Movies

edited 2013-07-28 20:32:37 in General Media

So Leigh and I saw Pacific Rim with Justice after church today.

If you were expecting live action Evangelion... don't. Eva might be pretentious, because it's aiming for deep ideas and falling short. Pacific Rim is completely mindless. The kaiju have less depth than in Godzilla movies. The pilots aren't much better, appearing to have been built entirely of blockbuster cliches (hero who quit and took up a working class job because he saw someone die, black commander with a mysterious past). The one character they DO copy is Rei. The downtime in NERV or whatever it was called that was supposed to be used for character development was basically dead air. You're just there for the big action scenes in the third act. The actors are either mediocre or phoning it in (i.e. Idris Elba).

That said, there is one redeeming subplot. The bickering scientists Hermann Gottlieb and Newton Something discover how the kaiju's wormhole works by neurally linking with one's brain. In the course of trying to find a live brain, Newton has to deal with a Hong Kong black marketeer played by a scene-stealing Ron Perlman. (And for some reason, "Hermann Gottlieb" is so English that he says "By Jove!")

But the main thing I walked out of the theatre remembering is how stupid the writing was. "They have two brains, like dinosaurs!" "My robot isn't digital; it's analog!"

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Comments

  • Man is a most complex simple creature: see what he weaves, and how base his reasons for doing so.
    Hey, "My robot is (nuclear) analog not digital!" is a brilliant trope. Giant Robo, man.
  • xcuse u I think u mean feminist masterpiece Pacific Rim.
  • My dreams exceed my real life
  • edited 2013-07-28 21:27:07
    Pizza Dog
    So I saw Battleship 2 weeks ago, Wow, that is the most terrible movie.

    They even gave the aliens "Pin technology" they shoot out these Pin bombs that attach to something before exploding, so it takes a few pins to destroy some ships, but a lot to destroy others.

    Get it, Like Battleship, Cause it's battleship, It was made that way because that's what you do in battleship, you put pins in the battleships and they're destroyed, aren't you glad this movie was made like this to be exactly like the game of battleship.

    You want to talk about mindless? YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT MINDLESS?!?!?!
  • "It is a matter of grave importance that Fairy tales should be respected.... Whosoever alters them to suit his own opinions, whatever they are, is guilty, to our thinking, of an act of presumption, and appropriates to himself what does not belong to him." -- Charles Dickens

    Hey, "My robot is (nuclear) analog not digital!" is a brilliant trope. Giant Robo, man.


    It is in the context of Giant Robo, where the plot revolves around Shizuma reactors having made nuclear reactors obsolete. In Pacific Rim, it comes out of nowhere.

    Mo: Huh?

  • "It is a matter of grave importance that Fairy tales should be respected.... Whosoever alters them to suit his own opinions, whatever they are, is guilty, to our thinking, of an act of presumption, and appropriates to himself what does not belong to him." -- Charles Dickens

    So I saw Battleship 2 weeks ago, Wow, that is the most terrible movie.

    They even gave the aliens "Pin technology" they shoot out these Pin bombs that attach to something before exploding, so it takes a few pins to destroy some ships, but a lot to destroy others.

    Hahaha, the audacity.
  • edited 2013-07-28 21:31:34
    “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    Mr. Darcy said:


    Mo: Huh?

    Mo is referencing the fact that a lot of bloggers seem to think that the film's portrayal of a man and a woman in a close, non-romantic friendship automatically makes it a landmark in feminist cinema rather than simply acknowledging the element as a single positive trait.
  • Also, the first thirty minutes of battleship was focused on the "protagonist" a washed out bum who got arrested, screwed up basically everything in his life, then got promoted to a commanding officer yet somehow hasn't improved his life to be less of an idiot because he's getting kicked out of the marines.

    and at the end he's obviously turned around by the experience and grows up.
  • I see we have accumulated yet another movie thread.

    On Tumblr, I've seen more analyses of Pacific Rim than any other thing that geeks obsess over, except for possibly Doctor Who. This may be because everybody on my dash loves that movie, to the point that I can name every named character except for the scientists and whoever Ron Perlman plays (because everybody just calls him Ron Perlman).

    They usually go into how it's less about what's being said and more about color choices and how the characters are arranged. The last one I came upon was all about how Raleigh's given the 'talk to the hero about feelings' role that's usually given to the female love interest and how Mako's given the 'deep emotional baggage' that's typically given to the male lead. And I remember one that went into how the female Russian pilot (the Russians are Sasha and Aleksi Raidanovsky, but no one can tell which is which on Tumblr) is shown as more of a leader than the male Russian pilot.

    I haven't seen the movie yet, so I can't speak to its quality at all. However, I feel that on some level, Tumblr's just glad that someone made a Michael Bay.Abrams/Snyder-type movie while taking out everything bad about said directors.

    The various bits of EU information might also help.
  • (the Russians are Sasha and Aleksis Kaidanovsky, but no one can tell which is which, up to and including the people involved with the source material)
    Fixed that for you.  I saw this theory on tumblr, that even the Kaidanovskys themselves don't really distinguish which is which.

    This article has a lot to say about the visuals of Pacific Rim and how they contribute to the story; I don't fully agree with everything it says, but it's a nice analysis.  One thing that it doesn't note that I think is important is that there's roughly an hour of character dialogue that was cut in order to make the movie flow better.

    As for the science, it's dumb, but frankly, if you want to talk physics, then thanks to the square-cube law, there is basically no way whatsoever that anything looking like the Jaegers or the Kaiju are the most efficient way of...anything, especially anything military, and I think something similar could be said about biology and the efficiency of the neural bridge.  For the very foundational structures of Pacific Rim, or anything remotely like it, to be viable, the very structures of the universe have to be very different.


  • In general, thanks to the way that the character arcs were cut to their minimum required amounts, but lots of information can be recovered through the visual choices made by del Toro et al, it really makes Pacific Rim a movie that the tumblr crowd will love; not just because of the presence of Idris Elba and Rinko Kikuchi, but because there's so many little moments that can be interpreted as important things, and tumblr loves that sort of stuff.
  • That is the exact article that I was talking about when I mentioned the Raidanovskys.

    I think the combination of 'tons of universe lore that didn't get into the movie' and 'nods to the universe lore inside the actual movie' kind of kicked Tumblr's analysis bug into gear. And Tumblr likes it when its analysis bug is kicked into gear.
  • Man is a most complex simple creature: see what he weaves, and how base his reasons for doing so.
    To be honest, "coming-out-of-the-blue" was the point. The Kaijus' secret weapon was that they could nullify electronics, and it was secret for a reason. And there was build-up, by way of Charlie Day telling us that the Kaiju were learning.
  • To be honest, "coming-out-of-the-blue" was the point. The Kaijus' secret weapon was that they could nullify electronics, and it was secret for a reason. And there was build-up, by way of Charlie Day telling us that the Kaiju were learning.
    spoilers u butt >:/

    i was rather looking forward to watching it too u_u

    anyhoo, me and my boyfrond just got done watching Rashomon together

    in case you did not already know it is a good film
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”
    It is quite exceptional in basically every aspect.
  • My dreams exceed my real life
    I liked Yojimbo better, because I am shallow and lame.
  • actually i am legitimately really very angry about the spoilertude, i really wanted to see that film
  • rich person privilege is going to see a movie in theaters and ruining it for others
  • My dreams exceed my real life

    actually i am legitimately really very angry about the spoilertude, i really wanted to see that film

    It's not that important honestly.
  • I LIKE THINGS TO BE SURPRISES >:/
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”

    I once watched Hero, which is like Rashomon but with Jet Li and Communist overtones.

    Good movie.

    I liked that film quite a bit. Haven't seen it in ages, though.
  • My dreams exceed my real life

    I LIKE THINGS TO BE SURPRISES >:/

    Ron Perlman showing up was more of a cool surprise that this thread ruined for you.
  • it annoyed me because it was blatant nationalist propaganda
  • READ MY CROSS SHIPPING-FANFICTION, DAMMIT!

    i get so angry sometimes i just punch plankton --Klinotaxis
    Odradek said:

    I LIKE THINGS TO BE SURPRISES >:/

    Ron Perlman showing up was more of a cool surprise that this thread ruined for you.

  • Battleship of Potemkin, man. Propaganda can also be art.

    Also, that's where I saw the phrase All Under Heaven, which is a really cool phrase to use when describing everything.
  • “His thoughts were red thoughts, and his teeth were white.”

    it annoyed me because it was blatant nationalist propaganda

    ...this is true, although that really comes into play in the last segment more than anywhere else. And ultimately, the entire situation is really morally ambiguous. So it detracted less from my enjoyment of the little games in the narrative (which were the entire draw, visuals aside) than it could have.
  • Battleship of Potemkin, man. Propaganda can also be art.

    the thing is Potemkin doesn't try to be anything but propaganda and as such it is relatively easy to see through, whereas Hero is much more seductive and insidious.
  • READ MY CROSS SHIPPING-FANFICTION, DAMMIT!

    i get so angry sometimes i just punch plankton --Klinotaxis
    I love how it uses the Qin Emperor of all people, whose rule can be best summarized as, short, brutal, and insane.
  • "It is a matter of grave importance that Fairy tales should be respected.... Whosoever alters them to suit his own opinions, whatever they are, is guilty, to our thinking, of an act of presumption, and appropriates to himself what does not belong to him." -- Charles Dickens
    ^ Which is strange if you think about it. The State of Qin was Legalist for a couple of centuries, and much more efficient than more traditional rivals, and then suddenly falls apart as soon as it unifies the known world.
  • Man is a most complex simple creature: see what he weaves, and how base his reasons for doing so.
    Sorry, Pangur. I'll try to be more discrete in the future.
  • I actually enjoy spoilers and wouldn't partake in a work of fiction without them.

    Anyway, it looks like this movie is not particularly worth watching, at least, not without a lot of popcorn :)
  • Man is a most complex simple creature: see what he weaves, and how base his reasons for doing so.
    I watched it without popcorn and I liked it fine (of course, I had stuffed myself with burgers and potatoes and pretzels half-an-hour earlier).

    Really, though. I'd say you're more likely to enjoy Pacific Rim if you love giant robots and giant monsters as a concept (as opposed to just liking things that contain giant robots or monsters).
  • READ MY CROSS SHIPPING-FANFICTION, DAMMIT!

    i get so angry sometimes i just punch plankton --Klinotaxis

     ^ Which is strange if you think about it. The State of Qin was Legalist for a couple of centuries, and much more efficient than more traditional rivals, and then suddenly falls apart as soon as it unifies the known world.

    Well, I think the Qin Emperor managed that through a sort of tenacious desire to force conformity by any means necessary. Despite pissing lots of people off, he probably had a stable enough power base to keep things running for a while, but dying didn't really help the empire. Especially when one of his sons used eunuch shenanigans (which account for 75% of Chinese political scheming) to usurp rule from the rightful heir. Which of course left rulership in the hands of an Emperor who was young, prone to manipulation, and also not viewed as the rightful heir by various factions in the newly formed Empire.

    Not exactly a recipe for successful dynasty continuation...

     

    Anyhow, I probably would have been OK with Pacific Rim being merely intellectually vapid, but there was just so much wrong with the acting, plot, characters, and the bizarre count of overused movie clichés.

    I'll grant that the movie did a fairly decent job of avoiding sexist themes, though that's really something all movies should strive for anyhow.

     

     

  • READ MY CROSS SHIPPING-FANFICTION, DAMMIT!

    i get so angry sometimes i just punch plankton --Klinotaxis

    I should add I find the idea that the Russians somehow breaking gender norms is pretty hilarious considering they where barely onscreen and had pretty much no lines outside of combat.

     

    I also find the idea that the movie had an additional 30 minutes that didn't make it pretty hilarious as it was already well over two hours long. I'm not sure why 2 hours is the new hour in a half for action flicks, but it's a trend I wish would stop.

  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    I saw it today

    It was nice to look at, at least, even if the action scenes weren't all that well-made and if the script wasn't great (it didn't make up for its lack of big-name stars with good characterization)

    It was clearly on its way out of the theater; it was in a smaller screening room with a smaller screen that I termed "the ghetto"
  • Not a hybrid rabbit-skink spirit
    I also saw Pacific Rim today

    It honestly would have been much better if I just saw the action scenes back to back with no explanation because that was the only decent part of the film
  • I've learned to tolerate drama...except on the boat
    They didn't strike me as all that smooth

    They were hard to make out at times... :/
  • The only reason I can think of that anyone would call Pacific Rim stupid is because they went in and, consciously or not, decided it would be beforehand. All the characters were well developed, the story managed to have twists without it seeming convoluted or like it was just hiding things for the sake of hiding them (looking at you, Abrams.) , and the worldbuilding was surprisingly nuanced. The action sequences were obviously the best part of the movie. I've heard people criticize them for being loud. Those people should never watch a movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters.

  • edited 2013-08-05 02:27:49
    READ MY CROSS SHIPPING-FANFICTION, DAMMIT!

    i get so angry sometimes i just punch plankton --Klinotaxis
    I also saw Pacific Rim today

    It honestly would have been much better if I just saw the action scenes back to back with no explanation because that was the only decent part of the film


    Almost yes quote.

    Ron Perlman made up for things quite a bit.


    The only reason I can think of that anyone would call Pacific Rim stupid is because they went in and, consciously or not, decided it would be beforehand. 

    image

    All the characters were well developed, 

    I'm not sure it counts if the characters are mostly based off 80s and 90s clichés. 

    the story managed to have twists without it seeming convoluted or like it was just hiding things for the sake of hiding them (looking at you, Abrams.) , and the worldbuilding was surprisingly nuanced. The action sequences were obviously the best part of the movie. I've heard people criticize them for being loud. Those people should never watch a movie about giant robots fighting giant monsters.

    I think I can agree with the rest, but it's not really enough to elevate the movie into "good" territory. 
  • I thougyht of that PA Comic too, for the record. I didn't say "decided to dislike." I said they decided it would be a dumb action movie.

    Also, here's the thing. Tropes exist for areason. It's kind of ridicolous to say that the characters don't count as developed because they're based on cliches, especially considering how many things the movie pays tribute to. What's important is that the characters work. Do they perform their actions simply because the plot requires it? No. Do they have compelling arcs? Yes. Are their emotional or dramatic moments earned (that is, when the film expects us to sympathize with them or the like, have they been developed enough so that this is possible?)? Yes.

  • Phooooooooooooooooooooone typing
  • Moviebob brought up a good point recently (well, maybe not recently, but I only watched the video ehere he said this recently) when he said that formulaic isn't really a valid criticism provided that the effort not put into breaking the mould is put into other important things. So while the plot may, in the end, amount to "who cares, robots punching monsters," at least the film doesn't rely on things like emotional shorthand or a cast so large that you can't sympathize with any of the characters.
  • edited 2013-08-05 02:50:39
    READ MY CROSS SHIPPING-FANFICTION, DAMMIT!

    i get so angry sometimes i just punch plankton --Klinotaxis
    I thougyht of that PA Comic too, for the record. I didn't say "decided to dislike." I said they decided it would be a dumb action movie.

    Well you said "stupid", which sort of implies a level of dislike. I didn't think "Taken" or "RED" would be particularly thought provoking, but that doesn't mean they where bad movies. 

    And, yes, "tropes are not bad", however there becomes a point where they're over used and we're not watching characters but caricatures. In this case, we where treated to more of the later. And, "compelling" sort of requires you can't predict how things will pan out, or how a character will act in a given situation. When you're presented with a character you've seen dozens of times already and the movie sees no reason to really have them behave differently from how you'd expect them to act, it makes for dull scenes that mostly seem to serve to setup the next action sequence.
  • READ MY CROSS SHIPPING-FANFICTION, DAMMIT!

    i get so angry sometimes i just punch plankton --Klinotaxis
    Kexruct said:

    Moviebob brought up a good point recently (well, maybe not recently, but I only watched the video ehere he said this recently) when he said that formulaic isn't really a valid criticism provided that the effort not put into breaking the mould is put into other important things. So while the plot may, in the end, amount to "who cares, robots punching monsters," at least the film doesn't rely on things like emotional shorthand or a cast so large that you can't sympathize with any of the characters.

    But, the energy wasn't really put into other things, except for maybe robots punching monsters. The movie has more flaws than being "formulaic". It also suffers from poor pacing and sometimes comically badly written characters. 
  • But they're not really caricatures. I mean, they don't go out of their way to break every single steeoptype known to man, but they are unique in a few ways at least.

    Raleigh is given the sad backstory usually reserved for the sidekick. Tends to be abit less hotblooded than the average giant mecha protagonist.

    Mako isn't really s stereotypical character in the first place, so I can't really point out any particular way she breaks the mould.

    The commisioner/chief/whatever guy ends up being morethan gjust a generic obstructive bureaucrat, and actually has a very good reasons for not wanting Mako to fight.

    The rival guy actually learns from his mistakes pretty quickly, and no one really acts like it was supposed to be a big twist or anything.

     

    Don't you like Gurren Lagann, Justice? That uses a lot more cliches than this movie does, many of them from an anime Gainax actually created. But it worked because it used those cliches in an effective manner.

  • Justice42 said:

    Kexruct said:

    Moviebob brought up a good point recently (well, maybe not recently, but I only watched the video ehere he said this recently) when he said that formulaic isn't really a valid criticism provided that the effort not put into breaking the mould is put into other important things. So while the plot may, in the end, amount to "who cares, robots punching monsters," at least the film doesn't rely on things like emotional shorthand or a cast so large that you can't sympathize with any of the characters.

    But, the energy wasn't really put into other things, except for maybe robots punching monsters. The movie has more flaws than being "formulaic". It also suffers from poor pacing and sometimes comically badly written characters. 
    The pacing seemed pretty good to me. The only problem I can think of is that the timespan seemed a little short. Other than that, it was very good.
    How were the characters comically badly written? I keep seeing you and other people say that but I haven't seen any actual reasons provided other than they're based on archetypes.


  • READ MY CROSS SHIPPING-FANFICTION, DAMMIT!

    i get so angry sometimes i just punch plankton --Klinotaxis
    Also, as Mr. Darcy pointed out, some of the things made no damn sense. The "two brain" thing is a retarded thing for a scientist, especially a biologist to say. And a blast that somehow wipes out digital but not analog equipment is pretty hard to swallow. 

    It's a machine that syncs the memories of two pilots to properly control via some sort of mental link, how "analog" can it be? And even if it was, EMP blasts don't target things based on analog or digital, they scramble electronics. For this to have worked, the monsters would have had to made some sort of virus blast the works like an EMP blast but not necessarily on all the things they've been "learning" and "preparing" for.
  • Well that's just nitpicking.

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