Pacific Rim Blu-ray Review

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Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim was one of the most anticipated films of the summer, but failed to do as well as Warner Brothers probably wanted in domestic box office numbers, most likely due to mixed reviews. If you’re looking for something deep in story and rich in characterization, Pacific Rim is definitely not what you want. It is ultimately still an entertaining ride and it’s fantastic that someone in blockbuster movie-making can still come up with an original idea. The fact that it is not a sequel, prequel, or adaptation is impressive.

Pacific Rim is the story of the human race in the not-so-distant future facing a war with the Kaiju, lizard-like alien creatures capable of destroying entire cities. Instead of using conventional methods, like military which failed to keep us safe, we create our own monsters: giant robots called Jaegers. Each Jaeger is piloted by a set of pilots who are mentally connected to each other and the robot via a technology called drifting. When it becomes apparent that the Kaiju are quickly evolving to more efficiently fight the Jaegers, the human race is forced to improvise.

pacific-rim-kaijuThe inner child of every sci-fi and action fan will appreciate the larger-than-life action sequences between the Kaiju and Jaegers. The suspension of reality is necessary, however, since the script is fairly unbelievable and scientifically questionable. The film relies heavily on special effects and visual brilliance instead.

Charlie Hunnam portrays Raleigh Becket, a once-successful pilot who has been called upon again to help in the fight. He is paired with Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), a seemingly obedient Japanese woman with a haunting past and some kick-ass skills of her own. They have amazing chemistry. Idris Elba is quite commanding in his role of Stacker Pentecost, the head of the Jaeger program. And Charlie Day is… well, Charlie Day. Not a huge stretch in acting skills, but his character does provide an even amount of comic relief.

Movie grade: B

pacific-rimVideo

The 1080p high definition AVC video is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Pacific Rim is spectacular and incredibly ambitious in its visual presentation. The transfer to Blu-ray was done incredibly well. It’s colorful and the the scenes are crystal clear, specifically the action sequences. With so much going on during the fights, you could easily become disillusioned. I felt as though they were shot a bit too tight when I saw it in theatres in 3D IMax, but the Blu-ray has remedied that. On a smaller screen, it may not have the grandeur experienced in theaters, but it is easier to evaluate the action. The video is distinct and absolutely gorgeous.

Video grade: A

idris_elba_38475Audio

Pacific Rim is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. The audio transfer is flawless and the channel separation is excellent. Every single speaker on my surround system got a workout and I could feel the punches exploding from my subwoofer. Dialogue is crisp and precise. Even the use of the music is impressive. Ramin Djawadi’s score is actually one of my favorite parts of the film. It’s bold and fun and compliments the feel of the film perfectly. It is easily one of the best sounding films I’ve come across on the Blu-ray format.

Audio grade: A

charlie-day-pacific-rimSpecial Features

  • Audio Commentary by Guillermo del Toro
  • The Director’s Notebook
  • Drift Space
  • The Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim
  • The Shatterdome
  • Focus Points
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Blooper Reel

Pretty standard features. I particularly enjoyed the featurette about the digital artistry since I was more impressed with the effects than I was with this storyline itself. A level of detail in each Kaiju is revealed that you perhaps overlooked while watching the movie. The Drift Space featurette was fascinating as well and not at all what I imagined it would be. It actually gives you incredibly detailed backstories of the main characters; information not discussed or even apparent in the film. And, as always, the blooper reel is sheer enjoyable silliness.

Extras grade: B

If you’re still unsure about purchasing Pacific Rim, perhaps the trailer will sway you:

Pacific Rim is out on Blu-ray and DVD October 15th.

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Holly Amos
Holly Amos 125 posts

Pro Trekspert. Sherlockian. Tolkienist. Movie/TV freak. Music lover. Sports enthusiast. Cosplayer. Fangirl/geek extraordinaire.