Just Because… (Warcraft, 2016)

Warcraft_PosterSo…apparently, a horde of angry and evil Orcs travel through a portal to take over the world of Azeroth.  Some of the Orcs side with the humans, because “Not All Orcs” or some such.

To be honest? I watched this movie based on the popular Blizzard Entertainment open world game twice.  I know people got super immersed in the game.  I have never played it and do not know much beyond it is kind of like D&D…? And after two viewings, I remember very little about it.  My last viewing was actually less than 24 hours from when I am typing this.  And I absolutely have no strong memory about the film.  Which is disappointing.

I remember it had Jesse Custer and Tulip from Preacher in it.  And Ben Foster. And a sexy orc woman. Kind of a taller, more muscular Orion Slave Girl from Star Trek. Some magic powered guy talked about how he renounced his vows and wants to still help the kingdom fight the evil orcs. Lots of fights that did not make a whole lot of overall sense.  Or rather the plot seemed remarkably inconsequential.

I kind of hate writing these types of reviews.  I actually don’t like spending a tremendous amount of time tearing movies down.  Certainly, so movies are so ridiculous that they inspire hilarity.  And that can be a bit fun to write.

But Warcraft?  It is a competently made film.  It has a perfectly good cast.  And this is from Duncan Jones, a director who I think is quite talented. And yet, it just was…painfully forgettable. Not a good sign since, according to IMDB, the title is actually Warcraft: The Beginning.

The Bigger They Come Part 4 (Pacific Rim, 2013)

pacific_rim_PosterGuermillo Del Toro is a man of unique vision.  He always has his own take on traditional monsters.  In Cronos, he tackled vampires in a heartbreaking tale of a grandfather who finds a mysterious device.  Both Crimson Peak and the Devils Backbone are period pieces focusing ghost stories where humans are the truly frightening characters.  And so we find that del Toro’s love letter to Japanese giant Monster movies and Anime mech cartoons and brought together with his own vision.

In a near future, the earth finds itself under attack by giant monsters nicknamed Kaiju.  At first, the giant creatures are able to be taken down with conventional weapons…but as newer Kaiju emerge, a new approach is needed.  The nations of the world build giant robots,  called Jaegers, controlled by two pilots who are psychically linked.  Raleigh and Yancy Becket are celebrity pilots, but when a fight with a Kaiju ends in tragedy,  Raleigh walks away.

He is called back into action by Stacker Pentacost and paired with young pilot Mako Mori.  Raleigh, Mako and several other pilots are about to take on a special mission.  They need to close the interdimensional portal in the Pacific Ocean.

As expected, Del Toro created a visual feast.  The Kaiju are immense and impressive.  The Jaegers have weapons and are exciting to watch.  The characters are not especially unique but are used effectively.  Charlie Day and Burn Gorman are entertaining as eccentric scientists specializing in Kaiju sciences.  And the always enjoyable Ron Perlman is a stylish black market dealer who traffics in Kaiju parts.  And Idris Elba is always reliable for a gruff but heroic role.

Fun and bombastic, Del Toro has given us a fun film.  It is not a deep film, but it is a ride.

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