A Giant Freakin’ Thanksgiving 2013
Brent’s Thankful For…
Fringe may be dead and buried, but showrunner J.H. Wyman wasted no time getting back on the broadcasting horse with his new robo-buddy-cop series Almost Human. On the surface these two shows have little in common aside from their procedural nature and sci-fi leanings, but the two are similar in the way they approach the well-worn tropes of a cop drama and use speculative fiction to turn them on their head. We’re only three episodes into our relationship with Almost Human, and I don’t want to jump the gun, but guys, this could be the one. There’s a grim future, mismatched partners who push each other, sex ‘bots, mysterious criminal networks, and action. What else can you ask for? This year we’re definitely thankful that there’s good, gritty sci-fi on TV, and that we get to see Karl Urban (Dredd) on a weekly basis.
Guillermo del Toro’s monster-versus-mechs epic Pacific Rim isn’t the movie you’re going to look to if you’re after intricate storytelling or nuanced characters; it has neither of those things, not even close. What it does have, in abundance, is a primal giddiness that saturates damn near every frame. The Hellboy director has taken that childhood glee that comes with pretending your toys are giant and alive, and smashing them together while making explosion sounds with your mouth. Pacific Rim isn’t the best movie of the year by any measure of the traditional standards, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a movie that was more fun this year. Who out there hasn’t wanted to pilot a skyscraper-tall mechanical suit and duke it out with an equally huge monster from another dimension?
We Might Still See the Full Cut Of Snowpiercer
Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s post-ice age thriller Snowpiercer is a movie we’ve been practically frothing at the mouth to see. Though it’s already opened in many parts of the world, the release in most English-speaking corners of the world has been delayed due to conflicts over the distributor, The Weinstein Company, demanding 20 minutes’ worth of story and character development be hacked from the final cut. This battle has gone back and forth for months. Some exchanges have been diplomatic and calm, others not so much. The latest rumor around the industry is that TWC’s stance may be softening, and that we may yet see Bong’s full vision. Whether this has to do with international box office success — the film broke records in Korea, and has performed well in France, Hong Kong, and Japan — or continuing critical praise, we’ll probably never know. But if it gets us closer to seeing Snowpiercer, any version of Snowpiercer, in theaters, we’re thankful for that.