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3D Blu-ray Review Planes: The HTF 3D ADDICT REVIEW

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 17, 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.





    [​IMG]
    Planes

    Studio: Walt Disney
    Product Release: November 19, 2013
    Ratio: 1.78:1
    Audio: DTS 7.1 HD-MA
    Running Time: 91 minutes
    Rating: PG

    [​IMG]
    On A Scale 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 3
    3D Separation: 3
    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 0


    I would advise caution to anyone with high expectations for PLANES, Disney's
    latest animated effort that attempts to ride the coattails of the CARS franchise.
    First, you will notice the fact that I mentioned this was a Disney film -- not Pixar.
    It doesn't take long for one to see that many of the signature elements that make
    a Pixar film what it is are mostly missing here. Secondly, it turns out that PLANES
    was conceived as a direct-to-video release and somewhere along the way, the
    decision was made to release it theatrically. Quite frankly, it's a bit sad to see Disney
    has milked the franchise with this release at the expense of movie-going patrons
    expecting something better.

    [​IMG]

    PLANES takes place in the same similar universe as CARS. Though it's a world
    void of humans, the film pokes fun at many man-made landmarks. As the story
    opens we meet Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook), a Midwestern crop-duster who
    may be small on props, but very big on guts. You see, he dreams of one day
    becoming a racer and joining the elite who are flying in the Wings Around The
    World race. In the type of underdog story we have seen countless times before,
    Dusty enlists the help of Skipper (Stacy Keach), a gruff WWII navy war veteran
    who helps the brave little plane overcome his fears and prepare for the big race.

    Despite this being an animated adventure that takes its viewers racing around
    the world to exotic places, PLANES never allows most minds to go off of auto-pilot.
    All the elements that Pixar would have brought to the table to make this film more
    engaging are completely missing. Instead we have an all-too-familiar story filled
    with clichéd characters and lame jokes that will probably go over the heads of its
    targeted juvenile audience.

    [​IMG]

    PLANES looks outstanding on Blu-ray. Created entirely in the digital realm, this is
    the kind of flawless transfer you expect to see from an animated feature like this.
    This picture-perfect window allows viewers to appreciate the sharp imaging and
    array of warm, glowing colors. I even took notice of the deep level of blacks within
    some of the propellors. The only unfortunate thing to say about this great transfer
    is that the animation seems dumbed down to its basics, giving us so much less to
    absorb in keep our interests alive.

    If I could have given a piece of advice to Disney about marketing this lackluster
    spin-off, it would have been to push the envelope as far as the 3D presentation is
    concerned. I have seen plenty of bad movies suddenly turn into something worthwhile
    all because of its stellar 3D presentation. Sadly, PLANES stays mostly grounded in
    3D, giving a decent perception of depth but with no pop-out whatsoever. I sat grumbling
    in my seat as I watched many missed opportunities for the filmmakers to have greatly
    enhanced certain elements of the film including falling snow, rain and confetti that stay
    completely within the confines of the screen. There are two sequences that come near
    the end of the film that look pretty decent in 3D: A storm at sea with pouring rain and
    mounting waves that Dusty must overcome -and- a race over desert canyons that is sort
    of reminiscent of the pod scene in Star Wars Episode I. Still, overall, it seems that
    everything about the 3D presentation is paint-by numbers. When are Disney animators
    going to learn that there is more to this format than just depth? Give audiences something
    extra for the money you are charging them to see flops like this. I would thrown every 3D
    gimmick I could into this film just to give people something positive to talk about afterwards.

    [​IMG]

    The most noteworthy points I can give to PLANES is its 7.1 DTS-MA soundtrack (which
    has been downconverted to 5.1 on my system). This is a very aggressive mix with lively
    surround activity that remains constant throughout the film. From the film's opening credits
    you get the sense of the power this soundtrack provides and the amount of LFE thrust behind
    it all. Composer Mark Mancina provides quite a bit of punch with the film's orchestration that
    covers a wide range of genres including rock, hip-hop, metal and samba. With the seemingly
    constant roar of jet engines laid on top of that, there is no need for caffeine to keep one awake.
    I personally enjoyed the excessive use of multi-channel conversation that have voices moving
    across the room, giving the viewer a better sense of character positioning. In all, the most
    impressive part of this film seems to be its sound mix and its the one thing that will probably
    keep adults most engaged.

    [​IMG]

    Planes arrives as a 3-Disc Combo (Blu-Ray 3D+Blu-Ray+DVD/Digital Copy) with a non-
    lenticular cardboard sleeve. It should be no surprise that the extra features are a bit sparse
    and include deleted scenes and other featurettes that are geared more towards the kids than
    giving any insight into the making of the film itself.


    CONCLUSION

    [​IMG]


    What more can be said about Disney's efforts to cheaply capitalize on Pixar's Cars
    franchise in making a theatrical release out of direct-to-video material? There is nothing
    about PLANES that will appeal to adults -- note even its inclusion of 3D that provides little
    else than a sense of depth. This is a purchase one should only consider for young kids, and
    even as such, don't even bother spending the extra money for the 3D.


    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
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    So glad you were happy with this...
     
  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Schan,

    Did you just randomly reply to my review without reading it?
     
  4. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Sarcasm.Hence the "..."
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    (laugh) Okay...cause I was really wondering for a moment.
     
  6. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    I think the problem with Disney 3D comes from the higher ups over there.A few quotes from on of the two interviews are telling."But what we spend the vast majority of our time doing is just getting the thing to render and look like it used to look."But is 7s not supposed to look like it used to look. It's supposed to have 3D effects, images that come off the screen. " And especially because we're not really seeking to do anything in your face, nothing -- none of the gimmicky stuff that what would really require camera planning for 3D. But beautiful helicopter shots or fly throughs or movements in Z space, the things that work well in 2D they tend to work pretty well in 3D. So we don't feel like we really need to derive or feed back upon that process in order to turn out a really good 3D product."WHAT??Longish
    HTF: You actually mentioned the fact that your strengths, when it comes to 3D, these are things that are our members have seen and commented on. Just the overall depth of field, the way the film is opened up. But there is occasionally some criticism that there isn’t any of those well, say, maybe 3D payoffs where you get the gimmicky shot or you guys tend to avoid those.Josh Hollander: Yes.HTF: Is there any particular reason why you don't occasionally just throw one or two in there over the course of a film or --Josh Hollander: It's a good question. I guess our feeling is we have a few of them in there in each project. I can think of in Brave there were definitely some arrows being shot towards the camera. But I think part of it is and, our goal is -- it's all about the story. We often say that story is king at Pixar. And we don't want to do anything that would take a person out of the moment. And we don't want them to think, oh, that was a cool 3D moment necessarily. Yes, of course, we want our audiences to enjoy our 3D films and say that was a great 3D film but more than that we're hoping that whether they see it in 2D or 3D they are just saying that was a great moment, that was a great film. And we find that sometimes those moments, they make you think about the fact that you're watching a movie. That thing points out and it's gimmicky -- I don't want to use the word gimmicky because that has a negative connotation. It's like there's payoff moments, I guess you would call it.We don't want to take anyone out of the story or the emotion of any moment. So we try to remain graceful, we try and work within the story bringing people further into it and not -- and really shying away from anything that might push them away or back in their seat.HTF: Got it. Oh, that's interesting, very interesting answer. Josh Hollander: Yeah, and we -- I have heard, you know, we read some of the reviews and what not that say like we're leaving something on the table. We don't want to do that. We want people who pay for the extra premium for our 3D to really get as much out of it as they want. But I also think that folks know our aesthetic and are getting to know our approach to it and then I hope that folks are still getting -- feeling like they are getting their money's worth on the strength of the film and on the strength of how 3D works and moves and supports even without a lot of those poke-you-in-the-face moments.
    This is all said by the Director of 3D at Pixar.So why did 3D change from 3 dimensions to 3 Depth perception. Just call it 3DP
     
  7. Bill Coolidge

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    I saw this in the theater with my kids and despite the loud soundtrack managed to get some good shut eye in. We saw it in 2D and I always hoped the 3D was better but it sounds like we didn't miss anything. I think we will skip buying the blu-ray and just get my sons some of the fairly fun looking toys for Chrismas, which I think supports the filmmakers original intentions anyway.
     
  8. DavidJ

    DavidJ Premium
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    While I found the animation to be lackluster, I and my kids did enjoy the story---not that it's original or anything. It's a shame they don't want to use "gimmicky" 3D effects because they could have been a lot of fun with this movie.
     

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