Taking Flight


The late 1980’s and early 1990’s were wonderful years for me.  1989 saw me become a teenager and I struggled with and marveled at all of the normal things that happen to a boy around that age.  I was also fully immersed in television, film, music, and books.  My taste in movies leaned heavily to action films (especially after 1989’s Batman hit the screen) but I also enjoyed comedies and suspense flicks.  By 1991 I was fifteen and watching pretty much any and every movie that I was allowed to watch and the teen comedy Career Opportunities caught my eye.   Nah, in all honesty, it was Jennifer Connelly (Labyrinth)that caught my eye.  I mean, whose eye DIDN’T she catch.  She was and still is one of the most gorgeous women on the planet in my opinion, and I watched Career Opportunities simply to stare at her.  I didn’t care if the film was any good (I actually really enjoyed it), I just wanted to watch her for a couple of hours.


Two months after the release of Career Opportunities,  I had the chance to see Connelly again in Disney’s The Rocketeer.  Despite being set in the late 1930’s and featuring a character that was very reminiscent of both Commando Cody (1952) and King Of The Rocket Men (1949), the film is actually based on a comic book created by Dave Stevens and first published in 1982.  The film wasn’t a success on the whole, but it has become a cult classic over the years.

Spoilers ahead, but it’s been almost thirty years, so…..

I’ve watched The Rocketeer off and on for almost thirty years now, and it still gives me that “gee whiz” feeling whenever I see Cliff Secord (Campbell) take to the skies against the villainous Nazis headed up by Hollywood actor and German spy, Neville Sinclair (the wonderfully over the top Timothy Dalton).  I’m still drawn in by the innocent looks of Jenny Blake (Connelly) and wish that I could be transported back in time to 1930’s California to that trippy little diner shaped like a bulldog or take in all of the glamour of the South Seas Night Club.


Campbell was excellent as Cliff Secord.  He had all of the clutzy charm of Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent and somehow channeled that into the heroic Rocketeer.  He made plenty of mistakes, got beat up, and maintained a realness of character that most heroes lack on the screen.  Connelly was drop dead gorgeous as usual, and played sweet and seductive angles to perfection.  You could really see that she had some strong acting chops just waiting to be turned loose on a bigger role in a bigger film.



Dalton fully embraced the brash attitude of Neville Sinclair.  He oozed wit, charm, sleaze, and eventually self-serving evil as he gnawed his way through the film.  He, along with Paul Sorvino as gangster Eddie Valentine, seemed to really enjoy being in this movie.  Alan Arkin as Peevy was no nonsense and a tad overly protective of Cliff, Jenny, and his airplanes.  The rest of the cast was excellent as well, in particular Terry O’Quinn as Howard Hughes, the real life billionaire businessman/pilot/engineer/etc.


I was particularly fond of the film’s special FX and the musical score.  While the FX have begun to show a bit of wear, they still hold up just fine in my opinion.  Director Joe Johnston kept the film fairly light and family friendly, and it moved at a nice pace in my opinion.

Academy Award Winner James Horner’s score was simply brilliant.  Known for composing music for countless major films including Braveheart, Titanic, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Glory, Willow, Aliens, and many more, Horner’s music in The Rocketeer captured the wonder of the Rocketeer’s flight, the atmosphere of the late 1930’s in California, and the beauty of the classic serials that the film was based upon.  It’s one of my favorite soundtracks, and also one of the most expensive to track down to this day.


If you’ve never seen The Rocketeer, I highly recommend that you make sure to see it in the very near future.  It does a great job of capturing the look and feel of two distinct time periods in U.S. history.  First, the film perfectly mimics the late 1930’s when the U.S. was about to enter a new age of invention and technological advancement.  Secondly, it’s a great time capsule for an era in film where movies still relied on practical and stop motion effects but were developing what would later become what we know as CGI.


In short, they don’t make’em like that anymore, kid.  There are rumors going around about a reboot or remake of the film coming soon.  Hopefully it will perform better at the box office and we’ll get more films like it in the future.

Thanks for taking a stroll down memory lane with me, folks.  I really do appreciate each and every view of my posts.  Feel free to comment about this post or any of my others.  I plan on revisiting a couple of other 1990’s films created in the same vein as The Rocketeer very soon.  The difference is that these films (The Shadow and The Phantom) are based on actual characters from radio, film, comics, and pulp novels from the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Oh, and if Jennifer Connelly is reading this, you’re still a knockout.

They’re Lost, But You Can Find Them On Netflix

A New Space

Full Disclosure:  My knowledge of Lost In Space begins and ends with the 1998 feature film and just a few viewings of classic episodes.  Oh, and NO SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW!

Netflix has been winning me over with consistently solid original content such as Bright, Santa Clarita Diet, Stranger Things, and Glow.  I also tend to enjoy Netflix films and series that receive a lukewarm reception from the masses like The Cloverfield Paradox and The Babysitter.  When I heard that they were producing a re-imagined version of the classic science fiction series Lost In Space, I became very interested.


I wanted to see if the new series would lean heavy on humor as many of the classic episodes did or if it would take a more serious direction.  I also wanted to see if the production values and cinematography would be worthy of similar science fiction films and shows, especially those that have been released since 2000.  I was also interested to find out how the cast, in particular Parker Posey, would perform in their roles.

I was pleasantly surprised in all of these aspects of the series.


The basic plot of the series is that the Robinsons and other families and individuals are being sent to colonize another world far from Earth after the planet begins to die due to an apparent meteor crash.  There have been many successful missions to the new world, but the Resolute, the ship carrying the Robinsons on the twenty-fourth mission to the new world, encounters a deadly enemy that derails the mission and forces most of the survivors to evacuate to a nearby habitable planet via Jupiter shuttles.  Once on the planet, the would-be colonists have to devise a plan to get back to the Resolute, which has taken heavy damage but has managed to survive the attack.  The series focuses on the Robinson family as they encounter different dangers on the planet and face off against a certain stowaway from another Jupiter vessel.


The show has a very serious tone most of the time.  It reminded me a lot of the heavy-handedness of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica (of which I’ve only seen a few episodes, most of which bored me to death).  Unlike BSG, though, Lost In Space managed to keep my attention when there were lulls in action, plot, and character development.  Enough humor was laced throughout the series to lighten things up once things start looking bleak, but it didn’t deter from the fact that the Robinsons and everyone else were in dire straits.

The action is fast-paced and there almost always seems to be a new type of danger waiting around the bend.  Between action sequences, we are given glimpses into lives of the Robinsons, Dr. Smith, and an engineer named Don West (all of which are from the original series, although the occupations and/or motives of some of the characters have changed).  Each episode builds on the prior ones as the colonizers attempt to find fuel, fight off creatures and other dangers of the planet, and race to get back to the Resolute.


As far as the look and sounds of the series go, they are brilliant.  It looks as if the production group relied on a blend of practical and digital effects.  The Robot, the beloved android in the original series and the suped up version from the film, is given an entirely new look (and backstory, but no spoilers here).  His face is made up of tiny projections of light that change shape and color depending on his mood.  The Resolute and the Jupiter shuttles look excellent as well, as do their flight sequences both in space and on the planet.


My favorite vehicle is the Chariot, a transport that is stored on all of the Jupiter shuttles.  It’s just a really cool vehicle and I love how much it is used on the planet’s surface.  Again, it’s a blend of (primarily) practical effects with a little CGI tossed in for good measure, but it looks wonderful and I hope that sooner or later we will get a toy or collector’s version of it.


The series’ score, composed by Christopher Lennertz, is a perfect companion to the cinematography.  The music sets the tone throughout each episode, becoming dark and gloomy when there’s danger, and lighter when the tone of the show becomes more hopeful.  Lennertz also blended John Williams’ classic theme for the series into his own work, hinting at the original series and injecting a little happy wonder that only John Williams knows how to create in a song.


As far as the cast is concerned, I’ve already picked out my favorites.  Mina Sundwall portrays Penny, the middle child of the Robinson clan and the most fun individual on the entire show.  Her cocky attitude towards everyone and cheeky one-liners provide plenty of laughs in a series that would otherwise be too serious for someone like myself to enjoy.  She, along with Parker Posey, steals the show.


Posey delivers a sinister performance as Dr. Smith.  Her story takes quite a different direction than either of the the other Dr. Smiths (Jonathan Harris and Gary Oldman), but it works very well in this series.  Smith is very manipulative and as far as villains go, she’s a little off balance.  Aren’t the best villains always just a little off balance?  Posey takes what could have been a very one dimensional character and adds multiple layers to the doctor that make her very interesting.


The rest of the core cast is solid.  Molly Parker (Weirdos, House of Cards) has been a favorite actress of mine ever since I first saw her in the indie necrophilia flick, Kissed.  She has appeared in a ton of independent films, but most mainstream audiences will probably recognize her from Deadwood.  She portrays Maureen Robinson as a matriarch that is protective to a fault and extremely sure of herself when it comes to science.  Some of her decisions prove to be dangerous and she has a very uneasy relationship with her husband, John, portrayed by Toby Stephens (Die Another Day, Black Sails).  Stephens gives us a father who has a lot of regrets due to the fact that he has spent a lot of time (much of it intentionally) away from his family.  He spends a lot of the season trying to rekindle relationships with all of the members of his family.

The other Robinson children, Will and Judy, are portrayed by Maxwell Jenkins (Sense8) and  Taylor Russell (Falling Skies), respectively.  While I don’t want to complain about Jenkins because he is so young, I do want to say that his performance as Will is sometimes lacking.  I honestly believe that this has more to do with direction than it does the actor, as his performance varies by episode.  I thought that the series might center around Judy considering the fact that the first couple of episodes focus on her for a lot of the time, but eventually the script bleeds over to other members of the cast.  Russell gives a good amount of depth to a character that could have easily become one dimensional.

Ignacio Serricchio portrays a very different Don West from the ones we are familiar with in the original series and film.  Serricchio’s West is a mechanical engineer and a smuggler who initially puts his own profit before the needs of others.  Brian Steele provides the voice and body for Robot in the series.  While his lines are limited, he does a good job.


It was nice to see a cameo from Selma Blair as Dr. Smith’s sister.  She has a small but crucial role in the series and plays it wonderfully.  Another familiar face (at least to me) that pops up is Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (The Phantom, Mortal Kombat, Pearl Harbor, Space Rangers) as Hiroki Watanabe, a scientist and friend of Maureen.  His role expands across the season.  Also of mention is Raza Jaffrey (Code Black) as Victor Dhar, an arrogant politician who causes friction among the colonists.

So should you watch it?

Yes, I absolutely believe that you’ll enjoy this series if you’re a fan of adventure science fiction that doesn’t get bogged down in drama.  Lost in Space knows that at its heart it is a series about the ups and downs of family.  That family just happens to be on an alien planet with unknown dangers and a villain that can’t be trusted but sometimes proves to be an integral part of the group.


Lost in Space (CBS) 1965-1968 Shown from left: back, Angela Cartwright, Mark Goddard, Marta Kristen, Jonathan Harris, Guy Williams; front, June Lockhart, Bill Mumy

Fans of the classic series might not appreciate the seriousness of the new show, but I do believe that they can grow to love it if they give it a chance.  Fans of the 1998 film will probably like the series thanks to it having excellent cinematography and great visuals.  Fans of science fiction in general will enjoy the action, drama, and family aspects of the series.


So give Lost In Space a chance.  You might end up enjoying it more than a lot of the critics believe that you will.

Thanks for reading.  I’ll see you all again soon.




All Out Whimper….

On A Walk With Rick And Carl

Sunday night’s season finale of The Walking Dead capped off what has been one of the most uninspired and dull seasons of the franchise.  I started to question my loyalty to the franchise earlier this year and posted about it here.  I hoped that the show would get better as the season progressed, but it continued to leave me empty and longing for more.

Spoilers For Season Eight (Especially The Finale) Below This Picture!!!!


Promising an all out war to fans of the series meant that expectations were high for a ton of brutality, major character deaths, and an ending that left viewers hungry for more.  What we got instead was the needless and completely dumb death of Carl, a bitter dislike for the increasingly annoying Eugene, the elimination of the only interesting Savior, Simon, and almost every member of the core group making irrational decisions and/or taking actions that are completely out of character.

When Morgan, who faded in and out of sanity all season, is the most sensible member of the gang, you know things are getting bad.


But the season finale could fix all of the misfires, right? Wrong.  What we got instead was Rick walking hand in hand with a little version of Carl, Eugene not shutting up, Morgan attacking Henry and then running off for Fear The Walking Dead, and hints at mutiny that I’ll get to in a bit.

The whole episode revolved around Negan leaving obvious hints as to what his group would be doing and Rick taking the bait.  A huge stand-off is set up with Rick’s group completely surrounded by the Saviors and Negan getting ready to assassinate Father Gabriel.  At this point you would expect something to happen and it did.  All of the Saviors’ guns misfired (thanks to mouthy Eugene and Gabriel) and Rick’s group seized upon their sudden luck.  Almost immediately the Saviors throw up their hands and beg for mercy despite having been full of blood lust for pretty much the entire time that they’ve been a part of the show.  The only person acting like they should was Negan, who yelled at Eugene and turned tail to run away.


Negan and Rick square off under a picturesque tree and despite being shot in the hand, Negan handles Rick quite well.  Rick then starts to beg Negan to stop and talk things over with him and, completely out of character, Negan agrees.  What does he get for his sudden change of heart?  A slit throat.  Then, despite all of the rage that had built up in him prior to this moment, Rick has a moment of mercy.  He asks the new doctor, Siddiq, to save Negan.  Maggie (the only sensible member of the either group left at this point) screams out to Rick that Negan has to die.  Michonne holds her back, though, and everyone just walks away in uneasy peace.


As the episode comes to a close, we see Rick and Michonne making a powerplay against Negan.  They threaten to let him bleed out if he doesn’t agree to any and everything they say to him.  Daryl, who is still around although he’s rarely seen anymore, allows Dwight to leave the community and right what he’s done wrong with his wife.  Daryl also tells Dwight that if he comes back, he’ll kill him.  We then cut to a scene where Maggie is sitting at her desk with a “Wait’ll they get a load of me” face a la the Joker from 1989’s Batman and she’s talking to someone.  She tells that person that Rick and Michonne are wrong for allowing Negan to live (and, really, she’s correct) and that she wants to build up her forces at the Hilltop and wait until the moment is right to “prove Rick and Michonne wrong.”


The other person is revealed to be the peace-loving Jesus who, completely out of character, smiles and agrees with her.  Then, out of the shadows like a puma, rolls Daryl, who also agrees with Maggie.  Is mutiny afoot, or is Jesus planning to eventually win Maggie over to Rick’s side like he did Morgan?  Is Daryl just going along with Maggie so that he’ll become relevant to the show again?  Who knows?


What I do know is that this season finale has got to be the worst one so far in the series.  Much like the bulk of the rest of its season, it limped along to an unsatisfying conclusion and attempted to bait us for next season by creating a divide within the core group (mainly with Maggie and Daryl because Jesus hasn’t been around long enough in my opinion).  Do the writers honestly believe that audiences would accept that the Saviors would just fold up all of a sudden?  I don’t think so.  I believe that they are beginning to realize that there needs to be more to these stories than a new big bad every couple of seasons.  Their plan for that appears to create some sort of monster with Maggie.  I must admit that I would love to see her go off on everyone, but I have a feeling that she’ll either die in a rage or simply cave under to Rick’s way of thinking.

I don’t know, folks, but I might not be watching TWD for much longer.  Let me know what you think about the most recent season and the actions of the primary characters.  Are you still enjoying the show?  What do you want to see happen next season?  Is it time for TWD to hang up it’s sheriff’s hat????

Thanks for reading.  I’ll be posting about the new Netflix series Lost In Space by the end of this week.  I have two more episodes to go before I’m finished with the first season and I have to admit that I’ve really enjoyed most of the series so far.  Oh, and I also began working on a project with another nerd like myself that I hope to let you all know about real soon!  Stay tuned!

CyPhaCon 2018!

Lake Charles, LA

I had the pleasure of attending CyPhaCon this weekend at the Lake Charles Civic Center. In its eighth year, CyPhaCon has seen steady growth over the course of its existence.  It has morphed into an excellent pop culture convention that draws anime, science fiction, comic, tabletop, and gaming fans.


Overlooking the second floor of the convention.  This particular area features the CyPhaCafe, a short order vendor that offered everything from shrimp po-boys to vegetarian wraps.

I arrived at the convention on Friday evening.  There was an exceptional crowd already at the event.  Five panel rooms were open with panels covering topics ranging from cosplay to anime.  I visited with Gigi Edgley (Farscape, Star Trek Continues, Wanderland) and talked to her about my encounter with Michele Specht and how Michele autographed a photo for me with “Thanks for the GREAT shoreleave!”  I asked Gigi if she could top that and, well, I believe she did.  Here’s the autograph:


I also signed up for a photo op with her on Saturday.  I visited with a number of friends and fan groups and attended the LC Comedy Stand Up Invasion featuring some excellent local comedians.


The Hunter’s Den, a Predator and Alien Costuming Group.


On Saturday morning I arrived at the convention just a few minutes after it opened.  Jason Carter opened the event with an excellent panel about his career.  Gigi Edgley took the stage next, but I was asked to assist on another panel taking place at the same time that was called Geek Dads.  The premise of the panel was to pull a paper out of a Darth Vader basket and then go around the room discussing the topic written on the paper.  The entire group was composed of men forty plus years old.  We talked about 80’s films, comic books, classic video games, and even our favorite bands.  I really enjoyed this panel.  It reminded me of so many wonderful things from my childhood.  The presenter, Patrick Bennett (who also answered ten burning questions for me in a previous post), pitched an idea to me about doing a web show in a similar vein to the panel.  Hopefully we can make it happen soon!


Members of the Spidey Team cosplay group.

As the day wore on, the crowd grew larger.  Thankfully the Lake Charles Civic Center was large enough that it could handle the crowd.  I attended more panels throughout the day and became part of a panel board that discussed the wonderful history of Jurassic Park.

The Rosa Hart Theater was opened to the the convention on Saturday and the fan film Hopeless: A Star Wars Story was presented to the crowd.  The cosplay contest took place later that evening in the Rosa Hart Theater as well.


The Gulf Coast Missfits Roller Derby Team Logo.


The Missfits during their exhibition match.

On Saturday night I attended my first live roller derby competition.  The Gulf Coast Roller Derby team showed off their skills in the Lake Charles Civic Center Coliseum.  They explained the rules, ran through them on the track, and then battled one another in a friendly exhibition.  There was also a raffle for a bucket of booze.  Yes, you read that correctly, a bucket full of adult beverages.

I really enjoyed the game.  The teammates were very enthusiastic and the announcers made it easy to follow the action.  There were a few injuries during the match as well.  By the end of the match, the Red Shirts came out on top of the Stormtroopers in the friendly game.

After the game I went back into the convention center.  I took a few photos of cosplayers and visited with more friends.  I also listened to the wonderful tunes of the Suzaku 7 at the CyPhaCon After Dark Party.  I stayed until the doors closed, which is especially rare for me at conventions.


With Gigi Edley.


Sunday turned out to be just as excellent as Friday and Saturday.  For any of you that regularly attend comic and science fiction conventions, you know that Sunday is usual a very slow day.  That wasn’t the case at CyPhaCon.  Sunday featured panels with all of the headliners and panels on multiple other subjects.  I attended a few of these panels, including Gigi’s panel and a panel about artificial intelligence in Star Trek.


Gigi Edgley was full of energy during her panel.

I also donned my cape and cowl as the Discount Dark Knight for a very special drawing from the Starfleet International ship, the USS New Orleans.

As the day wore on, my inner child hit the arcade that featured classic games like Pac-Man, Missile Command, Afterburner, and even Baby Pac-Man.  I spent a lot of time (and thankfully no money, as the games were set for free play) on one of my favorite games, 1943.  It was great to see a lot of youngsters tackling the classic games, but there were a few modern games available as well.  There was also an eSports tournament taking place over the entire weekend and tabletop gaming available to any and all takers.

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CyPhaCon outdid itself this year.  I can honestly say that this was one of the most fun conventions that I’ve attended in a very long time.  From the great celebrity guests to the wonderful panels, there was always something to attend or take part in during the convention.  Some of the events were age restricted, but most of them were open to all.  CyPhaCon also had an area dedicated to children known as CyPhaKids.  It featured activities geared toward younger fans and has been a part of CyPhaCon for a few years now.

CyPhaCon is going to have a hard time topping this year’s event.  I can’t wait until 2019’s event.  Keep an eye on my blog for more information and be sure to check out CyPhaCon’s website or any of their social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, and their YouTube channel.


As always, thanks for reading my post.  I’ll be posting again in the very near future.  I’m hoping to expand my blog in the very near future if my readership continues to grow.  Please share my blog and help spread the word.  If there’s anything you want to see me blog about, let me know in the comments section!

Jaeger Bomb???

Robots and Monsters!

I didn’t see the first Pacific Rim film in the theater. In fact, I had no interest in it at all until I picked up a cheap copy of it on DVD (not even Blu-ray!) on the Saturday after Black Friday a few years ago. I fell in love with the excess of the film. It was loud, trimmed in bright colors, and full of giant robots and monsters smashing into things and trying to destroy each other. Gipsy Danger became my new favorite giant robot and I wanted more….lots and lots more.


I had to wait five years, but I finally got more of what I wanted. John Boyega (Finn from the latest Star Wars trilogy) put on the Jaeger suit and along with Scott Eastwood (Clint Eastwood’s kid) and first-time feature director Steven S. DeKnight, gave myself and other fans like me a solid sequel. It wasn’t necessarily as good as the original, but it worked on plenty of levels.


Spoiler Free Review

If you’ve seen the first Pacific Rim film, directed by Guillermo del Toro (who produced the sequel), you know the core plot of this film (giant robots fighting giant monsters). At the end of the first movie, the breach was closed and all of humanity was saved by Raleigh Beckett (Charlie Hunnam), Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), and the sacrifice of Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) and Chuck Hansen (Robert Kazinsky). Uprising takes place ten years later, where we find Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker, living a wild life with friends in the ruins of a beautiful beachfront mansion.


He gets by in the post-Kaiju war world by selling stolen and salvaged Jaeger parts to citizens that illegally make their own Jaegers. He finds himself in trouble with the law after he has a run-in with Amara Namani (newcomer Cailee Spaeny), a teen whiz that has built her own Jaeger named Scrapper. In order to avoid jail, the duo are sent to a Shatterdome in China by Jake’s stepsister, Mako Mori (the returning Rinko Kikuchi). Jake agrees to train cadets and Amara becomes a new recruit thanks to how she handled herself against a real Jaeger.

At the Shatterdome, we meet Jake’s former co-pilot and drift partner, Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood). Jake joins Lambert as a trainer of a young group of cadets that include former Disney Channel star Karan Brar (Jessie, Bunk’d) and a bunch of other youngsters that I didn’t recognize. We are also introduced to Liwen Shao (Jing Tian), head of the Shao Corporation, a company that has designed Jaeger drones to replace the piloted Jaegers of old. With Liwen is the returning Charlie Day as Dr. Newton Geiszler (the doctor that drifted with a Kaiju in the first film). His former research partner, Dr. Hermann Gottlieb (the excellent Burn Gorman), the high strung doctor from the first film, also returns for the sequel, but he’s still with the Pan-Pacific Defense Corps.


Things start to get interesting when a rogue Jaeger attacks Gipsy Avenger in Sydney, Australia, where Mako is supposed to make a decision on whether or not to green light the drone program. An old enemy with a new plan is discovered, and the Precursors (those pesky aliens hiding under the Pacific Ocean that created the Kaiju to prepare Earth for their eventual take over) send their scheme into overdrive.


Film Title: Pacific Rim Uprising

(L to R) Jaeger mechs Saber Athena, Bracer Phoenix, Gipsy Avenger and Guardian Bravo in “Pacific Rim Uprising.”

From here the story gets pretty familiar. Jaegers fight Kaiju for the planet. Buildings, automobiles, boats, and all sorts of other things are destroyed as the humans try to stop the Precursors from taking over the world. It’s a big, loud, fun extravaganza.

But is the film worthy of a cinematic screening?

Yes…..but not without reservations.


Pacific Rim Uprising works on many levels. For starters, the cast is stronger than it was in the first film. No disrespect to Charlie Hunnam, but I’ve never seen him as a leading man. He’s good enough for a solid supporting role (or at least as the co-lead to a giant robot), but I’ve always felt that he was severely lacking in the charisma department. I didn’t miss him in Uprising. John Boyega, on the other hand, has charisma in spades. He can deliver a serious performance when needed, but he thrives when it comes to comedy. In Uprising, he delivers a solid performance that actually helps lift the film out of a few dull moments.

Scott Eastwood does an excellent job as well. His no-nonsense delivery makes him believable as the leader of the young cadets. Speaking of the cadets, all of them did very good jobs with their limited roles. Spaeny traded shots with Boyega like an old pro, and I genuinely cared for the cadets as they faced off against the Kaiju.

Kikuchi has a small role in the film but she does an excellent job nonetheless. Charlie Day dials up the crazy in his second go round as Geiszler. Annoying as always, you just want somebody to slap him. Gorman gets more screen time in this sequel, and he eats up every scene. Jian Tian manages to keep the audience on their toes with her performance. I’d like to see her in more films soon.


The CGI in the film is vivid and bright, and I have to admit that it was nice to see the Jaegers and Kaiju take on one another during the daytime and even in the snow! In the first film they squared off almost exclusively in the rain and at night. The Kaiju look cool in this film and the Jaegers are cranked up a notch. There’s a nice nod to the heroes of the first film at one point as well.



Despite the solid cast, decent CGI, and excellent fighting sequences, there’s just something missing in this film. The music doesn’t seem to factor in as much as it did in the original film. Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi handled the first film’s score and while his main theme was kept for Uprising, composer Lorne Balfe did very little to add to the film’s musical legacy. It was sufficient, but nothing special.


The plot does attempt to add a couple of twists to differentiate itself from the first film, but it is ultimately just another big robot vs. big monsters flick. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and, in all honesty, it was exactly what I expected it to be. I just wish that a little more time was spent on the development of the plot. Despite having a run time of just over an hour and fifty minutes, the film felt rushed. When it was all said and done, I enjoyed the film, but didn’t fall in love with it as I did with the first film.

Should you go see it? If you’re a Jaeger or Kaiju fan then, yes, go see it. Being on the big screen definitely makes these already larger than life robots and monsters seem even larger. The story is fun even though it’s nothing new, and the cast does a very good job.

Pacific Rim Uprising adds nothing new to its genre, but it doesn’t take anything away from it, either. It’s a loud romp that’s full of noise and destruction, and if you go into the film expecting that, you’ll be pleased.


Thanks for reading this post. I’ll be heading out to CyPhaCon this weekend in Lake Charles, LA. If you’re in the neighborhood, track me down at the convention and say hello. I’ll be posting about my experience at the convention on either Sunday evening or Monday night. I plan on taking a lot of photos and hopefully snagging an interview or two with guests or attendees.