2013 has been one of the most divisive years for films in recent memory. If you were to ask any random reader of this site, things would mostly be black and white. “THIS MOVIE was better than THAT MOVIE, CLEARLY!” Even one of the top comments on my Iron Man 3 Blu-ray review was “Man of Steel was better, deal with it!” He certainly taught me a lesson. This brings me to this week’s Blu-ray review: Pacific Rim, one of my favorite movies of the year and what I feel is one of the most divisive. Many defend the monster epic while others are quick to bash it, but let me be frank when I say: Regardless of what you think of the movie, it’s one of the best packaged Blu-rays of the year.
All of Guillermo del Toro’s films, regardless of the film’s appeal, are loaded with additional features and Pacfic Rim is no different. Packed with a few hours worth of content, the features on Pacific Rim range from the aesthetic look of the sets, the Jaeger pilot platforms that were built, the music, the visual effects, Kaiju design, and much, much more. If you like this movie at all, and have an interest in how they put it together, this is something you’re going to want to check out. While it doesn’t contain the same kind of “DIY Making of” features that some want to see, it is full of surprises that will make you look at the film differently each time you watch it.
I could listen to Del Toro talk for hours and luckily in his commentary for Pacific Rim he’s just as animated as usual and covers a variety of topics that range from Japanese Kaiju history lessons to set decoration and beyond. Very seldom do prolific and culturally-revered directors break down their films in terms of what they were doing, where the inspiration came from (a brief history lesson of the inspiration), and their favorite moments and Del Toro seems to know this in his highly insightful and interesting commentary. There’s not a wasted moment, and if there’s ever a subject you wish he’d talked about more, it’s no doubt covered in one of the additional featueres.
It’s still a debate for some people as to whether a film is “worth” buying on Blu-ray over DVD and it’s literally no contest for Pacific Rim. Some films simply can’t compare to Pacific Rim due to its jaw dropping visuals and stunning effects and that becomes even more obvious when watching it in high definition. You’re doing yourself a disservice by watching this on DVD over Blu-ray. It is a visual treat. As I’ve mentioned in reviews previously, the place I always point to as Blu-ray’s superiority over DVD is in the sound mixing and Pacific Rim is no different. You might even hear things on your own television that were drowned out in the theater. Every piston that fires, ever gear that turns, every punch that connects to a Kaiju’s big stupid face, they’re all right there in your ear and it’s glorious.
I can’t go on enough about how much I love this movie, though I did manage to contain it into a few hundred words in my original review, but in watching the behind-the-scenes materials and listening to Guillermo del Toro talk about the film, it becomes obvious that no one loves this movie more than he does. Pacific Rim is a total love letter to Kaiju movies of the ’60s, and the film’s astonishing Blu-ray is everything that film fanatics want to see in a home video release. A must own if there ever was one.