Reviewception 1 – Rex Reed’s Review of Pacific Rim

If you’re a Reviewman regular, you’ve (hopefully) already read my thoughts on Pacific Rim.  Whether you agreed or disagreed, I at the very least hope you found it grammatically sound.  More importantly, I hope it was enlightening and factually correct, two things Rex Reed’s review of the same film definitely is not.  Please open it and follow along with me.

This confused, untrue mish-mashed turd Mr. Reed is attempting to pass off as a review should never have gone to print, and whoever’s in charge at The New York Observer should have their eyes and head checked by qualified professionals.


Paragraph One

The problems start in the very first sentence: “Everyone knows summer is a dumping ground for rubbish.”  I have near-newborn cousins who can tell me that summer is in fact a season.  It’s not a tangible object like, say, a toilet, verge or garbage tip, and therefore you can’t dump stuff on it.  I don’t care which way you’re trying to swing it.  If you want to make bold claims and write off an entire season based solely on the content of the local cinema, at least illustrate your point competently.

Rex concludes his opening paragraph by stating that “The result is being called, by people with intelligence and taste, Godzilla Meets Predator.”

Firstly, this sentence is confusing.  I know both movies are regarded as classics, and if people with intelligence and taste are calling Pacific Rim a convergence of two classics, that must be a good thing, right?  So why did Rex Reed give the movie a paltry ¼ rating?

Secondly, Pacific Rim is not being called Godzilla Meets Predator by anyone, let alone people with “intelligence and taste”.  Quickly Googling “Godzilla Meets Predator” yields 1,460,000 results, and while I’m not prepared to scour through all of them, nothing from the first five pages references Pacific Rim in any way, shape or form, except Mr Reed’s questionable piece.

There are probably good reasons for this, so let’s lay them out.  If Godzilla is being likened to the Kaiju, then the Predators must represent the Jaegers.  The Godzilla reference is justified, indeed, the influence of that film is evident in Pacific Rim’s antagonists, the hulking Kaiju beasts.  They’re skyscraper-sized monsters who appear set on wiping out humanity.  They’re similar in size, appearance and intention to Godzilla.

The Predator, on the other hand, is an armoured alien not much larger than the average Arnold Schwarzenegger, who uses an arsenal of weapons to ritually hunt humans and Xenomorphs for no purpose other than sport.  Jaegers are robots built by humans, operated by humans tasked with saving humans.  In many ways, they’re the exact opposite of Predators, hence why no one with half a brain would liken a Predator to a Jaeger.

Let me sum up Rex Reed’s equation here.

Giant monster that kills humanity = giant monster that kills humanity.  Fair enough.

Sentient alien that hunts humans for sport = inanimate robot vehicle piloted by humans for the purpose of defending humanity.  No way.

Paragraph Two

Poor Rex Reed loses his train of thought here.  Let me highlight his derailing: “I suppose some effort should be made to extend at least a one-star rating for computer graphics, since that is all this incredible waste of time and money is about, but don’t look for anything that remotely resembles smart dialogue or inventive technology. Even the special effects are cheesy and stupid.”  Wait… so did you like the special effects or not?

Rex proceeds to go on a bizarre, disjointed tangent about how unfortunate it is that people play videogames and watch escapist popcorn cinema instead of playing poker.  It’s a cheap, over-generalised shot at the demographic of this film, and it’s uncalled for.


Paragraph Three

If this review has any merit, it’s that it has a twist in the third paragraph: it appears as though Rex Reed hasn’t even seen the movie!  “In Pacific Rim, millions of lives and cities that weren’t already destroyed by the zombies in World War Z have been wiped out by some kind of intergalactic holocaust”.  It’s explicitly stated in the first five minutes of the film that the Kaiju came from a portal between dimensions beneath the Pacific Ocean.  Therefore, by definition, the invasion cannot have been “intergalactic”.  I would have accepted “interdimensional”.

“Kaijus look like a cross between anthropomorphic sea urchins and T. rexes.”  T Rexes is a solid comparison.  However, last time I checked, a sea urchin was a small ball of spines.  There is nothing in this film that even closely resembles a small ball of spines.


This is a sea urchin.


These are Kaiju.  Unlike the sea urchin, a Kaiju won’t fit in the palm of your hand, and also has a face.  These are just differences I whipped up then, I’m sure you can find a few of your own.


“The only way to fight them is to invent monsters of our own called “Jaegers”—steel robots the size of the Chrysler Building with astronauts inside acting as pilots.”  Again with the space stuff… really?  Calling a Jaeger Pilot an astronaut is like calling me a deep sea diver: I haven’t got the relevant qualifications and I’ve never been deeper than three metres below sea level.

“The last surviving pilot to operate inside a Jaeger is a man named Becket…” Wrong.  There are clearly three operational Jaeger teams, two teams of two and one of three.  That’s a grand total of seven living pilots.

“Becket launches a 2,400-pound mega-nuclear bomb against the remainder of the underwater Kaijus from inside an outdated, condemned Jaeger that is ready for the junk pile.”  Wrong.  Becket’s mission is to co-pilot a Jaeger and defend a separate Jaeger that has been tasked with delivering the bomb.


Paragraph Five

Did you think Reed was done with the twists?  Think again!  Twist two: Rex Reed doesn’t actually know about movies!

Pacific Rim was directed, more or less, by Mexico’s Guillermo del Toro. His debut film was a neat little horror called Kronos, but I have personally disliked everything he’s done since. I was not a fan of the labored, overrated Pan’s Labyrinth, and I hated the equally contrived and pretentious ghost story The Orphanage.”  This is perhaps Rex Reed’s most embarrassing passage.  Pan’s Labyrinth is one of my favourite films of all time, but hey that’s just me.  However, Guillermo del Toro did not direct The Orphanage, JA Bayona did.  That’s not my opinion.  That’s a fact.  If one has had a journalism degree for over half a century, one should be learned in the art of collecting facts.  Or, you could just do a fucking Google search.

Reed ends his review with a classic piece of nonsense speak, the skidmark atop a stinking heap of paragraph-based poo.  “It’s important in a mindless frolic like this to find someone to root for, but although the humans knock themselves out in Pacific Rim, they’re pure cardboard. Sometimes you’d much rather get to know the robots.”  Mate, this sentence, and your review, are mindless frolics.  I’ve seen more coherent passages in a tin of Heinz Alphabetti Spaghetti.  If you can decode this absolute ripper of a closing passage send me your answers on a postcard, please let me know.

As for this review, I give it 1 out of 5, only because of the twists.


Reviewman Countdown 4 – Perth’s Best Burgers

Food trends come and go, much like the strange Mini Disc fad of the mid 90s.  However, unlike the concept of making CDs look like floppy disks again, the appeal of a hefty piece of meat shoehorned between two pieces of bread is ever present.  Perth has a good number of contenders in this burger-based Wrestlemania, but who boasts the concoction that takes the title belt?  It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. I took a look at the best burgers in the west, stemming from five notable burger joints and a surprise high-end restaurant.  For the sake of alliteration, let’s call this list Six Sexy Burgers.  I know “burgers” doesn’t start with an “S”, but we’ll roll with it.


6. CRAM $13.50 – Alfred’s Kitchen.

This casual Guildford outlet is one of the most loved in Perth, and with good reason.  The CRAM itself is one of them.  The most calorie-packed burger on a menu that’ll seriously cause the loosening of belts and popping off of buttons, it’s a classic “The Lot” burger.  Egg, bacon, cow two ways (beef and steak) and some relatively soggy salads make this more like a supercharged Double Whopper rather than a gourmet burger, but it has its charm.  The decent price:content ratio gets it bonus points, though it isn’t the cheapest on the list.  Fun fact: Matt Preston named this as his favourite burger in Australia.  The fact that he has the diet of a garbage truck and the body of a walrus should indicate to you that if you’re looking for healthy, nutritious food, you’re barking up the wrong burger joint.

Alfred's Kitchen on Urbanspoon


5. Goat’s Cheese & Hummus $14.50 – Grill’d.

With a price as suspect as the lack of a letter “E” in the restaurant name, you’d be hoping for something pretty outstanding from this lamb burger.  It delivers, with a simple blend of ingredients that works.  Smooth, rich goats cheese is offset by the nuttiness of the hummus, two flavours that combine beautifully with the no fuss meatiness of the lamb.  Being a massive chain, expect some inconsistencies in quality.  Don’t be surprised to find the odd sandy lettuce leaf or grisly patty on your visit.

Grill'd Mount Lawley on Urbanspoon


4. Day Dreamer $12.20 – Bilby’s. 

Head up Davies Road in leafy Mount Claremont and you’ll come across a teensy tiny burger joint with a capacity of around nine diners.  Bilby’s holds a special place in my heart, having produced the first truly “gourmet” burger that I laid tastebuds upon.  To this day, I’m pleased to report that my favourite burger at the diner, the Day Dreamer, holds its own, against far more expensive entrants, I might add.  This chicken burger packs a decent hunk of breast marinated in thyme and all manner of native pepper berries, giving the traditionally boring white meat a nice herby zing and a little bit of heat.  It’s garnished with the usual salad greens and tomato mix, along with melted cheese, bacon and a beautifully silky avocado cream.  Being the cheapest burger on the list is a huge plus.
Bilby's Chargrilled Burgers on Urbanspoon


3. The Beef Big Smoke $15.50 – Burger Bistro. 

The price is as high as the burger itself.  If your wallet can brave one, and your jaw the other, the payoff is good.  A flavoursome Angus patty is engulfed in the obligatory salads, but the smoky barbecue sauce, quality Emmental cheese, pancetta and garlic mayo are the true keys to the magic.  The crispiness of the bread is a nice touch, which also prevents the burger from breaking apart through the combination of meat juice, cheese juice, sauce and all sorts of other juices.  Possibly the most filling burger on this list.
The Burger Bistro on Urbanspoon


2. Mozzarella Chicken $14.50 – Jus Burgers. 

Jus is seen by some as the undisputed king of the Perth burger scene, and I tend to agree.  They don’t overcomplicate things by loading ingredients in between bread, instead focusing on nailing what’s in each.  Perfectly cooked chicken tenderloins, with a little light charring for that inimitable taste of fire, are the centrepiece.  The little touches make a huge difference too, like fantastically crisp lettuce; and lightly grilled, salted and oiled bread.  It’s held together by a house-made pesto and notoriously expensive, fresh tasting buffalo mozzarella.  It’s not literally held together though – this thing is a nightmare to eat, even if you cut it in half with the provided steak knife.  Pack a bib, make sure no one’s looking, then lick it all up or soak it with bread & chips.
Jus Burgers on Urbanspoon


1. Rockpool Burger ($24) – Rockpool Bar & Grill.

Neil Perry is known for many things.  Ponytails, QANTAS First and Business Class menus, steak, fine-dining, and having the most successful high-end group of restaurants in Australia.  I’m here to talk up the burger, tucked sneakily away on the bar menu, which is not only the best in Perth, but may well be the best in Australia.  Virtually everything on offer is made in-house, from the pillowy bun, through to the tangy onion and zucchini pickle, amazing chilli jam, and of course the patty.  Using assorted cuts of David Blackmore’s Wagyu Beef, which are finely minced, seasoned and formed into generous slabs before being cooked medium rare, this is a serious piece of beef.  This isn’t that low marble score crap you get at some restaurants either though.  This is some of the only 9+ Wagyu beef you can get in the country.  Say what you will about the $24 asking price, which will get you the burger and absolutely nothing else… this is a literal double handful of explosive flavours, and is the best burger I’ve ever eaten, by a distance.
Rockpool Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Found any better options?  Let me know, I’d bloody love to chow down on them.


PS: “But… I’m a vegetarian…”

Fantastic, so is my sister!  Luckily for the protein-challenged, there are several vegetarian options at these eateries.  Stay tuned for my list very soon.