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Pacific Rim Review

Posted in 4 Stars, Action, Anime, New Movie, Review, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2013 by russellsreviews

There are a lot of genre’s in film. Spy, romantic comedy, adventure, horror, super hero, drama, science fiction, and martial arts just to name a few. Genre’s sometimes slowly fade, but never fully go away and sometimes make huge comebacks like what we have seen with westerns and the musicals lately. That cannot be said about the monster genre. No, I’m not counting those really awful movies on the Sci-Fi channel like Sharknado. I’m not even talking about Frankenstein or wolfman. I”m talking about the giant city stomping monster movies like King Kong and Godzilla. The last one ever made was in Gamera the Brave in Japan in 2006 and the last anyone in the west would remember is the remake of King Kong by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame just the year before. Pacific Rim is director Guillermo Del Toro and Legendary Pictures attempt to bring back this beloved idea to a newer generation. If Guillermo Del Toro stopped there he would have already been my hero. Del Toro then tries to infuse some elements of mecha anime that have never been attempted in live action before. The very thought of this mix is enough to make my head explode of excitement.  Does Pacific Rim deliver on my high expectations and more importantly is it accessible for the mainstream to sell without loosing it’s purpose?

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Pacific Rim twists the formula for giant monster movie. The world has been thrown into terror being constantly attacked by giant monsters called Kaiju. Instead of scientists scrambling to make some ray gun or bomb to stop them, or having the planet’s own kaiju take it down which we have seen over and over, humanity fights back by building towering robots to defend themselves. This theme has been used over and over in anime, but has never been attempted in live action for whatever reason. I imagine the cost of making a story like this believable and digestible for the American public would be a master undertaking and a huge gamble. I can not give anymore props to Del Toro and Legendary pictures for taking on this project. The world is fully realized and the giant almost human looking robots called Jaegers are sight to behold. You will scream with joy in your head every time one launches or lands. Each evil Kaiju has a unique look to them and fighting abilities making every battle different and a surprise. Sparks, metal, buildings, and even pilots will get tossed around in the warfare. This is the reason why you see this film.

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The human characters are just as varied and over the top. The characters of the film will be where most people will start to distance themselves from the film however. All of the side characters are played to their part times 10. This was done on purpose and each character is a common trope in the mecha genre. The scientist who is a little more interesting in the enemy than he should be, the mysterious cool general,  overly bully co-worker that gives no respect, and a girl with a troubled past. If you are unfamiliar with these archetypes these characters might come off a little ridiculous and off putting. They all still fair better than the lead character Raleigh Becket. I don’t know if they were trying to have a normal center in all the madness, but instead he comes off too safe and quite frankly very boring. I cared more about the funny scientist dying in the middle of the film than I did about Becket in final fight scene which isn’t a good thing. I don’t really blame the actor fully because I just think there wasn’t much room for him to perform. Then again neither did Idris Elba as Stacker Pentecost the leader of the Jaeger team and he still was fierce and more memorable so maybe I can. Idris Elba is a beast of an actor and needs to be in more movies. Charlie Day as the quirky Dr. Newton Geiszler was my favorite character for how he reacted to everything was probably the same way I see myself reacting to a world where their are freaking giant robots and world destroying monsters duking it out.

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The main gripes of Pacific Rim is that dialogue of the characters let down the film for achieving true greatness and might keep more people from seeing how ground breaking this film is. The concept was high, the world was brilliant, art design was perfect, and the ideas were smart, but somewhere some of the lines just failed to elevate it. The dialogue was not stupid like in transformers it’s just sometimes wooden. I give it credit for adding in anime elements, but I wish Del Toro took it a little farther with the weapons and really show of how dark and creative anime can get. Speed Racer did a much better job translating anime into the big screen and wished it used that movies techniques of story telling between the fight scenes. This review sounds like I’m bashing the film, but I”m not. Pacific Rim is awesome for what it is and I strongly recommend it, but I’m afraid some people might only see the flaws and not notice the nuances of what’s going on. I just wanted them to take it to that next level so bad.

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I loved Pacific Rim. I loved the action and the chances it takes. I”m so happy it was made and Guillermo Del Toro deserves big praise and more fans. He just made me a fan. I just wish they took a little more chances on the story and main character. It’s a fun ride. Just sadly don’t expect anything more than beautifully choreographed Kaiju vs Jaeger action. It’s a summer film not based on a old TV series, video game, a remake, or comic book. Pacific Rim is original and deserves to be applauded. If you have any itch to see it please do. This might be your one and last chance to experience this genre.

4 STARS

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Godzilla returns!!! sort of….

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 30, 2010 by russellsreviews

 

As expected and anticipated Godzilla will finally make a comeback in 2012.  Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. signed a deal to get rights to make a Godzilla movie from the Toho Company.  What’s good about this is that they are going to form a partnership and co-produce it with input from Toho. ( a lot I hope)

“Godzilla is one of the world’s most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise. Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has.”

The president of Toho said, “Godzilla is a signature Japanese character which we have nurtured over the years. It is a great honor to reach an agreement with Legendary Pictures, the parent to many a blockbuster film, and we are delighted in rebooting the character together to realize its much anticipated return by fans from all over the world. We are anxious to find out where Godzilla’s new stomping will take us.”

Now, this probably brings up bad memories from the previous Godzilla american made effort. Toho had very little say in the making of that movie, so hopefully since they have a voice with this one there won’t be a A-sexual Godzilla with a bunch of baby Rapter/Godzilla’s running around.  The last Godzilla film Final Wars ended Godzilla on a high note and was accepted well by the public and long time Godzilla fans. As a long time Godzilla fan myself, I hope this movie success and could bring about a new age of movies much like Godzilla 2000 did.

I *heart* Japan Final

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 22, 2010 by russellsreviews

It feels like I have been afk for a while now. Christmas, getting sick, lots of work, sick again then for some reason every game company decided they were going to release all of the big names this year in the first part of the year. Plus there hasn’t really been any new movies out that have peaked my interest. Now that I’m out for fresh air I should finish talking about my wonderful trip to Japan.

My nice wife let us spend a whole day at Otaku heaven, Akihabara. Its the nerve center for Anime, TV,Games, Manga, and Toys of Japan.

You know your there when you see this sign. This building is freaking huge. It’s the size of a department store, seven stories high, and full of hundreds of geeky stores and hobby shops.

See the gamers sign on the left? Another store thats seven floors high expect all about games.

Since there isn’t a lot space laterally, they take full advantage of storing things vertically.

There are more than enough to buy, but there are also cool things for you to drool over.

cool rare figure sets like this one from the anime Beck

Some stores were just packed full of collectables for every taste.

Seriously I could this whole post about them.

Ok this one was too cool not to show. The armor in Final Fantasy 12, life size.

Into cosplay? There was a six floor store all about it.

yes  of course there was a club Sega there too.

Next day we went to Tokyo tower!!

getting closer

Took a shot looking straight up from the base.

Great view from the tower. It has a complete 360 view of the city.

Lots of crazy and artistic buildings. Wish I could have seen them at night.

My wife read online that somewhere in tokyo there is a statue of the king of monsters himself GODZILLA. Its really hard to find, but somehow we found it.

Godzilla can be found behind the Tokyo Toho building (duh), but right beside American fast food joint and the art park.

We weren’t the only ones in awe of Godzilla

So ends my adventures in Japan. It was a trip of a life time that will only be topped by another Japan visit. My next dream is to learn the language and one day go back absorb as much as I can.

Hopefully you enjoyed reading about Japan as much as I had reliving it. Now thats out of my system hopefully I can get to more movie reviews before the summer “blockbusters” get released.