Hello again, my geeky friends. This week brings us to the 2nd weekend of July and we can see the end of Summer just up on the horizon. This in an interesting week because there are several films opening in limited release around the Country, but only a couple are opening here in Charlotte, so I’m going to keep my focus on those and talk about the others as they open here in the coming weeks and Months.
If you’ve been paying attention to what I’ve written over the last few Months, it will come as no great surprise that this is the film that I’m interested in this weekend. I haven’t written very much about it or even talked that much about it, but I have had this one on my calendar since the release date was announced.
I am writing a full review and analysis of the film that will post tomorrow so I will keep this short, I promise. I have been a fan of Guillermo Del Toro since the first time I saw Mimic and what you might call a massive fan since the first Hellboy came out in 2004. After he left the directing chair on The Hobbit films in 2011 due to a delay in production, those of us who follow such things were wondering what he would take on next.
The answer to that question hits theaters and Imax in 2D and 3D tonight starting at 7pm. It is the glorious and majestic Pacific Rim.
The film’s synopsis sounds like the fevered dreams of a 12-year-old boy: When giant 50 story-tall Monsters, called Kaiju start climbing out of a dimensional rift at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and raining down death and destruction on the coastal cities, the Governments of the World unite and build Monsters of their own. These 50 story-tall Robots, called Jaeger’s are piloted by two people, joined together with a melding of their minds and memories in what is called The Drift. They each control one-half of the Jaeger and a delirious amount of Robot Vs. Monster battles ensue.
Just to be clear, that is really just the set-up for the film, not the whole story. Guillermo Del Toro understands that in order for the massive battles and jaw-dropping fights to carry any real weight, we have to be invested in the survival of, not just the World, but the characters we are watching go through the battles.
Idris Elba heads the cast as Stacker Pentecost (greatest character name in the history of film) the leader of the Jaeger program. Charlie Hunnam stars as a washed-up ex-pilot who is lured back to battle. Rinko Kikuchi is a pilot with a deep connection to Pentecost, and Charlie Day is a scientist whose radical ideas might hold the key to defeating the Kaiju once and for all.
Del Toro vet Ron Perlman is also on hand as a black market dealer in dead Kaiju parts who supplies a good deal of comedy relief during the second act.
This film is a throw-back to the adventure films of an era gone by. It’s a film where the good guys are good all the way down to the core and they may fight amongst themselves, but they will come together and get the job done when the chips are down.
The film is rated PG-13 but in the mid 80’s it would have carried an easy PG. It’s a film made with affection for the genre by a master of it, and it will hit the sweet spot of any wide-eyed kid from 8-88.
As a side note, the 3D conversion is among the very best I’ve ever seen. This is a flick designed to be seen on the biggest screen possible.
OPENS TONIGHT IN 2D, REALD 3D and IMAX 3D EVERYWHERE.
GROWN UPS 2 (PG-13 101 Minutes )
I have sat and stared at the computer screen for several minutes trying to figure out how to proceed. There is an old saying about reviews that goes something like: The only thing better than writing a review of a film you love is tearing apart a film you hate.
I guess that’s true, but to be honest, I don’t hate Adam Sandler films, I just think I’ve gotten too old for them. I remember when he made Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison and I watched them and laughed out-loud. They were fresh and just smart-enough to let you know they were in on the joke.
The last film of his I actually enjoyed was Funny People and that wasn’t, in the strictest sense, an Adam Sandler film. It was a Judd Apatow film and it was about a comedian like Adam Sandler who was trying to get back to his roots after a health scare.
His last few films, like the god-awful Jack and Jill and the just plain sad That’s my Boy! are like the film parody’s his character was trying to atone for in Funny People. They’re not so bad it’s good bad movies, they are just so bad you want to inflict harm on the people who made them.
These movies, up-to and including this weeks Grown Ups 2 (his first sequel) are for a certain audience. There are ,though far less now than before tripe like those I mentioned above, a certain amount of people who enjoy these films. Good. I’m very glad you have something you like. Something that brings happiness to your life.
To me, I just can’t do it. Sorry. It is Hollywood lore that Adam Sandler is a great guy and a wonderful family man and good to his friends, and I have nothing against the man, but these films are just not for me.
I love Chris Rock, Don’t dis-like Kevin James and David Spade but sitting down to watch this film just isn’t worth the irritation that I know I will feel as one tired and lazy joke and plot point leads to the next tired and lazy plot point.
If you are the audience for this, enjoy.
OPENS TONIGHT EVERYWHERE.
That about does it for this week but join me next week when we will try to figure out just what the heck a Conjuring actually is. Based on the trailers, it doesn’t seem like it’s much fun.
Until next time, Keep the Projector Threaded.