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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: IMAX Deep Sea 3-D



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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   Michael Osadciw

Michael Osadciw

    Screenwriter



  • 1,325 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 24 2003

Posted January 09 2011 - 04:05 PM

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DEEP SEA 3-D


Release Date: AVAILABLE NOW
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Packaging/Materials: single disc keepcase in lenticular slipcase
Year: 2006
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 45 minutes
MSRP: $29.99 each




THE FEATURE

SPECIAL FEATURES

Video

2-D & 3-D 1080p 1.85:1

N/A

Audio

Dolby Digital 5.1 English, French & Spanish

N/A

Subtitles

English SDH, French, Spanish

N/A


The Feature: 3.5/5


The opportunity is here to revisit these popular IMAX created videos in 3-D.  The three titles recently released by Warner Bros. are Under the Sea (2009), Deep Sea (2006), and Space Station 3-D (2002).  With all of the hype of 3-D TVs and a seemingly lack of supporting software, how do these titles maximize the 3-D entertainment experience?


Deep Sea is directed by Howard Hall who also directed the other IMAX underwater adventure Under the Sea.  Narrated by Kate Winslet and Johnny Depp, Hall explores the depths of the ocean and the creatures that few in this world have ever seen.  Now you are able to see them with amazing depth and imagery as the stillness of the depths is truly alive with creepy things!


3-D Video Quality: 4/5


The aspect ratio for all three films has been reformatted to 1.85:1 from their IMAX 1.44:1 ratios.  While some may wish to see original aspect ratios on disc, or at least the option to have it, I find the reformatting to be perfectly acceptable for the big screen viewing environment in the home.  IMAX theaters have the benefit of the height of using 1.44:1, but as we know all modern home theaters are using the wider 1.78:1 screens instead of the “taller” old 1.33:1.  While we tend to get more side information with 1.78:1 screens, with IMAX films this could be considered a reduction in height if we consider the sides as constant width.  I’m a bit curious as to why the reformatting to 1.85:1 rather than 1.78:1, but this is still, in my opinion, the best way to view this since (almost) the full picture area is taken up on screen for the most immersive experience.


This review was done using Toshiba’s Flagship Cinema Series 46WX800 LED 3-D LCD display.  Equipped with Toshiba’s active glasses in conjunction with their BDX3000 Blu-ray player, I was ready to set the system for calibration.  The television’s grayscale was calibrated to D65 using the Konica-Minolta CS-1000A spectroradiometer, an Accupel HDG-4000 video generator, as well as having a full system check.  The end result was a wonderful 2-D image with a Yu’v’ dE grayscale error of 2.5 or less across the board.  The average gamma of 2.2 with a reference light output of 35.49fL.  Time did not permit for me to do a full thorough calibration in 3-D mode with the meter taking readings through the glasses.  Watching video through the glasses changes the entire look of the image because of the tinting (darkens the image) as well as the shift in colour (depends on the glasses per manufacturer).  Thus, to view 3-D with the correct intent in mind, a separate calibration should be stored for the 3-D mode.  So this 3-D review is intended to discuss the entertainment value of the 3-D on this disc rather than the image accuracy through the glasses.


Using IMAX cameras, Under the Sea and Deep Sea were filmed with IMAX dual-strip 3-D, while the older production of Space Station 3-D was filmed in single-strip 3-D 30-perf.  While I’m not entirely familiar with the technical aspects of production, I can report to you the 3-D entertainment value of these films.


I felt that Under the Sea had the most effective 3-D imagery of the three titles, but Deep Sea is a very close second.  In fact I found Deep Sea to be much more colourful, and possibly more bizarre than Under the Sea because of the creatures featured.  Exotic fish are extremely colourful and can be seen at all angles, and colour not always present in Under the Sea.  The Fried Egg jellyfish, as huge as it is, calls out to be one of the strangest things that I’ve ever seen.  I’m sure it would make great jellyfish salad…mmmm.  The black levels in this production are dark without being crushed and grain seems to creep in the odd time when the lighting is low.  While more noticeable but certainly not distracting in 2-D, this is not an issue in 3-D either.  Deep Sea is fun to watch and seems to share similar shots with Under the Sea.  This makes me think they were filmed at the same time, yet I found the 3-D in this feature to be slightly less effective by a small margin.


Audio Quality: 3/5


Like Under the Sea, the narrated voices of Depp and Winslet come through clearly.  They also sound like they are speaking to school children (as did Jim Carrey in Under the Sea), but I’m sure that’s what the writer’s were aiming for.  After all, adults aren’t the only ones in this world!  Danny Elfman’s music makes the viewing fun to watch and with Depp in there, I’m surprised Tim Burton wasn’t brought on board too.  There is no lossless encode of this soundtrack leaving it to a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding only as on the previous Blu-ray 2-D disc.

Special Features: 0/5

Nothing here to be happy about except being able to view the disc in 2-D as well.


Recap
The Feature: 3.5/5
3-D
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality:
3
/5
Special Features:
0
/5


These IMAX films are a great introduction to 3-D Blu-ray.  Entertainment is brought to a new level previously unseen in the home.  With captivating visuals and a sense of depth greater than any 2-dimensional television, the images in Deep Sea have only been seen this real by those who filmed it.  While it doesn’t rank at the top for the best 3-D imagery, it ranks an extremely close 2nd that for almost everyone out there, it’s certainly close enough!


Michael Osadciw

11.01.08


Warner Bros. Blu-ray Reviewer
Anchor Bay/Starz Entertainment Blu-ray Reviewer

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