Bash and Pop

The Purge: written and directed by James DeMonaco; starring Ethan Hawke (James Sandin), Lena Headey (Mary Sandin), Max Burkholder (Charlie Sandin), Adelaide Kane (Zoey Sandin), Edwin Hodge (Bloody Stranger), and Rhys Wakefield (Polite Leader) (2013): Efficient little dystopic pot-boiler that would probably have benefitted from having a no-name cast. Still, the actors are fine in this story of an America that purges its violent tendencies every year with 12 hours of state-sanctioned violence. Yes, it’s the Red Hour from the original Star Trek episode “The Return of the Archons.” Rich people either hide behind fancy security systems or go out hunting the poor; the poor run around and hide. The allegory is so transparent that I’m not sure it qualifies as allegory. Less than 90 minutes long, though, including credits! Huzzah! Lightly recommended.

Pacific Rim: written by Travis Beacham and Guillermo del Toro; directed by Guillermo del Toro; starring Charlie Hunnam (Raleigh Becket), Idris Elba (Pentecost), Rinko Kikuchi (Mako Mori), Burn Gorman (Gottlieb), Charlie Day (Geiszler), and Ron Perlman (Hannibal Chau) (2013): Still fun the second time around, even on the home screen. About the only problem is that on a smaller scale, a couple of the giant robot-armour fighters are virtually indistinguishable from one another in the final battle scene. Or maybe I’m just getting old. Still, pretty much the modern gold standard for giant robots punching giant monsters. Highly recommended.

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