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.
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!