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3D Blu-ray Reviews

THE HTF 3D ADDICT: Imax Deep Sea 3D



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#1 of 9 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 06 2010 - 11:22 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: Deep The Sea 3D


 

 

Studio: Warner Bros.

Product Release: November 16, 2010

Ratio: 1.85:1

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

Running Time: 45 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: 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

prey.


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.



CONCLUSION

 

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.

 

 

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 9 GregK

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Posted December 06 2010 - 02:38 PM

I first saw this in 3-D at the Chicago Navy Pier IMAX theater. Great 3-D to be sure.   Of the three or so "underwater" IMAX 3-D features, I think this one is the best.


As for the varying bars on the side of the screen, that is due to the original 3-D convergence being adjusted for home video. Theatrical 3-D IMAX typically has all of the subject matter placed in front of the stereoscopic window, with infinity placed at the stereo window. While this display practice is debatable and has it's supporters and detractors, it can still work as long as the L/R cancellation is almost perfect. Home video 3-D display devices can vary in their effective L/R cancellation, also referred to as "ghosting" or "crosstalk". Then there is perceived ghosting, when none is really present. This is when there is so much parallax some viewer's eyes cannot visually fuse the two images together. Because of these two factors, the convergence is often later adjusted to correct or minimize these potential issues. When this is done, the end image is either cropped (black bars on one or both sides) or zoomed in so one doesn't know a change was done.



#3 of 9 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 06 2010 - 11:11 PM

Greg,


What a perfect explanation!  Thank you.


I am very happy to learn what I have seen on

my display is normal and it's not yet another
defective 3D title that Warner needs to address.


....and agreed that out of the three "underwater"

IMAX 3-D features this one is the best.


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#4 of 9 Reed Grele

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Posted December 11 2010 - 01:27 PM

Was this really recalled by Warner Bros? A seller on ebay is claiming that it was. No reason given.


BTW, Ron, I know that you've just given "Despicable Me" top 3D honors. Haven't seen that yet, but wait until you see "Avatar" and "Resident Evil"! These 2 have the best 3D transfers I've seen yet. And the sound mix on "Resident Evil" will have your neighbors calling 911 if you play it at reference levels!



#5 of 9 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 11 2010 - 01:56 PM

Reed,


I have heard nothing about a recall.  Since I got

this disc about a week ago I am suspecting I got a
corrected version as I don't see anything blatantly

wrong with the disc.


What WB should be recalling is Space Station 3D.

They forgot to transfer the first 3 minutes in that format.


As for AVATAR, I am still trying to get my hands on
a copy.  Lot of red tape to go through if you didn't

purchase a Panasonic display.  I am optimistic that

I'll have a copy shortly.


Till then, Despicable Me is indeed the best I have

seen to date.


Ronald J Epstein
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#6 of 9 Adam Gregorich

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Posted December 11 2010 - 06:05 PM



Originally Posted by Reed Grele 

Was this really recalled by Warner Bros? A seller on ebay is claiming that it was. No reason given.


BTW, Ron, I know that you've just given "Despicable Me" top 3D honors. Haven't seen that yet, but wait until you see "Avatar" and "Resident Evil"! These 2 have the best 3D transfers I've seen yet. And the sound mix on "Resident Evil" will have your neighbors calling 911 if you play it at reference levels!



As someone who has been trying to by How to Train Your Dragon, Bolt and some other exclusive titles on Ebay (don't bid against me!) I have seen some pretty wild claims that people are using to make titles appear rarer than they actually are.



#7 of 9 Felix Martinez

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Posted December 12 2010 - 12:14 AM



Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein 


...As for AVATAR, I am still trying to get my hands on
a copy.  Lot of red tape to go through if you didn't

purchase a Panasonic display.  I am optimistic that

I'll have a copy shortly.

Would love to read your take on it.  I just rec'd my Panny bundle with the GT25 set from Amazon on Friday and the Avatar 3D experience is stunning.  Panny posted Cameron's preferred settings and I came MIGHTY close with my tweaking before trying his.  In fact, I'm surprised he has sharpness at a positive setting.


Sorry for the OT...now I'm knee deep in 3D and will be looking forward to your reviews and updates. My next disc will be IMAX Deep Sea 3D.



#8 of 9 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 12 2010 - 06:22 AM

Felix,


Keep us posted with your 3D experiences.  When
you watch something I have reviewed, I would greatly

appreciate you letting me know if I came close to your

impressions -- particularly in those instances where I

cited ghosting problems.  I have a feeling the Panny

displays handle ghosting better than the LG.  However,

I have been reading some incredible reviews of the

LG PX950 series and how close it comes to the Panny

displays.


Appreciate all your feedback.


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#9 of 9 Felix Martinez

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Posted December 12 2010 - 10:08 AM

Will do!







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