3D BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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David Vaughn Posted: Jan 21, 2011 0 comments
A boy (Daryl Sabara) has lost the Christmas spirit and doesn't believe in Santa Claus. He awakes on Christmas Eve to the sound of a train arriving in his front yard. Invited to join the Polar Express on its journey to the North Pole by the train conductor (Tom Hanks), a magical world opens his eyes to the spirit of Christmas.

I'm the only one in my family that isn't in love with this picture and I can't say the 3D experience improved it for me that much, if at all. The story is somewhat tedious and forced, so I was paying more attention to the technical details of the presentation and while the audio is outstanding, the Blu-ray 3D presentation wasn't as good as other titles I've watched the past couple of weeks.

David Vaughn Posted: Jan 19, 2011 0 comments
Looking to gain the title of "World's Greatest Villain," Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) adopts three orphans in order to steal a shrinking machine from his nemesis, Vector (Jason Segel). What he didn't count on was the three girls changing his outlook on the world and he'll stop at nothing to protect them.

The marketing campaign for this film stunk and I had no desire to see it in the theaters (and neither did my kids) but was willing to give it a try on Blu-ray. Surprisingly there's a touching story behind the fantastic animation as the villain becomes the hero and discovers he does have a heart buried beneath his evil exterior.

Kris Deering Posted: Jan 17, 2011 0 comments
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 3.5/5
In a world ravaged by a virus infection, turning its victims into the Undead, Alice, continues on her journey to find survivors and lead them to safety. Her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation reaches new heights, but Alice gets some unexpected help from an old friend. A new lead that promises a safe haven from the Undead takes them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive the city is overrun by thousands of Undead - and Alice and her comrades are about to step into a deadly trap.
Kris Deering Posted: Jan 17, 2011 0 comments
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Extras: 4.5/5
When a tight-knit group of New York City street dancers are pitted against the best hip hop dancers in the world, it's a high stakes dance battle that'll change their lives forever.
David Vaughn Posted: Jan 17, 2011 0 comments
Young owl Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess) marvels at tales of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, mythic winged warriors who battled to save all owlkind from the evil Pure Ones. When he and brother Kludd (Ryan Kwanten) fall into the talons of the Pure Ones, it's up to Soren to make a daring escape with the help of other brave owls and seek out the Great Tree, home of the Guardians.

The marketing for this film wasn't very enticing, but the story has a lot of heart and is very entertaining. Director Zach Snyder (300, Watchman) makes his animation debut with this fantasy adventure based on the beloved books by Kathryn Lasky.

David Vaughn Posted: Jan 15, 2011 2 comments
Eleven-year-old Coraline Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning) has just moved with her parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) to a new home in Oregon. With her parents distracted by work and no one to play with except an annoying boy, Wybie Lovat (Robert Bailey Jr.), she spends her time visiting her older neighbors. When she convinces herself that her new home is the most boring place on earth, she uncovers a secret door that leads to a parallel world much like her own—but much better. Is the grass greener on the other side or is it all an illusion?

Pixar has changed the way animated films are made, but the days of stop-motion are far from over as director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) proves with this visually stunning and wildly entertaining tale of a young girl in search of attention. One caveat—this isn't really a kid's movie. There are some intense sequences in the "other world" that may frighten younger viewers, so a prescreening is recommended for parents with young children.

David Vaughn Posted: Jan 14, 2011 0 comments
Narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, Imax Deep Sea guides you on an astonishing adventure that lets you swim alongside our planet's most exotic creatures. You'll follow green sea turtles as they gather at the cleaning stop so surgeonfish can strip harmful algae from their shells, see Humboldt squid change color four times per second like a strobe light, and witness a mantis shrimp fight off an octopus.

This is the second time I've seen this documentary on home video, but experiencing it in 3D blows away the DVD. Our oceans house some of the most interesting creatures on our planet and this Imax presentation takes you right into the action with freakishly realistic visuals.

David Vaughn Posted: Jan 13, 2011 0 comments
Imagine a world of incredible color and beauty. Of crabs wearing jellyfish for hats or of fish disguised as frogs, stones, and shag carpets. Journey into the waters of the Great Barrier Reef and other South Pacific realms and immerse yourself into 3D from the comfort of your own home.

Here's the first of many Blu-ray 3D reviews you'll be seeing at UltimateAVmag.com. For the sake of full disclosure, our household was divided about 3D. My wife and daughter have always enjoyed it, while my son and I haven't, with one exception—Avatar. Everyone enjoyed the 3D experience of James Cameron's blockbuster at our local theater.

Kris Deering Posted: Jan 04, 2011 0 comments
Young owl Soren marvels at tales of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, mythic winged warriors who battled to save all owl kind from the evil Pure Ones. When he and brother Kludd fall into the talons of the Pure Ones, it's up to Soren to make a daring escape with the help of other brave owls and seek out the Great Tree, home of the Guardians.

This was one of the best looking animated films on Blu-ray with its 2D release, and the 3D sacrifices nothing in terms of contrast, clarity of depth. The 3D aspect isn’t as aggressive as some of the other titles on the market, but it does add some immersion to the experience. I didn’t see any troubling artifacts such as ghosting or line twitter, and the depth of the 3D presentation adds a lot to the overall dimensionality of the film. The DTS-HD Master Audio mix is also first rate with incredible dynamic range and an immersive sound mix.

Kris Deering Posted: Jan 04, 2011 0 comments
Inviting and magical, "Alice In Wonderland" is an imaginative new twist on one of the most beloved stories of all time. Alice, now 19 years old, returns to the whimsical world she first entered as a child and embarks on a journey to discover her true destiny. This Wonderland is a world beyond your imagination and unlike anything you've seen before. The extraordinary characters you've loved come to life richer and more colorful than ever.

The 3D Blu-ray presentation is pretty much exactly what I remember from the 3D theatrical presentation. While the 3D does add some depth to the opening sequences, you really don’t get the full effect until Alice makes her trip to Wonderland. From there it is eye candy galore with rich color and amazing detail.

Kris Deering Posted: Dec 27, 2010 0 comments
Imagine a world of incredible color and beauty. Of crabs wearing jellyfish for hats. Of fish disguised as frogs, stones and shag carpets. Of a kaleidoscope of life dancing and weaving, floating and darting in an underwater wonderland. Now, go explore it! Howard Hall and his filmmaking team, who brought you "Deep Sea" and "Into the Deep", take you into tropical waters alive with adventure: the Great Barrier Reef and other South Pacific realms. Narrated by Jim Carrey and featuring astonishing camerawork, this amazing film brings you face to fin with Nature's marvels, from the terrible grandeur (and terrible teeth) of a Great White to the comic antics of a lovestruck cuttlefish. Excitement and fun run deep "Under The Sea".

IMAX cameras capture considerably more resolution than the traditional 35mm cameras mainly used to shoot films today. While there have been quite a few IMAX films released on Blu-ray, many lack the jaw dropping quality they should exude. This is one of the better presentations I’ve seen of an IMAX film, and the 3D aspect only adds to it. The only issue I had was the focal point of the image. Sometime there are multiple layers to the 3D and it becomes difficult to figure out where to focus, which caused some mild fatigue.

Kris Deering Posted: Dec 26, 2010 0 comments
Get up, get on, and get ready for the ride of your life! It's Christmas Ever, and you're about to roller-coaster up and down mountains, slip-slide over ice fields, teeter across mile-high bridges and be served hot chocolate by singing waiters more astonishing than any you can imagine. You're on "The Polar Express!" "Seeing is believing," says a mysterious hobo who rides the rails with you. You'll see wonders... And you'll believe. All abooooooard.

Like Disney’s A Christmas Carol, Zemeckis conceived this film for 3D right from the get go. The results show with a very immersive and vertigo inducing experience that is a showcase for the technology. Warner previously released this movie as an anaglyph 3-D presentation that was nearly unwatchable. Now with true digital 3-D available, you finally get to see just how good this looks. Warner has also upped the ante with a blistering 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack.

Kris Deering Posted: Dec 25, 2010 0 comments
When three ghosts take penny-pinching Scrooge on an eye-opening journey, he discovers the true meaning of Christmas - but he must act on it before it's too late.

This is by far one of the most impressive 3D Blu-ray presentations I’ve seen yet. Zemeckis has definitely shown that he knows how to do 3D well. Depth is pronounced the most and can almost give you a sense of vertigo at times. The bigger the screen, the richer the sensation with this one. I also didn’t notice anything in terms of ghosting. There is a fair amount of 3D that comes out of the screen at you, but thankfully they didn’t go to gimmicky with this one. The soundtrack is delivered in blistering 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.

Kris Deering Posted: Dec 24, 2010 0 comments
Vying for the title of "World's Greatest Villain", Gru - along with his hilarious crew of mischievous minions - plots to pull off the craziest crime of the century: steal the moon! But when Gru enlists the help of three little girls, they see something in him nobody else has ever seen: the perfect dad.

So far this is the only 3D Blu-ray that has been a bit troublesome with playback. While the image has plenty of punch in contrast and rich color, it has ghosting issues that are prevalent throughout the movie. I have over a dozen other titles in 3D and none exhibit anywhere close to the amount of ghosting problems I see with this disc. I even checked it on a few other 3D displays with the same results. While this doesn’t make the film unwatchable, it can be a distraction in an otherwise solid HD presentation. The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is also quite fun with inventive sound design and plenty of great surround effects.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Jul 26, 2010 0 comments
1010sdsoft.cloudymeat.jpgFlint Lockwood has been obsessed with science and inventing since grade school. He lives on an isolated island that has long since lost its vitality when the sardine trade, its major industry, went under. But Flint has a plan that could change all that, with the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, or, as Flint puts it, FLD SM DFR (flid sim difur) for short. It turns water into food.

The invention accidentally rockets into the stratosphere, where it remains fixed over the island, soaking up the plentiful water from passing clouds. Soon hamburgers begin to fall from the sky, complete with all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame-seed bun. And that’s just the beginning. At first it’s manna—or at least Big Macs—from heaven, but things quickly spiral out of hand. The town’s ambitious mayor starts living large in more ways than one and turns the town into an all-you-can-eat cruise ship buffet.

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