Sunday, July 14, 2013

Everyone Called They Want Everything Back

Dear Guillermo Del Toro,

Genre fiction is forgiving. It's like the penny jar next to the cash register.

You're allowed to steal your street scenes from Blade Runner and Bill Sienkiewicz's New Mutants.

You're allowed to steal your gangsters and their hideout from Shadowrun.

You're allowed to steal your Tokyo apocalypse from Akira.

You're allowed to steal your weapons from Soul Calibur (who stole it from this guy).

You're allowed to steal your mad scientists from Ghostbusters and Reanimator.

You're allowed to steal your lighting and shitty jock jumpsuits from Mass Effect.

You're allowed to steal your giant robots from the rejected bin at the Battletech, Transformers and Iron Man offices.

You're allowed to steal your set up from Evangelion.

You're allowed to steal your climax from Avengers.

You're allowed to steal your monster designs from Godzilla Unleashed and Star Trek and Monster Hunter and Wayne Barlowe (oh wait, Jez informs me Barlowe was on it? I guess Barlowe's allowed to steal from himself 25 years ago).

You're allowed to steal your style from Roger Corman.

You're allowed to have a bunch of white guys you can't tell apart be major characters.

You're allowed to have a script with a grand total of zero memorable lines.

But you have to leave something in return.

What did Pacific Rim leave?

That scene where the little girl walks out into the ash-covered street and those weird lampsuits the black market monster dudes wear when they're walking around inside the monster, and the one fight in the middle during the parts when it wasn't obscured by videogame blur.

-Zak

P.S. How did you find that many people who don't like giant robots to design your giant robots?
-
-
-

23 comments:

Kirk Foote said...

I agree 1000% but I had a hell of a lot of fun watching it.

cityofdoors said...

I'm just happy it wasn't a sequel or a remake of something. But, yes, the movie was only original by the standards of modern big budget Hollywood blockbusters. I enjoyed it, and didn't think the fight scenes were that obscured.

Richard said...

I thought Elbow Rocket, and canceling the apocalypse are pretty memorable lines.

Also Shatterdome is a pretty memorable name.
heck I can barely remember the name Gipsy Danger and I bought the action figure for it.

Michel said...

As bad as all of the dialog was, I have to admit I had a lot of fun watching this movie.

Nate said...

This movie was a land of missed opportunities... having two people mind-linked is a chance to explore psychic cripples (when the other dies), what it's like to see someone else's memory beyond blue-and-white images of childhood, what are the awkward moments like with that person? Having different categories of aliens is a chance to explore different categories of abstraction. This category alien is like a dinosaur, this alien turns air into geometry, this alien inhabits is so big it's as big to the robots as robots are to people, this alien is shaped like a sphere and it casts a shadow that transports people to z-space (see evangelion) I don't know, anything at all, geez.

Tedankhamen said...

Thanks for reminding me to check my brain at the door and just relax and let GDT hump my eyeballs for 90 minutes...

squidman said...

I haven't seen the movie, but could someone explain the Shadowrun reference?

Bruno Galan said...

I don't think the gangsters were Shadowrun at all. They were black market gangsters that fit the setting the story takes place in. As for saying that the Jaegers looked like rejected concepts for 'Battletech, Transformers and Iron Man'... It made little sense. At the end of the day, a giant robot will look like a giant robot. As for the 'video game blur' comment, I disagree again. The action was very easy to follow. I'm not saying Zak's whole list is incorrect, but I disagree with a good portion of it and I think Del Toro put it all together to make an extremely fun movie. I felt like Pacific Rim gave me a lot of cool action scenes for my money and I'd go see a sequel directed by Del Toro.

Zak S said...

Spoken like a man with terrible eyesight.

Yes, Bruno, a giant robot looks like a giant robot. Tell Makoto Kobayashi that.

Unknown said...

blur cam must be stopped, in our lifetime.

if you own a blur cam or care about someone who does, please contact the authorities.

Bruno Galan said...

You missed my point entirely. I meant that as soon as you make a few giant robots, of course some similarities will show up. It's kind of like making superhero outfits, sooner or later you'll see something that another design also had. I did not mean that giant robots designs are all the same thing anyway. (And if you just meant they were bad compared to these other franchises, that has nothing to do with the whole 'They took this from here' list.) So while I've seen better designs elsewhere, I wouldn't say those were BAD.
But hey, I'll willingly concede that you clearly love robot stuff more than I do since I didn't even know the name of Makoto Kobayashi, so maybe you're simply pickier than I would be for that genre.
About those gangsters being from Shadowrun though, other than being gangsters from a high-tech society with monsters... I dunno, it's like if I showed Daredevil to someone and they told me that he's a rip-off of Batman because they both fight crime and wear a mask.

Zak S said...

The color palette, fashion details, lighting and overall look of those gangsters traces its lineage very clearly to early Shadowrun sourcebook paintings.
Again: If you're blind, then maybe you don't get it. That's ok, blindness is not a crime.

Bruno Galan said...

O.k, I haven't read early Shadowrun, could be that you're right. I don't think that'd be a bad thing though. Now stop it with your blind-themed jabs will ya, I'd like to continue enjoying Vornheim. >_>

Haxar said...

"How did you find that many people who don't like giant robots to design your giant robots?"

Probably from the guys who made the Armoured Core series or Front Mission series, there were elements of both in the design.

I'm curious, what didn't you like about the robot designs?

Zak S said...

What was to like? They were simple, derivative, wholly unexceptional in every way.

As for Armored Core and Front Mission--not at all. Those mechs are far more articulated at every joint, far more detailed in design overall, distribute their weight and proportions in more interesting ways and rely far less on the "just make it basically like a metal person with a funny head" design principle. They also chose a stylistic direction (mech as anthropomorphized tank) far more decisively than the 'Rim mechs.

iron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
iron said...

EDIT: the Shadowrun connection may be correct. Timothy Bradsheet is a friend of GDT's and I think worked on Pacific Rim.

Edward Wilson said...

So having just seen the movie yesterday I'd add a couple more:
- you're allowed to steal the space marine suiting up montage from the StarCraft II trailer.
- you're allowed to have strafing fighter planes get too close for no good reason and be batted down like in King Kong.
- you're allowed to build up a cool female character, then pull the plug on her at the last minute so the male hero gets all the glory.
This movie was so bad on so many levels.

echostation57 said...

Well, think of Pacific Rim like a WOTC product, and extract from it what you can.

For my son and I that means the best game of BattleTech ever.

Zak S said...

i can see it

echostation57 said...

It was mostly inspired by your "Wargames for Anarchists" post, especially the line, "Cool-looking-if-slightly-out-of-scale plastic dinosaurs count as 'minis'." So thanks for that (and, er, everything else--Vornheim rules).

Here's a weird thing. As a GM, I cut teeth on WEG Star Wars 1st ed, which flat-out said that looking up modiifiers is boring, just make up something reasonable and roll dice. So I've always been pretty much "Rulings. What rules?" as a roleplayer. But as a wargamer I've always gone completely the other way--I'll grind the game to a halt and flip pages forever to find the right damage modifier. I never thought about how schizophrenic that was until I was forced to start making shit up for the BattleTech kaiju this weekend. It was...refreshing.

Gururamalamaswami said...

It's a big budget Hollywood movie. I leave my expectations at the door.

Nerzenjäger said...

When will there ever be a movie with mechs that- while ultimately making no sense on a real battlefield-actually look realistic? A fun movie, but I like my mechs more in the vein of MG:Rex, Robocop, or to some extent Battletech.