Pacific Rim Blu-ray + DVD Review
Check out Kidzworld’s review of the extras-galore new home entertainment package for the monsters vs. robots actioner Pacific Rim!
By: Lynn Barker
If mega-giant monsters from the sea are wrecking your coastline and entire cities, what do you fight them with? Why mega-ginormous robots with people inside driving them of course!
We learn that in our future, an almost 300 foot-tall monster called a Kaiju came out of the sea and destroyed San Francisco before our planes and bombs could stop it. Knowing that more were coming from a “Breach” (a rip) at the bottom of the ocean linking us to a parallel universe, humans built just-as-big fighting robots called Jaegers operated by two brain-synched human “pilots” inside them. Those pilots became pop heroes until too many and more powerful monsters kept coming!
Top pilot team Raleigh Beckett (Charlie Hunnam) and his bro Yancy (Diego Klattenhoff) fight a Kaiju resulting in Yancy’s death and Raleigh’s near escape. Destroyed by his bro’s death, Raleigh just disappears. Five years later with the Jaegers failing, the powers that be decide to just build a big-a** wall around the world’s coastlines to keep the gigantor critters out. Yeah…..right. It doesn’t work and Beckett is again recruited by old boss Stacker (Idris Elba) to go back and pilot his old, restored Jaeger robot named Gipsy Danger.
While two scientists try to develop some way to stop the huge invading critters, Beckett needs a new partner to brain-sync with and co-pilot Gipsy. Best for the job is hot-looking kick-butt chick Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). She and Raleigh have a strong mutual attraction but Stacker has raised her since her parents were killed by Kaijus and won’t put her in as a pilot.
There is a plan to nuke the breach by dropping a bomb down it but, after actually linking to the brain of a Kaiju, scientist Newton (Charlie Day) learns why the Kaijus are here now. Seems they came from the depths once before as the dinosaurs but the climate wasn’t quite right. Now, with all our pollution etc. it is just right so they are back and only a Kaiju can pass through a barrier over the breach. The Jaegers won’t be able to drop the bomb!
As more and more Jaeger robots fall, Stacker has to relent and let Mako be Raleigh’s partner pilot so, inside the old Jaeger Gipsy, the duo fights off even bigger Kaijus. Can they get past the barrier and drop the bomb?
A whole lot! On Blu-ray Disc One you not only get the film with an optional, really detailed, fun, passionate and informative Audio Commentary by cool director Guillermo Del Toro but you get a multi-part “Making Of” featurette called Focus Points that covers just about everything in the making of the movie from concept through design and building of the monsters and robots in computer and the construction of amazing practical sets and props for the actors to react to. Filmmakers and actors participate in this cool behind-the-scenes extra. The many mini-featurettes are:
- A Film by Guillermo Del Toro
- A Primer on Kaijus and Jaegers
- The Intricacy of Robot Design
- Honoring the Kaiju Tradition
- The Importance of Mass and Scale
- Shatterdome and Ranger Roll Call
- Jaegers Echo Human Grace
- Inside the Drift
- Mega-Sized Sets
- Baby Kaiju Set Visit
- Tokyo Alley Set Visit
- Orchestral Sounds from the Anteverse (the music for the movie)
On a second disc called Special Features, you get:
The Director’s Notebook – You navigate during the movie and click on icons representing various features using directional arrows on your controller. You get video pods, stills and concept art and blocks of text from the film. It sounds cool but, to be honest, I couldn’t figure out how to work it but you will probably master it right away.
Drift Space – This is what the movie calls the shared memories of the two mind-linked pilots operating the giant Jaeger robots. You see black, white and blue-tinged past scenes in the lives of many of the major characters. Cool.
The Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim – The digital computer wizards talk about bringing Del Toro’s 2D sketches for monsters and robots to life. A very passionate Del Toro, who tells us how much he loved Japanese monster movies as a kid, is hands-on describing the personality each creature has and how he should move. Famous Special Effects house ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) shows us how all this was accomplished, including everything from a bio-luminescent look for the sea monsters down to the choreography of their fights with the Jaegers. Some really impressive artistry to look at especially for lovers of monsters and giant robots!
The Shatterdome – an art gallery with video, animatics, maquettes and concept art on sets and locales that you can click through. Costumes, critters and locales are included with beautifully-animated, hand drawn storyboards accompanied by sound and music from the film. Really interesting for artists and lovers of the film alike.
Deleted Scenes – a few, all short. There are some with Jaeger driver Raleigh, some with the two scientists getting equipment, a quick scene as the father and son Aussie drivers argue. Okay but you can see why they weren’t needed.
Blooper Reel – Funny but, not hilarious. A scientist gets his glasses hit by a gun, a prop gun breaks, a beer explodes, things are dropped, people make faces and crack up etc.
I was very happy to see that what looked too dark for me in the theater, especially in sea battles, is all lit up and very visible in this high quality Blu-ray (or the DVD looks good too!). Sound is also crisp and amazing. I was one of those little girls playing more with robots and giant Godzillas than baby dolls as a kid so I understand why director Guillermo Del Toro gets excited about them. This movie is his homage to the Godzilla-type monster films he enjoyed as a kid, all done with state-of-the-art modern filmmaking techniques.
I did think that the character development of the drivers of the robots made me care about what happened to them, pulling the movie above just a “smack-down” fightathon between ginormous critters and robots. This movie is an eyeful and the extras on this Blu-ray/DVD set are extensive. The set is well worth adding to your collection or buying now for holiday giving! Like we did for the movie in theaters, we go 4 stars.
Pacific Rim Blu-ray + DVD Rating:
Pacific Rim is now available on Blu-ray and DVD!