Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Summer of Promethues or The Dark Knight Rises..?

It hasn’t exactly been a week of being drip-fed the latest teaser trailers for the upcoming Summer treats. No, it’s been a week of being showered with an almighty helping of what’s to come in the coming weeks and months and what a considerably gigantic treat it has been for films fans of all preferences. Anyone else might think movies are becoming non-entities with the added gimmick of 3D to make an extra buck or thousand. How wrong they all are.

In a week of space jockeys and fallen caped crusaders it’s time for the excitement (in the meantime) to settle and reflect on what could potentially be the most successful Summer of film in years. It would be criminal to leave out of course Marvels Avengers Assemble which is already smashing box office records in the UK and overseas. It has set the standard and it will be a big feat to match that never mind topple it. The eagerly anticipated superhero ensemble met all expectations and more with a stunning display of visual effects, pounding action sequences and an abnormal amount of laugh-out-loud humour to boot aka SHIELD agent playing Space Invaders, Hulk Vs. Thor, Hulk Vs. Loki and much, much more. It had all the elements of what a Summer blockbuster should be and left me somewhat buzzing and all too confident for that pure adrenaline rush to progress long into the near future.

Last Sunday, 20th Century Fox undertook an interesting marketing ploy which sent Twitter into overload. During the ad breaks of Channel 4’s penultimate episode of Homeland, the distributing giant unveiled the international launch of the new trailer for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. Adding snippets of gloriously new footage blended in with already seen clips from previous trailers, it made a dominating impression on me which puts it firmly up there as one of this year’s potential big guns. Twitter did what 20th Century Fox wanted and it turned into a Prometheus #areyouseeingthis frenzy. Smart chaps them fellas!  According to the Alien maestro, it will have none of the previous DNA that partly created the genre back in the 70’s. It will however focus on a group of scientists out to discover the true origins of mankind that will take them to the darkest reaches of the Universe. My Alien Quadrilogy DVD set is waiting to be used as previously to Prometheus being announced, I wasn’t the keenest of Alien followers. But as soon as I clasped my eyes on the likes of Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, the mighty Idris Elba and Co. I was all for it.

It was around 7.30am on Tuesday 1st March when it turned into 25th December and my world catapulted into all things The Dark Knight Rises. After the previous day’s viral marketing campaign kicked things off which presented fans the task of discovering pieces of graffiti using the map tool on the official website and photograph the evidence back on the site. This took a mere few hours to capture and like a disappearing pencil into a goon’s forehead (!) we had ourselves the third and final trailer to Christopher Nolan’s epic finale to his Batman trilogy.

Where do I begin..? Let me first declare that I have never been more excited for a film to come out until I saw the 2 minutes and 20 seconds worth of pure brilliance that Christopher Nolan has created. Even after watching it 50 times over, it still like it’s the first time I have seen this trailer and the fact that the excitement never lets up, tells me that, as Ray Winstone bluntly puts it during pre-cinema screenings as “The Experience”. As far as the actual content is concerned, we are royally treated to new footage including the brute and physical threat of Tom Hardy’s Bane. Responding to, “What are you? “as “Gotham’s reckoning” indicates this is very much a different threat to The Joker. It kicks off very ominously with Hans Zimmer’s stunning and absorbing musical score building up to what looks like a war torn Gotham. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s good cop John Blake gets plenty of screen time to indicate he will be more of a bigger player as well as Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle aka Catwoman coming across to be more of an ally to the Bat. It is the running theme of is this going to be the end of the Dark Knight legend as the trailer puts it that the stakes are going to be raised even higher particularly the way The Dark Knight ended with Batman taking the blame for the death of Harvey Dent. It doesn’t appear to be all gloom and doom however with a brief glimpse of Batman’s new mode of transportation, the Batwing at the end of the trailer showing he is getting tooled up for quite possibly his biggest and most threatening test to date.

Batman Begins was a triumph. The Dark Knight went above and beyond and exceeded not only expectations but in my opinion, bettered the original. 20th July could not come any quicker as I firmly believe in the law of trilogies, The Dark Knight Rises will be the rare exception to that rule.

We are coming into the business end of the Summer movie season. In the blue corner we have Promethues. In the red corner we have The Dark Knight Rises. One of which will reign supreme.

Written by Michael Cunneen