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Pacific Rim (2013)

26 August, 2013

Pacific Rim - Poster

Release Date: March 7, 2014
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Run Time: 131 min
Screenplay: Travis Beacham
Genre: Action | Adventure | Fantasy
Synopsis: When monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenceless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes – a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) – who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

Fair warning, I might be a little bit obsessed with Pacific Rim.  I mean I did see it in IMAX 3D twice in one day.  Excessive?  Probably.  Worth it?  Absolutely!

I am not a huge sci-fi fan.  There are specific films or franchises that I like and those that I don’t.  So imagine my surprise when I just loved Pacific Rim enough to see it a total of four times in IMAX 3D.  The premise of the story is a little far-fetched, but Pacific Rim is so visually stunning you find yourself getting lost in the story as the movie progresses.  Let me just tell you that the Kaiju alone were pretty damned amazing.  Add in the Jaeger’s that totally fit the nations they represent and you have some seriously phenomenal CGI work done on this film.  It’s like a giant set of Rock’em Sock’em Robots but much, much cooler.

Part of the problem that I usually have with sci-fi movies isn’t really the story, but usually the casting.  There is usually someone in the principal cast that just doesn’t work and tends to throw off the rhythm of the rest of the cast.  This is certainly not the case with Pacific Rim.  Charlie Hunnam brings just enough humility, strength, and a little of that Jax Teller swagger (SOA reference anyone) to his role as Raleigh to make it believable.  Idris Elba was so brilliant as Marshal Pentecost that you really felt like he was a career military man fighting for the greater good.  Ron Pearlman, for the short time he was in the film was absolutely outstanding in is his role as Hannibal Chow.  I mean really, is there no role that this man doesn’t manage to nail to complete perfection?

Overall, Pacific Rim was very entertaining.  I for one can’t wait for the DVD so I can hear the director commentary.  For some reason I have this strange feeling that I may end up watching the DVD more than a few times.

Release Date: March 7, 2014 Director: Guillermo del Toro Run Time: 131 min Screenplay: Travis Beacham Genre: Action | Adventure | Fantasy Synopsis: When monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity's resources for years on end. To combat the giant…

The Lowdown

Acting
Characterization
Direction
Score
Story

Total Score

A surprisingly entertaining film from beginning to end.

82
Movies

Toronto International Film Festival 2012 – Planning Stage!

21 August, 2012

Every year I say I’m going to do it, and of course, I never do.

Well this year, I bit the bullet and I am finally doing it.  I am finally headed to the Toronto International Film Festival.  Of course I decided this back in July when TIFF made their 2012 festival lineup announcement.  Determined to get there this year, I sat down at the computer and armed with my mother’s credit card (don’t judge me) and set about to buy some tickets.

It’s at this point that I remembered just why I have never gone before.  The TIFF site, their system and the logic behind how they set everything up is so flipping confusing it’s insane.  There are ticket windows for members, ticket windows for VISA cardholders, and ticket windows for everyone else.  This is of course on top of the various poorly explained ticket package options, single tickets, film categories and so on.  I just want to see some movies.  Is this really too much to ask?

After some cursing, some slamming my head against the desk, and a whole lot of frustration while trying to figure out just what the hell I needed to do I had an epiphany.  Ask for help.  One frantic email/text message to Jen (lostinagreatbook) and my problems were solved.

Apparently, this is how it works…

  • The film lineup is announced and ticket packages go on sale

While you can see the lineup, there is no schedule yet.  And there are various dates that you can purchase ticket packages based on what category you fall under, i.e. TIFF Members/Patrons, VISA cardholders, everyone else.  It’s kind of like a class system really and it’s highly annoying and much more difficult than it needs to be.

  • You get assigned a ticket window in which to make your film selection

I really, really don’t like this part.  The class system rears its ugly head once again.  There are various ticket selection windows based on the category you fall under (members, VISA cardholders, everyone else) and within those ticket windows, you are then assigned a random ticket selection time.  Mine is for August 29th @3:00 pm EST.  Fingers crossed that I can actually get tickets to the films I’m interested in.

  • The schedule is released

A day after you get your assigned ticket window and time, the actual schedule of films is released.  Keep in mind that the schedule is released almost a month after the film lineup is announced and ticket packages are available for purchase.  Baffling?  Yes, yes it is.  Of course while they tell you the day the lineup will be announced, they don’t really tell you the time (after a lot of refreshing my browser page, the schedule was released at 9 am EST).  This is the fun part.  Going through the films once again, and arranging your schedule.  Of course because you can’t actually select the tickets for particular films until during your assigned ticket period, it’s still a bit of a gamble.  You end up making a first-choice list, then a second-choice list and so on.

  • Single tickets go on sale September 2, 2012

You can use this period to purchase tickets to more movies if you are so inclined.  I originally bought a 10-pack of tickets, but I have a feeling I am going to need more so I’ll probably be making use of this period as well.

So far, even though I have been really annoyed with the whole process, I haven’t ripped out any hair just yet.  Lets see just how I feel when it comes time to actually start selecting my tickets on August 29th.  Of course, check back in September for updates and reviews of movies seen during TIFF 2012.

Movies on my list to see!

What Richard Did – A high school rugby star’s life is irrevocably changed when a senseless act of violence leads to a sudden, shocking tragedy.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – In this witty and affecting coming-of-age story (adapted by writer-director Stephen Chbosky from his own novel), a shy teenager (Logan Lerman) with a dark family secret is coaxed out of his shell by a sympathetic teacher (Paul Rudd) and two wild, carefree new friends (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller).

The Paperboy – An all-star cast — Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron and John Cusack — get down and dirty in this sizzling, deliciously trashy chunk of Southern-fried Gothic from the director of Precious.

Home Again – Returning to a “home” they hardly know after being deported from their adopted countries for minor criminal offenses, three people from very different backgrounds try to make a new life for themselves, in Jamaica in this gutsy drama from writer-director Sudz Sutherland.

Foxfire: Confessions of a girl gang – The latest film from Palme d’Or winner Laurent Cantet (Entre les murs) is a vivid adaptation of the celebrated Joyce Carol Oates novel about a small-town girl gang in the 1950s.

End of Watch – David Ayer (Training Day) writes and directs this high-octane found-footage crime flick about two up-and-coming L.A. cops (Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña) who find themselves on the lam from a ruthless drug cartel after making an unexpected discovery during a seemingly routine traffic stop.

Argo – Academy Award® winner Ben Affleck directs and stars in this based-on-fact thriller about a CIA “exfiltration” expert who concocts an outlandish plan to get six stranded Americans out of Tehran after the 1979 invasion of the American embassy — by having them masquerade as a Hollywood film crew.

Anna Karenina – Keira Knightley re-teams with director Joe Wright (Atonement) for this visionary adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel about a society woman torn between loyalty to her husband and the desires of her heart.

Great Expectations – An outstanding roster of British acting talent — including Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Sally Hawkins, Jason Flemyng, Ewen Bremner — bring Charles Dickens’ universe to life in this magnificent new screen version of the classic novel from director Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral).

Caught in the Web – A young woman’s act of defiance becomes a flashpoint for controversy when a video of the incident goes viral, in this prescient drama about cyber-bullying from celebrated director Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine).

On the Road – Academy Award®–winning director Walter Salles (Central Station, The Motorcycle Diaries) and producer Francis Ford Coppola finally bring Jack Kerouac’s legendary Beat Generation novel to the screen.

The Central Park Five – The devastating new documentary by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon on the infamous “Central Park Jogger” case details how a rush to judgment by police, media and an outraged public led to five black and Latino teenagers being convicted for a heinous crime that they did not commit.