Pacific Rim on Blu-ray will give your home theater a real workout
Giant robots fighting giant monsters … what more could anyone want from a summer action flick? Now you can enjoy the battle in sparkling HD with Warner Brothers’ excellent Blu-ray presentation of ‘Pacific Rim.’
One of the biggest puzzlers of the year has to be the lackluster performance of Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim, at least here in the US. Was the film over-hyped? Did American audiences just not connect with the traditional kaiju/mecha genre? The film did incredibly well in Japan, however, and probably made enough money for the studio to get behind a sequel (del Toro confirms he is writing a sequel, but the studio has yet to give him the greenlight for production), and now with the home video release, those reluctant to plop down the cash for a night out at the movies can check the film out in the comfort of their own homes.
If you’re not familiar with the story, in a nutshell, the planet has been under attack from giant monsters, called kaiju, from another dimension. In the initial attacks, shown with chilling effect in news footage, the kaiju decimated large coastal cities but the humans finally fought back by building giant robots called Jaegers which required two pilots to operate. The pilots had to be linked by a process called The Drift so that they shared everything, from motor skills to memories. The world government decides to shut down the Jaeger program to build giant walls around the coastlines instead, but when the walls prove to be less than impenetrable, a rogue group of Jaeger pilots and officers surreptitiously restart the program to save the earth from kaiju domination.
Warner Brothers’ new Blu-ray edition of Pacific Rim is reference quality in both image and sound. The high definition video looks sharp and crystal clear, with beautifully saturated color, particularly in the neon-drenched Hong Kong scenes, with nice deep blacks in all of the nighttime scenes (and a lot of this takes place at night or in dark areas). Warners also gives you two audio options: a beautiful 7.1 DTS-HS Master Audio track, for those with a system that can handle it, and a comparable 5.1 DTS-HS Master Audio track. Both tracks keep the dialogue clearly front and center, never letting the sound effects or music overpower the dialogue. Either way, this disk is the one you want to show your friends to convince them to upgrade their own home theater system. The Blu-ray also includes an audio commentary track with Guillermo del Toro explaining his influences and admiration for the films that led him to create Pacific Rim, as well as speaking in-depth about the films, effects and sets. He also talks about how much he loved the 3D conversion process, but unfortunately, a 3D edition of the Blu-ray was not provided for review.
The Blu-ray/DVD combo package contains three disks. In addition to the audio commentary on the Blu-ray movie disk, there is also over an hour of Focal Points which are short featurettes covering various aspects of the making of the movie. These shorts take you behind the scenes from pre-production to post-production, and some of the most amazing footage shows raw production elements that reveal most of the huge sets, while having some physical elements to them, were all shot against green screen. Seeing the green screen and then the “sets” being added is really getting a peek at movie magic.
The third disk (Blu-ray) consists of more behind the scenes footage and interactive elements. These include:
- The Director’s Notebook — An interactive presentation of del Toro’s Pacific Rim notebook with clickable pages showing notes and images created during production. Movie geeks will get a real kick out of this feature.
- Drift Space, which breaks down the film’s four Drift sequences.
- The Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim — A look at the creative process of creating the kaiju, from the mind of del Toro to the computers of ILM.
- The Shatterdome — An archive of video and stills created during the three phases of production, including never before seen animatics, maquettes and concept art.
- Four deleted scenes
- A Blooper Reel featuring a lot of mugging from the cast.
If you saw Pacific Rim and loved it, then there is no question that you have to have this Blu-ray. If you were on the fence about seeing it in a theater, now is the time to take the plunge and see what you missed. It won’t have the same impact as it did on the big screen, but it will still be an enjoyable experience any way you look at it.
The Blu-ray/DVD combo package of Pacific Rim was generously provided to CliqueClack by Warner Home Video.