of memorable images and action set-pieces, but they are in-between moments of disjointed plot exposition and cliched characters (namely Damon’s relation ship Elysium-3with Alice Braga’s character). Copley has a great deal of fun as the psychotic Kruger, but he feels out of place in the world, Damon is ever dependable and physically impressive, whereas Foster is an embarrassment, turning in a distracting performance that is often cringe-inducing. Where the film seems to be developing into a more sophisticated affair, it turns suddenly back into a bombastic sci-fi actioner in its final third, becoming very much a run-of-the-mill Hollywood sci-fi picture. There is the sense that Blomkamp came under more significant studio pressure, his creativity feeling somewhat stifled at certain turns.

Despite this sense of disjointedness, Elysium still proved to be (for me at least) a great messy bit of sci-fi balls to the wall action fare. I found it reminiscent of the work of Paul Verhoven in the 1980’s, standing with the likes of Robo-Cop and Total Recall, as that does seem to be the mantel and type of work that Blomkamp is aiming to emulate. The violence is both tongue-in-cheek and blistering and particularly evokes Verhoven; a gritty sci-fi dystopian world with a cynical view of the society we live in today.  Blomkamp’s next movie, a sci-fi comedy by the name of Chappie, should further cement him as the Verhoven of our generation.

The visceral ferocity of Elysium proves that Blomkamp is by no means a one-trick pony, there is simply too much skill on display within the action sequences; the dissembling of a robot by an explosive charge, a facial reconstruction, and an extremely intense final showdown more then demonstrate this. But Elysium-4nothing particularly resonates. The ending does not have as much of a emotional punch as you feel Blomkamp would like it to have, due to the cluttered plot not giving enough time to the characters whom he wants us to pay attention to. The cynical outlook that the film represents seems at contention with the Hollywood sensibilities that the studio would have wanted to adhere to. It is a shame that such a strong vision seems to be somewhat stifled leading to a great deal of details feeling half-baked. Yet, Elysium provides the thrills and stimulates the mind just enough to provide a piece of Hollywood sci-fi that is a darn sight fresher than what we are usually delivered.

3/5- Flawed and cluttered, Elysium does not match the heights of District 9, but there is enough intelligence and visceral thrills to cement Blomkamp as a director to keep a sharp eye on.

The San Diego Comic-Con took place over the course of this weekend, and of course, like every year, it was rich for film news! Comic-Con has become an important marketing event for big Hollywood movies, not only catering for Comic-Book movies, but any major Hollywood picture on the horizon. this year was no different, featuring the first footage from the likes of next year’s Man of Steel and the upcoming The Expendables 2. Rather than report on every little detail, I thought I would take a blog post to focus on some of the highlights of the Convention this year, which does pretty much cover every major aspect and highlights seen this year. One day, I hope to be reporting live to you from San Diego, as the Comic-Con is definitely on my lift of things to do before I die. Some people have ‘visit the Great Wall of China’, I have the Comic-Con. Well, it makes sense to me. So, without further ado, what news is there from the land of San Diego (a Whale’s Vagina to some)?

1. The Return to Oz with Sam Raimi looks to be a colourful affair…

One of the first panels at the Con was for Sam Raimi’s much-anticipated prequel to the 1939 classic, The Wizard Of Oz, which is entitled Oz: The Great and Powerful. The upcoming Spring release has been rather scarce in terms of promotional material, with the Poster having been released a week ago, and the trailer (more on that in a sec) being unveiled at the Con. But, truthfully, there isn’t a much better place in which to kick-off your film’s marketing than the San Diego Comic-Con. Raimi was reportedly in high spirits, enthusiastically talking about his next Blockbuster project. Points he stressed were that this is not a prequel in the traditional sense(mostly due to the fact that Disney do not have the rights to certain specific imagery from the 1939 original), it instead draws most of it inspiration from the original series of books by L. Frank Baum, a series that is still rich in un-mined imagery and imagination. Raimi simply stressed how this is very much a self-contained story, with elements that will be recognizable, as we follow James Franco’s Oscar Diggs, a small-town Magician, who wishes for something more. After a certain incident involving a tornado, Oscar finds himself in the magical land of Oz. There he embarks on an epic, Technicolor adventure in which he finally finds a chance to prove himself. Raimi then treated the convention patrons to the first footage from the movie, in the form of its first trailer, which you may have seen over the weekend (if not, you can find it below, aren’t I good to you?). It looks as you might come to expect, a bit too similar to the production design of Alice In Wonderland (granted, they share the same production designer), but thankfully it does seem to have much more vibrancy and visual flair, more than likely due to the fact that it is Raimi in the director’s chair. And a film with Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis in it can’t be too bad to look at. Raimi also confirmed that his regular collaborator Bruce Campbell shall indeed have a trademark cameo, as will his famous recognizable car, although not in the way that you might expect. And now, as promised, here is that trailer once again:

2. We can expect some more politically infused Sci-Fi from Neill Blomkamp with Elysium… 

Neill Blomkamp, the man behind the fantastic Sci-Fi action drama District 9, has been busy at work on his follow-up picture, Elysium, and aside from this image of a gun-wielding bald Matt Damon, we have seen or know next to nothing about the promising director’s next directorial effort. Well, if you were at Comic-Con, you certainly will have seen a lot more now. Blomkamp, along with his cast members, Damon, Jodie Foster and District 9‘s Sharlto Copley, screened some exclusive footage. The film is set in a dystopian future (is there any other kind?) in which Earth is a wasteland, and the rich and the wealthy live on board a giant luxurious space-station, where all medical concerns are a thing of the past, including cancer. Damon plays Max, a working man who is one of the many less-privileged folk who continue to live on Earth. However, Max’s depressing life becomes even worse after he is exposed to radiation poisoning following an incident at work. With five days to live, Max must do all he can to make it to Elysium in order to cure himself of his poisoning. Although, that is a task which is easier said then done. The crowds were reportedly very impressed with the footage, which demonstrated the world and style of Blomkamp’s film. Not a stone throw away from District 9, the film is said to gritty, tough and featuring some quite literal bone-crunching violence, all infused with another political allegory, in this case representing the struggle of the 99-ers; albeit in a ultra-violent sci-fi action fashion.  I am a huge fan of District 9, and I simply cannot wait to see someone of this footage, as the prospect of Blomkamp working with a big budget and a big star is a very tantalizing prospect. Here’s hoping we’ll see a trailer sometime in the near future.

3. Dredd impressed

Preview screenings are not a rare occurance at Comic-Con, but you are never too sure what movies shall grace the fans with their advance screening presence. This year, it was the reboot of the 2000Ad character, Dredd. Judge Dredd was last seen on-screen in the 1995 Sly Stallone picture, and that film was not very well received. Panned by critics, despised by fans, Danny Cannon’s adaptation may have had the style, but it certainly did not have the story, and it was not the Dredd that fans of the British comics had grown to love (mainly because Stallone took the helmet off). It was a complete waste of promising potential, and now screenwriter Alex Garland and director Pete Travis are having a shot. And from the sounds of it, they have fully delivered. The buzz around Dredd has been pleasingly positive and everything that I had hoped. It has been described as an inventive, gritty, insanely violent and highly stylish affair with a commanding lead performance from Karl Urban. I did read somewhere (for the life of me I cannot remember where) that it evoked the spirit of a hardcore 80’s action-er, and that fills me with fan-boy joy. Dredd is mean. Brutal and unforgiving. And so is the world of Mega-City. A film of this world should be violent and nasty, and from the sounds of it, Travis and Garland have not skimped out on the ultra-violent goodness (as a clip below shall demonstrate). Concerns with the film have been aimed towards the premise, which has some rather unfortunate similarities to this year’s The Raid, and there have been some grumblings concerning the scale of the picture, although that can easily be attributed to its rather small independently funded budget. But the buzz coming out from this film is certainly enough to get me excited, and it certainly pleased the 2000AD fan’s who were present at Comic-Con. Now, feast your eye’s on this glorious violent clip:

4. Iron Man’s got a new foe, and a new suit in which to face him with… 

Marvel made their presence known well and truly at the Con this year, as they do every year really, with Iron Man 3 representing merely the tip of the iceberg concerning what Marvel had to announce this year. But that is a bloody big tip. The Shane Black written and directed movie has only been filming for a good month, but that didn’t stop Marvel from presenting a few sequences from the movie, involving some banter between Robert Downey Jnr.’s Tony Stark and Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan. But the real money shots came from seeing the destruction of Stark’s Malibu home and the reveal of the main villain of the movie. And after months of internet rumors, I can happily announce that Ben Kingsley shall indeed be playing The Mandarin; arguably Iron Man’s most famous and formidable foe. Marvel’s Phase 2 has certainly begun. The prospect of The Mandarin is something incredibly promising. He is a villain with great intelligence to match his highly tuned martial arts skills, and the power of his 10 mysterious rings. I’m sure they will try to ground The Mandarin much more in reality, but the threat he possesses should take Stark down a peg or two and give one hell of a reality check. The next big piece of Iron Man related news was the reveal of his new suit for the movie, as pictured. Ditching the Red and Gold combo, this suit is much more in keeping with the Extremis design of the suit, the Extremis being  recent arc in the comic books that saw Stark developing the means of having the suit appear out of his skin (there is a lot more to this arc, it is very complicated, I recommend researching it if you’re interested). It has been rumored that the Extremis arc would be featured in this sequel, however I would not take this suit as confirmation, as I will only believe it when I see it, as I think the Extremis arc would be far too hard to develop in the course of one film. I guess we shall discover soon enough, come May of next year!

5. Thor 2 and Captain America 2 have new titles…

Another piece of Marvel news (there are still two more to go) concerned other elements of Marvel’s Phase 2, namely the follow-ups to Thor and Captain America. Unlike the Iron Man franchise, these two heroes are dropping the numerical label, and are instead given subtitles. Not only does it create a much better sense of a continuing world, filled with episodes (much like a comic book universe), it also offers some intriguing speculation as to what these certain sequels may focus on. First up is the sequel to Thor, out on November 8th 2013, which is now titled Thor: The Dark World. Now this seems to have confirmed the early notions that the Thor sequel shall explore the darker under-belly of the pristine Asgard. Which would also seem to suggest a rather drastic change of tone from the first movie. Kenneth Branagh’s first installment was a grand and highly daft affair; fun, slightly camp, an all out romp. Branagh is not directing this installment, that role is now being filled by Alan Taylor, a regular director on the rather dark fantasy series, Game of Thrones. His employment alone suggest a much darker take on the character, and this title certainly confirms that we are going to see a much darker take on the God of Thunder. Now onto the Star-Spangled Man with a plan. Captain America 2, out on April 4th 2014, shall now be called Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And if you’re familiar with the comic-books, then that title needs no elaboration. But if you aren’t well versed in the Marvel Universe, allow me to enlighten you. The Winter Soldier was the name given to Cap’s supposedly dead best friend Bucky, who in the comics, returned as a Brainwashed Russian Assassin, out to kill Captain America. First things first, yes, Bucky did appear to die, however, we never saw a body, and as soon as his death occurred, I for one certainly thought that we could easily see Bucky return in future installments. And that certainly seems to be the case. Yet, the idea of a Russian Assassin  is certainly out-dated, so it remains to be seen if the directing pair of the Russo Brothers will develop the Winter Soldier in any way. Either way, it is a title which has certainly got me excited.

6. It’s time to meet the Guardians Of The Galaxy…  

Possibly the worst kept secret concerning a Marvel movie, as internet rumors have been around for quite some time concerning their ‘mysterious’ August 2014 release. The Guardians Of The Galaxy is not a well-known Marvel title, in fact it was cancelled after 25-issues. It is a huge risk in terms of both money investment and in further expanding the Marvel Universe. I do believe that this is not in the same Universe as The Avengers (don’t quote me on that) as last I heard the intention was to produce this as an animated movie. It would make, considering the characters that make up the Guardians Of The Galaxy; a powerful alien by the name of Drax The Destroyer, a super-smart living plant named Groot, a space Raccoon called Rocket Raccoon and Star Lord who is a Galactic Super Cop. Yeah. Rather diverse characters. The concept art of the characters is certainly interesting and the scope of the film could be something that we have never seen before in a comic-book movie. There is still no director attached, but I shall keep a curious eye on this movie, as the choice of director should say a lot in terms of what the tone of the movie shall turn out to be. Now, here’s that concept art for you to gaze upon. Pretty bad-ass Raccoon, right?

7. Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man may finally happen…

The last bit of Marvel related goodness from the Con comes in the form of news concerning Edgar Wright’s long-gestating movie of Ant-Man, the superhero who can change his size at will. Ant-Man was one of the original members of The Avengers, yet Marvel decided to focus on the more popular heroes for the first big-screen outing of the assembled team, and rightly so. But now that Phase One was so successful, Marvel are prepared to take more risks, and an Ant-Man movie could be such a way of doing so. It must be said that this film is still not yet officially confirmed, but this is an indication that things are happening to see an Ant-Man movie. Edgar Wright, the maestro behind Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, surprised everyone in San Diego when he turned up to present the test-footage that he shot about two weeks ago. The footage was not finished at all, and the man playing the title character was merely a stuntman, but in terms of showcasing what Wright intends to do in terms of the action, it apparently did not disappoint. What the fans were treated to was trademark Wright; zippy, brilliantly paced and inventive action with a great sense of humor to boot as Ant-Man used his powers to take out a couple of guards guarding an elevator. And the costume is supposedly very much in keeping with the look of the Kirby artwork. Which is bound to please fans. So, still no release date, but I’m sure we can expect Ant-Man to become a reality in the very near future.

8. We can expect to see a very different kind of Superman…

Probably one of the most anticipated movies at the Con this year, Zack Snyder’s upcoming Superman movie Man Of Steel certainly has provoked intrigue following a screening of a teaser trailer at this years convention, a teaser trailer said to be in front of The Dark Knight Rises come Friday. Warner Bros. certainly has a lot riding on this movie, considering Batman shall be done and dusted, at least for now, come the end of the summer, and I’d imagine that they were rather happy with how the footage was received. The footage firmly established this Superman as a much more dramatic, somber and of course darker origins tale, with Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent finding it somewhat hard to find his place in the modern world. A shot that got many people talking was of Super being escorted down a corridor by a league of armed guards. Do the Earthlings not take too kindly to the last son of Krypton? The audience was also pleased to see that Man of Steel may feature a more reserved and mature film-making style from Snyder, following his adolescent, video-game of a movie Sucker Punch. I’m all for a more mature approach from Snyder, but I do hope Supes isn’t all gloomy drama, he needs to have a sense of glee and good-will spirit that the Superman image embodies. Either way, I am more than excited for a new Superman movie, being a big fan of the character’s cinematic past. Man of Steel hits cinemas on June 14th, but be sure to track down the trailer when The Dark Knight Rises is released on Friday.

9. Might we be seeing THREE Hobbit movies?

Peter Jackson is somewhat royalty at Comic-Con, and he certainly didn’t disappoint his many fans this year, bringing with him plenty of footage from his upcoming Lord of The Rings prequels The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again. The footage he displayed showed a very humorous scene at Bag-End during Bilbo’s first encounter with the Dwarves, Gandalf being attacked by some feral looking creature, Gollum playing riddles with Bilbo as part of the Riddles in the Dark sequence, along with some snippets of Evangeline Lilly kicking some Goblin ass, and Legolas preparing to fire his bow at an unseen antagonist.  But what perhaps got people talking was Jackson’s speculation at the possibility of a third Hobbit movie. Jackson has said how much material they could still mine, in light of the appendices that Tolkien wrote, filling in certain plot points and bridging the gap between The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings; “There’s the novel, but then we also have the rights to use the 125 pages of additional notes where Tolkien expanded the world of The Hobbit. I’ve been talking to the studio about other things that we haven’t been able to shoot and seeing if we could possibly persuade them to do a few more weeks of shooting.” Personally, I think that The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings are very different books, they tell very different stories, therefore the films should reflect that as well, rather than squeeze everything that they can out of the material available to them. Not that any more time spent in Middle Earth is a bad thing, it is just I would rather see a focused adaptation rather than a sprawling trilogy trying to make more of a connection with LOTR. That’s not what I want, and I’m sure fans don’t necessarily want to see an over-loaded trilogy expanded far too much for its own good. Two films are more than enough P.J.

10. Skyfall looks to be a classic, kick-ass Bond movie…

Bond made an appearance at the Con this year, not something a Bond movie usually does, but I’m sure the fans didn’t complain. The Bond Brigade charged at the Con with a brand new exclusive I-MAX trailer, displaying how this Bond is going to be bigger than the rest, quite literally. The trailer also filled in more details as to what the plot may be. It seems that Judi Dench’s M loses possession of a data drive, which contains the identities of every British Intelligence Agent – and soon enough they begin to get assassinated one by one. Therefore, Bond must act fast, to stay one step ahead and find out who is killing the Country’s spies. It sounds similar to the ‘Smert Spionam’ (Death to Spies) plot of The Living Daylights, but much more personal as Bond’s loyalties to M are truly tested. Fans cheered at the inclusion of Craig uttering ‘Bond, James Bond’ and they were also treated to the world’s first look at Ben Whishaw’s Q, a casting decision that I think is truly excellent. Hopefully we’ll all set our eyes upon this new I-MAX trailer in the near future, as a new Bond movie is always something to get excited about. Now, here is that first image of Whishaw looking all geeky, and Q-like.

11. Guillermo Del Toro aim to inspire awe with Pacific Rim…  

Del Toro hasn’t made movie since Hellboy 2 way back in 2008, so it is about time that he should be getting back behind the camera’s to present us with his unique vision once again. Pacific Rim marks his return as a director after producing many a mediocre horror (here’s looking at you Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark) but the reaction he got from the footage screened at Comic-Con certainly seems to suggest that has been worth the wait. The basic premise of Pacific Rim is fairly simple. Set in the distant future, Earth has been over-run by Giant Monsters who have awoken from a rift within the Pacific Rim (so, that’s why it’s called that). This prompts the human race to build giant Robots, known as Jaegers, to battle these destructive Beasties who are laying waste to mankind. These Jaegers are piloted human operators, who bond telepathically with their respective Robot, to face monsters head on in battle. The footage screened aimed to give an impression of the scale of the movie, and one word seems to describe it rather fittingly; epic. The Robots and Monsters are on a huge scale, with impressive FX works and practical effects. It’s as high concept as you can get, and Del Toro’s visual flair and creativity should be fantastic in this kind of arena. And it has Idris Elba screaming such lines as “Today, we are cancelling the apocalypse!” Epic indeed. Pacific Rim hits cinemas on July 15th 2013, but Del Toro has said a trailer won’t hit for at least 6 months. The tease.

12. Godzilla shall rampage once again…

My last highlight from the con comes in the form of another Monster movie, this time it is Legendary Pictures new take on the iconic Giant Lizard, Godzilla. It has been a while since we heard any news come out concerning this movie, Gareth Edwards (behind the small indie pic Monsters) was announced as director quite a while ago, and after that it went rather quiet. But now, the big fiery beast has let his presence be known, with a new poster and some teaser footage, screened exclusively in San Diego. The teaser stunned unsuspecting audiences, with no one knowing what it was that was being screened, as the camera panned over a brutally destroyed city, smoke bellowing among-st the destruction. As the camera continues along, the audience catches a glimpse of a monster, a dead monster, but not Mr. Zilla. All of a sudden the iconic roar is heard and the title graces the screen. But that’s not all. They were then given the big hero shot, as Godzilla himself turning side on and roaring in all his glory. He reportedly matched the classic look, albeit with a modern makeover. Supposedly nothing like the Roland Emmerich version from 1998. Reports called it intense, spine-tingling and incredibly convincing. Still no release date, but I think we can expect to see this version of Godzilla around 2014.