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 Space Station 3D
Studio: Warner Bros.
Product Release: November 16, 2010
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 47 Minutes
ON A SCALE 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5
3D Separation: 5
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 2
WARNER WE HAVE A PROBLEM
Imax Space Station 3D was a title I had the highest anticipations for.
After all, what could be cooler than watching 3D footage taken in space.
For the most part Imax Space Station 3D lives up to the hype with the
exception of one glaring problem which I will talk about in a few moments.
Welcome to the International Space Station built by a few dozen
astronauts and located 250 miles above the earth. This is the primary
setting for the 47 minute documentary, narrated by Tom Cruise, that
shows us what could be considered daily life where American astronauts
and Russian cosmonauts come together as a team to get the lab up
On the ground, we are taken to the Kazakhstan launch site where the
Soyuz rocket is being prepared to take Americans and Russians into
space. Underwater, the team is trained in working within a weightless
Inbetween the footage on the ground and aboard the space station
the astronauts talk about what it's like to be away from home for such
long periods of time.
For the viewer, Imax Space Station 3D is as good as it gets. Produced
in cooperation with Lockheed Martin, the production value is outstanding.
There is not only an amazing amount of space footage here, but winding
shots inside the station that lifts you up and takes you through its various
chambers. For the very first time, thanks to the amount of depth that is
conveyed, you get a true idea of how claustrophobic these
astronauts must feel.
The quality of 3D is outstanding thanks to a razor sharp image and
nicely saturated colors. The image looks nothing like film but rather as
if a window opened up on your display and suddenly you had a personal portal
into the action. The separation between foreground and background is very
well defined. Astronauts and objects that float within the space station look
like little cutouts. Look for the scene where the astronauts are shaving.
It's astounding to see the razor and stuffed toy floating freely in the middle
of all the action going on behind it. These are the WOW moments.
There isn't much "In Yo' Face" 3D here, though the astronauts certainly
attempt to make it happen by throwing objects at the camera. However,
most of the time it hits the camera lens without breaking the 4th wall. That
being said, there are many moments where objects do penetrate out of the
screen ever so slightly. This includes a few head shots and floating space tools.
Of course there a few slight problems now and then mostly related to
shots when the camera moves backwards. There's a bit of ghosting
4 minutes in during a simulator sequence. There are other occasions
where objects suddenly go out of focus as the camera pans back. However,
these moments are brief and I look at these as problems inherent in the
format itself rather than the transfer.
The quality of the DTS-HD audio is superb. As expected, there is a
ample placement of effects that create many enveloping moments. When
the Soyuz rocket launches you can hear a great deal of debris hitting
the rear channels. When floating inside the space station you can hear
the clanging and banging of objects behind you. Even the voices of
mission control can be heard communicating in the rears.
Speaking of transfer....
There is a major problem with this title. The first 3+ minutes are not
in 3D, though the footage absolutely shows that it should have been.
The title sequence is done in 3D style but is transferred in 2D. Opening
shots of the space station which would look stunning in 3D is absolutely
flat. In fact, it's not until approximately 3:37 into the program that the
content suddenly shifts into 3D.
This is a problem I am going to contact Warner about immediately.
In a perfect world this would be the highest rated 3D title
I have viewed to date.
However, I don't know if I can wholly recommend Imax
Space Station 3D for purchase based on the fact that there
is a problem with the first 3:37 not being transferred in 3D.
It's obviously something that will upset and sit with you for
the first half of the presentation. Though its only a very brief
amount of time, I was so much bothered with the problem
that it took me about 15 minutes to get my mind off of it and
into what I was viewing.
On the other hand, I am hoping this will be an issue that
Warner will address through a recall. This means that the
possibility exists you can purchase it now and perhaps get a
corrected copy down the road.
The title also retails at $45 ($35 discounted) for 47 minutes of programming
which I find very steep despite its very attractive lenticular packaging.
There is a lot of things going against me recommending a purchase
despite the fact that I feel this is one of the best 3D titles in the marketplace
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