Not Me asks:

Could the giant Torterra in Detective Pikachu be linked to dynamax somehow? Arguably, they did not have much of a purpose in the movie…

Proooooooobably not.  The movie was filmed in early 2018, and the script was written in 2016-2017, at which point Sword and Shield would have been in a very early stage of development (presumably Game Freak would still have had all hands on deck for the release of Ultra Smoon later that year).  I’m not sure even Game Freak would have known about Dynamaxing at that point – or at least, it could have been only one of several ideas they were tossing around for generation VIII’s flagship mechanic.  Even if they were already certain that Dynamaxing was going to be a core feature of the next game, Detective Pikachu was written by American screenwriters who would have had no more special insight into Game Freak’s plans for the next generation than the rest of us.  Some higher-up at the Pokémon Company could have told the screenwriters “hey, slip in a giant Pokémon somehow – no reason!” (you wouldn’t tell them why, because that’s an unnecessary risk of a leak), but honestly that seems to me like a weird process to go through.  I think it’s more likely to be a coincidence.

Dosidicus Giygas asks:

Perhaps the darkest part of Detective Pikachu is that, despite generally depicting a relatively utopian society, the Pokemon world apparently still has unpaid interns.

You hear that, Ryme City?  This is the dark side of your “corporate utopia”!  Down with capitalism; hang the parasites!

uh

I mean

I don’t think Lucy ever says she doesn’t get paid, and I don’t know what the norm is in the media sector in the real world.  She says she writes listicles, so maybe she gets paid for each piece she publishes, but doesn’t have a traditional salary (still a pretty precarious position)?  In any case, though, I think it’s an intended facet of Detective Pikachu’s tone that Ryme City is not the utopian society it presents itself as.  The ideals it was founded on are not enforced, and the man who defined those ideals… well, he turns out to be not such a good dude.  Pokémon normally likes its cities to be bright, shiny and cheerful, which is what Ryme City looks like in the game.  The movie has a noir aesthetic that makes its version of Ryme City… well, not outright pessimistic, it’s still a Pokémon story, but it’s certainly grimier than anything we’d see in Alola.  The fact that a city founded by a billionaire CEO, and apparently built from the ground up by his company in the space of ten years, might turn out to have skimped on social programs and/or be somewhat exploitative of its low-level workers is… well, I wouldn’t exactly call it a glaring inconsistency in the worldbuilding, put it that way.

Detective Pikachu analysis and review (part 1 of 2)

Yes, that’s right; it’s time to take a break from reviewing generation VII Pokémon and take a look at THE CINEMATIC EVENT OF THE DECADE, the movie so many of us have spent basically our entire lives waiting for: Legendary Pictures’ Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (hereafter just Detective Pikachu because… come on, Pokémon Company International; just get the fµ¢£ over yourselves).  Clearly it is my responsibility, as a mad person writing about Pokémon on the internet, to discuss whether I think Detective Pikachu is a successful movie.

…I mean, [spoiler alert], the answer’s yes, but we’re going to talk about why.

I’m interested in this film on two levels.  First, this is arguably the first Pokémon movie that is meant to have mass appeal outside of just fans of the Pokémon games.  A lot of Pokémon movies are, let’s face it, vehicles for featuring legendary Pokémon that play prominent roles in recent or upcoming games, and their writing is… well, let’s call it hit-and-miss.  Guys… I love the Lugia movie as much as anyone, but Casablanca it is not.  Frankly, I think you can make a plausible, albeit facetious, argument that up until now the best Pokémon movie was actually Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  Now, Detective Pikachu isn’t Casablanca either, but it is at least a decent movie in its own right (which is a high bar for movies based on video games!).  The second thing I’m interested in is that, aside from just being live action, Detective Pikachu is the first Pokémon movie that is creatively independent from the Pokémon anime (and doesn’t feature Ash Ketchum), which makes it a fundamentally new type of addition to the franchise that has its own take on Pokémon’s core themes.  So, tomorrow I’m going to talk about why Detective Pikachu is specifically a good Pokémon movie, and today I’m going to talk about why it’s a decent movie generally: in short, it’s well-cast and acted, with (I will argue) a coherent theme that ties in with the main character’s arc and its central conflict, and was, at the very least, not a commercial flop.  And, y’know, some significant flaws, which I also am going to talk about because they will eat at me if I don’t.

I was going to start this whole thing with a synopsis, but frankly I tried to write one and it was just too long, and there will be other summaries on the internet that you can read first if you don’t want to see the movie but are still interested in what I have to say, so I’m just going to get straight to analysis.  Please bear in mind that although I took some notes during the movie, quotations are from memory and may not be verbatim, and of course, it should go without saying: HERE BE SPOILERS!

Continue reading “Detective Pikachu analysis and review (part 1 of 2)”

Detective Pikachu top 5 scenes

Hello Pokémaniacs, Jim the Editor here.

Now, I’m sure you’ve all been waiting with baited breath for Chris’ thoughts on Detective Pikachu; well, I have some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that Chris has a very long post – so long that it might turn out to be 2 posts – with all the thoughts he can muster about the long-awaited live-action Pokémon adaptation. 

The bad news is that there were some minor structural issues I had with the draft and Chris has begrudgingly agreed to make a few changes here and there to ensure that we put out only the best content for all of you.   

In the meantime, because we promised Detective Pikachu content today, we decided to give you all a special Jim the Editor post containing my 5 favourite scenes from the movie!

There will be spoilers – you have been warned!

Continue reading “Detective Pikachu top 5 scenes”

Detective Pikachu things

ugggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh

FINE

I’m going to be hashtag-relevant and talk about the new Detective Pikachu trailer from the other day

Look, the raw, unvarnished truth is that I think all hype is dumb and everyone should just sit down, shut up, and wait for the movie in an unfurnished stone cell in perfect, motionless silence without eating, drinking or breathing. But I guess that’s the kind of attitude that people around me are always calling “not normal” or “disturbingly aloof” or “please put down that Necronomicon,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. I’ll just have to say something and get on the record as being just as wrong and dumb as everyone else.

Continue reading “Detective Pikachu things”

RandomAccess asks:

So, how about that Detective Pikachu trailer?

(Yes, this is how far behind I am; I’M WORKING ON IT)

(I’M FINE)

Well, mostly I’m just really excited that this is apparently a Pokémon movie that is going to try to be a decent movie in its own right, something that can be enjoyed by people who aren’t already die-hard Pokémon fans and isn’t just product placement for the latest event-exclusive legendary Pokémon (which, let’s be honest, is what a lot of Pokémon movies set in the world of the anime tend to devolve into).  Ryan Reynolds’ performance as Pikachu seems promising too; he may not be Danny DeVito, but he’s got a nice balance of heartfelt and snarky that I think should serve the premise of the film well.  I like that, although the most prominently-featured Pokémon are first-generation classics (presumably to draw the nostalgia crowd), there are a few newer Pokémon as well, apparently focusing on the ones who are already big cross-media stars like Greninja.

Jim the Editor is not a fan of the fuzzy, vaguely felt look of the Pokémon in the trailer, and I have to admit some of them are a bit disconcerting.  It’s difficult to put creatures designed for anime into a live action movie, and some level of dissonance is almost unavoidable – I suspect there’s an argument that it’s a bad idea even to try.  On the other hand, there’s still a prejudice against animation in the West that makes it hard for people to take an animated movie seriously or put much effort into it unless it’s pitched mainly at young children, so that may be a necessary sacrifice.  I think we’ll get used to it, though, especially if this isn’t Pokémon’s last foray into live-action.

Also no-one in the trailer can pronounce “Pokémon” (learn to e-acute, people!) but that’s kinda par for the course for English-speakers.