As I've mentioned before, I have a friend that works for LucasFilm. Actually, I have two friends that work there, but one of them is being let go because of the Disney acquisition. His department was gutted, so it wasn't like he was singled out.
Anyway, every so often, these guys and I get together to see a movie and catch up, so we made tentative plans back in May to do that. At the time, I listed out all of the summer movies I was interested in. Pacific Rim was on that list, but I also stated that it was probably the movie I was least interested in seeing. I expected it to be eye candy, and, although I enjoy the occasional eye candy, I will almost always choose story over it. Or, at least, something I think will have story. However, my buddies, all three of them, chose Pacific Rim, so I sighed and came to terms with the fact that giant brawling things have more appeal for the age group of my buddies (a bit more than a decade younger than me) than they do for me.
So we made plans for the opening weekend of PacRim. They would all converge to where I live for a Saturday showing, which is good with me, because, as the only married one of the group, it's a lot harder for me to get down to San Francisco than for them to get to where I live. BUT, the day before the release, my buddy at Lucas let me know that they were doing a showing down there since ILM had done the effects. We had a change of plans.
Here's the thing:
Special screenings of movies used to happen at Skywalker Ranch, which is somewhat north of San Francisco and easier to get to (and you don't have to deal with parking, which is always an issue in the city); however, the Ranch was not part of the sale to Disney, so screenings don't happen there anymore, because that's where Lucas lives. Well, it was always where Lucas lived, but... well, it's complicated, because Skywalker Sound is still at the Ranch, but... Anyway, the screening was going to be held in the screening room at the Presidio, where LucasFilm is housed. Let me just say that the screening room there is one of the finest theaters in the world, as you might imagine. And the screening was in 3D, which we hadn't known about ahead of time. When we go to movies, we don't do 3D; it's just inordinately expensive. So the 3D was like a special bonus.
But let's back up a moment:
The building with the theater in it at the Ranch is pretty cool. There are a lot of vintage movie posters and the theater is underground and it's the place where I saw George Lucas that one time. But, aside from the movie posters, that building isn't full of cool stuff. At least, not that I ever saw, and my buddy and I did get lost in it one time trying to leave a screening of something through one of the back exits. There were some shopping carts and a Darth Maul bicycle, but that was about it for "interesting items." Aside from the fact that building has a movie theater in it, it's pretty much like any office-type building.
Now, I've been to the offices at the Presidio before (for an event for the release of The Clone Wars movie and the following television series), but I'd never been inside any of the buildings except to see the special Clone Wars exhibit they had set up for that release, which, of course, is long gone. The only other thing I'd ever seen was the Yoda statue (so cool) in the courtyard. Yes, I need to get a picture of it. This screening of PacRim was my first time to really inside. And, initially, it seemed like it was the same kind of thing as at the Ranch. Just a lot of vintage movie posters. That's what I saw before the movie.
Oh, yeah, the movie! Visually, the movie was AMAZING! And, I'm sure, seeing it in one of the finest theaters (and 3D theaters) in the world didn't hurt it any. I mean, this movie is seriously impressive to look at, especially in 3D. There's a lot of holographic imaging involved in piloting the Jaegers (the giant robots), and it looks super cool in 3D since you're seeing it the way the characters are supposedly seeing it. It's certainly a movie that I'm glad I saw in the theater, because a television set just would not do justice to the Jaegers and the Kaijus (giant monsters) fighting amongst skyscrapers and, frequently, knocking them over.
So, in short, if you want to see a film with lots of action and fight scenes, especially involving giant combatants, this movie is for you. Seriously, I think it's safe to say that there will not be a better looking film this year.
But... you'll have to wait for part two for the rest.
In other news!
Today is the FREE! release of "Part Twenty-six: The Bitter Fruit"! Remember, if you want to read the whole Shadow Spinner right now and get the exclusive short story "Like An Axe Through Bone" by Bryan Pedas,
However, if you're invested in the serialization, here is a list of today's (Monday, July 22) FREE! parts:
"Part Twenty-six: The Bitter Fruit" (This one is also FREE! Tuesday, July 23)
"Part Twenty-five: The Light of Knowledge"
"Part Twenty-four: The Serpent"
"Part Twenty-three: The Harlot"
"Part Nineteen: Lost in the Garden"
"Part Eighteen: The Angel"
"Part Seventeen: The Tree of Light"
"Part Sixteen: The Dark Tree"
"Part Fifteen: Food of the Garden"
"Part Thirteen: The Clearing"
"Part Twelve: The Gash in the Floor"
"Part Eleven: The Kiss"
"Part Ten: The Broken Window"
"Part Nine: The Shadow of the Tree"
"Part Seven: The Moth and the Shadow"
"Part Six: The Man with No Eyes"
"Part Five: The Police Car"
"Part Four: The Cop"
"Part Three: The Bedroom"
So there you go: 19 of 26 parts available for FREE! Go! Tell your friends! Tell them to tell their friends!