Friday, January 24, 2014

Pacific Rim : Movie Review

When this movie started, it had an interesting definition of the word kaiju or sea monster. It's a Japanese word. I started thinking of whether this movie was really going to be about Japanese themes or whether this is just some knock off cheap copy.



It turned out quite well. I think the turning point for me was when the first 20% of the movie backstory and intro/prologue were over, and I started hearing Japanese. At this moment in time, I read subtitles almost automatically due to configuring my brain through long habit in multi tasking and seeing things out of the peripheral vision areas. Good for martial arts as well when facing enemies. Because of the speed I read the subtitles at, I couldn't tell whether I heard the Japanese and thought in Japanese and translated it to English, or whether reading the English subtitles allowed me to figure out what the Japanese is. The Japanese language definitely makes a stronger impact on me emotionally for the stronger emotions. English is very good for self discipline, suppression of emotions, and figuring out social body language. At least that's the way I am configured.




This movie is essentially about giants battling it out between humanity's annihilation and invaders from X. The human part comes in the form of the Image, the vision of bipedal motion, human pilots, and the Drift (a buddy system between two pilots). The buddy system is also used in US Marine Corps boot camp training, marriage between a man and a woman, as well as anime like Buddy Complex.



I was never bored. It didn't feel like Hollywood special effects. I try to imagine it as a sort of live action Mecha series, and the image character doesn't break. That's a high level of compatibility with Japanese themes for them to be able to sustain the "image" so well.



Another kaiju themed series is Heroic Age. Watched that series like 4-6 times. Very enjoyable. Schlock's Mercenary author was right though. For fans of Japanese meta creations and kaiju themed monster movies, this is a solid work. A lot of East meets West vibes going on in the movie.



P.S. I did notice at the end that they started talking about obvious stuff as a sort of narration. Obvious stuff which I already knew about because the movie showed it to me 2 seconds ago. If they want to use up movie time with that kind of stuff, they should discuss the "statistics" of the Jaeger weapons in full detail, instead of machine gun spitting it out in 4 seconds because they think the audience will be bored of technobabble. It's actually very important to know the difference between why this Jaeger uses a plasma cannon vs that Jaeger using a hydraulic punch vs the other Jaeger that uses missiles. Code Geass did a very exciting job of explaining the different technical specifications of mechs and why they should matter to people who want to see human conflict.
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