Pacific Rim (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Pacific Rim 4K Blu-ray ReviewWhen my reviewer Gerard Iribe and Aaron Neuwirth (his Comic-Con 2012 coverage here and WonderCon 2013’s here) first brought Pacific Rim to my attention, I wasn’t sold on it at all.  The trailer and its crappy narration just felt way too generic for me.  Although the concept has never been done in this grand of scale on the big screen, I could not help feeling like I’ve seen this all before in the countless hours of mecha and robot cartoons I used to watch as a kid.  Prior to Pacific Rim‘s theatrical releasee saw trailer after trailer and each one was an improvement.  However, I still wasn’t sold the first time I sat down to watch this.  What was it about monsters from the Pacific Rim and giant man-made robots that had everyone‘s panties in a bunch that they were so excited over?  I hate to sound like a screeching teenager, but OMG!  This movie ended up being the BOMB!  So much so that I actually paid to go back…BIGGER and BETTER the second time around.  Oh yeah!  I went IMAX 3-D and my ears bled in ecstasy from the stomping of the robots feet on the hard pavement to the smashing of their fists into the jaws of the Kaijus.  I’ve never seen an absolutely glorious orgy of men (robots) and monsters throw down like this and something tells me it will be a long time before we ever see something of this grand scale again with the exception of say Godzilla or King kong.  So while I’m still feeling all giddy after just watching Pacific Rim for the first time on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format, let’s get this monster party started!


So I guess the backstory goes something to the fact that Pacific Rim is based off a treatment by Travis Beacham, with whom Guillermo del Toro (also referred to as GDT interchangeably throughout this review) ended up co-writing the screenplay with.  Now I love Guillermo as a human being.  He’s big, bubbly and super nice in person, but I can’t pretend to be his biggest fan in the world of cinema he creates although I do respect his unique visions and the storyteller he is.  And while I haven’t seen all his work I still went into Pacific Rim with very low expectations because his flicks always don’t do it for me completely.  But maybe that’s a good thing?  Low expectations yield big surprises sometimes when it comes to movies you thought you would hate, but end up leaving the theater with a huge smile on your face from ear-to-ear.

I guess you could say it’s absolutely no surprise that Pacific Rim finds Guillermo in the director’s chair.  In addition to the Mexican, the movie stars Charlie Hunnam (whom I think should have been Mr. Christian Grey) as our hero Raleigh Becket, Idris Elba (one of my favorites as of late) as Stacker Pentecost, Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori, Charlie Day as Dr. Geiszler, Rob Kazinsky as Chuck Hansen, Max Martini as Herc Hansen (Chuck’s father), Burn Gorman as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb and Ron Perlman as Hannibal Chau.  And last but not least, fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones will feel right at home here as the music within is scored by Ramin Djawadi, also known for his work on Iron Man and Prison Break.

As you can see above, with my biases tossed aside, there’s no denying Pacific Rim actually has a lot of grand things going for it.  Whether you see it or not, the film fits right into the heart of the summer blockbuster action lineup with its sheer gargantuan size alone.  The basic premise of the film introduces to us a future world where giant monsters known as Kaiju have risen from a portal underneath the Pacific Ocean, which results in a lot of catastrophic damage and casualties to say the very least.  I love this tagline…“To fight monsters we created monsters.”  That tagline is indicative of just what mankind does as a response to build the only kind of weapon that has a chance against these monsters.  Think of giant pilot controlled mecha robots and that’s exactly what you have with these Jaegers.  These giant robots are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge.  Now I have to admit, that’s a pretty cool concept.  What impressed me even more was the way del Toro and team created and thought up these monsters as he wanted to start over with something new and fresh, nothing like the Godzilla prototypes of the past.  You have to give the guy kudos for that.

So what did I think of it all?  Well…I’ll give you THREE simple reasons why you NEED to buy Pacific Rim on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray or even regular Blu-ray for that matter if you don’t own it already.  How’s that for getting right to the point?

1.  THERE’S BIG F#$KING ROBOTS AND MONSTERS.  I don’t know about your childhood, but I practically grew up on the old school Godzilla films and all the various Japanese monsters the big green guy did battle with.  Make no mistake, first and foremost, this is a BIG monster versus BIG robots movie.  The tagline on the various movie posters don’t lead you astray here at all.  They promise you big f#$king monsters and robots and they deliver nothing short of that.   And it’s breathtaking.  No, it’s spectacular.  Aw…who am I kidding?  It’s BAD-A$$ AWESOMENESS!  They brought my childhood to life and conjured up warm thoughts of firing the rockets out of my Shogun Warrior toys.  Now if you can do that to me, you already had me at hello…and make no mistake…Pacific Rim did just that as it started out with a furious bang of destruction, nuts and bolts.  They wasted absolutely no time dropping you into this film’s apocalyptic doomsday world and I love GDT for that!  I absolutely love the guy now (well I still won’t be as forgiving with him for the Hellboy films or his involvement in Mama)!

2. THERE’S IDRIS ELBA.  Yeah, you read that right.  I’m talking about the man who deserves your respect here, Idris Elba.  He won me over in Prometheus, but seriously folks…how can you turn your back on a guy who delivers a speech saying we’re taking back what’s ours and canceling the apocalypse.  But honestly, it’s not just the charisma of Idris here, it’s the collective cast as a whole.  Whoever tells you there’s no character development here, turn a deaf ear on them.  The characters are the heart of this story.  I felt it and you will too.  Ron Perlman is back in his fifth outing with GDT as the hilarious Hannibal Chau, a black marketeer who makes his bucks in…are you ready for this…LOL…dealing Kaiju organs!  He comes in handy because that’s exactly what Charlie Day’s character, Dr. Newton Geizler, is in search for.  Talk about a mad scientist!  If you love Charlie in comedies such as Horrible Bosses, then there’s no way you’re not going to adore his character here.  And speaking about hilarious…that brings me to another character who absolutely had me in stitches…Burn Gorman as Dr. Hermann Gottlieb.  I sat there the whole time wondering where the heck do I know this guy’s face from.  Bingo!  The Dark Knight Rises!  Rest assured, there’s also a love story.  What good screenplay doesn’t have one right?  It’s also a story of one man getting back up and rising from the ashes that his life has become OR incompatible people coming together to make it happen.  Redemption is all abound here folks.  No story or characters?  Hogwash!  Don’t believe the haters!

3. SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS DON’T COME ANY BIGGER THAN THIS.  Quite honestly, I can’t think of a world where there’s a bigger movie than this.  True, it’s not based on a popular toy franchise, video game or a reboot of a time-told tried-and-true classic, but that’s a good thing!  A VERY VERY GOOD THING!  That mean’s it’s something new, something BIG, BOLD and FRESH!  The sheer size and scope of this project is FREAKING EPIC!  There’s really no other way to put it.  I apologize for my inner geek coming out here, but I left the theater twice with a sh1t eating grin from ear-to-ear when I walked out of this one.  This one SCREAMS show me on the BIGGEST screen possible so remember that when choosing where to watch your 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc for the very first screening.  This movie didn’t make the mad cash that the big Marvel properties usually pull in, but in my opinion, summer action blockbusters don’t come any bigger than this.  So thanks to the international box office success of this a sequel is happening and guess what?!  I’ll be the first in line for it!  Kudos to GDT for the first film of his that I really ate up.  I think my reviewer friend John Ary over at AICN said it best with his closing statement in his video review that pretty much sums up exact same words I would want to echo to the masses interested in checking this one out.  Don’t download this illegally.  Don’t torrent it.  Don’t do anything but BUY this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (click here)!  Show Hollywood these are the types of bad-a$$ sci-fi flicks you want to see by legally supporting the home video sales of this.  In doing so we can all come together for a better film world tomorrow.


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Pacific Rim.  To learn more about the video in the 1080p Blu-ray presentation click here to read my Blu-ray review coverage of it all.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Clarity/Detail: My jaw is permanently opened wide after witnessing this on in $K Ultra HD Blu-ray.  One word…REFERENCE.  This 4K Blu-ray presentation doesn’t disappoint.  Not at all!  You know that whole massive size and scope thing I have been raving about all review long?  Well it’s rendered incredibly here.  This thing just pops!  It’s the magic of 4K Blu-ray, baby!  The detail is infinite, rich and sharp throughout.  Heck, I never noticed how Elba’s head was shaved so perfectly until now.  From the welts and rivets in the Shatterdome doors and on the mech warriors’s suits to the individual stars, snowflakes and beads of water, this track is like a Kaiju, live and kicking!  Fine textures are abound everywhere from the skin on the monsters to the wooly fabric employed on Elba’s jacket.  After comparing this one to the 1080p Blu-ray there’s “clearly” just so much more to see in the 4K presentation.  It’s night and day.  The fine detail in the computer graphics and intricate set pieces are so lifelike you feel like you could just reach out and touch them.  Of course there are a few soft sequences with all the CG, but so what.  I you can’t appreciate this presentation, you might need your eyes checked.
  • Depth: Characters all feel living and breathing on my 4K television screen as they literally pop in three-dimension from the blurred out, depth of field backgrounds.  Some killer examples of depth can be found on the streets of war torn Hong Kong, iron work being done while building a new wall and even anywhere you look in the Shatterdome where the house and build the Jaegars.
  • Black Levels: The black levels feel natural and appear deep and inky throughout.  There are a few washed out moments because of all the employed CG, but if you ask me, that’s to be expected.
  • Color Reproduction: The colors are all crisp, bright and vibrant.  The contrast is pumped in different scenes, but it’s purely intentional and rest assured never distracting.  The vibrancy of the Hong Kong neons, fiery explosions and computer graphics really pop against the wide color gamut of this HDR presentation.  Thankfully, the explosions did not exhibit that Mad Max: Fury Road level of fairness.  They all looked pretty natural.
  • Flesh Tones: The temperatures of the skin tones remain natural and healthy.
  • Noise/Artifacts: There wasn’t a single speck of noise or forbidding artifact to be seen in the print.  This presentation rocks more than 10 cans of Monster Energy drink.  It’s that good!


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Pacific Rim.  Thankfully, the film got an audio bump to Dolby Atmos on the 4K Ultra HD presentation and I couldn’t be happier about it.  The Blu-ray still retains its DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track.  To learn more about the audio in the 1080p Blu-ray presentation click here to read my Blu-ray review coverage of it all.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, French (Parisian) TS-HD MA 7.1, French (Quebec) Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Castilian and Latin) Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
  • Dynamics: Just like in the video department above, this one also echoes the same sentiment…REFERENCE.  Warner Bros. brings us a BOMBASTIC track that will rock your living quarters if you don’t tame this monster.  Wow!  It sure packs a punch and I love it for that!  I was literally deaf for hours after rocking this Dolby Atmos surround presentation, but don’t get me wrong it sounds tender and sweet during the slower, more emotional moments.  That’s the beauty of this surround track, it both harmoniously and aggressively captures the complete essence of what it’s like to be mankind’s last hope.
  • Height (Atmos): There are way too many sweet a$$ Atmos moments to list here, but to name a few my favorites are the following: the lightning from the underwater Kaiju breach, rain pouring down, Kaiju blasting out from underneath the water, helicopters, jet fighters and even an EMP blast.
  • Low Frequency Extension: Hearing those Kaijus scream and roar definitely rocked my world today, not to mention the thud of every punch the Jaegars manage to land.  How about the rat-ta-tat-tat of the drums during the bo staff training match-ups.  It’s hypnotic to me and it’s also the little things in life like this that which make me smile.  But seriously.  The ferocity and aggression of this track makes it a force to be reckoned with.  This is by far the loudest and fiercest surround track I have experienced at home thus far this year.  The LFE channel plays a big helping hand in it all.  You can take that to the bank and cash it.  It produces literal doom and punishing destruction all around you in your viewing room.  What an experience!
  • Surround Sound Presentation: My favorite surround moments are heard when Jaeger pilots enter into a drift.  It’s both fascinating and orgasmic.  Indeed!  From the gears that engage the Jaeger robots to the rousing and triumphant score, I’m in love with this immersive audio track.  Sirens warning you, hurricane, rain, waves and all out war all compete to earn your undivided attention.  There’s no escaping this surround track.  It literally engulfs you, eats you up and spits you out.  If you’re listening to it like KISS always preaches…LOUD…your ears won’t come out unscathed.  Mine sure did not.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: I got chills when I heard Elba say to Hunnam’s character “Haven’t you heard Mr. Becket, the world is coming to an end.  So where would you rather die, here or in a Jaeger?”  I fricking love that line!  And it’s captured and rendered with amazing fidelity and clarity here.  Heck, despite all the debris exploding everywhere in this flick, the dialog is a true winner as it always remains loud, clear and intelligible throughout.  You honestly couldn’t ask for anything more out of it.


I feel like I’m announcing the birth of my yet to be born son with this 4K Ultra HD package of Pacific Rim.  LOL.  In addition to the film on Ultra HD disc the second Blu-ray disc houses the film in 1080p and the below audio commentary and focus points.  Missing this time around is the second Blu-ray disc that houses all the extras found on the previous Blu-ray release as archived here.  There’s also a code redeemable for an UltraViolet HD Digital Copy too (UHD when redeemed in VUDU).  Even though we are missing some extras there’s still a lot to keep you busy with here!  So let’s talk about them in more detail now.

  • Audio Commentary by Guillermo del Toro – Do you love hearing GDT talk?  So do I!  He’s adorable and so nice and genuine in person.  This one’s simply a treasure trove to endure.  I love how he says this movie is made out of love.  That’s exactly how I feel about it too.  It’s a movie as GDT puts it that injects new life and passion into two genres he loves and grew up with.  You can tell this guy loves his Kaiju.  That’s no secret.  It’s all interesting here as we get to hear GDT’s take on everything and hear how it differs from yours perhaps.  I could go on and on here, but I think this one begs…no it screams to be listened to.  You want the full making of story?  Well, you’re not going to find that anywhere else except by listening to this track.  I’m not usually a fan of all of these kind of tracks, but I do admit to watching this flick all over again while listening to this commentary and writing this review.  As far as commentary tracks go, this one is triumphant and majestic as GDT would say.  Probably the most interesting thing I heard from the guy is how much he is a disciple of attention to detail and all the detail he wanted dispersed in the sets, costumes, patches, etc (a year just to texture the computer monitors).  Love you for that GDT!  You da man!  And I’ll leave you with this…watch to find out why the color red is so important to GDT in this feature.  That’s all I’ll say!  This guy is a master of presentation.  I’m sorry for ever doubting you GDT.  You have a unique flair and vision here that very few could ever reproduce or even talk about it.  I love his take on the importance of the narrative through audio/visuals.  Okay I’m shutting up here.  I can rave about this commentary track forever I feel.  You want the complete making of?  You MUST watch this!  Period.
  • Focus Points (HD) – Believe it or not ladies and gentlemen, there are a total of 13 separate focus points.  Let’s tackle them in order, shall we?
    • A Film by Guillermo del Toro (HD, 4:47) – The cast and crew discuss the changes a film undergoes through del Toro’s direction.
    • A Primer on Kaijus & Jaegers (HD, 4:09) – The filmmakers discuss the storied tradition of mech versus monster battles in Kaiju films.  You knew we had to have something like this, didn’t you?
    • Intricacy of Robot Design (HD, 4:53) – Here’s a very cool one as we get to sit in an early design meeting about the Jaeger machines and see first hand how concepts evolved into giant metal warriors.
    • Honoring The Kaiju Tradition (HD, 4:30) – Here we get a tour of the film’s Kaiju lineup as created by the mind of del Toro.  Impressive!
    • The Importance of Mass and Scale (HD, 5:45) – This is the one I have been waiting to see…how they designed the huge scale of the film with all the intricate detail intact.
    • Shatterdome Ranger Roll Call (HD, 5:39) – Here we explore the actors and the relationships they have within the film to fuel the emotion of the script.  Who said there’s no emotional qualities to Pacific Rim?  Not I!
    • Jaegers Echo Human Grace (HD, 4:01) – Find out how the actors trained and got in the incredible shape as this feature explores scenes where great physical prowl and dexterity is required of them.
    • Inside The Drift (HD, 4:34) – This one is quite interesting.  Del Toro describes the rules of drifting and presents real-world counterparts as reference points.  Things that make you go hmm.
    • Goth-Tech (HD, 4:39) – The artists who had a hand in creating the colors and unique look of the post apocalyptic world of Pacific Rim chime in here.
    • Mega Sized Sets (HD, 8:54) – This one is just what you would imagine from its title.  Explore the huge sets and see how Jaeger cockpits and devastated Hong Kong streets were rendered and created.
    • Baby Kaiju Set Visit (HD, 3:07) – Here we get an all access visit to the Hong Kong set to witness firsthand what’s real and what’s digital.
    • Tokyo Alley Set Visit (HD, 3:17) – Remember all those explosions in the street during the Kaiju attack when Mako was just a little girl in the film lost in her first drift?  Well if not, witness them all here!
    • Orchestral Sound From The Anteverse (HD, 4:04) – Become a fly in the room as we attend meetings between composer Ramin Djawadi and Guillermo del Toro and witness how the score all came together.


So you say your life is boring?  You say you want to have a fun time, but epic in the same token?  Well you’re in luck.  No, I’m not here to sell you drugs.  I’m here to sell you once again on Pacific Rim now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.  It’s the tale of a washed up pilot and an untested trainee who are teamed together to take a stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.  It’s what dreams and your childhood are made of.  You have never seen this much scale and size on the Blu-ray format before and may never again.  To combat all the other Blu-rays out there, Warner Bros. built a monster…they named it Pacific Rim and you can own it all in 4K now.  The del Toro commentary alone is worth the price of admission here.  I can watch and listen to it over and over.  Trust me…this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray package is the real deal. So what say you?  You want to play with the BIG boys?  If so, order Pacific Rim on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray today!  I can’t recommend it enough.  Keeping it simple, del Toro has won me over and rekindled my earliest childhood memories and I love him for it. Thank you GDT!  And thank you Warner Bros. for one of the finest 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog experiences of the year.  I’m very much in your debt for this one.

If you like what you read above, please help to support our site by pre-ordering Pacific Rim on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray here.  Many thanks!  This one hit retail shelves at a store near you everywhere on October 4th (I hear even Costco too).


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified A/V gear found here.  Make sure to check out all out 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


Bring Home The Monster-Sized Hit

Pacific Rim

on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Today!




Pacific Rim 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Cover


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

  1. No Comments