Tag Archives: Guillermo del Toro

Extraordinary Tales


Director: Raul Garcia; Main Cast: Roger Corman, Guillermo del Toro, Christopher LeeJulian Sands;

Raul Garcia brilliantly assembles a collection of five animated stories adapted from Edgar Allan Poe. Each segment has its unique style of animation, colours and narrator with very different yet impressive results. The stories in question are: the Fall of House Usher, the Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, the Tell-tale Heart, the Pit and the Pendulum and the Masque of the Red Death. The grim and foreboding atmosphere that permeates each tale, and it’s so characteristic of Poe’s dark universe, is translated very effectively to the screen with the help of an apt music score and a perfect voice cast. As a curiosity: Garcia went to great lengths to recover old Bela Lugosi’s recording in order to have him “narrate” one of the segment. I particularly appreciated the nice touch of the interludes with the dead writer, represented by a crow, conversing with Death while hopping among the statues and the tombstones of a cemetery. This omnibus is quite an accomplishment just by an animation point of view: its mixture of 2D and 3D techniques, diverse textures and rendering methods suit well the mood and tone of the tales. In addition, the source material is excellent and Poe’s fans can definitely enjoy this new approach. Riveting —9/10

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Filed under Animation, Seen at the cinema

Pacific Rim

Director:  Guillermo del Toro, Main Cast: Idris ElbaCharlie HunnamRinko Kikuchi

I completely understand del Toro for wanting to make this film, I also grew up watching tons of Japanese anime with giant robots that beat the crap out of alien monsters/robots, so my inner eight-year old was giddy at the idea. Multi-million visual and special effects notwithstanding, we were both disappointed (my inner child and I). I didn’t appreciated the weak script, the inconsistencies of the plot and the super-cliched story arc of our hero: young and over-confident fighter, brought back to the harsh reality of life by tragedy, reluctant comeback after years of obscurity and finally saving the world…well, nothing new under the sun. My inner child instead was really upset by the abysmally poor tactics and the overall strategy in fighting the monsters (kaiju = monster in Japanese filmography…as much creativity as calling the first satellite in human history “sputnik”). What’s with the fist fights and low-performing energy beams….seriously?! Where are the atomic punch, the thunder break or the double harken? Our heros remember halfway through a fight that they have a much more effective sword…what the hell? Why not use it right away instead of a freight ship as a cudgel? And why always wait for the kaiju to come and destroy cities instead of meeting them in the middle of the Pacific where the inter-dimensional portal is? I won’t even talk about the pseudoscience or the lamest speech a la “Saint Crispin’s Day” since Independence Day. Anyway, del Toro is already planning a sequel, so I hope that he will refresh his memory watching some episodes of Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger or Grendizer. Try, try again, fail, fail better.–4/10

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Filed under Seen at home