Why Guillermo del Toro Is Having The Most Fun In Hollywood Right Now

Why Guillermo del Toro Is Having The Most Fun In Hollywood Right Now

The imagination of del Toro continues to inspire.
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Big budget original film ideas are few and far between. That's not to say Hollywood's recent favor for adaptations and reboots is completely lacking in originality, but that every year it seems more and more of the biggest blockbusters are live action remakes, novel adaptations, or additions to past franchises. In other words, Hollywood is playing it safe, sticking with the ideas that are guaranteed to make money because they have already proven they can.

Among the slew of trailers for superhero films and fifth installments to dying franchises that came out this summer, though, was a trailer for Guillermo del Toro's newest fairy tale: The Shape of Water, set for release this December. Del Toro's original storyline follows a deaf janitor through a secret government lab in 1962 as she uncovers the lab's experiments on a newly discovered humanoid sea-creature. Del Toro's newest film joins tens of original film concepts written, directed, and produced by himself since 1993. From a little girl's dark fairy tale entwined with the horrors of being a child of the Spanish Civil War in Pan's Labyrinth to a Brontë-esque horror film about a writer turned ghost whisperer whose love story traps her in the haunted halls of her husband and his sister's dilapidated mansion in Crimson Peak, his work is not only original, but endlessly fun, creative, and thoroughly thought-out.

The film that best displays del Toro's willingness to allow his imagination to wander and his abilities as a filmmaker, though, is Pacific Rim. The 2013 action film creates a world in which humans decide that the best way to kill giant aliens is to build giant robots powered by pilots mentally linked through relived memories that linger and stick in their partner's subconscious. While inspired by Japanese kaiju movies and anime, the story is completely del Toro's and co-writer Travis Beacham's. Under del Toro's direction, the film becomes a colorful, optimistic, and completely over the top journey, which is exactly why it succeeds.

Del Toro shares none of modern Hollywood's fear of cheesiness and extremes, allowing him to play with huge concepts and invest himself wholeheartedly in them. His films revel in their absurdity with the enthusiasm of a child playing pretend. Why can't a giant robot pick up a boat and swing it like a baseball bat at an alien? Why can't the robot wait until just the right dramatic moment to reveal it had a sword attachment? He never lets logic or the fear of going too far with his imagination keep him from letting it run wild throughout every movie he creates, inevitably offering the same child-like enthusiasm to his audience in the process.

Del Toro uses his bold style to enhance his characters, as well. Action movies so often forget that no matter what happens in the plot, the story's characters are what take it there. In contrast, none of del Toro's characters can be described simply. One of Pacific Rim's main characters, Raleigh, defies the norms for the brooding hero through combining that aspect of his characterization with a soft and loving personality. Despite a tragic death being literally burnt and scarred into his side, he remains gentle and hopeful. His co-lead, Mako Mori, is such a well-crafted character that she inspired a test on-par with the Bechdel Test and other tests that examine the strength of female characters in film: the Mako Mori Test, in which at least one female character completes her own narrative arc, specifically one that does not rely on a male character. Though the point of view character is Raleigh, Mako's story is what drives Pacific Rim. Those two characters are joined by a set of incredibly detailed major and supporting characters, from the program's director, Stacker Pentacost, to its scientists, Hermann Gottlieb and Newt Geiszler, to its team of Jaeger pilots. Each has a story to uncover, pieced together through memory montages, room and costume designs, and dialogue, that becomes an integral part of the film's heart.

This attention to the people who make up del Toro's universes is evident in every film he creates. Pan's Labyrinth makes ample room for Mercedes and Pedro's story, despite the majority of it existing separately from Ofelia's arc. Crimson Peak makes sure that you not only fear its ghosts, but learn about and sympathize with them. No character exists without a reason.

On a grander scale, del Toro's universes themselves carry as much or more detail as de Toro's characters do. Backgrounds and props are carefully placed so that each one adds to the story. The entire opening sequence of Pacific Rim is filled with world building, as news clips flicker across the screen. If you put together the clues del Toro lays throughout the film, you begin to wonder about Mako and Chuck's childhood as you realize they both grew up together. You spot a glimpse of Hermann's memories and put together that he wanted to be a pilot. You find that Kaiju bones have been integrated into cityscapes and imagine the remains left throughout the world. These details give life to del Toro's world and make them feel real despite their absurdity. Every moment of his films bears weight and importance, are meant to invest your mind in the world del Toro so enthusiastically offers. His mind's eye is detailed enough to live in.

Films like these, ones that put imagination, heart, and depth into every aspect, whatever the concept may be, are successful. Del Toro does it even in stories that are not his own original ideas, like Hellboy and The Hobbit films, just as he will likely do with future projects like his take on Pinocchio. There are plenty of other directors and writers who can do this, too, even in original work, but very few who have been able to make it big in the box office. Hopefully, as he continues to create new imaginative spaces for his audiences, del Toro will inspire a few of the audience's own worlds, too.

Cover Image Credit: Collider

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37 Drake Lyrics From 'Scorpion' That Will Make Your Next Instagram Caption Go Double Platinum

Side A makes you want to be single, Side B make you want to be boo'd up.

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We all knew Scorpion was going to be the summer banger we wanted. However, Drake surprised us with two sides of an album and two sides of himself. Mixing rap and R&B; was genius on his part, so why not dedicate 37 of his lyrics to our Instagram captions?

1. "Don't tell me how knew it would be like this all along" — Emotionless

Definitely a "I'm too good" for you vibe.

2. "My mentions are jokes, but they never give me the facts" — Talk Up

This one's for my haters.

3. "I wanna thank God for workin' way harder than Satan" — Elevate

For when you're feeling blessed.

4. "I promise if I'm not dead then I'm dedicated" — March 14

In Drake's story about his son the world knows about now, we get a lyric of true love and dedication

5. "My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions" — Survival

6. "Pinky ring 'til I get a wedding ring" — Nonstop

7. "I gotta breathe in real deep when I catch an attitude" — 8 Out of 10

This first line of the song is about to be spread on the gram like a wildfire

8. "Heard all of the talkin', now it's quiet, now it's shush" — Mob Ties

9. "California girls sweeter than pieces of candy" — Sandra's Rose

This is gonna have every girl who has ever stayed in Cali all hot and heavy, watch it.

10. "I think you're changing your mind, starting to see it in your eyes" — Summer Games

Y'all know how these summer games go

11. "Look the new me is really still the real me" — In My Feelings

When you've got to profess that you've changed 200%

12. "Only beggin' that I do is me beggin' your pardon" — Is There More

13. "Shifted your focus, lens lookin' jaded" — Jaded

14. "Back and forth to Italy, my comment section killin' me" — Can't Take a Joke

Necessary for when you've got people hyping you up already

15. "People are only as tough as they phone allows them to be" — Peak

Y'all can't have this one, I'm stealing it

16. "Work all winter, shine all summer" — That's How You Feel

Put in the work so you can flex on 'em, summer 18

17. "Blue faces, I got blue diamonds, blue tint, yeah" — Blue Tint


18. "I stay busy workin' on me" — Elevate

19. "Ten of us, we movin' as one" — Talk Up

The perfect reason to get the largest group picture you've had on your gram

20. "October baby for irony sake, of course" — March 14

This statistically applies to 1/12 of y'all reading this, so take that as you will (we October babies are the best)

21. "She had an attitude in the summer but now she nice again" — Blue Tint

22. "I know you special girl 'cause I know too many" — In My Feelings


23. "Gotta hit the club like you hit them, hit them, hit them angles" — Nice for What

24. "She said 'Do you love me?' I tell her, 'Only partly,' I only love my ____ and my ____ I'm sorry" — God's Plan

If you haven't used this one yet, get to it

25. "But I'm blessed I just checked, hate me never met me in the flesh" — I'm Upset

26. "It's only good in my city because I said so" — 8 Out of 10

Follow this up with a location and shoutout your hometown

27. "My haters either on they way to work or they arrived" — Can't Take a Joke

28. "I always need a glass of wine by sundown" — Final Fantasy

Has Drake ever been more relatable?

29. "It's your f***in' birthday. Happy birthday" — Ratchet Happy Birthday

Let's go get kicked out of an Applebee's

30. "I move through London with the Eurostep" — Nonstop


31. "I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself" — Survival

Mood all summer 18

32. "They keep tryna' get me for my soul" — I'm Upset

33. "I'm tryna see who's there on the other end of the shade" — Emotionless

34. "Only obligation is to tell it straight" — Elevate

35. "It don't matter to me what you say" — Don't Matter to Me


This line from the King of Pop (MJ) will give you chills. R.I.P.

36. "I'm the chosen one, flowers never pick themselves" — Sandra's Rose

37. "Say you'll never ever leave from beside me" — In My Feelings

Couple goals, amirite?

Cover Image Credit:

@champagnepapi / Instagram

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Recap: The Miss America You've Come To Know Is Now Gone

Miss America 2.0 is here in full force and here's what you need to know

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On June 5th, 2018, Miss America CEO Gretchen Carlson spoke on behalf of the Miss America Organization announcing that the Miss America Organization would no longer be a pageant but is moving forward as a competition. "We are no longer a pageant," Gretchen Carlson, the first former Miss America to be named chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, said on "GMA." "We are a competition." This caused an uproar of emotions from the pageant community.

Miss America began in 1921 in Atlantic City as a bathing suit competition aimed to attract tourists and extend the summer season. Soon enough the talent, evening gown, and interview portions of the competition were added to create the Miss America we know and love today. In Gretchen Carlson's announcement, she revealed that there would no longer be a swimsuit or evening gown competition. SAY WHAT!? Miss America would no longer have its traditional, iconic swimsuit competition. The reason for this is because the Miss America Organization is meant to empower women, give them a voice and the job of Miss America does not require you to be in a swimsuit.

The next big change came when the organization announced it would no longer have an evening gown portion of the competition. If you were not looking forward to the swimsuit competition then you were looking forward to seeing the fabulous gowns that the contestants chose to showcase their personal style on the Miss America stage. The original announcement that said goodbye to evening gown has now been edited and the 2019 Miss America competition will now include evening gown as a "Red Carpet Style" and will still be the contestants choice.

Having been a contestant in this organization since 2011 I have my own thoughts about the elimination of the swimsuit and evening gown portions of the competition. The announcement came the morning I was leaving to compete in the 90th Anniversary Miss Connecticut Pageant (yes, you read that correctly, a pageant not a competition). Knowing this would be the last time I would ever compete in a swimsuit was so bittersweet. I had dreamed of going to Miss America and walking down the runway at Boardwalk Hall in a swimsuit. I hope that one day we reinstate the tradition of the swimsuit competition at Miss America.

Evening gown was always the portion of the pageant that I looked forward to. After all of the challenging parts like interview and talent are over you get to show the audience and the judges a glimpse at your personal style in a beautiful evening gown. I mean, who doesn't love getting dressed up? This portion of the competition allows each contestant to show who they truly are and exhibit a hell of a lot of personal confidence. I for one am so happy that the organization decided to keep this portion of the pageant.

New for Miss America 2019 will be the "Final Conversation". This portion will be done by the top five remaining competitors. Each girl will talk about their career ambitions, platform, year of service as well as the attributes that make her the best person for the job of Miss America, among many other things. This piece will take the place of the usual short onstage question that the top five contestants would be asked.

I love that they included this as part of the competition and I think that this is a piece that was needed a long time ago. So often did I wish I had more opportunities to tell the audience about my platform, the community service I had done and about myself and why I wanted to be a state titleholder. This portion of the competition will allow for that and I am excited to see how this plays out in September.

The talent portion of the competition and my personal favorite will remain the same except for the percentage of the score. Talent, which was 35% of the score, is now a whopping 50% of the score. This has spiked some controversy because many Miss Americas are not asked to perform their talents during their year of service (aside from singers who sing the National Anthem but even that is not all that often).

Talent is one of my favorite portions of the competition. Miss America wouldn't be Miss America without this portion but bumping it to 50% is something I am not a fan of. There are girls all across the country who feel that they "aren't talented enough" to compete and having talent be 50% of your score will not be an attractive quality to those girls. The Miss America Organization should feel achievable to every single girl in America and this is not going to feel achievable for some.

The changes with Miss America have some people doubting the organization and many girls have voiced that they no longer want to participate because of the spiral it has taken in just a few weeks. My hope for the organization is that it truly continues to empower women, guide women to higher education, and make women feel as though anything, including competing in a pageant, is achievable.

Things with Miss America are changing on a daily basis but this should keep you fairly informed until the competition in September. Do you have a state you are pulling for??

Cover Image Credit:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Miss_America_2015_contestants.jpg

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