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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
95





Studio and Year: Warner - 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 131 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action/Fantasy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC/MVC
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1/5.1 Master Audio, English/Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Charlie Hunam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Rob Kazinsky, Max Martin, Ron Perlman
Directed by: Guillermo Del Toro
Music by: Ramin Djawadi
Written by: Travis Beachman & Guillermo Del Toro
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 15, 2013
"To fight monsters we created monsters"


Film Synopsis:


When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity's resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind's last hope against the mounting apocalypse.


My Take:


I really wanted to get to the theater to see Pacific Rim but it just didn’t work out. I like director Guillermo Del Toro and the subject matter just looked to be lots and fun. I sat down to watch it and was sold right from the opening sequence. As a kid that grew up in the 1970’s watching the classic monster films of that era I immediately connected with the concept of Kaiju (Japanese for Monster) rising from the depths to attack nearby cities. It’s evident that what Del Toro, who co-wrote the screenplay, was shooting for wasn’t so much an homage (although it could be seen that way), but a fresh take on the genre.


I think he successfully captures the essence of what made those films so much fun while spinning a contemporary yarn containing elements of sci-fi, action, drama and a little levity. The narrative is simply drawn but covers the bases in terms of character development and associative thematic context. Right at the start we get a taste of what is to come and for genre fans the flavor is savory sweet. This is a big budget extravaganza with a massive production design both in scope and scale. Using a blend CGI, live action and hand crafted sets few punches are pulled (sorry I couldn’t resist) in bringing the director’s vision of the film’s “antiverse” to life.


This film is a rock ‘em sock ‘em good time plain and simple. This isn’t provocatively deep filmmaking nor is it intended to be. What it is, is a full on sci-fi action thriller with an ambitious slant on the monster movie genre. I found it to be thoroughly fulfilling in that regard and enjoyed the infusion of elements that distill the subject matter. The cast, lead by Charlie Hunam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day and Rinko Kikuchi handle their respective roles with aplomb. This is capped by Guillermo Del Toro’s passion and attention to detail.

Pacific Rim is far from high brow entertainment but for those willing to sit back and simply take it all in it’s an exhilarating thrill ride.


Parental Guide:


The rating is for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 100

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:



3D Presentation: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Depth (Onscreen):

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen):

  • Realism:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Color reproduction:


Pacific Rim 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 5.2 Mbps.


I have noticed lately that the native 2D to 3D conversions that I have reviewed on Blu-ray have been improving especially when compared to those from the format’s beginnings. Going into this review I had heard positive things about the theatrical 3D presentation but kept expectations in check. From what I understand, although I could find nothing in the documentation to confirm it, portions of the film were shot in 3D. Whether that is true or not this a very decent 3D presentation that makes good use of the platform. Detail is well preserved as the image retains its high level of clarity as objects within the frame are delineated and sharp. Depth is appreciable as evidenced by a predominantly natural sense of dimension as objects or people are layered in the foreground/background. There are a variety of sequences that provide a fun reach out and touch level of dimension as well as a bit of screen popping wizardry. This revolves in most part around the action based sequences and features flying objects, exploding debris, protruding weapons or floating particles. Comparing contrast, color, skin tone reproduction and detail reproduction to the 2D presentation they appear identical. I didn’t observe any instances of crosstalk/ghosting. Overall Pacific Rim makes for an engaging and fun 3D experience.


The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is reference quality and is sure to please those who like to play their systems loud. It is offered in both 7.1 and 5.1 channel configurations with the default being the latter. I had high expectations for this soundtrack and this lossless audio presentation didn’t disappoint. I was treated to an impeccably detailed, powerfully dynamic, and demonstrative surround sound experience. Multi-layered sound effects are appropriately placed within the soundfield so that their purpose was definable yet never overstated. The mix makes effective and often aggressive use of the surround channels to elongate the front soundstage and reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds of this demanding soundtrack. The front and rear sound fields are integrated with precision which enables a seamless transference during panning sequences. The listening position is submerged into a 360 degree web of sound that is sometimes riveting as it bombards the senses with a combination of well placed sound effects and musical ambience.


Dialogue is supremely articulated with excellent focus, clarity and descriptive intonation. Low frequency detail can be substantial as it occasionally reaches seismic levels that will test the limits of lesser subwoofers. The extended dynamic range of the recording coupled with the inherent high resolution audio encoding renders the bombastic nature of battle with superlative high level sonics and authoritative bass transients that are deep and powerful. The LFE channel is mixed on the hot side which occasionally derives deep bass emphasis on sounds where it may not be necessary. Having said that I am the first to admit that I love clean powerful bass and this track delivers it in spades. I found its ability to render fine detail, and subtle nuance to be excellent. As viewers I think we sometimes miss some of the intricacies that go into the design of soundtracks such as this. Not so in this case as even seemingly inconspicuous minutia within the recording is detectable. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute with this terrific soundtrack.



2D Video Quality:

Video: 100

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:


Pacific Rim comes to Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps.


Shot digitally this film looks superb on Blu-ray Disc and features glossy high definition video quality that exhibits high level detail, razor sharpness and exquisite definition that brings out lifelike textures captured by the camera’s lens. Dimensional perspective has a near infinite appeal that can be visually stimulating. Close ups are noticeably refined and revealing of the subtlest details within facial features and objects within the frame. Mid level camera pans are equally enriching and offer excellent depth and dimension.



Colors are appreciably delineated with natural rendering and punchy primaries that stand out among the remaining spectrum of secondary hues. Fleshtones are rendered with vivid tonality and discerning complexional depiction. Contrast is boldly applied without overstatement as it enlivens colors and drives brightly lit scenes without whitewashing detail. Blacks are gradational and deep which emboldens sequences containing a mix of light and dark elements. Detail in uneven light and darkened environments reveal visible shapes and structure that enhances depth perception. This is a pristine and reference quality presentation that looks terrific on my big screen.


Bonus Features:


  • Disc 1:

  • Pacific Rim 3D Blu-ray


  • Disc 2:

  • Pacific Rim 2D Blu-ray (plus bonus features)

  • Audio Commentary by Guillermo del Toro

  • Focus Points (14 segments totaling 60 minutes):
    1. A film by Guillermo Del Toro
    2. A primer on Kaijus & Jaegers
    3. Intricacy of robot design
    4. Honoring the Kaijus tradition
    5. The importance of mass & scale
    6. Shatterdome ranger roll call
    7. Jaegers echo human grace
    8. Inside the Drift
    9. Goth-tech
    10. Mega-sized sets
    11. Baby Kaiju set visit
    12. Tokyo alley set
    13. Orchestral sounds from the Anteverse


    Disc 3:
  • Special Features Disc :

  • (HD) The Directors Notebook – Interactive feature with clickable pages, interview pods, image scan note and more

  • (HD) Drift Space – A 5 minute look into the neural world of the films characters

  • (HD) The Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim – 17 minutes

  • The Shatterdome – Interactive feature with animatics, concept art galleries, costume design, environments

  • (HD) 4 Deleted Scenes

  • (HD) Blooper Reel – 4 minutes

  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Pacific Rim doesn’t require an in-depth analysis of the plot or deep dissection of its storyline. What it is is a knock down drag out summer blockbuster that asks little of genre fans other than to check their brain at the door, grab a bag of popcorn, kick back and enjoy the ride. Pacific Rim comes to Blu-ray from Warner Home Video in both 3D (the subject of this review) and 2D Combo Pack that feature resplendent 3D/2D high definition video, rip roaring DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound and a complimentary assortment of bonus supplements that are well worth exploring. If you’re a fan this is a must have Blu-ray that is sure to be at the top of your demonstration material list. Enjoy!


Here is the trailer:









Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal )

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System

Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Pacific Rim (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Combo Pack)

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Thanks Ralph. Really looking forward to a blind buy on this one.
If you had to compare this audio track overall to something else on blu ray, is there anything that comes to mind?


Great to hear the converted 3d is successful as well and it sounds like it is well worth getting that version. 2d video is still what I watch most of though, so great to hear it excels there as well. Sounds great all around!
 

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Thanks Ralph! Blind buy for me based on the high 3D score. And I think it's the first BD that I will be paying $29.99 for!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe  /t/1494356/pacific-rim-3d-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_20#post_23823083


Thanks Ralph. Really looking forward to a blind buy on this one.
If you had to compare this audio track overall to something else on blu ray, is there anything that comes to mind?

Greetings,


Todd, Terminator Salvation comes to mind...




Regards,
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts  /t/1494356/pacific-rim-3d-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_23823118


Greetings,


Todd, Terminator Salvation comes to mind...




Regards,

Nice! LOVE that track!
Thanks again.
 

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I've had it on pre-order for a while, so this film will be a "Tuesday nighter" for me too.


Thanks for the review, Ralph!
 

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 Another 100 % score!. I heard it was awesome in dolby atmos. Already on my list
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PENDRAG0ON  /t/1494356/pacific-rim-3d-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_23823509


I too missed this in the theaters, I am really looking forward to checking it out. Should get me pumped for Godzilla 2014. Hopefully the trend of giant monster movies continues, I've missed them.

+1!
 

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Great review Ralph! I got the opportunity to watch this movie in IMAX 3D in Seattle with my teenage son and we both really enjoyed this movie. The theater itself is 60ftx80ft and we were postioned almost perfectly in the middle of the image. The scene where the massive wall is being built and they show the landscape from a workers point of view high up on the I-beams and scaffolding had incredible sense of depth and got my heart racing a little bit (I tend get nervous with extreme heights). It definitely mad me feel as if I were there right along side them. The audio was 'only' 5.1 in the theater but was still very engaging. I can't wait to hear this at home in 7.2
Now if only I can figure out how to build a 60x80 ft screen.
 

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I'm glad this got high scores as I've been somewhat wanting to watch this.


These types of movies are my favorite, and I really like pretty much everything Guillermo's done.


I just can't get over how silly the plot is though.


The world being attacked by giant creatures is fine. Sounds great.


My problem is in the fact that with all the advanced weaponry we have, it's all useless against these giant creatures, so instead we resort to building giant robots.........?!



And with there being close to 7 billion people in the world, we have to rely upon a washed up pilot and a trainee to save the world..............?!


I guess maybe all the more qualified people are dead from the giant creatures?


And these giant creatures also somehow managed to disable all the advanced weaponry?


I'm really hoping these somewhat minor plot holes are given a thorough and somewhat realistic explanation in the film.
 

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couldnt take more than 5-10 min of this junk... its good to demo, but otherwise probably better as a comic book.
 
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Saw this in IMAX and enjoyed the fights, but it is a bad movie. Looks great though, that's why I'm still going to get it on Blu!
 

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My neighbors are going to be very angry next Tuesday...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulls  /t/1494356/pacific-rim-3d-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review/0_100#post_23824605


couldnt take more than 5-10 min of this junk... its good to demo, but otherwise probably better as a comic book.

Ditto. Absolutely one of the worst movies I have ever seen in all ways except for the highish end sound track. We walked out 45 minutes into it even though we were just wasting time due to a delayed flight home. Sitting in an airport waiting lounge or getting a root canal would be more enjoyable than watching this junk. It's a really sad comment on the current state of things when the average so called "blockbuster" movie quality in recent years has declined so much that reviewers are willing to give this garbage a 4-star "movie" rating!

Quote:
It is possible to applaud “Pacific Rim” for the efficacy of its business model

while deploring the tale that has been engendered—long, loud, dark, and very wet.

You might as well watch the birth of an elephant.

Anthony Lane

New Yorker
 
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