Every year, Hollywood thinks they’ve figured us geeks out. What we like, what we don’t, and especially: What will get our collective asses into a theater. Well, I’m here to tell you that they are only right 60% of the time…every time.
So here is my list of some of the trends I saw this past year in Geek Cinema. This first list is the positive of this bunch, The 5 Best Geek Trends in Film for 2013…here we go:[divider]
5. Hollywood finally learns how to remake a classic
Evil Dead is one of my favorite FILMS of all time, not simply horror. It encompasses everything I associate with Geek films: Rabid fan base, its own personal history and, specifically, it was a film bought and sold by the fans – not studios. Fans made the original a success, and this year they repeated that with the remake.
Evil Dead is a film that simply was not designed to be retold. It’s a product of its time and we are all just sick of horror remakes of our classic films.
Until the original producers and star got involved, that is.
Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert and the Geek Deity himself, Bruce Campbell, all came aboard to ensure this movie did what we needed it to do: Capture the spirit of the original, keep Ash out of the remake, and get back to the gory roots. Then, when it was released, they got out there and sold it to all of us doubters.
That, Michael Bay, is how you remake a classic.[divider]
4. Vin Diesel is a better man than you
Evil Dead wasn’t the only revisit to a once-thought dead franchise. Riddick returned. Mr. Gravel himself, Vin Diesel, jumped back into the driver seat for his most personally beloved character of Richard B. Riddick.
Why is this such a great geek trend, you ask? Because Diesel did it for the FANS – those of us who loved the character even when he took up space in a flawed Underverse. He could have made a hundred crap action vehicles (see what I did there?) but instead used his clout to make a small film for his fans. If more actors appreciated the fans as much as Diesel does, the world we live in would be a much brighter place.[divider]
3. Zombies got a facelift
Look, we’re all sick of zombies. Try to deny it all you want, but as this year started, you know you’d rather BE one of these Earth wanderers than have to sit through a single additional zombie munch moment.
Then THEY happened.
The trifecta of Walking Dead finally finding its stride, Warm Bodies establishing a completely new way to present a zombie film, and World War Z getting us excited for the undead again. Especially World War Z. The ‘It’s A World Epidemic’ has been done to death and everything about this film screamed in a very Vaderesque ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!’. But then we actually saw the film, took a gasp and watched as the filmmakers ignored the zombie ‘rules’ and treated it more in the mold of a global medical mystery, as well as they threw in a frickin’ zombie WALL?! Genius.
Welcome back! Now, send more cops…[divider]
2. Earth’s atmosphere is no longer the only reality
We have finally achieved a place in Geekdom where worlds outside of our own seem just as plausible and lived in as our own. Outside of Peter Jackson, not many filmmakers have been able to sell us fine-tuned film fiends on other-worldly possibilities (think Green Lantern if you’re a doubter). Well, not anymore.
Asgard showed us a completely beautiful and fully functioning realm, even when Loki is running amok. Star Trek Into Darkness showcased several different worlds, each one seeming more realized than the last. And take a film like Gravity, set just outside of our world in a space we’ve seen represented a thousand times before, though never as realistically as this time. The detail contained within these worlds have far surpassed just simple beauty. We now have worlds all of us have already visited in our own minds, our own imaginations. Nothing is off the table anymore.
Geeks stand at the apex of a new time where every world we have dared to imagine it is not only possible, it can feel like it actually EXISTS.[divider]
1. Monsters vs. Robots
With all due respect to Michael Ba…oh who am I kidding? Now that we’ve seen Pacific Rim, we have to ask what the hell was Bay doing on those Transformers flicks? Sincerely? THIS is how you recreate childhood fantasies of giant robots! You don’t even need a sexy Megan Fox pretending to be the Christmas Jones of carburetor repair (though admittedly that didn’t hurt).
Make an amazing robot, one us geeks have dreamed about since our own inceptions; since before film made it a realistic possibility. When we were solely going on our own imaginations (Remember when people still used those?). Guillermo Del Toro still resides in that world, he inhales it with every breath and with Pacific Rim – he gave us the robots we’ve always wanted.
Not only did he give us the Gypsy Dangers of our dreams…HE ADDED GIANT MONSTERS!!! How can you be a geek and NOT appreciate the final collection of almost every young geek’s fantasy in one gigantic film that throws every…single…dollar on that movie screen? If you didn’t squee inside at even one of those giant monster-robot mash-ups, even if just a little bit, I’m not sure I want to know you.
This might be one of the most fantastic collective years to be a geek since Return of the Jedi ended an era of the Space Opera. Thank you for these 2013…
Stay tuned for my next column, where we talk about what trends they got WRONG in 2013…