Tag Archives: Guillermo Del Toro

New Voltron Animated Series Coming To Netflix!

Quick! What do you get when you cross Guillermo Del Torro of Pacific Rim fame, Dreamworks Animation, Netflix, and five mechanical lions from the 1980s?

A new FRICKIN VOLTRON ANIMATED SERIES that’s what!

Gimmie one quick second while the 8 year old boy in me mentally runs Frosted Flakes fueled laps around in my brain.

BWAYAAAYAHAHYAHAA!!!

Freaking Voltron? Defender of The Universe? My favorite childhood cartoon? Finally back on TV in full computer animated glory? And produced by Guillermo Del Torro?

2016 is off to an amazing start already.

In a recent statement from Netflix they announced not only is a new Voltron show in development from Del Torro but a new fantasy show named Trollhunters as well.

Trollhunters? What could that be about? Maybe a bunch of kids band together to hunt those creepy naked Treasure Trolls that have plagued the countryside in their kingdom? I’d watch that and it would fit with the warm feelings of nostalgia that the Voltron news is bringing.

 

voltron tv showVoltron, if you missed out, is the American version of a Japanese anime entitled Beast King GoLion that ran on the 80’s airwaves after school in the afternoons. The show made little sense as it involved four escaped space freedom fighters who live in an abandoned castle on the planet of Arus. There, they were members of the Voltron force. Pilots of giant mechanized lions that could fly through space, looked cool as hell, and of course could combine together to form a giant mute robot named Voltron. Think of it as an animated version of Power Rangers without the hokey martial arts and with more emphasis put on giant robots and monsters kicking the crap outta each other as it should be.

There was also of course a second version of Voltron which featured a series of cars and vehicles that formed a much more dopey looking robot, but let’s never speak of it again. (It’s hard to look cool with helicopter circles on your shoulders and Toyota’s for feet.)

But in all seriousness, say what you will of Pacific Rim, but the actions sequences were pretty spectacular and as it seems a sequel will never come to pass, this may be the next best thing. Better actually as I’d take a new Voltron over Pacific Rim 2 any day and night.

I can’t wait to see some concept art of what the new lions will look like in the new Voltron animated series and if the show will go for a more realistic gritty edge as I’d expect from Del Torro or stay close to the innocent charm of the original series.

What was your favorite lion growing up? Assemble Voltron in the comments below!

 

 

Crimson Peak Review

Crimson Peak

If you’re looking for spooky, look no further than Crimson Peak.

Guillermo Del Toro is somewhat of an anomaly in the world of Hollywood. He’s regarded, rightfully so, as one of the most creative, inventive and visually engaging directors to ever grace the medium. His masterpiece, Pan’s Labyrinth, won armfuls of accolades, awards, and forever cemented his imaginative place in the world of cinema. The tricky thing about Mr. Del Toro’s career, however, has been his lack of a box office success. The word “decent” is often used to describe his best box office grosses, while flop is used for the rest. What I find interesting is that in light of his middle-of-the-road financial successes he was able to make a film like Crimson Peak. It’s a haunted house film to rival the eeriest of gothic romance tales ever committed to film or otherwise.

The film starts off with Mia Wasikowsa’s Edith Cushing exclaiming that ghost’s are real. She tells of the death of her Mother when she was very young, and the haunted happenings that followed. Her deathly apparition of a Mother appears to her with a warning: Beware Crimson Peak. With an ominous light cast on this Crimson Peak very early on we then jump forward into Edith’s adulthood. She’s an inspiring writer of spooky fiction and gothic romances. Her works are scoffed at as tacky ghost stories, though she reminds her critics that they aren’t ghost stories, they’re stories with ghosts. That’s an extremely important bit to remember, and a line that played over in my mind as a left the theater. I’ll get to it in a second.

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From there we meet the Sharpe twins, played magnificently by Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain. For the viewer it’s clear from the get go that something’s just not right about this two strangers clad in black. The characters in the film seem to share the audiences misgivings, with of course Ms. Cushing being the exception. She falls madly in love and moves to the Sharpe estate in England where the bulk of the film takes place. Once there the creepy happenings pick up the pace and continue on until the end. The ghosts are unsettling to behold, and the atmosphere Del Toro places them in only enhances their spooky factor. Spoiler warning for those who care to remain fresh, but the ghosts are ultimately inconsequential to the plot. The evil of Crimson Peak is not of supernatural origin. The twist and finale of the movie can be seen coming from a mile away and unfolds as we’d assume it would. The plot isn’t really why one would see this film, however. The magic lies in the visuals.

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My biggest problem with Crimson Peak was how little impact these truly exciting and terrifying apparitions had on the story. If you took the ghosts out the plot would remain nearly unaffected. The mystery of the Sharpe twins is uncovered largely without the assistance of anything supernatural. The ghosts are not even integral to the climax of the film, even after their connection to the Sharpes is established. That felt like a huge missed opportunity. Like I mentioned earlier Edith Cushing states that her story is not of ghosts, but rather featuring ghosts. It’s curious to me that Del Toro would tell us what kind of film we’re getting, and that the impact of that line wouldn’t hold it’s full weight until after the credits roll. I guess this is one man’s opinion, but I would have liked to have seen the ghosts have a larger effect on the overall plot.

Guillermo Del Toro has a visual eye unlike any filmmaker I’ve ever seen. Nothing looks like a Del Toro picture. He takes every influence he’s ever had and mashes them together into something that feels truly original. Crimson Peak is no different. It’s dripping with his unique aesthetic. It’s a shame his story telling elements never line up with his visuals. Each English language film he’s done is masterful in it’s design. They look phenomenal. The stories and characters always leave something to be desired, however. These troubles aren’t found in his Spanish language movies. The story and visuals match up and make for really great films. Something about the English language holds Guillermo Del Toro back, and I hold my breath for the day he returns to Spanish cinema and delivers another masterpiece.

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At the end of the day I absolutely recommend Crimson Peak. It’s a perfect Halloween film. It’s a perfect film to turn the lights off and behold some spooky happenings. The plot and characters don’t hold up under scrutiny, but if you’re looking for some delicious eye candy, or rather what Del Toro would call eye protein, then watch Crimson Peak. If you like looking at cool stuff then this is the movie for you. Forgive the plot contrivances and weak characters and you’ll have a good time.