All things considered, there are definitely worse ways to see out the year. 47 RONIN, the historical fantasy mash-up that sees Keanu Reeves inserted — along with witches, dragons, and mystical warriors — into the legendary tale of a samurai revolt, may not be the high-water-mark in fantastic film for 2013. But in its gripping story, its fine cast — including Hiroyuki Sanada as a samurai seeking vengeance on the duplicitous Lord who disgraced his master, Rinko Kikuchi (late of PACIFIC RIM) as a scheming witch, and Kô Shibasaki as a doomed love-interest for Reeves — and its ability to respect the legend and the culture of feudal Japan while still delivering up the kinds of fantastical creatures and fleet action sequences that can satisfy modern audiences, it certainly makes for some corking entertainment.
Cinfantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons sit down to express their not inconsiderable delight at closing out the year by celebrating a film that easily, and happily, exceeded their expectations. Click on the player to hear the show.
PACIFIC RIM is Tombstone pizza when you asked for Lombardi’s, McDonald’s when you wanted Shake Shack: A passable example of something that was never going to be the pinnacle of sophistication to begin with, but could have been so much better. Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons get together to discuss Guillermo del Toro’s eagerly awaited Kaiju (giant monsters) film, in which a corps of mammoth robots, called Jaegers (German for hunter — did you know that?) and piloted by an international team of mind-linked soldiers, embarks on a last-ditch mission to meet the enemy on both land and sea (will there be much destruction of valuable real estate? Oh, my child, certainly there will be), and put an end to the conflict once and for all. Battle sequences are analyzed, drama and character arcs, such as they are, are deconstructed, questions of how such talents as Idris Elba and Ron Perlman are misused are pondered, and slowly, slowly, the long route to recovery from dashed expectations is begun. Also: What’s coming to theaters next week.
You can’t dream this stuff up… The finer points of torturing your actors… Next film will not be about unicorns weaving rainbows…
From the luxurious Cinefantastique Online studios in NYC, Dan Persons brings you up-to-date on what’s happening in the world of fantastic film & TV.
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