3D Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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David Vaughn  |  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  |  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  |  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  |  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  |  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  |  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  |  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  |  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.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 26, 2010  |  0 comments
1010sdsoft.iceage.jpgAs the third installment of the Ice Age franchise, you’d expect the latest adventures of our odd herd of prehistoric mammal friends—Sid the sloth, Manny and Ellie the wooly mammoths, Diego the saber-toothed tiger, Crash and Eddie the possums, and (off on his own as usual) everyone’s favorite latter-day Coyote, Scrat, the squirrel-rat. Scrat’s role has grown with each entry in the series, and here he gets a love (or rather love-hate) interest in Scrattle, a challenge to his acorn obsession.

The main attraction, and what makes this film the best of the three Ice Age movies, is clear from the title. It’s hard to make a bad movie featuring dinosaurs (although the recent remake of Land of the Lost took its best shot). Dinosaurs disappeared long before wooly mammoths walked the glaciers, but as they appear here in a sort of lost-world environment, we can forgive this bit of creative license.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 26, 2010  |  0 comments
1010sdsoft.coraline.jpgCoraline Jones is a lonely little girl. She has just moved into a creepy old house, has no real friends, and her parents are so preoccupied with their work on a gardening catalog that they have no time for her. But she soon discovers a small, papered-over doorway in the living room. It leads to another universe—similar to her own but different in important ways. Her “other” parents in that universe are devoted to satisfying her every whim. Her only new friend there doesn’t talk much (actually, not at all), the neighbors who share the old, subdivided house are fascinating rather than merely eccentric, and everything is colorful and fun.

All is not what it seems. Coraline is, at its core, a bloodless horror story. Much like the recent computer-animated film 9 (the first post-apocalyptic sock-puppet movie, and another dynamite audio/video transfer), it gets under your skin in ways that animated fare rarely does and could seriously frighten young children. It also uses stop-motion animation as refined by stop-motion expert Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Monkeybone, James and the Giant Peach).

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 26, 2010  |  0 comments
1010sdsoft.monstersaliens.jpgEarth is threatened. Galaxar, a four-eyed, tentacled, interstellar bad guy, is headed our way in search of his lost Quantonium, which it seems is even more valuable than Unobtainium. To make things worse, the Quantonium has landed on earth, struck a bride-to-be named Susan, and turned her into the proverbial 50-foot woman, much to the horror of her groom and wedding guests. She is thrown into an Area 51–like prison, where other monsters have been squirreled away from the public for decades. Out of options, the U.S. president recruits the monsters as Earth’s best hope for survival.

If all of this seems to be straight out of the usual Bruckheimer-Bay-Emmerich mold, it isn’t. Instead, it’s one of the funniest computer-animated films of recent years. Galaxar is a hoot. “People of Earth, I mean you no harm,” he proclaims. “But you’ll all be either dead or enslaved in 24 hours. Don’t be angry; it’s just business.” Susan discovers that she can do better than her egotistical fiancé, and the other monsters prove to be both endearing and fascinating.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Apr 27, 2012  |  0 comments

I had no intention of seeing Titanic in 3D. This wasn't a "Hmmm, should I" type decision. At no point was the option of going to a theater and seeing this movie in faux-3D a valid option in my brain. It was up there with "run marathon," "time travel," and "read Twilight" on the list of things I know I will never do.

Well, last night I saw it - James Cameron's retrofitted 3D masterpiece. And you know what, I expected to hate it. . . and didn't. As someone who reviews 3D crap - sorry "stuff" - for a living, here's my take.