Jul. 22nd, 2013

barometry: ([h50] danny hands up)
This post is slightly delayed because I spent the last week -- through all those record highs you've been seeing on Tumblr -- in the unairconditioned woods at scottish country dance camp (actually for reals), but I've been seeing a lot of Pacific Rim on my Tumblr dash and so I feel like there are some people I can have this conversation with.

Here's the thing: I enjoyed Pacific Rim. I also think it was a pretty terrible movie.

My theory (I always have a theory) is that I enjoyed it because I was watching at least two different movies at the same time: the actual movie playing on screen, and a sort of idealized panoply of all the movies it could have been, in my head. The former pretty much continuously failed to follow through on its awesome conceptual potential, while offering wooden dialogue and unconvincing narrative structure; the second was an amazing investigation of the meaning of personal identity and altered perception embedded in a movie where soulbonded pilots use giant robots to fight giant aliens.

The second movie was awesome, but it is not the movie that they actually made.

Allow me to become more specific. )

Let's not even talk about how hard this movie failed the Beschdel test. I was waiting, on the edge of my seat, for Mako and the Russian sister to say something, anything, to each other, however brief and/or perfunctory. They did not. It would have been so easy for this movie to get a technical pass:

MAKO: "Is your Jaeger operating at peak efficiency?"

RUSSIAN PILOT: "Da."

Done!

(Mako also did not exchange words with the only other speaking female character in the movie, who I believe is credited as "Chinese Girl in Anti-Kaiju Refuge", just fyi.)

Now that I've ranted about my problems with Pacific Rim, let me tell you about the awesome movie I was watching in my head. This involves more spoilers )

So yeah, that's the movie I wish I saw. It's a great movie! It still has the hilarious scientist side plot stuff, and the giant robots, and we can even leave in the stupid sword that you activate by pressing the "sword" button in your giant robot cockpit, and the Dance-Dance-Revolution piloting scenes.

Can I ask people what they liked about this movie? Not conceptually, or in its potential -- because I thought those things were awesome too! -- but in the actual movie on the screen? I'm honestly curious, and open to rewatching the whole thing (though not in theatres), but I'm kind of at a loss at where all the love I'm seeing on Tumblr is coming from.

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Barometry Jones

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