Blu-ray Review: Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Warner | DIRECTOR: Guillermo Del Toro | CAST: Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman
BLU-RAY & DVD RELEASE DATE: 10/15/2013 | PRICE: Two-DVD $28.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $35.99, Blu-ray 3D Combo $44.95
BONUSES: featurettes, commentary, deleted scenes, blooper reel, commentary, digital copy
SPECS: PG-13 | 171 min. | Science-fiction genre | 1.85:1 aspect ratio | DTS-HD 7.1 audio | English, French, Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Pacific RimDirector Guillermo Del Toro (The Devil’s Backbone) calls Pacific Rim his poem to the old monster movies he loved as a child. Visually, I’d agree. But on story, it’s more like a limerick.

The science-fiction movie is Independence Day under the water, although Independence Day is a better film. But it isn’t the unoriginal story that’s the biggest problem with Pacific Rim; it’s the laughingly one-dimensional characters. In the Blu-ray’s special features, we learn that Del Toro wanted the film to not be America against the monsters, like in many movies, but for it to be the world taking on the monsters. That would be all very well if they didn’t show the rest of the world as complete stereotypes.

Still, this is giant robots against giant monsters! What’s not to love about that? And those giant robots and giant monsters are awesome. Powerful. Huge. Dangerous. And the battles between them are flashy and fun. (Incidentally, they’re even more awesome in Blu-ray’s high-def picture, and the 7.1 DTS-HD audio rocks!)

And there’s plenty about the robots and giants in the Blu-ray/DVD Combo’s extras. There’s a bunch of featurettes on the movie disc, plus a commentary with Del Toro, but there’s also a second disc stuffed with special features. One interesting featurette shows how much Del Toro was involved with the design and creation of the robots and giants. You can tell he really loves this stuff. He’s like a kid in a candy store as they go through concept ideas. The robots, for example, were designed inside out, so that not only did the outside look cool, but it worked for a truly functional inside. And for the monsters, Del Toro wanted them as close to real as possible, so he and the team took their inspiration from creatures in our real world.

Other featurettes provide close-up looks at the kaiju monsters and jeager robots, the stunts and effects. Plus, in the Director’s Notebook, you can see clips from Del Toro’s owns notes and concept sketches.

There’s also a vast section filled with animatics, concept designs and more, which can keep you occupied for hours.

On top of all that, there’s the usual deleted scenes, which are fun to watch and bloopers, which are okay.

And there’s a fun feature that gives the background to the movie’s characters.

All in all, Pacific Rim has a strong Blu-ray set, and we recommend it.


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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.