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3D Blu-ray Reviews

THE HTF 3D ADDICT: Legend of the Guardians 3D

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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 09 2010 - 01:54 PM



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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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Legend of the Guardians 3D




Studio: Warner Bros.

Product Release: December 17, 2010

Ratio: 2.4:1

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

Running Time: 97 Minutes

Rating: PG


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Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 4

3D Separation: 4

3D In Yo' Face Factor: 3





I didn't quite know what to expect as I prepared to view

Legends of the Guardians.  From the little pre-research 

that I usually do, I discovered that the film is adapted

from the series of books, Guardians of Ga'Hoole, by

author Kathryn Lasky.  Additionally, this animated film

is directed by none other than Zack Snyder, best known

for his films 300, Watchmen and Dawn of the Dead.  


The story mostly centers around a young adventurous

owl named Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess) who has grown

up hearing his father's fantastic tales about the mythical,

warrior owls known as the Guardians of Ga'Hoole.  These

owls are heralded as the peacekeepers of the owl kingdom.


One day Soren and his brother Kludd (voiced by Ryan

Kwanten) are abruptly kidnapped by a force of evil owls

who call themselves The Pure Ones.  Led by the evil

queen Nyla (voiced by Helen Mirren) and its masked

leader Metal Beak (voiced by Joel Edgerton), the army

of owls are intent on conquering the world.


Brother is turned against brother as Kludd readily joins

the Pure Ones while Soren's resistance leads him to 

slavery.   With the assistance of a supportive guard,

Soren manages to escape and find his way into the

hands of the Guardians.


I can understand why someone like Zack Snyder 

would be interested in dabbling in this story material.

The film is filled with all-too-familiar battle shots of

warrior owls racing into attack then suddenly

colliding in slow-motion.  Since this is essentially

a family film, there is no gore here and I think that

the stop-motion battle tactic lessens the ferocity 

of the violence.  


Legend of the Guardians is very effective in

its 3D presentation, though I wouldn't rate it the

very best I have seen.  The film was certainly

composed for 3D with its appropriate placement  

of branches and brush which give a nice sense

of depth separation from the forest backdrop.

The problem I found is that sometimes the level

of 3D doesn't seem very consistent, particularly

in the darker scenes within The Pure Ones lair

where images tend to look a little more flat.  


Still, there are some really nice moments

where the 3D process shines such as a scene

where we meet the first Guardian rescuing an

owlet above the raging ocean waters -- or when

Soren is flying through a barrage of raindrops.


While the filmmakers strayed from throwing too

many 3D gimmicks at its audience there are some

minor "In Yo' Face" moments that involve owl beaks,

raindrops, fire embers and a snake named Mrs. P

that peak out from the screen. Watch for the

porcupine/hedgehog oracle and how his mouth reaches

out from the confines of the viewing area.


Ghosting issues?  A few throughout the film, mostly

evident in darker scenes and when the owls take flight.

There were some moments with shots looking down

upon crowded groups of owls that I saw more pronounced

double imaging.  However, it's certainly not a problem

that burdens the entire film.


Created entirely in the digital realm, this film looks

immaculate and the transfer does nothing to mar it.

Images are sharp and detailed. This is an extraordinarily

beautiful film to watch with its warm colors that include

golden sunrises and sunsets. This really is one of those

films that benefits greatly from the Blu-ray format.


The DTS-HD master audio track is open and spacious

with very active surround activity.  Let's first begin with

the film's non-too-memorable score by composer David

Hirschfelder that comes across with nice dynamics and

just a hint of underlying bass.  There's a nice animated

sequence that features the song "Take To The Sky" by

the group Owl City that has a nice amount of punch to it.

The dialogue is seemingly evermoving across the channels

as is the film's effects. I tend to overuse the word "immersive"

but I know very few other words to constantly describe this

kind of experience where the audio really pulls you into the film.


Really love the fact that Warner is including 3D cartoons on 

their feature films as a bonus item.  It started with The Polar

Express and now for a second time we get yet another neat

Road Runner short, Fur of Flying.  It clocks in at a mere 

2 minutes 50 seconds but it's a very high-quality 3D short 

that I found to be  thoroughly enjoyable.





The last thing I want to do is to give an entirely negative

opinion about Legend of the Guardians.  It isn't a bad film

by any means.  However, there's nothing memorable about

it. You watch it, are entertained for its 90 minute length, but

soon forget about it afterwards.  It's a bit dark, there isn't

anything feelgood about it and as such I sort of wonder how

much lasting appeal it would even have for kids. Warner did

a great job with the transfer and keeping the ghosting minimal.

The 3D is effective but nothing to go "ooh and aaah" over

except for a few small sequences.


Still, with so little quality family entertainment 3D to choose

from this holiday season I can't help but recommend this film

for an evening I think will be well enjoyed by the entire household

huddled together wearing their 3D eyewear.






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 December 09 2010 - 05:13 PM

Thanks for the review.  I have Despicable Me on order, and while I am waiting for Bolt and How to Train Your Dragon to get more afforable on Ebay I think I will go ahead and pick this up.  According to the side bar its only $29 at Amazon which considering that WBs first 3D BD non combo titles were selling for more makes it seem like a bargin.

#3 of 6 ONLINE   Ashly Yeo

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Posted February 02 2012 - 03:56 AM

This is $19.99 at Best Buy online and in store this week.


#4 of 6 OFFLINE   phillyrobt


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Posted October 21 2012 - 05:33 AM

Hi, great site! I'm sorry what is the bonus cartoon feature on the Polar Express? thanks!

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   JamesNelson


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Posted October 21 2012 - 07:34 AM

Hi, great site! I'm sorry what is the bonus cartoon feature on the Polar Express? thanks!
There is no short subject included with the 3-D BD of Polar Express. Coyote Falls 3D was included with the BD of Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, which is probably what was meant to be stated.

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   phillyrobt


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Posted October 25 2012 - 09:19 PM

Thanks..just making sure. So Cats and Dogs 2 (Coyote Falls) , Legend of the Guardians (Fur of Flying), and Yogi Bear (Rabid Rider) all have the Road Runners as bonuses..and Happy Feet 2 has a Tweety and Sylvester....looking forward to LumberJack Rabbit and Popeye Ace of Space in the future!

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