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3D Blu-ray Reviews

THE HTF 3D ADDICT: Imax Dinosaurs Alive!



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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul



  • 40,258 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted November 22 2010 - 05:57 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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Dinosaurs Alive!


Studio: Image Entertainment

Product Release: November 2, 2010

Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio: English, Spanish, French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Running Time: 40 Minutes

Rating: NR


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ON A SCALE 0-5

Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 3

3D Separation: 4

3D In Yo' Face Factor: 3



Skip this in favor of Walking With Dinosaurs 


The moment you pick up the cover of this 3D

Blu-ray release you get the impression that the

content is full of wondrous CGI of dinosaurs that

are on par with what we saw in Fox's DVD release

of Walking With Dinosaurs.


In the first opening moments of the program we

watch a an exciting CGI battle featuring a

Velociraptor that is really cool to watch in 3D.

However, you quickly come to realize that these

splendid CGI sequences come in bits and pieces

to what totals less than 10 minutes of the total 40

minute program running time.


Dinosaurs Alive is more educational than entertaining.

Hosted by Michael Douglas, Imax cameras take us to

the Mongolia and New Mexico deserts where we follow

dinosaur hunters (paleonthologists) as they unearth

preserved fossils in the sand.


Along the way 3D pop-up boxes provide us with B&W

footage of one of the most renowned Gobi Desert explorers,

Roy Chapman Andrews, who was the real-life inspiration

for Indiana Jones.   We are then introduced to modern-day

paleonthologists still combing the same locations as Andrews

did decades ago.


The 3D here is a mixed bag and I am convinced that the

disc is badly authored.  In fact, some of it is so bad that

I had to go back to the benchmark Imax Blu-ray of Grand

Canyon Adventures to make certain my eyes weren't fooling

me, the glasses were off, or the display was in the wrong

setting mode.  Nope, everything was okay.


On the plus side, there is stunning 3D landscape shots

of the Gobi and New Mexico desert.   For the most part,

the little CGI there is of dinosaurs exhibits a good amount

of depth, detail and texture.


However, there is an awful amount of ghosting here, some

of which produce double imaging and blurring.  There is one

scene at 21:32 featuring a woman scientist with black hair

looking into a microscope.  Her black hair becomes transparent

and replaced with ghosting imagery.  Another scene involves a

scientist looking at shelves of fossils as he brings a cart around

the corner.  Everything is double-imaged here to the point that

you get eye strain.


The long establishing shots look perfect.  Closeups look

somewhat unfocused.  When the camera is panning backwards

as a dinosaur lunges forward it results in blurring.


There's a small amount of "In Yo' Face" 3D involving

swinging dinosaur tails, falling rain and fossils bones.


The audio is also a mixed bag.  On the one hand it's very

full-bodied with a lot of ambient noise and effects thrown

to the rear channels.  On the other hand, Michael Douglas'

narration takes on an echo effect and is drowned out by

the level of the front two channels.  




CONCLUSION


I have lost faith in these IMAX discs which is a clear

departure from the stance I took just earlier in the week

after looking at Grand Canyon Adventures and Under The Sea.


There seems to be an authoring problem with this particular

disc.  Too much ghosting and double-imaging for my tastes.


As far as the program itself is concerned, it's rather boring

once you realize that the CGI dinosaur effects comprise very

little of the overall content.  Kids who love anything dinosaurs

may be entertained -- perhaps even educated.


I would not recommend this Blu-ray at all.



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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