Pacific Rim toys

Posted by H-man 
Quote
Sanjeev
Quote
Gcrush
I can't believe that Del Toro would ask the designers to make the monsters look like they were a person in a suit instead of actually putting a person in a suit. That's like spending CGI dollars on marionettes. What the hell?

Seems to make sense to me. I mean, weren't you once explaining how the human mind likes to detect patterns...and making some amorphous blob move with a more humanoid anatomy would make it...less of an amorphous blob, no?


Sanjeev (Admin)
I was thinking more...


[www.wired.com]

...Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, whose recent eight-tweet love-letter to the film declared, “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 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… 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?”
Sanjeev (Admin)
That's a helluva endorsement!

The point about this being an original Hollywood movie--not something based on a pre-existing comic, cartoon, foreign film, tv show, other movie, video game, or any other media--is pretty fucking key.

When's the last time we saw a big-budget nerd movie that was actually a Hollywood original?
MSW
Quote
Sanjeev
When's the last time we saw a big-budget nerd movie that was actually a Hollywood original?

Three years ago... the film was called Inception. It earned over $825 million worldwide in its theatrical release...And the Hollywood top brass continue to claim it was a fluke.


If Pacific Rim earns what Inception did, I'll be surprised.
Much as I liked Inception, I wouldn't lump it in the same genre as Pacific Rum. Nolan's non-Batman flicks (and arguably even his Batman flicks) have deeper dramatic concerns...well, relatively speaking.

What Hideo Kojima calls the "ultimate otaku film" isn't what I think of when I think about Inception.
Quote
Sanjeev
Seems to make sense to me. I mean, weren't you once explaining how the human mind likes to detect patterns...and making some amorphous blob move with a more humanoid anatomy would make it...less of an amorphous blob, no?

Totally right about our brains wanting to anthropomorphing rangerize junk. But there's a difference between making something look humanoid versus making it look like a human in a rubber suit. And that's the difference I was getting at. Things in rubber suits don't look or move like people.

I don't hold much stock in Kojima's opinion as it has been my experience that most otaku have terrible taste. I've seen lots of otaku-ish stuff that might have looked good in the design stages but really sucked in execution.

As for top-tier non-nerd Hollywood films... If you adjust for inflation, Wikipedia says (according to the Russian version of the Guiness World Records, anyway) that 3 were based on existing novels, 1 on an existing Broadway musical, 1 on the Bible, 1 on a folk tale, and 4 on "original" works - with three of those four "original" works pretty much defining modern nerdism.

Looking at unadjusted figures, it's a little more grim. Maybe 19 of the top 50 were not adapted from some existing fiction.

The most successful franchises is a mixed bag. Of the top 25, only Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Ice Age, The Fast and the Furious, Indiana Jones, Toy Story, Madagascar, and The Matrix aren't directly adapted from an existing source. But those are pretty much all firmly in the domain of either "kids" or "nerds" (or "nerdy kids"). If you include the franchises based on existing works then more than half are based on "really nerdy shit".

The list of annual top grossers is wild. At first glace, less than 30 or so in the last 100 years of cinema have not been adapted from a pre-existing source. Some decades appeared to be better for original works, like from the late 1970s to the 1990s. If you look at them by genre, sci-fi and animation appear to be more open to "original" success than the rather conventional categorey of drama. (Most of the hugely successful dramatic films were ripped straight from existing works.)

My takeaway is this: Hollywood appears to have always been into cribbing from literature and any recent changes probably come from nerdy shit like comics just being included under that umbrella of cribbable paper based sources - but sci-fi and animation have always been more open to original successes than other genres. A modern case in point would be Avatar - suuuuuuuper fucking nerdy and successful sci-fi.
Quote
Sanjeev
When's the last time we saw a big-budget nerd movie that was actually a Hollywood original?

Shit, in my rambling I forgot to say clearly that it was 20011's Pirates of the Caribbean (because, really, pirates are sooooo fucking nerdy it hurts). Or 2010's Inception. Or 2009's Avatar. Or 2008's Hancock. And so on. Almost every year has at least one big-budget film based on an original story (or original franchise) that could be considered nerdy because it's either sci-fi or animation.

But your point is well taken - aside from 2005's King Kong or 1998's Godzilla, I can't think of a movie about giant monsters that was budgeted over $150 million. And has there ever been a big budget movie about giant robots?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Did people actually go see Hancock??? Heh...

Anyway, yeah, I kinda don't feel Inception fits in....but I'm thinking Avatar and the Matrix trilogy fit. I wouldn't count Pirates because they're not really scifi and clearly cross genre lines.

Either way, the point still stands: this is a seemingly rare *original* Hollywood big-budget scifi flick.

My buddy who is a NOTORIOUS hater saw Pacific Rim last night and said this:
"The movie's legit.... It's right in our wheel house.... Kaiju are meh... But serve their purpose.. Gained more respect for the mecha...
It's chessy but soooooo what we grew up on, which is awesome...
They kept the scale of everything consistent (some thing i feared they'd lose)

It's the most fun movie this summer.

It really was refreshing. They waste no time letting you know what the point of this movie is. Though characterization was sacrificed in order to hurry the plot a long, i think the movie saved itself by not taking it self too seriously, but still kept a serious tone, ya know what I mean?"
Quote
Sanjeev
Did people actually go see Hancock??? Heh...

I watched it on an aero-plane because I was trapped with no options. But apparently more than a few people will chose to see a movie starring Will Smif without being forced. Madness, I say.

Quote
Sanjeev
Anyway, yeah, I kinda don't feel Inception fits in....but I'm thinking Avatar and the Matrix trilogy fit. I wouldn't count Pirates because they're not really scifi and clearly cross genre lines.

I totally see Inception as sci-fi. Pirates ain't sci-fi, but I thought we was talking about "nerd" films because you asked, "When's the last time we saw a big-budget nerd movie that was actually a Hollywood original?" I see a lot over overlap between "nerd" and "sci-fi", but, like, Inception makes the case that not all sci-fi is nerdy, and Pirates makes the case that not all nerd is sci-fiy. Feel me?

As for the monster designs... I can't feel them because nothing beats Dogora except Dogora!
Sanjeev (Admin)
Quote
Gcrush
apparently more than a few people will chose to see a movie starring Will Smif without being forced. Madness, I say.

That's some bullshit. But then I turn on the tell-lie-vision for 5 minutes. And then I can believe anything...

Quote
Gcrush
I totally see Inception as sci-fi. Pirates ain't sci-fi, but I thought we was talking about "nerd" films because you asked, "When's the last time we saw a big-budget nerd movie that was actually a Hollywood original?"

I feel you. I think I should have been more verbose. See, Inception's the type of movie that crosses genre boundaries. That's why, to me, it doesn't feel like a more "classic" (read: exploitative) scifi flick.

Quote
Gcrush
As for the monster designs... I can't feel them because nothing beats Dogora except Dogora!

Ha! That wasn't the worst movie ever...but the "monster design" was pretty weak!
Since I know Sanjeev and maybe some other folks here aren't on facebook, I'll share my initial review of the film I posted there (pretty much spoiler free):

Okay. Pacific Rim.

First off, let me say I can't give a 100% full review yet, because the sound was so terrible at the IMAX 3D presentation at Lincoln Square. Not terrible as in bad, but so loud, I couldn't understand about a third of the dialogue. Fortunately, the dialogue is really the least important part of this movie, so I can still give my overall impressions.

The movie is fun, but it is really three different films rolled into one package:

1: An Ultraman style tokusatsu movie.
2: A Mazinger Z remake.
3: Independence Day-style tentpole summer blockbuster Hollywood flick.

It mostly succeeds as each of the three components (though the least as #3), but the meshing of the three kind of works against itself in places.

If you are a kaijuu/tokusatsu film fan, this movie is definitely for YOU. I think these fans will be the most pleased and find the least fault with the film, and more power to them. It's a genre that needed a good revitalization. Congrats! I'm not a big Tokusatsu fan, but I grew up on enough Ultraman and such that I can appreciate the gesture to say the least.

If you are an anime fan, the resonance the film will have with you will depend on the sorts of anime you like, particularly the sorts of robot anime you like. Whatever anyone else says about this movie--Transformers this, Evangelion that, Power Rangers or Voltron those...to me it is clearly first and foremost a Mazinger Z homage. You'll find cues from other robot shows (not so much Transformers, I'm happy to say...but the ubiquitous Evangelion comparisons and even perhaps Power Rangers if that is your only exposure to the tokusatsu genre are completely apt and understandable when viewing the movie), but then again, other robot shows mostly find themselves derived from Mazinger Z anyway. This is definitely pure Go Nagai influenced super robot cheese, in any case. And it delivers on that front. If you are looking for something more 80s realist mecha style, you're mostly barking up the wrong tree though.

The rest of the movie...well, it is presented in a fairly B-movie cheese kind of manner. The comparisons to Robot Jox are not completely without merit either, there's at least one scene I felt that came right out of it, but handled much better. That said, I didn't mind the dual synchronized pilot system once it was explained in the context of the setting. I mostly get hung up about physics and science presented badly in a film, especially an ostensibly SF film, but for the most part I could suspend that for the sake of it being a silly tokusatsu-style romp which eschews conventional weapons for some good old robot-monster boxing. Sure, I cringed at stuff like Jaeger robots being carried by far too few helicopters for their mass, but it looked like something you would see in a classic kaijuu movie, so I couldn't really complain. Anyway, when looking at the less anime/tokusatsu-like parts of the film, it starts to fall apart for me. Most of the characters are poorly acted (from what I could hear of the dialogue) cardboard caricatures (though some funny ones were to be found), with a few familiar archetypes from the different represented genres thrown in. The worst for me were the researchers, who fall into the typical Hollywood dorky-scientist-who-doesn't-practice-anything-resembling-actual-science mold. The martial art sparring to determine the hero's co-pilot felt pasted in, overly long and unnecessary (if something of playing more with the B-movie tropes). However, for the parts of the third of the movie that interested me the least, there were still some great moments, and some really cleverly funny parts.

My favorite part of the movie was the prologue, which details the backstory and bring things up to 5 years before the setting of the main part of the film. I watched this part fairly close to the IMAX screen to get the full immersion effect that I also enjoyed in Avatar. The visuals left me literally completely slack-jawed for the entire prologue. When they got to the "Pilder ON!" part (Nagai fans will know what I mean), I knew this film was probably in good hands. Unfortunately, the loudness was too much so once I got to the title and jump to "present time" I moved back about six rows. This helped the sound some (but not the intelligibility that much), but dampened the 3D effect and sense of immersion. I can't really blame the movie for that, but I'll have to see if there is someone I can complain to about the theater's presentation.

I'll go see it again, both so I can reenjoy my favorite scenes, and hopefully parse the dialogue better (and hopefully not to the story's detriment, lol), but next time I think I'll just see it in 3D at a regular digital presentation and skip the local IMAX. A shame though. The sense of scale was amazing. I'll update my review with my final thoughts once I've "properly" watched the film.

TL;DR: good dumb 60s/70s Japanese monster/robot fun with a few not quite as good American style stuff tossed in the mix. Too loud at my IMAX theater, I recommend bringing earplugs just in case.
Quote
Sanjeev
Quote
Gcrush
As for the monster designs... I can't feel them because nothing beats Dogora except Dogora!

Ha! That wasn't the worst movie ever...but the "monster design" was pretty weak!

Blasphemer! Blasphemer!!




Seriously, though. While Dogora is basically some kind of gaseous heptapod (or some kind of ghostly, crippled box jellyfish from space), it is still the most inspired and unconventional giant monster I can recall because it has no eyes, face, or other anthropomorphic features. It's the difference between looking at a starfish and a dog. People are basicaly programmed to project emotional qualities onto doggies because of their eyes, mouths, and bilateral symmetry while our brains get uncomfortable with things that have broken faces (like the Alien) and pretty much psychologically shut down completely with looking at faceless things (like the Anus).

Lacking facial features or a human body plan, something like Dogora cannot "emote" anything and all the audience is left to interpret is its weird motions and the devastation they cause. Which, to me, is cool because it makes the monster much more monsterous.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2013 10:57PM by Gcrush.
Attachments:
open | download - dogora.jpg (52.3 KB)
I also pretty much psychologically shut down completely when spending any considerable time looking at faceless things like the Anus, however, I ensure my comfort during these protracted sessions by making sure I'm wearing my Robot Jox.
Spoilers ahead....



Just saw it a few hours ago with Lady Gingaio. If Lady Gingaio were to make a list of the top 400 movies she'd like to be taken to this year, this movie would not have come close, so bless her for going along.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, even the cheesy ass main theme that every part of me screamed was cheesy as ass, just because of the visuals the track was laid over. There's more Eva in this movie than even I expected (e.g., that shot of Mako floating on her escape pod in the middle of the ocean, the nuclear blast wave washing over Gipsy Danger, the various design cues [Crimson Typhoon's coloring and the mono-eye]).

And the ending battle featured a clever bit of role reversal, with the man-made robot playing invading kaiju to the "alien overlords."

As we were driving home, Lady Gingaio somehow started channeling Mr. Crush. Here are some of her points:

1) If the genius scientist was such a genius, why would he need Ron Perlman to tell him that the mindmeld with the kaiju brain would open a two-way telepathic door?

2) How can the robots move that fast in water?

3) Why doesn't the government invest in more projectile weapons for the robots?

4) Why didn't Gipsy Danger use the chain sword earlier in its fight with the two Level 4 kaiju, instead of punching and swinging the useless baseball bat-ship, given how much more effective the sword is?

5) How can the humans so quickly and authoratatively classify levels of creatures they've never before seen?

6) If Marshall Pentecost knew that Mako was so scarred by her traumatic memory, wouldn't he give her copilot a bit of warning before they mindmelded? Shouldn't she have been vetted (and by a psychiatric staff beyond the marshall) before being handed a walking nuclear reactor with laser cannons for hands?

7) Shouldn't there be teams of backup pilots at the ready (so that a dying Marshall wouldn't have to step in), given that the average dinner theater probably has multiple understudies?

8) Why do the kaiju and robots have to be so anthropomorphized?

9) Why are the genius alien overlords so stupid and so nefariously ingenious at the same time?

10) If it's possible for HeroMan and Mako to eject and survive before detonating their nuke, why couldn't Marshall Pentecost and the Austrailan Dude do likewise, per the physics of this movie?

11) Why does piloting robots have to involve such strenuous exercise (shouldn't advancing technology make things easier for the human body)?

12) A culture that can develop mind-melding technology can't make remote-controlled drone-jaegers?

13) Stick-battle speed dating. What the hell?

14) Why are the human fight scenes more riveting than the kaiju ones?

15) If Chernobyl Robot and Chinese Robot are so awesome at defending their respective countries, and have done so for years, is it so plausible to have them get so easily wiped out the first time we see them in action?

16) Why are none of the robots designed with more aquatic capabilities in mind, given that their enemies are all amphibious?

And so on...

Well, nostalgia renders me stupid. I objectively know this is not that good of a story, and I probably can concede most, if not all, of the above points. As a movie experience, though, it's quite transportive and is in line with Del Toro's other mainstream work, which I like more than my Doppelganger, who has somehow mindmelded with my girlfriend.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2013 04:17AM by gingaio.
[edited]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2013 03:16AM by gingaio.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Quote
Gcrush
...Blasphemer!!...While Dogora is basically some kind of gaseous heptapod (or some kind of ghostly, crippled box jellyfish from space), it is still the most inspired and unconventional giant monster I can recall because...

Haha...okay, I can agree with all your points because Dogora DOES look pretty damn alien to our sensibilities. So the concept of him is great. But when I said "weak", I was referring simply to the fact that he's a blue-screened-in jellyfish!

Not the most clever or creative solution. :P

Anyway, looks like I'ma see Pacific Rim tomorrow night in IMAX 3D...but I'm now worried about the sound based on Bry's experience...
MSW
Just got back from a 2D showing. It was pretty good, almost great, clearly the best Hollywood film I've seen in theaters all year...It's got some problems, the two scientist dudes were annoying as fuck. Most of the robot battles were knee and waist deep in the ocean. Only one fight was in city (Hong Kong), except for a small fashback/memory fight and a couple of shots on TVs...However it was the best fight in the film. The final fight is pretty anticlimactic though. The story is simple and the film doesn't take it's too self seriously (thank god!). Most of the focus is on the fights. Yeah the framing device for why they needed two pilots is kinda cheesy, and many of the plot and character advances are dependent on the characters ability to "drift" (mind link) with each other. But it's all cool, NOBODY in this film has Shinji Ikari-syndrome, EVERYBODY is ready to FIGHT (I feared the film would go all EMO on us with this "drift" shit). I'd rate it 4 out of 5 stars and I'll get the blu-ray when it comes out; but, at this time, I have no interest in the toys.
Agreed with MSW, Pacific Rim was good, but not great, and produced no desire to purchase the toys. Marketing fail! :)

Best, Ken-A
You guys...

I haven't owned a super-robot toy in years, but this movie is starting to make me think of buying one, though probably not of a character from this movie.

Then again, Striker Eureka is pretty slick.
I think I liked the kaijuu designs better than the robots (though some of the closeups and special abilities of the 'bots were nice)...I could see maybe buying some toys of them if they appealed to me enough on the toy sculpts, even though I'm not a big kaijuu fan myself. I do wish the bot designs were more...toyworthy. Tsuyoshi "the MAN" Nonaka drew his interpretation of Gipsy Danger as a Chogokin toy that I was tossing money at the screen for though when that was shared on FB.

Edit: also everyone else I've spoken with who saw it IMAX did not have the issue. So it was my local dumb-ass theater. Not the first time around here, if not that particular venue.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2013 03:58AM by microbry.
Okey dokey.... my attempt to answer questions that basicallly should not be answered because in the end, just that right amount of corn suited this geektastic movie just fine (for the most part - maybe could have used a bit less of the "Top Gun" tropes that tried to pass off as meaningful human drama)....

Quote
gingaio
Spoilers ahead....


1) If the genius scientist was such a genius, why would he need Ron Perlman to tell him that the mindmeld with the kaiju brain would open a two-way telepathic door?

*** Perhaps his geeky enthusiasm for the Kaiju didn't make him as objective and clear-headed as he should have been, despite his brilliance? Plus it's Charles Day and any character played by Charles Day has to be a bit of a doofus...****

2) How can the robots move that fast in water?

**** Ummm.... ***

3) Why doesn't the government invest in more projectile weapons for the robots?

**** Maybe it was more expensive to both install, implement, replace and maintain such weapons. If the Jaegers can simply pummel or slice a Kaiju into submission - as implied that they could easily with the lower category Kaiju's, then it would be more practical to keep the projectile weapons in reserve. Nobody predicted that the Kaiju's would become smarter and more powerful down the road. ****

4) Why didn't Gipsy Danger use the chain sword earlier in its fight with the two Level 4 kaiju, instead of punching and swinging the useless baseball bat-ship, given how much more effective the sword is?

**** It's the super robot or "Blazing Sword" rule to not use the best weapon in it's arsenal until it is utterly cool to do so. ****

5) How can the humans so quickly and authoratatively classify levels of creatures they've never before seen?

***** Ummmm.... by size or speed or AT field? More puzzling is how they were able to designate one as "Knifehead" and another is "Leatherback" without actually seeing them first. *****

6) If Marshall Pentecost knew that Mako was so scarred by her traumatic memory, wouldn't he give her copilot a bit of warning before they mindmelded? Shouldn't she have been vetted (and by a psychiatric staff beyond the marshall) before being handed a walking nuclear reactor with laser cannons for hands?

***** I think Pentecost knew he made a mistake when he allowed her to co-pilot during Gipsy Danger's test run, making that decision against his better judgment. *****

7) Shouldn't there be teams of backup pilots at the ready (so that a dying Marshall wouldn't have to step in), given that the average dinner theater probably has multiple understudies?

***** It takes a special and rare breed.... ummm...yeah. That's it. ******

8) Why do the kaiju and robots have to be so anthropomorphized?

***** Because they are dammit. ******

9) Why are the genius alien overlords so stupid and so nefariously ingenious at the same time?

**** Overconfidence, my friend. Overconfidence. And didn't those alien overlords (and their ultimate defeat) remind anyone of the alien overlords in "Independance Day"? *****

10) If it's possible for HeroMan and Mako to eject and survive before detonating their nuke, why couldn't Marshall Pentecost and the Austrailan Dude do likewise, per the physics of this movie?

**** Aussies don't need no sissy eject pods. *****

11) Why does piloting robots have to involve such strenuous exercise (shouldn't advancing technology make things easier for the human body)?

****** Moving giant robots, even in a virtual environment take some heavy lifting.... ******

12) A culture that can develop mind-melding technology can't make remote-controlled drone-jaegers?

***** That's for Pacific Rim 2: Atlantic Rim. ******

13) Stick-battle speed dating. What the hell?

**** HAWT *****

14) Why are the human fight scenes more riveting than the kaiju ones?

***** Um.... not really? The whole Hong Kong battle sequence is probably the best action sequence I've seen in a movie this year or a few years. *****

15) If Chernobyl Robot and Chinese Robot are so awesome at defending their respective countries, and have done so for years, is it so plausible to have them get so easily wiped out the first time we see them in action?

**** Yeah, I wanted to see more of Russkie Bot and Hong Kong Dearler Bot. I guess they were the least equipped to deal with Category 4 Kaiju.....I think the clunky design of Russkie bot might be my favorite of the Jaeger designs (though Aussie bot is pretty cool too). ****

16) Why are none of the robots designed with more aquatic capabilities in mind, given that their enemies are all amphibious?

***** I did wonder about that, but then again, since they moved so well under water, they were already "aquatic"? *****

Anyway, yeah, I had a blast with this movie and would definitely see it again (when it hits the bargain theaters). Of course it can't stand well under any amount of scrutiny or nitpicking but that's kind of besides the point. Guillermo Del Toro delivered our first real full blown Giant Robot movie and did a pretty good job of it too.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2013 11:15PM by H-man.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Kaiju is its own plural, gentlemen. We're not savages here.

;)

Okay, saw it last night in IMAX 3D. Looks like the volume issue was NOT isolated to Bry's theater. :/ As soon as we sat down, the first trailer began...and it *blew* us away how fucking loud it was. It was so loud, I had a very slight headache through most of the movie (that subsided minutes after we left the theater)...but it didn't really take that much away from the overall experience. But like Bry, none of us could understand maybe 1/4 of the dialog. Fortunately, it's a giant monster movie; who cares? :P But never in my life I left a movie theater with my ears ringing and partially deaf. Sure, normal when going to concerts. Never a fucking movie. I really hope this isn't going to be the new normal for big budget 3D flicks...

Anyway, whatever. The 3D was off the hook...for about the first quarter of the movie. Bry, did you or anyone else who saw it in 3D notice that? Like, it was *amazing* how deeply layered everything was at first...but then, it's almost like the 3D people got lazy or something after that. Even the fight scenes got a lot more...flat. Not bad...just not nearly as spectacular as the initial fight with knifehead.

As for the movie, I thought it was aiight. Worth the price of admission, I guess...but hardly the holy experience some folks are making it out to be. Sure, there's a lot of idiotic plot holes like the ones gingaio brought up...but my complaints are mainly with the overall execution.

Like, I can deal with Charlie Day...but that other fucking scientist needed to be executed publicly. I *really* gotta wonder if del Toro actually asked the actor to play the role like that? Watching Idris Elba awkwardly trying to interact with him on the screen nearly broke my mind.

The mecha designs are bad. Bad. Bad. BAD. C'mon people...WE are the mecha fans...we know this shit...so stop apologizing for them. Admit they're awful. I can go on fucking deviantart.com and find a dozen more compelling mecha designs sketched by nobodies that would blow away the lame shit they made for this movie. Yeah, I realize del Toro was trying not to reference existing mecha designs (yeah right--they look like Real Steel rejects...and I heard one person say Gypsy Danger looked like an overgrown Halo suit). But there's a reason Japanese robot cartoons have been around for DECADES. Learn what's out there. Learn what works. Blend those elements until you have something sorta original but still compelling.

And lastly, the ending. Umm...the SAME ENDING AS THE AVENGERS??? Avengers came out only last year...and they completely aped the ending? Holy shit, that's weak.

Okay, besides the generally lame characterization (who cares?), those were my only significant beefs. Now onto the good shit.

The kaiju designs weren't NEARLY as awful as I thought they'd be. They're most definitely *not* amorphous blobs--they had clearly-defined anatomies and they moved fairly realistically. I know del Toro has some weird fetish for jaws that open up sideways--and I heard a bunch of complaints about the kaiju's faces all looking the same--but whatever. That didn't really bother me.

As wack as I think the mecha designs are, they were gorgeously rendered. Points for having realistically-designed joints, visible cams, pistons, and whatnot...shit that moved realistically too. Gypsy Danger's initial sortie, where the hull first started getting hit with the rain, was intense...especially in 3D! Of course, the fight scenes were far from perfect--the mecha never led off with ranged weapons when they had the jump on a kaiju, the mecha moved totally unrealistically underwater, the mecha should have been outfitted with more potent melee weapon systems, etc...but overall, I think the fights were sufficiently entertaining.

While this movie would never have been green-lighted if it weren't for the success of the Bayformer movies (and maybe to a lesser extent, Real Steel), I feel that it was overall about a 1000 times better than any of those shit-smears. The bottom line is that I think this means that we could see more original big-budget mecha/kaiju films coming out of Hollywood. And hopefully, they'll keep evolving and improving.
Quote
Sanjeev

Anyway, whatever. The 3D was off the hook...for about the first quarter of the movie. Bry, did you or anyone else who saw it in 3D notice that? Like, it was *amazing* how deeply layered everything was at first...but then, it's almost like the 3D people got lazy or something after that. Even the fight scenes got a lot more...flat. Not bad...just not nearly as spectacular as the initial fight with knifehead.

**** As a rule, I avoid 3D movies, especially ones where the 3D conversion was done in post-production like this one (but how would you know that? research! research!). Movies that were actually shot in 3D (like "Avatar", "Hugo", "Life of Pi") I would consider checking out in that format. *****


Like, I can deal with Charlie Day...but that other fucking scientist needed to be executed publicly. I *really* gotta wonder if del Toro actually asked the actor to play the role like that? Watching Idris Elba awkwardly trying to interact with him on the screen nearly broke my mind.

**** Actually I kind of dug the other scientist and how he played off of Day's character. With "Dark Knight Rises" and a small stint in this past season's Game of Thrones (as the Night's Watchman who instigated the riot/betrayal in Craster's Keep), I think this actor (Burn Gorman is his name...) is an effective character actor in supporting roles. ****

The mecha designs are bad. Bad. Bad. BAD. C'mon people...WE are the mecha fans...we know this shit...so stop apologizing for them. Admit they're awful. I can go on fucking deviantart.com and find a dozen more compelling mecha designs sketched by nobodies that would blow away the lame shit they made for this movie. Yeah, I realize del Toro was trying not to reference existing mecha designs (yeah right--they look like Real Steel rejects...and I heard one person say Gypsy Danger looked like an overgrown Halo suit). But there's a reason Japanese robot cartoons have been around for DECADES. Learn what's out there. Learn what works. Blend those elements until you have something sorta original but still compelling.

And lastly, the ending. Umm...the SAME ENDING AS THE AVENGERS??? Avengers came out only last year...and they completely aped the ending? Holy shit, that's weak.

***** Which was the same as "Independance Day" and probably a handful of other sci-fi films I can't think of... it is rather becoming the convention/cliche for this type of genre now. *****

Okay, besides the generally lame characterization (who cares?), those were my only significant beefs. Now onto the good shit.

The kaiju designs weren't NEARLY as awful as I thought they'd be. They're most definitely *not* amorphous blobs--they had clearly-defined anatomies and they moved fairly realistically. I know del Toro has some weird fetish for jaws that open up sideways--and I heard a bunch of complaints about the kaiju's faces all looking the same--but whatever. That didn't really bother me.

***** Agreed! *****

As wack as I think the mecha designs are, they were gorgeously rendered. Points for having realistically-designed joints, visible cams, pistons, and whatnot...shit that moved realistically too. Gypsy Danger's initial sortie, where the hull first started getting hit with the rain, was intense...especially in 3D! Of course, the fight scenes were far from perfect--the mecha never led off with ranged weapons when they had the jump on a kaiju, the mecha moved totally unrealistically underwater, the mecha should have been outfitted with more potent melee weapon systems, etc...but overall, I think the fights were sufficiently entertaining.

***** I think it was because of this exact aspect that warmed to the overall design and aesthetic of the Jaegers. But there's still a definite This is Not Designed by the Japanese and Therefore Not as Cool element to the robots. But maybe like cars (how you can almost always tell a Japanese car design from an American) it's just something that is inherent in each culture's aethetics and sensibilities.... *****

While this movie would never have been green-lighted if it weren't for the success of the Bayformer movies (and maybe to a lesser extent, Real Steel), I feel that it was overall about a 1000 times better than any of those shit-smears. The bottom line is that I think this means that we could see more original big-budget mecha/kaiju films coming out of Hollywood. And hopefully, they'll keep evolving and improving.

**** Oh, 100% agree on this. I actually enjoyed Bayformers 1 but the crappiness of the sequels soured my impression of the first film (similar to the "Shrek" and "Matrix" series). I know Gaiking, Voltron and Robotech movies are in the works but based on the lackluster box office of this movie (ugh... it was outgrossed by "Grownsup 2"?!?), I don't know if Hollywood studios may be so eager to jump on any giant robot bandwagon that's not the friggin' Transformers. *****
Sanjeev (Admin)
Huh....good point on the 3D-during-post bit. Avatar, may it burn in hell, had some SICK 3D. I wish I'd seen Hugo in theaters though--I only saw it recently via DVD at home. :/ Haven't seen Life of Pi yet...

Still, at least the beginning of Pacific Rim was good.

And I'm not saying the actor playing the other scientist was bad. He's clearly an *amazing* actor, actually. I just want to slap del Toro for writing in such a terrible cliche.

Totally forgot about the Independence Day ending too. So dumb. Oh...and by the way...nuclear reactor != nuclear bomb. *sigh*

One bit I don't get though: "This is Not Designed by the Japanese and Therefore Not as Cool". I don't really see much of a difference between Japanese and American cars (from the outside anyway!)...and I definitely don't give a shit who's designing the robots in whatever movie or cartoon I'm watching. It's just that the Japanese have been doing giant robots since before the 70's...so they know their shit. They know what works and what doesn't. You don't have to reinvent the wheel--study what others have come up with and go from there...

It's mind-blowing to me that Grown Ups 2 grossed more than Pacific Rim this weekend. That movie has literally the worst ratings I've ever seen for a major Hollywood film with famous actors and all that. Oh well...whatever.
I agree that the 3D seemed to be much more immersive in the prologue...

Originally I thought that was because I moved back 6 rows due to the sound and lost the immersion from sitting close and filling my view, but I saw it again in "Real3D" and it was the same way...even so I thought part of it was also just that you get "used to" seeing the 3D and notice it less...but maybe not.

I'm guessing that part was more polished and using more CG work that could be rendered in 3D easily. I hadn't realized the film was a post-production 3D work (unlike Avatar--which I liked, damn it, in spite of its obvious flaws, and Hobbit...which I didn't much like at all, despite the great source material and LOTR being so good), the 3D was quite good, even past the prologue if not as immersive as that portion.

As I didn't like Avengers nor thought it was particularly original itself, I never even made any connection to the Avengers ending as I'd already nearly forgotten it. But yes, sealing the gate to hell/another dimension/universe/etc. in this fashion is an old, old trope used many times before. But anyway, actually what that sequence put me more in mind of was the climax to Gunbuster. Gunbuster was better of course, but it had kind of that feel for me, perhaps partly due to the "Gipsy's heart" scene earlier reinforcing the reactor/heart metaphor into my subconscious.

Oh yeah, dialogue was understandable the second time, at non-IMAX, thank goodness. I hadn't missed too much, but a few explanations here and there that helped suspend disbelief a little better that improved it slightly (not that I cared much about that in THIS movie).

With all the ridiculous bad science and physics thrown out the window, there really was only one thing that jarred me: the whole "Gipsy's not digital...she's analog and nuclear!" Um, WHAT? Like how does that even work, particularly the way they have things set up? And does that mean the helicopters (which can somehow as a group carry something several times their collected mass....but that didn't bug me so much) are nuclear and analog too? ;) Yet I could let THAT slide even because it felt like a shout out to Giant Robo's plot twist....

Heh, yes the robot designs are awful. It's funny how my expectations going in have been withered down...when I first saw the promo posters I thought "what? There's no way this will be any good." Then I saw the robot designs on paper, and was all "yeah, this is awful, though I suppose they could have a bit of Big O-like clunky charm in some cases if handled right." Then I saw the trailer with the dual pilot system and I was like "screw this movie, there's no way they can justify this stupid control scheme, where the pilots have to do the synchronized swimming thing to control the robot yet it is supposed to make it easier!" Then lastly I realized if the film was silly enough, it could bring it all together. While the film wasn't all-out campy, it did have that playfulness and its heart mostly in the right place.

Yet man those robot designs are garbage. Better than Michael Bay garbage by as much magnitude as the difference in scale, but garbage all the same. That the film still manages to work with these awful designs is a real credit to Del Toro, I will give him that. It's probably just as well the main fights are in the dark of night and bad weather. If we were given a good clean look at the 'bots and the beasts more often, it may well have looked even more ridiculous.
MSW
It doesn't matter if Pacific Rim was filmed in 3D or post converted. The fact of the matter is GIANT THINGS SHOULD LOOK KINDA FLAT IN 3D.

Del Toro fought against making a 3D version of Pacific Rim. The studio said if you don't make a 3D version, your off the project.

The reason is the giant robots are between 250ft and 280ft tall. That's a 25+ story building! In order to film these huge robots, the camera would have to be 500ft to 1500ft away just to get a chest high shot of them moving around. And 3D films try to replicate human stereo vison, in which the left and right eyeballs are 2 to 3 inches apart. Meaning there isn't much parallax (difference) between the left/right images when looking with your eyeballs at a 250ft robot an 1/8th mile away (AKA: looks kinda flat).

They can get around this by making the virtual cameras 20-30ft apart (instead of 2-3" apart) and filming the fight scenes in environments that aren't every familiar to the audience...This is why most of the robot scenes where off shore, a half mile away from city harbors...But this technique brakes down in environments that are familiar to the audience, such as a city. Putting the virtual cameras 20-30ft apart in that environment scales everything down, making it feel like your watching a man in a robot suit fighting in little model city...That would be kinda cool to classic Godzilla fans, but everybody else maybe put off by that...Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

In all likelihood the beginning of the film had the virtual cameras 20-30ft apart instead of of the normal 2-3" apart. And
the upcoming American Godzilla reboot with have the same issues with 3D as Pacific Rim does.
From the toy front, looks like NECA will produce a Series 2 featuring Tipsy Ranger w/ battle damage, Aussie Bot and Leatherback (King Kong Kaiju). There are some pics from Comic-Con and Aussie Bot and Leatherback actually look pretty good... much better than the ones from Series 1.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/18/2013 07:36PM by H-man.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Good points on 3D, MSW...didn't think of all that.

It'd be kinda great if the figures were highlighted with glow paint in the appropriate spots!
Yeah, the Striker Eureka is a neat design in and of itself, as is the Leatherback Kaiju. Definitely better than the designs that have been released as toys so far (though Crimson Typhoon is pretty neat).

Saw the film again yesterday with my 10-year-old nephew (also his second viewing). The dialogue, plot, and characters remain corny as hell, and could have been better, but I was still pleased with the overall experience. It's the live-action movie I would have wanted to see when I was a kid.

The mecha designs are a bit uneven, but given that I'm not quite as infatuated with classic super robot designs as I used to be, I'm okay with what Del Toro did. I mean, it's not like the original Gigantor or Godamu (my fav childhood robot) are all that "better." In his mythology, the robots are more walking battleships than giant metal samurai men (the cockpit shots reminded me of those in submarine movies), and I appreciated his designs for what they were intended to represent.
I definitely need to see it a 2nd time (though by the looks of its box office performance, it'll probably be hitting the bargain theaters pretty soon!). I'm already thinking back on all the classic Godzilla and anime homages that Del Toro packed into this bad boy.... the Evangelion ones have already been mentioned, and I heard the opening action sequence (Gipsy Ranger battling Knifehead in the ocean while a fishing boat and her crew looks on) was an intentional homage to the beginning of "War of the Gargantuans"....

But did anybody else associate....




**** SPOILERS *****





that scene where Ron Perlman's scavengers are exploring the insides of a dead Kaiju (and lo and behold, it was PREGNANT and a baby Kaiju bursts out to attack) with the baby Jiger scene in "Gamera vs. Jiger/Gamera vs. Monster X"? I swear, even the set design looked similar to the look of Gamera's innards when the kids go exploring down the big turtle's throat...
I think I had night terrors back in the day stemming from the kids, don't ever get out of the submarine in Gamera's tummy, scene. I figured once Jiger Jr. had pasted the one kid with that marshmallow fluff he was a goner. That and the scenes where Jiger's microwave burrito beam would turn everyone into skeletons...that'll stick with a five year old. Almost like all too many scenes from Hedorah....heebies...wait for it...wait for it...there they are...geebies!
This is all sorts of awesome... a fan made Japanese trailer for "Pacific Rim" - TOHO style!

[www.youtube.com]
Sanjeev (Admin)
That was pretty badass! I just wish it wasn't so grainy.

I think they used the audio from the heisei Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (whose music totally complements the mecha in Pacific Rim)!
Rounding out the top ten this week at under $5 million, being beat by RED 2 is enough to make me wince. I figured word-of-mouth would have gotten people going to this thing, but there you go. Hollywood is officially broken.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Maybe Hollywood doesn't care about America anymore? Jeremy just reported to me that Pacific Rim has now made *more than double* the money outside the US (about $90M here, over $200M elsewhere).

And it still hasn't opened in Japan yet.

;)

He also brought up another interesting point: PR was done by Legendary Pictures, right? What else is Legendary up to these days? Godzilla... Crossover??? :P
I'm still waiting for news of an 18" Striker Eureka.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2013 12:32AM by gingaio.
Buy a dozen or more of those 18 inch Gipsy Dangers and you can bet you'll get your 18 inch Striker Eureka...
I'm having a hard enough time convincing myself to buy ONE 18" Gipsy, Harv...
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

footer