Dinner for Fiends – Pacific Reamed

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Dinner for Fiends - Pacific ReamedWe haven’t had a lot of free time lately, and that means you’re going to need a lot of free time to digest this nearly three-hour installment of Dinner for Fiends. If you think this episode is long, just wait until you hear how contentious it gets.

After I give everyone their new Jaeger pilot names, the spirited debate quickly begins when Matt Fini and Uncle Creepy get into it over Lords of Salem. From there we discuss R.I.P.D., V/H/S/2, Hatchet III, This Is the End, The Purge, Gallowwalkers, World War Z, and The Conjuring. Then someone brings up Sharknado, and this causes Buz to snap, filled with a frothing rage that carries over into the great Pacific Rim debate of 2013. You’ll also hear about Comic-Con and Andrew Kasch’s ghostly encounter.

But most importantly, finally, at long last, I get to tell the story of the guy sitting a few seats down from me at Texas Chainsaw 3D. Although even that almost didn’t happen again thanks to the magic of Skype seemingly screwing with me on purpose. Damn you, Skype.

Prepare to get Pacific reamed in the eye of a Snarknado with this mega-sized edition of Dinner for Fiends.

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    • conundrum

      I have to start by vehemently agreeing with Buz on several topics. Sharknado was a deliberately bad movie. That was a movie, where beginning to end the only entertainment to be had was laughing at how ludicrous that last thing they did was. A shark explodes out of a manhole? The bottom floor of a house is just suddenly submerged in 2-3 feet of water and sharks while NONE of the surrounding area is flooded? They’re going to stand and fight back against tornadoes? If you think that movie was not deliberately bad then I cannot fathom what you do think is deliberately bad.

      And on that note, I realized sometime during my failed engagement that life is too short to spend on things that I know are subpar. I could be practicing guitar, reading a good book, playing a game with friends, watching a movie that I expect to be good, etc. There are too many things to do, and I’m not going to live forever. I don’t look down my nose at people who still want to experience something bad for the joy of it, but I totally agree with people who feel that life is too short for that. I’ve broken my word twice on that, with Sharknado (which I watched on a date because she wanted to and I thought spending time with my girlfriend was time well spent) and once with Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, which I got drawn into when I realized that it would be the last thing that I ever watch on Discovery. Seriously, fuck Discovery. Fuck them for the shitshow their station has become, and fuck them for ruining Shark Week by putting on a shitty fiction movie and pretending it was real.

      I then have to disagree with Buz about Pacific Rim. Don’t get me wrong, he’s correct about Charlie Hunnam being a terrible main character. And he’s correct that it would have been a better, more solid movie with a better main character (for the record, I thought Rinko Kikuchi did a decent job). All of the secondary characters were gold, from the scientists, to Hannibal Chau, even to the Australians (I really liked what they brought to the table). That being said, I had a blast with that movie, saw it twice, and cannot wait to buy a copy so I can watch it more. It could have been better, but I still love it for what it is. The Jaeger program looking poorly run? Considering they were out of funding, I was amazed they still had the huge staff that they did. I was honestly a bit surprised it was still being so WELL run. I get your point about main characters making you more engaged and agree with you, it just in no way ruined everything else for me. There was far too much awesome stuff going on for me to hold one atrocious actor against the whole. And I cannot disagree more about not feeling the dire peril. Aside from the original Godzilla and one scene in Cloverfield, this is the only kaiju movie where I watched the monsters rampaging and had a visceral feeling of “there is nothing humanity can do to stop that.” And who was complaining about there not being enough action? Ignoring the initial attacks without Jaegers, and the video footage of the attack on Australia, AND the flashbacks to Japan, there was STILL the scene in the beginning off the coast of Alaska, the fight in Hong Kong, and fight at the bottom of the ocean. So yeah, if I ignore the three smaller action pieces, there are STILL 3, not 2, large scale battles. How much more did you want?

      And I just want to touch on The Conjuring. Ah, The Conjuring. It was better than I expected. Mind you, I expected it to be horrible and derivative, but it was only derivative. I mean, Wan pretty much just remade Insidious but with a better ending. It is a completely fine movie, well made, with some good moments. I just couldn’t shake that I’d already seen it. Which makes me all the more worried about what’s going to be in Insidious Chapter 2. The trailer already looks like its just a rehash of the first, and knowing that Wan has pretty much made the same movie twice in a row now makes me more concerned. The Conjuring was fun, great for being a successful, original, R-rated horror movie, but did nothing to wow me or differentiate itself from other stuff I have already seen.

      • The Buz

        “I then have to disagree with Buz about Pacific Rim. Don’t get me wrong, he’s correct about Charlie Hunnam being a terrible main character.”

        Glad we can agree there.

        “And he’s correct that it would have been a better, more solid movie with a better main character (for the record, I thought Rinko Kikuchi did a decent job). “

        You and Andrew should promote all films with your ringing endorsements of ‘perfectly serviceable’ and ‘decent job’.

        “The Jaeger program looking poorly run? Considering they were out of funding, I was amazed they still had the huge staff that they did. I was honestly a bit surprised it was still being so WELL run.”

        That’s exactly my point. They’re some how out of funding…yet hundreds of people work there. AND THEY STILL CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO HAVE MORE THAN 6 PEOPLE BE DRIFT COMPATIBLE?! You gotta be kidding me with this. The movie breaks it’s own logic.

        “And who was complaining about there not being enough action? Ignoring the initial attacks without Jaegers, and the video footage of the attack on Australia, AND the flashbacks to Japan, there was STILL the scene in the beginning off the coast of Alaska, the fight in Hong Kong, and fight at the bottom of the ocean. “

        That was more Fini’s gripe, but I agree with him. The fight in Alaska was cool for an opening fight sequence. But it all took place out in the ocean, which again is fine for the first fight but the third act did as well! There was nothing to scale the action against. The more and more I think about it the more angry and disappointed I become that nearly 75% of the action takes place in the ocean with absolutely nothing to scale just how massive these creatures are. “Oh cool the big bad category 5 has two tails and looks as big as that coral reef..I guess?” What an absolute travesty of a mistake to have most of the battles take place in the sea. Look at any good Kaiju movie and notice how the best monster battles happen on land in the center of Tokyo. Especially third act fights.
        Hell even Godzilla VS The Sea Monster had at least a boat to show the scale and people watching from the shore (yes I know there was a boat in Pacific Rim…but in the cool 2nd act action piece..not the ones I’m talking about).

        “So yeah, if I ignore the three smaller action pieces, there are STILL 3, not 2, large scale battles. How much more did you want?”

        Wow I’m watching a giant monster movie and I get to see 3 seconds of a monster (that looks just like the rest of them) pile through a wall. OH MY GOD I’M SO WOWED! It’s honestly not about quantity here and never was! It is about QUALITY! The third act was so poorly constructed and thought out that it slaps a giant black mark of shame across the entire film. Couple that with the two “perfectly serviceable” main characters and you have a giant heaping mess of disappointment and sadness.

        You don’t mind all that stuff? Fine! But don’t tell me that these aren’t valid complaints or are unfounded. You just don’t care.

        I unfortunately cared too much. As you said when agreeing with me on Sharknado, my time and money is extremely valuable to me, and I absolutely hate wasting it. So going to see something like Pacific Rim that is literally a movie that I should have walked out loving and jumping up and down with joy made me absolutely angry beyond belief that I wasted my time AND money. It could have and SHOULD have been better. Saying that that is just that type of movie is such an empty argument it’s infuriating.

        Oh and to comment on what Kidd Cappone said earlier, if I’m trying to figure out how to stop a portal from working and every bomb I’ve thrown at it bounced out…then by deduction I would assume that it only reacts to biological materials, or Kaiju DNA. Thus I would shove a fucking nuke down a dead carcass of a Category One or Two and drop it right in. That would have happened year goddamn one.

        • Matt Serafini

          I wish Dread Central had a Disqus comment section so I could make 60000000 different accounts and upvote the fuck out of this comment.

          More I think about PacRim, the more I hate it.

        • conundrum

          Hey now, you’re projecting you’re argument with Steve (and apparently Andrew, at some point) onto me here. I said that the majority of the stuff simply didn’t bother me, I would NEVER say that because something is tradition that is how it should be done. I fully acknowledge that things like bad characters are flaws in a story and that the movie would have been superior if it had done something more with them (or in Hunnam’s case, hired somebody else), just in this case it wasn’t enough to turn ME off of the movie.

          The only thing where I arguably took it on the offensive there was about the number of action sequences that were in the movie. Reading over it, I definitely didn’t make it clear, but that was meant to specifically point out that Fini repeatedly said there were only 2 action sequences in the whole movie. One thing that does get me riled up is when I think facts are being screwed up. I suppose something like “action sequence” is an objective term, but I believe that there are at least 3 significant sequences (and it frustrated me that I felt like even the movie’s supporters conceded that there were only 2). Think I’m being pedantic and overly literal? It’s just how I am, I really wish I didn’t get so worked up over stuff like that and I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to find out I was on the autism spectrum.

          Then I threw in that “how much more did you want” which was a bad move on my part as all it really did was antagonize and didn’t really push my point forward, so I do apologize for that.

          “You and Andrew should promote all films with your ringing endorsements of ‘perfectly serviceable’ and ‘decent job’.”

          Yes, I think she did a ‘decent job.’ Would it be great if every movie had the absolute best of everything they were striving for? Damn right. But if I like almost everything about a movie but think that one part is merely decent instead of amazing am I going to damn the entire thing for falling short of perfection? No, I’m not. It seems a general consensus that This Is The End was a really good movie, but some parts seemed a bit inside jokey, or weren’t played to their fullest. I don’t care, that movie was still hilarious and great, despite some parts of it just being ‘decent,’ like the creature design.

          Believe it or not, Buz, I am not attacking you. I tend to be a pretty reasonable and laid back guy who is perfectly okay with differing opinions. I was just stating my opinion in the context of the discussion from the podcast. I don’t expect you to come on here and change your point of view, I’m just expressing mine. And my point of view seemed to be what I thought you wanted from Steve but apparently not; I’m acknowledging the movie’s flaws, and stating that despite them I enjoy it.

    • Mr. Gray

      Entertaining episode, but during the argument about why Elba had to pilot a Jaeger at the end, I was surprised no one brought up that he wanted to back-up Mako. The revelation that he’d raised her was only made a short time before that.

      That, and the fact that he was already dying. There was the foreshadowing at the wall when he said, “Would you rather die here or die in a Jaeger?”

      The movie does have the problem that the side characters are more interesting than the main ones. But as a longtime Buffy fan, I’m used to that.

      I think the best character I’ve seen in a blockbuster this summer so far has been Lois Lane. Which seems bonkers to say, but there it is.

      • The Buz

        To use Kasch and Creepy’s own dumb logic…HOW WAS ELBA SUDDENLY DRIFT GODDAMN COMPATIBLE WITH THE SON (no idea what his name was..again a testament to poor writing) BUT YET NO ONE ELSE WAS EARLIER!?

        So which is it? Anyone can be drift compatible in their giant few hundred people run operation and Elba chooses to just say fuck it and end his life? Or drift compatible people are EXTREMELY rare yet Elba is just suddenly and conveniently drift compatible with “Son”?

        The more time passes the more disappointed I am with Pacific Rim. Could have been incredible. Instead it’s a sub standard monster movie from a director who can do better.

        • nazo

          IIRC, it was set up that Elba was drift compatible with the father, so by the transitive property, he should have been compatible with the son.

        • LifeMi

          Starting to feel the same way, Buz. And I’m a huge Godzilla fan like you and Creepy, but it was a surprise that it wasn’t as great as it should’ve been. I can barely remember what the monsters even look like. By the way, good to see you’re still alive after the Jaws reboot rumor. We all feared for your sanity.

          • The Buz


        • kiddcapone

          Why did it take them over a decade to finally attack the portal? Explosions killed the Kaiju, why not just try to cover the breach with debris or rig up explosives to kill them when they crossed through? They had enough time to attempt it since the attacks were less than frequent.

          Whatever, it was a movie for children, and if you try to analyze the pathetic plot with an adult mentality, the whole think is as logical as Scooby Doo teaming up with Cass Elliot to capture the Green Globs at the Sugar Plum Candy Company…

          • The Buz

            And honestly that’s totally fine, just not what I was looking for.

            But don’t try and sit there and tell me that the characters were perfectly “serviceable” or that the plot made sense.

            • Chernobyl Kinsman

              I enjoyed the film.. but the main characters (if you can call them that) were terrible and needlessly so. I mean the scientists and Ron Pearlman were the only people with actual personalities/anything interesting to say.

              That and the other Jaegers being wiped out way too soon and never getting to do anything cool or kick any arse at all kind of annoyed me. And we barely even got to hear the russian or chinese crews speak. I want to see a film about those guys more than “boring dude with annoying affected american accent from good for one season TV show” and “really cute but sadly not written well japanese lady”. I think her name was Mika? *shrug*

              Still, maybe there’ll be a sequel and they’ll address those issues.. and the robot v monster carnage was good fun. I enjoyed the few visual jokes they threw in as well, especially the toilet one.

    • aliensharkboy

      My ears are exhausted. So much yelling! XD

      I avoided all The Conjuring trailers, all reviews (with the exception of the one on here) and even posters. I went in completely blind and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. But it didn’t leave a mark on me like Sinister did… strangely enough, that film’s Mr Boogie still lingers in the back of my mind when I go to bed.

      On the Pacific Rim subject, I went in so prepared to hate the lead characters that they ended surpassing my expectations and I actually liked them. I thought their shared scenes were pretty entertaining and that they had far more back-story than most characters in blockbusters this year.
      And I also found the final showdown to be wonderfully reminiscent of some Godzilla films (some ended with a Mechagodzilla pilot nearly dying, while crashing the robot to stop Godzilla into the ocean).

      And on the other side of the discussions, Godzilla VS Biollante rocks… I don’t care what anyone says, I will forever love that movie an unreasonable amount. And like Buz said (I think) the Miki Saegusa character was introduced there and became one of the few people to appear in several godzilla films with development and depth. Also, GMK did have some arguably better lead characters than those of Pacific Rim, I will give you that. All flaws aside though, Pacific Rim may be my favorite film of the year.

      Great Dinner for Fiends! I now impatiently await the next one.

      PS: in what form can I send fan mail? I’ve always had some questions to ask you guys.

    • LSD Zombie

      I too have an interesting tale of the paranormal to tell. If you’re a California resident, you might know of the monk who haunts the San Juan Capistrano Mission. At the age of about 10 or 12, I went on a field trip to the Mission and I saw a monk praying in front of the church altar. His clothing was obviously not century appropriate. Sure enough, as the legend goes, I never saw his face. I had no prior knowledge of the story before going on the field trip.

      In the years since, I’ve never experienced anything like that again. I think that has something to do with children being more open-minded than adults. Unlike many adults, kids have no skepticism.

    • kiddcapone

      Very entertaining quarterly DFF. I don’t have any concerns for you, but I will throw out the same suggestion I posted a while ago. I think you should occasionally invite one of us regulars from the site to join in on a DFF episode, maybe every other show. Not only does it encourage people to participate on the site, but it also gives us an opportunity to finally put a voice to a screen name and further enhance the feeling of a fan based community getting together to share in a common love for the genre.

      Comments from the new show: I refuse to ever see Lords of Salem. Fuck Rob Zombie and his wife’s tight little ass. I have no interest in seeing RIPD, The Purge, and Gallow Walkers so I can’t comment.

      I will watch Hatchet III eventually but I feel like they are cartoonish loony-toons for adults. I enjoy when horror/comedy is done correctly, like Army of Darkness, Shawn of the Dead, and Behind the Mask, but I despise shit like Hatchet and Jason X. Being murdered in some horrific way is not grounds for making jokes. You can have humor like in Jason Lives without being totally absurd. A person about to get their head ripped off isn’t going to make a joke at the last second, comedy or not, it’s ludicrous.

      I agree 100% with anyone who refuses to watch Sharknado. I have no interest. I don’t have an infinite amount of time to watch movies, and holy fuck, I waste enough time seeing shitty flicks that I hoped would be good. I don’t want to watch intentionally bad movies just because one of out every 50 might be fun and entertaining. I bet if SyFy made a flick called Vampire Ants it might be good for a laugh, but I’m not interested.

      World War Z sucked except for the end. The only part that held my interest was when they finally got to the lab. It did feel like a completely different movie. But the “cure” was lame and everything else factored in makes the entire film bomb. Big time. I was bored to tears and wanted it to end. They were not zombies, more like CGI mummy leftovers with rabies.

      I thought This is the End was very funny. It wasn’t perfect, some jokes fell flat, while others were rip to be made, and they never happened. It left a lot of potential jokes sitting on the table. Very good comedy, not great.

      I loved The Conjuring. It had a couple issues that kept it from being a perfect experience, but overall it was one of the best supernatural films I’ve seen in years. I will go see it again while it’s still in theaters.

      And now to Pacific Rim. Creepy you are out of your fucking mind. You have taken unabashed fandom to an unfathomable level. Your defense of the characters only makes sense if the film didn’t focus on them for 70% of the runtime. Yes, at the end of the day it’s about Robots vs. Monsters, we know. Yet the final scene is underwater. 3D or not (I didn’t see it in 3D), it’s a ridiculous choice for a final battle. There’s no destruction, you can hardly make out what is happening, and the category 5 monsters are visually not stimulating when there’s no scale to compare them to and the details are hidden because of the environment. So, we’re left with two main characters who no one gives a fuck about, actors who sucked at playing the major roles, more interesting characters who get virtually no screen time, and the climax of the film was the least visually entertaining battle in the entire film. You can’t ignore all the stupid shit that happens in the movie and say, well it’s based on other bad movies that didn’t focus on it either, so A+ success in copying a bad formula. Why not make improvements? Del Toro could have fleshed out shit and made it his own instead of hiding behind previously bad character developing films shot with no budget from the past. All this technology and they still need to walk in place to make the giant robot walk? The pilots need to be compatible unless the two guys at end who want a shot at redemption team up? They are still building walls that are worthless in stopping any monster from going through like a knife through butter? Those giant robots took a beating yet maintained a 100% airtight lock under water?

      I can’t see how anyone above the age of 20 can watch Pacific Rim and find it amazing. That’s the kind of shit only children who still watch cartoons would find entertaining. Hell, when I was a kid I LOVED FLASH GORDON. But today it’s painful to rewatch, and if someone remake the film today, it would be a laughable joke. I couldn’t say, well it followed the blueprint from 1980 so a big thumbs up for making it just as dumb, you set out to make that kind of film! What attention to detail!

      • frank_dracman

        Oh you shut your mouth, kidd. Flash Gordon is one of the first movies I remember seeing in the theater and I love it still today. I will never understand how some people can’t hold on to a little childhood wonderment and enjoy things for nostalgia and memories. You know, that little fuzzy feeling. I don’t do it with everything, just a couple movies and the ’67 Spider-Man cartoons.

        As far as Sharknado goes, there’s always going to be people who don’t like it. That’s fine. I just encourage anyone with a few free hours to at least give it a shot. you’ll be able to tell after the first 15 minutes if it’s something for you. I’m not going to run out and buy T-shirts or sign petitions for Sharknado 3, but we had some fun watching it.

        I found This is the End incredibly dumb. When it was over my first complaint was (spoilers?) “they spent like 10 minutes talking about jizzing all over the house”. Then you guys go on like it was the funniest scene in the movie. That’s why you can critique comedy. Apparently it was really funny and I ‘m in the minority.

        When I saw these kids come into the Conjuring with what looked like their old siblings I thought “holy shit, these kids are too young for something like this”. Come the end of the movie I thought “yeah, they’ll be just fine”. The movie was not a R. I feel like the rating was a promotional thing to heighten everyone’s expectations. Man I was bored as shit through that movie.

        • kiddcapone

          You missed my point about Flash Gordon. Yes, I loved it as a kid and I still like it today, strictly for nostalgic and my childhood memory reasons…BUT if they made another Flash Gordon film in 2013, not 1980, and John Carpenter signed up to direct it, I would expect an upgrade over the previous film. I wouldn’t give him a pass just because I hold a special place in my heart for the original. I would expect better from a competent director.

          The “formula” excuse is weak to me. Why do people watch Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street? For the characters? Nope, they want to see the kills. YET…some films in the series clearly stood out over the others. Why? Because the characters increased the end product. The Final Chapter and Dream Warriors gave us all the kills we wanted, but it also delivered with some memorable characters and ideas that separated it from the pack.

          • LSD Zombie

            Absolutely spot-on examples. Even though there are giant monsters in the movie, they’re not the central focus, the humans are. So it’s unacceptable that Raleigh and Mako are so fucking boring to watch. I would have rather watched Idris Elba and Ron Perlman co-pilot Gipsy Danger.

            • The Buz

              They weren’t just boring for me unfortunately. They illicit a Rene Zellwegger emotional response from me.

              Anger. Hate.

              Basically if I went dark side every time they came on screen.

          • frank_dracman

            When you said Flash Gordon was “painful to rewatch” I interpreted that as you don’t like it today. I just had to jump on my white horse and come to it’s defense. That movie will be forever awesome. Of all the movies you could have mentioned, it had to be my beloved Flash.

            I do understand the whole formula thing. That’s why I thought Creepy sounded insane. To be honest that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that argument and I was just sitting there thinking how absurd it was. I don’t want to call it blind fanboyism but it sure sounded like he was reaching.

            • arandomthought

              I’m going to send you the complete scifi series remake to fuck with your flash memories franky!

              I really enjoyed Pacific Rim even though the characters were mostly cookie cutter, *spoilers* 2 of the mechs get taken out far too quickly *end spoilers*, and there was no “hull breach” under water(this almost pulled me out of the movie entirely because I don’t think it’s unreasonable that everything inside the mechs are waterproof, and the suits are airtight and sealed with an oxygen feed).

      • nazo

        You can’t ignore all the stupid shit that happens in the movie and say, well it’s based on other bad movies that didn’t focus on it either, so A+ success in copying a bad formula.

        You’re slightly missing the point there. For people who love those movies, it’s not a bad formula. It’s following a formula we love, even if it doesn’t make sense to you. (Kind of like how some people love it when nothing happens in a Nic Refn movie.)

        • Uncle Creepy

          Exactly my point.

          • MonsterMash

            I’m with you all the way. I loved everything about it.

        • The Buz

          Well I love that formula too. In those movies. Fuck me for wanting a little more from a movie directed by a more than competent director that made me spend 70% of its movie with characters/actors that came off like they were from the first draft and were only given One take to deliver a performance.

          • nazo

            You sound like the movie personally offended you.

            I think another good comparison for Pacific Rim is one of my favorite movies ever, Dark City. Honestly, the two leads in that movie are pretty bland, but the movie works so well because of the visual style, the unique worldbuilding, the intriguing story, and the supporting characters (the scientist, detective, and the rest). I loved Pacific Rim for all of the same reasons.

    • frank_dracman

      Creepy sounded off his nut when they were talking about Pacific Rim. Buz had some valid issues with the characters and their development (or lack thereof) and the argument of “Del Toro was being true to the genre” is insane. I totally side with Buz on this one. Great movie, but Del Toro is more than capable of creating interesting characters and we were expecting more. Creepy did man up and apologize at the end so it’s all good.

      Entertaining job as always, gents. Bloody good show and all that jazz.

    • nazo

      I preferred the characters in Pacific Rim to the characters in Top Gun. I also don’t understand the hate for Rinko Kikuchi. The main complaint seemed to be that she didn’t speak perfect English, which I thought added something to the movie.

      I still want to know what Foy thought of Pacific Rim.

      • Foywonder

        Saw Pacific Rim twice. Really loved it the first time. Second time, still enjoyed it but my the thinness of the lead characters became really glaring. Del Toro should have shaved it down at least 15 minutes. I pretty much decided to stay quiet during that whole exchange because everyone sounded insane and it was sucking my will to live.

        • LSD Zombie

          I’ve dealt with insanity my entire life; my family hails from Eastern Europe! I’ve experienced a great many arguments with my family. But they were never really serious; mostly just hilarious! 😀

        • nazo

          Interesting. I loved it the first time, and have been meaning to go back. I basically agreed with everything Andrew said during that argument. (Part of it might be that I absolutely love Del Toro’s aesthetic-it’s a large part of why Hellboy 2 might be my favorite superhero movie.)