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Old 2013-07-13, 13:11   Link #801
Hemisphere
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Seconded.

Some of the people I watched it with found the cinematography quite riveting, and the straightforward execution, earnest storytelling along with the little bits of consistency in the worldbuilding were something they found quite telling and something they were immersed in during the entire viewing. These people had no familiarity with the kaiju and mecha genres, but they still loved it on those points.
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Old 2013-07-13, 13:33   Link #802
james0246
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Some quick notes.

Some pluses:
-The glorious Hong Kong action sequence is easily the best action setpiece of the summer (so far). Everything about this sequence was superb, from the music, to the graphics, and the general choreography and even monster/mecha design. Simply superb. (Sadly, the 2 other major action setpieces are somewhat underwhelming (and the conclusion to the last setpiece is almost directly stolen from 'Independence Day').)

-The flashback sequence was easily the best scene(s) in the entire film. From beginning to end, it represented the only time I felt any real tension or fear of the behemoth Kaijuu (brought about by the wonderfully simplistic but amazingly expressive acting of the young Mana Ashida). This is the most Del Toro-esque moment of the film (outside a few smaller scenes and ideas), and it is the most richly humanistic story found during the two plus hours.

-The doctors mind-melding with an alien brain, and the Bone Town (and its many inhabitants) were some of the other great moments that felt most like a Del Toro film (It's basic yet fun world building like this that really added to the film). In fact, beyond Mako, the scientists and Hannibal stole the film quite easily from the supposed leads.

-I do like that there was no overt romance. Undoubtedly it will be there in the sequel, but the lack of romance was still pleasing if only because it didn't strictly reduce Mako to either a damsel in distress (which she still is through most of the film) or simply another sex object (which she also still partially is, but not as badly as she could have been). There is still a very strong intimacy being showcased, but it is not overtly romantic or sexual in design or function.

-I really dug the metaphorical theme of unity brought about by the merging of consciousness within the Drift. There is something very simple, yet endlessly evocative and dramatic and so very human, about how the concept of survival can only be established once we understand one another (Survival, of course, being found in the Jaeger's which can only truly work when two intimately combine themselves to become one). A simple yet well done message for an endlessly complex idea. (Who'd a thunk a tentpole feature film in America could be based so heavily around the idea of compassion .)

-The lack of any real propaganda (for any specific nation, creed or ideal) was quite a big bonus. Too often these films are so ethnocentric and jingoistic as to be almost comical in their pursuit ('Battlefield: LA' (?) immediately springs to mind). But, Del Toro smartly steered clear of any real sense of overt patriotism or other forms of propaganda or any real belief that war is somehow good.

-Once again, Mana Ashida is great.

Some negatives:
-While Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori was quite good, and Idris Elba (as the Marshall...which I don't think was a name, but rather a title, but whatever...) is always fun. Sadly Charlie Hunnam as White Guy 1 ('Nathan' and 'Jax' were the only names I could think of, and I doubt either where the characters name ) and all the other too similar White Guys were fairly boring (not necessarily their stories, but their acting). In fact, beyond Mako and Hannibal Chau, I doubt I can recall any of the characters names, especially the throw-away extra pilots that do nothing but die. (Most of them I just named after whatever tv show or film I had seen them in before (like "True Blood guy" or "The Event guy", etc).)

-This is easily Del Toro's worst film. I say that not because the film is bad (it's not), but simply because it lacks so much of what makes Del Toro such an amazingly expressive and gifted director. So much of the film is simply average and commonplace, with plots and stories and acting and directing right out of the tent-pole filmmakers handbook (Del Toro should be commended for working with the handbook so well, but he still managed to make a largely un-Del Toro-esque feature). I can't help but feel that Del Toro had to drastically alter his story and directing just to get this film made.

Overall, the film was a grand experience that lived up to the awe of its initial trailers. What problems I might have were minimal and in no way detracted from the sheer fun and excitement of the total package. I wish a little more of Del Toro's style could have been infused into the picture, but the end result is still a meaningful and clearly different type of summer tent-pole blockbuster. 80/100.
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Old 2013-07-13, 13:40   Link #803
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Quote:
-This is easily Del Toro's worst film. I say that not because the film is bad (it's not), but simply because it lacks so much of what makes Del Toro such an amazingly expressive and gifted director. So much of the film is simply average and commonplace, with plots and stories and acting and directing right out of the tent-pole filmmakers handbook. I can't help but feel that Del Toro had to drastically alter his story and directing just to get this film made.
Much like how Avatar had a boring plot straight out of Dancing with Wolves. When directors take a risk, they tend to keep everything else old school. Only one experiment at a time.
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Old 2013-07-13, 13:45   Link #804
james0246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
Much like how Avatar had a boring plot straight out of Dancing with Wolves. When directors take a risk, they tend to keep everything else old school. Only one experiment at a time.
I don't disagree with your assertion, but I still long for the sheer possibility of what Del Toro can do when he is unshackled or uninhibited by the studio system (obviously some compromise is a must since it would be impossible for any director to make such a large film without the studio systems help). I may be detracting the film based on my own misconceptions of what 'Pacific Rim' could have been, but I expect many other Del Toro fans are doing something similar.
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Old 2013-07-13, 16:50   Link #805
SoldierOfDarkness
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@James

If you want a proper comparison then look at Christopher Nolan.

His movie, Inception, was something he penned a long time ago and presented to WB but they felt that he wasn't strong enough to do it so they told him no.

After his success with the reboot of the Batman Franchise Nolan then had his "proof" that he could pull off large scale blockbusters and therefore was able to produce Inception which led to one of the highest box-office performances in Hollywood. After the Dark Knight Rises producers will feel more comfortable if Nolan presents to them another "original" movie compared to another director that hasn't been able to produce one.

So if Pacific Rim does well enough, last I check it'll be opening in China at the end of the month and that place is a guaranteed killer, then Toro will have his "proof" that he can pull off not just large scale blockbusters but international and Hollywood's been trying to get into those markets, especially China.

Another would be Seth Macfarlene and the movie Ted but by the time he made Ted he already a strong base due to Family Guy and American Dad. If he had tried making that movie before Family Guy I doubt he would've gotten far.

Last edited by SoldierOfDarkness; 2013-07-13 at 17:10.
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Old 2013-07-13, 17:54   Link #806
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Saw it this afternoon. Despite the cliches and tropes in the plot, the movie delivered exactly what was promised and was worth every penny spent. James's points in the post above are spot on. Like him, I have a few quibbles with the movie, but they aren't nearly enough to diminish how awesome it was.
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Old 2013-07-13, 18:11   Link #807
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
I can't help but feel that Del Toro had to drastically alter his story and directing just to get this film made.
Call me naive but I don't believe it,Del Toro's never compromised before and I don't see why he would have started now.

He said he directed this as if he were 12 years old and I believe him, you just watched a movie directed by a 12 year old Del Toro which to me would explain why it's " average and commonplace".
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Old 2013-07-13, 18:23   Link #808
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Originally Posted by totoum View Post
Call me naive but I don't believe it, Del Toro's never compromised before and I don't see why he would have started now.
There's a difference between making a film for 50-80 million dollars and making a film for 200 million. With the budget 'Pacific Rim' had, it is obvious there would be some compromise on vision and story, else it would never have been made.

Truthfully, I do not mind the compromise. As I said, whatever my quibbles with the film, it delivers exactly what it promises with a little extra on the side (the flashback sequence is one of the most beautifully shot sequences of the summer). Despite its faults, it is one of the most human action films of the year (hell, of quite a while), with a strong compassionate heart and some wonderfully orchestrated action sequences.
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Old 2013-07-13, 18:52   Link #809
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Had a smile on my face for the entire movie I think Really enjoyed it. The sense of scale was great while the human parts were fine.
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Old 2013-07-13, 20:58   Link #810
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
-I do like that there was no overt romance. Undoubtedly it will be there in the sequel, but the lack of romance was still pleasing if only because it didn't strictly reduce Mako to either a damsel in distress (which she still is through most of the film) or simply another sex object (which she also still partially is, but not as badly as she could have been). There is still a very strong intimacy being showcased, but it is not overtly romantic or sexual in design or function.

I strongly agree with this but for more personal reasons

For some reason I cannot get into any romance in these western movies. When it comes to Anime I can build a raft with sticks and vines and call it sea-worthy, but in these western stories I have problems accepting a red carpet invitation to a 5-stars cruise line.
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Old 2013-07-13, 21:27   Link #811
RobotCat
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I totally loved this film. I went in with a lot of hype from the trailers and all the interviews and it managed to exceed them. I think part of it is that the pacing is perfect. They managed to squeeze in a TON of sub plots and ideas but it never felt rushed.

I loved how 'anime'-ish it felt in the way the plot and characters developed. It doesn't feel like an 'Americanized' Kaiji/Mecha film at all. I also loved how they kept the action focus on the Kaiju vs the Jaegers. One of my biggest problems with the Transformers series is that 80% of the film is spent either on the American Army or on really badly done sitcom humor involving Shia LaBeouf. Here, they know what we came to see and they delivered.

Here are some minor issues I have with the film:

-If swords are so effective, why don't they all use swords from the get go? They seem to have no problem chopping Kaiji apart with the sword while having much more trouble punching it.

-They somehow have inter dimensional communications. When Gipsy Danger went through the rift, they probably should have just cut off all communications.

-They never mentioned the ejection system until they needed to use it so for the entire time I thought delivering the bomb was a suicide mission.

-The Russian and Chinese teams got taken out way too easily. I think they should have been there for the finale.

-The category 5 should have been bigger. I thought it was going to be like 3x the size of the Jaegars. That'd have been more impressive.

Some speculation on plot mysterious from the film as well as possible sequel storylines:

-Anyone think the top 1% have some kind of deal going on with the Kaiju? Ie, the Kaiji can come through and take over as long as they let the top 1% live. Otherwise there's no way they'd actually stop funding the Jaegars after seeing how ineffective the wall is.

-Hannibal Chau seemed to know a lot more than he let on, especially about linking minds with the Kaiji. Maybe that ties to the whole conspiracy thing I talked about before.

Some things I want to see in Pacific Rim 2:

-Aerial Combat. Something like the booster packs that Gundams use would be awesome.

-Two handed Plasma Sword.

-Combining. Two Jaegars should combine into a super Jaegar with 4 pilots.

Last edited by RobotCat; 2013-07-13 at 21:38.
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Old 2013-07-13, 22:17   Link #812
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
-This is easily Del Toro's worst film. I say that not because the film is bad (it's not), but simply because it lacks so much of what makes Del Toro such an amazingly expressive and gifted director. So much of the film is simply average and commonplace, with plots and stories and acting and directing right out of the tent-pole filmmakers handbook (Del Toro should be commended for working with the handbook so well, but he still managed to make a largely un-Del Toro-esque feature). I can't help but feel that Del Toro had to drastically alter his story and directing just to get this film made.
I'm not an expert on Del Toro's oeuvre, but I'd agree with the overall critics' ratings on Metacritic (65%) and Rotten Tomatoes (72%). In the end, Pacific Rim was just so much over-the-top CGI of robots bashing giant monsters that I ended up not caring about any of the characters. Much of the technology and the plot are presented to us without much explanation. Perhaps that shouldn't matter, since the whole point is to just enjoy the spectacle. The eye candy is certainly wonderful, but at no point was I swept up by the sheer excitement I wanted to feel. It never really felt that mankind was doomed and the Jaegers were our absolute last hope.

I guess I'm simply jaded with such summer blockbuster movies. Pacific Rim wasn't bad, but it didn't really excite me either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by james0246 View Post
-Once again, Mana Ashida is great.
Mana Ashida is something of a prodigy and a very, very well-known child actress in Japan. She shot to fame for her role in Mother and she's extremely precocious! More importantly, fans of Usagi Drop will probably remember her for playing the live-action version of Rin.
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Old 2013-07-14, 00:08   Link #813
Hemisphere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobotCat View Post
-If swords are so effective, why don't they all use swords from the get go? They seem to have no problem chopping Kaiji apart with the sword while having much more trouble punching it.

-They somehow have inter dimensional communications. When Gipsy Danger went through the rift, they probably should have just cut off all communications.

-They never mentioned the ejection system until they needed to use it so for the entire time I thought delivering the bomb was a suicide mission.

-The Russian and Chinese teams got taken out way too easily. I think they should have been there for the finale.
Fridge Brilliance and Foreshadowing involved for most of those.

Spoiler:
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Old 2013-07-14, 01:17   Link #814
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One trouble I had is visualizing how far the Breach was in the ocean.
1) The release point for the jeggers are knee or waist height water? Then they walked the rest of the way. If it's deep in the ocean, then it must be a pretty long walk. Since the start off point is HK, they would need to pass by Taiwan and Philippines to get to the ocean.
2) Since the Helis came and get them, I'm guessing the nearest base would need to be around 500km away. This can be handwaved away since they helis can be on standby in the area and/or aerial refueling can take place (I'm drifting towards the former)

Anyone else thought that Hannibal Chau or someone in his employ had drifted with a kaijuu before? He seems to know what's happening with the doctor and knows a lot more about the kaijuu's biology than even the defense force

Sad to say if there's a Pacific Rim 2, it would need to be a prequel. Since the Breach was destroyed. But then again, since the invaders were intelligent, what's stopping them from opening another Breach and coming again (once they replaced the commanders that were killed by Gypsy Danger's reactor)
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Old 2013-07-14, 01:18   Link #815
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Spoiler for Pacific Rim: Man, Machine and Monsters:
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Old 2013-07-14, 01:28   Link #816
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Just saw this today myself. And loved it. Unfortunately a lot of American non-otaku viewers look at this more as a monster movie and not a mecha movie; I was hoping this movie might spark an Amercian mecha addiction, if just a small one.

I'm glad Del Toro didn't take too many risks/jumps with this movie; US mecha movies haven't exactly been a big hit in the past (Gundam Wing managed to start a considerable gathering, but even that died down eventually), so it was a good thing he only took a jump with the mecha idea and didn't try any experiemnts with new ideas in other parts of the movie. Go with what works; it's almost never a good idea to make a movie too "revolutionary."

And my favorite Jaeger design was easily Striker Eureka; a slim, conservative design made for speed that looks awesome. (two of my most favorite anime mecha designs are the Huckebein Mark III from Super Robot Wars and the Gundam Mark II from Zeta Gundam, both similarly convservative designs) Though it's still too bad Typhoon and Cherno Alpha basically got gruntified; essentially they were just there to die.

Now, I know it's not a fair comparison at all, but as a long-time mecha anime fan I'm obligated to say it.

To all Jaegers: you ain't got nothin' on the Soulgain.

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Old 2013-07-14, 01:52   Link #817
risingstar3110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobotCat View Post
Here are some minor issues I have with the film:

-If swords are so effective, why don't they all use swords from the get go? They seem to have no problem chopping Kaiji apart with the sword while having much more trouble punching it.

-The Russian and Chinese teams got taken out way too easily. I think they should have been there for the finale.

-The category 5 should have been bigger. I thought it was going to be like 3x the size of the Jaegars. That'd have been more impressive.
This is my take on them:
Spoiler for Just in case:
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Old 2013-07-14, 01:59   Link #818
Ithekro
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But could it lead to a Godzilla movie in the same universe?
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Old 2013-07-14, 02:06   Link #819
Shinji103
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On the whole issue about Gipsy's swords, it seemed to me like they were just a newly-developed weapon rolled out with Gypsy's refit; remember they weren't just blades that slid out/folded out of the arms like Striker's claws, but collapsible saw-blades. Collapsible means weaker structural integrity than old-fashioned solid swords, so they needed to be advanced enough so that they wouldn't break in combat.
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Old 2013-07-14, 02:06   Link #820
risingstar3110
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But could it lead to a Godzilla movie in the same universe?
I actually thought it was heading toward Evangelion at the start of the movie Because a) did not see a Japanese Jaeger (Coyote Tango) b) there is that whole thing about melt mind with the Kaiju.

Thought that i will see a Kaiju-controlled mecha at some points
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