Pomp and Circumstance: What We Learned From Comic-Con 2012
Another Comic-Con has come and gone, and we’re a little bit older and a little bit wis………..well we’re older. Before we rush on to new things and forget all that has transpired, I believe that a summary should be made so we can have a historical viewpoint of all the hype. That way, if anything comes out of comic con that is actually genre defining and culturally significant, we will be able to properly document the origin of its hype and genesis of its following. With this in mind, lets look at three of the movies that were on display at Comic Con this year and see what we learned about them.
1. “Pacific Rim”
What its all about?
Pacific Rim is an upcoming science fiction film directed by Guillermo Del Toro based on a screenplay by Travis Beacham. The film is set in a world where soldiers piloting giant robots battle against giant monsters who have mysteriously risen five miles from beneath the ocean. The film will be an homage to Japanese giant monster films, known as Kaiju. Del Toro has said the film will be “a beautiful poem to giant monsters”
What we learned about it.
Basically, Del Toro wasn’t able to close the deal on “At the Mountain’s of Madness” so he mounts a multi-million dollar cinematic reincarnation of the final act of a power rangers episode in order to pander to his geek fans. Excuse me if I sound cynical, but it takes more than a fanciful concept (“poem to giant monsters films”….) to get me excited for an upcoming film. Especially a concept that sounds as tired and overdone as what Del Toro is proposing with “Pacific Rim”.
2. “The Man of Steel”
What its all about?
“The Man of Steel” is an upcoming superhero film based on the DC Comics character Superman. The film will be a reboot of the Superman Film Series undertaken by director Zach Synder (of “300” and “Watchmen” fame) with a screenplay by David S. Goyer. The entire project will be overseen by Christopher Nolan who acts as both producer and creative consultant.
What we learned about it.
Against all odds, it seems Nolan has found a way of infusing his trademark mindless unimaginative nihilism into the hopeful and pure Superman Mythology. According to film “journalist” Quint at aintitcool.com, the footage shown at comic con is of a Superman who is “unsure of his role in our world”. Really? Are we going to waste over 100 million dollar to reboot the character of Superman just so we can load him down with uncertainty and angst? Seems a waste of time and a tad overreaching since the whole uncertainty angle was treated as only a footnote in the narratives of the Donner and Singer incarnations. I think by now most people (including the character himself) understand Superman’s purpose. I.E. he saves people. He is a modern sort of God/diety in the world. I think there is enough in that concept to explore alone, if you think deeply about it and are brave enough to confront the social and religious ramafications of what being a God/Diety/Savior means to a society, but this whole Superman is an uncertain hero thing is just fashionable pandering of pseudo intellectual psychodrama for the Nolanites. Color me unimpressed.
3. Iron Man 3
What its all About?
Iron Man 3 is an upcoming superhero film featuring the Marvel comics character Iron Man. It is a sequel to IM:1 (2008) and IM:2 (2010) and will be the seventh installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, being the first major release since the crossover film The Avengers(2012). Shane Black, is set to direct and write the script (with Drew Pierce). Jon Favreau, who directed the first two films, will serve as executive producer. Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Don Cheadle reprising their roles as Pepper Potts and James Rhodes respectively.
What We Learned about it.
Favreau fumbled the snap on Iron Man 2, so Marvel scooped up once in-demand screenwriter Shane Black (what, Joe Eszterhas wasn’t available?) on the sly to gain some cheap credibility with the genre enthusiasts and the small percentage of people that think “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” is a modern film noir classic. Other than that we were shown some pretty new suits and some sensational flashy footage, all buffered by a joking Robert Downey Jr. doing his charming rouge routine, all of this distracting the public from the fact that this franchise may not be able to rebound from the misguided excess of its second chapter.
Other Items of Note:
“Judge Dredd” is still awful.
People still worship Joss Whedon over the promise of what “Firefly” might of been.
People are willing to get excited over test footage. Test Footage!
Which I guess isn’t suprising seeing as people are willing to get excited over a teaser poster.
Quentin Tarantino still talks too much.
Lastly, the big secret behind Star Trek 2 is that it won’t be very good. Its sad that people are so concerned with figuring out who the new villain is, while they forget that the first film was a bastardized mess of time travel nonsense, lens flare and rushed character development.
So there you have it. Comic Con in a nutshell. Sad to see how a once humble gathering of comic book fans has turned into a massive commercial pander fest for geeks. It would be nice if there was a convention that celebrated the art of comic books and wasn’t just about selling you something. Not that there isn’t some fun to be had there. Comic-Con isn’t all bad. There is still hope. Maybe one day Comic Con will return to its roots and be more of a celebration instead of a just an excuse for hawking product. Time will tell.
Posted on July 16, 2012, in Film and tagged Comic Con 2012, Django, Iron Man 3, Iron Man 3 Comic Con, Joss Whedon, Judge Dredd, Man of Steel Comic Con, Pacific Rim, Pacific Rim Comic Con, Serenity, The Man of Steel. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.