Saturday, 27 July 2013

Movie Review: The First Time

The First Time is a coming-of-age rom-com about the mixed feelings that two teenagers experienced as they fall in love for the first time and eventually decide to lose their virginity together. The film aims to show the nervousness, hesitation, insecurity and excitement that every teenager would experience when they lose their virginity the first time, but it fails to capture the feelings perfectly.

Although the meetup and development of the relationship happens so fast that it feels a bit artificial, but the on-screen chemistry between the two leads is so convincing that you eventually believe that they developed a solid connection somewhere along the way. How the relationship develops between them is seemingly simple: they find each other easy to talk with, share their feelings without fear or distrust, walks her home, etc.It's sweet and charming. The film is dialogue-heavy but feels fresh and slightly different than typical American coming-of-age rom-com nowadays. We care about them and wish that they could have a happy ending.

However, when the long-awaited key moment of consummation arrives, it just cuts away and fade to black, leaving the audience to speculate or ponder what actually happened is a bit of a letdown.There's no compelling insights to be found and the film feels ordinary when the credits roll. Despite its shortcomings, it's still an enjoyable light romantic comedy film to watch.

Rating: 6.5/10

Friday, 26 July 2013

Movie Review: The Wolverine

The Wolverine is another pointless standalone sequel with an all too familiar, straightforward and predictable plot.The Wolverine is slightly better compared to X-Men Origins: Wolverine in terms of plot but suffers by a series of unrealistic plot contrivances.Most of the supporting characters are given little or no character development throughout the film, they're just simply there for the sake of story progression.

There's nothing wrong with Hugh Jackman's performance as Wolverine, he showed his dedication ('Wolverine gym workout') and delivered his best portrayal of the character throughout the X-Men series. The problems lies on the script and the character himself. Although the film is loosely based on the 1982 Wolverine comic set in Japan, but is he a compelling character enough to earn 2 spin-offs in the film franchise? One of the best things about X-Men is the idea of taking all of these 'weird, damaged' individual characters and building them into a team, watch how they face and solve issues inherent to teamwork. In a group, these individuals can complement one another in terms of power, weakness and personality, as shown in X-Men: First Class.

The film never takes time to explore the temporary physical vulnerability experienced by he feels and deals with the sudden change of his immortality. There's no solid motive or reason why Logan need to stay or remain in Japan. He can choose to leave anytime he wants during the earlier stages of the film, instead he chose to stay to protect someone he barely even know or care about. Furthermore, the relationship between Mariko and Logan feels forced and doesn't seem credible or real, they just barely know each other and the lack of on-screen chemistry between the lead actors makes it even worst.The film briefly mentioned about family honour, respect and love, but one would question about Mariko's action near the end of the 3rd act of the film.

Another issue that begs to question: In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we learned that he lost his memory; in X2, he's finds back his past and how he becomes who he is now. However, how Wolverine seems to vividly remember the events of Nagasaki WWII?

The action scenes didn't offer anything new (most of them done before by previous X-Men movies) and I'm probably one of the few who doesn't find the 300mph bullet train fight scene exhilarating or cool at all.

The highlight of the film seems to be the mid-credit scene that might excite a lot of X-Men fans, foreshadowing what is going to happen for the next X-Men movie - Days of Future Past.A lot of questions raised as to why and how it happened, a good scene to pique the audience interest about what to come next year.

Recent superhero movies of the decade such as The Avengers and The Dark Knight Trilogy have showed us that superhero films can be something more...and what The Wolverine delivers simply isn't enough anymore. In my opinion, X-Men: First Class is still the best (in terms of character development, story flow, acting, plot) in the X-Men film series.

Rating: 6.5/10

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Movie Review: Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim is the most entertaining live-action mecha VS kaiju film to date. The premise is simple and unpretentious. The film honours the origins of the genre, it doesn't try to be something else and delivers on its promise. The fight between Kaiju and Jaegers are clear clean-shot action sequences, no shaky-cam, extreme zoom-ins, 360 shots or first person viewing that would make many audience uncomfortable.The action is beautifully choreographed, executed with style and magnificence.

Ignore the critics' comments that the monsters or mecha shown in the film is unclear or not visible because most of the fight scenes happen at night, in the rain or underwater...because they're totally unjustified. I can clearly see them.  Although no in-depth character development is provided for all of the supporting characters and there are some character issues in the film (some characters seemed to be 'specifically engineered' to serve a purpose),  but the characterisation provided is sufficient enough for the audience to know them and justify their actions in the film.

The film didn't try to be overly serious, a pair of mismatched scientists is included to provide some comic relief.There're some plotting issues where the prologue that serves as the backstory of the war is too fast-paced and we're only shown a glimpse of the Kaiju's first contact to humanity. There's a flashback scene worth mentioning, the little girl who plays the young Mako is extremely adorable and her expressions managed to convince the audience about her traumatic experience. 

If your childhood memories consists of Transformers, Evangelion, Mobile Suit Gundam, Godzilla, Ultraman...So why not give Pacific Rim a chance? This is a definite love letter to all the Kaiju/mecha fans out there, co-written, co-produced, directed by Del Toro himself to re-introduce this old genre back to the younger generation.

Rating: 8/10

Note: Some of the physics presented in the film are questionable, we see that 6-8 helicopters can carry a Jaeger (2300-2400 tonnes = 2300,000-2400,000kg), but according to the calculations presented in the following site, is impossible.

Building a mecha with a weight of 2300-2400 tonnes that can stand up, walk and maintain its balance in a world built for humans is nigh on impossible due to its upper body weight.

For details about the Kaijus and Jaegers shown in the film, please visit the link below:

Friday, 12 July 2013

Pacific Rim: Kaiju and Jaegers

The purpose of this article is to provide some understanding of the Kaiju and Jaegers in Pacific Rim. The concise information provided below is taken directly from wikia.

For my review of the film, please visit the link below:

 Kaiju 怪兽 : literal translation - strange beast

The Kaiju are a race of amphibious beings from another dimension. In 2013, a portal between dimensions opened at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean ('The Breach'),  allowing them to enter Earth's dimension.
Each Kaiju is classified under five different categories:

Categories 1 through 3 presumably represent the weakest of the Kaiju;
Categories 4 through 5 are the strongest.

The Scale measures water displacement, toxicity and ambient radiation levels given off by their bodies when they pass through the breach. The fluid of a Kaiju is ammonia-based. Upon decomposing, their bodies release a noxious agent into the air known as "Kaiju Blue", their blood. Kaiju Blue has the ability to contaminate the air, making it non-breathable. The blood of a Kaiju is highly acidic, corroding anything in its path.

There are 9 Kaiju chosen and designed for the film.

 Category: Unknown - First Contact

'Trespasser' - Axe Head

The first Kaiju to make itself known to humanity, arrived in San Francisco and attacked the city, destroyed the Golden Gate Bridge and all on it, before the US military was able to take it down with a nuclear weapon. Estimated to be about 300 feet tall. It has a large axe-like crest on its head. It has four huge legs and a massive tail, and has orange breath, which resembles sparks and smoke.

 Category 2


Onibaba is responsible for the destruction of Tokyo, Japan, as well as the death of millions of citizens. Mako Mori was one of the few remaining survivors. Jaeger Coyote Tango was deployed to defeat the Onibaba. During the battle, one of Coyote's pilots blacked out due to cancer related issues, Stacker Pentecost was forced to ride Coyote solo and kill it himself.

Kaiju Specifications
Height 198 ft.
Weight 2,040 tons
Speed 4
Strength 6
Armor Strength 9

 Category 3

 First recorded category 3 Kaiju, deployed to attack Anchorage, Alaska. Knifehead bears a striking a green glow and a straight crested head. It bears six limbs, with two sets of arms. Strangely, the blue glow is only seen in it's jaw, while the rest of it's glow is a mustard-like color. Intercepted and taken down by Jaeger Gipsy Danger.

Kaiju Specifications
Height 315 ft.
Weight 2, 700 tons
Speed 6
Strength 7
Armor Strength 7

Category 4

 'Metavore' - Blade Head

 Category 4 Kaiju that attacked Sydney, Australia. The Kaiju was able to break through the supposedly impenetrable Coastal Defense Wall in an hour. Intercepted and taken down by Jaeger Striker Eureka.  

 Kaiju Specifications - Unknown


Category 4 Kaiju that appears together with Leatherback, Otachi appears to walk on all fours, instead of standing upright like some other types of Kaiju.
Her anatomy consists of two short legs and long four digit hand-wings which she can use to fly. Her wings are stored inside her forearms for protection. In addition, she has a long tail which has vibrant blue circles that run on the side up to her chest as well as sharp pincers on the end of her tail. The facial structure of Otachi is made up of a long neck, and her head includes a large, powerful jaw and is marked by two crests.
Otachi is capable of spitting acids that capable of melting metal armor of Jaegers and breathe in space, when she takes Gipsy Danger high into space after a battle in Hong Kong.

Kaiju Specifications
Height 207 ft.
Weight 2, 690 tons
Speed 8-9
Strength 6
Armor Strength 7


Category 4 Kaiju that appears together with Otachi, Leatherback looks similar to a leatherback turtle but similar to the way a gorilla moves, walking on its knuckles with jumping abilities and large shovel like hands. A large biological organ on its back allows it to discharge an EMP wave which is capable of disabling Jaegers. The Leatherback has six visible eyes. 

Kaiju Specifications
Weight Unknown
Speed 5
Strength 6
Armor Strength 10


Category 4 Kaiju. It protects the portal from the Jaegers alongside Slattern and Raiju. Scunner's body shape is very similar to the Knifehead, albeit its different shaped head and much greater size. It has a bioluminous glow throughout it's body, however unlike the other Kaiju, it's glow is green. Broad and stocky, Scunner's strength lies within his its two curved horns jutting out of its head, large claws and multiple arms. It's ability to work in tandem with other Kaiju make it a particularly dangerous foe in combat.

Kaiju Specifications
Height 441 ft.
Weight 3, 230 tons
Speed 5
Strength 9
Armor Strength 8


Category 4 Kaiju. It protects the portal from the Jaegers alongside Slattern and Scunner. Raiju resembles a grey Iguana or crocodile in terms of shape and swimming technique. The Raiju is heavily armored along its back and head, which is actually a carapace encasing the creature's real brightly colored and soft head for protection. Slained by Jaeger Gipsy Danger.

Kaiju Specifications
Height 358 ft.
Weight 3,475 tons
Speed 10
Strength 7
Armor Strength 8

 Category 5


First and only known Category 5 Kaiju ever encountered by humanity. The largest, most dangerous and strongest of all the Kaiju, Slattern is unrivaled by any of its brethren or Jaegers combined. Slatterns had thick leathery skin and three tails, the latter of which can be used as whips against their opponents. Slattern's body is extremely resilient against attacks and strong enough to survive from a nuclear blast at ground zero. Slattern's high toxicity levels and intelligence makes him the most lethal Kaiju ever fought by humanity and its impressive size is capable of dominating most of its enemies.

Kaiju Specifications
Height 596 ft (est.)
Weight 6,750 tons (est.)
Speed 10+
Strength 10+
Armor Strength 10+

 Jaeger : German translation -Hunter

A Jaeger is a special type of mobile exoskeleton weapon, a mecha controlled simultaneously by each of its two to three pilot teams, equipped in a type of specialized armor that interfaces with machine. The pilots' very minds are locked in a neural bridge to control its every movement in the field of battle. Jaegers was introduced as a more efficient way of killing the monsters without the use of nuclear ordinance and serve as the primary defensive measures against the Kaiju in the Kaiju War.

All Mark-1 through Mark-3 Jaegers utilized nuclear reactors which put their pilots at extreme risk of developing cancer. Of the 21 Jaegers built, only 4 remain in active service as of 2025.

Technical Information
Given Name Coyote Tango
Launch Date December 30th, 2015
Classification Mark-1
Status Retired
Country of Origin Japan
Jaeger Specifications
Height 85m (280ft)
Weight 2,312 Tons
Speed 5
Strength 7
Armor Strength 4
Battle Specifications
Pilots Stacker Pentecost
Tasmin Sevier
Kaiju Killed 2

Technical Information
Given Name Cherno Alpha
Launch Date 2015
Classification Mark-1
Status Destroyed
Country of Origin Russia
Jaeger Specifications
Height 85m (280ft)
Weight 2,412 Tons
Speed 3
Strength 10
Armor Strength 10
Battle Specifications
Equipment MGS112/Recharging Energy Cell
Z14 Tesla fists
Sharp spikes (feet)
Pilots Sasha Kaidonovsky
Aleksis Kaidonovsky
Kaiju Killed 6

Technical Information
Given Name Gipsy Danger
Launch Date July 10th, 2017
Classification Mark-3
Status Self-Destructed
Country of Origin United States of America
Jaeger Specifications
Height 79m (260ft)
Weight 1,980 Tons
Speed 7
Strength 8
Armor Strength 6
Battle Specifications
Equipment I-9 Flash caster
98BD/Hyper-Torque Drivers
Nuclear Vortex Turbine
10TK/Gyro Stabilizers
08FS/Oceanic Cooling Vents
Pilots Yancy Becket(deceased)
Raleigh Becket
Mako Mori(replacement pilot)
Kaiju Killed 5

Technical Information
Given Name Crimson Typhoon
Launch Date August 22, 2018
Classification Mark-4
Status Destroyed
Country of Origin China
Jaeger Specifications
Height 75m (250ft)
Weight 1,722 Tons
Speed 9
Strength 8
Armor Strength 6
Battle Specifications
Equipment 28-Go/Cockpit
34R0111/STERNO Piston
OSIHI Achilles Shock Absorber
11X///Triples Control Device
Plasma Cannon
Pilots Cheung Wei
Jin Wei
Hu Wei
Kaiju Killed

Technical Information
Given Name Striker Eureka
Launch Date November 2nd, 2019
Classification Mark-5
Status Destroyed
Country of Origin Australia
Jaeger Specifications
Height 76m (250ft)
Weight 1,850 Tons
Speed 10
Strength 10
Armor Strength 9
Battle Specifications
Equipment TY/Escape Hatch
T-16 Wings
Assault Mount/Sting Blades
4211 "Brass Knuckles"
Anti Kaiju Missile Chest Launcher
Pilots Herc Hansen
Chuck Hansen
Stacker Pentecost

Jaegers size comparison:

Obtained from:

Obtained from:

 Any further details about Pacific Rim, please visit the link: