Geek Weblog
August 7, 2013

We're more than half way through the year and so far it's been lean times at the multiplex, which has been competing for eyeball time against the likes of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead. Here's what we've scoped out recently:

Pacific Rim

The Good:

  • You just can't miss with impossibly giant robots sluggin' it out with trans-dimensional giant monsters.
  • Jax Teller, Stringer Bell, Charlie Kelley, and Hellboy make for entertaining casting.
  • Kudos to Guillermo for not attempting to shoe-horn a love story into the action.
The Bad:
  • Some of the brawling was zoomed-in too close to follow. That's always frustrating.
  • Dialogue and story often plain ridiculous. The line between "purposefully over-the-top" and "silly" is very fine.
  • The ratio of "talking" to "punching" in Act Two was grossly out of balance.
The Ugly:
  • For whatever reason, this movie has the Iron Man soundtrack. Which wasn't a great soundtrack.

Man of Steel

The Good:
  • Solid acting, solid soundtrack (if a little repetitive).
  • Absolutely no shortage of fist fights and destruction.
  • Hank Cavill fits the tights, no problem.
The Bad:
  • Took itself just a little too seriously.
  • Not nearly enough of Clark Kent wandering the Earth having adventures and finding his identity, which was by far the most interesting stuff. Would've been happy with 2 hours of just that.
  • I prefer my heroes to have a simple, iconic look - the redesigned super suit was entirely too ornate.
The Ugly:
  • The fight sequences get tedious by the end of the movie - it becomes a bit of a grind (Superman punches bad guy into building, Bad Guy punches Superman into building, repeat x 10).
  • Didn't mind the liberties taken with the origin story, but Pa Kent goes out like chump.

Star Trek Into Darkness

The Good:
  • All the terrific casting, pacing, and sparkling dialogue of the first JJ Trek outing.
  • Once again, the future just looks fantastic. It's as if it were entriely Made by Apple in California.

The Bad:
  • This story has, ultimately, been told before.
The Ugly:
  • The Klingons were powerfully disappointing. Those helmets shouldn't have been pulled off until JJ was prepared to reveal a truly fearsome war-loving race worthy of the Into Darkness budget. What we got was bland and unimaginative - like, out of Next Gen. How about something closer to Peter Jackson's Uruk-hai?


The Good:
  • The film plays out with a very distinct visual style tightly integrated with the soundtrack. Joe Kosinski pulled this off to the same great effect in "Tron: Legacy".
  • That soundtrack (M83) and the sound effects (drones!) give everything an extra dimension of awesomness.
The Bad:
  • Many of the story elements felt a little too familiar, particularly in the final act.
The Ugly:
  • I'll never really be sold on "memory wipes" as a plot device, no matter how attractive the application.