3D Blu-ray Review Imax Hubble 3D: THE HTF 3D ADDICT REVIEW

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]
    What can I say? I love 3D! From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content. I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite. That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT. I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky. However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation. These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves. I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum. My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released. As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.





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    Imax Hubble 3D

    Studio: Warner Bros.
    Product Release: May 31, 2011
    Ratio: 1.85:1
    Audio: DTS HD-MA 5.1
    Running Time: 44 minutes
    Rating: G

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    On A Scale 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5
    3D Separation: 5
    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 4.5


    I think I have been a little unfair towards the collection of IMAX 3D Blu-ray
    releases that have been available for the past few years, giving more
    preference to movie releases when compiling my list of top 3D titles. After
    all, I am guessing most consumers who are gauging 3D Blu-ray purchases
    are looking for the most bang for the buck and tend to pick movies over
    documentaries. After all, these IMAX Blu-rays are very expensive when
    considering they only have a running time of 45 minutes. That's a huge
    deterrent for anyone looking to keep their entertainment purchases within
    budget.

    The good news is, if you wait long enough, the price of these IMAX titles
    usually always hit the $20 mark, which I think is the perfect price point for
    most individuals, including myself. You see, I never received an advanced
    screener of Imax Hubble 3D, so I took my time and waited for the eventual
    price drop. For those of you reading this review, I am about to persuade you
    to open your wallets and make a very wise $20 investment that will harness
    the full power of your 3D display.

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    With the space shuttle program winding down in May of 2009, Imax Hubble 3D
    archives the mission of 7 astronauts and their last chance to save the ailing
    Hubble Telescope's warped mirror. With state-of-the-art instruments on board,
    their mission is to improve the telescope's discovery capability.

    The best word to describe the experience of watching this mission unfold is
    "stunning." Donning 3D eyewear, I was simply amazed at how my display was
    turned into a perfect picture-window where I felt instantly connected to the events
    on screen. The IMAX footage itself is incredibly awe-inspiring -- so crisp and
    ultra-detailed -- that I felt as if I could reach out and touch the telescope laying
    before me. An astounding level of depth -- almost limitless -- creates an immersive
    environment like no other.

    Some of the best moments to savor....

    * There's an amazing shot of the pool in which the astronauts use for weightless
    training. We are actually introduced to it at water level, just before going under.
    The perspective of depth within the room combined with the gorgeous blue color
    of the water at eye-level is breathtaking to see.

    * Approximately 19 minutes into the documentary there is a shot from, I believe,
    the Space Shuttle Endeavor. A long rescue arm extends downwards, with the
    Earth hovering just beneath. On a large screen, it is perhaps the most incredible
    sight you will ever witness on your display. Just sit back and savor the reach.

    * At Approximately 27 minutes, there are more stunning shots of the Hubble
    telescope floating above earth, but with the addition of a very thin tether that
    places itself most prominently forward in view, creating an additional layered
    obstacle that only furthers the 3D enhancement.

    [​IMG]

    I mentioned limitless depth earlier in the review, and it plays the most essential
    part of this 3D experience. You really get a sense of the vastness of space,
    watching our earth and the man-made creations above it, floating in what can be
    best described as black nothingness. If you want to test the level of black your
    display can produce, this is the perfect demo disc. I am very fortunate to have a
    plasma that was able to produce the inkiest levels of black. When you see that type
    of blackness surrounding the Earth, it's...well...something you really need to see for
    yourself.

    While watching some of this awesome footage, you begin to take notice of items
    that pop themselves forward. Look at how the open panel doors of the Hubble
    telescope extend themselves outward. Various tools that the astronauts use for
    repair also protrude forward. This isn't an overly gimmicky presentation -- and
    it need not be as the visuals from space are inspiring enough to watch on their own.

    [​IMG]

    Some may complain that a lot of spectacular 3D footage is bogged down by the
    personal moments spent with the astronauts aboard the space shuttle. Personally,
    I found these moments rather cool to watch. Some may also object to the amount
    of computer-generated 2D static images taken from the Hubble telescope that were
    converted to 3D by pulling apart stars and nebulas, giving them more texture and
    a feeling of space as it really is. Personally, I really enjoyed these re-imagined images.
    All I can say is be patient. As we near the end of this documentary, we find ourselves
    peering into the edge of the observable universe, looking at images 10 billion light
    years away. I have never dropped acid in my life, but as the camera pulls back on a
    multitude of star fields, I can just imagine what the drug-induced experience must
    have been like.

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    The audible experience of Imax Hubble 3D is just as immersive as the video. The
    soothing narration by Leonardo Dicaprio is delegated to the center channel. The fronts
    and rears provide an enveloping array of effect sounds. I love the way that the voices
    of the astronauts and mission controllers were placed squarely into the rears. This
    provides a constant level of vocal cross-direction. Do yourself a favor and turn up
    your receiver/amps during the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. It will be quite
    an amazing experience to watch and feel, thanks to the strong rumble of the LFE channel.

    Imax Hubble 3D arrives as a single Blu-ray disc with both 3D and 2D feature
    presentation. It may have originally come with an outer cardboard sleeve -- I am
    not certain -- but with the discounted price it comes in a standard case. There is a
    really great added feature that takes viewers behind-the-scenes of filming this
    Imax documentary. There is also a Hubble Mission Logs Webisode Gallery included.



    CONCLUSION

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    What more can I say to persuade you to drop $20 on the best IMAX feature I have
    had the pleasure of reviewing thus far?

    If you have been spending all your money buying and watching 3D feature films, I
    urge you to give these IMAX documentaries your highest consideration -- particularly
    this one. They really unleash the full potential of your 3D display. These are the the
    moments that you just sit back in your chair, gasp in admiration, while continually
    uttering the word, "WOW!"

    My thanks to HTF member, Brett_B, for urging me to purchase and review this title.


    Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc.

    Equipment

    Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 THX Certified 3D display
    Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player
    Denon 3311CI Receiver
    Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers
    SV Sound Subwoofer
     
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  2. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    How nice to read this! Now I'll get it, too. I'm always interested in such things having to do with the space program, and am excited to hear this is a good 3D one. Sold!
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Charles,

    Do report back on what you think.

    Forgot to include a link....
     
  4. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Screenwriter

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    Ronald, in your posts you start with how much you LOVE 3D.

    Well, I quite dislike 3D in films and on TV (sports, etc).

    But I must admit to being an absolute sucker for this sort of thing.

    And my son Theo (aged 4) absolutely loves anything to do with space, and a '3-2-1-blast off!' as he calls rockets *. I'm sure he'll love this.

    Thanks ever so much for the tip off - on my way to the (virtual) shop soon.

    Steve W

    * But you know what he hates? The MGM Lion.

    SW
     
  5. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    *He's not alone. Okay, not literally. But I've grown sick of it for being so ubiquitous in home video releases.
     
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  6. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    What a coincidence, I just watched this one again a few nights ago. Also, the IMAX Space Station 3D.

    I have all of the IMAX 3D releases, and can recommend them very highly.

    Last night, I watched a 3D documentary about New Zealand. No pop out stuff, but great depth and wonderful cinematography.
     
  7. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    I received my copy a while ago based on Ronald's recommendation, but I only got around to watching this last night. As far as modern 3D releases go, it's excellent. I'm always eager to view space-related documentaries, although I thought they could have picked someone a bit more appropriate than Leonardo DiCaprio for narration (not a big fan of the Leo I'm afraid). I was also disappointed that the whole thing runs for only 41 minutes.

    The best part of this was the last ten minutes or so, where the 3D is put to optimal use in illustrating the relative size and scale of the universe, and the known galaxies within it. In 2D it just wouldn't have the same impact. The space scenes where the astronauts undertake repair work on Hubble were also well done in terms of 3D, with lots of depth.

    But I do have one complaint: the scenes where the Earth is the backdrop to Hubble's repair - such as the one shown in the third screenshot of Ronald's review. In those scenes, I was expecting the 3D to give me a sense of what it would be like to hover hundreds of miles above the Earth. Instead, what I got was the impression of Hubble and the astronauts floating above a flat projection of the planet Earth. Absolutely zero curvature, depth or realism to the Earth backdrop.

    I'm curious as to whether this is an inherent limitation of 3D; namely, that the far background must always be rendered flat, or is incapable of proper depth. It does make space scenes a bit dull at times, when foreground objects float and separate themselves, but the space/planetary background is pasted flat against the rear of the screen.
     
  8. Rob Mac

    Rob Mac Stunt Coordinator

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    I would imagine that an object so far away would never look 3 dimensional. Like looking at the moon on a clear night or a mountain in the distance. They always look flat.
     
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  9. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    I ordered last week and should arrive today in the morning.
     
  10. John Maher_289910

    John Maher_289910 Supporting Actor

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    I have UNDER THE SEA (magnificent), and am awaiting SPACE JUNK, RESCUE and THE ULTIMATE WAVE, all IMAX 3D films. I guess HUBBLE will be next.
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    John,

    Once you get hooked on the IMAX 3D titles, there is no going back.

    With all the crap 3D stuff the studios are releasing, the IMAX titles look
    incredible. Some of the ones you mentioned such as RESCUE are not
    that great. ULTIMATE WAVE is decent. I will have to look at SPACE JUNK
    or wait for your review. The Amazon reviews don't look to promising on
    that title.

    HUBBLE is a most definite purchase.

    Wonder if IMAX is still releasing 3D titles. Haven't seen any new ones
    in awhile.
     
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  12. andySu

    andySu Cinematographer

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    HUBBLE arrived yesterday morning but now its early morning hours I can't stop watching TOS "The Devil In the Dark" DVD multiple times 4 times, I might get around to opening the wrapping later in the day.

    I'm hoping HUBBLE has lots of dialouge panning like some of the IMAX 70mm DVD which sound cool. I'll monitor the frequency on HUBBLE when I get around to it to see how low it goes down on, spectrum lab?

    I'll be watching the 2d as that is what I bought it for 2d.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Screenwriter

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    I plan to see Hubble in IMAX the end of July in the Science Museum in Pittsburgh. It is in rotation there.
     
  14. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    I have the disc but plan to see it at Cape Canaveral next month since apparently that is still shown with a real projector
     
  15. phillyrobt

    phillyrobt Second Unit

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    I think Island of Lemurs Madagascar will be the next Imax 3D blu release. Also I think the New Zealand doc mentioned last year in this thread is the Jewels Of The World episode Fjordland which is on 3dnet and Xfinity 3d. Would really like to see that and other episodes put on disc.
     
  16. John Maher_289910

    John Maher_289910 Supporting Actor

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    SPACE JUNK 3D is not recommended. Not that there isn't some information of interest, but it's just not that engaging or engrossing. The 3D is pedestrian, at best. Lots of computer graphics that look like computer graphics, and the 3D adds very little. Not one I would ever watch, again. THE ULTIMATE WAVE, on the other hand, is really good, imo; and the 3D is superior, in every way. More than once, I felt as if I were wearing goggles that got splashed with water. Neither is in the same league as UNDER THE SEA, however.
     
  17. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Oh yeah, meant to post that earlier. Don't even bother with SPACE JUNK. I picked it up (at Best Buy, I think) because, well, it was there, and for a cheap price. Sorry to say, it isn't even worth that cheap price. I'm putting it in the giveaway stack.
     
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