One of the benefits of film is that it is a visual media, and that means that it can do in
a frame what it might take a book a number of pages to pull off. Where we see
this the most is in its ability to build worlds in front of us.
These worlds could be great space operas that explore galaxies, or a small
period piece that look back in time, or anything really. But when every part of
the film is being used to tell a story, you know it is good.
So without further ado, these are films that showed an excellence in Worldbuilding 2018. Be warned that there may be
some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question.
TL;DR – Bombastic as always, but it doesn’t set itself apart from what came before, and the story struggles to find its voice.
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post title scene at the start of the credits
As we talked about in our look back at the first Pacific Rim (see review), I was a real big fan of the original. Guillermo del Toro’s film about giant monsters called Kaijus attacking the cities around the Pacific Ocean being stopped by giant mechas called Jaegers. There was something easy and yet compelling with the setup and the world they created. With Pacific Rim Uprising we get more of the same as the first film yet somehow it feels like something got lost along the way, and that, unfortunately, it just does not work as well as the first film. So with that in mind, we are going to dive into Pacific Rim Uprising to look at what worked and what didn’t.
TL;DR – “At one point a giant mech picks up a cargo ship to use as a cricket bat to take down a giant monster stomping its way through Hong Kong” you will probably know if this film is for you from that snippet alone.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Back in the relatively calm year of 2013, how five years can change the world, there was this little gem of a film. It was a homage to the mecha and giant monster films of Japan and at the heart was the simple message that we should all work together. Well, it has been years since I have watched Guillermo del Toro’s monster epic, well at least his giant monster epic, and with the sequel coming out later this week, now is as good as time as ever to dive back into the world of Jaegers* and Kaijus*.
TL;DR – A compelling film that pulls you in with its content and visual style, and then used it to tell a story of a world not that dissimilar from today.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – No
So today we are looking at a Guillermo del Toro’s monster film, ok wait no that is too broad a category. Ok a Guillermo del Toro’s monster film featuring Doug Jones, ok no that is still too many, Ok a Guillermo del Toro’s monster film featuring Doug Jones as a water monster … seriously still. Now, of course, I kid because all of these films are visually stunning and some of the most fascinating stories in modern cinema, indeed I still think about the ending of Pan’s Labyrinth. So today we are going to unpack Guillermo del Toro’s latest film The Shape of Water which is up for a fantastic 13 Oscars at the moment.