3D Blu-ray Review Pacific Rim: THE HTF 3D ADDICT REVIEW

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]
    What can I say? I love 3D! From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content. I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite. That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT. I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky. However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation. These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves. I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum. My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released. As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.



    [​IMG]
    Pacific Rim

    Studio: Warner Bros.
    Product Release: October 15, 2013
    Ratio: 1.85:1
    Audio: DTS-HD Master English 7.1; 5.1 Dolby Digital English and French
    Running Time: 131 minutes
    Rating: PG-13

    [​IMG]
    On A Scale 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5
    3D Separation: 5
    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 5


    "Today we are canceling the Apocalypse!"


    I begin writing this review with a pit in my stomach knowing that I am about
    to show a bit of disappointment towards a film that many members of this forum
    having been speaking quite highly of. While I realize Pacific Rim was one of the
    most popular box-office films of the year, I can't help but feel that its success was
    based on the legion of young viewers who packed theaters, satisfying their yearn
    for CGI-laden mindless entertainment. Not that it's a bad thing -- for it's exactly
    what what director Guillermo del Toro intended and delivers for the film's entire
    133 minute running length.

    Yet, oddly, sitting through this noisy and complicated film, I couldn't help but be
    mesmerized by the visual overload of high-tech eye candy, beautifully enhanced
    by some of the best 3D I have seen to date. Popcorn flicks don't get any bigger
    than this.

    [​IMG]

    At its heart, Pacific Rim is a nod to the popular Japanese monster movies of the
    1960s. The monsters of this film are the "Kaiju," enormous creatures who have come
    through a dimensional rift at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Their aim is to colonize
    Earth and claim it their own. With the end of the world clearly upon mankind, the only
    means of combatting the invasion is with the use of Jaegers, colossal robots that are
    manned by two human pilots who share a neuro bridge (known as a "drift"). The heroes
    of our story, Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and a Japanese woman named Mako
    (Rinko Kikuchi) are the last best qualified Jaeger pilots to take on the Kaiju. However,
    both have enough emotional baggage that make for a dangerous neural drift. Can these
    pilots overcome their inner fears, combine forces and save mankind? Do I really need
    to answer that question?

    Watching this film on the home screen you can immediately tell that it was shot entirely
    within the digital realm. Though it retains a video quality look, it's a flawless presentation
    that offers the ultimate clarity and detail without a hint of background grain or noise. Colors
    are neon-rich and vibrant while offering concrete black levels.

    [​IMG]

    What I was amazed to find, after my viewing this afternoon, is that Guillermo del Toro
    never intended Pacific Rim to be a 3D film. It was actually Warner Bros. who decided
    to upconvert the film months after its production. I mention that I was amazed simply
    because it was difficult for me to tell whether this was shot natively in 3D or not. This
    is certainly one of the most outstanding upconversions I have ever seen which is obviously
    attributed towards the studio putting 50 long weeks of effort into making sure it was done
    correctly. The level of depth that is conveyed in this film is enormous and seemingly infinite.
    I don't think I have ever quite seen this level of depth used before in a film of this kind. Cities
    and their skyscrapers look massive in scope. There's a moment in the middle of the film
    where a Kaigu and Jaeger are battling each other in the middle of Tokyo, as a tiny helicopter
    comes into view. The perspective in size difference is just amazing to see. Ghosting is
    only mildly evident in a few shots, but overall, mostly unnoticeable.

    What audiences will really enjoy is the level of added element effects that really stand
    out in 3D. Falling snow, pounding rain and flying debris are constantly thrown to the front
    of the viewing area. Despite this being a conversion, there are many times that those
    elements seem as if they are happening outside and in front of the viewing window. All
    of this looks pretty spectacular at times. I would go on record to say that this post
    conversion just about rivals the work that was recently accomplished on Titanic. This
    is one conversion that is demo worthy for showing off to your family and friends. Hopefully
    this will be the Blu-ray that puts all the upconversion haters to rest.

    I rated this film a perfect "5" across the board just for pure 3D entertainment value. That
    really says something remarkable about the work that went into this upconversion.

    [​IMG]

    The film's 7.1 DTS-MA soundtrack (downconverted to 5.1 on my system) is equally
    satisfying as well. I can only describe the experience as overly noisy, yet all its sonics
    are perfectly distributed across the individual channels with none of the dialogue getting
    drowned out. The rear channels come heavily into play providing all the backdrop to
    the constant level of chaos that exists on the screen: the roar of jet fighters, helicopters
    flying overhead and debris flying from all directions. LFE activity is completely off the
    charts as it accents every footprint of the colossal creatures -- not to mention the destruction
    in their wake. It's pounding and roaring at the silliest levels that will have every speaker
    in your room bursting with mind-blowing sonics.

    [​IMG]

    Pacific Rim arrives as a 4-Disc set (Blu-ray 3D, 2D Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD Ultraviolet,
    Special Features DVD) in a lenticular cardboard sleeving. All discs are double-stacked upon
    another. There seems to be a good handful of extras that include audio commentary by
    Guillermo del Toro, a directors notebook, deleted scenes and a blooper reel. Additionally,
    you'll find features on the digital artistry of the film, Drift Space and The Shatterdome.


    CONCLUSION

    [​IMG]

    Make no mistake about it, Pacific Rim breaks many new visual barriers for science
    fiction/fantasy film. It's gigantically enormous in scale and seamlessly combines
    green-screen and CGI and live action. Despite my lack of tolerance for these kind
    of films, I must admit, once I got past the bad acting, persistent cliches, and the feeling
    that I was watching one big video game -- I actually thought this was one of the best
    popcorn films ever made. I also feel this ranks as the best unconverted film since
    Titanic , making it an ever-so-perfect 3D home experience that is demo worthy.

    If mindless entertainment is your thing, this is one 3D Blu-ray that should be at the
    top of your list.


    Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc.

    Equipment

    LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display
    Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player
    Denon 3311CI Receiver
    Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers
    SV Sound Subwoofer
     
  2. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    I saw the 2d version in the theatre. I liked it alot. I never had a chance to see it in 3d. glad to hear that the 3d was good.

    by chance have you seen gravity? talk about excellent 3d.. that will blow your mind.. it even has alot of pop out that you like.

    I know that your high rating is 5 for the differnt 3d stuff. gravity is a 10 across the board.

    Jacob
     
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  3. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    Sounds like one that I'll have to check out.

    I've nothing against a well done 3D conversion. I've seen many that, had I not known beforehand, would have sworn that they were filmed in real 3D.
     
  4. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    If that's disappointment. . . :D

    I saw this in IMAX 3D. Aside from the visuals, it didn't blow me away, but it was definitely entertaining.
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Definitely a love/hate relationship.

    Beautiful film to look at. Just would not be able to sit through this a second time.

    ...but it certainly stands among the best 3D titles of the year.
    Just was talking with friends over lunch about this film after they saw it who said
    pretty much the same thing. I will probably wait for the Blu-ray.
     
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  6. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    As a del Toro film, this is a day one buy for me. Glad to hear the 3D is solid.
     
  7. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    I'm wondering about the "conversion." In an interview on CBC Radio (the program is called "Q"), del Toro said something just slightly different, to wit, that he had not wanted to shoot in 3D to begin with because the size of the robots and monsters would mean that there would be difficult convergence issues to solve, but that the studio convinced him that 3D was a good idea; and that he had spent a lot of time solving those convergence issues before going ahead with the 3D. Now whether that means that they convinced him to shoot in 3D, or whether they convinced him to convert to 3D, isn't clear to me -- and of course, memory is never the most reliable of human capabilities, at least in my case. But I got the distinct impression, when listening to the interview, that it was the former: that the film was actually shot in 3D.
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    From everything I have read prior to writing the review it was upconverted.

    ...but I am always open to other facts coming forward.
     
  9. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    It was upconverted.
     
  10. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    Definitely picking this up next week!!
     
  11. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer
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    Ron, not to hijack the Pacific Rim thread, but regarding your comment about waiting for the Blu-ray of Gravity, I'd strongly recommend, if you are able, viewing it in the theater. And thanks for the review of Pacific Rim.
     
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  12. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Ron

    You MUST see Gravity in a thater..MUST.

    You will thank us later.

    IMAX 3D if possible

    And i agee with your assessment of Pacific RIM....fun but disappointing
     
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  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Ronbo,

    IMO, you need to see that film in an IMAX theater. It is probably the best film I've seen in a few years and is one of the most visual films I've seen in my entire life.
     
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  14. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    It sounds like Godzilla vs Gigantor! :D
     
  15. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    Ron, I agree with Tino and everyone else that has commented on this (check out the review thread in the Movies section as well). If you only see one movie in a theater for the rest of the year (hell, the rest of your life), it HAS to be Gravity. It's the kind of aural-visual experience that comes along just once in a generation. IMAX 3D of course. Biggest damn screen you can get yourself to.
     
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  16. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Ron said
    Actually Ron, Pacific Rim was a box-office disappointment , especially here in the U.S. With a production budget of close to $200 million, it barely made it to $100 million domestically. Overseas It did better with $300 million for a total worldwide of a bit over $400 million. If we accept the 3x rule , it's $200 million in the red. I'll still be picking It up on Tuesday as like you said its mindless entertainment.
     
  17. bujaki

    bujaki Screenwriter

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    Was the AR compromised in the IMAX presentation? I saw Gravity in an XD 3D Dolby Atmos flawless 2.35:1 presentation. It must be seen on a big screen. Follow all the other posters' advice.
     
  18. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Gravity was 2.35 in IMAX. Back to Pacific Rim..something tells me I will enjoy it more at home than I did in the theater. Hope so.
     
  19. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    "...it's $200 million in the red."You mean loss? C'mon. You need to provide some serious facts with this one.
     
  20. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I just did. Like I said, if a film needs to recoup 3x it's production cost to break even, then Pacific Rim currently is at a $200 million loss. I'm sure it will recoup a lot with ancillary sales but it will still struggle to break even.
     

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