Ryan’s Response To Romo’s Movie Trepidation

Yesterday Mike Romo wrote a column outlining his thoughts on the upcoming “onslaught” of superhero movies. I was surprised, because I see Romo, like myself, as something of an incurable optimist, and thought that his somewhat anxious approach to the summer blockbuster season was out of character. I called up Mike, and was fortunate enough to catch him during his long LA commute, to ask him about the column. A recreation:

Me: Hey Mike!

Mike: Hey Ryan!

[Redacted personal catchup time with copious exchanges of feelings]

Me: So how about that column you wrote today?

Mike: Yeah! What’d you think?

Me: I think you’re wrong and I want to do the exact same thing for you column tomorrow.

Mike: You totally should! I’d love to read that!

manofsteelyWell, Mike, I’ve taken up your challenge and will now work my way through the same list of movies you covered yesterday, and tell you just where you went off the rails.

A few caveats. I don’t know how often Mike goes to the movies. I go rarely. I saw Skyfall in theaters and maybe something else around Christmas that I don’t even remember now. I wish I went more often, but taking a dedicated 2-3 hours out of my day to continue sitting and to pay for the pleasure is a rarity. That being said, I love movies, and superhero flicks are typically the only films guaranteed to get me in front of the big screen. Like Mike, I baulk at the sheer number of upcoming films, but that doesn’t mean I’m not excited about them. So without further ado, let’s run through the offerings!

To calibrate: Mike gave each movie a rating from 1-10, with 10 being insanely excited to see a given film. I will be adopting the same style, though your individual results may vary.


Iron Man 3 (US Release: May 3) – 8/10 (+2 over Romo) – Was Iron Man 2 really as bad as everyone says it was? Maybe, but I only saw it once in theaters sitting next to a woman I was attracted to, so it was in my best interest to be positive. Furthermore, Iron Man 3 looks to be a very different movie and with a different director at the helm I’m willing to give 3 a clean slate in the wake of 2.

iron crouchingStar Trek: Into Darkness (US Release: May 17) – 9/10 (+1 over Romo) – I’m not a huge Star Trek guy. I love the idea behind the series, especially given the Cold War / Civil Rights period during which the series was birthed, but I don’t see a lot of those high-falutin ideals in the reboot. I see some action-packed yet still reasonably smart sci-fi that has been lacking from the big screen as of late. Coupled with my lack of extreme opinions on the whole Star Trek thing, I’m reasonably sure I won’t be disappointed.


Man of Steel (US Release: June 14) – 9/10 (Equal to Romo) I’m pretty sure Mike wrote up his list before the new trailer dropped yesterday, so I’m wondering if his opinion has changed much, but I think I am in complete agreement with the man that this is the movie holding the majority of my enthusiasm at the moment. If released a week earlier, I’d think Warner Brothers was giving me a birthday present. I’m not completely sold by the whole “dark Superman” vibe but as I’ve said before, I’d happily watch an entire movie of Clark growing up in Kansas than going fishing on a boat for awhile. Save the suit for the sequel. Alas, people apparently want to see Superman in a Superman movie, and I”ll be one of those people in line at the theatre trying to not get my hopes up too high, and in all likelihood failing.


The Long Ranger (US Release: July 3) – 5/10 (+3 over Romo) – One of my favorite movies as a kid was the live-action Disney version of The Three Musketeers. I live in perpetual hope that these kind of fun all-ages action romps can still be made. I don’t have much hope that this movie will live up to that ideal, but I have more hope than Mr. Romo.

pacrimdetailPacific Rim (US Release: July 12) – 7/10 (-1 beneath Romo) – I almost always like Guillermo del Toro movies less than I think I will. This seems like such a departure from his typical style of filmmaking that I am very curious. Plus: Idris Elba, right?

The Wolverine (US Release: July 26) – 7/10 (+1 over Romo) – The trailers for this are… not good. I never even bothered with Origins, so I’m giving it high marks on the basis that maybe it’ll be more of X-Men 1 and 2 Logan, and will ignore the other less favorable incarnations. I like Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of the character, and Japan seems pretty cool, so here’s hoping, right?


Elysium (US Release: August 9) – 8/10 (Equal to Romo) – I feel a bit like Will Ferrel in Zoolander, because to me this looks very much like a rehash of District 9 and no one else seems to see it. That being said, I really liked District 9, so I’ll be holding onto to hope that the previews have mislead me and I’ll get something worth beholding.

Kick-Ass 2 (US Release: August 16) – 4/10 (-1 beneath Romo) – I liked the first movie much more than I thought I would. I probably liked the first movie better than the comic it was based on. But by the second arc I’d had enough, and I dropped the book after about 2 issues. I also have a personal problem with Jim Carrey and won’t in good conscious buy anything that leads to him getting a single cent from my coiffures, so this definitely won’t warrant a trip to the cineplex.


elysium_gunSin City, A Dame to Kill For (US Release: October 4) – 6/10 (-1 beneath Romo) This had a release date? Thanks to Romo for letting me know. I really enjoyed the first Sin City movie, which I saw when I was still relatively new to comics. Since then Frank Miller’s attitudes towards women and/or any person with an opinion not his have left a sour taste in my mouth and while I’m very tempted to see the aesthetic on the big screen, I’m at the same time not sure I could stomach it.


Thor 2 – Dark World (US Release: November 8) – 7/10 (Equal to Romo) I cannot comprehend those who claim this sequel to be superfluous. There are nine realms in Norse myth and as of yet we’ve seen three of them in the Marvel movie-verse. Anyone who isn’t stoked to explore this particular multiverse is not one I’d readily call friend.

What can we conclude from all of this? Probably that Mike Romo hates movies and/or fun. So since you’ve all already probably posted your comments in his column, here’s my question intended to foster discussion: For each of the movies above, in which role would you cast Mike Romo to play? I’ll get you started, I’d cast him as a railroad baron in The Loan Ranger. “Damn you, Fatcat Romo!”


Ryan Haupt should take more time off to head to the cinema. But he doesn’t. At the very least, he watches trailers and discusses them on the podcast Science… sort of.


  1. Entertaining article. But it has a sad moment. Your statement “Anyone who isn’t stoked to explore this particular multiverse is not one I’d readily call friend” gives me the feeling that the two of us won’t ever be really close buddies … Sigh. I’m a nice guy.

    • “It’s a magical world, buddy old pal. Let’s go exploring!”

    • I agree, as a fan on cinema and someone who hopes to one day work in that industry, I still feel fatigue over certain genres being over-subscribed in any given year. I’ve never brought into the fanboy notation of “you’re a geek therefor you HAVE to be excited that there are lots of geeky movies coming out. Even if what you’ve seen doesn’t actually excite you”.
      I never got excited for Green Lantern, Jonah Hex or Origins: Wolverine, because I saw through the hype, so I wasn’t disappointed when they eventually came out.
      I’m a quality over quantity kind of guy.
      And it seems a little weird someone would start the article like that, and then go on to give scores that aren’t much higher than Romo’s and three of them are lower.

    • Regardless of ratings, Mike just seemed like he was dreading, I mean he used the word “onslaught.” Even if some of my ratings are lower, I’m still excited by a summer of movies.

      Plus I just wanted to give Mike a hard time.

    • Fair enough, I tend to agree with Mike, even if I’m looking forward to the films individually, one genre being so over-populated can deflate me a little.
      I might love pizza (and there are many kinds of pizza) but I can only handle so much before it becomes an onslaught of pizza. In that metaphor pizza represents super-hero films, which I think is apt.
      It’s the reason I’m worried about Disney saying they’re going to release one Starwars film a year from 2015, no matter how good they are individually I’ll start to get fatigued eventually and I don’t want to feel that way about Starwars, I want to be excited.
      And there’s nothing wrong with giving someone a hard time carry on 😛

  2. Jim Carrey is one of my childhood heros.

  3. Jim Carrey is actually the only thing that has me excited for Kick-Ass 2. I liked the first movie, but, much like Ryan, I dropped the second act after only 1 issue

  4. Lone Ranger looks so bad.

  5. Wow these are some wildly different opinions!

  6. What’s wrong with Jim Carrey? He has some weird thoughts on vaccines, but that doesn’t seem to be a good enough reason not to watch some truly great movies he’s done over the years. Bruce Almighty, The Man on the Moon, The Truman Show, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, etc.
    Maybe Ryan just hates Canadians (can’t really blame him though, ITS HAM NOT BACON!!!)

    • Nope, it’s the vaccine thing. But this isn’t the forum to get into it.

      Canadians are mostly alright by me.

    • I can respect that this isn’t the forum to talk about the dangers of vaccines, but If u didn’t want to talk about your “personal problem” with Jim, I don’t understand why you brought it up in your article. It seems like more people have responded to that than anything else.
      Just sayin’. 😉

    • Wait, is he one of those crazies who think vaccines cause autism in children?

  7. What’s the beef with Jim Carrey? It can’t as simple as his logical and thoughtful views on vaccines, right?

  8. Except for Lone Ranger, the variance is pretty small.

    I’m gonna say that domino mask and cowboy hat are skewing the results.

  9. Fine, I’ll admit it.. The Lone Ranger looks really weak, but I’m really jonesing for a Western.

  10. Why do I have a feeling The Lone Ranger will be this year’s Jonah Hex?

  11. Ok, I guess I’ll be the lone Lone Ranger optimist. First lets clear up some misconceptions; the director is not the Prince of Persia guy as stated in the original thread. The director’s last film was one of the best westerns of the last decade (granted, small pool) had Depp starring and won the Academy Award . If you would have awoken me halfway through Pirates of the Caribbean part Deu to tell me that someday I would be sticking up for Gore Verbinski’s $250,000,000 Lone Ranger movie for Disney, I would have said “Wtf?! Can’t you see I’m trying to get some sleep?!?” Yet, here I am and Rango (and Django!)is a big reason why. The Western is uniquely American and is deserving of a renaissance and this could be just the thing to do it. Sure it has a monstrous budget but the money wasn’t spent on giant robots with cowboy hats and horses with squid tentacles for legs. That money went to building the Old West in the most practical(ie in camera) and authentic way possible. That money went into thousands of costumes and real stuntmen. A whole town built with interiors and miles of train track laid for a real steam engine. I know all this doesn’t equal successful storytelling but when it all boils down to essentially a bromance/ revenge picture about the Green Hornet’s Great Grandfather set against the unstoppable and unscrupulous force of manifest destiny it does deserve higher consideration. Plus it is the first 3D western! 8/10

    • Why does a Western need to be in 3D? Only Disney…

    • I wanted to blame Disney too after the first trailer but the more i read the more i saw that Disney kept trying to lower the budget and the director and Depp just kept begging them for more. I just don’t understand how a movie about two guys on horses killing crooked politicians who wanna railroad .. well a railroad can cost that much

    • Maybe they couldn’t find any cheap chinese labor to build it. Damn it Disney, do you care at all about historical accuracy?

    • I enjoy your optimism… too bad I don’t share it. What drugs you taking? 🙂

    • Paul Montgomery Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

      Actually, there have been 3D westerns before. And way before the current trend in 3D.

      I’m not saying they were great.

  12. I was so impressed with the first Star Trek, I can’t see why I won’t love the second as well…..

  13. I forgot to rate my excitment for 1 movie on the last article. Kick Ass 2: 8/10. I feel like the first movie really improved the story and tweaked all the right things. i had fun with some issues on the second book, but the inconsistent schedule and over-priced finale got me steamed on Millar. But I can’t wait to see how the second book gets tweaked/improved and hopefuly tops the first film.

    • I would agree but the trailer doesn’t excite me, it’s lost the visual style of the first, it’s shot digitally not on film, which isn’t usually a problem but here it just looks cheap.
      But the biggest reason is the lack of Matthew Vaughn directing and (to a lesser extent) Jane Goldman writing, with neither of those two returning it’s essentially a separate entity, so none of my goodwill built up from the first film transfers over and I’m just left with the lack-luster feeling I got from the trailer.

    • I’m betting you don’t feel the same way about IM3? Both of them I’m excited for. BTW; when the first film came out I wasn’t impressed by the trailers but I still ended up enjoying the movie.

    • You’re right I’m supper excited for Iron Man 3. For the same reasons I’m not excited about Kick Ass 2: the director, the writer and the trailer.
      I think Iron Man 3 has got a better writer and director than the previous two and on top of that the trailer excites me. It’s the exact opposite with Kick Ass 2.
      And personally I loved the trailers for the first Kick Ass film, I did an entire project analysing the marketing campaign for that film for college, specifically focusing on the Hit-Girl redband trailer, which I thought was really well constructed.
      I did a commentary track for it actually, which I uploaded as a private video somewhere but I’m pretty sure I removed it after my final presentation.

    • I don’t know if IM3 has got a better director; the only movie ofhis I’ve seen is “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (a decent neo-noir movie). Jon Favraeu tho has done some pretty good movies that I’ve seen like “Jimanji”, “Elf”, shoot I forget the third. I don’t know if they were great cinematography wise but they were fun movies. I cannot attest to the different screenwriters in either movie.

      Since you brought up IM3’s trailer, does it have anything to do with the fact that the first few gave the sense that it was gonna be darker/more dramatic?

    • Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang is the only film he’s directed to my knowledge but I personally love it and have been waiting to see what he does next since I first saw it.
      Jon Favraeu is a perfectly serviceable director in my opinion but he’s never doing anything special, Zathura and Iron Man are probably my favorite of his films and they’re just “fine”, nothing wrong with them but he doesn’t do anything particularly special either.
      He strikes me as a “studio director” or a “television director” he’ll point the camera at things and get all the required coverage to put a scene together, he probably works efficiently and to budget but nothing he does is particularly unique or stylish, at least in my opinion.
      In the nicest possible way his films are like Ikea furniture, there are certainly far worse things you could sit on.

  14. I’m looking forward to Kiss-Ass 2 but I hope it will be less rape-y than the comic.

    • Everything should be less rape-y. That said I can’t see them being too graphic with it, it wasn’t in the comic was it? Also Dave and the girl are dating so the whole shock dynamic of that is changed I think.

  15. Hm, no mention of ‘300: Rise of an Empire’?
    Well, when you really think about it, probably a good reason to not mention it.

    I am excited about Sin City 2 though… I love the first one. I love the books. Yeah yeah, Miller is an asshole but its alright, SIn City is some of his better work.

  16. I’d cast Romo as Jimmy Olsen.