Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero

If you care about the Pacific Rim movie, you should also care about the comic book: Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero by Travis Beacham. Read the review.

Thanks for Mako Mori

Dear Travis Beacham & Guillermo del Toro,

Thank you for Mako Mori.

Sincerely yours,
Me

*

Mako Mori is one of my favorite movie characters of all time.

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The way GdT and Beacham made her a kick-ass heroine without making her a sex object is just fantastic. Also, the way you write about her is exquisite – her somewhat platonic relationship with Raleigh Becket is wonderful, although in my heart I do believe they did fall in love with each other.

When I remember how she looked up eagerly to her mentor and surrogate father, Stacker Pentecost, during Raleigh’s trials in the movie, I couldn’t stop smiling because she was so adorable. Even more fantastic is the way she corrected Raleigh when he told her that she didn’t have to obey Stacker’s orders. “It’s not obedience, Mr. Becket; it’s respect” is a line that will stay with me forever. It is Mako who makes both Raleigh and Stacker such awesome characters, because they both treat her with the same respect that she shows them.

And when I read in Tales Of Year Zero that Stacker adopted her, and how they stood embracing Tamsin Sevier like a family of three, the tears just won’t stop. Because then it made Mako’s “Goodbye, sensei” in the movie all the more poignant.

Poetic is also how I would describe Mako’s appearance. She’s not sexy, she’s not cutesy, she’s just Mako. The image of little Mako wearing blue coat and holding her red shoe is powerful. Del Toro said that the shoe represented her heart, something she lost (because the shoe was off her feet) because she lost her family from the Kaiju attack. She grew up to be a restrained and closed off woman, represented by the way she wore the all black and the umbrella in her first scene in the movie. Only when she joined Raleigh in the drift did their colors blend and mix, thus signifying Mako finding her heart once again.

This is too sweet for words. I don’t know how GdT and Beacham did it but they did. Pacific Rim is an all-out action movie that’s big and noisy but it has such a big heart in the form of Mako Mori. I wish more filmmakers would make movies this way!

The Lady Robot

Pacific Rim is officially one of my Top 3 movies of 2013.

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The leading Jaeger, Gipsy Danger, is apparently “a lady”. Stacker Pentecost calls it “the lady” (“we can clear the path, for the lady”, he says and it sounds all the more wonderful coming from him because he’s played by Idris Elba and Idris Elba is an absolute gentleman). Raleigh Becket refers to her as “she”. And The Lady Robot is definitely the hero of the movie.

Gipsy Danger is piloted by Raleigh, but he’s not as important as Mako Mori, who is another awesome lady in the movie.

It’s even better to have 2 leading ladies who absolutely surpass all the other dudes in terms of awesomeness than 10 female characters that are just decorations.

WHY DO I NOT HAVE MY OWN JAEGER TO PILOT ALREADY?

Pacific Rim: A Reaction

Just came back from the screening and I am frankly baffled.

I am baffled by the hate that some people have for Pacific Rim. I’ve seen it before in the internet. People calling this movie stupid and noisy and comparing it to Transformers. I understand that yes, people have different tastes and some people’s tastes don’t run to robot movies with sea monsters in it. But, this time around, I’m just not getting the reason behind the negativity. It’s like I don’t understand either how some people can be so hateful toward The Hobbit. To criticize a movie, that’s good. We could all use some criticism in our lives… but to hate a movie? Gee. Do the haters have nothing else to do?

The thing with Pacific Rim is that yeah, it’s super huge and metallic and shiny and noisy, but it’s also so much fun. It’s like when you eat a particularly delicious meal or find money in your pocket that you’ve forgotten you put there a long time ago. It’s a movie that gives you a rush, makes your heart beat a little faster and internally cheer at the movie heroism of it all.

There are robots – or, more accurately, Jaegers – that mimic the personalities of their pilots. There’s the rowdy Australian Jaeger, Striker Eureka, and then there’s the stiff Russian Jaeger, Cherno Alpha. You’ve got the small but ambitious Chinese Jaeger, Crimson Typhoon, and the underdog star of the ocean, Gipsy Danger. And the names! Even the names give me a rush! They go pow pow pow, bang boom bam, rip-that-Kaiju-apart-mofos! One’s got a sword and the other has knife-shaped arms. Then Idris Elba goes “we are cancelling the apocalypse!” and the words are not just a gimmicky tagline – it’s a moment achieved through the build-up of his character’s journey that feels so rewarding at the end.

It’s like, DEAR ZACK SNYDER, THIS IS HOW YOU BUILD UP A MOVIE AND MAKE THE ENDING WORK.

And also, DEAR MICHAEL BAY, THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE A ROBOT MOVIE.

(I’m actually a fan of the Transformers movies and I don’t hate them like most people do. But Pacific Rim is just on another level.)

The movie is geeky, yes, and non-geeks (or, rather, non-otaku) will probably not get it. But not getting it is no reason to hate. Or maybe it is. Because ignorance breeds hatred, most of the time, and that’s a problem many people seem to have with Pacific Rim. But personally, I feel that even if I hadn’t grown up with Neon Genesis Evangelion or Mobile Suit Gundam (I certainly didn’t like kaiju movies when I was a kid), or any kind of otaku (and J-pop) stuff from Japan, I still would’ve the film. I would appreciate its ability to make me forget the woes of the world for 131 minutes and its genuine effort at giving us an original script that doesn’t come from a book, a comic book, a previously made movie, a TV series, a radio show or a theater play.

Or maybe I’m just that big of a GdT fan. Hm.

Really, though, this is Travis Beacham and Guillermo del Toro saying, “Hey, kids, don’t plagiarize… but get inspired.” (Very similar to what Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer did with the very first Pirates movie.) It’s all about honoring the idea that inspired you, not copying what others have done before you. I can only wish I had an imagination like that.

What I’m trying to say is: keep an open mind and try it out. Of course, if you don’t like robots and monsters, don’t go for it… but don’t hate. Is that so hard to do?

San Diego Comic-Con: Iron Man 3 Panel (Hall H)

In case anyone couldn’t be at San Diego Comic-Con this year (like me and a million of other people), there were some interesting new developments about PHASE TWO of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this year’s Marvel Studios panel in the famed Hall H, just an hour after Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures buzzing panel, Kevin Feige & Co. announced what will be the next step they’ll take for their post-The Avengers take.

Some of these updates are:

  • Iron Man 3 is currently filming (halfway through).
  • Captain America‘s sequel gets the title Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
  • Thor’s sequel gets the title Thor: The Dark World.
  • Edgar Wright is working on Ant-Man and he’s taking “the Terrence Malick approach to superheroes” to explain why the progress is so slow.
  • There’s going to be a new superhero team movie, The Guardians Of The Galaxy.
  • The Guardians Of The Galaxy line-up: Star-Lord, Draxx the Destroyer, Groot and Rocket Raccoon and Gamorra)

Now, I am not there personally but I have a Twitter filled with various accounts of movie websites and I followed live-blog from this great site called Coming Soon and Super Hero Hype. Thanks to them, I got to know what happened in the footages that were shown in the panel. A certain Mr. Silas Lesnick live blogged for these two sites from the panel and he gave us a full report of what happened during the Marvel Studios panel. Check it out.

For those of you who are too lazy to look at the live blog report to find out (shame on you, though! They’re worth scrolling for!) I’m copy-pasting the footage breakdown. (This also serves as my personal archive… just so I can compare what happens in the footages to what happens in the actual clips or trailers that will come out in the future.) Please be aware that this is not my live blog text. It belongs to Mr. Silas Lesnick and the websites above.

Ant-Man test footage breakdown:

The costume looks a lot like the IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN costume.

The face is completely covered, so we don’t know who the actor is.

It’s a black suit with red highlights.

The scene is a hallway with two guardians (maybe shield agents?) guarding a door at the end.

on the opposite end of the hallway is a vent and, at it, stands Ant-Man at only a few inches high.

He leaps down and we see him running down the massive hallway.

Suddenly there’s a flash and he’s full sized, charging the guards.

He leaps and flashes again. He punches one at his tiny size and one of the guy’s teeth goes flying out of his mouth as he crashed into a panel.

Ant-Man slides down the tie of the other man and returns to full size, flipping him over.

He gets in the door, apparently an elevator, at full size and, with another flash, is gone.

The title comes up, just plain ANT-MAN.

Iron Man 3 footage breakdown:

We begin in Stark’s lab. He’s talking to “dummy” and his suits of armor, telling them he’s about to introduce them to their badass baby brother.

He asks Dummy to play some seasonal music and he turns on a techno version of Jingle Bells.

Stark stands, posing and flexing. Suddenly a piece of armor shoots across the room.

One by one, his armor form, flying at him as he wills it to.

One hits his crotch, through, and he doubles over.

Another slams into his back and he falls, but jet-propels himself back up.

The last piece is the faceplate and, as it comes at him, he flips, propeling himself off the crowd with one hand upside down while the mask comes on.

We see another scene with Favreau as Happy talking to Stark through a video chat.

“You can’t talk to me like that,” he tells Stark good humoredly, “I don’t work for you anymore.”

“That’s because you quit!” says Stark.

He says he can’t deal with Stark being off with the Superfriends these days.

We see a bunch of footage — Guy Pearce’s character — The Iron Patriot armor.

“Some people call me a terrorist,” says a voice (I don’t think it’s Kingsley).

“I consider myself a teacher. Lesson number one: There is no such thing as heroes.”

We see a bunch of helicopters firing on Stark’s house, blowing it off the edge of the cliff.

Inside, every suit of armor is destroyed.

Iron Man falls into the ocean as wreckage comes down on top of him.

Cut to…

Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin.

It’s the costume from the comic almost exactly.

The footage ends and they’re even calling him the Mandarin now.

Mandarin is wearing at least four rings.

And he cocks a gun in the shot.

(Really, many thanks to Silas Lesnick – whoever he is – for typing all of that up.)

During the panel, I noticed on Twitter that “Ant-Man“, “The Winter Soldier“, “The Dark World“, “Ben Kingsley” and “Phase Two” were trending worldwide. I don’t know if my Twitter was faulty during the WB/Legendary panel, but I didn’t notice any of the things from their panel was trending worldwide, except for the Godzilla remake, directed by Gareth Edwards. (I could be wrong and I hope I’m wrong because everything about The Hobbit and Pacific Rim were absolutely awesome and fantastic.) But this, I think might be an indication of just how big still the hype of The Avengers is.

Marvel’s Phase Two is something that’s been bandied about in the past few month since The Avengers played in cinemas and we all know that movie is so far the biggest movie of the year. So many rumors were circling… and now we’ve got confirmation on a few things. Naturally, all the fans are excited about this. Meanwhile, Zac Snyder’s Man Of Steel may have come up with some amazing footage as well, but I’m guessing there’s now a bigger anticipation for movies about Marvel superheroes than about DC superheroes. (But this is a discussion for another time.)

What I want to say is that this Marvel Studios panel has convinced me that they’re taking solid steps in the right direction for The Avengers sequel. (Some people would argue against The Guardians Of The Galaxy but I have a different opinion. And I’ll also discuss this another time because I’ve no time right now.) No matter what will happen with The Avengers 2 – which Joss Whedon is still isn’t sure about directing at this point – I think we’ll get some great films on the meantime.

“Can hardly wait” seems to be an understatement after Marvel’s Hall H panel.