Saturday 19 December 2009

A Sort of Extended me too Blog


Over on the BBC website is a clip of Fede Alvarez's short film "Ataque de Panico" (Panic Attack), also on Vultures Blog in my side-bar list. I just felt I had to write something about this on my Blog too.

Apart from the Transformer movies that have come out, which feature giant sentient mecha, there's not much out featuring giant piloted battlemechs. We have been poorly served of films about my favourite gaming background. Now obviously Avatar is out, but the focus there is not really on the mecha as such either, though I'm sure it will be fun to watch. 

However, for years the BattleTech community has wanted a movie that did the background justice, and this may just be the movie, but I'm not holding my breath on this one you understand.



  1. Good video, a lot of attention to detail, but it suffers from a few flaws.

    First, why attack with missiles and aircraft when in the end they just go nuclear and blow it all up anyway? I appreciate things getting wrecked, but the explosion at the end was a throwaway that made the entire preceding four minutes pointless (from the invader's viewpoint, anyway).

    Second, why can't the director go out and look at the way really big things move in real life? Mass is mass, and those multi-ton robots were laughingly jerky - just like nearly every other iteration I have ever seen of the damn things. Even Transformers ignored physics at certain points. When you add two forces, they give you a vector. You get a certain kind of motion, you have to lean into turns, your limbs don't abruptly start and start with stepper motor precision. Those things moved like toys at a toylike scale. It was the first thing I noticed and was very distracting.

    Sorry, it *was* made on a $300 budget. But really, the research would have been free.


  2. And another thing. Why are the robots humaniform if they don't ever use their full range of motion? I understand ponderous, but they were moving like a 90-year old man with a walker and asthma. That wasn't an invader's stride - that was a shuffle.

    I think they *can't* use their full range of motion, and it may be due to the software limits of the production. Fine. The human form is good for many general purpose things, but blowing stuff while moving at ludicrous speed is not one of them.



  3. Thanks for the video link, Pink! Considering how often giant robots are showing up as side shows in sci-fi flicks (exoskeletons in the Matrix sequels, Terminator Salvation, and the District 9 finale), I wonder if piloted walkers are going to be as ubiquitous as gunplay.

    @Steve: I actually had the impression that the Earthlings had turned the tide and started to win, which would make that final explosion an attempt to turn a lose into a draw. As for your third point, did the aliens ever run into a situation which *required* them to use their full range of motion? (I can't remember if it's in BBC's clip, but if you click through to youtube, at one point a robot pops up after -apparently- crawling through a building.)

  4. Mmm. You may be right about turning the tide, it seemed to me there was so much going on in the air that there was no clear indication of who was 'winning'.

    Maybe the whole purpose of the invasion with these Mecha was to terrorize. I don't know. Blowing up large buildings would do that, but not much else in a military sense.

    No, they did not get into situations requiring full motion but they did shuffle and if you are not going to take advantage of the human form, why bother with it? I did not see them raise their arms above shoulder level to launch rockets - and if the rockets did not care where they were pointed, why put them in the arms?

    Eh. I think about this stuff too much.