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: Deep 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: 45 Minutes
ON A SCALE 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 4
3D Separation: 5
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 3
IMAX IS BACK IN A BIG WAY!
The very first 3D title I watched on my new LG display was
Under The Sea which I gave a rousing review for and which
had set my hopes high for future Imax releases.
Not all the Imax releases have been stellar in 3D. The best
Imax releases come from Warner Bros. while the only one from
Image worth considering is Grand Canyon Adventure.
I mention Under The Sea 3D early on because Deep Sea 3D
serves as the perfect companion piece to that release. In fact,
I'm happy to say that Deep Sea 3D may be the better of the two
releases by a small margin.
There are many important elements that make Deep Sea 3D
one of the most entertaining Imax releases. First, it's an
incredibly well photographed documentary that really brings
out the best the 3D format offers. Secondly, it's narrated by
Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. To top it all off, it offers a
compelling soundtrack from composer Danny Elfman.
Famed oceanic filmmaker Howard Hall takes viewers on an
immersive adventure along coral reefs where you meet the
most exotic creatures that inhabit the underwater sea including
Black Grupers, Sand Tiger Sharks and Barracudas. Some of
the highlights we see include a battle between a California
Mantis Shrimp and a hungry Octopus; the Humboldt Squid
which rapidly changes its colors; a Sun Star devouring its
Along the way we learn about the underwater ecosystem
and how it is carefully kept in balance. We also learn how
man is taking more than the ocean can give. I was shocked
to learn that 90 per cent of the big fish have disappeared from
the ocean in the past 50 years.
The 3D presentation is an outright treat to watch thanks
to the astonishing camerawork and image detail. You will
be equally amazed as I was to watch my display transformed
into an underwater world where everything seemed within
reach to touch. The assortment of dazzling colors of coral
and fish are visually stunning. There is amazing separation
and depth here and the high definition photography allows
you to get close enough to these creatures where there is so
much detail to digest. Certainly the day footage looks far
more impressive than the night footage which comes across
flat and presents some very minor ghosting issues particularly
in the scenes involving darting squid.
In Under The Sea 3D I really loved the way fish came right
off the screen, inches away from the viewer's face. There
isn't anything here as prominent, but there are some really
cool "In Yo' Face" moments that include jellyfish filaments
that nearly brush your nose and small fish that scurry in and
out of the viewing screen.
Thankfully, audio quality is equally as submersive. You
really have to give credit to the amount of effect noise
added to this film. The movement of even the most
minute underwater creature is brought out in astonishing
sonic detail. I would like to think these were captured
authentically by underwater microphones, but I would
argue that there has been a lot of audio augmentation
done here. The score by Danny Elfman is very nice with
lots of his familiar signature moments that feature eerie
chorals. There is rarely a moment where the surrounds
aren't filled with the sound of moving water.
I did find one glaring problem with the presentation and I
had to actually check other reviews of this disc to see if
anyone had noticed it -- and they didn’t. The aspect ratio
changes several times where faint black bars are put on
either side of the screen, or alternating from one side to
the other. What's strange is that bars are transparent so
the image remains in its proper ratio beneath it. I am
wondering if this is a mistake in the transfer or something
unique to my hardware settings. I would sort of doubt the
latter as if it were a settings problem it would be consistent --
and it isn't.
Imax scores again with another demo-quality 3D release
that's guaranteed to delight everyone in the family. I found
this to be slightly more entertaining than Under The Sea
for the overall subject matter, the more lively (but still
sounding scripted) narration by Depp and Winslet and the
underlying score from Danny Elfman.
I am a little concerned about the ratio problem where
faint black bars suddenly come and go at the screen sides.
I don't think the studio will address the problem and really,
it's a minor distraction in the scheme of things.
The only other nitpick I can make is the price. Once
again we have program content that runs at 45 minutes
and the studio is pricing the title at a $45 MSRP. That's
pretty inane when you consider full-length 3D features
are offered at the same price point or less.
Place Imax Deep Sea 3D at the top of your list of titles
to purchase for your new display.
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