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