FILM: PACIFIC RIM
CAST: CHARLIE HUNNAM, IDRIS ELBA, RINKO KIKUCHI, CHARLIE DAY, ROB KAZINSKY, MAX MARTINI, RON PERLMAN, CLIFTON COLLINS, JR, BURN GORMAN
DIRECTOR: GUILLERMO DEL TORO
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, towering 25-stories high and that 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.
“It was a project that encompassed every single thing on my wish list, visually, atmospherically and emotionally…an unstoppable, thrilling adventure about human pilots and giant robots up against alien monsters, the likes of which we’ve never seen,” says director Guillermo del Toro, who also co-wrote and served as a producer on the film.
“Just that description, ‘giant monsters versus giant robots,’ gives you a sense of the scope and scale, not to mention the action and fun,” says producer Thomas Tull. “And there is also an element of mystery in that we don’t know why the Kaiju are attacking. What do they want and how is humanity going to react? How can we possibly defend ourselves against them?”
The story originated with screenwriter Travis Beacham, who was on the actual Pacific Rim — on the coast of California — when the central elements of the film began to take shape.
He recounts, “I remember walking along the beach in Santa Monica. It was a particularly foggy morning and there was something about the shape of the pier in the fog jutting out into the water… An image just kind of popped into my head of a behemoth, a monster, rising from the surf to meet this giant robot waiting on the shore to do battle.
“However,” Beacham acknowledges, “I knew that by itself was not a story. What really crystallized the plot for me was figuring out who is driving the robot, and finally determining it had to be two pilots — two people whose minds would have to be intimately connected to control this massive thing. That’s when the pieces started to fall into place in a very organic way.”
As del Toro began crafting the screenplay with Beacham, he became totally immersed in the world they were forming. He attests, “The more we developed the universe, the more I became personally invested in the story, the characters, the monsters, the robots, and everything it would take to make it all real.”
It was essential to the filmmakers that the magnitude of the action be balanced with the human stories that are at the heart of the film. As co-producer Jon Jashni notes, “A core theme of the movie is the indomitability of the human spirit, no matter how titanic
CAST: Ian Roberts, Norman Anstey, Jack Parow, Hannes Muller, Tammy-Anne Fortuin, Wynand van Vollenstee
DIRECTOR: FC Hamman & Peter Scott
Mia Moolman (Tammy-Anne Fortuin) works for a Sandton events co-ordination company that has been commissioned by the department of Trade and Industry to do an event celebrating the most successful ad campaigns in the history of the SA advertising industry.
This gala event will happen at Emperor’s Palace. The CEO of the company, Theodore (Wynand van Vollenstee), has asked his employees to pitch ideas for the show and whoever comes up with the best idea will be awarded a promotion and a special bonus.
Mia comes up with the idea to make the three guys from the old Castrol commercials, Boet (Ian Roberts), Swaer (Norman Anstey) and Mogae part of the show. Her boss eventually agrees to this but she must go and find them in the Kalahari and bring them to Emperor’s Palace in time for the big gala event. She finds them but encounters huge problems. Will they get to the big show in time?
This movie explores the comic interaction between all these heroic characters as they are desperately trying to save their beloved Kalahari Oasis. They bungle their way through side-splitting situations, but somehow manage to come out on top … or at least they think they do. Boet, Swaer and Neef (Jack Parow) inhabit their own insular but special universe.
There are no sacred cows in their world and they tackle institutions and circumstances with refreshing irreverence resulting in outcomes film audiences have come to love to see.