Tag Archives: Ron Perlman

Review: Pacific Rim

Pacific-Rim-Poster“Pacific Rim” is the quintessential mindless summer sci-fi action film and while it’s successful in that respect, it’s also disappointing because it could have been so much more.

In the near future, while we’re anticipating an alien invasion from the sky, massive monsters called Kaiju surprise us by arising in the Pacific Ocean. The first attacks are devastating, but eventually, mankind builds weapons that can beat them, the enormous Jaeger robots. The machines are operated by two pilots who connect to each other by “drifting” and establishing a neural bridge. Together, pairs of pilots keep the Kaiju invasion under control for years – that is until bigger and more vicious monsters begin arriving at an increasing rate.

Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) is a star Jaeger pilot alongside his brother, Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff), but when a Kaiju attack leaves the duo broken and their Jaeger severely damaged, Raleigh calls it quits. Five years later, the Jaeger program is at an all-time low, consistently losing robots and pilots, and failing to keep the Kaiju from demolishing cities. With so few operational Jaegers left, the program’s commanding officer, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), must put them all to work. Trouble is, one is an older model and he needs a pilot familiar with the machine to handle it in combat and Raleigh is the only one left that fits the job description.

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Review: Bunraku

Based on Transformers: Dark of the Moon’s performance, there’s clearly a nice chunk of moviegoers who are okay with feature films that are visual spectacles and nothing more. However, not only isn’t Bunraku a Michael Bay blockbuster, but it’s highly stylized, instantly narrowing its target audience. Then again, by focusing on the fans of artistic hand-to-hand combat, Bunraku is poised to head right into more open arms. But, for the rest of us, while the visuals may be like nothing we’ve ever seen and downright incredible, it’s just not enough to make Bunraku a fulfilling watch.

Josh Hartnett is The Drifter, a man passing through town, looking to settle a score. Then there’s Yoshi (Gackt), a samurai with some business of his own, reclaiming a gold medallion. What do these two have in common? Nicola the Woodcutter (Ron Perlman). Nicola’s the most powerful man east of the Atlantic, with an army of “red suits” behind him as well as nine lethal killers.

Turns out, not only did Nicola steal Yoshi’s family’s medallion, but he’s also the man The Drifter is after. Both preferring to work alone, it takes a local bartender (Woody Harrelson) to bring the skilled fighters together and pursue their goals side-by-side. However, with the red suits and deadly assassins like Nicola’s right hand man, Killer #2 (Kevin McKidd), in the way, they’re in for an intense uphill battle.

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Interview: Drive Director Nicolas Winding Refn

Drive is a fairly intricate movie. The plot is simple enough – Ryan Gosling’s Driver falls for Carey Mulligan’s Irene, only to find out her family is being threatened by notorious mobsters. Gosling’s character puts his superb driving skills to use to help keep Irene and her young son stay safe. But director Nicolas Winding Refn takes the piece a giant leap further, not only dousing Drive with a unique style and tone, but also with his incredible attention to detail. Everything in Drive has a reason; every element has a value and that’s something you’d think would require a great deal of preparation – but not for Refn.

In honor of the film’s September 16th release, Refn sat down to talk about his experience bringing James Sallis’ book to life. Surprisingly, Refn isn’t working with detailed script notes or even a shot list; elements went into this movie as they came to Refn’s mind and a great deal of that happened in the midst of shooting. When we’re used to seeing filmmakers assemble features based on studio standards, something like Drive sticks out, for this isn’t a piece that conforms to anyone’s preferences except Refn’s. Hear more about his process in the video interview below.

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Review: Drive

Quite clearly director Nicolas Winding Refn worked hard to bring Drive to life in the most appropriate way possible and, in turn, we get a movie that requires a degree of personal investment. Drive isn’t the type of film that lays out its plot points and lets you follow along, rather something that gives you incredible access to the main players, compelling you to become part of the action. At times, the need to decipher the details can be frustrating, but Refn duly rewards you for your work.

Ryan Gosling stars as an unnamed stunt driver and auto mechanic. When not working for Shannon (Bryan Cranston) on movies sets or in his garage, he’s moonlighting as a getaway driver. After a hard day’s work, he heads home to his apartment, which is right down the hall from Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her son Benicio (Kaden Leos). With Benicio’s father in prison, there’s a void in their lives, a void that Gosling’s character happily and humbly fills.

This synopsis must be kept light, as one of Drive’s most effective assets is its ability to keep you guessing. To give you a hint at where the action heads, Irene’s safety is threatened by a pair of notorious mobsters, Nino and Bernie Rose (Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks), and Gosling’s driver steps in to keep them from hurting her or Benicio.

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Review: Conan the Barbarian

Conan the Barbarian is a tough film to review, as it’s not for everyone, but clearly has the power to satisfy those with a taste for gory action. If you’re looking for a surface value experience in which everyone looks the part, spending some time with this warrior could be well worth it. Then again, if you can’t survive on muscles, carnage and brutality alone and need even the slightest bit of heart or endearment, look elsewhere as Conan the Barbarian is as brash and coarse as its hero.

In the heat of battle, tribe leader Corin (Ron Perlman) is left with no choice, but to knife his own wife to pull out his newborn baby boy alive. That boy is Conan and, born in the midst of war and his mother’s blood, he’s born to fight. At a young age (played by Leo Howard), his battle skills far exceed those of any other boy in the tribe and he’s able to fulfill his father’s assignments with ease. However, even with his exemplary fighting skills, he’s no match for Khalar Zym (Stephen Lang), a warrior hell bent on reassembling a mask, which will supposedly make him all-powerful and allow him to resurrect his wife. As his men burn Corin’s village, even after finding the missing piece, Zym and his daughter, the powerful sorceress Marique, relish in torturing Conan, forcing him to watch his father perish.

Twenty years later, Conan (Jason Momoa) is a fierce and absolutely massive warrior determined to track down the man responsible for destroying his childhood. However, in the meantime, Conan takes pride in using his exemplary battle skills to free local slaves. When his side job puts him face-to-face with a man he recognizes from the village attack, Conan extracts the information necessary to put him hot on Zym’s trail. Zym is still busy trying to bring his mask to life. Sure, he’s got all the pieces, but now he needs a “pure blood” to activate it. Conan follows Zym to a monastery where Tamara (Rachel Nichols), the pure blood, resides. With Conan desperate to bring Zym down and Tamara eager to survive, their paths merge and they team to fight.

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SDCC 2011: All Good Things Must Come To An End … With A Giveaway!

I can’t believe it, but this is officially it; my coverage of San Diego Comic Con 2011 has come to a close. For five incredibly long days, the experience went by in a flash. The action was non-stop from the moment I touched down in San Diego and while it was extremely exhausting and probably one of the most trying working experiences I’ve ever gone through, it was beyond worth it.

So, what’d you think? Did you like my coverage choices? Were the formats I chose to report in effective? Do let me know because I’m thrilled to say, it looks as though I’ll be returning to Comic Con next year!

I do know I learned quite a few things for myself while out west. First off, I need to pack more food than a box of granola bars, or at least make time to pick up some items at a local supermarket. Between running around collecting coverage and then writing it up, there’s little to no time to grab a bite. Second, if I want to cover a panel, I’ve either got to get on line at about 5am or hunt down a press pass. I arrived for The Walking Dead panel over three hours early and the line to get into Ballroom 20 was already about 10,000 people long!

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SDCC 2011: Thursday Wrap Up And Photos

And that’s a wrap on my first full busy day at San Diego Comic Con. I kicked things off at the press conference for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, which featured Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Julia Jones and Booboo Stewart after which Bill Condon, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner took the stage. Before wrapping up things with Summit Entertainment, I spoke with the writer of one of the studio’s next book-to-film adaptations, Warm Bodies author Isaac Marion. Keep an eye out for that interview later this week.

From there it was off to the convention center where I spent some time checking out the goods including vendor booths like MIMOBOT (more to come from them later this week) and studio presentations like Lionsgates’ booth which is all decked out in Hunger Games’ flaming glory.

Time flew fast, so from there it was a brisk walk over to Ballroom 20 where author George R.R. Martin proudly presented the cast and writers who brought the first book of his A Song of Ice and Fire series to life, Game of Thrones. Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington, Jason Momoa and writers, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were all on hand to talk about their experience working on the show’s first season, the goodies that will come with the season one DVD as well as a bit of what to expect for season two and beyond.

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