Not The Films We Need, But the Films We Deserve: Safe vs. Daring Yet Flawed Films

By Michael W. Harris

I really wanted to love Pacific Rim. Like, unabashedly, giggling like a little kid at a silly joke, deliriously love it. And the trailers set me up for such a love! I mean, the plot was something that two eight-year-olds playing with their toys would dream up on a weekend: giant robots fighting giant monsters. It was a live action anime. It was every nerdy “what if” conversation you would have as an undergrad when you finally found “your people.” And that line from the trailer was perfectly hammy yet earnest: “WE ARE CANCELLING THE APOCALYPSE!”

So what happened? Why didn’t I have that complete rush of joy when I left the theatre? I liked it, sure. I even enjoyed it. But the giddiness I felt at the first trailer didn’t materialize. And the “apocalypse” speech fell flat. It was too short and didn’t earn its tag line, like “TODAY IS OUR INDEPENDENCE DAY!” did during the summer of 1996. And I think that is a good point of comparison, as I view both films similarly as to what I wanted: a fun, goofy, science fiction romp that doesn’t take itself too seriously. That is what Independence Day is and what I thought Pacific Rim was going to be. So where did PacRim go wrong where ID4 went right? Well, the latter went for broke with the goofy one-liners and tongue in cheek remarks, whereas the former played it too safe and didn’t lean into its silly, kids playing with toys premise. Continue reading “Not The Films We Need, But the Films We Deserve: Safe vs. Daring Yet Flawed Films”

A Few More Thoughts about Man of Steel

By Michael Harris

Having now seen Man of Steel in theatres, I though a few words on the film itself, and its music, appropriate.  Put simply, this is by far the best Superman film since the 1978 original, and honestly I think it is the best interpretation of the character to ever make it to screen.  (Warning: Spoilers follow).  Continue reading “A Few More Thoughts about Man of Steel”

I Believe That a Man Can Fly Once More: Zimmer’s Man of Steel Score

By Michael Harris

This summer there are a number of big tent pole, studio films that execs and fanboys alike are looking forward to (for very different reasons, of course).  From Star Trek Into Darkness and Pacific Rim to Elysium and World War Z, it looks to be a blockbuster summer.  But the one film that possibly has the largest amount of expectations and questions surrounding it is Man of Steel, the Zack Snyder directed and Christopher Nolan produced Superman reboot that was this summer’s giant unknown commodity.  Continue reading “I Believe That a Man Can Fly Once More: Zimmer’s Man of Steel Score”