Escape to the Movies: Pacific Rim

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The Guillermo del Toro equasion for Summer Blockbuster epicness:

Neon Genesis Evangelion - Shinji + Idris Elba + Ron Pearlman^2 = TOTAL EPICNESS

This is going to be a renter for me.

I don't want to be swept into a tide of hype or ultra negativity like what happens with practically everything now. I'm glad that the film functions more like a decent film unlike the Transformers franchise.

After the Sydney Morning Herald reviewer disparaged the film on the grounds that it was narratively stupid and my far-too-negative friend decided he didn't want to go see it based on that, I was looking forward to hearing Bob come forward and say "shut the fuck up, this movie has 200-metre tall robots punching equally huge monsters in the face, it's physcially impossible for it to be bad!" Ever since the first trailer, I knew this was going to be my next Sucker Punch (which, let me remind you, had a trailer where a blond pigtailed cutie in a sailor school uniform used a katana and a magnum to fight a giant demonic cyborg samurai wielding a minigun) as a film that is simply so awesome that it CANNOT go wrong. I'm going to see it as soon as I can.

pearcinator:
The movie was pretty good but I have to say...those 'Australian' characters had the worst 'Australian' accents ever.

The action was intense and epic although I don't think it will do very well unfortunately. Mainly because it is camp and full of cheesy acting/dialogue. It will probably be a box-office flop (especially with a $180 Million budget) and end up a cult classic like Starship Troopers.

Uh, whut? They had great Australian accents. Just because they don't sound like people around cities doesn't mean their accent is wrong.

I just got back from seeing Pacific Rim.

Every mistake that can made by a big budget, effects driven action movie has been made by Roland Emmerich. Every single time at bat, he has struck out -- despite the inexplicable commercial success of Independence Day. All of his movies just suck. ID4, 2012, 10,000 BC, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, etc. The man simply cannot make a movie that any rational human being should want to sit through.

Guillermo del Toro, is a very smart director who has given us The Devil's Backbone, Pan's Labyrinth, and Hellboy (1 & 2). With Pacific Rim, he managed to, with one movie, correct every cinema desecrating blunder Roland Emmerich ever made.

Pacific Rim is a sublime masterpiece of unadulterated giant monster vs. giant robot fun that manages to honor its genre without ever crossing a line into the world of the stupid, despite including all the tropes you expect in such a film. It sets up a surprisingly simple reality for a world where pan dimensional, improbably huge monsters attack Earth, and Earth responds with equally improbable Mech Warrior-esque robots... and manages to play by its own rules -- unlike so many other epic fantasy/sci-fi offerings.

It has the self destruct sequence that fails and has to be executed manually... it has the top gunner threatened by the hotshot pilot that bends the rules (even including an Iceman vs. Maverick throwdown)... It has the iconic landmark spectacularly destroyed... it has the scientist nobody believes who is ultimately right... it has self sacrifice, the rookie prodigy, a St. Crispin's Day Speech... and you never feel like you've seen it all before despite having seen it all before. It feels fresh, original, suspenseful, relentless, global, and emotionally invested in real three dimensional characters who you can really like and care about... and it does all that without muddying up the plot with a sappy romantic subplot.

It's better than Man of Steel... Iron Man 3... The Hobbit... in fact, it's actually better than nearly anything this sweeping I've seen in years. It's far better than any Micheal Bay slugfest... and unlike the abysmal Transformers movies, the cutting and cinematography allow you to really follow and enjoy the complex fight mechanics of the big action set pieces.

And you won't be disappointed by the acting. Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) delivers a very natural and relate-able hero, and manages to do a lot of heavy lifting. Idris Elba teaches a class on how to be far and away better than Bill Pullman's turn in Independence Day. Charlie Day is kinetic and frenzied, which is what he's good at, and ultimately funny and likable and unexpectedly heroic. American audiences should finally fall in love with Rinko Kikuchi, who is smart, strong, and even in a full suit of armor, unbelievably sexy. And Ron Pearlman... well, what do I need to say about him?

If you don't go and see this movie on the screen, you are doing a great disservice to yourself. It is staggering and deeply satisfying in every way, without dipping into the gritty realism (that I typically prefer) that weighs down films like The Dark Knight (note: I do love The Dark Knight).

It's a big, loud, exploding popcorn movie -- minus all the dumb that kills far lesser popcorn movies -- and none of the pretense that attempts to lend a veneer of nobility (I'm looking at you, Man of Steel) its big budget rivals. See it. See it now. See it even if you don't think you'd like it, because you'll love it. It is exactly what a summer blockbuster is supposed to be.

(And proof that if you let smart directors make smart movies the way they want to make them, you'll get better, more satisfying movies)

Mudze:

pearcinator:
The movie was pretty good but I have to say...those 'Australian' characters had the worst 'Australian' accents ever.

The action was intense and epic although I don't think it will do very well unfortunately. Mainly because it is camp and full of cheesy acting/dialogue. It will probably be a box-office flop (especially with a $180 Million budget) and end up a cult classic like Starship Troopers.

Uh, whut? They had great Australian accents. Just because they don't sound like people around cities doesn't mean their accent is wrong.

It was very inconsistent...they sounded British most of the time and I have been to both urban and rural areas in Australia and they didn't sound like they were from either (they put the accent on way too thick). I just don't get why they didn't hire Australians to play Australian characters...

Daystar Clarion:
Gush more Bob :D

I saw it this morning.

It's alright, not great by any means, and I'm easy to impress.

I don't know, I think I was just expecting it to be more like this in terms of fun.

What is awesome, is that the voice of GLaDOS says 'Rocket Punch engaged'

I repeat

the voice of GLaDOS says 'Rocket Punch engaged'

Now I wait for Platinum games to make a movie...

Hey, it could happen :D

Agreed, there was no polish, no style. Don't get me wrong the fights were epic but apart from 1 cool acrobatic manoeuvre, it was trading body blows all the way through. Dialogue could have been served with crackers (again, not really a problem but did the huge cgi budget mean there was nothing left for a scriptwriter?), basically we need an eastern big budget mech movie...and see it done REALLY right.

seen three trailers for it, heard his review, and its just not doing it for me. i'm all into action movies, but nothing about it really makes me interested.

I am in the minority I guess in that I didn't think it was very good. I just haven't liked anything in the movie industry like post 2000. I think perhaps I just wasn't meant to watch movies anymore.

pottyaboutpotter1:

pearcinator:

Jegsimmons:

Its the only movie out right now and its only competition is grown ups 2 and is getting universal praise....box office flop my ass.

There's The Lone Ranger, Man of Steel, The Heat, This is the End, Monsters University and World War Z still out in cinemas over here too. I am just predicting that Pacific Rim will be mostly forgotten. I saw it on launch day and there were only like 30 people in the cinema. I may be wrong but it just feels like it's going to end up a cult movie to me.

That's not a bad thing, some of my favourite movies ever are cult movies (Starship Troopers is near-perfect to me) and even if it does flop at the box office (or make very little profit) it will probably go very well in DVD/Blu-Ray sales much like Dredd (2012) did!

Aren't Warner Bros projected to lose up to $65 million on this? I read somewhere that the film just isn't tracking AT ALL with general audiences and is really only appealing to the hardcore Sci-Fi crowd.

Its hard to tell until you get the first weekends take, I know that it didn't smash any opening day records but when I did go see it there was a pretty large crowd in the cinema compared to WWZ. Tastes vary depending on where you are.

EDIT: Then again I am paying the equivalent of around 7 dollars to see the film in 3D or just 5 to see it in the more advanced 2D (man I love this 2D fad!) without having to pay much for concessions (4 dollars for a large drink and a large popcorn) and that is the norm in my country. Compare that to what it costs it the US or Canada and I could understand peoples reluctance to go to the cinema at all.

We are canceling the Apocalypse......ok may be tomorrow or the next day hehe. We going cancel faster than a fox midseason show when we do. I planned see it because I listen my inner 6 year old when I watch trailers like this. Pacific Rim will need wait a day or two, it's M14 prerelease weekend for magic the gathering, so cardflopping first. Monster battles second. I will be there though.

mecegirl:
image

Perhaps I have watched too much mecha anime but I never expected it to be a live action Evangelion. Mostly because the trailers looked too positive. I mean Stacker Pentecost's speech in the trailer should have been a dead givaway that this would not be like Eva. Way too much hope.

And you are saying that is a bad thing?

I disliked how both the Russian and Chinese teams got precisely ONE battle in which we saw them fight, and in that very battle both were killed. For all their robots/teams were hyped-up to be "legendary" when introduced, what a terribly short performance.

What made even less sense is that the Chinese+Russian teams were killed despite being vastly more in-sync due to so many years' battle experience (Chinese team was composed of triplets for christ's sake)...and then a random combination of the protagonist + some Japanese girl whom he has fuck-all experience drifting with beats BOTH category 4 Kaiju? Kaiju which had no issues destroying both Chinese and Russian teams? Sorry but WHAT? That goes against the whole "better sync'd pilots = better fighters" principle, doesn't it?

I get this is a movie aimed at Americans but...come on, at least TRY to give giant robots from other countries a decent chance and "balance" the robots/teams in terms of power -_-

Also, was I the only one who saw this resemblance?

Re: Outro. Dourif and Dourif together on screen(sort of anyway)? Awesome. I don't think Brad has ever put in a bad performance in a film. It is hard to reconcile one of the creepiest character actors of all time with the sweetness of Billy Bibbit.

Yuuki:
snip

Really? You decide to spoiler tag a picture but not an actual spoiler? The movie came out this week, have some common courtesy.

Nouw:

Yuuki:
snip

Really? You decide to spoiler tag a picture but not an actual spoiler? The movie came out this week, have some common freakin' courtesy.

Spoiler tags are only there because the images were big and ate up too much screen space.

MovieBob went out of his way in the very first minute of the video to give flat-out recommendation and warned the review was full of spoilers. People who just wanted a professional verdict were told what they needed to know.
If they still went on to watch the whole review despite the endless warnings and then read this far into the thread (seriously?), that's their freakin' decision. Don't tell me about "courtesy".

In all honesty Yuuki those suits reminded me far more of the basic texture designs they used in Mass Effect than Crysis.

Coming back to an earlier discussion about box office take, PR performed surprisingly well in on-line ticket sales for a new IP with little in the way of really bankable stars. Elba's European pull seems to be selling the film well in the UK and Germany so far, where the majority of the advertising has used him front and centre with the mecha, but that could change. Even if it just pulls down a relatively meagre 40,000,000, the fact that a 40,000,000 take on an opening weekend is considered meagre for a genre film should appropriately amaze everyone, it'll be on course to cover its budget at least.

Yuuki:

Nouw:

Yuuki:
snip

Really? You decide to spoiler tag a picture but not an actual spoiler? The movie came out this week, have some common freakin' courtesy.

Spoiler tags are only there because the images were big and ate up too much screen space.

MovieBob went out of his way in the very first minute of the video to give flat-out recommendation and warned the review was full of spoilers. People who just wanted a professional verdict were told what they needed to know.
If they still went on to watch the whole review despite the endless warnings and then read this far into the thread (seriously?), that's their freakin' decision. Don't tell me about "courtesy".

Interesting how we both edited our posts.

I'm just a bit miffed I got spoilered after having gotten past the review and everyone else's reviews spoiler-free. Yes, I read through the thread because I wanted to see what the rest of the Escapist thought. Is that such a damnable crime that I deserve to get spoiled? (He doesn't actually give a spoiler-warning...). Arguing over this isn't going to make me magically forget so let's just leave it there shall we?

My apologies for being rude.

dalek sec:
Do they say in the movie why we need giant mech's as to just using tanks and air strikes on these things? Don't get me wrong, I'm still gonna see it, just wondering about that.

Well, glad to see that it didn't suck and now I can see it this weekend. :D

Would have loved to the see the UK make a Warhammer 40K style mech for the movie but oh well.

They said that when the first Kaiju attacked, it took 6 days and 35 miles before they were able to take it down with conventional weapons.

Keiichi Morisato:

Metalrocks:
sounds good and i sure are interested, but for some odd reason my cinema, who usually plays 2D and 3D version of the same movie,only has it in 3D.
not really fond of 3D and it costs too much. looks like i have to wait till its out on dvd so i can watch it in normal 2D version.

seriously??? this movie one should watch not only in 3D but in Imax 3D. well go wait, I will go see this movie the way it was meant to be seen, Imax 3D.

Except it was post-converted into 3D, so it was originally intended to be viewed in 2D. Imax perhaps, but still 2D.

Mudze:

pearcinator:
The movie was pretty good but I have to say...those 'Australian' characters had the worst 'Australian' accents ever.

The action was intense and epic although I don't think it will do very well unfortunately. Mainly because it is camp and full of cheesy acting/dialogue. It will probably be a box-office flop (especially with a $180 Million budget) and end up a cult classic like Starship Troopers.

Uh, whut? They had great Australian accents. Just because they don't sound like people around cities doesn't mean their accent is wrong.

Uh, no, most of the time (especially the younger one) they were very clearly British accents.

I shot off to see it last night with three friends while catching up on Escapist videos, specifically the one where Bob said he hadn't even seen it but urged us to go

TT___TT the movie... was so ... GOOD <3

Twice now me and a bunch of friends have run off to a phenomenal movie we would have not otherwise seen because Bob says "GOGOGOGO!" (Cloud Atlas was the other).
I am pleased.
Thanks Bob!

Just got back from seeing Pacific Rim. Bob, did we see the same movie?

IT WAS HILARIOUS! I had tears in my eyes from laughing!

Unlike "The Avengers" though, it really didn't seem to realise that it was cracking the funnies. The CGI was fantastic, yes, but the plot seemed like a fever dream after chain-reading tvtropes.com.

To give some examples:

I understand the concept of genre movie. I'm not asking for realistic physics. Unlike the anime it mimics though, it doesn't even pretend there's a "good explanation". No Minovsky particles here. No "AT field". Splashing around in water is obviously more damaging than all the weapons in the world, so we're doing that. We don't even go through the motions of hitting it with a nuke.

It's Power Rangers, with slightly better looking uniforms.

Fangface74:

Daystar Clarion:
Gush more Bob :D

I saw it this morning.

It's alright, not great by any means, and I'm easy to impress.

I don't know, I think I was just expecting it to be more like this in terms of fun.

What is awesome, is that the voice of GLaDOS says 'Rocket Punch engaged'

I repeat

the voice of GLaDOS says 'Rocket Punch engaged'

Now I wait for Platinum games to make a movie...

Hey, it could happen :D

Agreed, there was no polish, no style. Don't get me wrong the fights were epic but apart from 1 cool acrobatic manoeuvre, it was trading body blows all the way through. Dialogue could have been served with crackers (again, not really a problem but did the huge cgi budget mean there was nothing left for a scriptwriter?), basically we need an eastern big budget mech movie...and see it done REALLY right.

I think that's exactly why I didn't like it as much everyone else.

I mean, yeah, I went to see robots punch monsters in the face, that was the soul reason I went.

Apart from the mentioned air scene, there was just no finesse to any of it. The fights were boring, it was just punches and grappling, but with no sense of impact.

I wanted Gurren Lagan, I got Rockem Sockem Robots.

Johnny Novgorod:
Bob likes his nostalgia as usual, and that's nice, but did he miss the part where...

It was more than that:

Grimh:
Oh sure Bob!
I'll just grab my bike and pedal that sucker across the fucking Atlantic.

I'm so goddamn jealous right now.

But hey at least it's supposed to be good so I do have something to look forward to at least

Hm hm... 5 days... FIVE DAYS.
Dammit.
That is five days i have to read about it being too awesome to miss on the internet. CURSE you, global network!!! CURSE YOUUUUU.

Moviebob often mentioned this Movie and always referred to it as an "Original" but but there were giant Robots controlled by Humans that fight each other or Monsters were in Japan since many many Decades time and time again so no Idea how it is supposed to be original.

Can't wait to see this! This along Monsters Uni is in my top 4 to see this month!

Iceklimber:
Moviebob often mentioned this Movie and always referred to it as an "Original" but but there were giant Robots controlled by Humans that fight each other or Monsters were in Japan since many many Decades time and time again so no Idea how it is supposed to be original.

Also agreed; Robot Jox (1989 I think)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Kd642Ix5ks

Yuuki:
I disliked how both the Russian and Chinese teams got precisely ONE battle in which we saw them fight, and in that very battle both were killed. For all their robots/teams were hyped-up to be "legendary" when introduced, what a terribly short performance.

What made even less sense is that the Chinese+Russian teams were killed despite being vastly more in-sync due to so many years' battle experience (Chinese team was composed of triplets for christ's sake)...and then a random combination of the protagonist + some Japanese girl whom he has fuck-all experience drifting with beats BOTH category 4 Kaiju? Kaiju which had no issues destroying both Chinese and Russian teams? Sorry but WHAT? That goes against the whole "better sync'd pilots = better fighters" principle, doesn't it?

I get this is a movie aimed at Americans but...come on, at least TRY to give giant robots from other countries a decent chance and "balance" the robots/teams in terms of power -_-

Yeah that kinda annoyed me as well, more so because (since im aussie) I wish we saw Striker Eureka in more fights, I mean its said that it has over 10 confirmed Kaiju kills and it described as the most advanced Jaeger of all time, but it only gets 2ish fights and then game over

It gets an admittably awesome introduction where its beats the living shit out of kaiju in under 20 seconds of screen time. But then when the stakes are actually high, it roughs up one kaiju but is then shut down just in time for the other (american) jaegar to SAVE THE DAY! -_-

It gets my hopes up in the end where gypsie and striker team up to assault the breach but then dashes them when it gives the Cat 5 kaiju a paper cut and then decides to blow itself up.
Never mind that they were in pretty much 100% battle condition (ok the chest piece was dented)They could have at least waited until they were properly banged up, maybe even until they killed that other Cat 4 kaiju but no. It got to be the 'muricans thats save the earth! -_-

Ix Rebound:

Yuuki:
I disliked how both the Russian and Chinese teams got precisely ONE battle in which we saw them fight, and in that very battle both were killed. For all their robots/teams were hyped-up to be "legendary" when introduced, what a terribly short performance.

What made even less sense is that the Chinese+Russian teams were killed despite being vastly more in-sync due to so many years' battle experience (Chinese team was composed of triplets for christ's sake)...and then a random combination of the protagonist + some Japanese girl whom he has fuck-all experience drifting with beats BOTH category 4 Kaiju? Kaiju which had no issues destroying both Chinese and Russian teams? Sorry but WHAT? That goes against the whole "better sync'd pilots = better fighters" principle, doesn't it?

I get this is a movie aimed at Americans but...come on, at least TRY to give giant robots from other countries a decent chance and "balance" the robots/teams in terms of power -_-

Yeah that kinda annoyed me as well, more so because (since im aussie) I wish we saw Striker Eureka in more fights, I mean its said that it has over 10 confirmed Kaiju kills and it described as the most advanced Jaeger of all time, but it only gets 2ish fights and then game over

It gets an admittably awesome introduction where its beats the living shit out of kaiju in under 20 seconds of screen time. But then when the stakes are actually high, it roughs up one kaiju but is then shut down just in time for the other (american) jaegar to SAVE THE DAY! -_-

It gets my hopes up in the end where gypsie and striker team up to assault the breach but then dashes them when it gives the Cat 5 kaiju a paper cut and then decides to blow itself up.
Never mind that they were in pretty much 100% battle condition (ok the chest piece was dented)They could have at least waited until they were properly banged up, maybe even until they killed that other Cat 4 kaiju but no. It got to be the 'muricans thats save the earth! -_-

Tim Dettrick:

It's Power Rangers, with slightly better looking uniforms.

you say that as if it's a bad thing. the first way i described this movie to people was to tell them it was power rangers vs godzilla.

I did not expect nor do i need much else from this particular film other than said power rangers fighting the aforementioned godzilla(s)

Pacific Rim was great. I wish my nieces and nephews could understand words. They would love this movie if they were just a few years older.

My only criticism is the under-use of the Russian and Chinese teams, yeah. I mean, the film was long enough already, but they could have cut or re-arranged things to allow one or both of them to shine more.

Other than that, though, it was a fun movie with great action, cool monsters, and a refreshing lack of pretense & wangst. I loved it.

So I just found this quote by del Toro about the film:

It is my duty to film the finest fucking monsters ever committed to the screen. And the greatest fucking robots ever committed to screen. That's a pledge

Yeah, I reckon he delivered on that one.

It wasn't bad, it was what it set out to be and that's ok. Was pretty average on the whole though.

Mr Dizazta:

And you are saying that is a bad thing?

No. Just that it's silly for people to keep comparing this movie to Eva when it draws its inspiration from so many sources. Especially considering since the tone and iconography of the Eva anime is miles away from this movie.

Tim Dettrick:
No Minovsky particles here. No "AT field". Splashing around in water is obviously more damaging than all the weapons in the world, so we're doing that. We don't even go through the motions of hitting it with a nuke.

I take it the Minovsky and "AT field" references are to fictional concepts? Assuming that to be true I would infer that these concepts occur as part of the plot in a medium whereby there were hours worth of possible screen time to air them out thoroughly or perhaps could be referenced at length in other associated media like books or on a wiki. While it isn't exactly something they should feel that they can just handwave I don't think that a film aimed at launching a new and potentially high budget franchise should waste any screentime explaining concepts that a majority of its audience are not going to care enough about to understand.

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