sovay: (Rotwang)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2013-07-17 02:58 am

Numbers are as close as we can get to the handwriting of God

Thank you to everyone who commented last night for Abbie—if you sent wishes, thoughts, love, or just the recognition of reading, thank you. Rob has an update on the situation here. The short version is that we are to consider the cat on hospice care. The salient fact is that there is still a cat. We were very surprised: we did not expect him to live until morning, and then we did not expect the veterinarian's house call to end in anything other than the difficult decision Rob had spent the night accepting he would have to make. Instead, there's a cat under Rob's bed as I write—it's one of his traditional hangouts on hot days or nights. He is still not really eating, except for a little licking of tuna liquid, but he has been seen to drink water, wander around the downstairs in an aimless, jingling fashion, and when we got home from a 2-D showing of Pacific Rim (2013) tonight, Abbie was in the dining room, being made much of by [ profile] ratatosk and [ profile] laura47. We are waiting on some test results from the veterinary hospital where he spent an overnight this weekend and then we will see what comes next. For the time being, however, a cat is here.

The thing to understand about Pacific Rim is that I cannot write a comprehensive review of it tonight. I want to write a post just enthusing about all the major or minor details, the realization of the world in in its casual scruffy lived-in-ness and the way it begins where a stupider movie would have tried to throw a late-act twist, the coherently staged fight scenes that are of genuinely epic, elemental scale. The kaiju do not move like weightless computer modeling; they shoulder up out of the sea, snap bridges like wires, grind skyscrapers to ash-glass with the awful immensity of volcanic eruptions or tsunami, things that overwhelm. There is something a little frightening about the Jägers, too, with their nuclear chest-cores and huge sliding hydraulics: I got little flashes every now and then of the God Warriors from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984). The film never loses track, though, of the fragile human bodies being slammed all ways within the blind metal armor as they animate it, or the even greater vulnerability of the three-way neural link that allows two pilots to bear the strain of controlling a Jäger where a solo operator would start to bleed from the brain (even if I would have liked the script to take a little more time over what the Drift actually entails and the implications of its slightly Cronenbergian form of telepathy. There is a casual, haunting mention of a dead pilot's memories remaining within the mind of his surviving partner, because they were in the Drift together when he died: there's an entire story in there that is not quite this film). The character backstories have been pared down to the strictly functional, but the worldbuilding is sprawling and meticulous. The genre shout-outs are so numerous and so affectionate that I'm almost waiting for the drinking game. The World War II echoes are almost more intriguing to me: there is nose art on the Jägers, ration cards and work projects, Burn Gorman's kaiju-predicting mathematician is nearly a cartoon of a Bletchley eccentric right down to the tweeds and sweater vest. I did not expect to see a perfect realization of St. Michael and the dragon iconography in a grappling-tailed monster and a giant robot. (I did not expect to see, either, the closest I ever will to the Sea's Tooth of Deep Wizardry (1985) where the Lone Power lies burning in a basalt-stacked canyon at the bottom of the sea, the water bursting into sullen blue flame all along its lava-black and deadly length. I do not believe this is an allusion Guillermo del Toro intended, whereas I'm pretty sure about the other, but it was still an amazing thing to find on my screen.) There are splashy horror-comic setpieces and moments of unexpected understatement. Ron Perlman plays a Tom Waits role. And it's a movie that knows exactly which clichés it wants to honor unashamedly and which ones it wants to subvert or entirely ignore, meaning Rob and I applauded our way through a number of scenes. It's not a romance, for example. Except for the alien monsters rising from the deep, it's not a movie with villains, either. The recurring motif is the sharing of memories, the bridging of minds. Rob noted afterward, approvingly, "Nobody gets betrayed."

We went to the movie in the first place because Abbie was stable and we needed to do something completely different. Pacific Rim was exactly the correct thing to do. About a minute in, I started grinning. I don't think I stopped until the house lights came up. It is dedicated to the right people.

I am going to bed.

[identity profile] 2013-07-17 12:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Little Springtime and the ninja girl came home **enthusing** over the film, and [ profile] intertribal was very approving on Facebook, so I know this is a film to see. (Do you know how rare it is for Little Springtime and the ninja girl both to not just enjoy, but enthuse about a film? It's rare.)

"Nobody gets betrayed" is very important to me--very very. I can't tell you how much I hate the almost tossed-in (because for some reason it has to be there?) Hollywood betrayal.

The thing the girls said was it was about the value and importance of working together as opposed to the heroic individualistic hero solving the problem. The fact that it takes two to pilot the mecha shows that, for starters.

... Yeah, I'll have to see it at some point.

Can I link to this over on Tumblr? That way the ninja girl and Little Springtime would get to see it. (If you'd prefer I didn't, I can refer them here.)

[identity profile] 2013-07-17 05:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Excellent. thank you. It's up (and both the ninja girl and Little Springtime have read it (and "liked" it).

[identity profile] 2013-07-19 01:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I saw it last night! I *liked* how things worked out with the cocky antagonistic kid; I *loved* how all the family relations were good ones. brother-brother, (stand-in) father-daughter, father-son. I didn't mind that there were no sister-sister or mother-child things because the father-child relationships seemed to me to be so all encompassing (so non-gender-based) that it didn't matter. (Though, I would have liked to see a few more female faces in the crowds--but at least there was the Russian jaeger pilot, so that was something.)

What you saw as a St. Michael thing, Waka saw as a shoutout to Japanese legend, when one of the Minamotos is lifted into the air by a demon and slices him through the middle with a sword, and Little Springtime and the ninja girl said it was a complete shoutout to Evangelion: "When firepower fails, they use the progressive knife," LS is telling me.

I have some thoughts about single combat and land clearance that I'll stick up on my blog.

[identity profile] 2013-07-22 03:55 pm (UTC)(link)
And I need to correct what I said, based on new information Waka gave me. It wasn't a Minamoto; it was one of the four retainers of Minamoto Yorimitsu, namely, one Watanabe no Tsuna. Waka notes that not all versions of the story have the demon actually flying off with him, but lots of them do, he says.

[identity profile] 2013-07-19 01:30 pm (UTC)(link)
also the scientists, as a team and individually, were the best. And the very last scene, with guy missing his shoe, was a great last note to end on.

[identity profile] 2013-07-19 04:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes!! The posters were/are a great touch! They do that all the time in Japan; we should do it more here.

(And those blackboards. I love that he goes from madly scribbling on blackboards to working with a 3D holographic model)

--I missed the dedication at the end--who was it to?

Just got back from LimeRed btw. YOU AND ROB MUST COME HERE OK?

Okay, off to jail now. I love saying that.

but before I go, one last thing

[identity profile] 2013-07-19 04:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Tell me about Cronenbergian telepathy? One thing me and the ninja girl were musing on was how much you gain of the other person's memories in drift, and how much you retain upon waking.

[identity profile] 2013-07-22 03:58 pm (UTC)(link)
If we were going to get that one stunning memory of Mako's, I would love to have seen a similar ghostscape for Raleigh.


I really loved what being in drift did for Newt and Hermann--if I think about it too hard, I'm likely to get all teary-eyed.
Edited 2013-07-22 15:58 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2013-07-22 11:02 pm (UTC)(link)
♥--saw it on Tumblr and favorited and reblogged it ([ profile] handful_ofdust had noted that she was linked to it by you).

[identity profile] 2013-07-22 03:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes--he has a wonderful, angular, expressive face. (And this poster is just great, anyway--lovely colors, all that amber and black.)