Poll: What Did You Think of ‘Pacific Rim’?

Although Guillermo del Toro’s robots-vs.-monsters slugfest ‘Pacific Rim’ may not have been able to win the box office battle this weekend, something tells me that the demographics of our site’s readership probably had a lot more interest in seeing it than in Adam Sandler’s latest lazy comedy. Did you trek out to theaters to support the movie? Did you like it?

As is so often the case these days, I just didn’t have time to get out to the theater this weekend. I have too much else going on, and frankly I’m tired of spending upwards of $20 a ticket (seriously!) to watch a movie presentation that’s more often than not inferior to my own home theater anyway. I think I’ll just wait for Blu-ray.

While I like most of Guillermo del Toro’s movies, I tend to prefer his smaller, foreign productions like ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ over his big-budget Hollywood fare. True, the first ‘Hellboy’ is pretty great, but ‘Hellboy II’ really wasn’t. Frankly, the trailers for ‘Pacific Rim’ make it look like a Comic-Con attendee’s wet dream, which doesn’t do much for me. On the other hand, early reviews and word-of-mouth have been surprisingly much stronger than expected. Any movie insane enough to cast Charlie Day as a scientist deserves my attention. I may need to make time for this after all.

What Did You Think of 'Pacific Rim'?

View Results

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Also, tell us if you saw the movie in 2D or 3D. Is the 3D conversion worthwhile on this one?


  1. William Henley

    I posted this yesterday:

    I got to see this at a Cine Capri (basically an extra large screen – except that they refuse to play 3D on them) in Dolby Atmos. MAN, did the Atmos really add to this movie!

    I think the best way to describe this movie is that someone took Neon Genesis Evengalion, Americanized it, and made it live action – but in a good way. It’s not like the crap that American television has TRIED to do in the past:



    I was actually really surprised with how much I LOVED this movie. My friend I went with HATED it probably to the same extent that I loved it. I mean, what is not to love? Giant Robots, Monsters, an ACTUAL GOOD STORY (once again, practically stolen from Neon Genesis Evangelion with just a few changes to make it their own – ie TWO pilots), great special effects.

    I came out of the theater saying it was the best movie I have seen this year!

    • William Henley

      BTW Josh, I paid $9 to see it at the Cine Capri (large format screen, 2D showing) in Dolby Atmos. Seriously, $20? I think I would find a new theater to give my money to.

      • Josh Zyber

        Yup, that’s what the premium theaters around here run (the new one that just opened is $28 a ticket!), and the non-premium theaters are not worth going to.

        Even with the premium theaters, it’s often a bust. The wife and I paid $20 a seat to see Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing recently, and the we could hear Superman’s soundtrack in the next auditorium coming through the wall the whole time. I can’t recall the last time I saw a movie projected at a truly sufficient level of brightness.

        In short, I’m fed up with movie theaters.

        • William Henley

          Holy crap, I just checked ticket prices in your area. Like the AMC Imax, showing Pacific Rim, at the same time as the AMC Imax in my area, is $2.50 higher in your area, and the AMC Imax in my area is considerably higher than the next highest theater! I checked seveal other theaters in your area! OUCH!

          This is the theater I usually go to, and I think it is a bit high:
          (check out the theater in Southlake, Texas)
          The brightness is probably the highest of any theater I have seen, with the exception of Film-Imax screens (not many left, most have “upgraded” to digital).

          If I am looking for a cheap movie, I head over to Tinsletown. Pretty nice theaters (not as nice as the CineCapri, but still pretty nice). I am off Thursday, Friday and Saturdays, so I will catch matinees there. Check out their prices – I am not kidding, they are cheap!

          If I want the stupidly cheap theater, I head over here (check out their matinee prices for 3D and 2D movies)
          Of course, with the rapid turn around to home video, they are almost not worth it anymore (unless its a movie that I am reluctant to blind buy, then seeing the movie here is as much as a RedBox rental), and its not the nicest of theaters. Its okay, just not great, but the price means I can get out and enjoy a movie without breaking the bank.

          (man, Josh has been busy lately approving my links. Going to have to break up my posts into two to be able to post links).

          • William Henley

            Like I said, though, not all the theaters in my area are cheap:

            Easily the most expensive in the area. Even their 2D matinees cost more than the prime-time tickets at many other theaters in the area, and I am not at all impressed with the AMC.

            The NICEST theater in the area, in my opinion, is in a new Uptown area they are building up.

            They are $12 for a 3D primetime showing, $9.50 for a 2D. Still considerably cheaper than the AMC, and I think the food at the Movie Tavern is considerably better than the food at AMC’s Fork and Screens
            The prices for a 2D show are about the same, the menu prices are comparable.

            The whole point to this – I don’t get how the AMC can get away with such high ticket prices. Their theaters are not any nicer than other theaters in the area, their screens are usually dimmer than that at Hawkins, Cinemark and Rave, and as their IMAX is all digital, I don’t see the advantage of paying their upcharge versus seeing the movie on another large format screen in the area (CineCapri, XD, Xtreme) which are $10-$12 a seat, versus $16 at AMC.

      • Chapz Kilud

        I agree with you. This is definitely the best movie I’ve seen this year. I watched it twice. First on IMAX 3D, then on Dolby Atmos. I wish movie theaters will put IMAX and Dolby Atmos together so I don’t have to spend extra money watching the same movie twice. But this one was well worth it and I’m not complaining.

        • Josh Zyber

          IMAX has its own proprietary sound format. Any movie that plays in an IMAX theater has to be specially mixed for IMAX. Dolby is viewed as a competitor, so you won’t see Atmos sound in an IMAX theater.

  2. I have to strongly disagree with you Josh. ‘Hellboy 2’ is every bit as awesome (even more so) than the first.

    Seeing this movie in proper IMAX was pretty amazing though. THE SOUND! Whoa!

    • Pedram

      I agree with you on Hellboy 2, I liked it much more than the first.

      I don’t see how this movie can benefit that much from IMAX though (I’m assuming you’re talking about real 70mm IMAX), since it wasn’t shot on IMAX. I watched TASM on a 70mm IMAX screen and the fact that it wasn’t shot in the format was painfully obvious. Never again.

      I’ll be catching this on a 4K screen with Atmos, and I’m sure it’ll be a great experience. True it only has a 2k DI, but at least and it was shot in 5k, and it’ll also fill the whole screen.

        • Josh Zyber

          I really don’t see how that’s debatable. The movie has a wussy villian, embarrassingly fuzzy CGI for the Golden Army robots, and is all thudding exposition, exposition, exposition, with only one solitary character-building scene (when Abe and HB get drunk) to remind us why we’re supposed to like these characters in the first place. The first movie is leagues better on every level.

  3. Freakyguy666

    There are tons of theaters these days that charge $4 for matinee’s in 2D ($6 for 3D) and I guarantee many of them are 10 times better than your home theater. Just the facts.

  4. Drew


    Nobody’s home theater can match IMAX 3D! There are also many other theatrical exhibitions that put the greatest home theaters to shame. I saw ‘Pacific Rim’ in a Dolby Atmos auditorium, on a screen larger than many IMAX screens I have watched other movies on. It was literally mind-blowing! I followed that up with an IMAX 3D showing, the next day. Again, it was unbelievable!

    Anyway, I don’t think Josh was comparing his home theater to the state of the art theatrical exhibitions that we treat ourselves to, occasionally. His point was more along the lines of the fact that even second-rate theaters, that have no business charging full price for admission, will often still charge $15-$20 per ticket! This is despite the fact that most of us have far superior options, within a similar geographical distance, if we are willing to seek them out.

    I have a Cinemark theater about 3 miles from my home, that opened at least 15 years ago. The biggest auditorium they have is similar to a small to below average size auditorium at a typical megaplex. They charge $13.25 for non-matinée showings. If I travel 7 miles from my home, I can go to a genuine IMAX screening for $15! If I travel 12 miles, I can visit the GIANT Dolby Atmos auditorium for $14.50!

    Most theaters need to understand that their presentation is garbage, and inferior to what we are achieving in our own home theaters. They need to lower their prices significantly, and immediately, or face becoming irrelevant. I will NEVER visit a theater that charges full price for a basement-tier presentation!

    • William Henley

      Completely agree. The Cinemark near me opened about 15 years ago, and is $3 for a matinee 2D and $6 for a 3D, and its nto a bad theater (once Josh approves the post, it should be listed above -I provided links, so it has to be approved).

      I HATE Imax3D. Their glasses are much bulkier than RealD, and if you don’t keep your head perfectly level, you start seeing double images. So your girl can’t rest her head on your sholder. I think Jurassic Park was the only Imax3D movie I have seen in years because of this.

      I did see Dark Knight Rises at an Imax, but the theater had just converted from film to digital. The screen was darker, the resolution wasn’t that great (stupidly large screen with 2 2k projectors? Yeah, didn’t look that good), and they raised their prices. The only Imax I still go to is the dome at the musuem to see documentaries at, and they still use film (one thing about that theater is, every since it was built 30 years ago, you walk by the projection room, and they have huge floor to ceiling windows so you can watch them loading the film – really cool).

      As I no longer go to Imax, and put AMC Theaters on my blacklist, the most I pay for a movie is $10 to see it in Atmos on a large-screen theater. If its a movie I don’t have to see on the large screen, I pay $3 for the matinee and catch it at the Cinemark Tinseltown or $6 for the 3D.

      $15-$20 for a movie is something that I would only do once every few years (ie Jurassic Park Imax3D).

      Granted, I am not going to get the open-mat experience of movies that have Imax scenes, but I don’t care anymore. Shifting aspect ratios are annoying, the only Imaxes in my area that still show film (that I know of) project on domes, which is not good for anything other than nature documentaries, and I don’t want to pay Imax’s upcharge.

  5. Barsoom Bob

    I posted my feelings on the movie in the weekend box office thread but I kind of agree with Cyrollan. If ever there was a movie that benefits from a big screen presentation it just might be this one, although I passed on the IMAX version. The sense of scale is amazing. All the standard scenes of rampaging monsters from the old Japanese movies, that looked like oh so fake miniatures, are rendered in photo realistic glory in this movie.

    Josh, speaking of the home theater. We have suffered with you through the agony of construction of your HT, surely you must have attained the ecstasy of enjoying it by now. How about one more chapter about what it is like to have a dedicated, total dark room and what have you enjoyed viewing in it, etc. I’m sure I am not the only one of your readers who is curious.

        • William Henley

          Of course, this leads to a followup question – are you still planning to finish reviewing Bond50? 🙂 Just out of couriosity, how many different issues have you had while trying to review it?

          Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on Alice. Even if its not a full review, would love to hear a few sentences from you on it.

          Miss your reviews! Miss the HD Advisor as well. 🙂

  6. Drew


    That’s a terrific deal! Was it a matinée? I can go to my giant 3D Dolby Atmos for $11, during matinée time.

    • William Henley

      Actually, no, it was a Saturday night showing.

      Depends a lot on the theater. There is a Tinsletown near me that matinees of first run movies are $3.

      The theater that has Atmos is a Hawkins.

      The AMCs near me are stupidly expensive. Its like $15-$20 for an Imax showing, and like $10 for a regular showing, and like $7 for a matinee. Guess which theater I never go to!

  7. Drew


    If you can find a $4 theater that offers a better presentation than my home theater, more power to you!

    That simply doesn’t exist, in my experience. Any $4 theater I have ever been to offered a presentation that rivaled my home theater in about 1999-2000!

    • William Henley

      You must have a killer home theater system! Can I come over?

      The $3 matinees in my area have great screens, projectors, and auditoriums. They are limited to 5.1, though, and I think they are still using Dolby Digital. However, they have much better speakers. For the most part, the sound is really good.

      Its the second-run theaters in my area (the $1 theaters) that leave much to be desired – usually have a speaker or two out, dim projections, seats need to be replaced, and theater patrons who do not respect others in the theater. Still, its a cheap outing, and their screen is bigger than mine, and as long as its not a 3D showing, the brightness is acceptable (though not as nice as at premium theaters)

      I did some comparissons of theater chains in different part of the country, and was surprised how much prices vary from one area to the next for the same presentation. So the $4 theater in your area may not be comparable with the $4 screens in our areas – in fact, your $4 screens may be comparable to my $1 screens.

  8. When people come back from a movie and tell me things like “oh, the special effects are fantastic” or “you have to see this in IMAX” or “this movie was built for the big screen” – to me that’s code for “the eye candy is great, but the story/characterzation is lacking.” I’m waiting for Blu-ray on this one.

    I’m at the point where I feel like I’ve been burned by too many summer movies that are all about F/X and have no idea how to tell a cohesive story. I’ve felt like 2013 has been one of the worst summers ever for quality movies…I can’t think of one I really loved. Granted, I may change my mind when I eventually get to see PACIFIC RIM, but given the reviews, I doubt it.

    • Mike

      I’m with you Shannon. I think there’s a reason The Minions and a bunch of drowsy SNL alums beat this movie at the theater. People might finally be getting tired of the shallow FX extravaganzas. Either that or they were all saving their money for Twinkies.

      • cyrollan

        Personally, I feel like there ARE good, shallow FX extravaganzas; and BAD ones! Transformers 1-3, all bad. HOWEVER, Pacific Rim great! I won’t dare call Pacific Rim an intelligent film, but it also didn’t treat us like toddlers (I.E. Michael Bay or Adam Sandler). The film had a mission and it accomplished it.

    • cyrollan

      I feel like some movies don’t need lots of story/characterization. I feel that there are visual treats out there that can stand on their own feet. For instance, Tron: Legacy (and Pacific Rim of course). For me, it’s all about the bar that the film sets before it starts up. We all know that Pacific Rim is short on story/character; but they never promised us much in the first place! So they succeeded 100% in my book.

      Though I will say that the story actually got me thinking a little bit. And there was a great side story with Charlie Day and Ron Perlman. So I’ll go ahead and vouch that I expected little to no story, and got just a little more than I bargained for!

  9. Drew

    Shannon, you are totally mistaken, when it comes to ‘Pacific Rim’, and you are always going to regret not getting out to see it, in the best presentation possible!

    What separates ‘Pacific Rim’ from films like the ones I’m assuming you’re referring to, is that it has a legitimate heart and soul.

    Aaron said it well, in a separate blog post. It’s what ‘Transformers’ COULD HABE BEEN. (I believe Aaron went into detail about Bay’s misogyny, and utter lack of giving a shit).

    ‘Pacific Rim’ only requires the biggest and best presentation possible, because of it’s vast scale, NOT because it’s only about the CG/Eye Candy/effects. Let’s face it, no matter how large our home theater screens are (I recently upgraded to a 12′ wide screen, myself), these Kaiju and Jaeger just aren’t going to look as big as they need to look, in order for us to experience the full effect of their awe-inspiring size. That’s only going to happen in a proper theatrical exhibition!

    • This is what I wrote on Bryan’s review that you’re referring to.

      “‘Pacific Rim’ is basically what the ‘Transformers’ movies COULD’VE BEEN if Michael Bay wasn’t such a cynical misogynist with a terrible sense of humor.”

  10. cw

    Bit the bullet and convinced my wife, 2 of my friends and their girls to make the trek to AMC Empire in Times Square on a Sunday afternoon, and drop $20/each to see this in Atmos Sound.

    Every single one of them LOVED it, and none of us could find anything that we really didnt like about it. They thanked me for making it happen, because no one really wanted to pay $20, or be in Times square on a sunday afternoon.

    I was honestly laughing the whole time, on how freaking awesome the sound, the 3d and the movie is. I would honestly throw down another $20 to see it again.

    NOTE: AMC Empire 25 has to crop the image a bit in the EPX Atmos theater #6. The burned in subs were slightly cut off near the beginning of the film. I’m guessing because even tho it’s an IMAX theater, the screen isnt the correct aspect ratio, and people would get all bitchy about “black side-bars on a $20 movie”

    • William Henley

      Yeah, I noticed the movie had an aspect ratio of like 1.85:1 instead of 2.35. They simply drew the curtains in and did CIH projection like they should have done. Not sure what the Imax Aspect Ratio is.


      My buddy I went with was complaining that the screen wasn’t as big as other movies we have seen on that screen, so I went into a 5 minute lecture about aspect ratios. I think this movie was ideal for this aspect ratio – on a large-format screen, it causes you to look up, and appreciate the scale, versus looking out.

  11. Jason

    I am telling everyone I know to go see Pacific Rim.

    Definitely the most fun movie I’ve seen this year.

  12. BPD7

    I loved this movie. it was friggin awesome.

    Paid $11.50 at an IMAX 3D theater in MA where the seats had built in subs.

    I need to see this again!

  13. I didn’t love it as much as I was expecting to. I hated the lead actor and his punchable face (surprised to find out later that he was in Undeclared and was actually really good.) The will they/won’t they partner up plot-line was a complete waste of time. And the ending was apparently the only ending than any action movie is allowed to have now. That said, when they shut up and threw robots at monsters it was AWESOME! And Charlie Day steals the show.

  14. Aaron

    The first half was great. I had no intentions of seeing what I thought was just a CGI Saturday morning cartoon. I was surprised at how fleshed out the story was and then it took a nose dive in the second half. It became a comedy with horrible dialogue. I was REALLY disappointed with the last hour. It was nothing but a joke. IT did not compare to the first half at all. A completely different movie.

    • Ryan

      I think i agree with you.
      Charlie Day himself was great, but the story around him was kind of horrible.
      Why could the monsters now find him just because he did the drifting with one….I understand that they might know about his past, but how could they track him down in China? Dumb. And then the Ron Pearlman character was just completely horrible….especially his ridiculous death.

  15. Colin

    I really enjoyed it but didn’t love it nor did I have any problems with the movie so I guess I’m somewhere between the first two options?

  16. Ryan

    Saw it last night. Parts of it were fantastic (the music, Rinko, Charlie Day, some of the robot designs). But a lot of it still made no sense to me. And I didn’t care for the videogame logic of the movie. For example, you’re fighting a monster, and you’re losing losing losing….so finally, right when it’s too late, you deploy your sword and just cut the thing in half. ummmmmmm, why not START with the sword!?
    Also, they didn’t do a whole lot to explain why the robots were even needed.

  17. Lord Bowler

    I saw this in 3D and it looked very good, so I was impressed. I don’t believe it would that much different in 2D but I usually reserve 3D for these big-budget spectacles.

    I was very impressed as it satisfied my love of the film Robot Jox.

  18. Saw it at AMC downtown Disney ETX theatre 1. The 3D was awesome, it was like the Jurassic Park conversion, which I thought was solid. My biggest gripe was that I would of liked to see one fight in the day with no rain. I would of loved to see a Cherno Alpha flashback of the glory days of kaiju fighting. A movie like this definitely benefits from a bigger screen with lots of surround. I will probably catch it again at the Regal next time and Regal always has mini posters like the IMAX exclusive. There’s more to Ron Perlman’s death if you sit for the credits. And I love how the movie pays respect to Harryhausen and Ishiro Honda. This is my favorite movie this summer but I get that it’s made for a specific type of movie nerd.

  19. Anthony

    I saw this in 2D, Dbox (definitely recommended), after I read online that it wasn’t filmed natively in 3D and that del Toro was initially opposed to converting it post-production.

    • Davo

      You read wrong, the real life elements were post converted to 3D but all the CGI elements were native 3D and Del Toro now actually prefers the 3D version.

  20. Freakyguy666


    I don’t know what your home theater is like other than it has a 12′ screen (which, btw is still smaller than mine!), so I can’t say whether your presentation is better or worse than the $4 theater in my area. But based on Josh’s posts I feel pretty confident in saying that the local $4 theater’s presentation of PR is considerably better than his HT.

    • Josh Zyber

      What are you, president of the National Association of Theater Owners?

      First off, there are no $4 theaters anywhere near me. Matinees at the crappiest theater in town are at least twice that, and I’ll be lucky to get 2 foot-lamberts on the screen, the picture out of focus, and half the speakers not working. I’m pretty sure that the pricy Showcase megaplex closest to me doesn’t even have subwoofers installed in any of the auditoriums, because I’ve never heard a single note of bass in any movie I’ve ever seen there.

      Secondly, you must have a great tolerance for dim pictures, because no home theater projector I’ve ever seen has been adequately bright enough to push much wider than 10′ unless you use a super high gain screen, which will leave you with hotspotting and textural issues. Personally, I find that unacceptable. Your mileage and standards may vary. I know that some people like to have a big, big, big picture, no matter how bad that picture actually looks. I don’t.

      Thirdly, your continued condescension has been noted and is not appreciated.

  21. Drew


    If you’re using a screen larger than 12′ wide, you better have some kind of super concept-stage home theater projector. Otherwise, I’m certain your presentation is unacceptable. I hesitated to go with a 12′ wide screen, and only did so because I got a new projector, new anamorphic lense, and I implement CIH. With that said, I still never would have went larger than 12′ wide, unless I could have got both the projector and screen that I did. And I would never go larger!

    I require an image that is brighter than almost any movie theater I’ve came across. You must not care much about image quality and dimness. I hate to say it, but just knowing that about you is enough to be certain that my home theater is significantly better than yours.

  22. Drew


    I definitely agree with everything you said to Freakyguy666. However, your statement about screens larger than 10′ wide would have been accurate, even two years ago. Currently, your statement is accurate about screens larger than 12′ wide, but there are certainly some choices of projectors and screens that look spectacular at 12′ wide — no high gain required.

    • Josh Zyber

      Frankly, I struggle to maintain a solid 15 fL even at 8′ wide. I’m going to have to replace my lamp long before its rated life. There may be brighter projectors out there, but not with the contrast performance I’m accustomed to.

    • William Henley

      We also don’t know his setup. For all we know, he could have a $20,000-$40,000 projector in his home. You can also get that size with a sub $10k projector without sacrificing brightness if you are willing to sacrifice something else (sharpness, resolution, etc).

      $4 theaters in my area are going to beat out most home theaters – mainly because at those prices they pull in enough people that they are still able to properly maintain their facilities and equipment. The dollar theaters in my area are going to be like josh described – dim, out of focus pictures and half the speakers not working. I pretty much go there if I just need to get out of the house, and am looking for something cheap to do.

      A good, properly maintained theater SHOULD blow away a home theater system, unless you have just invested like hundreds of thousands into your home theater (and some have). However, with a cheap theater that is not being properly maintained, my home theater system is better, and mine is CHEAP. It gets the job done, and is fine for my viewing enviornment.

      Most of the crap theaters in my area have gone out of business about 10-15 years ago. Too many premium theaters in this area. Most of them then started playing pricing wars to attract customers, which is how I can get $3-$4 matinees at nice theaters, and $9 prime-time tickets. $4 may not get me into the nicest theater, but what really seperates teh nicest theater from the second-nicest?

      Sorry, ranting about multiple things.

  23. Drew


    On top of everything else, if a $4 theater offers a presentation that is superior to your home theater, in either video or audio performance, you certainly don’t have adequate equipment. It’s time for an upgrade!

    Knowing what I know about Josh’s home theater, it definitely offers a better presentation than any of the $4 theaters I’ve ever seen. And — no offense, Josh — his home theater doesn’t quite meet the standards that I’ve accomplished with my own.

  24. Drew

    I do understand what you mean. I’m a little bit more accepting of adaptive contrast, than you are. I find the tradeoff — in order to be able to project a brighter image, on a larger screen — worth it.

    A couple of years ago, I felt identical to how you feel, in regards to that particular dynamic, and actually used a JVC for a few years, because of it. I feel that projectors have improved by leaps and bounds in this aspect, in the last two years, especially.

    • Josh Zyber

      I actually have two projectors now. I added a DLP specifically for 3D, but I’ve been burning it in by watching a lot of TV shows on it. The dynamic contrast drives me crazy.

  25. Drew

    I’m going the same route. Some guy on the main site discussion boards convinced me to get a DLP, solely for 3D. I totally agree with what you say about the dynamic contrast. Some technologies handle it better than others.