For a movie like Dragon Wars, I don't trust the critics' opinions of it. I'm not looking for art here, so it's fan reaction that I'm most interested in.
The Standard Online's review is by someone who claims to be a giant-monster fan, but warns us away because of a directionless plot, a lame ending, bad fight choreography, and '90s-level CGI. But then he mentions "all kinds of things stomping around ... with rocket launchers on their backs." How is that incentive not to see it? In the end he admits that "maybe I've left my Power Ranger days too far behind me now." Which makes me wonder if I'd enjoy it if I went in with the mindset that it's going to be awful, but fun. After all, I liked the absolutely horrible Last Legion.
Sean Collins is much kinder. He defends the less-than-cutting-edge effects ("you could tell King Kong was stop-motion animation, couldn't you?") while admitting that the story is lacking and the acting is rather phoned in. But even with a sloppy story, "I mean, I wasn't expecting Ursula K. LeGuin, I just wanted some basic set-up for the giant monsters, and that's what I got." So, I'm encouraged. Not "this-is-going-to-be-the-next-LotR" encouraged, but "I-can-see-not-hating-myself-for-seeing-it" encouraged.
Louis Fowler (who also reviews comics for Bookgasm) goes ahead and pushes me into the theater: "Seriously—if you walked into this fifteen minutes after the credits, you’d think it was Michael Bay filming a rather high-quality episode of Power Rangers. This film is no different, whatsoever, than his horrible Transformers from earlier this summer ... Plus it’s seven hours shorter ... D-War is by no means a 'great' film. But it’s a good enough film, and between this and The Host, it’s a reasonable enough request that the Koreans make nothing but giant monster films for the next twenty or so year, because they’re the only ones doing it right. They should just go ahead and do some giant robot movies as well, because it’s the only way I’ll be pleased."
Speaking of Korean giant-monster movies, SciFi Japan takes a look at their first one, Yongary, Monster from the Deep.
In other giant-monster news, Dreamwork's entry in the genre, Monsters vs. Aliens, is being pushed forward a couple of months in order to get a jump on the 2009 summer movie season.
Kevin Church clues us in on Johnny Hiro, a series about a fella who's known to fight giant monsters.
Not exactly monsters per se, but Ron Mueck’s sculptures of giant humans sure are creepy!
Jason Copland, that sexy Canadian who's illustrating Kill All Monsters!, has a three part interview at Indie Pulp. He talks about Kill All Monsters! and shares some pages and a look at his process, so definitely check that out.
You know what your baby's room needs? A giant robot.