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.
Zac's Flying Dream
Product Release: April 5, 2011
Audio: English, French DTD-HD Master Audio 5.1
Running Time: 37 Minutes
ON A SCALE 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 3
3D Separation: 4
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 0
Out of all the titles that comprise the recent batch of Image
IMAX releases, I had the highest expectations for Ultimate
G's: Zac's Flying Dream. I mean, you take one look at the
cover and feel your heart race looking at the cool pictures
of monoplanes racing across the sky. Then, you look at
the label on the corner and see that Michael Cera is involved
with the project. How cool this must be!
The first disappointment comes when you find out that
Ultimate G's is a film originally produced in 2000 for
Imax exhibition. It features a 12 year-old Michael Cera
who dominates the first half of this short as a young
boy named Zac whose dreams of flight leads him to
building all sorts of flying machines with the help
of his friend Laura. Sixteen years later, Zac has become
the pilot he has always dreamed to be, and upon visiting
his long-time childhood friend, Laura, he is challenged to
an aerobatic dual by a hotshot pilot.
What does all this have to do with cool 3D flight?
Absolutely nothing other than grounding this movie
firmly for most of its length with a badly written,
hokey storyline that throws in a sappy love story
that is so bad you would think it was written by
It seemingly takes forever for viewers go get through
the film's opening story of the young Zac (Michael Cera)
and his many attempts to build the perfect flying machine.
It is only 17 minutes later that we get our first taste of
actual flight footage, but that is quickly replaced with a
more tedious storyline concerning two rivals trying to
impress a girl that leads to an aerobic duel high above
the Grand Canyon.
With a camera placed in the front seat of an Extra 300
monoplane, there is some breathtaking aerial footage
from above Lake Powell and The Grand Canyon. The
stunning photography holds up to the standards of what
you would expect from an IMAX presentation. Unfortunately,
I would estimate that there is about 10-15 minutes of actual
flight footage within this 37 minute feature.
The transfer is sharp and well detailed. That's the good
news. The 3D looks....well....okay. Certainly, the Grand
Canyon sequences with its striking rock formations and
colors benefit most from the added dimensionality as the
overhead shots of Lake Powell. While there is distinct
foreground and background separation, most of it has
no benefit to the viewer when most of the film takes place
indoors --- whether it be in Zac's bedroom, garage workshop
or a nearby bar. Most all these scenes lean towards being
dark, and thus, I found a considerable amount of ghosting
present. In fact, I found image doubling was a consistent
problem on this disc. Even some of the flight sequences
that take place in broad daylight exhibit ghosting around
the edges of the monoplane wings. There is absolutely
no "In Yo' Face" 3D to be seen here.
The best thing that I can say about the overall presentation
is that it sports a full-bodied, triumphant musical soundtrack
with very active surrounds. The entire film sounds immensely
epic with its sweeping music enhanced by the sound of planes
that roar from the rears across the front. An overabundance
of effect noise keep the back channels competing for attention.
Perhaps most of the blame for the flaws in this IMAX
presentation is due to the time period it was created.
Back in 2000 (only 11 years ago), 3D was technology
that was limited to IMAX screens and people who went
to see these films cared less about the content of what
they were watching as long as it showed off a certain
amount of intriguing 3D footage.
These days, I think audiences are demanding much
more than what Ultimate G's Zac's Flying Dream can
offer. Personally I would be quite mad if I had just
plopped down $15 for this Blu-ray and ended up sitting
through the cornfed storytelling with a hint of mildly
satisfying 3D footage.
LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display
Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray Player
Denon 3808CI Receiver
Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers
SV Sound Subwoofer