Director Guillermo del Toro(Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) grew up relishing Japanese mecha and monster movies, and Pacific Rim is his spectacular tribute to the genres. Pacific Rim was released to theaters in July of 2013 to generally good reviews but disappointing box office in North America. The subject matter of Pacific Rim may have made it a hard sell in North America, and the marketing made the film resemble another After Earth more than another Avatar. In Asia, however, Pacific Rim enjoyed very high box office receipts, and its worldwide box office makes it likely that sequels will follow.
Studio: Warner Brothers
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DTS, French 5.1 DTS
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Run Time: 2 Hrs. 11 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD, UltraVioletAmaray
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Region: ABC, 1
Release Date: 10/15/2013
The major cities of the world find themselves under attack by Kaiju, strange creatures originating from the depths of the oceans. The only effective countermeasure for Kaiju are Jaegers, giant mechanized robots so complicated that they required 2 persons operating them simultaneously in teams in an neural link. The Jaeger pilots must be compatible mentally, and a single pilot alone is ineffective to power a Jaeger.Raleigh Becket(Charlie Hunnam) is a former Jaeger pilot who finds himself reluctantly called back into service by Stacker Pentecost(Idris Elba), the military commander trying to end the attacks by the Kaiju. Raleigh is most compatible as a copilot with Mako(Rinko Kikuchi), a female pilot who, like Raleigh, has her own personal history of losses against the Kaiju. They are assisted in their fight by Dr. Newton Geiszler(Charlie Day), an expert on the Kaiju who is forced to seek assistance from a black marketeer in Kaiju organs, Hannibal Chau(Ron Perlman), a self-made man (and comic relief) who boasts that he even created his own name from the name of his favorite historical figure and his second favorite Szechuan restaurant in Brooklyn.I was pleasantly surprised by the entertainment value in Pacific Rim. There are so many eye-candy blockbusters released without any emotional heart that I suspected Pacific Rim to be yet another soul-less special effects extravaganza. I am happy to be proven wrong, and I should have known better, since director Guillermo del Toro has a proven track record of creating films with emotional resonance like Pan's Labyrinth and even Hellboy.Pacific Rim excels in creating a sense of scale for the audience, not only in the way that specific camera shots are composed to demonstrate the gigantic size of the Kaiju and Jaegers in relation to ordinary objects, but also in the way that the human players have suffered catastrophic losses in this war but find their strength to carry the battle to the enemy. Viewers are encouraged to stay through the inital ending credits for a satisfying payoff to an element introduced into the middle of the film.
The Production Rating: 4/5
Our resident HTF 3-D Addict, Ron Epstein, may have beat me to the punch with his review, but I agree wholeheartedly with his rating of the video presentation. Pacific Rim was created almost entirely in the digital realm, and it is hard to believe that this film was a postconversion to 3-D, given the fantastic results. The illusions of depth in the stereo window in Pacific Rim surpass many films that were filmed natively in 3-D. Other than a couple of brief instances of ghosting, this 3-D presentation is perfection. Colors are vibrant and blacks are solid.
Video Rating: 5/5 3D Rating: 5/5
The English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio provides the roar of immersion that delivers a wall of sound for the eye candy presented by the video. Ambient sound is present throughout, with the front and rear speakers seeming to get an equal workout and the subwoofer deployed to maximum effect.
Audio Rating: 4/5
Special features are provided in 1080p on a separate disc(other than the director's commentary included on the 2D Blu-ray), and include all of the following:Director's Commentary: Guillermo del Toro really loves making films, and his interviews and commentaries always show it.The Director's Notebook: This feature is navigated with the arrows on your remote control and consists of text, illustrations, and videos embedded on a visual representation of del Toro's notebook as you make selections and turn the pages in this virtual notebook.Drift Space: Concept illustrations from creation of the film.The Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim(17:10): Featurette with del Toro and others describing creation of the film.The Shatterdome: More featurettes re: making the film.Deleted Scenes(3:47): Deleted scenes may be selected individually or with a "Play All" selection.Blooper Reel(3:52).
Special Features Rating: 4/5
Pacific Rim is a child's fantasy of mech robots fighting monsters come to life. If you can suspend your disbelief that the Jaeger pilots are not torn apart by the G-forces pulled by their mechs, then you are ready to have fun with this action film. The 3-D presentation is excellent, and the audio delivers as well. The special features are interesting and informative, especially the Director's Notebook, at least for this reviewer since I am sometimes left bored by similar features for other films. Anyone who appreciates del Toro's quieter films will still find something to enjoy here, and Pacific Rim comes highly recommended.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewed By: Timothy E
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