(PNS reporting from EL PASO) Fabian Ramirez expressed deep disappointment Wednesday night as he left the 7PM showing of Pacific Rim at the Premiere Cinema 18 at Bassett Place Mall.
The 42-year-old father of three teenagers told PNS he heard the “movie was about MEChA” and “wanted to expose my kids to a movie about Chicanos.” Ramirez, a former chair of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano(a) de Aztlan (MEChA) at the University of Texas campus here, gathered his children Vladimir, Xochitl and Emiliano for what he hoped would be a big family night out: Seeing “Chicanos fighting against the power structure of AmeriKKKa.”
Instead, Ramirez found the “the movie was about these big robots piloted by military shooting monsters.”
“Pacific Rim,” he sadly concluded, “is not about my MEChAs.”
The film, directed by Guillermo del Toro, tells the story of giant robots created by humanity to battle space aliens that have emerged through an intersellar portal in the Pacific Ocean.
PNS reached out to East El Paso comic book store owner Julian Sustaitia, who explained that in “Japanese animation, also known as ‘anime,’ the nomenclature of enormous robots piloted by humans are called ‘mechas’ like in ‘mechanical.’” Sustaitia showed PNS two pictures demonstrating the differences between two mechas, a mecha from the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam 00, and a MEChA from El Paso Community College wearing a Subcomandante Marcos t-shirt.
“As you can see one mecha has a GN Drive with mobile armor and is named Exia and the other MEChA has long hair, calls people reactionary, and is named Mario. It is an easy mistake if one doesn’t watch Robotech, instead just reads Gilles Deleuze,” Sustaitia said. “The movie was chingon and almost reached the awesomeness of My Neighbor Totoro!”
Ramirez said his confusion was compounded because the film’s director has a Mexican name. “I was sure that a movie directed by a Chicano named Guillermo del Toro that it would be about MEChA’s goal of rebuilding Aztlan, which reached to the Pacific Rim. It was just a bad movie.”
Sixteen-year-old Xochitl Ramirez disagreed with her father:
I loved the movie and I loved that Stringer Bell was in it.
Her thirteen-year-old brother Vladamir was meh:
It wasn’t as disappointing as Superman, but I did love the violence.
The youngest Ramirez sibling, Emiliano, as usual, had a “different” response:
It was good, but am looking to forward to seeing Before Midnight with Mom this weekend.
“I miss Roger Ebert; he would always steer me in the right direction,” Ramirez Senior sighed.