By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Fans of the giant robot genre should take note: the “limited edition” video release of Pacific Rim is worth picking up for the packaging alone. It makes for a very cool display piece, and it ranks up there with other specially designed products like the Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection, presented as a chest, and Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One, contained in a suitcase. The bonus is that this simple 3D display piece is far cheaper than the other two, and it can still be the center of attention on any collector’s shelf.
As with some keepsake display products, I recommend moving the discs out and placing them into proper storage. DVD collectors like me find some packages more of a visual display piece than ideal storage.
The movie has been reviewed previously here and the supplemental disc that comes with the video release will be the focus. The contents are certainly tailored to expand upon the universe that director/writer del Toro envisioned. His notes and sketches are digitized into a multimedia package that most fans will appreciate. Strangely, I thought that some of the material was quite short. More substance could have been added to these mini-docs. And I suspect that the blu-ray disc is not filled to capacity. But that needs exploration on a computer system. I use a mac computer, so I do not have the easy ability of being able to find out just how much of this disc is filled and if its dual-layer.
Navigating around this supplemental disc is fairly easy, and if owners were not told, they might think the amount of content is on the short side. Most of it is tucked away in del Toro’s “The Director’s Notebook.” Owners should take note: cheaper blu-ray players seem to choke when accessing this feature, or its firmware needs to be updated so it can work.
Amongst this sub-collection of material in this notebook are:
- A Film by Guillermo del Toro
- A Primer on Kaijus and Jaegers
- Intricacy of Robot Design - Honoring the Kaiju Tradition
- The Importance of Mass and Scale
- Shatterdome 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
From the main menu, the additional following features are easily accessible:
- Drift Space
- The Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim
- The Shatterdome
- Deleted Scenes
- Blooper Reel
Drift Space is particularly good watch. I thought it gives the characters in Pacific Rim the additional focussed development to make them more fully understood. And while rewatching the film, I thought who they are was better defined. The Digital Artistry of Pacific Rim is neat, and I was more glued to watching this piece than any other segment. When I want to learn about as much as I can about filmmaking, this piece had a lot more perspective to tell. And the Shatterdome is a look at set and production design art. Additional content can be found online by accessing the Anteverse option, but I have to upgrade my blu-ray to a new model with Internet capabilities. As expected, the Director’s commentary does a good job at explaining what del Toro wanted from each scene when he was putting the final product together.
As far as content goes, the material is satisfying. Japanese Animation fans will be in for a treat because there is enough information in this bonus disc to make them play identify this mech. I could swear that lesser known series like Armored Trooper Votoms and Heavy Metal L-Gaim were also pseudo-influences. I do not think that all the ideas were borrowed from Mobile Suit Gundam, Patlabor or Evangelion, as del Toro explained previously. Between watching the content from this disc and reading Cinefex #135, a complete look at what went on behind the scenes in the making of this film can be understood, and as for where I can display my Jaeger, it’s sitting on top of my pile of DVDs to watch as the perfect paperweight!