Friday, July 19, 2013

This Week In Tickets: 8 July 2013 - 14 July 2013

Going to see movies at the HFA can certainly make the page colorful:

This Week in Tickets

Stubless: The Lost World (Brattle, 10 July, 7pm). Although it's not really stubless; I just found the stub in the pocket of a pair of pants that have since gone through the wash. Maybe I'll tape it in when I get back home.

Quite the fun, busy week - even if there was really only the one new release, it was one of the movies I most wanted to see this summer.

I'll keep this quick, as I'm looking to likely set a blog record with four posts before heading out for the day's movies. The week started by with the tail end (for me) of the Brattle's Stomp Boston! series, featuring a double feature of giant monsters attacking New York, Cloverfield and Q. I would come back for The Lost World, but since I file dinosaurs and giant monsters into different parts of my head for no good reason, I decided to pair that one with the silent Ben-Hur(s) for posting.

In between, it was another sad visit to the Regent Theatre for a "preview" of Three Worlds - I guess being available via Film Movement reduces the audience for these shows, because that was the common denominator of both times I showed up alone. Or maybe they just weren't advertised well.

The bulk of the weekend wound up being trips to the Harvard Film Archive's "The Complete Alfred Hitchcock" series, where I got to see The Lodger, Frenzy, To Catch a Thief, and Foreign Correspondent on 35mm. The Ring, too, although that will be on the next page which should show up on the blog in mid-August.

What's left? Oh, of course, Pacific Rim! Getting there was rather frustrating, as I, remembering what happened with Star Trek Into Darkness, made sure I was on the subway and headed to Malden Station to catch the bus to Jordan's Furniture in Reading way ahead of schedule. Which is only so helpful when the bus is twelve minutes late and people get off on every stop even if it is just twenty steps from the last one. There is some frustrating mounting tension that builds up in a person as the start time gets closer and closer and one can do little but hope for a long package of previews...

Pacific Rim

* * * ¾ (out of four)
Seen 13 July 2013 in Jordan's Furniture Reading (first-run, 3D "Imax")

Folks asked me how good Pacific Rim was last week, and my answer was pretty simple: Transportation mishaps getting to the furniture store with the IMAX screen in Reading meant that I missed the first few minutes of the movie, so I guess I'll have to see it again!

It really is one that I figure on seeing multiple times, not so much because it's got the kind of nuance that rewards multiple viewings (detail, sure, but not complexity) as because it's just outright fun. Guillermo del Toro does something that everybody making popcorn entertainment should be trying to do, though few achieve it: Raise the stakes as high as you possibly can, make sure that actions have consequence, but don't make the audience feel bad about enjoying it. As the movie starts out, things are grim - humankind's giant robots just aren't holding the tide of invading giant monsters back like they'd hoped - but it's never a dark movie: The heroes attack the problem with enthusiasm and good attitudes, and from the very beginning, as much as the characters say things that sound like they're cocky or in it for the feeling of power, we can see that defending the men and women of Earth, selflessly, is at the core of who they are.

Is it kind of goofy? Sure, but that's part of the joy of it: Del Toro and writer Travis Beacham go big in every way they can, including with characters whose purpose and personality is evident about a half a second after one lays eyes on them. There's a guy in the control center with a bow tie, for instance, and though it looks goofy, it's a lot more fun and easier on the audience when all hell is breaking loose to be able to spot the guy with the bow tie, know he's capable and detail-oriented, and quickly understand his part what's going on as things play out. That's on top of just being more fun to look at than a bunch of people in uniform black outfits as so many other sci-fi films would do.

Plus - giant mechs beating up giant monsters. That's fun! Especially since Del Toro stages the fight scenes clearly even at the appropriate scale, and the scale is the fun: If you don't find some small amount of joy in a Jaeger semi-wearily dragging a freighter through the streets of Hong Kong so that it can whack a kaiju upside the head with it (after getting into the appropriate batting stance), you're kind of dead inside. And while I got there late enough to have a fairly lousy seat, I was certainly glad to see it at the Furniture store, as a screen that makes the fights seem life-sized and in-seat Buttkicker subwoofers that transmit the sensation of collossi tromping across a city really does improve the experience.

(Note: Normally the Amazon link is as much to dress the page up as to squeeze some money from the readers, but the tie-in graphic novel, written by Beacham, is a good one, telling fun stories that give background on the cast and world, and folks who don't hit comic shops regularly might not know it exists.)

Cloverfield & QThree WorldsThe LodgerFrenzyPacific RimTo Catch a ThiefBen-Hur(s)Foreign Correspondent

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For a correct review of PACIFIC RIM: