'Pacific Rim': How Big Can Big Movies Get?
Promotional details for Guillermo Del Toro's upcoming blockbuster Pacific Rim have been portioned out carefully. We got the trailer you see above, which shows a good bit of the giant robots humankind has created to combat interdimensional monsters. We got the following plot description from IMDb:
"When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity's resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes-a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)-who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind's last hope against the mounting apocalypse."
And over the weekend, we got a teased still from the movie, featuring a creature's footprint in the sand that just serves to underline how massive these creatures are. Everything about Pacific Rim is massive, and it has us wondering how far "BIG" can go in terms of the direction that blockbuster films are headed. Last year's top film, The Avengers, jacked up its scale to cram in multiple superhero franchises, creating one MEGA superhero franchise. Warner Bros. is scrambling to do the same with a Justice League movie.
It's not like giant monsters are a new phenomenon in film. Pacific Rim, after all, is fairly overtly borrowing a whole lot of Godzilla iconography, and those movies are decades old. But it does feel like in a movie landscape where multiple blockbusters are released every weekend in the summer, there's something of an arms race to go bigger. Pacific Rim may well be the biggest so far.
At the same time, you wonder if the small films are going the other way, getting smaller in order to stand out. Before Midnight is about as modest a film concept as you can get, and it's probably the most talked about indie movie this year. One of only two films on the Academy Awards Best Picture list this year not to top $90 million was Amour, which could not have been simpler in concept. (Of course, the other was Beasts of the Southern Wild, which was an indie movie that went big in terms of theme and presentation. So maybe bigger is bigger across the board?)
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