3D Blu-ray Review THE HTF 3D ADDICT: Despicable Me in 3D

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    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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    Despicable Me 3D

     

      

     

    Studio: Universal

    Product Release: Decemberr 14, 2010

    Ratio: 1.85:1

    Audio: DTS-HD MA, English, French & Spanish 5.1 DTS

    Running Time: 95 Minutes

    Rating: PG

     

    3dsmall.jpg

    ON A SCALE 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5

    3D Separation: 5

    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 5

     

     

    BOO-YAH! THIS IS WHAT 3D HARDWARE WAS MADE FOR!  

     

    One has to wonder how bad live-action films have become

    these days when considering that the very best films of the

    year are those that were animated.  While many critics placed

    Toy Story 3 and How To Train Your Dragon at the top of their

    favorite lists, I think that Despicable Me may take the crown

    as the very best animated film of the year.

     

    In fact, this was perhaps the most fun I have had watching

    a film on my display this year.  It's such a pleasure to watch

    a finished project that is so cleverly written and animated, silly

    and heartwarming that you want to see it again as soon as it ends.  

     

    In a world of villains,  Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is trying

    to take the credit as being the "baddest" of them all despite

    the fact he never seems to please his abusive Mother (voiced

    by Julie Andrews).  When he's not dreaming up evil capers he's

    tormenting young children or cutting in front of lines at the local

    coffee shop by zapping patrons with his ice blaster. 

     

    Problem is, Gru is being outwitted by a new, young villain

    named Vector (voiced by Jason Segal) who has just "upped

    the game" by stealing one of the great Egyptian Pyramids.  

    To make matters worse, Gru cannot obtain the financing he

    needs for his latest big heist -- to steal the moon -- without

    the use of a shrinking-ray gun that is tightly locked up in

    Vector's lair.

     

    Light Bulb!  Gru gets the idea of adopting 3 cute orphan 

    girls to help him break into Vector's lair.  With the aid of

    Dr. Nefario's (Russell Brand) robot cookies he uses the

    orphans as a front to steal the prized possession.  

    Unfortunately for Gru, he is now forced to take on parenting

    responsibilities as a side job which is certainly no fun

    when you are trying to dominate the world with evilness.

     

    The scene stealers of this entire film are the yellow

    Tylenol-shaped army of "minions" who aid Gru with his

    mayhem. These squeaky creatures chew through scene

    after scene garnering the biggest laughs since Pixar introduced

    those green claw-worshiping aliens in Toy Story.  One could

    only hope that Universal comes up with a starring vehicle for

    those little creatures some time in the near future.

     

    I couldn't help myself but to provide you with a trailer to

    get a little dose of these adorable minions:

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo9-bcbLn1Q 


     

    So let's talk about the 3D aspect of Despicable Me.  In a word, it's PERFECT.

     

    The image quality is razor sharp.  Flawless.  There is an amazing sense of

    depth and dimension with unparalleled detail, textures and colors.  Check out

    the smallest intricate touches like sun rays and sun spots that add to the amazing

    level of layered 3D.   You truly get the sense that you are looking out a window

    with the ability to touch the action.  I dare you to be disappointed by the roller

    coaster ride that Gru takes with the orphans.  It's one of those moments where

    you really feel that you are getting your money's worth from your 3D hardware

    purchase.

     

    And people like myself who love "In Yo' Face" moments (without being too

    gimmicky) are going to have their fill here.   There is always some object

    looking to break that 4th wall --- whether it be Gru's nose, Dr. Nefaro's hands,

    a unicorn's horn, or even shards of ice.   And if that's not enough, the 

    filmmakers saved the best for last....the end credits.  When those credits

    roll do not hit the stop button or you will be missing some of the funniest,

    most effective 3D that the film has to offer.  

     

    Ghosting?  It's practically non-existent which I find to be a miracle given

    that I can pick it out every time.  You have to give kudos to Universal for

    the quality of authoring done here.  The only time I saw ghosting was the

    film's title card and a sequence involving a floating ballet ticket. 

    However, in the scheme of things, you are talking seconds of ghosting

    in a film that runs for 95 minutes.

     

    The only aspect of this film I found underwhelming was its audio track.

    While the Blu-ray boasts DTS HD Master Audio, I found it to be lacking

    to other films I have recently heard.   Dialogue is crisp and never

    overshadowed by the film's music or effects.  There is some nice

    right to left dialogue directionality. There's some ample LFE activity

    present, most notably in Vector's lair when the shark hits the glass

    tank or during a rocket launch.   The problem is, surrounds are pretty 

    much non-existant.  You would hope that the movie would immerse

    you in the crowd of chattering, cheering minions.  Instead the soundtrack

    remains almost entirely front-heavy.  I can forgive it for all the other

    plusses that have already been talked about here.

     

     

    CONCLUSION

     

     

    For the past two months I have been watching just about

    every 3D title that is currently on the market (with the

    exception of Avatar, Ice Age 3, How To Train Your Dragon

    and Coraline). The reason those titles have yet to be reviewed

    here is because they are currently bundled with hardware

    and we have to jump through a lot of hoops to get a copy.  

    We will be reviewing some them very shortly.

     

    The point I am making is that everything I have seen to

    date has been lacking in one area or another.  You have great

    3D but lots of ghosting; You have great 3D but poor content/story;  

    You have poor 3D but great content/story.  

     

    Despicable Me is the very first title I have watched that has

    finally brought all the essential elements together that make

    for the perfect 3D experience.  Despicable Me is exquisitely

    animated and could easily be mistaken for Pixar fare.  The film

    floats on its merits of having cute, charming, adorable characters

    and enough big laughs to keep adults and children entertained

    throughout. It is perfect family entertainment that will also be

    one of the first discs you demo when having friends over.  It is

    the very best 3D title that I have gotten my hands on so far.


    This is 3D nirvana!  Perfect scores all around!


    Do not buy a 3D display without including this title!

     

     

     

    Equipment

     

     
  2. Adam Gregorich

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    Glad to hear it didn't disappoint. I saw this in the theater (2D) and had really enjoyed it. I got the new 3D set up just in time to enjoy this.
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

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    I forgot to mention that according to Mike Frezon who does the Weekly Roundup, the 3D version will be on sale at Target this week for $29.99. I would expect Amazon to lower their price to match.
     
  4. Southpaw

    Southpaw Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, there is a $10 price difference between the 3 disc blu-ray and the 4 disc blu-ray (which includes the 3D version) on Amazon. I've been putting off my order as I couldn't decide whether to fork out the extra $10 for 3D. After reading this review, I think the justification is there. :)
     
  5. Adam Gregorich

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  6. JohnS

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    I'm trying to watch this in 3D bluray and it just has HORRIBLE ghosting problems.

    I watched Coraline in 3D last night and it had no ghosting what so ever.


    There are numerous things in this movie where I'm getting a double image.

    Even in the menus.
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    John, That's simply amazing.

    This is one of the few discs that exhibited no ghosting and

    my display shows off a lot of it -- whether it's actually the

    fault of the display or the authoring.


    The only two places I saw ghosting was right at the beginning

    title card and at the point where the recital ticket is floating.


    What display are you watching this on?
     
  8. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

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    Samsung LN46C750 46-Inch 1080p 3D LCD HDTV (Black)

    Samsung BD-C6800 1080p 3D Blu-ray Disc Player


    This is so weird.

    My first viewing and even rewinding back to the ghosting parts were there.

    Now I'm playing the movie again and all of the ghostings are now absent.

    With the exception of the red title card and floating ballet ticket.


    What would cause this?

    Cause on the first viewing those horrible ghostings were there.


    I have six 3D Blurays, and this has never happened.


    My TV did do a firmware update, but that was before the first viewing.


    I love this movie.

    The 3D is pretty amazing.
     
  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    John,


    I have no answer, though I am so happy that you
    were as delighted with the 3D as I was.


    3D is still far too new to figure this all out. I was

    going to talk a little further about this in a new thread

    but here are my concerns...


    What causes ghosting?


    Is is a badly authored disc? Is it a display that cannot

    handle crosstalk well? Are the glasses at fault?


    And your situation brings up another question: Does

    the quality of 3D change from viewing to viewing.


    I have found that this isn't a perfected format. Even

    worse, nobody is going to have equal experiences
    with each title just because of the array of hardware

    that it is being played upon.


    Still, despite the shortcomings of the format at this

    point, I am still extremely impressed with much of the

    stuff I have seen to date. I'm still addicted.
     
  10. Adam Gregorich

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    As I see more and more reviews out there, while there may be problems with the disc I'm inclined to think most of the problems are with the display (including settings). If I see the same problem reported by people with all brands of displays it could be authoring. Both John and Ron have reported ghosting in the same scene. I'll pop this in when it arrives and see if I see the same issue on my Panasonic. Was the floating ticket issue from the scene when he was in space?


    John-

    If that happens to you again it would be interesting to see what happens if you power on your second set of glasses and see if you see the same problems. That would confirm or eliminate the glasses as the source of the problem. If its still there then pause the disc and power cycle the display.
     
  11. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    The two points of interest to look for ghosting....


    1. The TITLE CARD right at the beginning of the film.
    I believe it just says DESPICABLE ME against a dark

    background. The image is doubled on the sides.


    2. The scene where GRU is in space and the recital

    ticket floats away from him. Double imaging on right

    side of ticket.
     
  12. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    From what I've been able to determine, the majority of ghosting ("crosstalk") for 3DTVs originates from the display itself. And typically with high contrast scenes that are not converged at the stereo window.


    It's worth noting different brands of 3D glasses can have different levels of minor crosstalk, and there is also perceived crosstalk. Perceived crosstalk is when one cannot fuse the left and right images together due to misalignment. Or, the convergence (horizontal alignment) is so wide, the brain cannot fuse them together. Perceived crosstalk will vary from person to person. I think the parallax is small enough on the current 3-D releases where this will not be a problem. But if any of the 1980's 3-D features make it 3D Bluray (Jaws 3-D, Treasure of the Four Crowns) .. I'm sure it would be a major ice cream headache for some viewers.



    After looking at some displays myself and reading others reviews, here is the current consensus:


    LED LCD displays have the highest amount of ghosting.


    Plasmas- not too bad.


    DLP front and rear projection - virtually none.


    Based on various internet reports, it seems the current torture test for ghosting has been Lionsgate's 3D Bluray of MY BLOODY VALENTINE which is currently a Best Buy Exclusive. Most of the movie's locations are underground with plenty of dark scenes with cave lights sprinkled everywhere. A festering ground for ghosting. :) Now Lionsgate could have pre-equalized the video, either by compromising the contrast or applying other "ghost busting" methods. (On a side note: Real-D has to do this, as they opted to use circular polarization instead of linear polarization.) From a purist standpoint, they may have done the right thing. From someone who owns an LCD display - not so much. People who own LCD displays said it had horrible ghosting. Some demanded a recall. Most plasma owners said for the most part it was fine. DLP owners have reported very little or zero ghosting. I own a 3-D DLP projector and borrowed MBV3D to check it out. I hate ghosting, and saw none with this title.


    Samsung has released firmware updates which reportedly has helped. One other option is to do your own "ghost busting" by reducing the contrast and/or bringing up the black levels some. It should help.
     
  13. Adam Gregorich

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    Greg, would the fact that there is a minimal amount on DLP have more to do with the fact that they use a checkerboard pattern, that its not full resolution or just that its really fast?
     
  14. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    I haven't upgraded to 3D (yet?) although I do have a 3D-capable DLP RPTV (and a PS3 that needs repair).


    But if the ghosting issue comes and goes (w/out any other settings/firmware change), I'd think there's good likelihood the problem is at least partly due to how you wear your 3D glasses. That to me would be the most unreliable/variable factor from viewing to viewing. Heck, my regular glasses can shift on me from minute to minute as it is. And occasionally, I'll notice varying distortion/optical issues around the edges of my regular glasses, especially when I first get a new pair or after not wearing them for a long while -- yes, my eyesight is not so bad that I always need my glasses, eg. I can surf the web and do my IT work just fine w/out them, but do need them to fully enjoy BDs (or see fine details outdoors, etc). [/url]

    Greg, would the fact that there is a minimal amount on DLP have more to do with the fact that they use a checkerboard pattern, that its not full resolution or just that its really fast?

    [/quote]
    I'd guess it's all of the above combined, but again, I haven't actually tried it out on my DLP RPTV...

    _Man_
     
  15. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    If the 80s 3D features are mastered properly and corrected for misalignment, they should be acceptable, if cheesy. The over/under format used by these releases usually wasn't the problem in terms of headache issues; it was the failure to properly align the projection lenses so that the images would cancel properly. That combined with linear as opposed to circular polarisation, led to headaches. If the studios go back to OCNs or interpositives and make sure the alignment is correct when mastering, we're laughing. I, for one, would kill to revel in the cheesiness of Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone in 3D.
     
  16. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    Rear projection DLP uses the checkerboard approach, while front projection DLP (which, unlike RP DLP, does not use wobulation) uses a 120hz frame sequential input. Frame sequential is also sometimes called "pageflipping" in some stereoscopic PC circles.

    You are correct: What makes DLP virtually ghost free is the DLP micro-mirrors which have almost instantaneous on/off cycles. Hence no decay & no ghosting.
     
  17. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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    Yes- these titles can benefit from alignment. My reference in this given case was not to the single strip 35mm over/under process used in the 60's / 70s / 80's (which all have baked in issues in the masters sans one title), but the wider stereoscopic parallax used in most of the 1980's features. I'm throwing a 142" 3-D image. Material from the 1950's looks great, ditto for the latest wave of 3-D features. But some of the 80's titles can be tougher on the eyes. I can can fuse the tougher wider images together, as I've been viewing 3-D for a long time, but a few visitors have had trouble viewing this same material. If time permits I'll try to post a sample.
     
  18. David Norman

    David Norman Cinematographer
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    I don't yet have 3D, but just watched this in the version and have to just say -- What a hoot. I can't find a 2D review so I'll post here for a bit.

    I sat down just to play the disc for a few minutes and check for some glitches reported in other forum reviews -- like all well meaning plans this didn't turn

    exactly as expected. I hadn't seen this in the theater, but thought it looked pretty fun so Blind Buy.
    90 minutes later I'm turning the disc off -- I can't remember being this pleasantly surprised by a movie since Kung Fu Panda or maybe Happy Feet.
    Several times this movie just laid me low with laughter and though the story/plot itself is incredibly predictable -- who the hell cares.


    I knew this was going to classic when the "Bank of Evil" sign showed up with the associated subtitle. The Gru-ray Disc scene at the end had me giggling like a little kid.

    It left me wondering how many of those little gags I missed.
     
  19. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    I saw this on sale on Amazon.ca for $26.93 Cdn.....considering that the 3 disc version costs more at Best Buy, Future Shop, Walmart and others around here, I opted for this version since I'm basically getting the 3D disc for free.....a great way to prepare for the day when I actually decide to upgrade. I'll probably keep looking for sales on similar packages in the future as a way of future-proofing my collection.
     
  20. ScottJH

    ScottJH Supporting Actor

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