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  • Pacific Rim

    Off to see it tonight in 3D, so will report back tomorrow. Anyone else that has seen it, feel free to post your opinions. Please keep it spoiler free for now.

    As for what I'm expecting from the film:

    A good solid popcorn film with stunning visuals.

    The added bonus is that this is a del Toro film, who has proved he can make great films on both a meagre (Chronos, Devil's Backbone) and larger budget (Pan Labyrinth, Hellboy). I'm curious to see how he's faired with a big budget feature, and am looking forward to his homage to 'giant robot' manga and anime.

    I'm especially interested in the 3D on this one as I've yet to be convinced by the format. I know Del Toro supervised the entire conversion very closely and insisted on the highest quality.

    The only good use of 3D I've seen so far was Werner Herzog's documentary 'Cave of Forgotten Dreams', which helped convey the stunning scale and wonder of the Chauvet caves in Southern France. For the rest it's all been pointless eye candy, so I hope Pacific Rim integrates it in a meaningful way.

    Plus the cast is good, so I'm looking forward to that. My expectations aren't too lofty, but I think this holds more appeal for me than Man of Steel. I'd rather see a blockbuster style film by a director that I respect than one I loathe (Snyder).
    Last edited by Ubik; 07-16-2013, 02:47 AM.
    Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

    Kosh: Good!

  • #2
    I am not going to start spoilers until there are more people to discuss those spoilers.

    Well, I was stunned by the 3D toward the beginning. Then I don't know if I just got used to it or what, but it seemed to disappear. The friend I saw it with agreed that it seemed to really work at the beginning of the movie and then seemed to not be as noticeable. Still the visuals are stunning and I am sure the case is that we just got wrapped up and didn't notice it as much.

    I personally am kind of on the fence about the movie. Like I said, visually stunning, but I feel like Del Toro made some poor choices. As I briefly mentioned over in the Dredd thread, Charlie Hunnam did not work for me. I have never seen Sons of Anarchy, but I can't believe he pulls off a American accent. In my opinion, he really doesn't in Pacific Rim. And the sad part is that I don't really understand why he had to do an American accent. Why couldn't he have just been British? So, my noticing his attempt to not sound like he is from the U.K. might have tainted my opinion of his performance.

    Secondly, I was not a fan of how Del Toro did the climax. I know what he was trying to do, but it seemed like a bit of a let down.

    And just as a "What might have been..." moment, my friend and I discussed the overall plot. There is a lot of exposition at the start of the movie and when Pacific Rim ended we both felt that it might have been a more enjoyable experience if some of that exposition had been the movie instead of the plot we saw. I even think that what we saw might have been better as a sequel or a part three in a trilogy. But that is "What might have been..." and Pacific Rim is still a visually stunning popcorn flick. If you take it for what it is and don't have high expectations for the greatest movie ever made then you'll probably enjoy what Del Toro offers here.
    Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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    • #3
      Well... I went to see giant robots smash giant monsters yesterday. I opted to see the film in 3D as I wanted the whole visual spectacle. There are some light spoilers below, but nothing major, I have not spoiled any major plot points.

      As long as you don't expect this to be anything other than a big, fun, action film you won't come away disappointed. ItÆs miles away from del ToroÆs more thoughtful / arthouse films like PanÆs Labyrinth and The DevilÆs Backbone, but you can see his directorial style all over it. The action scenes have a certain fantastical beauty to them, and this isnÆt a film that revels in massive carnage or human loss. The battle scenes felt weighty and powerful, but as del Toro has mentioned in interviews he was careful to avoid what he calls ôcar commercial aesthetics" or "army recruitment video aestheticö. IÆve read that Del Toro wanted to break from the mass death and destruction featured in contemporary blockbuster films, and made a point of showing the streets and buildings being evacuated before Kaiju attacks, ensuring that the destruction depicted is "completely remorseless". So you get all the fun of monsters on the rampage, but without it slipping into dark æmillions deadÆ / æhorrorÆ with every giant echoing footstep.

      Amidst all the action there are some beautiful shots, I especially loved the scenes of Mako MoriÆs flashbacks /drift experience. That strong colour coding of the red shoes against a desolated city in winter was gorgeous. Also, the snow coming down in 3D was very hypnotic. Pacific Rim IS visually sumptuous, and the Kaiju (monsters) are beautifully realised and have an otherworldly organic look to them. The Jaegers (Mechs) are also an absolute spectacle and the scale of these hulking metal giants is very apparent. All in all, itÆs potentially some of the best CGi work IÆve seen in any film full stop. The monsters and the Jaegers looks real and had weight and substance. It made Transformers looks like childÆs play. The 3D was effective, and employed tastefully. It really helped give you a sense of scale. On a more general note I think IÆve come to the conclusion that IÆm a 2D film guy. I just find 3D a bit jarring sometimes. It never quite looks right to me.

      There are many nods to classic Japanese monster movies, like Godzilla and much of the ægiant robotÆ genre. If Pacific Rim performs well, and I believe it opened strong, I could see it paving the way for adaptations of Japanese anime properties into live action films. Neon Genesis Evangelion springs to mind. However, let me say this, visually speaking Pacific Rim sets the bar ludicrously high. Any film is going to need a big budget and a savy FX team to measure up.

      As for the plot and characterisation, itÆs all relatively straight forward. It runs its course like any other blockbuster and doesnÆt really deviate from that template. You have your big threat, a love interest and some underlying themes of hope and solidarity. In tone it reminded me a lot of Independence Day, but with a visual richness that IÆve found lacking in other blockbusters. There are some neat ideas in there, like the two pilot mechanism for the Jaegers and æthe driftÆ. I liked how æthe driftÆ was used to add emotional depth to the characters and extrapolate their past. Charlie Hunnam was a perfectly serviceable lead, and IÆm very glad Tom Cruise wasnÆt cast as originally slated. I had no issues with his American accent, but IÆm British so am likely to be less critical of such things. I always thought he did a good job in Sons of Anarchy, to the point that I wasnÆt aware he was a British actor.

      Ron Pearlman and Charlie Day should have had more screen time together. In fact, the appearance of Pearlman really lifted the whole film for me, as it saw a nice jump back into practical effects territory with the æbusinessÆ he runs in Hong Kong. Del Toro has always done great things with practical effects. If I have one major quibble, it would be that I would have loved to have seen more of the world outside of the battles taking place between the Kaiju and the Jaegers. The brief romp in Hong Kong was very cool.

      All in all, this is a fun film. It wonÆt change your perspective on any major issues (except maybe Kaiju!), or challenge you intellectuallyà but itÆs a fun action romp rooted in pure fantasy.
      Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

      Kosh: Good!

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      • #4
        I expected a fun popcorn flick with some neat ideas tucked away somewhere, instead I got... a vaguely entertaining but rather daft movie. A lot of it felt half-baked, with plots going nowhere and concepts being introduced and then forgotten about.

        Not terrible, but could have been so much more, even purely in terms of an action movie.
        Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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