Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pacific Rim: "Expect robot porn"

"The largest chunk of the box office take came from China, where the current gross is nearly $112 million, but that’s followed closely by its domestic gross of over $101 million. The total take is over $407 million worldwide, a respectable profit considering Pacific Rim‘s $190 million budget and certainly enough to justify a sequel if Legendary Pictures and Del Toro decide to go ahead with one."

It’s also a total surprise. Not because no one saw it coming, but because it’s all coming from the minds of writer Travis Beacham and Guillermo del Toro, the only two guys as nerdy about big fun action movies as the fans who will be lining up to pay 15 bucks for Pacific Rim at the box office.

“When I was a kid – I grew up in the 80s – and we were seeing this sort of thing all the time,” Beacham told Wired in a recent interview. “We had Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Gremlins, Star Wars — there was a constant stream of invention coming out of Hollywood. As much as I’m going to be in line for the next Star Wars, I think in addition to those sorts of things what I would love to see in Hollywood is a new spirit of invention in which we originate as much of our own material as we can.”

But really, Pacific Rim is about battles. And from the moment Raleigh is brought to Hong Kong — where Stacker is staging the final Jaeger defense against the kaiju onslaught — the film is an almost never-ending series of face-offs. And, oh, what glorious face-offs they are. ILM’s chief creative officer John Knoll, a Toho monster movie fan as a kid, told Wired recently that the marrying of kaiju and robots in the same film was something new for the VFX house and “that was actually a big part of the appeal of this was that this was original material, this wasn’t a sequel or an adaptation — I love working on original things where there is no stylebook established that we have to be faithful to and we can try new things.”

There’s a pretty smart wink to the kaiju flick The War of the Gargantuas in the first third of the film. Legendary Pictures head Thomas Tull gets in a cameo — in name at least (are these requisite now?). The aforementioned soundtrack comes courtesy of Ramin Djawadi, who also does the music on Game of Thrones, and the film’s theme has licks from Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello. The mechs themselves evoke the Japanese anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. GLaDOS herself, Ellen McLain, is the frigging voice of Gipsy Danger. And, as del Toro might say, that’s just the tip.

More information:
» CNET: "Pacific Rim is derivative of many Japanese franchises"
» Rotten Tomatoes: Pacific Rim (2013)

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