THE HTF ADDICT: Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 21, 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.

     

     

     

     


    Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D

      

     

    Studio: DreamWorks

    Product Release: Only available with Samsung hardware purchase

    Ratio: 2.34:1

    Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1

    Running Time: 94 Minutes

    Rating: PG

     

    3dsmall.jpg

    ON A SCALE 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5

    3D Separation: 5

    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 4

     

    SAMSUNG COULD SELL A LOT OF DISPLAYS WITH THIS DISC 

     

    It seems like the best 3D discs are going to be the ones

    you can't easily get your hands on.  Avatar (soon to be reviewed)

    is tied up with Panasonic and Monsters vs. Aliens is exclusive to

    the purchase of Samsung displays.


    No argument Monsters vs. Aliens is the best animated 3D I have

    seen.  I would go as far as saying that it sets the benchmark but 

    it's plagued with a problem that I will get into in a few moments 

    (though I am certain you can guess what it is already).


    Monsters vs. Aliens is a lively, highly entertaining animated film

    that gives nods to such famous classic "B" horror movies including

    Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and Mothra.  


    Susan (Reese Witherspoon) is about to marry the man of her 

    dreams, a self-centered local weatherman -- that is, until she

    is hit by a meteorite from space which causes her to grow to

    monstrous size.  The government seizes her and locks her up

    with other monsters considered to be of her own kind.   There's

    the Jello-like B.O.B. (Seth Rogan), Dr. Cockroach (Hugh Laurie),

    Insectosaurus and and The Missing Link (Will Arnett).   All are

    destined to be imprisoned for life, that is, until an evil alien named

    Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson) threatens Earth's existence and the only

    hope of survival is through these unaccepted creatures.


    Let's get to it.  Monsters vs. Aliens on 3D Blu-ray is everything

    you could hope for out of this format.  Exceptional, perfect picture

    quality, enriched with colors, where you can see detail down to

    individual strands of hair.  3D depth and separation is at the moment

    unmatched by any other animated title I have reviewed.  Just

    when I thought I had seen the best that 3D can offer, along comes

    this title.  It just blows away everything else that is out there for

    now (prior to the release of Avatar).


    I am even basking in the fact that there is a considerable amount

    of "In Yo' Face" 3D leaping off the screen although within the first 5

    minutes of the film it's pure gimmickry.   Fingers reach out at you,

    TV antenna's and the barrels of alien guns protrude right off the 

    screen.  


    ...but that's not even the most remarkable aspect of the 3D.

    Just take a look at moments like when General Monger (Keifer

    Sutherland) is flying around on his jet pack.  It's as if he's hovering

    in mid-air apart from everything that is placed around him.  This

    is the kind of stuff that people need to watch to be sold on the

    format.


    But here's the problem that prevents Monsters vs. Aliens

    from being called the current benchmark 3D:  ghosting.  


    Back in February Adam Gregorich, Kevin Collins and I 

    looked at this title being demoed at a Samsung 3D event.

    All of us saw ghosting that at the time we thought was more

    inherent to the LCD/LED hardware (though we also suspected

    transfer problems).  The ghosting was much less noticeable

    on plasma displays which is why we ultimately chose plasma

    as the best way to watch 3D.


    However, now that I am watching the film in its entirety,

    I notice several scenes that have ghosting problems.  Most

    of it happens in dark scenes though on the day-lit scene upon

    the Golden Gate Bridge I can still see ghosting within the 

    bridge cables.


    It's a shame.  Most of the bright scenes are so crisp and

    razor sharp that the 3D just pops out at you.  The overall

    presentation is so monumental that you almost can forgive

    the ghosting problems.  


    Perhaps there can be a total remaster of this film done

    when the release goes public.  One of the main reasons I

    mention this is because of the audio.  This disc features 

    a dolby digital 5.1 track but no lossless audio.  This is a

    huge loss because the mix is as engulfing as the imagery.

    There are so many effect sounds whizzing around the 

    viewer's head.  I mean, the audio is potent but if there is

    the potential to liven it up, by all means the studio should.


     

    CONCLUSION

     

    When you see 3D like this -- so lifelike, so 

    unimaginable -- it's much easier to forgive its flaws.

    Right now Monsters vs. Aliens is the best 3D animated

    disc that is still out of most consumer's reach unless 

    they purchase a Samsung display.  I can certainly see

    why this title was chosen to be exclusive to the hardware

    manufacturer.


    That being said, I do hope that by the time this 3D

    Blu-ray is released to the general market that there is

    some remastering done to take care of the ghosting

    problems and to incorporate a lossless audio track.

     

     

    Equipment

     

    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. Neil Middlemiss

    Neil Middlemiss Producer
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    I saw this in the 3D theater and really enjoyed it. I thought the voice-cast all did really well and the homage to the bizarre 1950's sci-fi exploits was nicely done. When I eventually convince my wife that a 3D television is worth upgrading to, this is likely to be among the first 3D movies I pick up!
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Are you talking specifically about Home Theater, and not theatrical?


    MvA, I thought was a 5/10 movie but 7/10 fun with 3D thrown in (and my wife fell asleep, she was so bored with it). I'm curious what you think of Coraline and Avatar for home 3D viewing. Those have been the best 3D movies I've seen in the theater so far.
     
  4. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Considering the problems with ghosting I don't understand how you can give it a mark of 5 out of 5 on 3D presentation. Based on reading your review, this disc isn't on the same level as some of your other 5 rated reviews.
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Dave,


    Working on getting Avatar to review (in Dec.) and Coraline.

    I am talking solely about 3D presentation here.



    Johnny,


    This is a tough one. There are ghosting issues. However,

    the quality of the 3D itself exceeds everything else I have

    reviewed thus far. The reason I gave it a "5" was because

    quite simply, I have not seen anything that quite matches it.

    However, I do note in the review the ghosting problems and

    it's my hope people are reading the entire contents of the
    overview to understand how I rated this.
     
  6. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Ok. Everything else is so much better, you couldn't give it less than 5 stars. Which means if I had a 3D set, I'd have to get this disc.
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I talked briefly about this in my most recent posted review.


    In hindsight, I should have never gone with a numerical rating system.


    They always get scrutinized.


    The situation is this....


    After watching close to hours of 3D content, I think I am in a
    postion to say that the format has not been perfected yet.


    Either the studios are not doing enough QC or the hardware

    manufacturers have not figured out how to stabilize ghosting.


    Ghosting is a lurking problem for the 3D format right now.

    It affects almost every title I have reviewed.


    However, I can't let that problem dominate how I recommend

    these films. I did that with The Polar Express because it was

    the first time I had really seen consistent ghosting throughout

    the film.


    However, when it came to Monsters vs. Aliens, I thought,
    here is a film that exceeds what 3D is about on every level

    despite the fact it has ghosting issues.

    I did the same for Disney's A Christmas Carol. There were

    minor ghosting issues with that, but I felt it was the amongst

    the best 3D titles available right now.


    Ghosting is a common problem, but if you put it aside these

    are the best titles that are out there.


    Not everyone is going to agree with me on how I see this but

    with every title that gets a "5" rating I clearly explain how I
    came to the rating that I did.
     
  8. tbaio

    tbaio Stunt Coordinator

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    Great review; thanks for posting. I have a Samsung LED 3-D TV which included this disc with its purchase. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie & thought the 3-D was very well done. I appreciate that the "in your face" factor is mentioned in the review. So many other reviews don't seem to care about this aspect. It is unfortunately seen as "cheep & gimmicky." Many of these same reviews choose instead to focus on the technicalities of depth, spacing & separation instead. I appreciate those qualities too, but when I think of 3-D, I remember as a kid watching objects coming at me & this is how I rate good or bad when viewing 3-D discs.

    I would like to add about this movie the short which came with it, "B.O.B's Big Break." This 10 minute feature included on the starter kit 3-D disc was outstanding in every aspect: the story, video quality & especially the 3-D. Being only a few minutes long, no time is wasted in getting to the 3-D. For those curious, the 3-D is very gimmicky & very entertaining. The in your face highlights being the opening confetti, a party horn being blown towards the camera, pointed fingers/objects & various other projectiles. I highly recommend this title when it comes out for wide sale.


    Once again a great review & I look forward to reading more of your opinions.
     
  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Thomas,


    Thank you so much for the kind words.


    I understand that filmmakers don't want to
    overdo the gimmicky "In Yo' Face" stuff, but
    that is the WOW of 3D and I am so surprised

    that it's so underused.


    I will have to watch B.O.B's Big Break. I rushed

    through the review without taking time to see

    that short. Thanks for reminding me that it's

    there. It sounds really cool.
     

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