Pacific Rim Collectable Figures/ Statues

As with most summer blockbusters, a slew of collectible merchandise is available for anyone who would like to show their love for the movie. The exact same goes for Pacific Rim, both NECA and Sideshow Collectables are hard at work to deliver some truly eye-catching pieces for fans. From small, affordable and highly articulated figures to large, extremely detailed, yet high cost statues. All dates are subject to change.

NECA – Pacific Rim – Series 1

pr neca 1

Included in NECA’s first series of figures is lead Jaeger, Gipsy Danger as well as China’s Crimson Typhoon Jaeger. To fight these guys, we also have the Kaiju, Knifehead. Both the Jaegers are about 8″ with some great articulation for endless posing options. The articulation on the Kaiju is limited though, so please bear that in mind. None of them come with accessories either, which is a real shame. Out now.

NECA – Pacific Rim – Series 2

Only to be fully revealed this coming weekend at SDCC, we know its coming and what will populate Series 2. A battle damaged Gipsy Danger with sword accessory, Australian Jaeger, Striker Eureka and lastly is another Kaiju, Leatherback, responsible for one of the best fight scenes in the movie in my opinion. Be on the lookout for pictures of Series 2 next weekend from SDCC, and let’s hope NECA give Leatherback better articulation than Knifehead. Out August.

NECA – Pacific Rim – 18″ Gipsy Danger

pr neca 18

Continuing with their successful large-scale figures, NECA will be bringing Gipsy Danger to 18″ scale, with better paint work, articulation, light-up features and an included sword accessory. More details will be shared during SDCC, as well as more pictures of the product. Out September.

Sideshow – Pacific Rim – Knifehead Statue

pr sideshow_knifehead_2

Sideshow Collectables are responsible for some beautiful pieces, crafting statues with the best detail you’ll ever see. The price of $379.99 may seem steep, but the quality is there. Sideshow is also said to be working on a Gipsy Danger of their own as well as a Striker Eureka statue too. Those however are yet to be officially unveiled. Out 2014.

-ast

 

Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero (2013) Graphic Novel Review

Cancelling the Apocalypse, one flying punch at a time!

Cancelling the Apocalypse, one flying punch at a time!

Travis Beacham, screenwriter of the fantastic Pacific Rim, believes that the story is in the world, and not the other way round. He states this in his lengthy introduction to the graphic novel, which is a fascinating read in itself. This being his first attempt at actually writing a graphic novel, does he do the world of Pacific Rim justice? Is he able to write a compelling story about the early days of the war against the Kaiju? After reading the whole thing, one thing is for sure, Travis Beacham has delivered an engrossing story of loss and triumph.

In Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero, we follow reporter Naomi Sokolov as she interviews several people responsible for the success of the Jaeger program. We’re also treated to seeing a more in-depth look at some of the characters from the movie including Idris Elba’s character, Stacker Pentecost. From his recounts we’re able to see what he lost during the first few years of the war, we also see the early days of the Becket brothers and the impact of adopting Mako Mori, played by Rinko Kikuchi in the movie, as a daughter.

The graphic novel flows from page to page despite this containing 3 separate issues. The first details the first contact with the Kaiju and the effect it had on the people around there at the time. It also sets up some of the tragic events that will help flesh out some characters actions later on. Secondly we have the beginning of the Jaeger program, the tests they ran and the effects the program had the character, with relationships being tested and destroyed along the way. Lastly we come the story of Stacker Pentecost and his days as a Jaeger pilot. Through his story we get to see how the Becket brothers became to work so effectively as a team and what they had to deal with being brothers.

All the stories contained within are highly compelling, making you exited to just turn the page and see what happens next. However, there’s not much action happening as you read. They are very few and far between, it helps as we get to see these characters more and what they end up going through. But more action and longer battles with the Kaiju would have been nice. Perhaps a few extra pages in each issue to focus on this would have excelled my enjoyment of reading it a little more.

As for the artwork, it’s a beautifully drawn and coloured graphic novel. Whilst not being the best I’ve ever seen, emotions are conveyed effectively on the characters and the little action we do get, is just as visceral looking as it was on-screen. It does have a more colourful and brighter presentation than the movie, and to be honest, I’m not quite sure whether or not that’s a good or bad thing. If anything I’d say I’m indifferent about it.

If after seeing Pacific Rim in the cinema, you want more. Then this graphic novel is the perfect item to fill in the void. It’s an enjoyable read and will make you think a little differently about some of the characters in the movie, that totally being a good thing. If you can find it for a comfortable price your happy with, then do not hesitate, pick this up and read it. Whilst not necessary to read before the movie, even though it’s a prequel, I’d actually recommend reading it after the movie just so you know these characters that they’re showing you a little better, it may also make it a little easier to follow as you’ll understand the world more.

8 Awesome Kaiju Designs out of 10

-ast

Pacific Rim (2013) Review

Prepare yourself, no really, DO IT.

Prepare yourself, no really, DO IT.

Today at the edge of our hope, at the end of our time.  We have chosen to believe in each other!  Today we face the monsters that are at our door, today we are cancelling the apocalypse!

Giant Mechs? Check. Giant Monsters? Check. Failure to blink due to the sheer amount of visceral action on-screen? Check. I sit here finding this review to be the hardest to write. Not because I can’t make my mind up over the movie, but because all I want to do right now is watch Pacific Rim again. I want to feel the rush again. If a movie could ever be classed as a drug, this is it, and I want more.

My most anticipated movie of the year, Pacific Rim is finally here. From instantly falling in love after seeing the first trailer, to being tortured with each trailer released since then, I could hardly contain my excitement as I sat awaiting the movie to start. Not only can you count on Guillermo del Toro to create a fantastic movie, but with a cast just as strong, Pacific Rim was always destined for greatness. Many may argue that it delivers nothing but mindless action and a shallow story, clearly made for children. However, if you want to simply be entertained this summer, then nothing will quite match the level of Pacific Rim.

To combat the giant Kaiju that have emerged from a portal in the sea, a special type of weapon, called Jaegers are created. Controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge, this is mankind’s violent and effective answer to the Kaiju. But even then the Jaegers are proving nearly defenceless in the face of the relentless Kaiju assault. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to their last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

Headlining this movie is Charlie Hunnam as Raleigh Becket, a Jaeger pilot with a tragic past. For an actor that I’ve not seen much, I was pleasantly surprised with his performance. He delivers on all fronts, being a sympathetic, tragic, but awesome Jaeger pilot. He doesn’t go overboard into the typical action hero role, making for a lead character I liked. Idris Elba plays Stacker Pentecost, a Jaeger pilot from the early days of the war turned commander. Everything he touches is gold, and it’s no different here. Idris Elba is a fantastic actor and thankfully he gets plenty of screen time, with some of the best dialogue in the whole movie. Charlie Day is another personal favourite of mine and here he’s playing Dr.  Newton Geiszler, a scientist with a big interest in the Kaiju and how they work and think. As expected, his character is very much the comic relief of the movie and Charlie Day does what he does best, delivering a laugh in each he occupies.

As for the rest of the cast, Rinko Kikuchi plays Mako Mori, someone with a tragic past and a vengeful hatred towards the Kaiju. She fits in as a great companion to Charlie Hunnam’s character, with a strong relationship being built throughout the course of the movie. Ron Perlman also makes an appearance as the fantastically named Hannibal Chau. I wanted more of his character in the movie, and it’s a shame we don’t get to learn more about him and his past. One slight misfortune about Pacific Rim is the lack character development for the rest of the Jaeger pilots. They’re so interesting but we get little to no information on them, this was definitely needed as the Jaegers started to fall, lessening the impact of their loss.

Guillermo del Toro has some great work behind him, perhaps my favourite being Pan’s Labyrinth. But his work with the Hellboy licence was fantastic and his attempt at a Blade movie with Blade II wasn’t too bad either. Pacific Rim easily exceeds all his past work however. It truly is evident this is was his passion project. Just from watching the movie, you can see that he loved making every single part of it. If the ideas where there, I believe he’d happy making many more Pacific Rim movies in the future.

As far a the story goes, it delivers enough to care for some of the characters, giving reason to their actions and emotions. What it delivers the most, is a great back story, as this movie takes place many years after the first appearance of the Kaiju. The opening to the movie, narrated by lead actor Charlie Hunnam, tells us what has happened in the past, both detailing humanities victories and losses through the first few years of the war against the Kaiju. This is something that is explained and detailed in the graphic novel, Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero (Review Here), it fleshed out the events in the movie much more, I recommend picking it up. As for pacing, despite a 30 minute crawl through the mud after the explosive opening, the rest of the movie is full of eye-popping action and brief, but effective character interaction.

You could argue it’s not hard to mess up a movie were you have giant Mechs fighting giant Monsters. But this is Guillermo del Toro’s vision of that, and that, as you may know due to his expertise on great monster design in past movies, goes a long way. Not only are the fight scenes between the Jaegers and Kaiju completing amazing to watch, but they’re extremely impactful, with the sound design and quality of CGI sealing the impression of realism as punches crush bones and metal. The diversity of the Kaiju help too, with fights in water with marine based Kaiju, to fights above cities with flying Kaiju. Same can be said for the Jaegers too, as some specialise in hand-to-hand and others having access to many different weapons, both melee and projectile.

Unfortunately, I felt the highlight of the movie for me, and possibly best fight scene, was at the about halfway through the movie. I say unfortunately because I expected something big at the end, a giant fight with impossible odds and crazy Kaiju. Instead we get some generic Kaiju and a first look at a Category 5 Kaiju. I expected Godzilla himself to pop up from the portal as the first ever Category 5 Kaiju, all we got however was a larger Kaiju we never get a good look at due to the location of the last scene. As for the amazing fight scene mentioned, lets just leave it a boat sword, you’ll know the scene from the trailer, but the fight is simply incredible. As for the 3D in the movie, it may have been converted in post-production, but it was pleasant to watch and they did a great job at implementing it, with debris flying straight at you at a constant basis during battles.

Guillermo del Toro has delivered a movie full of passion, created for that little version of you deep inside. Hopefully talked about for many years to come, this movie has the making of quickly becoming a cult classic amongst movie goers. Up until this point, Man of Steel was the best movie I had seen this year so far. After experiencing Pacific Rim however, the title for ‘Best Film of 2013’ has a new contender. Obviously, I will have to watch both Man of Steel and Pacific Rim a few more times when they’re released on Blu-ray at the end of the year to make a fair decision. Do yourself a favour and go and experience a movie that will no doubt be best experienced in the cinema.

9 Boats used as Swords out of 10

-ast

Coming Soon – Pacific Rim Weekend

pacificrim

In celebration to the release of the highly anticipated Pacific Rim, I’m going to be holding a little Pacific Rim Weekend on my blog here. Kicking things off tomorrow will be my review of the movie, after having experienced it in IMAX 3D. Then over the course of the rest of the weekend, I’ll be posting other articles about possible sequels, all the collectables you’ll be able to pick up in the coming months and possibly a review on the official game, despite how poor it may look.

Due to the unpredictability of the post, I’m unsure if I’ll receive my copy of Pacific Rim: Tales from Year Zero graphic novel in time. Rest assured, the prequel graphic novel will be read and reviewed as soon as it arrives. I’ll let you know if it’s worth a read and whether or not it adds to the experience of seeing the movie.

Greatest. Poster. Ever.

Greatest. Poster. Ever.

Like me, I hope you’ll be finding time to see the movie this weekend, It’s looking fantastic. Be sure to follow my posts to not miss anything this weekend, and thank you for reading.

-ast

Standout Summer Blockbusters of 2013

The summer always provides us movie goers with a great selection of movies, with big budget action movies, to the smaller, more character focused movies. There is however, standout movies that really make the audience walk away with a smile and the intention to tell everyone how great of a movie it was. These movies are the heart of the summer. So what do I think will be the big standouts this summer? Below are some movies (with UK release dates) I think will bring in the money and praise they seek.

After Earth – June 7th

Will Jaden Smith see as much success as his dad?

Will Jaden Smith see as much success as his dad?

Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith star alongside each other in this Sci-fi epic, directed by Sixth Sense and Signs director M. Night Shyamalan. Crashing down on a long abandoned Earth, we follow both father and son as they try to survive on an evolved Earth. It’s no secret that Will Smith is a big selling point already to this movie, but with M. Night Shyamalan directing, this movie could go either way. He hasn’t had the best track record lately, but I hope this movie shows he’s back on form.

Man of Steel – June 14th

Michael Shannon as General Zod looks fierce

Michael Shannon as General Zod looks fierce

Henry Cavill plays the famous Kryptonian, Superman, in franchise reboot Man of Steel. Having Christopher Nolan as a producer and David S Goyer as writer with their Dark Knight credentials behind them is certainly promising. Let us not forget Zack Snyder as director and this movie has to succeed. A lot of hype is gathering for this movie from both comic readers and original Superman movie fans. The question now is can Man of Steel repeat the success of The Dark Knight movies and make Superman just as popular as Batman? I sure hope so and I can’t wait to see this at IMAX!

World War Z – June 21st

Am I the only one who thinks this looks awesome?

Am I the only one who thinks this looks awesome?

In a similar position to After Earth, can the pedigree of a famous actor sell a movie to people? With Brad Pitt at the heart of the movie, and a horror movie at that, World War Z is looking quite promising from the trailers. Based off a Novel, World War Z sees an unstoppable infection sweep across the globe, with the infected outnumbering us more and more with each day that passes. This movie has seen a lot of problems in production, from script re-writes, to re-shoots. However, despite all that, early viewers have praised the movie. Fingers crossed we see more zombie movies at the cinemas in the future.

Despicable Me 2 – June 28th

Clearly the best part of Despicable Me

Clearly the best part of Despicable Me

Everyone loves an animated movie. Toy Story proved that. Despicable Me was a favourite of mine, I love it. So with the sequel looking to be just as funny as the first, I can’t wait to see it. Of course the Minions steal the show, so I look forward to seeing how they will keep the humour consistently funny. As crazy as it sounds too, I’m looking forward to the inevitable short movies on the Blu-ray/ DVD release just as much.

Pacific Rim – July 12th

Can't wait!

Can’t wait!

By far my most anticipated movie of the whole year, Pacific Rim sees giant robots fighting giant monsters. That’s pretty much the movie, of there’s a lot more to it than that, but I’ve been distancing myself from info/ interviews as much as I can. The trailers are simply amazing though, however I hope they aren’t showing all the best scenes from the movie. I love the work of Guillermo del Toro, so I have much faith in his ability to provide an entertaining movie. It’s also worth mentioning that Idris Elba makes everything 10x better!

Kick-Ass 2 – August 14th

Predator reference?

Predator reference?

Chloë Grace Moretz and Aaron Taylor-Johnson return as Hit-Girl and Kick-Ass respectively, in the sequel to the surprise hit (no pun intended) Kick-Ass. I wasn’t a massive fan of the first movie, to me the Hit-Girl and Big Daddy scenes stole the whole movie for me. But with Jim Carrey joining the cast this time round as Colonel Stars and Stripes, that has put this movie on the list for me. I guess the pedigree of an actor does sell a movie!

Elysium – September 20th

Sharlto Copley stars in another Neill Blomkamp movie

Sharlto Copley stars in another Neill Blomkamp movie

Neill Blomkamp made a name for himself when District 9 was released. So with Elysium, he has a lot to live up to. Judging from the trailer, it seems to have a very similar style and tone to District 9. This is not a sequel however, Max played by Matt Damon, takes it upon himself to fight his way to Elysium, a space station for the rich and powerful to escape the overcrowded slums of earth. Sci-fi is big right now, and this movie looks to deliver a truly terrifying visual representation of the future.

Honourable Mentions: Monsters University, The Wolverine, 300: Rise of an Empire, Red 2, The Lone Ranger, Only God Forgives.

-ast