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Monster Smash
July 8, 2013 9:43 PM   Subscribe

“What I wanted was for kids to see a movie where they don’t need to aspire to be in an army to aspire for an adventure. And I used very deliberate language that is a reference to westerns. I don’t have captains, majors, generals. I have a marshal, rangers . . . it has the language of an adventure movie. I want kids to come out of the movie and say, I want to be a Jaeger pilot! I really think that would be my dream come true.” - Guillermo del Toro on being a monster loving pacifist. Designer Wayne Barlowe talks about Pacific Rim's creatures. But has maneuvering at Legendary doomed the film before it has even opened?
posted by Artw (387 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, I sure hope not. I love del Toro's work, he puts so much of himself into everything he does. Pan's Labyrinth should be required viewing...somewhere at some point. I don't know. I just think everybody should watch it.

I have high hopes for Pacific Rim.
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:50 PM on July 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't go to the movies much, but I am a HUGE Del Toro fan AND a huge Kaiju fan, and I will be all over this like white non rice on a paper plate in a snowstorm.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:51 PM on July 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also it just breaks my dumb heart that he couldn't finish that At The Mountains of Madness adaptation.
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:52 PM on July 8, 2013 [18 favorites]


Some day... some day...
posted by Artw at 9:52 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's got 81 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes right now, including this quote from the Hollywood Reporter: "Guillermo del Toro's paradoxically derivative yet imaginative sci-fi epic is everything that monster movies since the beginning of time might have wished they could be."

If this does well, there's hope for del Toro's Mountains of Madness project. Early projections thought it would underperform, but, god, I hope not. Where are those projections coming from? Are those people seeing the same trailer I am?

Because in the trailer I saw, Stringer Bell ends the apocalypse.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:02 PM on July 8, 2013 [23 favorites]


It took me a while to warm to this and by "took me a while" I mean all the trailers are like "wow this is going to be terrible" initially and then GIANT ROBOTS START PUNCHING GIANT MONSTERS HOLY SHIT I'M SEEING THIS IN 3D HELL YEAH HOLY CRAP THAT ONE JUST HIT A MONSTER WITH A BOAT
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:04 PM on July 8, 2013 [26 favorites]


The Twitchfilm review is amazing, really. I want to see this movie, and I want to see it more now.
posted by mephron at 10:04 PM on July 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Boats are +1 against Lovecraftian Horrors.
posted by Artw at 10:05 PM on July 8, 2013 [27 favorites]


Also I think it's really, really cool that del Toro is even thinking about what kids will get out of this movie. If the reviews are truly accurate I may actually turn into a 10-year-old again after seeing it myself...
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:05 PM on July 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


This will not be a bomb. If I could bet on it, I would.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:06 PM on July 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have not gone to see a movie in a theatre in... well I can't actually remember the last movie I saw in a theatre.

I'm going to go see Pacific Rim, and I will buy popcorn. Everything I find out about this movie makes me want to see it. From Ron Pearlman hawking giant monster bits as boner pills in a glorious suit to the fact that they actually built the giant robot cockpits to the fact that the monsters were all designed so that they have the silhouettes that could be a guy in a rubber suit. (Potential spoilers in the links)

I may be setting myself up for a huge disappointment. But still. How disappointing can giant robots and giant monsters beating the holy hell out of each other really be?
posted by Grimgrin at 10:06 PM on July 8, 2013 [13 favorites]


Because in the trailer I saw, Stringer Bell ends the apocalypse.

That wasn't Stringer Bell; he went to space with Lisbeth Salander and Aeon Flux. That was Luther. Or *google* Vaughan Rice from Ultraviolet, more likely.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:07 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Grimgrin, your boner link is broken! Please fix your Ron Perlman boner link!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:08 PM on July 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


I've been waiting forever to ship Idris Elba/Charlie Hunnam, plus the smoking hot Luu triplets. This movie can bomb like whatever and I won't care.
posted by fatehunter at 10:09 PM on July 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


ROU_Xenophobe: Thanks for catching that.
posted by Grimgrin at 10:11 PM on July 8, 2013


Idris Elba's standard face is the sympathetic squint, as if he knows how much his handsomeness hurts your heart, & he's sorry for it.
posted by fatehunter at 10:16 PM on July 8, 2013 [39 favorites]


Featurettes:
Jaegers: Mech Warriors
Under Attack
Destroy All Kaiju
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:17 PM on July 8, 2013


From that review:
the ocean, wondering how certain devices would withstand the enormous pressures. Nobody in their right mind will take seriously a "science of Pacific Rim" presentation, for unlike other works that drape science or politics as a way of giving the sense of sophistication, del Toro and his team are wise enough to leave the film free from such distractions.
The secret to great sci fi is to make the writing so good that people will spend hours cooking up various reasons why your deux ex machina handwaiving of science is actually plausible.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:18 PM on July 8, 2013 [24 favorites]


I was sold when I saw the first trailer. I just bought four tickets for the midnight showing. I am SO EXCITED about this movie--maybe more than any other movie this year.
posted by sleeping bear at 10:26 PM on July 8, 2013


YEAH HOLY CRAP THAT ONE JUST HIT A MONSTER WITH A BOAT

Yep, that trailer pretty much sealed it for me. My inner thirteen year old was all like 'FUCK YEAH.'
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 10:31 PM on July 8, 2013


Over the weekend, I heard Idris Elba was in Pacific Rim. That made my ears perk up. Now, knowing that a) Wayne Barlowe has done some of the creature design and b) he's referencing his amazing work on Expedition in it, I think I may just have to see this film in the theater.
posted by jiawen at 10:33 PM on July 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Rocket assisted giant robot punch.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:39 PM on July 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


The trailer looks a bit naff but I am a sucker for this sort of thing so I'll probably see it this weekend. Coincidentally I am in the middle of this book which details in painful detail the studio machinations that doomed the very nearly great John Carter film. I always thought that software companies were bad but they have nothing on Hollywood studios when it comes to burying good, already paid for products for inane reasons.
posted by AndrewStephens at 10:52 PM on July 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


Wayne Barlowe? I bought a copy of Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials 30 years ago, I had no idea he was still doing his thing. This may get me to a movie theatre for the first time in 5 years.
posted by N-stoff at 10:54 PM on July 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm not particularly interested in seeing Pacific Rim - the godzilla-ish half of it is intriguing to me, but is offset by my intense dislike of transformers-ish material. That being said, I'm more than willing to go plunk down 12$ or however much movies in theaters cost these days if it contributes to the likelihood of a Mountains of Madness film being made.
posted by mannequito at 11:01 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


"...and then GIANT ROBOTS START PUNCHING GIANT MONSTERS HOLY SHIT I'M SEEING THIS IN 3D HELL YEAH HOLY CRAP THAT ONE JUST HIT A MONSTER WITH A BOAT"

So hopefully this is what Transformers should have been - cool giant robots fighting other giant things in beautifully photographed action.


"The secret to great sci fi is to make the writing so good that people will spend hours cooking up various reasons why your deux ex machina handwaiving of science is actually plausible."

Exactly! It just has to sound reasonable while you're watching the movie.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:06 PM on July 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


very excited to see Wayne Barlowe's work! Expedition is one of my favourite books
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:06 PM on July 8, 2013


Of course I doubt the Jaegers will have a weapon as impressive as the one deployed at the 1:10 mark here.
posted by Artw at 11:09 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Youtube video of Barlowe talking about the importance of keeping creature design and world building scientifically accurate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyewE9y21mw

Glad to hear Pacific Rim is better than I was expecting.

Favorite quote from the vid "I hope Avatar becomes the Wizard of Oz of our time".
posted by meta87 at 11:14 PM on July 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Me: Hey, there's a new Guillermo Del Toro movie coming out this weekend....

Wife: Oh cool!

Me: .... about giant robots fighting giant monsters!

Wife: Oh.

*long pause*

Me: Idris Elba is in it.

Wife: OK, I'm in.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:14 PM on July 8, 2013 [68 favorites]


I have a large signed print of Mr. Barlowe's work. I am not interested in watching hysterical dudebros in robot suits punch Mr. Barlowe's monsters for two hours.
posted by Nomyte at 11:16 PM on July 8, 2013


So I had no idea what this movie was and watched the trailer.

Apparently it's Gundam: Terror From The Deep (ID4). I'm sure 12-year-old boys will like it.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:24 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I may be setting myself up for a huge disappointment. But still. How disappointing can giant robots and giant monsters beating the holy hell out of each other really be?

The addition of four mere words would change your mind:

A Michael Bay Film

/shudder
posted by ShutterBun at 11:27 PM on July 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


I would've played that card, BitterOldPunk. Unfortunately, after I dragged my wife to 300 on the thin premise of beefcake in leather underpants, my action-movie date privileges have been revoked.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:28 PM on July 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


I don’t have captains, majors, generals. I have a marshal...

Marshal is a military rank. Erwin Rommel was a Marshall.

rangers...

Rangers. Nevertheless, I appreciate the sentiment. We've gotten too used to seeing superheroes become military stooges, as though we can't even imagine someone escaping the eyes of the spymasters and going off on adventures.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:29 PM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


YEAH HOLY CRAP THAT ONE JUST HIT A MONSTER WITH A BOAT

I dunno, that didn't work too well on Cthulhu.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:33 PM on July 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Mefi-favorite GLaDOS makes an appearance in the movie (sort of)
posted by ShutterBun at 11:41 PM on July 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thanks, justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow, for calling attention to that. I mean, otherwise, it would be del Toro's movie about a scrappy little hole-in-the-wall 503c that holds off the end of the world, right? Because anything military is bad.
posted by vitia at 11:52 PM on July 8, 2013


NO. NOT USING THE GLADOS FILTER IS UNACCEPTABLE. YES I AM SHOUTING.
posted by Justinian at 12:04 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Rocket assisted giant robot punch.

I think you undersold it a bit. It's not something I'd noticed when I first watched the trailer, but as one of the Jaegers reaches back to punch a Kaiju in the face, a giant jet engine in it's elbow fires up, and propels the giant robot fist forward and everything in the world is right again.

People can (and do) freely shit all over the second and third Matrix films. However, they had (up until District 9) the best, most perfect realization of power armor, of guys in robot suits with guns. District 9 made that even better. Now, one of the most incredibly imaginative directors alive is giving us a live action film with giant robots fighting giant monsters.

This movie is going to be the most perfect movie. I've been waiting all my life for something like this.

To whoever is out there, trying to sabotage this film, I can't help but wonder, why wouldn't they want people to be happy? Because happiness? That, sir, is what a rocket assisted giant robot punch is. Pure happiness.

Now I just have to calmly wait until the middle of August for the movie to come out in Japan. And travel an hour and a half to see it in IMAX 3D.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:05 AM on July 9, 2013 [15 favorites]


The Matrix Reloaded had that bit about how legends of vampires and werewolves were because of rogue programs in the Matrix, and then when we saw them they were just dudes instead of dudes who were vampires and werewolves.

...dicks.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:15 AM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


Now I just have to calmly wait until the middle of August for the movie to come out in Japan.

That seems just a tiny bit ungrateful of them.
posted by Artw at 12:15 AM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


The tweets of Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear Solid fame) have been pretty positive.
posted by longbaugh at 12:23 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Interesting implication in the "doomed" link that "Hollywood power brokers" might be seeding negative stories about Pacific Rim as a kind of revenge and/or attack against Legendary founder Thomas Tull, who's currently shopping the company around for a better production/distribution/financing deal than what he had with Warner Bros. Some folks are apparently annoyed at the way it's dragging on, and trying to torpedo the film with bad press seems a plausible Hollywood asshole move.
posted by mediareport at 12:29 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


as one of the Jaegers reaches back to punch a Kaiju in the face, a giant jet engine in it's elbow fires up, and propels the giant robot fist forward and everything in the world is right again.
Posted by Ghidora


Epon-ironic.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:36 AM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also, I'm with Ironmouth; the reviews are good, word of mouth will probably be that it's a lot of fun, it's the kind of movie that sells well internationally...it'll almost certainly be a huge success. Could use some close-ups of shirtless Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba in the ads, though.

FWIW, last week I stumbled on a copy of the short prequel graphic novel, written by the same guy who wrote the film, and was surprised to find myself actually interested in the hints about the human side of the story. Not as interested as I am in the massive interdimensional monsters getting punched with trains and boats and all that, but the graphic novel created an interesting apocalyptic world


(minor SPOILER if you haven't been paying attention:


the monsters appear over the course of several years so humanity lives with their rampages for a while),



which seemed a good sign that the movie's story won't be insultingly stupid. I was happy to see Bleeding Cool verify that yesterday:

...people who like the Transformers films are going to love this movie. People who like Japanese comics about giant robots are going to love this movie too. People who have always wanted to see Godzilla done right are going to love this movie. People who played Portal are going to love this movie. And people who were just hoping for a really really well-converted 3D action epic are going to love this movie.

Me, I thought it was OK.

Ah, I’m kidding. Pacific Rim is one underdeveloped subplot away from Summer blockbuster perfection. It’s a big dumb movie that’s fun to watch – but it manages to be epic and daft without insulting the viewer’s intelligence.

posted by mediareport at 12:37 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I really don't care what the reviews say - since November my 9 year old and I have been 'wow, how long until it's out?' about this movie. The fact it is (hopefully) in our local cinema on his birthday just means it is meant to be. We will be watching it in 'normal' 3D to make sure we get it for the birthday treat and then will be hoping it is available in IMAX before we leave the UK in August. And we will then probably get the super-special-whatever version of the DVD.

And I am preparing for the effect this is going to have on our household - based on the trailers and imagination alone my son is writing stories based on the movie, and illustrating them with pictures of giant robots and kaiju. And he hasn't even seen the freaking movie yet. FSM help us for after he has watched it.
posted by Megami at 12:45 AM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


One bit I loved hearing from Del Toro is that the dai kaiju were specifically designed with the "human in a rubber suit" aesthetic in place. I wish we could see more shots of them on a sunny day (as opposed to mostly rainy/wet nights) but hopefully they'll be more Godzilla, less Cloverfield.
posted by ShutterBun at 12:46 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


(and speaking of daikaiju from Legenday studios, I just noticed this!)
posted by ShutterBun at 12:51 AM on July 9, 2013


It took me a while to warm to this and by "took me a while" I mean all the trailers are like "wow this is going to be terrible" initially and then GIANT ROBOTS START PUNCHING GIANT MONSTERS HOLY SHIT I'M SEEING THIS IN 3D HELL YEAH HOLY CRAP THAT ONE JUST HIT A MONSTER WITH A BOAT
I think part of it may be that we've seen giant robots: Transformers and giant interdimensional monsters in Battleship - the general themes aren't that different and I didn't have any interest in seeing those.

This movie looks interesting, but it's easy to see how you could have Micheal Bay direct the movie, have the same thing with a robot hitting a monster with a boat and have it look like ridiculous crap.

Without knowing who was behind this movie, if you just saw the trailer would you just assume it was going to be good?

I find it kind of hard to buy it would be a flop, but I guess we'll see.
posted by delmoi at 12:55 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


ShutterBun, evidently Cloverfield is something they've actively tried to shy away from.

That, and given the talk about 'we want it to look like it could be a man in a rubber suit,' how long before we see some fantastic cosplay out of this? I mean, there's the guy who built his own Iron Man suit, and the perfectly healthy, not at all odd folks who built a WH40k Terminator suit. I can't wait to see this stuff.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:57 AM on July 9, 2013


Like longbaugh I came in here to point out that Hideo "I consider myself 70% film" Kojima said:
"I have never imagined that I would be fortunate enough to see a film like this in my life. The emotional rush I had inside me was the same kind I had when I felt the outer space via "2001: A Space Odyssey" and when I had touched the dinosaur in "Jurassic Park". Animation and special effects movies and shows that I loved in my childhood days - they all truly exist in the screen. Director Guillermo del Toro offers this spectacular vision of massive kaijus and robots in PACIFIC RIM.

This film is not simply a film to be respected, but most importantly, it let us dream the future of entertainment movies. Pacific Rim is the ultimate otaku film that all of us had always been waiting for. Who are you, if you are Japanese and won't watch this?"
posted by danny the boy at 1:19 AM on July 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


I DON'T HAVE MUCH TO ADD. I JUST WANTED TO YELL ABOUT HOW FUCKING EXCITED I AM FOR THIS MOVIE.
posted by sparkletone at 1:21 AM on July 9, 2013 [21 favorites]


I already love this movie. Haters gonna hate.
posted by zardoz at 1:36 AM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Holy shit, these internal robot sets are no fucking joke
posted by delmoi at 1:49 AM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, Marshal is to marshal as Rangers are to Rangers.
posted by longbaugh at 2:11 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Most importantly than Kojima, Kanye West "says easily one of my favourite movies of all time" so be prepared for him to rush the stage during the Oscars to point this out to the embarrassment of everyone.
posted by longbaugh at 2:24 AM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


OF ALL TIME!
posted by LogicalDash at 2:40 AM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


Old Hollywood using planted variety articles versus Hideo fucking Kojima raising an army of otaku to venture forth and see this film. Yeah. Good luck with that.

All I know is my SO has been waiting since the first teaser trailer for this and with Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnahnhnan fighting monsters in a giant robot suit I think her squeals of delight may be of such force they will actually conjure forth horrors from another dimension.
posted by fullerine at 3:01 AM on July 9, 2013


I don't want to spoil the ending for everyone, but I heard it involves a lot of Jaeger bombs.
posted by orme at 3:52 AM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


So, is this the first action movie about drone pilots?
posted by Grangousier at 4:01 AM on July 9, 2013


Here's another featurette I haven't seen linked here yet, on the neural link between the two pilots.
posted by delmoi at 4:09 AM on July 9, 2013



So, is this the first action movie about drone pilots?
They're actually in the things, dude. No different the people driving a tank or flying a plane, of which I'm sure many films have been made.
posted by delmoi at 4:12 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


close-ups of shirtless Charlie Hunnam

It's a shame how Sons of Anarchy has gone downhill, isn't it?
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:14 AM on July 9, 2013


So, is this the first action movie about drone pilots?

They're actually in the things, dude. No different the people driving a tank or flying a plane, of which I'm sure many films have been made.


ROBOT JOX was my previous favourite. Saw that on VHS when it came out. I seem to recall there being a very similar movie immediately afterwards but cannot for the life of me remember what it was called. 1989 was a great era in cheap post-apocalyptic movie making, Salute of the Jugger came out round about then as well.
posted by longbaugh at 4:18 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've seen Robot Jox. It is glorious and terrible in many ways. Also it ends with the greatest cinematic fistbump that ever was or will be...
posted by sparkletone at 4:22 AM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


how long before we see some fantastic cosplay out of this?


Dragon*Con at the end of August, for sure. Maybe sooner.
posted by radwolf76 at 4:30 AM on July 9, 2013


Oh thank fuck, the Cineworld finally has showtimes for Friday.

I don't even have words for how excited I am about this movie, and have been since the first trailer.

Idris Elba is giving the motivational speech! He's playing a character named Stacker Pentecost! Stacker Pentecost could have been played by Tom Cruise! But's he's Idris Elba instead! And he's GIVING THE SPEECH. The speech that has always been given by old white American guys being old white American guys. But we have Idris Elba! Giving the speech!

It still makes me grin.

And this is the first movie I'm seeing in the IMAX 3D theatre at my local. Normally, I don't bother with either, because what. No. Give me a regular movie. But something like this? Yeah. It demands it.
posted by Katemonkey at 4:34 AM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Now, knowing that a) Wayne Barlowe has done some of the creature design and b) he's referencing his amazing work on Expedition in it, I think I may just have to see this film in the theater.

I was already on the HOLY SHIT HE HIT THE MONSTER WITH A BOAT A FUCKING BOAT bandwagon on top of my Guillermo del Toro love, but there's been something in the back of my head about how some of the monsters looked familiar. And holy shit, it's Wayne Fucking Barlowe and the Expedition creatures! As a long-time fan of his (I have Expedition as well as both his Creatures guides, for starters), this is the cthonian cherry on top of the technological terror and eldritch horror sundae.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:34 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure the sequel (or lame ripoff) of Robot Jox was called Robot Wars. I have vague memories of a double feature at a science fiction convention and most of the cast seemed the same.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:40 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it okay to be excited?
I want to be excited about a movie.
It's been a long time since I was excited about a movie.
Is this the right movie for that kind of excitement?

I want a story that is epic and mythic, a script that is engaging and fun and also not full of cliches, I want gorgeous actors playing characters of all genders doing kick-ass stuff without stupid romance wedged in where it doesn't belong, technology that isn't used as a crutch for bad plotting, a great soundtrack, a director that knows what to show and what to suggest, an editor who knows how much to cut so I don't get bored.... and I want lots and lots and lots of explosions.

So, is this the line where I can queue up for being excited about this movie?
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:42 AM on July 9, 2013


I think that the "doomed" link is just Heidi MacDonald taking her inside baseball way too seriously. Remember all the negative buzz around Tim Burton's first Batman movie? Casting Michael "Beetlejuice" Keaton as Bruce Wayne? What were those guys thinking? Hey, how did that turn out?
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:44 AM on July 9, 2013


So, is this the first action movie about drone pilots?

They're actually in the things, dude.


I guess, but that's to add a level of dramatic tension. I didn't (and don't) mean to be snarky, it's just that there's something of game-playing in the way they're controlling the things (there has to be a Kinect game of this, preferably a two-person one), and that microcosm/macrocosm relationship between the game-like piloting environment and the actual weapon of war is something I associate with drones. Normally pilots essentially disappear on film - become disembodied voices, or heads (which is what you see of pilots in most war films or, for example, Star Wars) or faces (Iron Man). So the pilot essentially becomes their craft.* The separation of pilot from craft must signify something, and I was wondering whether it was somehow related to the gamification of warfare.

HE HIT THE MONSTER WITH A BOAT A FUCKING BOAT

They hit the monster with a boat a fucking boat and one of them's a she.

(That was a bit snarky, I guess.)

I'm looking forward to a del Toro action movie as much as anyone.

*See Kim Newman's Bloody Red Baron for a lovely variation on this.
posted by Grangousier at 4:57 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm excited about this but I am sort of worried that it seems like it's so geared toward geeks like us that the bulk of the public won't connect with it. Plus the title is much too obscure.
posted by octothorpe at 4:58 AM on July 9, 2013


24 days left?!

24 days left!

24 days left

24 days left...

24 days left...?

24 days left!

OH GOD ITS ONLY BEEN LIKE 2 MINUTES
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:01 AM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


Salute of the Jugger

I watched this several years ago, crowded into a motel room with several camping friends after hungry bears cut short our summer evening. It was on TV after John Carpenter's The Thing and none of us had even heard of it. Rutger Hauer! Delroy Lindo! Joan Chen! Vincent D'Onofrio! In a post-apocalyptic sports movie!

It was almost enough to make me forget how big that bear's head was when I first saw it over my shoulder, five feet away.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 5:13 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nobody in their right mind will take seriously a "science of Pacific Rim" presentation,...

... except that I strongly suspect I know the person who will be writing or has already written the book.
posted by lodurr at 5:21 AM on July 9, 2013


I find it kind of hard to buy it would be a flop, but I guess we'll see.

Flop is relative. THe hollywood machine seems largely to function on very short return cycles: if it doesn't earn out the second weekend, they'll define it as a "flop"; after it rakes in ridiculous profits over following weeks, internationally, in licensing and disc sales, and from merch, they will have no recollection of that assessment even if you show it to them in print, signed with blood.

Meanwhile a few medium-sighted angels will be making shit tons of $$ and get called visionary for being able to have a moderately good memory.

(For the record, I'm not the slightest bit worried about Del Toro. As long as he stays sane and healthy, he'll have a ride to make cool movies.)
posted by lodurr at 5:28 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Google now appears to be in the business of predicting box office performance and it looks promising.

I want to believe. If a giant robot punching a monster in the face is wrong, I don't want to be right.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 5:53 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Basically - if you're watching a Rutger Hauer movie made between 1985 and 1992 you have a 90%+ chance of cinematic gold.

Ladyhawke, Flesh & Blood, The Hitcher, Wanted : Dead or Alive, Blind Fury, Salute of the Jugger, Split Second, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Certainly to this punter's mind one of the greatest runs of awesome films of all time.
posted by longbaugh at 6:09 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


longbaugh, you've got to extend that back to '82 to pick up Blade Runner.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:24 AM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


This will not be a bomb. If I could bet on it, I would.

You can! Well, with fake money.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:36 AM on July 9, 2013


There is a bit of a crap period from after Blade Runner through to '85 though. I suppose you could watch reruns of Floris to tide you over between those lean, lean years.

Incidentally - the person who wrote the following on Wikipedia about Split Second is asking for a biff on the nose...

Reception
The movie garnered a lot of criticism.

Name any other Sci-Fi/black magic/post-deluge/Action/Thriller movie featuring Rutger Hauer and Kim Cattrall where the phrase "We need bigger fucking guns" is uttered.

Yeah, you can't. Screw you anonymous Wikipedia editor.
posted by longbaugh at 6:37 AM on July 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Flesh + Blood is AMAZING.
posted by Artw at 6:44 AM on July 9, 2013


I was boring my carpool about the film this morning down to the rocket punch.

As I won't retread similar excited statements of the film, I will say this is probably one of the first movies that I'm eager to see in 3D. The scale and depth of the film, hopefully, will work brilliantly with the technology.
posted by Atreides at 6:45 AM on July 9, 2013


I wonder if I watch Gunhed again will it be cool like the first time I saw it or suck like the second?
posted by Artw at 6:50 AM on July 9, 2013


I can't click on any of those links lest I fall back into a fugue state of bliss and excitement.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:54 AM on July 9, 2013


I am so psyched for this movie. The first trailer where I heard Ellen McLain's voice as the Jaeger computer sealed the deal.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:54 AM on July 9, 2013


So... Anyone psyched for Grown Ups 2?

(I have to admit the first time I ever heard of Grown Ups 1 was when the tracking story went around)
posted by Artw at 6:57 AM on July 9, 2013


Wait, Charlie Day's in the movie?

...suddenly I'm hoping for giant robot vs Green Man.

or Night Man!
posted by dubold at 7:13 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, I just saw this last night at a preview showing. My mini-review:

This is a very simple movie. It's very straightforward. The characters are drawn with broad brushstrokes; the good guys are good guys and the bad guys are GIANT EVIL MONSTERS. The narrative is uncomplicated by ethical complications or uncertainty; the heroes who want to save the world never falter in their dedication to saving the world. There's basically no depth, ironic for a movie that has a lot of underwater action.

But this is not a problem. At all. The simplicity isn't a failing; it's an intentional choice to focus and channel the movie so that the viewer can focus on the awesome. There are giant robots; they punch giant monsters. Everybody has a totally ridiculous name - Yancy Beckett is one of the more boring ones. Ron Perelman shows up and accidentally eats an entire kaiju because he's chewing the scenery so hard. The monsters are GIANT and AWESOME and the robots are GIANT and EVEN MORE AWESOME. They have ROCKET PUNCHES and they HIT THINGS WITH HUGE SHIPS and there's totally this part where the GIANT ROBOT BODY SLAMS THE GIANT MONSTER OH MY GOD THAT WAS SO COOL!

Basically, in an age when I'm almost physically incapable of enjoying action movies without some kind of philosophical weirdness (Inception, Looper) or serious moral ambiguity (X-Men: First Class), this is an incredibly straightforward basic good-versus-evil giant-robots story that I loved to DEATH. I am twelve years old again and DID I MENTION THE GIANT ROBOT ROCKET PUNCHES THE GIANT MONSTER!?!?!?!?
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:18 AM on July 9, 2013 [32 favorites]


Hitflix has a great review, explaining why Pacific Rim is not just another action movie--e.g., it takes its world seriously:

Any corner of the world that you see in this film is devoted to showing what life is like in the tail end of this war. The world is not the same. It's not just business as usual. Society has filled in around the kaiju. There's a quick glimpse in the film of a building built around a kaiju skull, stairs leading up and into the creature's mouth, and we learn it's a temple, that there are cults that believe the Kaiju to be God's wrath, a Biblical sign, and while we never go back to it, it shows how the world is reacting, and that sells it for me in a way that some films can't imagine in their entire running time.

I'm excited; Del Toro has always been an excellent world-builder, and it sounds like he had free reign to make the movie he wanted. Pacific Rim will clean up, at least internationally; without Del Toro's involvement, I would have thought this was Hollywood just openly pandering to the Asian market. But it looks like it's a good film in its own right.
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:19 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, Charlie Day's in the movie?

...suddenly I'm hoping for giant robot vs Green Man.


I was saying on Twitter that it'll turn out the entire Jaeger program is just Dee and Mac sitting on each other's shoulders in a cardboard robot suit.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:39 AM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


I am almost willing to see this out of spite. I hate the notion that we're going to see the same "proven" type of movies in theaters forever and ever because tracking and marketability is some sort of science. We're in a golden age of choice and quality with TV, music, animation, comics, etc. But movies (and, for some reason, video games) are so high-stakes that we only get sequels and remakes of properties that are established money-makers. Conveniently, most of these properties are led by straight, white males, and the values they represent are often stuck in whatever time that property originally became profitable (e.g., James Bond still not needing consent, even from victims of sex trafficking), so they further feed into the narrative that those are the only kinds of movies we'll see.

And of course, if this film is successful, it will be "unexpected" and zero people in the industry will read it as the public wanting movies that are trying something new and different. It will be franchised as quickly as possible, with sequels turned out long after the concept is stale. All of the wrong lessons will be highlighted.
posted by almostmanda at 7:50 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Grangousier: Normally pilots essentially disappear on film - become disembodied voices, or heads (which is what you see of pilots in most war films or, for example, Star Wars) or faces (Iron Man). So the pilot essentially becomes their craft.* The separation of pilot from craft must signify something, and I was wondering whether it was somehow related to the gamification of warfare.

I can answer that! In the 'robot set featurette' (see youtube) Del Toro explains that he didn't want the pilots cocooned inside the machines too tightly because that seems too safe. He wanted the two pilots in a big open room - he compares this to being in a WWII tank - because it makes the pilots seem more exposed - you can have the walls creak and crack and the windshield crack and so on.
posted by memebake at 7:50 AM on July 9, 2013


It's better than Episode I, that's for sure. Even the giant robots are more believable than most of George Lucas's work.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:52 AM on July 9, 2013


I am ridiculously excited about this movie, and Tomorrowful's review had me giggling and bouncing like my 7-year-old. Off to check for showtimes...
posted by mogget at 7:52 AM on July 9, 2013


Metafilter: Rocket-punching the plastic.com it's ok to like.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:57 AM on July 9, 2013


Thank you! That's a good reason! Serves me right for trying to be cleverer than necessary.
posted by Grangousier at 7:57 AM on July 9, 2013


As I won't retread similar excited statements of the film, I will say this is probably one of the first movies that I'm eager to see in 3D.

In all seriousness, Atreides, if you haven't seen Avatar (the Cameron one) in 3d and get a chance to, it's well worth it. It is not a great movie, but the 3d work is absolutely astounding and kicks the immersion up to notches hitherto unknown.

I already love this movie. Haters gonna hate.
posted by zardoz


Now I'm picturing the stone Zardoz head locking itself to the top of a giant stone golem-ey sort of robot thing, whereupon it commences stomping on Brutals. THE PENIS IS EVIL!, it will shout, THE PENIS SHOOTS SEED AND MAKES A PLAGUE OF MEN TO TORMENT THE EARTH! MY GIANT STONE ROBOT FOOT UP YOUR ASS IS GOOD! IT SQUISHES YOU!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:01 AM on July 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


My coworker was trying to convey his excitement about this film a few days ago.

"So, have you heard about Pacific Rim? Yeah, it's the new Guillermo del Toro movie, and it's got GIANT ROBOTS FIGHTING MONSTERS and (his kid) said he didn't know if he wanted to see it and I was like OH NO KID YOU ARE GOING TO SEE THIS MOVIE WITH ME GIANT ROBOTS! AND MONSTERS!"

And I was intrigued. But this-
One bit I loved hearing from Del Toro is that the dai kaiju were specifically designed with the "human in a rubber suit" aesthetic in place

has me downright THRILLED. That is the sound of a thing done right, in accordance with the natural laws of the Universe. This man clearly understands movies in a deep and powerful way.


plus Idris Elba. Le swoon.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:09 AM on July 9, 2013


What sealed the deal for me? One word: Boatslap.

Giant Robot pimpslaps Giant Monster with Boat.

BOATSLAP!
posted by djrock3k at 8:12 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I do not care what this movie is about. After this statement:

“I was very careful how I built the movie. One of the other things I decided was that I wanted a female lead (Babel’s Rinko Kikuchi) who has the equal force as the male leads. She’s not going to be a sex kitten, she’s not going to come out in cutoff shorts and a tank top, and it’s going to be a real earnestly drawn character.”

I will give my money to any movie whose director says that and then backs it up. The fact that this movie is full of Idris Elba, giant seamonsters and FIGHTING ROBOTS is icing on the cake of AWESOME.

AWESOME CAKE
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:15 AM on July 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


I was very careful how I built the movie. One of the other things I decided was that I wanted a female lead (Babel’s Rinko Kikuchi) who has the equal force as the male leads. She’s not going to be a sex kitten, she’s not going to come out in cutoff shorts and a tank top, and it’s going to be a real earnestly drawn character.”

The one thing I will say about this is that on one hand, she's really well-done and is not a scantily-clad sex kitten, and she's treated absolutely as an equal to the other characters. And yet she's practically the only woman in the entire movie. There's one Russian pilot who has nearly zero lines; other than that, this sprawling cast - and it really is as close to an ensemble as any big action movie ever gets - has essentially one actual female character with lines. Scientists and gangsters and warriors and leaders and only one has a freaking XX chromosome test. It fails the Bechdel Test so hard you'd think a giant robot had stepped on it.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:28 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

goddammmmmmn it

Someday. Someday there will be an action movie with 50% awesome women. I'll still go see this one, 'cause it's a step in the right direction, but come on people. How freakin' hard is it to not totally ignore half the population? For the love of Christ.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:35 AM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


It fails the Bechdel Test so hard you'd think a giant robot had stepped on it.

I think the only big summer movie this year that passes the Bechdel test is The Heat. So yeah, my feminist hackles are just the teensiest bit up over the general lack of meaty roles for women this summer, but I do have to say that I'm really damn glad they didn't go the "Megan Fox in Transformers" route with the female lead in this movie.
posted by palomar at 8:36 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


And yet she's practically the only woman in the entire movie.

Wow, that's disappointing. Last week Buzzfeed explored the difference in how studios and audiences deal with male- vs. female-dominated movies: Why The Success Of “The Heat” Doesn’t Mean Anything To Hollywood. Director Paul Feig has lots of good quotes but at the end he offers this:

"I’d like to get away from ‘men’ movies [and] ‘women’ movies, and just be like, a movie’s a movie," says Feig. "If it happens to star all women, guys shouldn’t be going ‘Ugh, I can’t go see that.’ That to me is the long-term goal. But clearly it’s an uphill slog. More people need to do it..."
posted by mediareport at 8:50 AM on July 9, 2013


Someday. Someday there will be an action movie with 50% awesome women.

I note that Aliens (1986) passed the Bechdel Test, but I'm not sure if it passes the test of a 50% female cast. Possibly does if you include the Queen Xenomorph.
posted by memebake at 8:55 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Come to think of it, by the end of Aliens, you've got Ripley, the Queen and Newt vs unconscious soldier guy and half a male android. That gives a female:male ratio of 3:1.5
posted by memebake at 8:59 AM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's what always seems so weird to me about the lack of gender balance, especially in scifi movies. It seems pretty easy to accomplish with supporting characters, so why don't more directors/studios do it?
posted by mediareport at 9:01 AM on July 9, 2013


Because, whether true or not, they believe that selling movies (except for romcoms and musicals) means you have to appeal to 18-35yo men who (again, whether true or not) want to watch the adventures of other 18-35yo men without all the fuss of having to deal with women for more than a couple of minutes at a time.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:09 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Someday there will be an action movie with 50% awesome women.

The first Alien vs Predator movie (which I will defend as a b-movie that's better-looking than it has any right to be)? Our Hero is a black woman and nobody mentions either trait, some significant portion of the Spam That Talks are women who are treated the same as the others, Our Hero never requires saving by any man whatsoever, and while there are nods towards a romantic entanglement they end with the potential beau becoming the Man In The Refrigerator.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:15 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Janes Cameron on 3D movies and Hollywood.
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Verge is getting the wrong end of the stick there. Camerons point is that Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 _werent_ filmed in 3D - the 3D was stuck on afterwards in post-production.

Pacific Rim is in-between - the decision to go 3D happened late in the process, so some of the real-life shots have 3D added post production. However Del Toro managed to get the studio to agree to re-render all the pure CGI shots as native 3D. This involved getting a whole extra wad of budget signed off.
posted by memebake at 10:20 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Director Guillermo del Toro has spoken with open passion about this ludicrous, ludicrous film. His single-mindedness triumphed in the finished product.
posted by Grangousier at 10:21 AM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Twitchfilm review is amazing, really.

I found it depressing. He says "free reign" instead of "free rein", so I googled it and found it's one of those "so many people get it wrong that it's scarcely considered incorrect anymore" things. So you can see why we need giant monsters to come and destroy this world.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:31 AM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Huh. I never knew.
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on July 9, 2013


If this falls somewhere between Cloverfield and Big Man Japan, I'll be happy regardless of the type of brownie I eat before I watch it.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 10:35 AM on July 9, 2013


Unfortunately, after I dragged my wife to 300 on the thin premise of beefcake in leather underpants, my action-movie date privileges have been revoked.

Really? It totally worked when I did it. Different wife though.

I’m torn; I’m a big fan of del Toro but the commercials look so God-awful I don’t know what to think.
posted by bongo_x at 10:52 AM on July 9, 2013


I'm genuinely curious to know what is motivating the ecstatic responses to the mere idea of this film. I see people who are super enthused about giant robot action, but that also describes the Transformers films, which are being disdained in the same breath. Is it the Guillermo del Toro name on the label? The cast? I saw the trailer and it seemed fine, but it didn't seem that different from the trailers for Battleship or the Transformer films in terms of visual spectacle and tough action-movie dialogue, etc.

I love SF films and action-adventure blockbusters, and was a huge Godzilla (& Co.) fan as a kid, but I fell asleep midway through the first Transformers movie because I just can't feel anything but tired from seeing computer-generated objects crashing into each other. I'd like to see Pacific Rim because I'll see anything del Toro makes, but I'm not feeling the excitement really. What am I missing here? What makes Pacific Rim different from other recent films involving hyperkinetic fights between giant things, that makes people excited about it while at the same time being "meh" about Transformers?
posted by Mo' Money Moe Bandy at 10:57 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Because people that dig robots might prefer something that has a reasonable chance of not being a steaming pile of shit?
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Benicio del Toro != Michael Bay
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:02 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sticking with the example of Transformers, it's an easy contrast: del Toro vs Bay, original property vs cash-in on existing IP, Idris Elba vs Shia the Beef. One side of that is unknown but intriguing with a chance of being great, one is a known cheesy mess.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:03 AM on July 9, 2013


What makes Pacific Rim different from other recent films involving hyperkinetic fights between giant things, that makes people excited about it while at the same time being "meh" about Transformers?

1) World-building. Del Toro takes his giant-robots-fighting-giant-monsters world seriously and there's ten thousand little details that sell the world, instead of the generic "they're hidden except everyone knows except ah who cares product placement" Transformers setup.

2) It's not hyperkinetic. Transformers fights look like trash compactors mating at 10,000 RPM. Pacific Rim's fights are big, but they're not frantic - The SFX are done right and make the weight and scale of the fights feel legitimate.

3) The cast is, in fact, really good. Everybody can actually act. Also, there are no infuriating racist robot stereotypes.

4) At the end of the day, yeah, it is Del Toro's name that sold me on this before I saw it. Transformers sucked -but then again Michael Bay movies suck.

Basically, it's like saying "I had a Big Mac and I thought it tasted awful. Why is everyone so excited about this awesome restaurant that everyone loves doing hamburgers? Why won't these hamburgers suck like Big Macs?"
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:04 AM on July 9, 2013 [14 favorites]


The trailers for Pacific Rim actually look like something to me - I'm unable to visually decode anything in Transformers into anything other than shards of metal flying around in swarms bumping up against each other occasionally.
posted by Artw at 11:05 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm genuinely curious to know what is motivating the ecstatic responses to the mere idea of this film.

Live action Neon Genesis Evangelion except less likely to have a plot ending that veers sharply into whackadoo territory (in fairness, everything is less likely than Evangelion to go off the rails).

del Toro. Idris Elba. Ellen McLain (even if they only use the GLaDOS voice filter in the trailer and change it up for the actual movie).
posted by radwolf76 at 11:06 AM on July 9, 2013


I realize that suspension of disbelief is a complicated thing, but do they manage to plausibly explain why building huge, elaborate rock-em sock-em's and going to Fist City makes more military sense than, say, missiles?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:08 AM on July 9, 2013


Regarding James Camaron comments ....

An additional point that he seems to be making that the whether to 3D or not should be a creative decision. The studios are making the decision which is not good for 3D.

A derived point seems to be that director has to know how to use 3D effectively .. and from his perspective for Man of Steel and Iron Man 3, it would have been better if they had been left as 2D because the directors were actually thinking in terms of 2D and filming it accordingly.

The studio's decision to overlay 3D didnt improve the special effects.

Now I think I will see Pacific Rim to find out if Del Toro is thinking in terms of 3D or if 3D is a patina on what is essentially a 2D film.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 11:08 AM on July 9, 2013


Suspension of disbelief isn't complicated at all. Either you buy into it and enjoy the movie or you don't and can't accept the premise, and movie, or some part thereof. Most movies don't make any sense at all when you can come up with another easy explanation. Sci-fi flicks especially.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:13 AM on July 9, 2013


Oh, I disagree. Suspension of disbelief depends on a lot of cultural factors as well as the degree of separation between the presented reality from the actual one. For example, an invisible plane in Wonder Woman, no problem. The invisible car in what is probably, despite John Cleese, the worst Bond film in history, ludicrous horseshit. The reality needs to be set up in such a way that you intuitively understand how to map it onto your reality. Sure, Bond is unrealistic but that doesn't mean he can have a winged horse or a ghostly sidekick.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:18 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


That doesn't make it complicated. You're just saying people are different and have different levels of acceptability.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:20 AM on July 9, 2013


Benicio del Toro != Michael Bay

Benicio del Toro also != Guillermo del Toro.
posted by dubold at 11:21 AM on July 9, 2013 [17 favorites]


No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that Nightcrawler can teleport, and Jason Bourne can't. It really isn't a matter of personal taste: if Matt Damon won a fight by going *bamf* and appearing behind his adversary and clocking him in the back of the neck, there'd be a fairly universal critical and audience backlash.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:23 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


That has a lot less to do with suspension of disbelief and pretty much everything to do with problematic storytelling.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:26 AM on July 9, 2013


So you're saying Q could issue Bond a winged horse and M assign him a ghostly sidekick, and that would be in the same degree of believability as the rest of the Bond franchise as long as it was good storytelling?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:30 AM on July 9, 2013


Yep. The same way Inception had a dream machine and the audience was never ever given any justification for it at all, but never heard anyone complain about that.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:33 AM on July 9, 2013


The trailers for Pacific Rim actually look like something to me - I'm unable to visually decode anything in Transformers into anything other than shards of metal flying around in swarms bumping up against each other occasionally.

I was going to say this too. Transformers is horrible visual mush with cuts every half second so you can't ever actually understand what's happening where. Even in the trailers for Pacific Rim, I can grok what's going on in the fights.

Another way to think of it is that Michael Bay is such shit that he can take what could be an awesome idea -- giant robots fighting each other! -- and turn it into a complete turdburger with a side dish of jaw-droppingly crass racism lightly sprinkled with leering misogyny.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:33 AM on July 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


That's just silly, Rocket Surgeon. Any new work of SF is allowed to introduce an invention. But (continuing my example) the established Bond universe is basically this one, and they're allowed to stretch things (he can take a two story jump where he lands on his arms and not be crippled by it, or have a laser in his rolex that cuts through prison bars), but not introduce faerie world fantasy elements. We can agree to disagree but there'd be soda thrown at screens around the world if your approach were actually used in an established franchise.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:40 AM on July 9, 2013


It's actually easier in a lot of ways to accept the requirement of one big suspension of disbelief than a lot of petty little ones. "James Bond has magic powers, giant robots fight kaiju, you love it okay GO!" Such a big world shift, no problem. But people acting stupid within that world will throw me out entirely. It's like that poem about poetry, "imaginary gardens with real toads in them"—the fantastic settings make the falling-flat mundanities all the more obvious.
posted by nicebookrack at 11:41 AM on July 9, 2013


G_S, then you agree we are talking about storytelling meets a level of acceptability per the person?
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:44 AM on July 9, 2013


No, Rocket Surgeon, he's saying that internal consistency is a pretty universal benchmark for willing suspension of disbelief.
posted by kyrademon at 11:48 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


How is internal consistency different or separate from good storytelling? Or, how is that complicated?
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:50 AM on July 9, 2013


Getting back to the original question, assuming this film takes place in a world we're meant to recognize as similar to our own, do they address the question of why more conventional military strikes on the monsters won't work but an Irish Stand-Down will?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:54 AM on July 9, 2013


I don't think I've ever seen a Rotten Tomatoes rating go UP over the course of a week like that.
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on July 9, 2013


> "How is internal consistency different from good storytelling?"

Internal consistency is generally part of good storytelling. I don't think anyone is arguing with that. What we're actually arguing with is this statement:

> "You're just saying people are different and have different levels of acceptability."

That's not really what was being said. The same person might accept giant robots in one movie and not accept them at all in another movie, because suspension of disbelief is very much informed by internal consistency - or, if you insist, good storytelling. That's a slightly more complicated phenomenon than someone simply either accepting giant robots or not, period.
posted by kyrademon at 11:56 AM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


do they address the question of why more conventional military strikes on the monsters won't work but an Irish Stand-Down will?

I recall seeing shots in some of the featurettes of F22s or something taking passes at kaiju... So presumably yes?
posted by sparkletone at 11:57 AM on July 9, 2013


What you're disagreeing with, kyrademon, was my understanding of what G_S said. We seem to have the same idea of suspension of disbelief, but different ideas of what complicated means.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 12:04 PM on July 9, 2013


In cartoons when people go over cliffs they make Binky-Binky-Binky noises and hover in mid air before dropping. In other live-action they usually don't. Which is superior?
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on July 9, 2013


An example of how complicated suspension of disbelief can be, see Whedon's The Cabin in the Woods, which (hoping to avoid spoilers here) takes on genre which has a peculiar relationship with believability, contorts it rather hilariously into a conventional realm, and then proceeds to, well, sorta mindfuck you a bit on the believability scale. And it works really well. But that's basically the exception that tweaks the rule's nose, a rare case if it being more or less just as you say; it works because you're willing, because he's a good storyteller. But we're talking about a rarified outlier here.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:06 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


You have to admit, Coyote never did figure out a good way to get Roadrunner.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 12:07 PM on July 9, 2013


The kaiju are too big. from a can't-believe-i-am-justifying-a-fantasy-dept ... see, its hard to sink a battleship with multiple missiles from a jet. and these creatures are using battleships as clubs!

I hope the movie has been consistant about the size of Kaijus ..using battleships as clubs in one scene vs its size WRT buildings should make sense.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 12:08 PM on July 9, 2013


> "In cartoons when people go over cliffs they make Binky-Binky-Binky noises and hover in mid air before dropping. In other live-action they usually don't. Which is superior?"

The first one, obviously, but only during a serious drama.
posted by kyrademon at 12:09 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't see the complication there, G_S.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 12:10 PM on July 9, 2013


Perhaps "subtle" would be more appropriate? The storyteller doesn't have time to read the audience the rule book that applies to the world, so they have to telegraph the differences, or at least the degree of difference, so we know what level of unreality to tolerate. At one extreme you have the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland: anything is possible and we're along for the ride. This film seems to be pitched much closer to the "very near our own world" extreme, and if that tone is projected in the theatre, then there's a problem if they don't behave the way we would expect and there's no explanation for it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:14 PM on July 9, 2013


Apropos of nothing, but can I say how much I like a big-budget action movie referencing Saul Williams?
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:16 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't think we're disagreeing here except for what or how it could be complicated.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 12:17 PM on July 9, 2013


The kaiju are too big. from a can't-believe-i-am-justifying-a-fantasy-dept ... see, its hard to sink a battleship with multiple missiles from a jet. and these creatures are using battleships as clubs!

And since that means too big to fly, but they also need to fight in/over fairly deep water to keep the kaiju from advancing into cities, and still fight on land when they do get past, long legs make sense. And explosive and/or projectile weapons big or numerous enough to do more than irritate the kaiju + cities = probably worse than punching.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:18 PM on July 9, 2013


Sure, Bond is unrealistic but that doesn't mean he can have a winged horse or a ghostly sidekick.

Right. Suspension of disbelief requires consistent worldbuilding.

I realize that suspension of disbelief is a complicated thing, but do they manage to plausibly explain why building huge, elaborate rock-em sock-em's and going to Fist City makes more military sense than, say, missiles?

I agree that some sort of story needs to be told. Maybe the kaiju are protected by Dune-style force fields that block energy weapons or high velocity projectiles but allow slow moving objects to pass. A fist the size of a locomotive would start looking like a practical weapon under those constraints. I find I can come up with some sort of story like that pretty quickly so I can get back to the monster fighting, and I assume del Toro can do the same.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:28 PM on July 9, 2013


I find I can come up with some sort of story like that pretty quickly so I can get back to the monster fighting, and I assume del Toro can do the same.

Yeah. Another might be a kind of Code, where the monsters are a kind of challenge test from Elder Gods that could fuck our shit up at will, but we have to prove ourselves against them martially according to some kind of combat rules. We can't bring missiles to the fight for the same reason a boxer can't bring a handgun into the ring, but if we lose it's for all the marbles.

Damn, now I want to go see it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:33 PM on July 9, 2013


I realize that suspension of disbelief is a complicated thing, but do they manage to plausibly explain why building huge, elaborate rock-em sock-em's and going to Fist City makes more military sense than, say, missiles?

I agree that some sort of story needs to be told. Maybe the kaiju are protected by Dune-style force fields that block energy weapons or high velocity projectiles but allow slow moving objects to pass. A fist the size of a locomotive would start looking like a practical weapon under those constraints. I find I can come up with some sort of story like that pretty quickly so I can get back to the monster fighting, and I assume del Toro can do the same.


I dunno. Gundam was pretty spartan about justifying why giant robots were better than rockets and tanks, but it worked fine because giant robots are AWESOME.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:34 PM on July 9, 2013


Suspension of disbelief requires consistent worldbuilding.

Except when it doesn't e.g. Lynch.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 12:38 PM on July 9, 2013


In fairness, though, the Gundams are shown blowing up a lot of tanks and missiles and jets, so some of that is folded into the story. I just don't recall anyone giving a speech saying "Here's why this new-fangled gundam thing will be better than your yesterday's-news nuclear bomb."
posted by Going To Maine at 12:43 PM on July 9, 2013


I wonder if I watch Gunhed again will it be cool like the first time I saw it or suck like the second?

Skip the crappy parts and just watch the video for Front Line Assembly's "Mindphaser", which uses all the fun footage.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:52 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jesus had days like this...
posted by Artw at 1:26 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lynch's worldbuilding is super consistent, it just isn't logical.
posted by LogicalDash at 2:08 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


What makes Pacific Rim different from other recent films involving hyperkinetic fights between giant things,

The fact that it's not hyperkinetic is what sold me on it.

Exhibit A begins at 1:58 in the first trailer. I all but stood up a cheered after the blurry mess that was Transformers.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:22 PM on July 9, 2013


The other thing about this movie, and all appearances, it reminds me that, if anyone alive were to do a Hellboy movie (don't get me wrong, I love both of them) that captured what's going on in the BPRD and Hellboy comics these days (Munich destroyed, the dead rising, elder gods walking the earth, England nearly wiped out, no more Malaysia, humanity essentially losing), it would be del Toro. But then, every time Hellboy 3 comes up, it's about how unlikely it is to get made.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:39 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's also possible, with regard to conventional weapons, that the only practical weapon might be a powerful nuclear one - and with the potential rate of appearance of the monsters, there's just too many to willy nilly be blowing those things up in the atmosphere. Not to mention, they target high population centers and well, now that's why we can't have nice cities.

This really sounds like a question that's answered by that prequel comic that was issued.

Some research online indicates that the monsters adapt to the technology used against them, so it's feasible then that conventional arms stopped being effective after the first several attacks. The Jaegers can be updated/modified in a manner that makes them more useful?
posted by Atreides at 2:41 PM on July 9, 2013


Lynch's films, most of them, are specifically inconsistent until you discover the logic to them. I don't really care about the pedantics to this and that's why I used an encapsulating word like storytelling instead of internal consistency or world building or whatever. Plenty of movies work without those things and my point being that suspension of disbelief is not a complicated thing, because it really isn't as basically exists at the intersection of presentation and believability. Some people enjoyed years of Lost or BSG without ever getting an explanation or proper world building or even internal consistency from either of them.

If you can't get on board with giant robots fighting giant monsters whatever implausible reason that is going to be presented to back that up, and I guarantee it will be implausible, it's your loss.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 2:49 PM on July 9, 2013


do they manage to plausibly explain why building huge, elaborate rock-em sock-em's and going to Fist City makes more military sense than, say, missiles?

From what I've pieced together from the trailers/reviews:

- when the first few Kaiju's appear, nukes are deployed but then earth realises they can't keep on doing that
- As TheLittlePrince says, it would take a lot of non-nuke missiles to inconvenience something that big and scaly
- The Kaiju's have toxic blood, so blowing them up near population centres is probably unwise anyway
- Some of the weapons on the Jaeger posters mention features like weapons that cauterise the wounds to stop the Kaiju blood leaking etc - so containing their toxic body fluids seems to be a concern
- Hence close-combat wrestling with giant robots seems to be the solution
- Why do you need reasons - its a giant robot fighting an alien sea monster! Quit unsuspending my disbelief!
posted by memebake at 3:01 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Good review here from badassdigest, continuing the theme others have mentioned - that this is a straightforward movie - where the good guys are good and the bad guys are huge alien seamonsters - and that the straightforwardness suits it. NB: a few minor spoilers/plot details within the review.
We live in a world where comic book characters created for ten year olds are now the sole province of thirty year old misanthropes. Guillermo del Toro is looking to take action fantasy back to its original, and best, crowd.
posted by memebake at 3:24 PM on July 9, 2013


FYI, it opens Thursday night at 10pm across America. Check your local listings.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:37 PM on July 9, 2013


Some people enjoyed years of Lost or BSG without ever getting an explanation or proper world building or even internal consistency from either of them.

Funny you should mention those. Both of them, but Lost particularly, were more like mysteries, in that the confusion and incoherence were not just tolerated but enjoyed due to a suspended expectation of an eventual explanation which would cause it all to make sense. As I recall, the intarwebs rang with the howls of dismay when such failed to materialize. But I grant that people enjoyed maybe the first three-quarters of the ride, whereupon the hints that the writers Did Not Have A Plan After All began to mount.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:17 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some people enjoyed years of Lost or BSG without ever getting an explanation or proper world building or even internal consistency

BSG may have had a bunch of unexplained mysteries and some plot inconsistencies, but it had a ton of proper and fairly consistent world building. More so than pretty much any science fiction TV show I can think of.
posted by straight at 4:45 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


BSG may have had a bunch of unexplained mysteries and some plot inconsistencies, but it had a ton of proper and fairly consistent world building. More so than pretty much any science fiction TV show I can think of.

So much so that sometimes they let the world building concerns lead the story too much. "Well obviously a black market would develop and that'd be cool to show so uhh Lee's a pulp detective now."
posted by jason_steakums at 4:51 PM on July 9, 2013


Well, after the first season or so they had a fuckload of water to tread so shit got weird.
posted by Artw at 4:58 PM on July 9, 2013


do they manage to plausibly explain why

Del Toro himself has basically said that it's the Rule of Cool, i.e. what you want to see as an eleven-year-old. It doesn't really matter how plausible the explanation is as long as you move past whatever it is and get to the mech-monster fights.

The invisible car in what is probably, despite John Cleese, the worst Bond film in history, ludicrous horseshit

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool 007 fan and the invisible car never bothered me (I know it did others) -- for me the part of DAD that annoyed me was the CGI parasailing stunt. Because from the beginning the series has been built on often-barely-realistic/futuristic gadgets, and brutally realistic stunts (like the similarly Arctic ski jump off a mountain in TSWLM). Plus, there was plenty of decent rule of cool stuff in DAD like a hovercraft chase and two slick sports cars drifting on a glacier while trying to shoot each other. Heck, you're making me want to see it again. I do see that DAD has taken the top spot in multiple "worst" polls of the series, possibly because Moonraker has now developed a kind of camp nostalgia sheen; it's the only explanation I can think of because that's the one I've always hated the most. But space lasers! solar guns! submarine motherships disguised as supertankers! But, geez, we can't have an invisible car, even with a fully self-contained technical explanation that isn't that far removed from reality. *sigh*

the established Bond universe is basically this one

I dunno, explain a guy who's been in his physical prime for fifty years, why doncha. Actually the series has its own somewhat bespoke approach to continuity and for the most part it exists within the career of any given actor. Certainly the original WWII veteran timeline became impossible to carry on after Moore left, and though fans liked the occasional subtle nod to OHMSS's death of Tracy making him a widower, nearly every movie save the Blofeld arc is in its own way self-contained. It's similar to comic books, more or less, in which selective continuity is a long accepted trait.

It's quite different, in that way (getting back on topic), to the world-building approach of e.g. recent superhero/costumed hero movies (Nolan's Batman and Raimi's Spider-Man, plus the recent Avengers mega-continuity). It's concerned with setting up the bits that are needed for this story, largely relying on 007 being a known quantity, and putting him into a new situation that despite trappings ends up hewing to a recognizable formula -- and delivering on that in spades because that's what the audience wants. Bond is also a rather unique property in that it has been managed since the beginning by Cubby Broccoli and now his family's second generation (daughter and stepson). Very few movie series have that kind of centralized control, although Avi Arad and Stan Lee both are following somewhat similar templates (it's a rise of the independents thing, where the studios are less powerful than ever).

To sum up, though, I'm sorry that one bit took you out of the universe you expected, but I would really suggest you check the analytical side of your brain at the theater door on Pacific Rim. It's obviously a gritty, Lucas-style lived-in metal world of technology, but it's basically a fantasy premise. It's not inviting you to break down its scientific assertions. That's not the same as a Bay-style check your entire brain at the door, because it's going to deliver emotionally in a way that I find movies like Transformers stultifyingly empty. Del Toro understands fantasy and the imagination, even better than Peter Jackson, and he doesn't have to struggle with the demands of adapting a beloved property, either.
posted by dhartung at 5:03 PM on July 9, 2013


The same way Inception had a dream machine and the audience was never ever given any justification for it at all, but never heard anyone complain about that.

You’ve lost me, is this sarcasm or not? Because that movie sucked hard and the lack of internal consistency and logic was probably the main reason I hated it. If you really never heard anyone complain you weren’t anywhere around me.
posted by bongo_x at 6:10 PM on July 9, 2013


<>it had a ton of proper and fairly consistent world building. More so than pretty much any science fiction TV show I can think of.

I think we have different metrics for "proper" and "fairly consistent". I would just as soon take any of the Stargate series or Star Trek "worlds" as I would BSG. There are other shows that do just as decent of a job, but that depends on how you want to slice that pie.

If you really never heard anyone complain you weren’t anywhere around me.

I did not say nobody complained about the inconsistencies of Inception, but I never heard anyone complain specifically about the dream machine or why the hell they even needed to go the lengths of getting inside someone's dream. Maybe you did complain about it, maybe it just wasn't for you. I don't know.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 6:20 PM on July 9, 2013


You’ve lost me, is this sarcasm or not? Because that movie sucked hard and the lack of internal consistency and logic was probably the main reason I hated it.
Okay, you're bringing this up to disprove the assertion that "no one complained". A fair point.   - But most people liked that movie.

"If you hated Inception then you'll hate this" isn't a thing that will apply to most people. You hated Inception and you think the trailers for this movie are "God Awful". I thought inception was really cool, and I think the trailers for this are awesome. Maybe you won't personally like this movie - but given your idiosyncratic proclivities this doesn't matter all that much.

(I'm not saying Inception was amazing or anything, but I certainly thought it was an interesting movie)
posted by delmoi at 6:38 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


or why the hell they even needed to go the lengths of getting inside someone's dream.

To... incept things? Also to obtain hidden information. Have you actually seen this film?
posted by Artw at 6:40 PM on July 9, 2013


FILM CRIT HULK: HULK VS. PLOT HOLES AND MOVIE LOGIC
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:44 PM on July 9, 2013


To... incept things? Also to obtain hidden information. Have you actually seen this film?

You do understand Inception isn't a real thing, right? You might want to review what I've actually been saying.

I guess i made a mistake thinking "giant robots? incredulous!" as a response to "giant monsters? okay!" is a bit odd.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 7:06 PM on July 9, 2013


Okay, you're bringing this up to disprove the assertion that "no one complained". A fair point. - But most people liked that movie.

I brought it up because I couldn’t tell if it was sarcasm or not, I thought there were a lot of complaints about that specific thing and that he was on the other side of the argument, hence the confusion.

"If you hated Inception then you'll hate this" isn't a thing that will apply to most people. You hated Inception and you think the trailers for this movie are "God Awful". I thought inception was really cool, and I think the trailers for this are awesome. Maybe you won't personally like this movie - but given your idiosyncratic proclivities this doesn't matter all that much.

I’m not at all sure what you’re saying, but let’s try and not get too worked up defending the giant robot movie that isn’t even out yet unless your last name is del Toro.
posted by bongo_x at 7:09 PM on July 9, 2013


i was not excited about this movie...


but now i am
posted by rebent at 7:29 PM on July 9, 2013


You do understand Inception isn't a real thing, right? You might want to review what I've actually been saying.
Maybe you could summarize your point? I did go back to read what you wrote and I can't really tell - you seem to be trying to draw a distinction between "suspension of disbelief" and "good storytelling" - but it's not really all that clear.
I’m not at all sure what you’re saying, but let’s try and not get too worked up defending the giant robot movie that isn’t even out yet unless your last name is del Toro.
I'm saying that if you thought the trailers were god awful and that inception sucked hard you might not be in the target audience? It's not like every single person in the world is going to like this movie.

That said, when I saw the very first trailer for this movie, not knowing anything about it, my first thought was "So a Hollywood version of Evangelion?" - and I just assumed it would be a crap movie like Transformers or something. Now that I know more about it and expect it to be good, looking at the trailers with that mindset they look exciting.

On the other hand, I looked up the prices and it's like $16 for an IMAX 3D ticket, $14 for real3d. So I can see not wanting to spend the money if you don't know if you're going to like it.
posted by delmoi at 7:44 PM on July 9, 2013


That's a good point, the general audience has seen a lot of crap giant robot movies. Pacific Rim will have to fight to prove to people who don't know Guillermo del Toro's name that it's not another Transformers/Battleship thing. Hopefully good word of mouth will do the job.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:22 PM on July 9, 2013


That's a good point, the general audience has seen a lot of crap giant robot movies. Pacific Rim will have to fight to prove to people who don't know Guillermo del Toro's name that it's not another Transformers/Battleship thing.

The Transformers movies all did very well, and if anything should serve to draw people into this one.

Battleship is another story.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:46 PM on July 9, 2013


One rationale I hope they use (but I don't believe they will) goes like this: the creatures are obviously not made of ordinary matter. After we managed to kill the first few we started using some of the parts from dead creatures in the weapons we used on the incoming live ones. The robots evolved from this incorporation of monster parts and materials because that's just what this stuff is good for. In the end it turns out that the monsters are something of robots themselves. They're long domesticated and bred creatures, parasitized and piloted by a clans of alien rat-eels that operate out of the monsters' stomach. The rat-eels were exploring when they stumbled on, er ... but I digress.

Anyway suspension of disbelief requires, and basically is, buy-in. One doesn't need rationality for that at all. Sure helps though.
posted by wobh at 6:24 AM on July 10, 2013


Yeah, I have not seen one person use the full phrase, which is "willing suspension of disbelief." And, if we're going to use Coleridge's phrase, we should also recognize the reason he conceived of the phrase, and how he formulated it. He had a great interest in reviving the fantastic in literature, but was writing at a time when the educated classes had widely embraced science and turned their noses up at superstition. This led to writers on supernatural themes, such as Alexander Pope, bending over backwards to justify his use of the fantastic in The Rape of the Lock.

Coleridge felt this was going overboard. He felt that if stories and poems contained "a human interest and a semblance of truth," that his audiences would willingly suspend their disbelief.

The point at which people are willing to suspend disbelief is probably a bit different from person to person, but it hasn't shown itself to typically be all that elaborate. Movies have been producing work that are scientifically nonsense since the first movie camera, and I have as little problem with the moon having a face in A Voyage to the Moon as I do with spaceships having magic gravity creators in almost every sci fi show except 2001. Star Trek discovered early on that they just have to have somebody say "warp core breach" and we would know there was some sort of space problem without looking at the starship schematics. As long as there is a hint of internal consistency in worldbuilding (and, from reviews, this movie seems to be pretty detailed in worldbuilding) and there is a story people are interested in, most audiences will willingly go with it, according to Coleridge's conception.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:10 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read the prequel comic they put out. I guess I'll preface this as a spoiler alert for the comic, if you want to read it yourself - but other then that it's just backstory anyway. I think it covers some of the stuff that's also in the movie, like the first attack.

______
But what's funny is that there really isn't any reason - not no reason as they don't tell you but that there's actually no special reason at all - it's just what people decided to use to fight the monsters, with a few implied practical reasons. And in fact, the monsters can be killed with nuclear weapons, for example. In fact, they kill the first one with a nuke in the comic (the one that attacks San Francisco, which we see fighting fighter jets in the trailer).

The problem is, obviously, nuclear weapons do a ton of damage. Why don't they use missiles? Well, it turns out the robots actually have missiles on them, so it's not an either or thing (although smaller missiles from aren't powerful enough to get through the kaiju's thick hyde in the first fight)

So basically, it sounds as though the main justification was actually just practical. If you think about it, that makes a reasonable amount of sense. If you just shoot missiles at the thing you can't control it's position. If you have a giant robot that's as strong as it is, you can just physically push it where you want, to prevent it from getting to sensitive areas. A bipedal robot also makes sense because it can be extremely large but still walk between buildings without knocking them down.

______
Although it does raise one important question - if you're going to build a giant robot to fight monsters - why not just make the robot 20 times bigger then the monsters?
posted by delmoi at 8:53 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah +1 for being able to shove the monster around. If you just fire missiles at it from a safe distance, it will be free to rampage around whereever it likes until you finally down it.
posted by memebake at 10:06 AM on July 10, 2013


"...why not just make the robot 20 times bigger then the monsters?"

Or why not put the city inside the robot? I'm imagining a world overrun by the kaiju, where humans have been forced to migrate into enormous mobile cities, each protected by a battalion of giant robots. Kind of like a new age of dinosaurs...
posted by Kevin Street at 11:01 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


why not just make the robot 20 times bigger then the monsters?

The square-cube law. DUH.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:03 AM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


if you're going to build a giant robot to fight monsters - why not just make the robot 20 times bigger then the monsters?

Presumably creating robots that are just barely big enough to have a chance against the monsters was already far past the cutting edge of human technical and engineering ability. Building the robots they did was a man-on-the-moon or Manhattan Project level triumph. Setting a goal to create a robot 20 times bigger would have been foolhardy.

However, now that they've successfully built several robots at this size, there's no reason we can't have a triple-sized multi-national mega robot in the 3rd act (or the sequel) wielding a giant laser sword to fight the horrific boss monster. No reason at all.
posted by straight at 12:01 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Especially if you build it out of 5 smaller robots.
posted by radwolf76 at 12:45 PM on July 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also, it's the fast, cheap, and out of control theory of robots. You could put all your resources into one huge robot, and if that fails, you've lost everything, or you can build a lot of cheaper robots that make not be individually as powerful, but if you lose one, you still have more to fall back on.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:56 PM on July 10, 2013


Not robots.

Mechs.
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:27 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


However, now that they've successfully built several robots at this size, there's no reason we can't have a triple-sized multi-national mega robot in the 3rd act (or the sequel) wielding a giant laser sword to fight the horrific boss monster. No reason at all.

Nothing, beyond GDT's dictate that they not be a cheap re-hash of established anime/Mecha franchies, and that they create something new within the genre.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 3:55 PM on July 10, 2013


you know how you can get a spotify service in the grave? Well, I'd just like a recording of I.E.'s ending the end of the world speech, repeating over and over.
posted by angrycat at 5:03 PM on July 10, 2013


anecdote: this weekend my wife and I hit Costco for, you know, paper goods and stuff. In the entry funnel, all the ginormous flat screen TVs were looping an extended trailer, GdT's talking head intercut with monster battle stuff. Little kids would come in, their eyes would bug out, their jaws would drop, and they would just sort of stand there until an adult herded them out of traffic.

As we moved though the store, literally every other aisle a nine year old or seven year old or an eleven year old was walking with their parent or accompanying relationship unspecified adult, the kids chattering a BLUE STREAK: "... and then they all got into the giant robots and then they all ..."

Like, over and over. It was like the TVs had hit them in the head with a programming beam or something.

It was totally endearing and made me smile and chuckle every time it happened.

This movie is going to be HUGE.
posted by mwhybark at 5:26 PM on July 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


Adam Savage reviewed it very positively.
posted by jclarkin at 6:30 PM on July 10, 2013


Not robots.

Mechs.
Or are they technically cyborgs?

The problem is the film makers themselves are calling them robots, although if you read the comic they actually address this point, that they're technically supposed to be called mechs.
The square-cube law. DUH.
Sure, obviously it would be more difficult, and not in a linear way, making a mech 20 times taller would require 203 more material, 8 thousand times as much. But I just said '20 times bigger', which could be read as 20x the volume - a little less then 3x the height.

Anyway I'm guessing that the monsters are going to be getting larger and larger during the course of the film. And of course obviously for film purposes you want an even fight. We'll have to see what happens.
posted by delmoi at 6:35 PM on July 10, 2013


  • Atlantic Rim, starring Grahame Greene.

  • Got 2 tickets to paradise this coming Saturday matinee on an IMAX screen. BOO-YAA!

  • posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 11:38 PM on July 10, 2013


    Friend in Singapore said "good action movie with minimal character development"
    posted by seanmpuckett at 3:35 AM on July 11, 2013


    Saw it. It's great for what it is. First big effects movie I've seen in years that didn't leave me vaguely disappointed. Accept that the initial conceit is that giant robots are fighting giant monsters and everything is internally consistent. Great world building. Made me think there are 100+ great stories behind every scene. Good pacing, great action, actually felt important. Finally, a big action/disaster/giant robot movie that isn't a steaming pile of shit.

    Still though, haters are gonna hate on it.
    posted by Telf at 10:24 AM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


    I went to see Pacific Rim last night - it is one of the greatest films I've ever seen. Recommend.
    posted by Samuel Farrow at 1:50 PM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


    Kaiju become resistant to nukes and other details via io9 interview with the director.
    posted by Atreides at 4:03 PM on July 11, 2013


    Just got back from a sneak preview a couple of hours ago. I highly recommend it to anybody who (like me) feels burned by the dumbed-down state of franchise genre cinema right now. This movie shows you the promise that was squandered when they handed a property like Transformers over to Michael Bay. I actually know people who aren't interested in Pacific Rim simply because the TF movies left such a bad taste in their mouth that it forever tainted "giant robot" as a genre. Here's hoping that positive word-of-mouth helps this film find an audience over the weekend and in the weeks to come.
    posted by Strange Interlude at 9:13 PM on July 11, 2013


    Just saw it. Loved it, despite noting it could have used more meat story wise. But still, it was damn good fun and recommended. Everyone in the theatre loved it.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:28 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


    It's interesting as well that this isn't a hero origin story, which every tentpole seems to be attempting now. The film starts with the hero already having originated and then been broken. And though it paints its story in big strokes. letting the spectacle do the work, it's the story of a hurt man learning to connect to other people again, and, in the tradition of war movies, the story of a group of strangers uniting to support each other when facing a common crisis. These themes can be pretty shallow when mishandled, but it feels like Del Toro honestly found them moving, and communicated that. Even Charlie Day, who is mostly there as (superb) comic relief, has a huge moment where he and a fellow scientist overcome a petty rivalry to do something tremendously risky for the greater good, and although the scene is a daffy as all get out, it's also quite sweet.

    Del Toro's big, cartoonish movies sometimes feel a little more shallow on first blush then they turn out to be on repeated viewings. It's a bit like 1950s filmmakers, who were terribly constrained by their studios, and so embedded their more profound and challenging themes in the set and costume design, in the staging, in the choices of music, in all the incidental details that studios didn't care about (both Douglas Sirk and Vincent Minelli were masters of this.) Except I don't think that for Del Toro these additional details are a way of hiding his themes -- they're his way of expanding on them. And so, on repeated viewings, even things like the way people fight, the postcards they put on their wall, the items that they choose to have ornamented and those they choose to leave unornamented, they all reveal themselves to be carefully considered and add to the story.

    I mean, I own Hellboy, and I don't know how many times I had to see it before I noticed the title character's bed is embedded in the back of a pickup truck. I don't know how many times I watched Hellboy 2 before I realized that the legless Bethmoora Goblin at the end of the film was the one who built the Golden Army at the start of it.

    The film does leave you wanting more. Each of the jaegers and the kaiju have their own personalities, and you want to get to know them better. But I have a feeling that repeated viewings will give up more, as small details become clear, and we will be rewarded by getting to know them better.

    But not too much. Del Toro is very smart in that he has given us a world that feels complete but we see only part of, because that gives us permission to add to it ourselves. We're not just left wanting more; we're left with the sense that we can add more. I have a feeling there is going to be an awful lot of Pacific Rim fanfic, and I can't think of another tentpole film that I have felt that way about, except the inevitable Khan/Spock slashfic the last Star Trek film will inevitably produce.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:25 AM on July 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


    Upon further thought, I think del Toro has consistently done what Lucas supposedly set out to do with Star Wars: create great Saturday matinee films for kids. But del Toro gets it right be crafting movies that don't talk down to kids, but instead revels in fantastic possibilities of a child's imagination.

    George Lucas grew up and forgot what it was to be kid. Steven Speilberg never grew up, even though he's tackled weightier themes. Michael Bay became a 12 year old year boy and decided that was the height of growing up. JJ Abrams grew up, but decided he liked being what he thinks a kid is. Cameron grew up and throughly enjoyed it.

    Del Toro grew up and never forgot the thrill of playing with monster toys s and such, but has the adult sensibilities to bring those thrills to joyous life. He remembers the sheer fun of being kid and in doing so reminds others of that happy time.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:48 AM on July 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Grown Ups 2 reviews are in!
    posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on July 12, 2013


    Oh thank goodness, I've been waiting months for Grown Ups 2 to come out before this movie about robots or something started stealing the spotlight.

    As a snarkaside, Owen G. at EW continues to be at the bottom of my respected movie critics list.

    I hope to add my own praise of Pacific Rim tomorrow. Pretty darn excited!
    posted by Atreides at 1:03 PM on July 12, 2013


    I was glancing at the Metacritic page for Pacific Rim while eating lunch today and noticed that this is the chosen slug line for the USA Today review: "The story's appeal is lost in all the fights between the monsters and robots."

    That person has so clearly and so entirely missed the point of this movie. (Also most other reviews praise the movie's story as being simplistic, sure, but more importantly not intelligence-insulting. So whatevs to that person.)
    posted by sparkletone at 2:08 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Oh thank goodness, I've been waiting months for Grown Ups 2 to come out before this movie about robots or something started stealing the spotlight.

    It is, apparently the first men's rights comedy.
    posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on July 12, 2013


    Pacific Rim is the greatest fairy tale of the twenty-first century
    posted by homunculus at 2:49 PM on July 12, 2013


    While I want to see this in 3D, can anyone say from experience their reaction to it in this format versus 2D? (Trying to figure out show times).
    posted by Atreides at 6:48 PM on July 12, 2013


    So I don't know what you guys thought, but the biggest drift I saw in that movie was Idris Elba's accent! Amirite? Amirite?
    posted by Going To Maine at 7:22 PM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Sigh. To make a more substantial comment: just saw the movie with two other folks. We all felt like seeing it was time well spent, and that the action scenes, world, and color palette were great. As noted by others, del Toro has built a pretty vibrant world. That said, my two compatriots were massively irritated by plot holes, inconsistencies, overt comparisons between the Kaiju and global warming, and general cheesiness of the acting. That bugged me less, but I think I as expecting that kind of cheese and chose to revel in it. Everyone is a cartoon and the plot is (delightfully?) formulaic.

    Put it this way: I felt like Hellboy had some great characters but a plot full of inconsistencies. Pacific Rim had a formulaic plot that flowed nicely but some awful lead characters. Bless everyone upthread who loves Charlie Hunnam, but you're going to need a different movie if you want him to show off his serious chops. And poor Rinko Kikuchi, whose Mako is supposed to be a strong female heroine but is given nothing to do except be nervous. This is a fine popcorn flick, but calling it "the greatest fairy tale of the twenty-first century" because "you actually care about the characters" presumes that there are some interesting characters there to care about.
    posted by Going To Maine at 7:51 PM on July 12, 2013


    Just saw it. Nice story, etc. But it's unfortunate that it was shot in such a way that you can't really understand what the hell is happening in every fight. You see an arm, bits and pieces of the monster, rain, fog, etc. Would it have killed Del Toro to give us a couple of measly establishing shots? I felt very frustrated by the end and was kind of disappointed.
    posted by Omon Ra at 10:50 PM on July 12, 2013


    That's one of the things that's kinda turned me off about it too, Oman Ra. Why is it ALWAYS at night? Or in the rain? (or both?) And why so many closeups during fight scenes? They totally remove the concept of scale (Del Toro's defense of claiming that the extra details in the models lend them scale doesn't fly with me)

    I'd still like to see it, but I can't help but thinking that opportunities were missed here.
    posted by ShutterBun at 12:16 AM on July 13, 2013


    This is the non-screamy version of some stuff I just said on social media:

    A-. Won't see it in theaters again, I think, but will definitely get a copy when it's out. However, I'd highly recommend seeing it in theaters if you're at all interested both because it's a shitload of fun and also because it's a non-franchise, non-adaptation, big, dumb (the good kind) blockbuster and if this was the minimal level of quality of big, dumb summer movies we would all be 1000x better off.

    Mostly, I feel like it functions sort of like that bell in The Polar Express. The degree to which Pacific Rim rings for you, or at least for me, depends a lot on how in touch you still are with your inner child. If I'd seen this between the ages of 8 and 14 it would've reconfigured my entire stupid brain. As a 30 year old: The story is RIDICULOUS, and simplistic, but it's not insultingly stupid and you don't feel worse off for having watched it.

    The action bits are all pretty much perfect. No incoherent hyper cutting. Everything is clear and so on. I didn't have any trouble telling what was going on at any given moment. I've seen reviews complaining about it being dark, but I saw it in 2D and it was fine? 3D conversions and shit notoriously result in darker pictures so maybe that was what they were complaining about, and maybe that really hurts it. No idea. It definitely worked for me though.

    Flaws: There's some clunky dialog (and none of it is anything to marvel at, BUT SO WHAT), and a few "Why weren't you using that the entire time, it seems remarkably effective" moments. Also, there's only one female character with any lines. She's well-written (or close enough) and the actress does a great job, but still. Only one? Really?

    But mostly what's happend here is that Guillermo Del Toro has succeeded in making a live action anime in a way the Wachowskis only dreamt about with Speed Racer[1]... Mostly by not basing it on a kinda awful kids cartoon.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drink my way through GI Joe 2.

    [1] - I actually really, really like Speed Racer. I think it's under-rated. But it's also EXTREMELY faithful to the tone of the cartoon in a way that I think pretty much no one was willing to go with. Such is life.
    posted by sparkletone at 12:32 AM on July 13, 2013


    And poor Rinko Kikuchi, whose Mako is supposed to be a strong female heroine but is given nothing to do except be nervous.

    I think there was cultural context there, where Mako is following the lead of her " Asian father" and his wishes. When she's in battle mode, there's no nervousness.

    I'd still like to see it, but I can't help but thinking that opportunities were missed here.

    Wait, you're commenting on the movie and its scenes, but haven't viewed it yet?
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:46 AM on July 13, 2013


    re: are the fight scenes clear or not?

    I saw it in 3D last night and while generally its a lot clearer than stuff like Transformers, there were quite a few times when I couldn't tell what was going on. On the other hand, most of the time I could. I suspect it might be somewhat easier to follow in 2D, as it was originally conceived and shot as a 2D film. 3D is darker and a bit more disorientating when camera angles change.

    During the fights there is a lot of cutting back and forth from interior view of the pilots to the external view. This is good for adding emotion to the scenes (the pilots can emote; the jaegers cannot), but does add to the disorientation. On the other hand, it gives you clues - if the pilots are throwing a right-hand punch, you know thats what the jaeger's going to be doing in the next shot.

    The 3D is great at some points, but I think this might be better seen in 2D.
    posted by memebake at 4:28 AM on July 13, 2013


    Also, there's only one female character with any lines. She's well-written (or close enough) and the actress does a great job, but still. Only one? Really?

    Yeah, a lot of men in this movie. There is also the female Cherno Alpha pilot who gets to say a few things. There's ... uh ... a woman in the undergound bunker who has a line of dialogue in mandarin. And ... um ... a female newsreader at one point?
    posted by memebake at 4:31 AM on July 13, 2013


    According to interviews, del Toro cut out about an hour, which went more into the characters. Hopefully, that'll reveal more about the Cherno Alpha crew, which had a female commander.

    Hello DVD!
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:14 AM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Ok so having been all excited upthread a now having seen it:

    8/10
    As many people have said, if you channel your inner 12-year-old you'll enjoy it immensely. There is one incredibly good, 20 minute or so action set piece (the battle of Hong Kong, which a reviewer upthread has said might be the best action sequence of the century). There's also a very frenetic finale and a brutal prologue. Most of the rest of the film is fairly competent well paced structure to tie the action set-pieces and characters together and make you care about them.

    And that is how a good action movie should be built. But I think I was led astray by the various trailers, which show many monsters and many different cities. Some of the monsters and robots that you glimpse in the trailers are also only glimpsed in the film - as montages, flashbacks or news reports.

    The film had much more non-monster-being-punched scenes than I expected. But, most of the non-Monster stuff is pretty good. There's a palpable sense of urgency and time running out throughout the whole film, and the ensemble cast have various character arcs they need to work through with each other, which is done pretty well, and ultimately is forced along by the feeling of impending doom that infuses pretty much every scene. Its very much a desperate last stand by a dwindling bunch of people that have their issues but come together when they need to.

    If you were around in 1993 you'll remember going to see Jurassic Park and being vaguely miffed that of the 2 hours in the film, there was only 15 minutes of dinosaur footage. The rest of it was Sam Neil avoiding a car in a tree or messing around with electric fences. But in the end it was a good film - Speilberg judged it right (and juggled his budget right) by making a well rounded film that had lots of action, some of which involved dinosaurs.

    Pacific Rim felt a bit similar, except the ratio is more like 45 minutes of massive robot action over the 2 hours. But the rest of the film is great fun too, and Del Toro knows what he's doing - to really enjoy watching a monster get punched in the face, you've got to care about the pilots, understand the personal challenges they are facing, understand the perils of what might happen if the monster doesn't get punched in the face enough, understand the desperate situation everyone else is in, and so on. And all of that takes time to set up.

    Idris Elba is brilliant, and his character really is the centre of everything. Rinko Kikuchi is great, Charlie Hunnam does well enough with a very straightforward character. Charlie Day is great, Burn Gorman is pretty good (but a bit too cartoony?), Ron Perlman is awesome, the two aussies are awesome (Max Martini, Robert Kazinsky).

    So, yes, this film does deliver what it promises, and works best if you think of it as an answer to this series of questions:

    Q: "How can we make a film about giant robots fighting monsters that will have emotional resonance with the viewer"
    A: "Put people inside the robots. Actually, pairs of people - even better. And lets have a bunch of other characters that the viewer can relate to, so that the feeling of a world under threat can be properly communicated"
    Q: "How do we set up all those characters while still leaving space for the action?"
    A: "Make the characters easily understandable with obvious motives and broad-brush characteristics"
    Q: "But won't that make the movie a little bit shallow?"
    A: "Dude, its a move about robots punching monsters."
    Q: "OK, I'll give the Russian pilots white hair"
    posted by memebake at 5:26 AM on July 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


    A few of us watched this last night as a Plan B for the Manhattanhenge meetup. Some brief observations:

    1. This is a very big, very dumb, very funny movie.
    2. Lots of things get destroyed. When you start with wrecking the Golden Gate Bridge, that's a commitment.
    3. The prologue is very long, and when the titles roll, you wonder why they even bother. It almost feels like an interruption.
    4. The effects are awesome.
    5. Ron Perlman is awesome.
    6. Idris Elba speaks in a non-U.S.ian accent.
    7. This is a mashup of elements of Prometheus, Alien(s), Starship Troopers, Ultraman, and a whole lot of other movies I haven't seen or can't summon.
    8. If it weren't for "Anchorman 2," the trailers would have sucked from start to finish.
    posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:09 AM on July 13, 2013


    For what it's worth:

    1. I really wanted to like this movie. I like del Toro. I like his movies. I like good popcorn films.
    2. I Saw it in 2D, from about the middle of the theater.
    3. I liked the script.
    4. It felt mostly like the fighting sequences in the new Batman movies: You kind of can tell sort of what's going on, but a. I was constantly wishing I had been seated in the last row of the cinema, and b. I was constantly wishing that del Toro had added 10 meters of image on each direction.
    5. Even dialogue scenes felt way too tight, as if he had forgotten of the existence of medium shots and full shots.
    6. I dunno, maybe it looks better projected digitally. The last 20 or 30 minutes I was just waiting for the thing to be over.
    7. I'm curious to watch it on tv.
    posted by Omon Ra at 6:22 AM on July 13, 2013


    7. This is a mashup of elements of Prometheus, Alien(s), Starship Troopers, Ultraman, and a whole lot of other movies I haven't seen or can't summon.

    Left out Independence Day. There's a shot near the end that's practically been lifted from the film.
    posted by Going To Maine at 6:39 AM on July 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


    And poor Rinko Kikuchi, whose Mako is supposed to be a strong female heroine but is given nothing to do except be nervous.

    I think there was cultural context there, where Mako is following the lead of her " Asian father" and his wishes. When she's in battle mode, there's no nervousness.


    That's a good in-world explanation, but in the end it still means that del Toro decided he wanted a female lead who didn't get to say much.
    posted by Going To Maine at 7:20 AM on July 13, 2013


    I would give it a 4 /10. The scientists were super annoying and stereotyped. Hated all of their scenes that didn't have Hannibal Chau. The score was uninspired and a mood killer. The fights, plot, special effects and characters were pedestrian. In the end, it felt like yet another one having potential but failing to deliver.
    posted by asra at 1:43 PM on July 13, 2013


    I loved the movie, but I have to admit I cringed a little when Becket got into that fistfight with Hansen over an apology for Mako, who was standing right there and was perfectly capable of defending herself in hand-to-hand combat.
    I found it hard to put too much thought into the gender issues, though, amidst my squeals of childish glee because OMG RODAN SHOUTOUT.
    And holy crap, how adorable and amazing was that little girl who did the Young Mako scenes? I would think pulling off a convincing terror of imaginary monsters in front of a green screen takes some solid kid acting skills.
    posted by Dr. Zira at 2:55 PM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Charlie Day in the shelter as he is being hunted* was like the perfect unintentional political metaphor for Edward Snowden and the American anti-whistleblower intelligence establishment.

    *I still don't know if that was actually what was happening, or just a crackpot theory from the dubious Hannibal Chau.
    posted by Apocryphon at 6:06 PM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Loved it. The battle for Hong Kong breaks the record for HCPM (Holy Craps Per Minute). Still humming the score, which is perfectly heroic. Wanted more Russian Jaeger, that thing was wicked.
    posted by schoolgirl report at 7:05 PM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Oh, and that Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg vehicle 2 Guns whose trailer played before the film- I liked how its storyline about a DEA agent and a special ops commando accidentally coming into conflict over a sting involving CIA dirty money mirrors all of the recent stories about the militarization of law enforcement in America.
    posted by Apocryphon at 8:29 PM on July 13, 2013


    I fucking loved that movie.

    Poor Russians, so very Russian...
    posted by Artw at 10:07 PM on July 13, 2013


    Saw it tonight. It totally didn't pass the Bechdel Test, and was loaded to the gills with refrigerator moments. Most of the Chinese was fairly good, though some was a bit off. Probably could've used more checking by native speakers.

    But the battles were great, the Wayne Barlowe creature designs had a definite, wonderful Barlowe aesthetic to them, the jaegers had interesting designs and it was overall pretty gripping. Elba, Perlman and Kikuchi were all pretty effective. A fun movie.
    posted by jiawen at 11:42 PM on July 13, 2013


    'Pacific Rim': Guillermo del Toro's strange box-office journey
    posted by Artw at 1:26 AM on July 14, 2013


    Going to Maine: So I don't know what you guys thought, but the biggest drift I saw in that movie was Idris Elba's accent! Amirite? Amirite?

    They don't really spell it out, but I'm pretty sure Idris Elba's character is supposed to be British, and most of his lines sounded like a vaguely London accent to me. But from his role in the movie (in charge of everything) my default assumption would have been that he would be American.

    The wiki (based on the prequel comic) has Stacker Pentecost down as British, born in North London, which is where Idris hails from anyway.
    posted by memebake at 4:35 AM on July 14, 2013


    I can't speak to his character (I'm seeing it this afternoon), but Idris Elba himself is British.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 6:27 AM on July 14, 2013


    He's kind of great in it, if you ask me.
    posted by Artw at 7:37 AM on July 14, 2013


    Hadn't been able to see this yet due to transportation issues (some idiot smashed the car window on Friday), will have to wait until sometime during the week. It's pathetic to see that it's been beaten in the box office by Grown-ups 2. What the hell?
    posted by octothorpe at 7:57 AM on July 14, 2013


    Idris Elba is a native of Hackney, which actually makes him a Cockney, and he had the accent for a long time, although reporters now say his accent has slipped into more Mid-Atlantic.

    He's definitely doing a Winston Churchill thing in this film, which may be one of the most peculiar accents in history -- Churchill was born in Oxford, but to an American mother (from Brooklyn!), spent part of his childhood in Dublin, was educated by a nanny and at a succession of boarding schools, and suffered from a lisp and perhaps a stammer when he was younger, which he was given extensive speech therapy to address. Churchill is a pretty classic voice of leadership in a time of great struggle, and Elba seems to be aping his "Never before" speech in his climactic speech, but, yes, he was an Englishman with an unbelievably drifty accent.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:10 AM on July 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Pacific Rim finished third for the weekend, behind the second week of Despicable Me 2 and the opening of Grown Ups 2. The people of America sent Hollywood a crystal-clear message: more sequels, please!
    posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:53 AM on July 14, 2013


    How the hell does Grown-ups 2 have an $80M budget?
    posted by octothorpe at 9:13 AM on July 14, 2013


    "Stars"
    posted by Artw at 9:28 AM on July 14, 2013


    Saw this in 3D, loved it. It's only the second movie I've ever seen in 3D -- I don't get out much -- and the first was Immortals, so my bar was pretty low. I am still not totally used to 3D, I had some trouble following some of the sequences.

    The things I loved: obviously, the giant robots fighting giant monsters. The lack of significant explanation and backstory for "why giant monsters / why giant robots;" I feel like these things do better if we're just asked to accept them, rather than to understand them. The complete lack of "America, fuck yeah!" in the whole movie. The character of Mako, EASILY the least sexualized female action hero I've seen in a while. The fact that there was no romance in the movie -- there was a scene that very much could have ended with a kiss that absolutely did not, which I really appreciated. The diversity in the kinds of relationships that the pilot pairs had, which made it very not Top Gun; out of the 5 pairs of pilots we encounter, we have one pair of siblings (twins?), one married couple, one parent-child pair, and two pairs consisting of people with no pre-existing relationship.

    I thought the whole Hannibal Chau plotline seemed a little tacked-on, although that could have been because I had to go to the bathroom during the initial meeting. I loved the scientists -- they were totally cartoony, but I thought they brought some levity to a film that otherwise could have been very dark. I really, REALLY wish there had been at least one other significant female character. There was a character arc that was telegraphed a little too bluntly near the end, too.

    Overall, I thought it was a great flick. If you go to this expecting an in-depth character drama, you'll be about as disappointed as you would be if you went to see The English Patient expecting giant robots. There were a couple of moments that would sound really stupid if I typed them out, but watching them in the movie I was all "FUCK YEAH FUCK YEAH!" so yay for immersive storytelling. Unlike a very many big dumb action movies, it didn't actively insult or offend me while purportedly entertaining me, so that's a big plus.
    posted by KathrynT at 11:27 AM on July 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


    I get the gender discussion above, and I'd like to add some race/nationality discussion: while the film does a good job in having people of color in prominent roles (Stacker Pentecost and Mako), it still seems a little disappointing in a few other respects.

    First, and this is a problem not just in representation but detracts from the coolness of the setting in general- the Chinese and Russian pilots got barely any characterization, and almost no screentime in battle, which is a travesty. We never got to see them shine in action. If any sequels result, it'd be very nice to see some Jaeger teams that are non-Anglosphere excel. (Speaking of which, while the Aussies get emotional depth and character arcs, Striker Eureka doesn't get much action either, I don't remember seeing it show off its renowned speed.)

    Second, and this is the sort of critique that gets eyerolls, for all that this film owes Toho Studios b-movies, there's only one Japanese character, and interestingly, not really any other Japanese presence besides little details here and there. No Japanese Jaeger. Not even a reference to one or in flashbacks. What gives?

    In general, the Asian characters are background tech support scientists or nameless, weaker cadets or irrational, opportunistic mobs. Hannibal Chau is an alias, fine, but why is "Choi" played by a white guy? His first name is not really mentioned in the film, but apparently it's "Tendo."

    I haven't touched upon the white male/Asian female pairing, because that's not my hobbyhorse, but I will note that it was very chaste, not very romantic, almost like Jet Li and Aaliyah's pairing in Romeo Must Die, which is interesting. The characterization for Mako I'll also leave to other commentators, but I must note her visual style would fit great in a film adaptation of Mirror's Edge.

    The film tries to give it an international flavor, and it's not a big disappointment (besides my first point), but I hope any sequels provide even more diversity for the Pacific Century.

    And another note- greater diversity of kaiju would be gladly appreciated as well. Certainly there was good variety among them monster designs and different powers and physical features, but they ended up all looking vaguely similar, at least in terms of their head shape and general coloration.
    posted by Apocryphon at 12:09 PM on July 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


    No Japanese Jaeger. Not even a reference to one or in flashbacks. What gives?

    fwiw, the Japanese Jaeger is the Coyote Tango, the one Stacker Pentecost was piloting during the Battle of Tokyo where he met Mako. But I understand, I only know of Coyote Tango because I'd been following the promotional materials, and Coyote Tango is definitely one of the hero Jaegers with its own character one-sheet. But it wasn't mentioned by name in the movie, and at this point most of its backstory comes from the prequel comic. (the other spotted Jaegers in the movie is Romeo Blue, the one in the background in the tv reports about the initial victories, and Brawler Yukon, which was the one we saw a test pilot flexing his robot arm)

    And Tendou Choi is supposed to be Peruvian-Chinese.

    your questions are valid though, if we're just depending on the movie. But it does seem to be a movie that comes with a solid canon bible.
    posted by cendawanita at 12:40 PM on July 14, 2013


    octothorpe: "How the hell does Grown-ups 2 have an $80M budget?"

    I'm sure the majority was spent on beans, to keep the actors farting.
    posted by mannequito at 1:19 PM on July 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Saw it yesterday on the 2D screen and enjoyed it. I was a little disappointed by how little time was dedicated to the other jaegers, and perhaps there's a director's cut where I'll learn more about the triplets from China other than they really, really like basketball. Geez, Pacific Rim is a tv show waiting to happen with an impossible budget.

    The score was adequate to the movie, a little fun, but not one I'll be rushing out to buy unless I want to walk with a triumphant stride to a few tracks. I thought the fight scenes were also decently framed, I really didn't have much trouble following the action at all.

    I look forward to watching it again sometime in the future and will tell folks it's worth the cash.
    posted by Atreides at 2:11 PM on July 14, 2013


    Speaking of race, was naming the robot after a racial slur necessary? I had a blast and am telling everybody to go see it, but that really rubbed me the wrong way.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 2:30 PM on July 14, 2013


    Pacific Rim wiki: The names of all the Jaegers

    Whoever named them had a good sense of rhythm and mouthfeel for the names. I particularly like "Solar Prophet," "Vulcan Specter," and "Mammoth Apostle" for names.
    posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:35 PM on July 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


    The Wiki is great, love the scraps of background information about past history.

    Also, it reveals that the male and female Russian pilots of Cherno Alpha were husband and wife. Interesting note about their Jaeger, it had no escape pod, so they had to win every battle or die.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:49 PM on July 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


    They are Russian!
    posted by Artw at 3:52 PM on July 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Well, I saw it in 3d imax this afternoon and it was everything I expected it to be. And yes, the giant robots definitely punched the giant mosters, a lot. Awwww yeah.
    posted by rmd1023 at 4:29 PM on July 14, 2013


    It joins what is for me a very small group of films where viewing it in 3D is actually the best way.
    posted by Artw at 4:48 PM on July 14, 2013


    Bother, maybe I'll go see it again now in 3D.
    posted by Atreides at 5:59 PM on July 14, 2013


    I heard that while the mechs and monsters look awesome in 3D, the people mostly look like flat cardboard cutouts with video being projected on them.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 6:09 PM on July 14, 2013


    I heard that while the mechs and monsters look awesome in 3D, the people mostly look like flat cardboard cutouts with video being projected on them.

    The nature of 3D conversion is basically that the ARE flat cutouts, but I can't say it really stood out to me anywhere.

    There's one shot in the Tokyo that really shouldn't work in 3D but they pull it off. That whole Tolyo sequence is amazing really.
    posted by Artw at 6:48 PM on July 14, 2013


    Just got back a little while ago from seeing it in 3D. Was not disappointed at all, would go see it again and again.

    The last film that I can think of that elicited as many "Fuck yeah" moments from the audience may have been "The Avengers," where some dude about three rows behind me spent most of the New York attack sequence going "Oh shit" as the danger level ratcheted up.

    Giant robots punched giant monsters and all was right with the world. Some of the fight scenes in 3D were excellent, will have to watch it again in 2D to see if it carries as much weight.
    posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:31 PM on July 14, 2013


    Speaking of race, was naming the robot after a racial slur necessary? I had a blast and am telling everybody to go see it, but that really rubbed me the wrong way.

    Sorry, which one? I apparently missed that...
    posted by Going To Maine at 10:44 PM on July 14, 2013


    Gipsy. Although its status as a slur is something that's a point of considerable discussion in the Romani community, it's generally a good policy not to use it if you're not Rom.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:51 PM on July 14, 2013


    The nature of 3D conversion is basically that the ARE flat cutouts, but I can't say it really stood out to me anywhere.

    It's not necessary, though- I didn't notice such an effect in Jurassic Park 3D, which looked great.


    The last film that I can think of that elicited as many "Fuck yeah" moments from the audience may have been "The Avengers," where some dude about three rows behind me spent most of the New York attack sequence going "Oh shit" as the danger level ratcheted up.

    I have literally never heard people CHEER in a movie theatre before.* It was AWESOME.


    *Though I did see the Star Wars rereleases in the 1990's and I remember somebody yelling "Incest!" to much crowd laughter when Leia kisses Luke.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 4:27 AM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Make your own jaeger poster
    posted by needled at 5:22 AM on July 15, 2013


    Make your own jaeger poster

    Neat, saw Despicable Me 2 this weekend and was wondering what a Minion piloted Jaeger would look like and do.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:46 AM on July 15, 2013


    #RejectedJaegerNames
    posted by Artw at 6:47 AM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


    While I throughly enjoyed Pacific Rim, it wasn't as flawless as say The Avengers. Some of the fight scenes were a bit dark and the characters stilted. Really would have liked to have seen more screen time from the Chernol Alpha and Crimson Typhoon pilots.

    But I loved the generally international flavor of the movie (wish Matador Fury had made into the film) as well as the general story and giant robots and monsters. But what I really loved was that that it was original story (with obvious influences), that didn't automatically set up a sequel and there wasn't an overt love story.

    DVD has estimated release date of November, nothing confirmed yet.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:57 AM on July 15, 2013


    KathrynT The character of Mako, EASILY the least sexualized female action hero I've seen in a while. The fact that there was no romance in the movie -- there was a scene that very much could have ended with a kiss that absolutely did not, which I really appreciated.

    Yeah that stood out for me too, the romance was very subtle and they avoided what would have been a cliched kiss at the end. Apart from her father-daughter type relationship with Idris, most of the things Mako does in the film are gender-neutral. Her femaleness is not the key attribute of her character.
    posted by memebake at 7:52 AM on July 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


    Interesting interview with del Toro, where he talks about the pitch, creation process and design choices in Pacific Rim.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:11 AM on July 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


    It's interesting to read all the MAKO MORI WAS A WEAK FEMALE CHARACTER AND DIDN'T DO STUFF AND WAS WEAK when, as an Chinese-American girl raised in a very traditional family, I wanted to stand up cheer really, really loud at exactly the same scenes that a lot of people have been reading for her as weak or passive.

    Like, I wish she'd been the one to pack her copilot off in an escape pod and going into the throat of the portal, and I definitely wanted her to have more lines in the last act, but man, the scene where Raleigh Beckett loses his shit and just starts whaling on the Australian pilot? From my perspective, having been raised in the traditional East Asian family, I read that as a loss of control by Raleigh, rather than Mako being weak. Like, Mako's ability to keep from smacking the Australian pilot straight in the mouth makes her more awesome because (i) her hurting the Australian pilot would have been bad for the success of the overall mission, (ii) it would have been letting him troll her into a response, and (iii) it would have been extra face-losing forboth her and Stacker to get into a fight right. outside. her surrogate father's office and make him have to come out and separate them like scrapping dogs.

    So yeah, I understand how that read as "weak" to most American movie-goers, but that scene read very differently to me, and it'll read very differently to others, particularly people who come from a cultural context similar to what I do. And I have absolutely no doubt that GDT was doing it intentionally -- not only has he been explicit that he wanted this to be a World Bands Together to Fight Monsters kinda movie, but look at the subtlety and care the movie takes in picking and choosing among Japanese anime tropes for portraying Mako.

    tl;dr: American conceptions of strength and badassery aren't the only conceptions of strength and badassery at work in Pacific Rim, and I'm super-glad for it. I mean, when was the last time filial piety was treated with this much respect by a Hollywood blockbuster?
    posted by joyceanmachine at 10:28 AM on July 15, 2013 [29 favorites]


    Nifty stuff in that interview...

    Mako is defined by the grey colour and the blue colour. As we go through the movie we find out that she’s defined by those colours because in her childhood we have a blue memory, a memory that’s all just in blue with splashes of red. I show her holding her heart, or a symbolic object that represents her heart. The memory has left a stain on her hair that is blue, and she’s carrying that memory with her. The introductory sequence of Mako is very significant.

    On the other hand, Raleigh is in a colour space made up of greens, browns and amber. When they meet, the whole sequence is a meeting of his amber and her blue. You see that the entire scene where they meet at the helipad is a clash of just blue and amber. Mako and Raleigh complement each other, their colours are complementary. Their Jaeger cockpit, then, is mostly in blue and amber, their colours.


    And now why I reckon I need to see it in 3D:

    I’m very proud of the 3D conversion and it’s my preferred version of seeing the movie, the 3D. People that have the bad taste of sloppy conversions to 3D should see the movie and see what I think is a really careful conversion and how something can be really good in 3D.
    posted by Atreides at 11:09 AM on July 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


    First weekend takings:

    Grown Ups 2:
    USA: $42,500,000
    Intnl: $1,700,000

    Pacific Rim:
    USA: $38,300,000
    Intnl: $53,000,000
    posted by memebake at 11:36 AM on July 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


    From my perspective, having been raised in the traditional East Asian family, I read that as a loss of control by Raleigh, rather than Mako being weak.

    Yes, because Mako had just made a mistake and nearly gotten everyone killed. Rather than trying to punch out a fellow pilot who was upset about that, Raleigh should have taken her to a simulator or some such and given her more time to practice being in the drift.


    Lots of neat info in the wiki article about Mako.

    As for the gender issues mentioned above, it doesn't seem to have been one in the PR world. Stacker's co-pilot in Coyote Tango, the one that saves Mako, was a female. It just seems the more equitable view was shown as much in the actual film.

    Meanwhile, some argue that the it's a great movie for geek girls.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:40 AM on July 15, 2013


    Pacific Rim's hilarious “fourth-string” Jaegers revealed
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:59 AM on July 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


    Scott Pilgrim meets Pacific Rim.
    posted by zombieflanders at 12:16 PM on July 15, 2013


    re: the kiss avoidance
    "When I was working on the movie we had three or four different versions of the relationship between Charlie and Rinko because I wanted to see if I could make a story about two people liking each other without having to end in a kiss," he explained. "So when I shot the ending we shot three versions. I’ve never done this before, but instinctively I thought we should do three versions. We did one version where they kiss and it almost felt weird. They’re good friends, they’re pals, good colleagues."

    So why did he hold off on the smooch? "But the thing that stayed in the movie is the hint that there may be a love story one day, but it’s not there yet," he teased. Maybe in the sequel perhaps...if it gets made.
    Also: bad news: no directors cut coming: "This is my director’s cut. There will not be an extended cut right now, we’re not planning on it, but there will be deleted scenes and they were deleted for a reason,"
    posted by memebake at 2:22 PM on July 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Pacific Rim's Most Emotional Line Was Left Untranslated
    posted by zombieflanders at 3:11 PM on July 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


    "Pacific Rim's Most Emotional Line Was Left Untranslated"

    I noticed that, and know enough Japanese to have heard something like 愛しているんだ, but I wasn't sure if that was what she said. It definitely sounded like something about "love", though, which made me wonder why they decided to not subtitle it. Probably that it was almost as powerful without the subs, and it was fairly obvious what she was saying anyway. And, as the article says, it was a subtle bow to its Japanese forebears.
    posted by jiawen at 3:36 PM on July 15, 2013


    Pacific Rim's Most Emotional Line Was Left Untranslated

    I assumed that line was something emotionally significant, but now that I know what it is: Oh, god. Right in the feels. :(
    posted by sparkletone at 5:17 PM on July 15, 2013


    Liked it, the two 11yo boys with me liked it. Great looking update to the classic giant monster movies. I don't see how they do a sequel but of course they might. Theater was far from full at 2pm 2D showing at a local multiplex.

    It was the first movie I've seen in a real theater in years. Worth the time and money.
    posted by jclarkin at 5:32 PM on July 15, 2013


    Can a studio just stand up and float him Mountains of Madness now as a gesture of good will? He's earned it.
    posted by jason_steakums at 8:03 PM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


    A Spotter’s Guide to Kaiju: Seven Predecessors of the Creatures in Pacific Rim
    posted by Artw at 10:27 PM on July 15, 2013


    TOP TEN KAIJU FILMS
    posted by Artw at 10:29 PM on July 15, 2013


    The studios have convinced themselves it is impossible to make money on a rated R movie (never mind Ted or The Hangover or 300 or The Wedding Crashers or Django Unchained), so he's still going to have a tough sell on Mountains. If he can convince them it will do gangbusters in China, though, he may have a shot.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:34 PM on July 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


    'Pacific Rim': John Knoll on 'Operatic and Theatrical' VFX for Guillermo del Toro
    posted by Artw at 11:16 PM on July 15, 2013


    For all the people saying that 'hey it's got a strong female character, what's the problem' - it's got ONE strong female character*. That's it. How hard would it have been to make one, or even both, of the scientists, women?

    And yes, there are women in the backstory, but that wasn't included in the movie. And the movie should be judged by what was on the screen, not the graphic novels and directors talking about what was cut and all that. The fact is, having more than one main women character was not considered important enough to make the final cut of the movie.

    This is what really disappointed me about this movie - it has so much going for it, and it is going to be hugely popular, and there were easy chances for this to have more decent female characters but they are just not there. My nine year old son (predictably) loved it, declares it the best movie EVAH, and yet again a movie he loves and has some great stuff for him to takeaway pretty much says it's men that run stuff, do the cool stuff, and take a leading role in society.


    *And despite arguments here, I still think that the framing of the Mori character really is that she is 'looked after' by two men, which undermines the whole 'she's totally strong' idea.
    posted by Megami at 12:03 AM on July 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


    I'm pretty sure the sequel (or lame ripoff) of Robot Jox was called Robot Wars. I have vague memories of a double feature at a science fiction convention and most of the cast seemed the same.

    As I recall, Robot Jox had two "sequels", neither of which were actual narrative sequels. One was Robot Wars and the other was Crash and Burn. I loved those Full Moon movies.
    posted by brundlefly at 3:51 PM on July 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


    brundlefly: "I'm pretty sure the sequel (or lame ripoff) of Robot Jox was called Robot Wars. I have vague memories of a double feature at a science fiction convention and most of the cast seemed the same.

    As I recall, Robot Jox had two "sequels", neither of which were actual narrative sequels. One was Robot Wars and the other was Crash and Burn. I loved those Full Moon movies.
    "

    You and I both, although I liked Crash and Burn a little more. Little girl with big robot works for me.

    Yes, I played a Meckromancer in Borderlands 2 and liked it too, BTW.
    posted by Samizdata at 10:26 PM on July 16, 2013


    So I went to see the movie last night, and it's terribly silly and incredibly awesome and basically everything I could have asked for. It's full of moments that are so outrageously corny that the whole theater was laughing. "Gipsy's analog!

    But there's one point that stood out to me as a demonstration of how it's a movie that's exactly as stupid as it wanted to be, and very smart overall. SPOILERS AHEAD.

    When Stacker Pentecost (love just typing that) comes out in the pilot suit and he and Mako have that tearful goodbye in the hangar, it was so overdone everyone was in stitches. It was all the cheesiest parts of all the best Mystery Science movies rolled into one. But then, just a couple of minutes later, there's a much smaller, more understated goodbye between the Australians that was very affecting, and totally emotionally honest. Nothing overdone at all, and I and the rest of the audience took it very seriously.

    It's almost like that scene was there just so del Toro could prove to the naysayers that no, I really am doing all of this on purpose, and I could be doing this completely seriously and it would absolutely work. Don't forget. Now, back to your regularly scheduled asskickery.
    posted by echo target at 2:33 PM on July 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


    "It's full of moments that are so outrageously corny that the whole theater was laughing. "Gipsy's analog!"

    I loudly whispered "Admiral Adma was right!" and others around me cracked up.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:41 PM on July 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


    I can't remember where I read this, but: "PACIFIC RIM is cheese, but it's excellent, finely aged cheese."
    posted by brundlefly at 2:57 PM on July 17, 2013


    As Pauline Kael put it, "Movies are so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate great trash we have very little reason to be interested in them." I'm not sure about great, but Pacific Rim is pretty good trash.
    posted by Going To Maine at 3:00 PM on July 17, 2013


    Peter Watts: The Joy Of Dumbness
    And this is why I can revel in the dumbness of Pacific Rim where I could only snarl at those other pretenders; because having established his absurd premise, del Toro stays reasonably faithful to it. He runs with it, even interrogates it a little. How do you get rid of a monster the size of the TD Center, rotting in the heart of the business district? PR lets us glimpse a sight right out of Perdido Street Station, a metropolitan streetscape where vast bleached ribs arc up between reconstructed apartment buildings and office towers (Ah, sometimes it’s just cheaper to leave them where they are).
    posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:09 PM on July 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


    America's new Godzilla?
    posted by Artw at 9:49 AM on July 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


    The Art of the Title - complete with really great art for an unused end sequence.
    posted by Artw at 5:12 PM on July 18, 2013


    How may people does a Kaiju need to eat every day?
    posted by brundlefly at 10:55 AM on July 19, 2013


    Didn't anyone else dislike this movie? Maybe it's because I was expecting something more like Evangelion than Godzilla (based on the premise that monsters start appearing from from a trans-dimensional portal in Antarctica Alaska, and the world comes together to build giant robots to stop them) but it felt really hollow and rote, like a film going through the motions of a monster movie.

    All the characters were stock types, verging on stereotypes. Before the main character's brother dies in the prologue, there wasn't anything interesting about him. The only thing we know about the non-Anglophone pilots is what ethnicity they are. The only thing we know about the Aussie pilot is that he has a dog and is hot-blooded. The prologue was totally removed from having any kind of emotional resonance, it was a simple list of events "first this happened, then that happened, then that happened."

    The action scenes were awesome but all the other scenes were just cringingly bad. The writing was terrible. I don't think it's a coincidence that the best scenes in the movie are a wordless flashback scene and (largely wordless) battle scenes. There just wasn't anything in the script that developed any of the characters beyond stock stereotypes. And Hannibal Chau is the only fun stock stereotype, because he's the only who isn't exactly the character you'd expect based on his name and role in the script!

    And don't get me started on the only Japanese character in a movie based on Japanese anime and monster movies being this geek fantasy character who is allowed to be with the main guy after he negotiates with her overprotective dad, ugh. The behind the scenes of Mako's actress interacting with the cast are way more compelling than anything that actually made it to film.
    posted by subdee at 3:13 PM on July 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


    Basically this movie could have been great but it was pretty regressive and relied heavily on a lot of really tired tropes. Which is a shame, because the fight scenes - and that one flashback scene that finally established an emotional connection between character and audience - were awesome.

    Plus, this isn't a world-saves-world movie when the whole giant-robot program is run by one former pilot, there are only two scientists and techs with speaking roles, there are only a dozen pilots, etc. The project to build a wall around the portal felt more authentically like a team effort than any of the pilot stuff.
    posted by subdee at 3:16 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


    I'm sorry, I have a lot of opinions. Here's a CP from the scriptwriting thread:

    Pacific Rim had so many problems.

    1) It's Evangelion, but Evangelion is not actually about the war between the robots and the monsters; it's a character drama about how young pilots are exploited by a corrupt establishment that's actually working toward the end of the world + Shinji's Freudian and Oedipal issues

    2) So when there's a long voiceover prologue about how the war has gone so far, and all of it is the stock sci fi "a menace appeared and all the nations of the world set aside their differences!", it's boring as fuck and focused on the wrong things

    3) The characters are too straightforward, nothing works realistically the way it would if this agency were actually the center of such immense power, there's not enough complexity or understanding of complex systems

    4) Related to that, every single character is a stock trope if not an outright stereotype. Even good actors can't save these lame roles

    5) Related to that, gross "the woman can only belong to the young man after he gains permission from the father" trope + embarrassing Japanese fanboyism. del Toro lifts the entire premise of the plot from Japanese anime and return only includes one Japanese character, as the fetish object of desire of the white fanboy flyboy protagonist? No thanks.

    It's not so bad if you think of it as a kid's movie for 8 year olds, but yeah Pacific Rim is pretty bad. The flashback is the best scene in the movie. It's too bad because the fights, especially the fight where Hong Kong is destroyed, are really cool and well done.
    posted by subdee at 3:18 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero REVIEW
    posted by Artw at 3:49 PM on July 19, 2013


    1) It's Evangelion, but Evangelion is not actually about the war between the robots and the monsters; it's a character drama about how young pilots are exploited by a corrupt establishment that's actually working toward the end of the world + Shinji's Freudian and Oedipal issues

    That doesn't sound like Pacific Rim, where pilots were not exploited by a corrupt establishment working towards the end of the world.

    2) So when there's a long voiceover prologue about how the war has gone so far, and all of it is the stock sci fi "a menace appeared and all the nations of the world set aside their differences!", it's boring as fuck and focused on the wrong things

    What were the right things?

    3) The characters are too straightforward, nothing works realistically the way it would if this agency were actually the center of such immense power, there's not enough complexity or understanding of complex systems

    It was made clear that Stacker was bending rules and going to do what the fuck he had to do save the world.

    4) Related to that, every single character is a stock trope if not an outright stereotype. Even good actors can't save these lame roles

    Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi were great, Charlie Hunnam not so much. I do wish the characters had been more sharply drawn, particularly some of the other pilots. But far from lame.

    Related to that, gross "the woman can only belong to the young man after he gains permission from the father" trope + embarrassing Japanese fanboyism.

    That seemed more like a cultural aspect of some Asian families. Can't say that I agree with that dynamic, but it was played as a matter of respect not domination in my eyes.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:07 PM on July 19, 2013


    The depiction of Mako was one of my few issues with the film. She was too weak.

    The characters are too straightforward, nothing works realistically the way it would if this agency were actually the center of such immense power, there's not enough complexity or understanding of complex systems

    Complexity is not a prerequisite for quality. The characters are straightforward and the world they inhabit is pretty cut and dry, and I think that's appropriate for the kind of film it is. We don't understand the political ins and outs of the Rebel Alliance either.

    I wouldn't knock the film for missing a target it isn't aiming for.
    posted by brundlefly at 5:16 PM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Didn't anyone else dislike this movie?

    I think the main reason I see people disliking this movie is that they expect it to be something it never claimed to be in the first place. If you want an Evangelion movie, they've released a few and the series is on DVD.

    The film is not without its flaws, but I've said it before and I'll say it again: if giant robots punching monsters in the face is wrong, I don't want to be right.
    posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 6:10 PM on July 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


    How to name your Jaeger
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 PM on July 19, 2013


    Didn't anyone else dislike this movie?

    If you go into it expecting a cartoon with terrible dialogue, you'll be fine. Heck, if you go in expecting the terrible dialogue you can revel in it. I think A.O. Scott nailed it in his review, which was positive but not a critic's pick:

    So consider yourself warned. If you walk in expecting subtlety, or even novelty, you may find yourself more tormented than entertained. But “Pacific Rim” is also a reminder — either just in time or much too late — that this kind of movie can and should be fun. Some of those catchphrases are mildly clever. The lab coat mumbo-jumbo is amusing. The noble sentiments touch sweet chords. And who does not delight in seeing a robot punch a dinosaur every now and then — or pretty much constantly for two hours?

    That said, take heart! One of the people with whom I saw the movie was quite disappointed for many of the reasons you mentioned, and I myself have no desire to be marked as loving the film - I have no need to see it ever again. But the film was fun while it lasted, and the world will continue to have a dumb, childish appeal.
    posted by Going To Maine at 10:39 PM on July 19, 2013


    Didn't anyone else dislike this movie?

    The kaiju only gave it one and half limbs.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:59 AM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


    So, do you think this movie would have done better with a fall/winter release date instead of summer? It was one of the ideas I came up with, because it's not from a typical blockbuster director and it's not really a typical summer blockbuster.
    posted by FJT at 2:26 PM on July 20, 2013


    ok guys i saw it we can all talk about it now

    it was rad
    posted by elizardbits at 8:06 PM on July 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


    Did you see that part where the giant robot punched a monster right in its stupid face?

    That was awesome.
    posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:55 PM on July 20, 2013


    Pacific Rim, which cost as much as $200 million to produce -- plus a global marketing spend in the $175 million range -- could lose $50 million to $100 million for Legendary and Warners, according to rival studio insiders. The pic opened to a soft $37.3 million domestically and $53.1 million from its first 38 foreign markets. While poised to do big business in Asia, Russia and Latin America, its chances are dicey in Europe and Australia. Legendary, which produced the fanboy-friendly film and footed most of the bill, will take the biggest hit.

    I still haven't gotten a chance to see this and it's probably going to disappear from the theaters before I have a chance to. Bah.
    posted by octothorpe at 7:19 AM on July 21, 2013


    Guillermo del Toro discusses making Pacific Rim on The Businesses. He says that he alternated between being sanguine about his movies' success and having moments of total panic; he also says he cannot concern himself overmuch with the business end of movies, because that risks constraining his work as an artists, and compares having a career in show business to being in a car crash where people watch and ask why you didn't move your head before you broke your teeth on the steering wheel.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:08 AM on July 21, 2013


    This is late, but I'm surprised that normally pro-feminist Metafilter is so accepting of the characterization of Mori in the film. Not only is she repeatedly shown in a damsel-in-distress frame (her childhood flashback, Raleigh's fistfight, the final confrontation), but she never gets an opportunity to do some rescuing herself which would have mirrored her childhood nicely as a narrative device. At best she's just Raleigh's sidekick and potential love interest. I was really disappointed in her characterization.

    Also this movie was nothing like Evangelion. If you want an anime comparison, look at Gunbuster, from the same studio.
    posted by rq at 1:28 PM on July 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


    This is late, but I'm surprised that normally pro-feminist Metafilter is so accepting of the characterization of Mori in the film.

    I'm not totally happy with how the character was framed (though she was a great character), , but I do believe the framing is from a cultural perspective that isn't from the viewpoint of Western society. That doesn't make the characterization unproblematic, but I think it's a bit more nuanced than she's just a damsel in distress.

    As for changes in the movie, ideally Raleigh would have been injured, then Mako would have packed him into a escape pod, then continued on alone into the breach and finished the mission and saved the world.

    Yes, only Raleigh and Stacker had driven a Jaeger by themselves, but having Mako do it to save the world would have been a nice coda on her relationship with Stacker (she learned how to be strong from him, family bonds blah blah) and established the special neuro bond between her and Raleigh. After all, how bad ass would a a Jaegar be if both pilots could drive it by themselves, if only for a short while? Finally, that would have established Mako as a formidable fighter in her own right, which was echoed in her practice duel with Raleigh and finished arc from newbie to accomplished pilot.

    Other character changes that would have added female characters: Make Stacker Pentecoast a woman or make the Australian duo a mother/son or mother/daughter team.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:01 PM on July 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


    Also this movie was nothing like Evangelion.

    Well, yeah. Pacific Rim is about punching stupid monsters right in their dumb-ass faces.

    Evangelion is about betrayal and loneliness and betrayal and loss and betrayal and hopeless yearning and betrayal and depression and betrayal and being unable to form any meaningful human connections and did I mention betrayal?
    posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:11 PM on July 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


    Sounds angsty.
    posted by Artw at 2:44 PM on July 21, 2013


    Evangelion is about betrayal and loneliness and betrayal and loss and betrayal and hopeless yearning and betrayal and depression and betrayal and being unable to form any meaningful human connections and did I mention betrayal?

    And clones and the Sephiroth and kids riding trains around for days without a point and the Spear of Longdfwer and Lilith and Kabbalic symbolism and more clones and Gendo's creepy mirror glasses and espionage and Misato's beer drinking and Ritsuko's everything and KAORU and secret government agencies and Robert Browning quotes and Shinji yelling at things and the dropped thread of Asuka's not-being-Japanese and more clones and god so many clones and the final episodes that were nothing but Shinji yelling and text scrolling across the screen and weird masturbation scenes just so much weird masturbation and/or choking people because they ran out of money and it was probably the worst ending to an anime I have ever seen. Ever.

    But at least we got house penguins with backpacks.

    (Which is also to say that as somebody who watched NGE at a really formative stage and loved it so, so much up to the aforementioned terrible ending, Pacific Rim delighted me. It wasn't the same movie no, but it wasn't even meant to be the same sport. The history of mecha and kaiju in Japanese film doesn't begin or end with NGE, as great as it was, and I loved the nods that we did see. Like, when the fluid drains out of the pilot helmets in the first flight, I squealed loud enough that the people in the row in front of me gave me a dirty look.

    After so many recent superhero movie directors being like I AM GOING TO REINVENT THIS STUFF AND MAKE IT GREAT AND NOT STUPID OR CHEESY NEVER MIND THAT MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN UNIRONIC FANS OF THIS GENRE FOR DECADES AND DECADES, Del Toro's awareness and respect of the history within which he was working is delightful.)
    posted by joyceanmachine at 7:03 AM on July 22, 2013 [7 favorites]


    ‘Pacific Rim: Men, Machines & Monsters’ showcases Guy Davis
    posted by Artw at 10:18 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


    i went back and saw it again in IMAX 3D. $16 was a lot to see a movie a second time, but I was happy to throw some more money at a genre I'd like to see get so popular that it gets some nice deconstructions and reconstructions.
    posted by rebent at 10:34 AM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


    behind the scenes of the prologue sequence.
    posted by Artw at 1:45 PM on July 22, 2013


    A couple of links that give me hope:

    Great piece on the visual intelligence of the film and goes a long way to explain why the Cherno Alpha pilots are so popular at the moment. (Well, other than they rock.)

    Harry Knowles reports that it was #1 worldwide last week and Box Office Mojo shows that it's made $178 million in the first 10 days once you add in foreign stuff. And it hasn't opened in Japan at all yet!

    Merchandise is a bit hard to come by, which may explain why the soundtrack is one of the top 10 soundtracks on iTunes. The action figures, while maybe not the best thing, are in such high demand that Gipsy Danger sells for $55 on eBay at the moment and ThinkGeek is completely out of stock on all of them.

    I'd love for a non-established property to get a sequel, but I will also settle for a two-year HBO miniseries about the first attack of Trespasser and the birth of the Jaeger program.
    posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:49 PM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


    The lack of a little plastic Cherno Alpha is a shame.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 11:43 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


    I would totally buy that, and I don't usually bother with that sort of thing. Cherno Alpha is best Jaeger.
    posted by Artw at 6:19 AM on July 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


    There is a great bit in the novelization about how Cherno Alpha is built differently than the other Jaegers -- everybody else put the pilots in a little head bit up top, but the Russians stuck their pilots in the midsection for purely practical reasons, so Cherno looks completely different.

    Also, the novelization mentions that Cherno's pilots have the record for the longest neural handshake ever of 18 hours.

    Also, the actor who plays the dude Russian pilot is apparently posting links to fanfiction about the pilots on his Facebook page.
    posted by joyceanmachine at 6:52 AM on July 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


    Just got back from seeing it in 3D IMAX, which is the way, if you can. If it's not too outré to quote one of my tweets: "Pacific Rim is a bit like seeing a very good heavy rock band: it's astonishingly loud, many heroic poses are struck and its loads of fun." Which has been said before many times on this thread, and I'm saying it again.
    posted by Grangousier at 4:14 PM on July 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Also, it struck me that del Toro is intelligent enough to know what to leave out of the movie so it doesn't get bogged down. There's a lot of heavy stuff in there - Raleigh's burn-out, the Stacker/Mako backstory - but there's just enough shown to let you know what's going on without bogging down the flow. Similarly, the presentation of the Cherno Alpha done so well and with so much charisma that the audience knows there's a story there, just that it isn't directly the story of this movie (if there are fan-stories about the Cherno-Alpha popping up, that shows how well it was done).

    By contrast, movies like Prometheus or the Nolan Batman films seem to be trying far to hard to be seen as intelligent, which ultimately undermines them.

    And could del Toro make a better Cthulu movie than Pacific Rim right now, even if they did give him the money? In some ways, it's Cthulu Meets Thunderbirds.

    (I have to confess, every time I've encountered echt Lovecraft, it's struck me as unspeakable dreary. The best thing about him seems to be what he inspired in other people.)
    posted by Grangousier at 4:30 PM on July 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


    In some ways, it's Cthulu Meets Thunderbirds.

    Ha! That's pretty spot on.
    posted by brundlefly at 5:06 PM on July 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


    CthulhuTech - Lovecraft vs. mechs RPG.
    posted by Artw at 5:12 PM on July 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Del Toro cites Patlabor for the mech maintenance bays and such, but yeah, I got a bit of a Thunderbirds vibe too.
    posted by Artw at 5:13 PM on July 23, 2013


    there's plenty of good defenses of Mako Mori out there in the interwebs, but I'll leave this particular one here. I must confess I'm surprised that people described her as occupying the damsel-in-distress frame, because even in my first viewing the thing that jumped immediately to me was that Mako was a Luke Skywalker/Rookie Hero than any damsel. I was making "Uncle Owen, I was going to go to Toshi Station to pick up power converters," jokes as soon as she had that funny non-verbal exchange with Stacker at the training room.

    tl;dr = i didn't even realise defending Mako Mori is even a thing.
    posted by cendawanita at 5:45 PM on July 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


    I think the problem with the argument that Mako was a damsel in distress is that it relies on viewing Mako as being in distress. My interpretation of the scene was that Mako didn't give a damn about the insult to her and was really embarrassed by Raleigh thinking he needed to step up to defend her. Mako was ready to just turn her back on the juvenile stunt by the Australian pilot, but Raleigh was intent on being a white knight without realizing it was an unrequested and unneeded thing to do.

    In brief, Mako can take care of herself. Her decision not to act was not done from a powerless position, but from one of control.
    posted by Atreides at 7:35 AM on July 24, 2013


    It's important to set up the grudge - the unfinished fight - between Raleigh and Chuck, which pays off after the Gypsy Danger rescues the Hansens: Raleigh needs to earn Chuck's respect by beating the crap out of him (not my personal value system, but what the hell); the way the scene with the stick-fighting plays out shows that no one disrespects Mako as a fighter as the tone of the scene is such that we know the joke is on Raleigh when he challenges her to fight: everyone else in the room knows that he's in for a surprise, no matter how much he's been trouncing the opposition so far. It's her rookie status as a pilot that's the question - a status that's entirely down to Stacker's wish to protect her from death in battle. Mako's struggle to earn his blessing to be a pilot is her fight.) Mako's weakness is not her gender, but the emotions that well up in her while she's in the drift - which she successfully goes on to conquer and defeat.
    posted by Grangousier at 10:39 AM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Finally saw this. Thumbs up. I feel like the movie delivered exactly what was promised, with a short shopping trip to the Blade Runner universe and cameos from Rick Moranis and Alan Turing. Also -
    - Pleased with Mako.
    - Impressed with the little girl who plays her in the Tokyo scene (comic seems to say she's supposed to be 13 at the time? She looks about six or seven.)
    - Supremely pleased with the lack of a kiss at the end or shoehorned sex/Mako undressing scenes.
    posted by LobsterMitten at 7:02 PM on July 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


    I was sorely disappointed in the lack of giant mobsters, contrary to what I was lead to believe.
    posted by ooga_booga at 4:46 PM on July 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


    How big did you want them? Ron Perlman is 6'1". That's pretty gigantic.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:15 PM on July 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


    Finally freaking managed to see this and loved it. Liked that the dorky scientists were the real heroes.
    posted by octothorpe at 8:29 PM on July 26, 2013


    I know that I saw this two weeks late but was sad to see that the theater was almost empty at an 8:15 Friday evening showing. There might have been twenty five people there.
    posted by octothorpe at 1:12 PM on July 27, 2013


    It was number 1 overseas last weekend. The film is going to do just fine. It's worldwide grosses are currently at $188,961,000, so it made its nut back in two weeks. And ti doesn't open in China until the end of the month, where it is expected to make $60 million.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:50 PM on July 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


    I've had to wait for a friend to get back into town so we could see it together. He's back, today we go. Very excited.
    posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:30 AM on July 28, 2013


    It's worldwide grosses are currently at $188,961,000, so it made its nut back in two weeks.

    And it still hasn't opened in China, Japan, Brazil or Spain.

    On the other hand, it hasn't really "made its nut back" since a chunk of that gross box office goes to the movie theaters, often as much as 50% after the first week in the US (have no idea what the percentage theaters/governments get in places like Korea, etc, but it's probably a similar chunk). I forget where but I read one article claiming gross box office would need to be close to $400 million for Warner to make back its $180 to $220 million investment.
    posted by mediareport at 4:32 PM on July 28, 2013


    Well, that's true, but that's also not country subsidiary rights, and del Toro is quite canny about seeing himself as an IP creator, not simply someone who makes a movie. There will be an entire toy range from NECA, there are books and comics, there are two related video games, and he has been in talks to develop a video game. So it may have cost more than its initial budget shows, but also has much more earning potential than box office shows.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:38 PM on July 28, 2013


    I read one article claiming gross box office would need to be close to $400 million for Warner to make back its $180 to $220 million investment.

    Yep, that's why they're called grosses. A certain percentage of that money (depending on how long it's been out) goes to the theater operators, after all.
    posted by ShutterBun at 5:27 PM on July 28, 2013


    Yep, that was my point in the sentence just before the one you quoted.
    posted by mediareport at 10:16 PM on July 28, 2013


    OH MY GOD GIANT ROBOTS PUNCHED GIANT MONSTERS!

    And one fell down in the snow and then there was a monster that spit acid and another one made this really big electrical explosion and then the giant robot picked up a BIG BOAT and hit a monster with it and another monster flew and picked up the giant robot and dropped it and it was AWESOME!
    posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:13 PM on July 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


    Kaiju Fact Number One: Evidently in Japan somebody has been tweeting as @knifeheadkun and dresses as a cuter, smiling version of that kaiju. They were at the premiere with del Toro, Mara, and Kikuchi while in costume.

    Kaiju Fact Number Two: Some mad genius created a Toho-style trailer for the film. It is brilliant.
    posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:48 PM on July 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


    Yep, that was my point in the sentence just before the one you just quoted.

    Sure enough. I missed that part completely! Pardon my unnecessary duplication of efforts.
    posted by ShutterBun at 2:59 AM on July 29, 2013


    So the canonical time for the first kaiju attack is apparently August 15 2013 in which San Francisco, Sacramento, and Oakland are/were attacked.

    Now I'm not saying we should have a 08/15/13 NorCal meetup in which everyone is required to attend in a kaiju costume but I AM TOTALLY SAYING WE SHOULD HAVE A NORCAL MEETUP IN WHICH EVERYONE IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND IN A KAIJU COSTUME.
    posted by elizardbits at 9:46 AM on July 29, 2013 [12 favorites]


    That Toho trailer is great!
    posted by brundlefly at 1:34 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Kaiju Fact Number Two: Some mad genius created a Toho-style trailer for the film. It is brilliant.

    Oh my god, I love this so much.
    posted by sparkletone at 2:51 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


    elizardbits: "So the canonical time for the first kaiju attack is apparently August 15 2013 in which San Francisco, Sacramento, and Oakland are/were attacked. "

    I love love love the fact that there's an entry for my city in the Pacific Rim Wiki.
    posted by brundlefly at 3:32 PM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Plus a major location.
    posted by Artw at 8:18 PM on July 29, 2013


    I tell you, Oakland gets all the luck.
    posted by brundlefly at 9:58 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


    I wish we had a pile of dead robots. We do have the EMP.
    posted by Artw at 10:23 AM on July 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


    I trust everyone here has seen & enjoyed the entire Millenium Series of Godzilla films? Cuz really, if y'all are so into daikaiju...it's available. (Granted, not on such a big budget scale)

    In other good news, there was a sneak preview of next uear's Godzilla release at San Diego Comic Con, and the big guy looks (and sounds) just great.
    posted by ShutterBun at 2:47 AM on July 31, 2013


    ‘Pacific Rim’ $9M Opening In China Biggest Ever For Warner Bros: Sequel Likely Now

    And I don't think it's opened in Japan yet.
    posted by cendawanita at 5:31 PM on July 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


    The film felt geared towards an international audience and I'm hoping that's where it cleans up at the box office, prompting a sequel. I wonder if it would have done better in the US if the season was less crowded.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:14 PM on July 31, 2013


    It opens on August 9th here. I've been trying not to read this thread. Can't. Wait.
    posted by Ghidorah at 9:08 PM on July 31, 2013


    I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I finally asked myself, “Why do I like Raleigh so much?" And it hit me — Raleigh was being handled, in Pacific Rim, in a way I was utterly unaccustomed to seeing a male character handled. Raleigh served as a source of emotional intelligence, insight, and support for the other characters in a manner utterly belied by his football-star squint.

    * * *

    WORKING CLASS PEOPLE OF COLOUR SAVE THE WORLD, ACCOMPANIED BY THE ONE DECENT WHITE DUDE WHO IS ALSO WORKING CLASS, AND DISABLED SCIENTISTS WHO ARE HUGELY IMPORTANT IN THE WORLD SAVING, NO REALLY WHERE DID THIS FILM COME FROM
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:10 PM on July 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


    I'll be honest, I'm much more amenable to a prequel rather than a sequel. I wanted more of the other Jaegers, though what I've read about possible sequel threads sound interesting too. It's just... I just want more of the other Jaegers. And the ending was such an emotional sweet spot for me.
    posted by cendawanita at 11:06 PM on July 31, 2013


    I just want more of the other Jaegers

    They could do a movie just about Cherno Alpha. It fought and defeated six kaiju, so there's plenty of material.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:31 AM on August 1, 2013


    In other good news, there was a sneak preview of next uear's Godzilla release at San Diego Comic Con, and the big guy looks (and sounds) just great.

    Honestly, I have about as much faith in a Hollywood Godzilla being done right as I do in Hollywood Akira being done right.
    posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:23 AM on August 1, 2013


    I'll be honest, I'm much more amenable to a prequel rather than a sequel.

    We can have both, this is america and we have freedom.
    posted by elizardbits at 8:45 AM on August 1, 2013


    Pacific Rim Sequel Looking Likely After Big China Opening

    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:53 AM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


    We can have both, this is america and we have freedom.

    This is America and this cow ain't dry. So...we'll probably get 5 sequels and THEN the prequel.
    posted by Atreides at 8:59 AM on August 1, 2013


    World War Kaiju
    posted by Artw at 9:04 AM on August 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


    “What if Doctor Strangelove created Godzilla?”

    "You can't stomp on buildings in here, this is the war room!"
    posted by brundlefly at 10:08 AM on August 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


    There was a rather fun Gordon Rennie story in 2000AD a while back where Pearl Harbour was a Kaihu attack and the US retaliated by inventing superheroes.
    posted by Artw at 10:21 AM on August 1, 2013


    Neat info: Bunny Ultramod's China link includes a link to this piece, "Hollywood Not Making Nearly As Much Money From China As You Think," which describes a tax dispute that's holding up payments and notes, "Studios receive about 25% of the box office from China."

    Here's the source, The Hollywood Reporter:

    Hollywood studios and Dodd hailed last year's WTO deal for loosening key restrictions. According to the new arrangement, foreign studios get back 25 percent of box-office revenue (previously 13 to 17 percent). Chinese authorities agreed that additional payments, including any taxes, would not come out of the 25 percent split. But late last fall, the China Film Group informed studios that it intended to pass along the tax after all.
    posted by mediareport at 8:14 PM on August 1, 2013


    Guillermo del Toro discusses Pacific Rim in this week's The Treatment, and confirms that he both set out to work within the conventions of the summer blockbuster and also very deliberately subvert them.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:21 AM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Ok, saw this in Mombasa, Kenya last week. It is the first action movie I have liked in pretty much forever.

    Favorite moment was definitely in the Battle of Hong Kong: Two fists in the air, yelling 'fuck Yeah!' as the Old One spreads wings and takes flight.

    I somehow didn't expect the Lovecraft angle, but totally loved it. I still dream that one day he gets to do Mountains....
    posted by kaibutsu at 3:12 PM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


    How's it doing in Mombasa?

    Unlike with China or Japan I'm not really sure where Kenyans come down on the whole Giant Robot/Giant Monster thing.
    posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:40 AM on August 6, 2013


    Saw it again in 3D IMAX over the weekend. Oh man, it was spectacular in that format, really gave the fight scenes justice. It also wasn't as dark as the 2D version we saw, which I think says a lot for del Toro personally overseeing the 3D conversion and the variety in theater quality.

    Also saw an IMAX version of the Gravity trailer, which was jaw dropping.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:51 AM on August 6, 2013


    The morning news show Mrs. Ghidorah watches just had a segment on Del Toro being in Japan to promote the film, and after the press conference, they took him to the Gundam museum/store in Odaiba. He looked like the happiest child in the world, especially with all of the full scale parts on exhibit, and of course, the full scale statue outside.

    It comes out tomorrow, but I've got an all day event to do. Saturday. I will see giant robots smash evil monsters on Saturday.
    posted by Ghidorah at 3:43 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


    the other Weinstein thread reminded me, I'm still boggled that the distribution decided that what the (non-Japan) Asian market needed was a Pacific Rim with the Japanese bits completely dubbed out. My friends back home are still pissed off. You'd think the one region that would have no problems with anime and anime Japanese would get the movie in its proper language track.
    posted by cendawanita at 3:50 PM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


    But what is the mainstream reception of those things Japanese in non-Japan Asia? In China, Nationalist feelings toward the country have been stirred up repeatedly over the last couple years. While I don't doubt that there aren't consumers of anime in China who don't give a whit, the film is targeted at more than just them. Is it even possible the Chinese film authorities requested the change? Without the Japan segment, then China sits as the Asian country front and center in the film.
    posted by Atreides at 6:31 PM on August 7, 2013


    I honestly can't tell you. My mistake - I should also clarify my statement comes as a Southeast Asian. I have no idea why I should care what China authorities think.
    posted by cendawanita at 7:53 PM on August 7, 2013


    (but to expand further, it's an interesting question. The Southeast Asian Chinese suffered incredibly as well during the Japanese invasion - and I speak referring more specifically to the Malaysian and Singaporean experience. Yet, in the years since, Southeast Asia has been extremely receptive to Japanese pop culture.)
    posted by cendawanita at 7:54 PM on August 7, 2013


    Yet, in the years since, Southeast Asia has been extremely receptive to Japanese pop culture.

    A lot of water goes under the bridge in 70 years. Ask Europe.
    posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:44 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Are two heads better than one? The psychology of Pacific Rim: In Pacific Rim, pilots drive giant robots using the power of their minds. How far away from science reality is the science fiction?
    posted by homunculus at 11:43 AM on August 8, 2013


    I liked how even the kaiju had two brains, though there's seemed to be grouped as primary and secondary. However, the movie was incorrect in stating that dinosaurs had two brains, at least according to current science theory.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:53 AM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Oh, God, the "Kaiju have two brains" was the absolute worst instance of 'AS YOU KNOW, BOB' I've seen in movies in a while. And there was a perfect opportunity to mention it in a more appropriate context earlier in the film (when we first see the bit of kaiju brain in the lab).
    posted by rmd1023 at 11:56 AM on August 8, 2013


    As a dinosaur buff I would have cringed at the "two brains" thing, except it had been years since I last heard anyone say it, so it felt kind of charmingly retro to me. Like if he had said that "brontosaurus" lived in swamps to support its massive girth.
    posted by brundlefly at 12:00 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


    Huh, I had no idea that the two brain dinosaur thing was wrong. It was right when I was in the fifth grade; those damn scientists need to stops changing their minds.
    posted by octothorpe at 12:19 PM on August 8, 2013


    those damn scientists need to stops changing their minds.

    Dunno if this has changed since fifth grade, but they only have one each too.
    posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:55 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


    Movies use tropes that have long passed out of currency in the real world. Filmmakers also believe that if there are twins, one will be evil, and that the Bermuda Triangle is a thing.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:21 PM on August 8, 2013


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