Review: Pacific Rim (2013) — A Big-Budget Movie Worth Getting Excited Over

Pacific Rim

This is a world where humanity is deep in a years long war with giant monsters, known as Kaiju; creatures that have emerged from deep beneath the ocean and have begun attacking major cities. These Kaiju have necessitated the design of unique weapons: enormous robots known as Jaegers, simultaneously controlled by two pilots, psychically linked to each other as well as the gigantic mechs, an act known as ‘drifting’. With mankind’s resources tapped, and the annihilation of the human race imminent, a washed-up Jeager pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested rookie (Rinko Kikuchi) find themselves in a desperate last stand against the Kaiju, with the ultimate fate of the world at stake.

More believable than the Australian accents.

The first thing I can say about Pacific Rim is that it is a breath of fresh air among a sea of clunky, cynical, and dark blockbusters. In the world of irony-laced, mega-budget films, this is a film which relishes in its humanity and humility; it has a general sense of altruism which makes seeing big movies like these such an exciting experience. Director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Cronos) has created pure spectacle, free of self-reference and cheeky nods.

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Review: Drag Me To Hell (2009)

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 17/08/09.

Drag Me To Hell

Sam Raimi returns from the multi-picture Spider-Man juggernaut to return to self-penned (with brother Ivan) horror/slapstick amalgamation Drag Me to Hell, in a style not seen from the director since 1993’s Army of Darkness – the third in the Evil Dead trilogy.

Drag Me to Hell sees Christine Brown (Lohman), a loans officer of the proverbial mild-mannered variety, longing for a promotion to assistant manager at her branch – a position which co-worker Stu Rubin (Reggie Lee, whose middle name should be awesome) is also gunning for. To impress her boss and to prove that she can make the tough calls, she denies old gypsy woman Mrs. Ganush (Raver) a third extension of her mortgage and thus sealing her fate as the curse of the Lamia is placed on Christine by the scorned Ganush – a curse which will plague and torment Christine for three days until finally dragging her straight to Hell (It’s not just a clever title). With her cynical boyfriend by her side (Long), Christine must seek the aid of psychics Rham Jas and Shaun San Dena – the latter which has encountered the Lamia before – to help abolish the evil spirit before it is too late.

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Review: Adventureland (2009)

This article was published on the original Sorry I’m Late.com on 14/07/09.

Adventureland

Adventureland opens in the summer of 1987, where recent college grad James Brennan (an excellent Jesse Eisenberg), unable to fund his planned European trip and a future tenure at the prestigious Columbia University on the horizon, must now endure a summer slogging it out in the titular theme park – home to an assortment of rejects, outcasts and stoners. There he meets the mysterious Em (an also excellent Kristen Stewart), of whom James falls for despite her involvement with the married park maintenance man Mike (Ryan Reynolds, sans the sass talk), a serial lothario with the annual influx of younger girls at the park.

Despite being Greg Mottola’s follow up to the side-splitting Superbad – and in spite of the misleading trailer – Adventureland is not the Apatow-esque comedy that you may have been expecting, but a surprisingly charming and tender dramatic character study. This one will definitely be a crowd divider, as we have seen many a coming-of-age story before, but not one with as much heart and devotion to the confusion and inner frustrations that we all get at this age. Although being genuinely funny – all without the need to resort to cheap jokes and potty humour – Adventureland does in fact have some very dark and understated thematic elements mixed in with all the comical moments that you would expect from working at a low-rent theme park.

Don’t get me wrong, though – the movie is funny. James and Em first meet when Em saves James from getting knifed by an irate park-goer during a dispute over a Giant Ass Panda, and shenanigans ensue when angry jock-douche customers uncover one of the Adventureland’s many dubiously rigged games. Then there’s Frigo, with an affinity for punching dicks, and a fair share of boner jokes to please the masses.

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