Pacific Rim: Uprising 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 229, July 2018

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Sequences of sci-f violence and action, and some language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Steven S. DeKnight
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"Pacific Rim: Uprising" takes place ten years after the events of the first movie when the Kaiju return with a new deadly threat that reignites the conflict between these otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and Jaegers, the human-piloted super-machines that were built to vanquish them. The rebellious Jake Pentecost (Boyega), a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity's victory against the monstrous Kaiju, has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through the cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father's legacy. Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert (Eastwood), 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara (Spaeny), returning veterans and a crew of fiercely young cadets. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary by Director Steven S. DeKnight; eight deleted scenes with optional commentary by DeKnight; five featurettes: "Hall Of Heroes", "Bridge To Uprising", "The Underworld Of Uprising", "Becoming Cadets", "Unexpected Villain" and "Next Level Jaegers" "I Am Scrapper", "Going Mega", "Secrets Of Shao" and "Mako Returns" and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.40:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally in anamorphic Panavision® using the Arri Alexa Mini and Arri Alexa XT Plus camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The movie was also released theatrically in 3D with the stereo conversion by Prime Focus Creative Services. Picture quality is excellent, with extremely contrasted HDR, exhibiting intensified bright whites in lighting effects, deep blacks, and revealing shadow delineation. White levels are super bright and virtually blinding, at least on a monitor capable of virtually 2,000 nits of peak white brightness. The color palette is very saturated with a wide color gamut that enhances the range of hue shading. Colors often pop with intensity. Fleshtones retain naturalness throughout. Resolution is excellent with very fine detail exhibited throughout in all manner of object texture as well as in facial features, skim pores, hair and clothing, uniforms, and of course, the robots and the Kaiju. WOW! segments include 0:21:08 to 0:21:33, 0:33:16 to 0:36:34, 0:49:06 to 0:53:02, 01:21:40 to 01:22:53, and other similar chaotic segments. This is a rough and wild visual experience with super-enhanced HDR intensity. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is intensely dynamic and a sonic assault. All manner of chaos and noises associated with intense engagement of the robots and the Kaiju are prominent, enhanced with system-threatening deep and powerful bass and .1 LFE energy. Sound effects rule throughout with intensity and directionality throughout the ear-level soundfield, fully energizing all four surround channels. Surround energy is often extremely intensified. Atmospherics are also intense and complementary to the sound effects. The orchestral score tends to be somewhat buried in the chaotic sonics but occupies a wide and deep soundstage presence that aggressively extends to the surrounds. Dialogue is loud and at times distorted when yelling, which is often during the intense mayhem.

The Immersive Sound element is unusually restricted for a soundtrack with such intense mayhem and sound effects. The elements include thunder, helicopter movement, jet-propelled aircraft flyovers, monster growls, robots and Kaiju hitting each other, various loud female announcements, electrical deactivation sound effects, system shutdown sound effects, metal crashing sounds, a time warp sound effect, a monster's screeching sound and roar, rockets squealing, ambient underground dripping water, a man's echoed command voice, attack helicopter sounds, a Japanese woman's announcement, an elevator bell sound, an electronic drilling sound effect, a command-center electronic explosion, a robot head explosion, a distant announcement, jet aircraft landing, short-circuit lighting sound effects, structural limits creaking sounds, echoed monster sounds, a rocket out of control in mid-air and other object-based sound effects, all of which are very brief and intermittent. However, there is no music in the height channel. Much has been overlooked by the sound designers, not only with regard to the extension of sound effects and music, but the sense of ambient soundscape rendering, which defines a true spherical surround experience.

This is a very loud and complex holosonic® experience that will thrill fans of the franchise. (Gary Reber)