Pacific Rim - Awesome Giant Monster Action

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Envisioner
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Pacific Rim - Awesome Giant Monster Action

I don't think I ever noticed the Off-Topic forum before, but it having been called to my attention, I took a look.  It offers the sample question "Seen any good movies lately", and this one came instantly to mind.  Anyone else love this flick?


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
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grim88
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Have not seen it, but thanks for reminding me about it. Adding to queue.

Nielzabub
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I can understand and agree with people who say it is a stupid movie, but it was sooooo much fun. It was everything a summer blockbuster should be.


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To me, the deeply moving story, of humanity's inner strength in the face of disaster, which it should have been is clearly visible below the surface.  I would love to do a dialogue rewrite and shuffle some things around in order to better reconcile the information from the novelization, the prequel comic, and various Behind-the-Scenes sources.  GDT did an amazing job as far as he went, but he made some choices I don't agree with - he trimmed the movie of scenes that were mostly just people talking, because he didn't want to cut any of the FX-laden parts (not because he knew they would sucker in audiences, but because he and the rest of the team had worked really hard making them), and he identified very strongly with the lead character (Raleigh), which I think resulted in him being something of a Marty Stu and the movie not really giving viewers any reason to care about him.  There's a LOT of info about his personality in the B-t-S stuff, almost none of which comes out in the movie.

And the Australian hothead (who pretty much exists to be Raleigh's rival) suffered similarly - the only deleted scene of any consequence which is actually on the DVD (the rest are confined to the Blu-Ray and thus unavailable to me, curse them) is an extended dialogue between him and his father, which explains a lot of why the kid is such a prick - his mother died and his father's efforts to raise him since then have gone very far south (or would that be north, since he's from Down Under?).  As he puts it, "The only reason we ever talk to each other is because we fight well together.  The rest of the time, in fact, we don't even have to speak at all."  (Not an exact quote, but it gives you an idea of the tone.)

One thing that I definitely feel the movie could have used is another female character - I'm not counting Sasha Kaidanovsky, since she's a stoic valkyrie who doesn't bring any sort of feminine energy - who is on friendly terms with Mako, so that there could be at least one scene where the two of them take a minute to talk, and lampshade the fact that the entire base has so much testosterone in the air because it exists solely for the purpose of battle.  I feel this is the best possible explanation for the hostility that we see between Raleigh, Chuck, and in a different way Marshal Pentecost - they're all warriors, they're locked in a box together under incredibly high pressure, they have to keep their nerves on a razor edge at all time in order to be ready to fight the Kaiju at a moment's notice.  They even fight each other when testing for "compatibility"!  It's a really extreme, stressful sort of environment, and I think a little open acknowledgement of that reality would have made it seem to flow more naturally.


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
--David Brin, "Brightness Reef"

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I found the prequel comic to be rather disappointing.  There was a gratuitous amount of male gaze throughout, which is a real frustration considering there was actually a bit of female gaze in the film.


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I don't remember noticing that in the comic, but then I am male so I wouldn't have minded if I had.  Not sure what you mean about female gaze in the movie, unless it's that scene where Mako peeps at Raleigh with his shirt off (and I don't automatically assume she was perving him - I wouldn't rule it out, but since she ended up mind-melding with him, he'd have known about it later, so I figure it's more likely she was just curious about his scars).  The movie is very much a product of GDT's desire for symbolism, and I've read at least one article which discusses his use of "visual language"; that might produce some of the same effects as a nonsexual "female gaze" (that's not meant to imply that all female gazes are nonsexual, though I can't even begin to imagine how a male gaze could be).  But GDT is still a guy, so I'm not really thinking he was trying to do any real kind of a gender issue in the way he shot the film, beyond a little bit of effort to get into the mind of his one and only significant female character (and maybe a little bit with his other female character in the entire film who has like four lines).

It might be less chauvinistic than Hollywood films on average, but I don't think it's likely to be heralded as a feminist triumph either.  Mako is a strong female character, but the film as a whole is still saturated with male energy; everyone's full of bravado and aggression, and dialogue is very to-the-point and not very deep with character development.  Considering that men would have automatically showed up for the giant robots, it would have made sense to try and write it in a way that would appeal to women, but I've seen little evidence that it had any such effect.  And generally speaking, Hollywood doesn't even try to make both men and women show up for the same film; they pretty much take it as read that any genre of films is going to bring in one gender or the other, and that trying to appeal to a second is only likely to alienate the first.  A visionary director like Del Toro is going to push back against that kind of marketing-department assumption, but he still needs the studio to sign his million-dollar checks, so he can't get away with too many liberties against the "conventional wisdom" with which the lowest common denominator's disposable income is courted.

(I have been making an effort to rein in my vitriolic tendencies on these subjects; my apologies if I have still come across as being too bitter about certain aspects of the way the entertainment industry works.)


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
--David Brin, "Brightness Reef"

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The comic had a story of a woman (who had the obligatory "covering her breasts in the shower" scene) caught between a romance between her former professor and her co-pilot, and a story of the Gypsy Danger brothers beating each other up over a girl.  I wasn't impressed with the comics portrayal of female characters and the lack of giant robot fights quite frustrating.

The story with Stacker's former co-pilot was ok, but other than that I found it to not be on-par with the film.


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The Matriarch's Psychic damage is her forcing a gratuitous amount of Snapple facts about birds into a hero's brain.

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The HISHE.com version is also awesome. Search Youtube for it.

(HISHE - How It Should Have Ended)

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boxerboyhomer wrote:

The HISHE.com version is also awesome. Search Youtube for it.(HISHE - How It Should Have Ended)

Agreed! (HISHE has some great stuff, in general. I especially loved their Spider-Man 3 analysis. cool)


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So, the first time I saw this trailer, until I noticed the title, I thought this was a movie version of Neon Genisis Evangelion.  Out of curiosity, how similar is it? (Or is it not at all?)


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TheJayMann wrote:
So, the first time I saw this trailer, until I noticed the title, I thought this was a movie version of Neon Genisis Evangelion.  Out of curiosity, how similar is it? (Or is it not at all?)

I would say the parallel is pretty vague.  Both of them have giant alien monsters, giant (what at first appear to be, and in one case actually are) robotic war machines which require human pilots, and both involve pilots which do a fair bit of angsting.  But otherwise there's a fairly large gulf between the two; GDT intentionally avoided referencing any existing mecha or kaiju property during the design work, wanting the movie to stand on its own, and I think it did a fairly excellent job of that.  Some improvements could have been made, mostly in the vein of the writing, but overall I found it to be a very good movie, with enough depth and intricacy to really reward multiple viewings (ultimately, that is a better test of a film's value than how good it is to see once, IMO).


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
--David Brin, "Brightness Reef"

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I for one, really loved the movie. While the story isn't all that nuanced, I loved that they made it very polished. If you didn't know already, the cockpits for the Jaeger suits are practical sets that use hydrolics to move about. That combined with some other minor pratical effects (like how the skin mites are puppets) makes me really happy. Also the elbow rockets were really cool in a dumb way.

While the movie doesn't pass the Bechdel test, it was very classy when it portrayed Mako. Perhaps they could have done better in passing that test, but the test isn't all that important in the gradn sceme of things. All in all, a good movie. Would see it again!


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Zalrus9 wrote:
I for one, really loved the movie. While the story isn't all that nuanced, I loved that they made it very polished. If you didn't know already, the cockpits for the Jaeger suits are practical sets that use hydrolics to move about. That combined with some other minor pratical effects (like how the skin mites are puppets) makes me really happy.

Yeah, you could really tell that GDT loved what he was doing and always went the extra mile.  Unfortunately, given the film's tepid domestic opener, while it's likely a sequel will get made, it's also probable that it'll have its budget reduced substantially, and may well end up suffering as a result.  Had the thing broken all box-office records, WB would have happily written del Toro a blank check to make the lightning strike again...but as it was, while the film did profit enough that they'll try to cash in on its name recognition, they won't be giving the man an unlimited budget for his next trip into the ultimate nerd playpen.  It's clear from watching him in featurettes that he was just going to town and living out all his boyhood fantasies with multi-million dollar toys; he admits as much, and it's not likely he'll have anywhere near as long a leash the second time.  (I hope that he will use any such restrictions as an excuse to try harder to make it a good story, with a hole-free plot, intelligent dialogue, and characters with more than a sprinkle of real chemistry, rather than just an amazing SFX spectacle with painfully awkward writing.  Mind you, I call it that while still loving it intensely; it didn't need more than the SFX to be worth every penny I spent on it, but it still could have been improved upon greatly, and be less of a hard sell to people who aren't such utter fanboys for the genre.)

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While the movie doesn't pass the Bechdel test, it was very classy when it portrayed Mako.

Fun fact - both the novelization and the storyboards confirm that in earlier drafts of the script, and until fairly late in the revision process, the film ended with Mako and Raleigh kissing.  I, and at least one other person I've discussed the flick with on the Internet, are agreed that this was a bit of a cop-out and that the film is more impressive without a tacked-on romance element...the characters have a bond that doesn't fit into some traditional category, and they didn't need to be shoehorned into being a couple just to fit with the generic Hollywood formula.  But apparently, the film got fairly far along before the Powers that Be realized (or were convinced of) this fact.


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
--David Brin, "Brightness Reef"

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I think there were romantic undertones throughout the whole movie, and I think it pointed very strongly to the two leads being a couple or at least probably going to be one in the near future. I liked the lack of a big dramatic kiss scene at the end. These two characters have been in each other's minds and have seen each other's feelings. There isn't a strong outward need for affection they both already know the other feels.


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Nielzabub wrote:
I think there were romantic undertones throughout the whole movie, and I think it pointed very strongly to the two leads being a couple or at least probably going to be one in the near future.

The undertones you meant were compatibility, but not necessarily romance.  The two have mind-melded in a way that also works with siblings or parent/child...they must know each other incredibly intimately, but there's a good chance that the net result would not lend itself to a sexual attraction, or else that'd be kinda gross.  We do have the Kaidanovskys, who are a married couple, but they're also stoic Russians, so maybe the Drift process is inherently unsexy and only they have the stomach to keep shaging their co-pilots.

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I liked the lack of a big dramatic kiss scene at the end. These two characters have been in each other's minds and have seen each other's feelings. There isn't a strong outward need for affection they both already know the other feels.

Exactly.


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
--David Brin, "Brightness Reef"

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I just got around to watching it, and I loved it. Not much to say about it that you didn't cover, other than the fact that I WANT HANNIBAL'S SHOES.


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Well he only has one at the moment....


"Is there beauty in a forest, if no creature stops and calls it lovely, now and then? Isn't that what 'sapience' is for?"
--David Brin, "Brightness Reef"