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: Under The Sea 3D
Studio: Warner Bros.
Product Release: November 16, 2010
Audio: English, DTS-HD Master Audio; English 5.1 Dolby Digital; French and Spanish 5.1
Running Time: 41 Minutes
ON A SCALE 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 4
3D Separation: 5
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 4
If you really want to see the best that 3D can be, it doesn't get much better than
the IMAX titles currently being offered by both Image Entertainment and Warner.
I will be talking more about these titles in future overviews but wanted to begin with
Imax Under The Sea 3D, a title that originally was bundled exclusively with an LG
hardware purchase but has recently become available to everyone this month.
Under The Sea is one of those titles that absolutely needs to be in every collection
for the fact that it makes the perfect demo disc when inviting friends over to convince
them that they need to invest in 3D. It combines the perfect elements of natural 3D
depth and "In Yo' Face" gimmickry that will keep the entire family well entertained.
Dully narrated by Jim Carrey who seems to put very little effort into his commentary,
Under The Sea takes us to the Coral Triangle and Australia's Great Barrier Reef where
we come face-to-face with sharks, frog fish, sea snakes, squid, eels, sea lions and
sea dragons (to name just a few).
I am about to praise the quality of the 3D presentation while talking a little about
its faults which I am putting the blame on the technology itself.
The overall image quality is exceptional here. We are immersed in an underwater
world filled with a kaleidoscope of colors that are very vivid. In general, the 3D gives
us seemingly unlimited depth of the ocean floor. There are some wonderful moments
where images leap off the screen. My favorite moment happens in chapter 3 when a
potato cod fish swims inches away from the viewer's nose. Moments later we are
treated to a crown jelly fish dancing, suspended in mid-air as a sea turtle leaps out
and noshes upon it. Fortunately these kind of "In Yo' Face" sequences are kept to
a minimal so that the viewer doesn't feel as if the documentary is becoming like one
The problem that I find with live action 3D over animated is that there is usually
so many things happening within the frame that your eyes don't quite know where
to focus. This causes objects to blur as they come into the picture from the front.
There's a sequence featuring a school of catfish racing across the sea floor that
appears rather blurry. It doesn't always especially help that there are a plethora
of bubbles from the ocean floor constantly in the picture that manage to divert your
eyes from the action's focal point.
I am sitting here saying a lot of negative things about what I saw. However, at
the same time, I accept it as inherent problems in the format itself. However, the
fault of the material is its underwater setting. I think that you will find that the
small pieces of action that take place above the water give a smoother 3D landscape
than what takes place below it with all its distractions.
The on-screen menu design is rather simple with a 3D bottom overlay of the
The audio here is as enveloping as the action itself. The sound of water
and sea bubbles surround the entire viewing area as if you were wearing scuba
gear and tagging along with the action.
Imax Under The Sea is the perfect title to pick up with your new 3D
display purchase. It's demo quality, perfect family entertainment, and
it gives us insight into a wondrous underwater world that is being threatened
By all rights, Imax Under The Sea should have received my highest rating.
It fell just short of perfection because I felt the underwater effects while mostly
effective caused eye distraction in properly focusing. This is something I have
not yet seen with land nature 3D documentaries.
I am going to come right out and say that I am a bit discouraged by the pricing of
this package. I can understand how the studios would want to price 3D content a
bit higher than 2D, but based on programming that is less than 45 minutes in length
I find the $45 MSRP and even the $35 Amazon price to be a little hard to swallow.
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