Pacific Rim - Warner Bros. - Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Diego Klattenhoff, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day. Full cast + crew
Pacific Rim is the kind of movie that demands to be seen on the big screen. Having said that, I didn't actually, fully appreciate Guillermo del Toro's latest in a theater when I first saw it. It took watching this absolutely gorgeous Blu-ray at home to really understand why this movie already has a rabid fanbase. Yes, Charlie Hunnam's character is still a fairly dull, blank slate, but from the comfort of my couch (and not in a theater with subpar 3D presentation) I was able to look past the films script and character flaws and really sink into the overall world del Toro has built.
Not only does Pacific Rim have some of the most impressive visual effects of all time (and one of the best audio mixes I've ever heard on Blu-ray), but it's just admirable how self-contained it is. You don't have to have grown up on a diet of kaiju movies or played with a bunch of transforming action figures (I didn't). You just have to be able to accept a world where people have names like Stacker Pentecost, and where it makes perfectly logical sense to combat an alien invasion by building giant robots. If you can do that, you'll have fun with Pacific Rim. And if you happen to be an high-definition enthusiast, you're going to love this disc. It's one of the best-looking, best-sounding Blu-rays you'll find all year.
Special Features: On disc one you'll find: Guillermo del Toro's very enthusiastic commentary track; 62 minutes worth of making-of featurettes. On disc two you'll actually find less content, but what's there is more interactive. The showcase here is an interactive version of del Toro's own notebook that he stored all of his thoughts in (don't worry, it translates his Spanish to English); a 17-minute look at how ILM created the film's giant bests; and then there are some deleted scenes (nothing major), a gag reel and a slowed down version of the film's Drifting montages.
Other Notable New Releases
Sandra Bullock is having a good year. She's currently getting universal praise for her role in Gravity, but let's not overlook her first film this year: The Heat. If you've grown tired of Melissa McCarthy, you should still give this one a shot. It's not often that you see buddy-cop comedies where one of the cops is a woman, yet alone two. Plus, it's also just a crude, raunchy comedy. And speaking of crude, raunchy comedy, you can also check out Kevin Hart's concert film Let Me Explain. This isn't just a straight video taping of one of Hart's stand-up specials, though that side of it is the best part. If you're a die-hard Hart fan, it opens with a few pseduo-sketches that set up his stand-up show, so you'll love this extra slice of the funnyman.
If you'd rather be freaked out this week than laugh, you've got two unique options: the Elijah Wood-led remake of the hard-core 1980 horror movie Maniac. This one is possibly even more intense than the original film, particularly thanks to its first-person perspective (it's not found footage, it's just from the killer's POV), so be warned. If you like your horror less hard-core, but no less creepy, check out Jug Face. It's a low-budget piece of inspired filmmaking about a backwoods community that periodically sacrifices one of its own to a deep pit.
And to round out the week we've got a 10th anniversay Blu-ray edition of Love Actually. It comes with a commemorative Christmas tree ornament, but if that's the only reason you're picking up this set, you should know that it's basically a cheap piece of metal. If you don't already own one of the most widely loved romantic comedies of the last decade though, it's a nice bonus.
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