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  1.  A step from the norm, but only a step.


    As far as monster movies go, Godzilla was a fun flop, Transformers was huge then trailed off like some fizzing, salty slug, the beautiful, infrequent monsters of Monsters, and seeing Stephen Merchant in anything is always a shock. Not counting the forthcoming, very exciting-looking Godzilla reboot coming in 2014 (starring Bryan Cranston!), Pacific Rim is most definitely one of the best- as far as originality, diversity of ideas, incredible acting, (mostly) seamless plot, this film is hands-down one of the best monster films to date. You have to see it for yourself to fully grasp the intensity and depth of the world Guillermo Del Toro has created for us. You can see clear inklings of the same scatterbug-mind in his other films- Pan's Labyrinth, The Orphanage, Hellboy, and his earlier, influentially steampunk/twistedly gothic ways. I think it's important to mention that even if perhaps you think his previous films have maybe relied on the sets, props, characters and general scenery to impress you, this film does all that, has an excellent cast, and keeps things as darkly comical as ever. This was a huge project for Del Toro and if you want to watch a relaxed film that is genuinely brilliantly thought out and executed, Pacific Rim is my recommendation. Seriously- help Mr. Del Toro out and give him your money!