3D Blu-ray Review HTF 3-D Blu-ray Review: IMAX Hubble

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Michael Osadciw, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

    Jun 24, 2003
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    Michael Osadciw


    Release Date: AVAILABLE NOW
    Distributor: Warner Bros.
    Packaging/Materials: single disc keepcase in slipcase
    Year: 2010
    Rating: Not Rated
    Running Time: 44 minutes
    MSRP: $29.99 each




    2-D & 3-D 1080p 1.85:1



    DTS-HDMA 5.1 English

    Dolby Digital 5.1 French & Spanish

    DTS 2.0


    English SDH, French, Spanish


    The Feature: 3.5/5

    If one feeling remains after watching Imax: Hubble, it’s that I am one little person. No, I’m not talking about my 5’8” (and a half!) height and my longing to be a little more towering like the rest of the guys who are closer to 6 foot. What I mean is that when considering the size of this earth, the size of the solar system, and the size of the galaxy, and our galaxy being one of billions that exist in our universe, each with billions are stars inside… well, you being to feel little and insignificant.

    While this sort of thinking hasn’t dodged me before, Imax: Hubble really grabbed me by the shoulders and shook the thought into my head. The short film narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio is about the Space Shuttle Atlantic crew’s 2009 mission performing critical repairs and upgrades on the twenty year old space optical telescope. Hubble is able to capture amazing images of our universe right out to the outer edges before the “unknown”. The information gathered by Hubble from the billions-year old light allows the creation of highly computer generated models which in turn gives us the knowledge of the universe around us. What a sight to see; not only do the images spark our creative imagination, but it also takes us to places that no one on earth today will ever be. Hubble IMAX 3-D allows for one more small step for man in space exploration.

    My experience with this title was in 3-D and not 2-D. The 3-D process is an extreme complement for a film such as this and I’m suggesting that a 3-D viewing is mandatory for this title. 3-D assists in the visualization of the vastness, openness, and dimension of space. The depth between stars and galaxies were realized with the 3-D computer imagery of information captured from Hubble. The results are stellar. In fact, this is my love for this title as well as hate. I felt that Hubble was to the point about the repair mission, but this title really made me wanting for more. I felt that my opportunity for 3-D space exploration came to an abrupt halt when the credits began to roll. I hope that future 3-D titles about our universe are created because I’m looking forward to more space travel!

    3-D Video Quality: 4.5/5

    Like all the IMAX presentations, the 1.44:1 aspect ratio has been reformatted to 1.85:1 for Blu-ray release allowing the IMAX image to take up a wider field of view. The viewing for this review wasn’t done on my home system, but at an A/V custom dealer that was 3-D equipped. The system comprised of a non-calibrated JVC DLA-RS50 for both 2-D and 3-D. Unfortunately this dealer does not put much emphasis on video calibration because the resulting image was underwhelming considering what I know this projector can do! Thus, the artifacts I saw were video equipment related and not source related.

    Beyond this problem, the actual content would appear top-notch like the other latest IMAX offerings from Warner Bros. While I’m sure the 2-D video is great, this title does need to be seen in 3-D. Period! Like all current 3-D viewings, the glasses cut out a significant amount of light output resulting in a dimmer picture. This is easily forgiven since we're watching a movie in space where it can be quite dark. As I was watching, I felt like I was inside of the space shuttle. I felt like I was an astronaut moving past the essential CANADARM fixing the Hubble. As mentioned before, the computer imagery is excellent taking us to worlds previously unseen. I felt like I was at the front of the Starship Enterprise viewing the insides of galaxies never explored. The realism and depth created between stars and gases as the film travels through it is mind–boggling. I desperately wanted more! For the purpose of this review, I will score the image quality as a “4” even though it likely is a “5” …well, I give it a “5” for the 3-D experience!

    Audio Quality: 3/5

    This title has a standard 5.1 soundtrack encoded in lossless DTS-HD MA that uses discrete effects to assist with some of the visuals on screen. My viewing was limited to listening to the lossy core. The surround channels are used sparingly as expected to highlight certain segments. Some of the dialogue narrated by the astronauts comes out of all five channels to give you that “in your head” sound. Leo’s voice is locked in the center channel. The shuttle blast off was fun to watch and sounded like what a shuttle sounds like as I’ve heard the Discovery’s Launch from Cape Canaveral on March 15, 2009. The thundering bass was a treat to re-experience and while not nearly as dynamic as a real launch (ha ha), that distorted, explosive sound from the rockets can be clearly heard on this track. It gave me chills all over again. Cool!

    Special Features: 1/5

    This title features the Hubble Mission Logs webisode gallery (seven of them) with astronaut Mike Massimino as well as an Inside IMAX’s Hubble 3-D, a making-of piece.

    The Feature: 3.5/5
    3-D Video Quality: 4.5
    Audio Quality: 3
    Special Features: 1/5

    At a time when we're all left wanting for good 3-D software, you'll want to add this title to your collection of IMAX 3-D Blu-ray discs. The increased depth adds to the imagination of being an astronaut working in space and the hazards they face. We are lucky to have brave men and woman working on these missions and the scientists who devote their knowledge to the creation of such telescopes to know more about the universe around us. Space exploration just got closer to home!

    Michael Osadciw


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