Friday, July 12, 2013

Pacific Rim

This poster is taken from a scene in the prologue to Guillermo Del Toro's Pacific Rim,  the summer's undisputed blockbuster to beat. The poster depicts a crippled gargantuan robot pulling itself out of the surf, its electronic innards dangling, bits falling onto the beach. It's bent but not destroyed. Two small figures at the lower left-hand side of the poster are diminished by the goliath. Those folks are us. The moviegoers. And the robot is, well, the film. Audiences will be awed and overwhelmed by this picture because of its size and, well, elegance. Del Toro, a true cinematic visionary (witness Pan's Labyrinth), has crafted an enormous and enormously engrossing multi-culti adventure tale of the human race's refusal to give in to what appears, based on the numbers, to be certain annihilation. Leading the intrepid battle is Stacker Pentecost, played by the redoubtable Idris Elba. Pentecost is one of the veteran "pilots" of the gigantic robots, called Jaegers (as in -meister) that have been battling a species of really nasty amphibious beasts (kaijus) from the center of the earth. These malevolent creatures use a portal that leads them to us and because they are aquatic they've wreaked most of their havoc on coastal cities. The suits have about had enough and want to build a wall too big for the kaijus to scale rather than continue to fund the jaeger program. Pentecost isn't hearing it and goes to ace pilot Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam of Sons of Anarchy) to coax him out of retirement (he and his brother were at the helm of the damaged Jaeger on the poster) to wage one last attack on the kaiju's portal and save humankind. It's Class A story craft with an abundance of grace notes provided by a world class assortment of featured characters played by Charlie Day, Burn Gorman and Ron Perlman. The heart of this greatly affecting film is in the relationship between Elba's Pentecost and junior pilot Mako Mori (the lovely Rinko Kukichi). Loud, cartoonish violence, but little blood. Highly Recommended.

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Queen & Slim

In the soon to be iconic photograph from Melina Matsoukas's distressing Queen & Slim, stars Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith...