>comparison #4 - the pose
Yet again, warmer colours traded for more brightness. I'd say the new one still looks good. An example of how the bright white can work. I think the trick lies in making it glint and shine without making it glossy. The battle damage looks nice and adds another layer of detail. I love the old one though. The morning/evening look and gentler shade that doesn't completely obscure sets a strangely positive mood. Comfy, even.
>comparison #5 - group shot
Not exactly the most well-regarded moment in either case. But new the excessive filter just drowns out the other jaegers' colours and the highly reduced shadows make it that extra video gamey. I like how the original had Gipsy mostly shadowed. It's interesting at least. I also found an edit which further darkened it.
Can't understate how important the wonderfully done water effects are too. The waterline practically acts as a divider and the water physics add to the sense of scale similarly to how the movements of the jaegers do.
The Knifehead fight is visually the most raw and dour. The only sources of light are Gipsy's searchlights and the occasional lightning under the midnight storm. There's no music for the first half either. Great tone setter. It really drives home that the common emotion when facing a kaiju is pants-shitting terror, even with a jaeger. Whatever bravado Raleigh had is gone by the time he's begging his brother to shoot it dead.
The most "fun" the movie got was when Gipsy arrived in Hong Kong. The arenas brightened up considerably, first with the blues and oranges of Leatherback and then the neon lights of Otachi. The earlier double event moved up from Knifehead through the addition of distant lights from the background cityscape. The final battle is lit by searchlights, vents, the trench and Breach itself. Darker, but still colourful.
Whatever one can moan about "night" or "rain", there are unique qualities within each scene. There is variety even with the thematic constant of darkness and water. A variety that is strangely missing in Uprising, given how much freedom it had. I don't feel there's much to celebrate about daylight when they end up being the same shade of noon and the setpieces themselves already suffering from other problems. Not a striking sunrise or sunset. Not even the gloomy, cloudy Siberia made it.
The way I see it, the first film used the night as a means to play around with light. Is it not the point then, that the day should be an opportunity to experiment with darkness?