3D Blu-ray Review THE HTF 3D ADDICT: Imax Deep Sea 3D

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
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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.





    Imax: Deep The Sea 3D



    Studio: Warner Bros.

    Product Release: November 16, 2010

    Ratio: 1.85:1

    Audio: English, DTS-HD Master Audio; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; French and Spanish 5.1

    Running Time: 45 Minutes

    Rating: G


    ON A SCALE 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 4

    3D Separation: 5

    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 3




    The very first 3D title I watched on my new LG display was 

    Under The Sea which I gave a rousing review for and which

    had set my hopes high for future Imax releases.

    Not all the Imax releases have been stellar in 3D.  The best

    Imax releases come from Warner Bros. while the only one from

    Image worth considering is Grand Canyon Adventure


    I mention Under The Sea 3D early on because Deep Sea 3D

    serves as the perfect companion piece to that release.  In fact,

    I'm happy to say that Deep Sea 3D may be the better of the two

    releases by a small margin.

    There are many important elements that make Deep Sea 3D

    one of the most entertaining Imax releases.  First, it's an

    incredibly well photographed documentary that really brings

    out the best the 3D format offers.  Secondly, it's narrated by

    Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.  To top it all off, it offers a

    compelling soundtrack from composer Danny Elfman.  

    Famed oceanic filmmaker Howard Hall takes viewers on an

    immersive adventure along coral reefs where you meet the

    most exotic creatures that inhabit the underwater sea including

    Black Grupers, Sand Tiger Sharks and Barracudas.  Some of 

    the highlights we see include a battle between a California 

    Mantis Shrimp and a hungry Octopus; the Humboldt Squid

    which rapidly changes its colors; a Sun Star devouring its


    Along the way we learn about the underwater ecosystem

    and how it is carefully kept in balance.  We also learn how

    man is taking more than the ocean can give.  I was shocked

    to learn that 90 per cent of the big fish have disappeared from

    the ocean in the past 50 years. 


    The 3D presentation is an outright treat to watch thanks 

    to the astonishing camerawork and image detail.  You will

    be equally amazed as I was to watch my display transformed

    into an underwater world where everything seemed within 

    reach to touch.  The assortment of dazzling colors of coral

    and fish are visually stunning.  There is amazing separation

    and depth here and the high definition photography allows

    you to get close enough to these creatures where there is so

    much detail to digest.   Certainly the day footage looks far

    more impressive than the night footage which comes across

    flat and presents some very minor ghosting issues particularly

    in the scenes involving darting squid.

    In Under The Sea 3D I really loved the way fish came right

    off the screen, inches away from the viewer's face.  There

    isn't anything here as prominent, but there are some really

    cool "In Yo' Face" moments that include jellyfish filaments

    that nearly brush your nose and small fish that scurry in and

    out of the viewing screen.  

    Thankfully, audio quality is equally as submersive. You 

    really have to give credit to the amount of effect noise

    added to this film.  The movement of even the most

    minute underwater creature is brought out in astonishing

    sonic detail.  I would like to think these were captured

    authentically by underwater microphones, but I would

    argue that there has been a lot of audio augmentation

    done here.  The score by Danny Elfman is very nice with

    lots of his familiar signature moments that feature eerie

    chorals.  There is rarely a moment where the surrounds

    aren't filled with the sound of moving water.

    I did find one glaring problem with the presentation and I 

    had to actually check other reviews of this disc to see if

    anyone had noticed it -- and they didn’t.  The aspect ratio

    changes several times where faint black bars are put on 

    either side of the screen, or alternating from one side to

    the other.  What's strange is that bars are transparent so

    the image remains in its proper ratio beneath it.   I am

    wondering if this is a mistake in the transfer or something

    unique to my hardware settings.  I would sort of doubt the

    latter as if it were a settings problem it would be consistent --

    and it isn't.



    Imax scores again with another demo-quality 3D release

    that's guaranteed to delight everyone in the family.  I found

    this to be slightly more entertaining than Under The Sea

    for the overall subject matter, the more lively (but still

    sounding scripted) narration by Depp and Winslet and the

    underlying score from Danny Elfman.

    I am a little concerned about the ratio problem where 

    faint black bars suddenly come and go at the screen sides.

    I don't think the studio will address the problem and really,

    it's a minor distraction in the scheme of things.

    The only other nitpick I can make is the price.  Once 

    again we have program content that runs at 45 minutes

    and the studio is pricing the title at a $45 MSRP.  That's

    pretty inane when you consider full-length 3D features

    are offered at the same price point or less. 

    Place Imax Deep Sea 3D at the top of your list of titles

    to purchase for your new display.  





    LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display

    LG BX580 3D Blu-ray Player

    Denon 3808CI Receiver

    Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers

    SV Sound Subwoofer

  2. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

    Nov 22, 2000
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    I first saw this in 3-D at the Chicago Navy Pier IMAX theater. Great 3-D to be sure. Of the three or so "underwater" IMAX 3-D features, I think this one is the best.

    As for the varying bars on the side of the screen, that is due to the original 3-D convergence being adjusted for home video. Theatrical 3-D IMAX typically has all of the subject matter placed in front of the stereoscopic window, with infinity placed at the stereo window. While this display practice is debatable and has it's supporters and detractors, it can still work as long as the L/R cancellation is almost perfect. Home video 3-D display devices can vary in their effective L/R cancellation, also referred to as "ghosting" or "crosstalk". Then there is perceived ghosting, when none is really present. This is when there is so much parallax some viewer's eyes cannot visually fuse the two images together. Because of these two factors, the convergence is often later adjusted to correct or minimize these potential issues. When this is done, the end image is either cropped (black bars on one or both sides) or zoomed in so one doesn't know a change was done.
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Ronald Epstein

    What a perfect explanation! Thank you.

    I am very happy to learn what I have seen on

    my display is normal and it's not yet another
    defective 3D title that Warner needs to address.

    ....and agreed that out of the three "underwater"

    IMAX 3-D features this one is the best.
  4. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

    Jun 30, 1997
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    Beacon Falls, CT
    Real Name:
    Reed Grele
    Was this really recalled by Warner Bros? A seller on ebay is claiming that it was. No reason given.

    BTW, Ron, I know that you've just given "Despicable Me" top 3D honors. Haven't seen that yet, but wait until you see "Avatar" and "Resident Evil"! These 2 have the best 3D transfers I've seen yet. And the sound mix on "Resident Evil" will have your neighbors calling 911 if you play it at reference levels!
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    I have heard nothing about a recall. Since I got

    this disc about a week ago I am suspecting I got a
    corrected version as I don't see anything blatantly

    wrong with the disc.

    What WB should be recalling is Space Station 3D.

    They forgot to transfer the first 3 minutes in that format.

    As for AVATAR, I am still trying to get my hands on
    a copy. Lot of red tape to go through if you didn't

    purchase a Panasonic display. I am optimistic that

    I'll have a copy shortly.

    Till then, Despicable Me is indeed the best I have

    seen to date.
  6. Adam Gregorich


    Nov 20, 1999
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    The Other Washington
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    As someone who has been trying to by How to Train Your Dragon, Bolt and some other exclusive titles on Ebay (don't bid against me!) I have seen some pretty wild claims that people are using to make titles appear rarer than they actually are.
  7. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

    Aug 27, 2001
    Likes Received:
    South Florida
    Would love to read your take on it. I just rec'd my Panny bundle with the GT25 set from Amazon on Friday and the Avatar 3D experience is stunning. Panny posted Cameron's preferred settings and I came MIGHTY close with my tweaking before trying his. In fact, I'm surprised he has sharpness at a positive setting.

    Sorry for the OT...now I'm knee deep in 3D and will be looking forward to your reviews and updates. My next disc will be IMAX Deep Sea 3D.
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Keep us posted with your 3D experiences. When
    you watch something I have reviewed, I would greatly

    appreciate you letting me know if I came close to your

    impressions -- particularly in those instances where I

    cited ghosting problems. I have a feeling the Panny

    displays handle ghosting better than the LG. However,

    I have been reading some incredible reviews of the

    LG PX950 series and how close it comes to the Panny


    Appreciate all your feedback.
  9. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

    Aug 27, 2001
    Likes Received:
    South Florida

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