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THE HTF 3D ADDICT: Imax Under The Sea 3D



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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 16 2010 - 03:48 AM



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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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Imax: Under The Sea 3D



Studio: Warner Bros.

Product Release: November 16, 2010

Ratio: 1.78:1

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

Running Time: 41 Minutes

Rating: G


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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

long gimmick.


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

sea floor.


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.



CONCLUSION


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 man.


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.



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

 


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted November 16 2010 - 05:15 AM


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.

 Thanks for the review Ron.  As someone who has a 3D set on order and is looking for content, what do you consider a reasonable price to pay for this so I know when to pull the trigger?



#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 16 2010 - 05:42 AM

Good question.  Hard to answer.


Whether it is a good example of not, Cloudy With A Chance

of Meatballs is a feature-length 3D film that is selling at a
$40 MSRP but available on Amazon for $24.


Imax Under The Sea is under 45 minutes in length, is at

a higher MSRP with less of an Amazon discount.


Granted, the pricing may have something to do with the

fact that the title could not be obtained for all this time

due to its exclusivity to LG.

However, personally, I don't think this title should be

selling discounted more than $20.   If you are going to

charge more to take advantage of the early adopters

I could see it being $25 discounted.


That of course is my opinion.  We all know how early

adopter pricing structure works.  Everyone is going

to get gouged until the format becomes mainstream.


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 07 2012 - 04:07 AM

Amazon has this title on sale for $19.95 which is an
excellent price for one of the best 3D titles available.


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Ronald J Epstein
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#5 of 6 OFFLINE   JKulp42757

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Posted February 11 2012 - 02:51 AM

Amazon has this title on sale for $19.95 which is an  excellent price for one of the best 3D titles available. Posted Imagehttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=hometheaterforum-20&l=ur2&o=1

I'm new to 3D (haven't even got my TV setup yet). I picked this up yesterday at BB for $19.99. I also picked up Harold and Kumar Christmas 3D. I saw it in the theater and it was great, imo.

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Posted March 22 2012 - 12:40 PM

Are these 3D IMAX titles cropped from 1.44:1 to 1.78:1 or is there another explanation for the change in aspect ratio?