Friday, July 12, 2013

A Fistful of Titans! (Brad's Picks)

Yes!  I can not express how happy it is to report my enthusiasm for Guillermo Del Toro's latest genre smackdown, Pacific Rim.  It's not a flawless masterpiece (save those squees for The Devil's Backbone, Blade 2, & Pan's Labyrinth), but it is a joyous celebration of all things titanic - be that of the Harryhausen or Honda variety - and it's the Blockbuster this Summer Season so desperately needs.  Of course, Pacific Rim begs ITMOD to question, what are our favorite cinematic titans?

5.  Godzilla (Gojira):  Look, I love Godzilla.  And it feels really weird to drop him at the bottom of my Titan list.  But if I'm going to be honest with myself, I really only love the original film and the comic book incarnations.  I have not experienced the pleathora of rubber suit flicks like I should have as a kid.  With Matt's help, I'm going to make up for that now in my 30s.  He's got a slew of films lined up for me, and I'm hoping that if I were to put this list together next year, the big lizard will appear much higher on the chart.

4.  Chev Chellios (Crank 2 - High Voltage):  I don't know if you guys have been paying attention, but ITMOD holds Crank 2 in very high regard.  It's easily one of my Top 5 films of the last ten years; mostly due to its complete insanity, highlighted twenty minutes into the movie when Statham suddenly transforms into a monstrous rubbery Kaiju.  This has to be one of the wildest & whackiest moments in movies - a genuine Need-To-See-It-To-Believe-It.

3.  The Rancor (Star Wars - Return of the Jedi):  The Rancor is the beginning of my own fascination with stop-motion beasties.  Before I knew the names of Ray Harryhausen or Willis O'Brien, I knew the terror of this piggy-munching grotesque.  I look back at Return of the Jedi & it's easily my least favorite of the original trilogy, but Jabba's Palace is still a magnificent wonderland of creatures & curiosities, and the Rancor is it's ultimate treasure.

2.  Galactus (Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer):  This is a cheat.  The Galactus seen in the Fantastic Four sequel is a lame ass cloud of insects.  BUT!  That lame ass cloud of insects is based on one of comics greatest behemoths.  Behold, The World Eater!  In 1966, when Jack Kirby hit a creative wall of stereotypes, he turned to the Bible for inspiration and crafted a supreme being worthy of those Old Testament threat levels.  Galactus cares not for our human problems, he just hungers, and our pitiful ant hill will satiate him until he hits the next planet on the buffet line.

1.  King Kong:  All beasts go back to King Kong eventually.  The Eighth Wonder of the World is a scary ass monster that goes toe-to-toe with T-Rexes and Pterodactyls, but eventually reveals the lovelorn soul in all of us.  Willis O'Brien brought life to the tiny puppet, and birthed a generation of fanboys that would eventually go on to create Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Pacific Rim.  But not just an icon; eighty years later and the film still packs an emotional wallop that sends this geek to tears every time.


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