Connect with us

Movie News

Review: “Pacific Rim Uprising” Repeats More Mecha and Monster Action

Published

on

Pacific Rim Uprising MovieSpoon

Uprising could be considered the safe bet for a sequel regarding the risk of a new cast and a first-time director. It doesn’t exactly reinvent the robot, merely adding a few new twists, weapons, and monsters to the familiar plot of the human-built Jaegers versus the monstrous Kaijus. But as someone who grew adoring the likes of Gundam, Robotech, and Power Rangers, my adult critical facilities had a meltdown to see more robot-on-monster action for the big screen with a wink and a plasma cannon.

The world has become a much different place after the events of the first film. Ten years have passed, and while Kaijus are not as big of a problem, Jaegers are now becoming a nuisance. Scavengers have taken to the streets to reap the parts of the downed robots and build their ¼ scale, homemade Jaegers. Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) is among the scrapers, stealing what he can to eat while living on the streets. He’s surprised to discover the street rat Amara (Cailee Spaeny) has built a working Jaeger. After a run-in with the law, they’re pulled into the current Jaeger project of training new teenage pilots. Why teenagers instead of adults? Consider the movie’s genre and demographics.

The two-person piloting system, requiring a mental link to control the Jaegers, is being phased out by a Chinese firm that wants to replace human pilots with robot drones. It doesn’t take a genius to see where this plot is going, even if there are a few shocking reveals thrown into the mix. If you go strictly by the progression of action, this is mostly the same film with more robot battles and bigger baddies. What makes the movie shine past this flaw, however, is the more significant emphasis on charisma. Boyega and Amara may have predictable pathos, but much stronger chemistry than the previous film’s male/female duo. Charlie Day and Burn Gorman return as the bickering scientist pair, Day gushing about Kaiju brains and Gorman rambling on about calculations as he stumbles around on a cane. While most of the other characters adhere strictly to the expected tropes, there was rarely a moment I didn’t enjoy their presence.

Admittedly, Uprising is a poor construction of twists and turns if you slow down long enough from the adrenaline rush to question the story. Many puzzling aspects are rarely answered, as to the origins of the evil Jaeger or the method behind a secret Kaiju brain remaining a secret within a big company. While the story does offer plenty of twists and turns to keep a constant surprise, it is like delving into the bags of tricks better display the cracks in the formula. Only through the stellar action set-pieces and charismatic characters does this shaky narrative hold firm, more concerned with staging beautifully brutal robot fights than a concrete explanation of the Kaiju conspiracy.

But, of course, the big draw is the giant robot fights, and they do not disappoint. Jaegers come in all shapes and sizes, using all manner of weapons from energy sabers to gravity guns. Kaijus, coming in many different sizes as well, sink their many rows of teeth into the robots as they roar and rip up cities. And as if to give Michael Bay’s Transformers a giant middle finger, all the fights occur during broad daylight, well-staged with robot/monster designs, and well-shot so there’s never a moment where the camera gets too jerky or the action too chaotic to follow.

Though Pacific Rim Uprising merely offers up more of the same, trading incoherent story structure for more character and battles, I was never bored and never found myself cringing at the spectacle, even when the film resorts to touting an old meme. While it does hold more flaws than its predecessor and never veers wildly off the simple course, there’s just something about the adventurous and silly nature of this film that makes the mecha fan in me still beam with ecstasy. And when a sci-fi action picture sneaks in Easter eggs for Evangelion and Gundam, they’ve got my number.

[author title=”About the Author” image=”http://popstermedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/mark_mcpherson-300×221-150×150.jpg”]Movie Reviewer Mark McPherson has been all about movies since working at a video store in his youth. His talents range from video editing to animation to web development, but movies have always been his passion to write about.[/author]


Continue Reading

Box Office

“Ralph” and “Grinch” Steal Slow Box Office Weekend

Published

on

Aside from the re-release of Schindler’s List, there is nothing new in the box office for the weekend. Seriously, there’s nothing. And I thought last weekend was slow. With no new films in the running, it’s pretty much a repeat as the box office takes a snow day.

Once again, no surprise, Ralph Breaks The Internet is still on top. In its third weekend, the animated Disney adventure grossed $16 million for the weekend and $140 million for its domestic total. It still has a ways to go to top its $175 million but it should be closing in soon. Also no surprise following closely behind is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, the computer-animated holiday comedy based on the book by Dr. Seuss. After five weekends, it’s still in the top 5, making another $15 million for the weekend and $223 million domestic total. Worth noting is that, despite this weekend being slow, the movie only took a 15% dip from last weekend. And you can bet it’ll be sticking around for the rest of December.

As for everything else, very few films moved from their spots with one exception. Green Book, the historical racial drama, is picking up steam and has moved up from #10 last weekend to #7 after being added to more than 100 more theaters. Good word of mouth is getting around about this film as its domestic total is now sitting at $19 million for being in less than 2,000 theaters after four weekends.

Check out the full box office results below:
Ralph Breaks The Internet ($16,141,000)
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch ($15,175,000)
Creed II ($10,322,515)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ($6,805,000)
Bohemian Rhapsody ($6,000,000)
Instant Family ($5,600,000)
The Possession of Hannah Grace ($3,935,000)
Robin Hood ($3,585,000)
Widows ($3,175,000)
Green Book ($3,100,000)

Next weekend, the break is over and genre movies will be in full swing. Mortal Engines, a CGI-heavy fantasy, will debut in 3,000 theaters. The Mule, a new drug-related drama directed and starring Clint Eastwood, will premiere in 2,400 theaters. And Sony’s new animated superhero film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, will be hitting 3,400 theaters. It’s a pretty much a sure bet that Spider-Man will take that weekend, given its PG-rated superhero appeal and the big word-of-mouth it’s getting from critic circles.


Continue Reading

Box Office

“Ralph” Reigns Again on Slow Box Office Weekend

Published

on

We’re currently in the eye of the fall movie storm. All is fairly quiet this weekend. The only new release was that of a small horror film, The Possession of Hannah Grace. So small, in fact, that it only came in at #7 for the weekend with a gross of $6.5 million. As such, few films moved very far from their spots. Last weekend’s winner, the animated adventure Ralph Breaks The Internet, was once again on top, even though it wasn’t a very strong second weekend of $25 million, a 54% drop. Still, the film has made $119 million so far and is well on its way to covering its $175 million budget.

Surprisingly jumping up a spot is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, the latest animated film Illumination Studios based on the classic Christmas book. The film jumped up from #3 to #2, making $17 million with the domestic gross now up to $203 million. Creed II, the sequel to the Rocky spinoff, took a step down for its second weekend, grossing $16 million with a domestic total of $81 million. It’s no surprise that the biggest drop of the weekend was Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the sequel to the Harry Potter spinoff. Due to low critic ratings and poor fan reactions, the film tumbled 61% with its domestic gross sitting at $134 million.

Ivo Nandi stars as Moscow Referee and Florian Munteanu as Viktor Drago in CREED II,
a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures film.
Credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
© 2018 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

View the full top 10 box office winner for the weekend below.

Ralph Breaks The Internet ($25,756,000)
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch ($17,730,000)
Creed II ($16,832,863)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ($11,200,000)
Bohemian Rhapsody ($8,100,000)
Instant Family ($7,150,000)
The Possession of Hannah Grace ($6,500,000)
Robin Hood ($4,700,000)
Widows ($4,400,000)
Green Book ($3,900,000)

Next weekend is so sparse with new content that the biggest release is going to be an anniversary screening of Schindler’s List, hitting 1,000 screens. It’s a good time to take in some smaller releases as Mary Queen of Scots, Ben is Back, and Vox Lux will be having limited releases. So it’s safe to expect a repeat of this weekend’s trends in the box office.


Continue Reading

Box Office

“Ralph” Breaks The Box Office, “Creed” Close Behind

Published

on

Thanksgiving week is a time for family and there were plenty out to the theater last week for an animated family picture. Ralph Breaks The Internet, the Disney-animated sequel to 2012’s video game adventure comedy Wreck-It Ralph, came in at #1 for the weekend with $55 million and $84 million since its debut on Wednesday. This puts it above the Disney studio’s previous Thanksgiving hit Moana, which had a 5-day total of $82 million.

Not too far behind is Creed II, the sequel to the Rocky spin-off starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. The boxing sequel took in $35 million for the weekend and $55 million since Wednesday. This is a stronger opening than the first film which came in at $29 million for the weekend.

And it was slim leftovers for the two other debuts. Robin Hood, the latest action remake of the classic tale, came in at #7 with only $9 million for the weekend, $14 million since Wednesday. Green Book, a drama about a black singer in the racist south of America, came in at #9 for its expanded week to make $5 million for the weekend and $7 million for its domestic total.

The Crimes of Grindelwald is not fairing to well for its second weekend. The Harry Potter spin-off has dropped to #4 with a domestic weekend gross of $30 million, a 52% drop. The film still hasn’t cleared its $200 million budget with a domestic gross of $117 million and it looks like it may never cross that mark as we head into December with more genre titles. Beating it out for #3 is Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, the theatrically animated adaptation by Illumination, that is proving to have great legs coming into the holiday season. Worth noting at #10 is A Star Is Born, its domestic total now having crossed $191 million to make it one of the most profitable films of the year.

View the full top 10 box office results for the weekend below:

Ralph Breaks The Internet ($55,672,000)
Creed II ($35,293,000)
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch ($30,210,000)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ($29,650,000)
Bohemian Rhapsody ($13,855,000)
Instant Family ($12,500,000)
Robin Hood ($9,125,000)
Widows ($7,955,000)
Green Book ($5,443,000)
A Star is Born ($3,005,000)

Next weekend is, well, it’s pretty dead. So dead that a ghost movie is occupying the rather blank spot. Possession of Hannah Grace, a modest horror production, will be arriving in under 2,000 theaters. So it’s fair to say you can expect Ralph to breakthrough for another weekend of success.


Continue Reading

Find Us On Facebook

More

Box Office2 days ago

“Ralph” and “Grinch” Steal Slow Box Office Weekend

Aside from the re-release of Schindler’s List, there is nothing new in the box office for the weekend. Seriously, there’s...

Box Office1 week ago

“Ralph” Reigns Again on Slow Box Office Weekend

We’re currently in the eye of the fall movie storm. All is fairly quiet this weekend. The only new release...

Box Office1 week ago

“Ralph” Breaks The Box Office, “Creed” Close Behind

Thanksgiving week is a time for family and there were plenty out to the theater last week for an animated...

Movie News1 week ago

“Creed II” Gets Raw and Rickety with Rocky-isms

Creed II, despite showing no shortage of boxing enthusiasm, falls prey to all the predictable theatrics and pitfalls of a...

Box Office1 week ago

“Fantastic Beasts” Feasts on Box Office, “Widows” Wilts

The weekend belonged to wizards as The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second film in the Harry Potter spin-off prequel saga...

Movie News4 weeks ago

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” Conjures Magical Monotony

I had written that with the first Fantastic Beasts film I hoped I wouldn’t need giggle juice to be entertained...

Box Office4 weeks ago

“The Grinch” Steals Box Office, “Overlord” and “Spider” Left With Scraps

The holiday Christmas movie season starts early as it usually does in November. Just one week after The Nutcracker and...

Movie News1 month ago

Review: “Overlord” is a Gritty, Gory Genre Mash

Overlord is one of those delicious genre blenders that delivers World War II action and viciously gruesome body horror into...

Box Office1 month ago

Big “Bohemian Rhapsody” Opening While “Nutcracker” Trails

In weekend box office battle, it’s Queen who is king. Bohemian Rhapsody, the Freddy Mercury and Queen biopic, came in...

Movie News1 month ago

Review: “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is Bitterly Bland With Beauty

Disney is in a very unique position as a dominant studio to experiment with more inspiring films for more diverse...

Trending