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July 31, 2013

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Eh, I liked Pacific Rim but most of the character bits were sorely lacking. A marketing campaign based on that end of it might have turned out even worse.

I think there was the spine of some good character arcs in the movie, but they were sabotaged by terrible dialogue and some very sub-par acting. Even Idris, who I normally love, came off as fairly lackluster. His "we are cancelling the apocalypse" speech failed to raise even one chill.

The character scene that actually worked the best was the bo fight between Beckett and Mori. Stripped of the need to recite a lot of terrible dialogue, they were able to create some real chemistry with physical interaction.

I liked the "Ring The Bells" video. There's some nice bits there but, like a lot of fan videos, it's too long, running out of ideas about half way through.

Pacific Rim hasn't done as well in the US as had been hoped (for a nearly-$200-million movie), though it's racking up enough bucks internationally that there will be a sequel.

The missing agent in that first sentence is us, right? Be very careful what you wish for, success is usually the thing that makes these genres turn into (or be turned into) crap.

Mind Meld at TV Tropes and according to their crowdsource this sense is apparently fairly unusual in anime, or mecha anime. This is the right category, because PR is down there in films.

Course, NGE is about a kinda mental fusion, between pilot and mecha. This is more common, even GitS might be about fusion. And then there is teamwork, about building relationships in a small group to overcome shared or particular obstacles. "Your Scoobie friends will see you through"

I've seen plenty of writing about this movie, including interviews with Del Toro here:
http://badassdigest.com/2013/07/12/the-badass-interview-guillermo-del-toro-gets-spoilery-on-pacific-rim/

The point about Mako being in the Luke role I think is pretty spot-on. Del Toro and Beacham both talk about the original Star Wars as the primary inspiration.

The key points they took from it was to make sure everything looks worn and used instead of shiny and new, to make sure there is a larger universe of characters and events beyond what is directly shown, and to not be afraid to start in the middle of the story.

Thought of a few other points.

First, the marketing may have been a casualty of Legendary Pictures (the producing company) separating from their publishing deal with Warner Brothers.

Second, like Star Wars Pacific Rim was supposed to be aimed at a younger audience (10-14 or so). I think this may be the forgotten demographic- younger than that you are marketing more to the parents as being non-threatening or positive real life messages(Dreamworks animated movies or Disney's live-action output); older than that and you get the raunchy/edgy movies like Project X, Porky's, etc.

All of the tie-in products seem to be aimed at the niche audience too- graphic novel tie-ins are often just script rough drafts (though this one is supposed to be good), a Heroclix set (because every comic book related property needs a Heroclix set), and the toys (fairly detailed and accurate jaeger's, but not widely available in stores).

Probably the only way they could have gotten the younger audience they needed would have been to beg/bribe McDonald's for a Happy Meal tie-in.

Honestly, I did not mind the dialog at all, but that is because the 'bad' dialog and the 'superficial' character development all meshed perfectly with what I expected from a property that had giant mecha fighting horrors from beyond. It's part of the anime/manga genre.

Same goes with the apparent lack of psychological depth. Del Toro included plenty of psychological depth, but he presents that depth visually rather than verbally and through symbolism and analogy rather than narrative development. The cuts and the mise en scene show us what the characters are reluctant to say. Again, this is in line with anime and manga conventions.

I thought the film was quite well put together and well acted when seen through the correct stylistic frame.

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