This Week In Cinema: July 21-27, 2013

pacific rim

My drifting compatibility would be about nil, not much going on upstairs with this one!

What’s this, no short films this week,

Fire And Ice (1983, Ralph Bakshi, United States Of America) **

I’ve generally been a fan of Ralph Bakshi’s rotoscope animation. Fire And Ice is a different story, and it’s thanks mainly to the opening exposition. Said exposition is played out against a backdrop of Frank Frazetta artwork. The animation that follows cannot hope to compare to Mr. Frazetta’s artwork. His work may lean heavily towards the beefcake and cheesecake variety, but it’s still finely detailed. The same cannot be said for the animation in Fire And Ice, which is far too simplistic and rounded. The story in Fire And Ice is pretty darn bad, and the general tone of the film is weak. What Mr. Bakshi wanted to present was a male fantasy come true. Large breasted women wear next to no clothes, are the objects of desire for all the men, are put in scenarios where the idea of rape is implied, and are submissive to the wills of every male in the story. The men are all sword wielding bad asses who exist for no other reason than to wear barely any clothing and hack each other to pieces. Yet, Mr. Bakshi holds back in his fantasy, he shows too much restraint and the result is an adult animated tale with no bite and a meager bark.

Mama (2013, Andrés Muschietti, Canada/Spain) **1/2

A decent premise that is hampered by a decided lack of characterization. The film tries to imbue its characters with some meat, but it takes too many shortcuts in doing so. Jessica Chastain’s Annabel goes from not being comfortable around the kids in one scene to a devoted mother figure in the next scene. That sort of quantum leap is what Mama confuses with healthy characterization. The film is suspenseful, the Mama character is a nice construct, and I did enjoy a lot of the film. However, on the whole the narrative of Mama never measures up to the premise the film puts forth.

Pacific Rim (2013, Guillermo del Toro, United States Of America) ***1/2

A summer blockbuster done right. Pacific Rim sticks to a standard narrative and the traditional story structure that has been the template for many an action movie. But, where Pacific Rim separates itself from the pack is in how smartly constructed it is as a film. Guillermo del Toro doesn’t go from point A to B, he hurtles towards those points in a fashion that pays respect to the viewer. Exposition pops up at random times, and the imagination on display grows with every passing second. The battles are intense, and the film lightly touches on the theme of teamwork and the group being better than one. However, what most matters when it comes to Pacific Rim is that it’s a well constructed, wonderfully imaginative, and highly energetic take on giant robots fighting giant monsters. Any creature feature fan should be happy with Pacific Rim, and any living being who still gets giddy at the movies should absolutely love Pacific Rim.

Wrap-Up:

Not much of a contest this week, Guillermo del Toro’s love fest impresses where others films did not. I had a really great time watching Pacific Rim, and that’s why it takes home movie of the week honors. Until next week, watch more movies!

Cheers,
Bill

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8 responses to “This Week In Cinema: July 21-27, 2013

  1. Hey, Bill. I don’t know if you do these things, but I tagged you for 2 blog awards if you’re interested.

    http://classicblanca.blogspot.com/2013/07/2-blog-awards-and-black-sheep.html

  2. Hey Josh, thanks for the consideration. I have gotten to some blog awards in the past, but it really depends on how busy my life outside of blogging is. So, no promises on these, but if I have the time I’ll get to them and reply. But, again, thanks for the consideration. 🙂

  3. I’m right with you on Pacific Rim. It doesn’t change the game, but it’s wonderfully entertaining. I really liked the tone of the entire production beyond the big set pieces. Del Toro takes it seriously enough, but it never feels like a slog. It’s great fun.

  4. The more I think about Pacific Rim the more I like it. Sure, it helps that I’m a big fan of del Toro, but there’s something about Pacific Rim that just feels right.

  5. Pingback: Podcast Review: The Film Talk | Bill's Movie Emporium

  6. The Pacific Rim impressed me more than the Avatar, also having more than just special effects and fight scenes, but just turning out to be more personally appealing…which was absolutely unexpected. It also mentions environmental issues, but hardly anyone notices that, probably. The “drifting compatibility”, as you call it, reflects the “environmental issues” of all human relationships, and it was fascinating to find it in a story that would otherwise be just a line recited so many times.

  7. I enjoyed Avatar a fair bit myself, and on a technical level I would say it is far superior to Pacific Rim. However, in terms of me loving a film I did enjoy Pacific Rim more.

  8. Pingback: Podcast Review: Kaijucast | Bill's Movie Emporium

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