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Pacific Rim 3D(2013)
When an alien attack threatens the Earth's existence, giant robots piloted by humans are deployed to fight off the menace.
For more about Pacific Rim 3D and the Pacific Rim 3D Blu-ray release, see Pacific Rim 3D Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on October 10, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Max Martini, Ron Perlman
Director: Guillermo del Toro
» See full cast & crew
Pacific Rim 3D Blu-ray Review
Del Toro cancels another genre apocalypse...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, October 10, 2013
There is a time and a place for a frank but thoughtful critique of a veteran filmmaker's love letter to genre cinema. There's also a time and a place to geek out, cast off adulthood, fully embrace the rock-em sock-em joy of a wildly entertaining and ludicrously action-packed summer spectacle, and laugh, clap and cheer like a ten-year-old fanboy attending his first Comic-Con; and it's here and now.Pacific Rim might just be the most fun you'll have with a movie all year... or a gigantic waste of time, depending on how willing you are to embrace it on its own terms. It's certainly one of the most unapologetically joyous genre-splosions in recent memory, and a film with aspirations as enormous as its scale. Make no mistake, though: director Guillermo del Toro hasn't crafted a film for everyone. Nor did he set out to. He's crafted yet another fearless passion project in a career bursting at the seams with 'em, and it's one helluva a masterfully designed, visually enthralling crowd pleaser. Critics may balk at the ham-fisted dialogue. And yes, it's there. Cinephiles may bemoan the cast's performances and the film's comicbook sensibilities. There's not much of a defense to mount. A few wayward del Toro fans may even shrug their shoulders altogether. It's all at once fully del Toro and unlike anything the Hellboy-helmer has done before.
But for those whose eyes widen during every Kaiju attack, for those who grin uncontrollably with every Jaeger battle, for those who marvel at the film's sprawling cityscapes, dazzling destruction and massive bot-bunkers, and, more importantly, for all those faithful fans willing to let go and let del Toro, Pacific Rim will be something else entirely: an absolute blast.
August, 2013. Rising from the depths of the Pacific, the first of what will become known as Kaiju -- vicious behemoths that spill through a dimensional rift at the bottom of the ocean -- reaches land and attacks San Francisco. The destruction is unparalleled, tens of thousands of lives are lost, and the eventual military victory against the beast is a costly battle that drags on for days. November, 2014. In response to three additional attacks, the superpowers of the world come together and develop Jaegers; towering, heavily armed mechs operated by a pair of innately skilled and specially trained pilots whose minds are linked through a process known as The Drift. For several years, the Jaegers are successful, patrolling and protecting coastlines, killing any and every Kaiju that emerges through the portal. The world celebrates, the Jaeger pilots become celebrities, the once fearsome Kaiju are reduced to variety show caricatures and late night show jokes. It seems the crisis has been averted.
February, 2020. American Jaeger Gipsy Danger, piloted by brothers Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) and Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), is torn to pieces by a particularly fearsome Kaiju. It seems the creatures are becoming more powerful with each passing month. Yancy is killed in the battle; Raleigh barely survives, piloting the tattered remains of Gipsy Danger to land before collapsing from the mental and physical strain. 2024. After becoming increasingly ineffective against the Kaiju threat, the Jaeger program is decommissioned. The UN will only fund the program for eight additional months, choosing instead to rely on defensive walls constructed near major cities. Commander Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) moves the remaining active Jaegers -- just four in all: Australia's Striker Eureka, China's Crimson Typhoon, Russia's Cherno Alpha, and a refurbished Gipsy Danger -- to Hong Kong, where he convinces Raleigh to return to service and team up with a new partner. Raleigh, though, is convinced that his new co-pilot should be young, inexperienced Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), much to Pentecost's irritation and objection. But with multiple Kaiju breaching the rift, and scientists Dr. Newton Geiszler (Charlie Day) and Dr. Hermann Gottlieb (Burn Gorman) insisting more are soon to follow, Pentecost may not have the luxury of keeping Mako out of the pilot's rig.
And that's just the first act of Pacific Rim. Del Toro crams more movie into two short hours than most tentpole trilogies offer in three installments. Yet the film never feels rushed or hurried, even when the director indulges in 25-minute battle scenes that stretch from one end of Hong Kong to the next. The sheer inventiveness and devil-may-care abandon of the Jaeger showdowns are the centerpiece of an already thrilling array of action-packed upbeats and beatdowns, and the mech and creature designs ooze inexhaustible detail and terrific design. I've seen the film four times now (twice on the big screen) and pored through two discs of HD special features. I'm still noticing new things about the combatants' neo-steampunk construction and battle-ready alien anatomy. And not subtleties either. If nothing else, del Toro brings the very same craftiness and craftsmanship to Pacific Rim that have elevated his more memorable films to unforgettable heights, and in many ways, his bots vs. beasties opening volley offers the artist-turned-visionary a bigger, badder playground on which to loose his imagination than ever before.
Yes, the human element suffers on occasion. Raleigh is a rather two-dimensional hero (especially compared to Mako), the immovable Pentecost changes his mind on a dime, Raleigh's hot-headed Australian rival (Robert Kazinsky) is a genre trope in and of himself, and the dialogue, as mentioned, is a bit cringe-worthy at times. And yes, a few plot points could have used another round of rewrites and refinements, ranging from the more distracting -- How are coastal walls, the catalyst for the decommissioning of the Jaeger program, in any way more of a viable, less costly option than warrior mechs? -- to the trivial -- Why is Gipsy Danger's sword a last resort weapon? That's the first giant red button I'd punch at the beginning of a Kaiju fight. However, critical finger-wagging and script scrutiny just doesn't suit del Toro's comicbook/manga/anime/feature film hybrid. Pacific Rim is, first and foremost, an eye-popping, popcorn-fueled, endorphin-pumping extravaganza. It's laugh-out-loud funny one minute (courtesy of Charlie Day and Ron Perlman, the latter as scene-stealing black market dealer Hannibal Chau), deliriously action-oriented the next (on an audacious and convincing mass scale no less), and wears its dramatic heart on its sleeve moments later.
Unlike the usual summer actioner, Pacific Rim isn't ordinary, run of the mill Big Dumb Fun. It's Big Dumb Fun to the Nth degree -- let's call it Monstrously Entertaining Escapism -- and I'm already itching for a sequel that may never come. Here's hoping the film's overseas success persuades Warner to commit to a second clash of the interdimensional titans.
Pacific Rim 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Straight from the mouth of del Toro: "For action, adventure and genre cinema, I'm now a converted fan of 3D. I asked [Legendary Pictures] for the complete control of the 3D. I asked them for forty weeks or so to get the 3D conversion -- it usually takes just eight to twelve weeks -- and they agreed. As I'm a complete control freak, we achieved a 3D conversion that I think people will be very happy with it. It's now my favorite format for the vision of this movie, but I don't think 3D is for every film. If you can watch Pacific Rim in 3D, make sure to watch it that way."
So yes, the film's 1080p/MVC-encoded 3D presentation is derived from a post-converted 3D source. But as most of you know by now, "conversion" isn't the 4-letter word it once was. Pacific Rim's 3D experience thrilled in theaters and it thrills on Blu-ray; so much so that its scant few flaws seem positively inconsequential. Depth and dimensionality is terrific, from devastated cities that spill into the distance to the Kaiju and Jaeger warriors, which loom larger than life. Blades extend outward, claws slash the screen, sparks and alien blood fly, storms swirl, buildings crumble and apocalyptic battles ensue, all in eye-popping 3D. Better still, the 3D image isn't bursting at the seams with cheap gimmicks or transparent tricks, at least not the sort that tend to yank a viewer out of a still-unfolding story. Displays that are prone to crosstalk will exhibit a small amount of background ghosting, mind you. Between the wind, rain, smoke, dust and fury of the various behemoths, there's a lot going on at any given moment, some of it being less than suited to a perfect 3D experience. Even so, significant distractions, aliasing and other issues are nowhere to be found, and the prevailing darkness of the image isn't rendered problematic by the dimness of the 3D glasses.
Pacific Rim cuts an equally stunning swath of destruction in 2D as well thanks to a separate 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer. Colors erupt on screen and pierce the night skies and shadows in dazzling displays of primary-gushing brilliance. Skintones are warm and lifelike, even when the the palette pushes in more stylized directions. Black levels are as rich as the comicbook and manga inkwork they're meant to evoke, with heavy shadows, impenetrable storms and fittingly murky sea floors. And contrast is dialed in beautifully, without much in the way of unsightly crush or overcooked, oversaturated hues. Detail is tremendously satisfying too, with wholly satisfying edge definition and crisp, precision-crafted fine textures. Closeups are striking, anomalies like ringing and shimmering are MIA, and delineation is revealing, even when Gipsy Danger takes on Kaiju in the dead of night or beneath the waters of the Pacific. Moreover, significant eyesores don't rear their ugly heads, and macroblocking and banding are held at bay. Those who comb still frames inch by inch will spot negligible artifacts lurking in the darkest, stormiest backgrounds, but very little, if any of it can be spotted when the film is in motion. This is as gorgeous as any Kaiju groupie could hope for. Whether viewed in 2D or 3D, Pacific Rim's Blu-ray presentations are hands down the best way to take in every nuance of del Toro's practical and computer-generated effects, mammoth sets, and outstanding production design.
Pacific Rim 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Think Pacific Rim looks good? Wait'll you get a load of Warner's DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 and 5.1 surround tracks, a two-headed beast of a lossless monster hellbent on your home theater's complete and total subjugation. Battles roar, gears groan, Kaiju screech, rending metal screams, and explosions rock every battle scene, while a bustling, overcrowded Hong Kong cityscape attempts to survive beneath the combatants' feet. LFE output offers three sizes: big, bigger and biggest, yet never gets too unruly, overwhelming or out of control. Rear speaker activity is enveloping to the point of being engrossing, creating a fully immersive soundfield loaded with directional flourishes, ambient touches and unsettlingly smooth pans. Better still, dialogue is ever at the forefront of the chaos; always grounded, always intelligible. Voices are often overtaken by the action, but only when they're meant to be. The same goes for the chorus of effects that, at any given moment, comprise the film's absorbing sound design. Prioritization is flawless, making for both a terrific 7.1 and 5.1 experience, each of which are worthy of the "Best of 2013" chatter they're sure to invite.
Pacific Rim 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
It might seem like the 4-disc Blu-ray edition of Pacific Rim offers endless special features, but after partaking of del Toro's audio commentary, the rest of the supplemental package can be consumed in a little over two hours. That's still a great deal of content to plow through, of course; more than enough to warrant high marks. However, those expecting an exhaustive Prometheus-esque supplemental package -- or a feature-length production documentary -- might want to lower their expectations a bit.
3D Blu-ray/BD/DVD/UltraViolet Combo Pack Contents (Subject to Change): The initial 3D combo pack release of Pacific Rim features a slipcover (with the original pressing), one MVC-encoded 3D Blu-ray disc (3D feature film), two BD-50 discs (one for the 2D version of the movie and select extras, the other for the remaining special features), a standard DVD copy of the film, and a Digital HD UltraViolet digital copy (Flixster download via redemption code, expires 10/22/2015). Please note: the Pacific Rim UltraViolet digital copy does not include an iTunes file, but is compatible with iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and most Android devices.
Pacific Rim 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
American audiences may not have rushed out to see Pacific Rim in theaters, but I suspect it will enjoy a long, happy life on Blu-ray and develop a much larger following. While tentpole filmmakers are forever attempting to make their particular summer blockbusters bigger than the last, Guillermo del Toro throws down the gauntlet, delivering a thoroughly entertaining genre pic that boasts off-the-charts size, scale and spectacle. Is the dumb in the film's Big Dumb Fun a bit much? Sure, but that's part of its charm. Pacific Rim is a blast from start to finish; a blast Warner's Blu-ray release makes that much more literal with a stunning video presentation, thrilling 3D experience and thunderous DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track. The 4-disc set is also armed with more than four hours of extensive special features, including a director's commentary, more than a dozen excellent Focus Point featurettes, and an entire second Blu-ray disc of additional high definition bonus content. Pacific Rim may not be the best film of the year, or even offer the best 3D on the market, but its Blu-ray release is in serious contention for "Best of 2013" honors.
Pacific Rim: Other Editions
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Pacific Rim 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: Pacific Rim - October 11, 2013
Blu-ray.com and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment are offering three members the opportunity to win a copy of director Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Rob Kazinsky, Max Martini and Ron Perlman. The ...
• Pacific Rim 3D & 2D Blu-rays (Updated) - September 5, 2013
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has announced the 3D and 2D Blu-ray combo pack releases of director Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, which stars Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Rob Kazinsky, Max Martini and Ron Perlman. The action-packed ...
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