Rinko Kikuchi

47 Ronin

At first glance, 47 Ronin appears to be one weird movie. It’s a mega expensive Christmas release starring only one white guy, has a shape-shifting witch, and a predetermined unhappy ending. It all sounds ballsy on paper, but those balls are rarely ever flashed onscreen in this all too safe wannabe blockbuster. That one white guy, Kai (Keanu Reeves), is an outcast in his own home. As the son of an English sailor and Japanese peasant, Kai is dismissed as a “half-breed.” He’s stronger, smarter, and faster than any of his master’s samurai, but they’ll never accept him as a true samurai. His master is murdered by Mizuki (Rinko Kikichu) the witch and Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano), but when Kai tries to warn the samurai’s leader, Kuranosuke Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), of the witch’s presence his claim is dismissed. When he realizes his mistake, Oishi asks Kai to join him and the rest of his team of “ronin” for revenge. They all go on a dangerous journey together that is structured like a videogame: go here, then there, and then over there to the boss level. The clunky set up, which is front-loaded with exposition, sets up a world and plan full of danger, a risk that is never truly capitalized on. Their journey mostly goes according to plan, with a few mishaps. Some of the men die, but none of them do we actually get to know.

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Depending on where you look, Pacific Rim is either in 2nd or 3rd place at the box office this weekend. But it should make enough money to warrant a sequel, especially with international business. And those of us who are into this new original property from Guillermo del Toro are really, really into it. There’s certainly franchise potential, what with its whole background mythology (and back story, which you can find in graphic novel form). Plus it’s going to at least gross more than del Toro’s first Hellboy film, and that spawned a part II. There’s also the fact that Legendary Pictures began moving ahead on developing Pacific Rim 2 way back in December, hiring the first film’s screenwriter, Travis Beacham, to start penning another installment. In the months since, he and del Toro have been sharing some bare bits and pieces and possible ideas for what happens next. The details are thin but these teases about the direction part 2 would go in allow for some educated guessing and speculation as to what we’d see as far as more monster and robot battles. Below I highlight some of what’s been officially said, some of what’s been drawn from those reports and some of what we’re simply hoping for with Pacific Rim 2. If you haven’t yet seen Pacific Rim, there are spoilers to be found ahead. So get off the computer, go see it and then come back to read further.

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Pacific Rim

Let’s all take a moment to be thankful that Guillermo del Toro walked away from The Hobbit. No matter what you ultimately think of that movie or Pacific Rim, the one he ended up making instead, there’s something undeniably fun about the concept of giant robots battling giant monsters that The Hobbit just can’t accomplish no matter how many 20-minute a cappella interludes it had. On concept alone, Pacific Rim is the movie I’d rather see every time. Luckily, the end result pays off the faith in this case, delivering Summer of 2013’s biggest, most relentlessly entertaining monster blockbuster. The kind of heroic piece of nerdy filmmaking that just might save us all from the summer daze.

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Though it feels like we’ve been talking about Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pacific Rim forever, it really hasn’t been quite that long, and information on the project has remained vague at best. The first quick bite on Pacific Rim (from back in 2011) reported that the film was about alien invaders, though we quickly learned that it was really “a monster movie” that centered on creatures emerging from the deep. When Charlie Hunnam signed on for a lead role in May of last year, we learned that he would be “one of the pilots of a giant robot who needs to climb back into the driver’s chair.” But since then, the terms “monster movie,” “robots,” and “mech suits” have been bandied about without any official connective tissue. But that’s changed. Today, Warner Bros. has finally released an official synopsis for Pacific Rim, one that ties together all those seemingly disparate parts, while also clarifying both Hunnam’s role and Rinko Kikuchi‘s part in the film. It is, in a word, awesome. Check out the full press release and synopsis after the break.

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Much has been made of the fact that this month’s Comic-Con in San Diego is looking to be a fairly empty one when it comes to upcoming blockbusters from the studios. Sure Tv shows like Game Of Thrones, True Blood, and The Vampire Diaries will be there, but Marvel, Pixar, and Warner Bros. are sitting it out this year and saving themselves a boatload of cash. This means fans won’t get a glimpse at hotly anticipated titles like Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, or Andrew Stanton’s John Carter. But not everyone’s upset that the heavy hitters are absent this year… because now some of the lower profile films have a chance to make some noise and get noticed. Per Collider (and the press release they received) Legendary Pictures is leaping on the opportunity and has announced a panel featuring four of their upcoming films. Granted, none of the movies are due out until 2012/2013, but everyone loves seeing celebrities talk about future projects! The highlight is Guillermo del Toro who’ll be on-hand for his giant monster movie, Pacific Rim, and will be bringing his recently announced cast with him including Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Charlie Day, and the lovely Rinko Kikuchi. Also along for the Comic-Con bump will be Alex Proyas and Bradley Cooper discussing their adaptation of Paradise Lost (and how Cooper dodged a bullet with Green Lantern), Jeff Bridges and friends to talk up their supernatural thriller Seventh Son, and Mass Effect creator […]

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International trailer watch time… Rinko Kikuchi stars as a fish wrangler who moonlights as an assassin. Who also likes to occasionally get naked.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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