The Big Picture: Summer's End

Dunesen

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I wouldn't mind Bob doing an entire episode devoted to his thoughts/problems with Man of Steel if there was any indication he would then drop the matter afterward. But he probably won't. He did a Big Picture griping about South Park a while back and that hasn't stopped him from taking shots at it here and on Twitter. And he already said whatever he needed to say about Into Darkness in that review, but it doesn't stop him from going back to it months later.

Same reason I would like him to do a video about Dark Knight Rises so he can get everything off his chest, but at the same time don't want it because it won't be an end to his complaining about it. And really, when he complains about Dark Knight Rises what the hell is he actually saying? That he didn't like it? That he considered it bad? OK. But explain what you mean. Maybe he'll do that with Man of Steel next week...

And am I the only one who rolled their eyes when Bob got to World's End and he said (paraphrasing) "I can't believe my generation is at the point where it can feel nostalgic about its youth"? Bob is through and through one of those 80's pop culture nostalgia freaks, the people who think everything peaked with the NES, GI Joe and Transformers. THE MAN JUST WROTE A BOOK ABOUT AN 8-BIT GAME! What the hell is this "It's weird to be looking back at our childhood so wistfully" nonsense?
 

Nuxxy

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trty00 said:
I think you make an interesting point, but I think at that point, having Raleigh die would have been pulling a 'Mass Effect 3.' Basically, it would have been a bittersweet ending when a bittersweet ending was, at the end of the day, jarring and kind of inappropriate. In terms of its narrative, Pacific Rim is meant to be a 'Hero's Journey;' there may be causalities, and dreadful things might happen, but in the end everything kind of works out and it's better that way. You shouldn't try to force complexity because it doesn't make your movie instantly deeper, and it can come off as far more idiotic than just having a story that's simple at its core.

I can understand why that might not appeal to everyone, but I think every once in a while, people need levity, and I don't think a film is intellectually bereft for choosing to provide it
Here is probably where we are going to have a diversion of opinions. I saw it more of a story of a battle/war, pulling together against a common foe. The premise of the neural link, Mako and Raleigh's interplay, the friction between Chuck and the Gipsy team, the friction between the scientists - it was all about overcoming differences for the common cause.

If it was a "Hero's Journey", the Hero who Journeyed would have to be Mako. Raleigh didn't really change. In story terms, they made the mistake of "show, don't tell". We didn't really see him change. He spoke about how difficult it would be for him to Drift, how difficult to be so close to someone again, but it never was. Mako had to overcome self-doubt and the doubt of others. She had to conquer her demons and prove herself. Raleigh was her guide, her mentor, but otherwise stayed the same. It's part of the reason I would like the ending of Raleigh dying - to fulfill the hero and inspire her to new heights with his sacrifice.
 

Arcane Azmadi

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UNBELIEVABLY surprised that Elysium rated so low on the list (#8?!) after all the good stuff you had to say about it, especially in light of some of the stuff in front of it.

Not at ALL surprised that Pacific Rim was #1. Anyone could see that coming a mile off. And I TOTALLY agree.
 

Gordon_4_v1legacy

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Nuxxy said:
Gordon_4 said:
The problem with this is what exactly? Stacker and Chuck Hansen already had the heroic sacrifice part done and dusted; killing Raleigh in Mako's arms would have been needlessly twisting the knife, especially since I took his experience to be learning how to live again, rather than just exist.

Hell I was just grateful that Mako and Raleigh didn't fall in love, for avoiding that horse-shit plot point alone I hold Pacific Rim higher than most summer action films.
Also so glad it didn't turn romantic. For a few seconds at the end it looked close.

I'm all for a more 'fun' movie over the overly-serious stuff we've been having, but I felt the film could have done with a bit of gravitas, something for the audience to emotionally invest in. A heroic sacrifice isn't one if the remainder of the characters (and thereby the audience) don't feel the loss. Any pilot who died fighting kaiju should be considered a heroic sacrifice. But when Crimson Typhoon and Cherno Alpha were taken out no one at home base even appeared shocked. Despite that each of them has crews of 100s, probably tight knit communities. No one angry? Despaired? Crying? Nope let's keep looking at Mako and Raleigh, looking unsurprised.

To me, Raleigh's death could have been symbolic. He could have represented the past, the victims of the years of battling the kaiju. Mako could represent the future, the survivors who owe everything to those who lay down their lives. It could have been a passing of the torch between the generations, a final chance for the past to inspire the future and the future to thank the past. And it would have meant something to the audience.
Mako's mentor did die though; Stacker Pentacost was her mentor, Raleigh was her friend and partner. Having him die that point would have been needlessly tragic and undermined the feeling of triumph. The film is built on old school heroics and saw no need to subvert expectations to be deliberately callous to a core character.

The movie is by no means perfect; I was disappointed that I never got to know the Wei Tang brothers and the Kaidanovsky couple.
 

Nuxxy

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In the Pacific Rim I watched, Stacker Pentecost was her father figure, but Raleigh was the one who walked her through her journey, confronting and overcoming her demons. Doesn't mean he couldn't be her partner/friend/co-pilot too.

I want the triumph to feel undermined. This was a self-described Apocalypse. The emotion I expect after the Apocalypse is relief that it's over and you survived, tinged with sorrow for the fallen; not cheering like your team won the game.

captcha: you're fired! (OK! I will drop the topic now!)
 

Tim Chuma

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Haven't seen any of these apart from Pacific Rim.

I would say the movie that has had the most impact on me this year would be the Act of Killing where former participants in a genocide re-enact their killings in the style of their favourite movies. This includes a musical interlude singing "Born Free" in front of a waterfall and re-staging their crimes in the style of a 50s noir. It took seven years to film and has Errol Morris and Werner Herzog as the executive producers http://theactofkilling.com/ I did get to hear the direct speak about it during the film festival and ended up writing nineteen pages of notes.
 

Gordon_4_v1legacy

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Nuxxy said:
I want the triumph to feel undermined.
Why? What does deliberately subverting the triumph get you other than audiences going 'Oh, well, that's a tad bleak'. I've had my fill of bleak, I want to go to the movies and watch the heroes kick ass. Not 'getting the girl' was subversion enough for me and one that is in dire need of more use. Deliberately tainting the climactic third act of a film with needless melodrama on the other hand, can do with a rest.

Nuxxy said:
This was a self-described Apocalypse. The emotion I expect after the Apocalypse is relief that it's over and you survived, tinged with sorrow for the fallen; not cheering like your team won the game.
I also recall Stacker giving an utterly rousing speech about cancelling the Apocolypse; having people in a terminal frame of mind while they're supposed to be supporting your efforts to kick the beasts back into their pit and give their masters' a thermonuclear butt-fucking is counter productive. You want them fired up and ready to kick Satan's own Dobermans in the balls until the bitter end.
 

Nuxxy

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I was going to let it rest, but...

It's a personal view - I just dislike any sort of war scenario where people gloss over the cost or outright forget the fallen. War is horror, always. It should never not be bleak.

Not that the story as a whole can't be fun. Anyone seen Blackadder Goes Forth? It full of silliness and fun, right up until the end of final episode with the big push. The ending was absolutely the right thing to do, even if it wasn't funny.
 

Jacco

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There was nothing "perfect" about Pacific Rim. At all. Whether you liked it or not is irrelevant. It was not a "good" movie.
 

Markunator

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Is Pain & Gain really as bad as this review suggests?


Jacco said:
There was nothing "perfect" about Pacific Rim. At all. Whether you liked it or not is irrelevant. It was not a "good" movie.
Yes, it was. It was a very good summer movie.
 

dystopiaINC

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JimB said:
Gordon_4 said:
I was just grateful that Mako and Raleigh didn't fall in love.
Thank you. The whole idea of girlfriends being handed out by the universe as rewards for surviving traumatic experiences has been done to death in pretty much every movie ever.
Um, IMHO Pacific Rim is one of the few movies that ending would work really well actually. half the movie was about the relationships between pilots, and just about all of the pilots we got to see had very close bonds. three brothers, a father and son pair, and a couple made up 3 out of the four best teams surviving. In a movie where the two on question literally have to go into each other head to work as one unit having an ending like that would not be a surprise or even be a bad way to go, it's not the "trauma" aspect, though that was part of why they worked so well together, past traumas helping them form a working bond in the first place.

TL:DR PR is a movie were it could have been done pretty well and not come off as an over done cliche because the kind of bond you would have to form with your partner. In my honest opinion.

OT: loved the last three, agree entirely, but I felt kick ass 2 should have made the list as well
 

JimB

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dystopiaINC said:
In my opinion, Pacific Rim is one of the few movies that ending [male lead romantically involved with female lead] would work really well, actually. Half the movie was about the relationships between pilots, and just about all of the pilots we got to see had very close bonds. Three brothers, a father and son pair, and a couple made up three out of the four best teams surviving. In a movie where the two in question literally have to go into each other head to work as one unit having an ending like that would not be a surprise or even be a bad way to go, it's not the "trauma" aspect, though that was part of why they worked so well together, past traumas helping them form a working bond in the first place.
I still would have been pissed off, because it is possible for men and women to bond without romance entering the equation. To hook them up romantically is nothing but laziness paired with an at least slightly sexist repetition of the old idea that victory is accompanied by women, like they're trophies handed out by the universe for winning. I think it's much more satisfying and even bold to have their bond be that of comrades at war time.
 

dystopiaINC

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JimB said:
dystopiaINC said:
In my opinion, Pacific Rim is one of the few movies that ending [male lead romantically involved with female lead] would work really well, actually. Half the movie was about the relationships between pilots, and just about all of the pilots we got to see had very close bonds. Three brothers, a father and son pair, and a couple made up three out of the four best teams surviving. In a movie where the two in question literally have to go into each other head to work as one unit having an ending like that would not be a surprise or even be a bad way to go, it's not the "trauma" aspect, though that was part of why they worked so well together, past traumas helping them form a working bond in the first place.
I still would have been pissed off, because it is possible for men and women to bond without romance entering the equation. To hook them up romantically is nothing but laziness paired with an at least slightly sexist repetition of the old idea that victory is accompanied by women, like they're trophies handed out by the universe for winning. I think it's much more satisfying and even bold to have their bond be that of comrades at war time.
While I certainly don't disagree with you. in this movie, with these two particular characters, I think it would have been and acceptable ending. as it it I think it's more than open to interpretation if your so inclined. That is to say that another movie would not work out that way, a good example would be Kick Ass 2. But In Pacific Rim it could have, mostly due to the way drifting works, and the interactions between the two characters. You could certainly look at that "compatibility test" in a few interesting ways. Any way, I agree it's not something that should be in as many movies it is. I just disagree that it wouldn't have been okay with this particular movie.
 

JimB

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dystopiaINC said:
While I certainly don't disagree with you, in this movie, with these two particular characters, I think it would have been and acceptable ending.
I'll grant that, in this specific context, it would have been less trite and annoying than it is in most others. There's even a little bit of set-up for such a relationship; the girl (I forget her name...Mako?) peeping on Raleigh's hot back through her door. Even so, it still would have been trite and annoying, because pretty much every movie ever made has awarded the male protagonist a girlfriend at the end. This ending is just more satisfying to me personally because I've never seen a relationship between man and woman on screen in a movie like this that feels like it was made for me. Like, I know this woman, okay? For a long time, I was infatuated with her and wanted to be romantically involved, but we both realized that wasn't going to work, so we shut that down (I was surprised at how easy that was to do, but never mind). Now she and I are best friends because of all the similarities we have to bond over. That relationship works so much better than a romantic one, and is so much more fulfilling because it just feels like the right fit for us and no one was trying to artificially force the relationship to be something it's not.

That ending felt like it was made for me, because I could relate to it and because it portrayed a closeness between a man and a woman as friends that didn't have or need a romantic or sexual relationship like the closeness I feel to my friend. That's a relationship I haven't seen since Aliens, with Bill Paxton's character and uh, I think her name is Vasquez...and even then, I think the relationship in Aliens is cheapened by Vasquez's likely homosexuality. Pacific Rim made me feel less weird by showing me another man who can love another woman without wanting to be her boyfriend, and that's a big part of why I'm so adamant about its ending being better.

Well, that and seriously, "save the world = get some poon" is a pretty sexist ending.
 

evilneko

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Burt Reynolds in a Fast and Furious movie?

BRILLIANT!

captcha agrees: awesome dude!