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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

PACIFIC RIM Blu-ray/ DVD/ Digital Copy combo

review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  131 minutes, rated PG-13

VIDEO: 1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition z

AUDIO:  English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles:  English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

 

Theatrical RELEASE DATE: 7-12-2013

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE:  10-15-2013

In the near future, huge alien monster known as the Kaiju have risen through a dimensional rift deep in the ocean.  Soon the nations of the world are building gigantic humanoid mechas called Jaegers to combat the Kaiju.   PACIFIC RIM follows the story of retired Jaeger pilot Raleigh Beckett (Charlie Hunam) who lost his brother to the Kaiju in combat five years ago) and is called out of retirement by Stacker Pentecoast (Idris Elba)who commands the remaining Jaeger forces in a eleventh hour effort to defeat the Kaiju before the human race is destroyed.

 

PACIFIFC RIM is a really enjoyable movie from director Guillermo del Toro with some really cool mecha vs. giant monster fights, characters you connect to, a wonderfully visualized world, and special effects that are much better than the effects in MAN OF STEEL.  Rinko Kikuchi and Idris Elba have to be my favorite actors in the film while I enjoyed the interplay between the two scientists played by Charlie Day and Burn Gorman.  Idris Elba lends the tough leader quality while Rinko is great as the untested pilot Mako Mori who wants revenge against the Kaiju.  It is interesting that each Jaeger has to have two people pilot each one because one brain can’t handle operating them without great difficulty (and it tends to do damage to the human brain).  Ron Pearlman is good as the shady black market dealer, but I really wish HELLBOY 3 would get made so he can return one more time as Hellboy.  I would love to see more movies in the PACIFIC RIM universe or even novels and comic books because the first few minutes builds up lots of back story they can explore.   Also the preview trailers don’t spoil the climax or ending while keeping some stuff a mystery (no matter how many trailers they throw at moviegoers. 

 

PACIFIC RIM may have opened up in third place, but I hope good word of mouth gets people to go see it whether it is for the first or second time.  I would love to know more about the Gipsy Danger and the other Jaegers in this universe.  Del Toro, screenwriter Travis Beacham, and the production team have created this rich world that fans of Transformers, Japanese Mecha, anime, and giant monster movies will love.  Lots of background details and production design details that people will pick up on more with repeat viewings.  If I was a kid, I would be buying figures of the Jaeger and Kaiju from this movie.  Where is the role playing game and video games for this?  PACIFIC RIM is more of a summer popcorn movie that is more enjoyable than say any of the TRANSFORMERS films (which I also liked to a variety of degrees) and I liked the cast better in this movie (than say the casting in TRANSFORMERS).  I also liked that it didn’t try to plug itself off as an origin story and feel like this was like a movie that takes place later in the series (where you don’t have the origin story bogging everything down).

 

 I do wish they had a couple more Jaeger vs. Kaiju battles in this one.  I do hope PACIFIC RIM does make enough money to warrant a sequel because I do think this is one of the best summer popcorn movies of this year with a great background story, visual effects, and was more fun than many of the other big budget films this year.  Go watch it now if you haven’t already.  I expect PACIFIC RIM to do better on Blu-ray and DVD in the US while foreign theatrical sales will hopefully generate enough money to sell Warner Bros. on a sequel.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Blu-ray DISC ONE-

Audio commentary with Guillermo Del Toro

 

FOCUS POINTS featurettes (62 minutes total):

A FILM BY GUILLERMO DEL TORO- how it is to work with Guillermo Del Toro on a film

A PRIMER ON KAIJUS & JAEGERS (4:09)- all about the Kaijus and Jaegers in PACIFIC RIM

INTRICACY OF ROBOT DESIGN (4:53)- a behind-the-scenes look at how they went about designing the Jaegers

HONORING THE KAIJU TRADITION (4:30)- creating Kaijus unique to the Pacific Rim universe while keeping in line with the Kaijus that went before

THE IMPORTANCE OF MASS AND SCALE (5:45)- making sure the fights between the Jaegers and Kaijus had the right mass and scale done to the little details in those scenes

SHATTERDOME RANGER ROLL CALL (5:39)-  cast and the director talk about the characters of the film

JAEGERS ECHO HUMAN GRACE (4:01)- a look at how the Jaeger cockpit sequences were shot and how tiring those scenes were for the actors

INSIDE THE DRIFT (4:36)-  how they filmed the Drift sequences

GOTH-TECH ((4:39)- how the tech was designed to have a gothic feeling to it

MEGA SIZED SETS (8:54)- a look at the various sets of Pacific Rim and how they even used one sound stage dressed up several different ways to give the Shatterdome bigger depth to it

BABY KAIJU SET VISIT (3:07)- a behind-the-scenes look at how they shot the Baby Kaiju scene

TOKYO ALLEY SET VISIT (3:17)- a look at the Tokyo Alley set and how they accomplished the sequences shot on that set

ORCHESTRAL SOUNDS FROM THE ANTEVERSE (4:04)- a look at the scoring sessions for Pacific rim and how the movie’s sequences inspired the composer in addition to how hands on the director is with developing the type of score he wanted with the composer

 

Blu-ray DISC TWO-

THE DRIECTOR’S NOTEBOOK- a glimpse into Guillermo Del Toro’s notebook for PACIFIC RIM which shows stills from hsi notebooka nd video featurettes as the diretcor talks about various elements in the film.

DRIFT SPACE (5:24)- a breakdown of the details seen in each drift sequence

THE DIGITAL ARTISTRY OF PACIFIC RIM (17:10)- a look at the visual effects of PACIFIC RIM and how the scenes involving digital effects were planned out since before production and the notes that Del Toro gave during the process to help refine those effects

THE SHATTERDOME- an archive of video and still galleries that look at key deisgn art, maquettes, and animatics

 

Four deleted scenes which don’t add anything to the film and a four minute blooper reel

 

DVD of movie in standard definition and a digital ultraviolet copy in HD

 

Best Buy has a thirty minute THE ANTEVERSE featurette you can access and download from CinemaNow, but sadly it doesn’t exist on disc and the downloaded version had to be played in Standard definition which makes me think you can only view the HD version online.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:  PACIFIC RIM is one of my favorite films of 2013.  It is also one of the most fun and visually rich films of the summer.   The extras provide a detailed look at the making of PACIFIC RIM and you can buy the non-Best Buy blu-ray if you’re not hot on getting the extra featurette by spending four more dollars and having to go online to watch (or download it).

 

This movie review is (c)7-14-2013 and blu-ray review 10-21-2013 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com

 

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