Blog Archives

A wonderful tribute to all the films that were snubbed by the 2014 Oscars

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It really doesn’t have legs until you see it laid out like this. Some of the films in this montage weren’t great, but what they lacked in one area, they more than made up for in others. I think while watching this film, my biggest disappointment was the snub of the amazing documentary BLACKFISH and Pacific Rim and the list goes on and on. I hope one day this will all get sorted out and somehow everything gets at least “recognized”. Enjoy!

Guillermo del Toro’s new book Cabinet of Curiosities is a must have

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Every great auteur has a blue print or diary, of his or her plans to create something special. The director,Guillermo del Toro, is no different. He’s been drafting up ideas as long as Tim Burton has been sketching and now he’s releasing his ideas in a new book Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

If the tradition during Halloween was to give gifts, this would be the perfect one. The book contains tons of sketches and writings, that chronicle Guillermo’s thought process during such films as Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim.  But whether it’s Halloween or Christmas, this book is guaranteed to blow minds.

Press release:

Over the last two decades, writer-director Guillermo del Toro has mapped out a territory in the popular imagination that is uniquely his own, astonishing audiences with Cronos, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, and a host of other films and creative endeavors. Now, for the first time, del Toro reveals the inspirations behind his signature artistic motifs, sharing the contents of his personal notebooks, collections, and other obsessions. The result is a startling, intimate glimpse into the life and mind of one of the world’s most creative visionaries. Complete with running commentary, interview text, and annotations that contextualize the ample visual material, this deluxe compendium is every bit as inspired as del Toro is himself.

Contains a foreword by James Cameron, an afterword by Tom Cruise, and contributions from other luminaries, including Neil Gaiman and John Landis, among others.

Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities releases on October 29 and will run you a cool 60.00. You can pre-order the book now on Amazon for $36

Why Pacific Rim is more geek friendly than most geek friendly films

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Most of you already know about my love for Pacific Rim. I found it to be highly inventive and fun, but I found this article on Tumblr today that digs deeper into why this film forges new territory while others continue to tread water.

WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN” is a blog on Tumblr owned by a Pac-head (I just made that up), but it’s someone whose a tumblr_ms4edeg07B1saapdjo1_1280serious Pacific Rim fan. This guy cosplay’s and does write-ups on the complexity of the film all the time. This recent post went into the nerdy characters on Pacific Rim Herman Gottlieb played by Burn Gorman and Dr. Newton Geiszler played by Charlie Day. His post shines light on some very interesting points regarding these, would be outsiders, had it not been for Guillermo Del Toro‘s forward thinking.

Here’s an excerpt from his post.

2) Not marginalized for being geeks.

Here’s a biggie: Newt & Hermann, despite being geeks, are not defined by their relationship as it compares to the non-geek cast. There is no “nerds vs jocks” thing going on.

They are not marginalized as “The Other”. Their comedic role comes from their relationship with each other, not from being nerdy. (Note when Hermann goes into his “handwriting of God” spiel, Newton – a fellow nerd – is the one that laughs at him. Other movies would have Herc or Pentecost be the ones to be all “yo, dude, tone down the math feels for us normal peeps”) The people most likely to suffer from their character flaws are, really, just Newt and Hermann. Pentecost gets mad at them for arguing, but he gets mad at a *lot* of people in the movie for arguing.

Back to the concept of “Othering” geeks: Take a look at all the scenes in the lab. Consider all the other movies where the mere presence of a non-geek character in a geek’s “lair” is a source of discomfort or comedy. None of that here. It’s very refreshing.

Interesting stuff huh? Just one of those things that kind of floats past you as the robots and kaiju go at it, but subconsciously you absorb, ultimately forming your opinion about the film. I guess looking back, I should’ve noticed it, but being a Del Toro fan, I wouldn’t expect anything less. He’s always thinking outside the box…well except for the Russian’s and Chinese in the film, but hopefully we will get their stories in the sequel.

WHAT IS THIS I DON’T EVEN

The Strain: The Fall #1, is pure neo-gothic terror

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Dark Horse’s The Strain: The Fall #1 expounds, yet again, on the 2009 novel of the same name written by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan. In this one, writer David Lapham and artist Mike Huddleston, tackle book number two in the Guillermo/Hogan series…The Fall.

The story starts out epic enough, with a fast paced, but highly interesting, history lesson about an ancient tablet. What’s written on the tablet and what it can do remains unknown, but what is known is that people will kill for it and have been killing for it, for centuries.

Dr. Ephraim Goodweather’s failure to kill the Master—the ancient vampire behind the epidemic infesting New York City—has led the former alcoholic to relapse as the city burns around him. It’s the end of the world, but Eph, beaten but not dead, has still got to protect his son Zack from his mother, who’s now a bloodthirsty vampire that craves her child more than any artery.

The streets are infested with this new breed of vampire, one that cares very little about turning you, but is all about serving you up. The weight of what’s happening can be felt on every page, the evil unleashed by this pandemic adds to the characters narratives in this post apocalyptic thriller. It’s a race, of sorts, to find patient zero in a world that has come undone, a fact made all too clear when Dr. Ephraim’s , now turned wife, pays his son a visit via the fire escape.

(Refer to cover art above)

The Strain: The Fall is a stunning beginning on another go round of amazing comics from Dark Horse and is a great introductory read for those unfamiliar with the book.

Incidentally FX has picked up the rights to The Strain and shooting will begin in September 2013 and Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim) is set to direct.

Via. Fox News Latino

Del Toro said he believes his trilogy has the potential to air from three to five seasons, and that he would love to direct as many episodes as his busy schedule permits.

Having gotten a taste of the story, it’s definitely gonna give The Walking Dead a run for it’s money. At least I hope it does.

Stay tuned to MITNG for

First looks at the Legendary Pictures Godzilla Encounter at Comic Con 2013

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Collider.com got a chance to check out Legendary Pictures Godzilla Encounter at the San Diego Comic Con 2013 and the images are incredible. Clearly Legendary is sparing no expense when it comes to the promotion of two of it’s biggest monster films this year…Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim and Gareth Edwards Godzilla. Makes me wish that they had pushed Pacific Rim back a couple of month’s, maybe we could’ve gotten a presentation like this for that amazing film, then perhaps Grown Up’s 2 wouldn’t have beaten it out on opening weekend….let me stop.

This kind of reminds me when Disney rolled out the exhibit for TRON: Legacy, I guess the studios are all going the way of these huge and uber-expensive displays to get those who know and those who don’t, involved in the hype machine. It does appear to be working for Godzilla, the feedback from this exhibit is all the buzz and yes I wish I could be there, but for those who won’t, you still can be in the know with all the Godzilla goings on by logging in to GodzillaEncounter.com or visiting their booth, provided your there, at (#3920).

I hear Legendary still has a few more surprises in store for the weekend and that website I just gave you will be giving you the play by play. Quick shout out to Collider for these pics…thanks guys!!

Photo’s compliments of Collider.com

Godzilla stars Aaron Taylor Johnson, Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olson and will arrive in theaters May 16 2014.

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The opening and closing credits of Pacific Rim alone are better than Grown Up’s 1 and 2

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I’m still trying to get over how Pacific Rim was eclipsed by Grown Up’s 2 this weekend, but I know that PR will pull in more worldwide….that you can guarantee. For those who haven’t seen Pacific Rim yet, it’s important for you to see this. It is so action packed and chock full of absolutely amazing cinematography and VFX and in my opinion is going to be the best film of the summer of 2013. I felt like a kid watching this film and so will you.

Today Geek Tyrant posted the opening and closing credits for Pacific Rim. I know it’s not the film, but at least you can get a sense of the bad-assery and Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and Ramin Djawadi’s (Game of Thrones) amazing soundtrack!

A foreboding war room map collapses inwards, enveloping the emblems of fallen heroes. IF Director Miguel Lee worked with the film’s director Guillermo del Toro to create this ominous prelude which ushers us into the apocalyptic world of Pacific Rim.

As the smoke clears from the epic battle, we venture through a panoply of monsters, machines, and their monumental feats. IF Creative Director Miguel Lee and his team worked closely with the film’s director Guillermo del Toro to present his colossal creations in stylistic fashion, combining macro-photography and a graphic novel aesthetic in stereoscopic 3D.

Pacific Rim goes big by keeping it simple

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It’s been a long road for Guillermo Del Toro‘s Kaiju epic “Pacific Rim“, but it’s here and I got a chance to see it yesterday in a sparsely occupied AMC theater at 4pm. I had expected there to be more people in attendance on a summer Friday afternoon, but my wife and I were grateful for the space.

Right away Guillermo Del Toro, waste no time getting the viewer caught up on all the Kaiju goings on in the last decade, that ends in 2020 where we pick up. The attention to detail, is amazing! The world he’s created or should I say his VFX dept created, looks so believable and lived in, that he almost fools you into believing that something like this could happen. One point I’d also like to make is unlike most 3D films, Guillermo throws subtle visual tricks your way all throughout the film to let you know you are still watching a 3D film, which I appreciated very much. Nothing pisses me off more than directors who forget that fact and just rush the rest of the film.

Moving on….

What was deeply important about introducing this highly imaginative concept to the world was it’s level of tangibility. Guillermo knew this was a science fiction picture and not a fantasy film, so it had to be approached from a science-fiction standpoint. These weren’t martian robots or something that was taking place on a game grid, this was our world. So he needed to come up with a viable reason for these Kaiju’s ( a Japanese word for Monster) to attack and two, for us to combat them by unconventional means and this is when the film leans heavily on it’s Japanese predecessors like the hugely popular animes Evangelion, Gundam or Robotech, all of which have been talked about, but never fully realized on film. Sad to, for all intents and purposes they should’ve come out a long time ago. Maybe Guillermo petitioned for the rights to those films and was denied or he just wanted to create an homage…I don’t know, perhaps I never will, but believe me when I say “no ones ever gonna be able to make another film like this one without it being compared to Pacific Rim”. The effect was indelible.

SPOILERS:

The story follows Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunan) whom you see loose his brother and trusted Jaeger (A German word for Hunter) co-pilot, early on in the film to a brutal Kaiju. Devastated, Raleigh retires from piloting to become a steel worker on one of the biggest walls in the world, designed to protect the citizens from Kaiju attacks. Because of Raleigh’s last battle, that cost his brothers life and was considered a total failure globally, the Jaeger program get’s it’s funding pulled. That’s when the head of the Jeager program Stacker Pentacost (Idris Elba) gathers what’s left of the program from the four corners of the world and houses them in a new facility/rebel hideout.

A host of new characters emerge as a result of this reconstruction, among these Stacker’s adopted daughter Mako Mori played by Rinko Kikuchi,   Dr. Newton Geiszler played by Charlie Day and his partner Gottlieb played by Burn Gorman whom by the way were amazing as committed scientist and comic relief. Course the world gets even bigger when Kaiju black market organ dealer Hannibal Chau (Ron Pearlman) comes in as a well financed provocateur of Kaiju remains and no good summer film is complete without it’s ICEMAN and that’s the son and father Australian Jaeger team Herc and Chuck Hansen played by Max Martini and Robert Kazinsky.

Were there others? Of course they were…like the Chinese Jaeger team Crimson Typhoon, who hands down, had one of the baddest looking Jaegers, but like Darth Maul, got wiped out pretty quick. Also there was the “stereotypically” silent, but stoic Russian team, whom again were only there to move the plot along, but guess what? I didn’t mind. I’m all about focusing on the hero. Let’s like this guy first. Too many films want to inundate you with character’s they think can sell toys, but then don’t and they later wonder why. Well because no one knew who the fuck they were. So instead of insulting our intelligence Guillermo said there must be a focus and that was on Raleigh and those he came in contact with and how he’s going to come to grips with the lost of his brother.

I’m not going to ruin it for you, but Guillermo “in his genius” uses a clever technique to give us Mako’s back story, an idea I seriously said wow to, as I watched it unfold in front of me.

The film ends with a pretty amazing battle/race to the finish line, that delivered on desperation like no other. I was invested and as limbs are being torn apart left and right you realize that these Jaeger’s  aren’t like your typical super robots, these guys technically aren’t any match for the Kaiju, but it’s when cooler heads prevail, the pilots are able to survive by outwitting these beast instead of brute force…most of the time.

Now…as if this review isn’t already long enough, let’s talk about effects.

I was blown away by all the practical effects (non CGI) in this film. It looked like, as a rule of thumb, if Guillermo could build a realistic version of what he envisioned, he would build it. From the Jaeger cockpit, to the set’s or lack there off in some of the destroyed areas, to the science props and machines, to the Kaiju remains. He made this world more real by again, not undermining the intelligence of the viewers. As he stated before in one of the Pacific Rim featurette’s, it would’ve been real easy to slide the actors into mo-cap suits (Motion Capture suits) and placed them in a green room, but he said he needed to see the work these pilots were putting in to make this robots work and for that he needed to see resistance. So he built a torture chamber. It worked. These pilots are being put through the paces. When the monster strikes, they feel it and so will you.

The Kaiju themselves are highly imaginative critters. Most based in some way shape or form on animals we know like the shark or gorilla. This is Guillermo’s nod to Japan’s Godzilla films. They are over the top, but deadly and despite how badass these Jaeger’s are, they are without a doubt, formidable. The battles are like watching Greco-Roman wrestling minus the occasional cannon blast not to mention the scope and grandeur leaves no doubt about the size of these creatures. It was like watching huge buildings going at it in the water, the film is meant to make you feel small and it does.

And now the Soundtrack…

Composer Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones) and guitarist Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) do an outstanding job of nurturing that “Led Zepplin Cashmire” vibe to the Biblical proportions of Pacific Rim. The guitars are crunchy and the strings are…stringy.  It never got themey either, meaning, I never expected to hear certain things at certain times. The soundtrack was tasteful and did what any good soundtrack should do…lend itself to the visuals.

Man…I really want to see this film again.

This is why I say Pacific Rim goes big by keeping it simple. Things like story, practical effects,character development, patience, casting,art direction and above all…love, are simple concepts when you really think about them. It’s the root of all the great films of our time and it’s something we see too little of. It’s like the money makes people mad. This is why I commend Guillermo, with a budget like this film had, Pacific Rim could’ve fallen out of his hands and gone the way of Man of Steel. But it never does, his hand could be felt in every frame. Like he had been waiting all his life to make this film. The care is there to immerse you in something you’ve never seen before or at least you thought you had seen, but hadn’t…really.

You see, it’s not hard for directors to get people to believe their world exist, it’s getting people to come back, that’s the hard part.


When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

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Q&A with Pacific Rim concept artist Keith Thompson

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MITNG was really happy to get the chance to speak to illustrator Keith Thompson about art, inspiration and his part on the film Pacific Rim, the ladder being a well kept secret, that is until the film releases. But what he was able to share with us was highly informative and well thought out.

Keith Thompson is a busy man. He’s done illustrations for Steampunk novels like Leviathan and designed robots for the game  Warframe. These are just some of projects on Keith’s very long list of “accomplishments” and or” to do’s”, but rest assured the end result is always supernatrual. As these things go, Keith was very hush regarding anything  Pacific Rim related or any other project he’s been brought on by Guillemo Del Toro to do, but he assures me that we can do a followup after the films release and we will…DUM…DUM…DUUUMMMMM!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

MITNG:  The subjects of your work have been everything from robots and monsters to boring ass humans, but no matter how hideous or beautiful, there seems to always be a level of romance in your art. Where does that come from, and do you listen to any music to help you get there?

 Keith: I really think humanity can see beauty in everything and instill a greatness in all it takes interest in. It allows us to look at the bleakest and most mysterious things in an indirect fashion.  I obviously am constantly drawn to monsters and robots and always have been.  The more I’ve been absorbed by my work the more I’ve found all subjects artistically engaging.
I think anything without a touch of romanticism is very dreary and empty, and if I have to deal with something like that I always work very hard to inject it with threads and senses of something bigger than the immediate subject.

MITNG:  You exhibit a love for textures. The robots, ships and machines you draw all look so genuinely rugged and worn, but remain works of art…true Renaissance, in fact. Did school play into your understanding about light manipulation/texturing, or was it more memory and life experiences?

Keith: That’s almost a personal touch that seems to recur in my work.  Even when I make slick futuristic designs it tends to end up with some salt stains and dust on it.  It seems like something that comes from my outlook on things.  When something has layers like that, it speaks of its story.  The mud that tells of how it traveled to where it is now.  The fading of the fabric tells of how long they’ve been wearing their outfit.

MITNG: When you are hired on to bring someone’s vision to life, do you have a process you use that helps you find that bitch we call a muse?

Keith: As long as I get butterflies in my stomach while I’m working I know I’m tapping into a muse.  If I can keep that up while also making the right match for the project at hand that’s the optimal situation.  If the butterflies go I know I’ve gone off track and will often start over fresh if possible.

MITNG: Has working with clients on a project ever been a struggle creatively?

Keith: It’s a collaboration.  I love complexity and the added details of syncing my vision with that of a project’s, and it’s always a welcome challenge.  If things don’t work out in a way I’m artistically happy with then I try to just move to the next thing seamlessly.  There are so many different things I want to explore and depict that I can always push through to the next hopeful opportunity.

MITNG: I know you’ve just wrapped up work on Pacific Rim with Guillermo Del Toro, but before that, you were involved in conceptualizing another Del Toro project, H.P. Lovecraft’s sci-fi horror, “At the Mountains of Madness.” We know that this film has been placed on hold for now, but can you tell us a little about that project and if we can expect you and Guillermo to return to it?

Keith: I certainly hope so.   There’s such a complex morass of factors involved in things like this that predictability is not really a luxury at any time.  I sadly can’t say much more than what’s been publicly said at this time.

MITNG:  And now the big question: how was it coming up with the robots for Pacific Rim, and were there any real hurdles you and Guillermo had to overcome in the process? Was the work you did on that film limited to just the robots, or did you do any environments as well?

Keith: I’m afraid I should stay mum about that until the film is released.

MITNG: We know that in the world of Pacific Rim, nations must unite to create these machines to battle the monsters. What sort of research went into designing the robots in this post-apocalyptic Olympics of sorts?

Keith: I was lucky enough to be involved for a long time and I always love researching even tangential details on what I design every step of the way.

MITNG: Did you handle/oversee any of the 3D modeling in Pacific Rim, and how was that?

Keith: I was familiar with some of its progress.

MITNG: How does it feel seeing things you’ve helped to create staring you back in the face on the big screen, or have you not been given the chance yet?

Keith: It’s always strange; like seeing your child trek out into the world and then returning years later changed.  It can be glorious or rather horrifying depending on what’s happened to them.  Sometimes their time away has taken a toll on them, sometimes they return exactly as how I remember them, and sometimes they come back with new things to teach me.

MITNG: For those aspiring artists out there, can you toss any pearls their way that might help them along the path less traveled?

Keith: I find it’s often like wandering the outskirts of civilization.  The things you see won’t quite be like anything else anyone has seen before.  But learn everything you can from civilization and you’ll find the knowledge helps you search out those new visions on the periphery.

MITNG: Just one other question I wanted to add to the list. Are there any female robots and what were the factors in the finale choices?

Keith: Unfortunately I can’t really give any details until the film is released.

Try as I may, this cat was air tight. Oh well, can’t blame me for trying. You can find out about Keith as well as his other exploits after the jump.

Keith Thompson Facebook

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Tom Morello debuts new song off the Pacific Rim soundtrack

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Guitarist Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audio Slave) and composer Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man, Game of Thrones) have debuted a new song off the Pacific Rim soundtrack and it’s indeed a song fit for mechanized titans. It blends the rock with the orchestral making it every bit as big as this movie will most certainly be. Below you’ll also find a preview of all the songs on the Pacific Rim OST available now on Amazon


Via.firstshowing.net

Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) is directing Pacific Rim from a script by Travis Beacham. The film follows a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi), who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger, a massive robot designed to fight legions of monstrous creatures known as Kaiju, which started rising from the sea years ago. They stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse. The film also stars Idris Elba, Ron Perlman, Charlie Day and Clifton Collins Jr. Warner Bros will release Pacific Rim in theaters in 3D on July 12th.

 

How is this possible? Another new trailer for Pacific Rim arrives with more badass footage

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I guest the theory here is if you show us enough new footage we won’t remember what we saw when the movie comes out? Okay…I’m on board, this latest trailer has a ton of new footage, that proves once more, that this film will be high fucking octane fun when it arrives!

Pacific Rim, starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi and Charlie Day, opens in 3D July 12th.

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When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

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