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.
Cirque Du Soleil
JOURNEY OF MAN in 3D
Product Release: June 7th, 2011
Audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Running Time: 39 Minutes
ON A SCALE 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 3
3D Separation: 3
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 2
Purely for Cirque fans!
Over the past years I have come to appreciate the
human circus known as Cirque du Soleil. The troupe
of performing jugglers, contortionists, acrobatics and gymnasts
dressed in incredible costumes never fail to elevate the human
spirit. Cirque du Soleil is unlike anything experienced before.
The artists of Cirque du Soleil appear in this wondrous film,
Journey of Man, originally shot for Imax 3D. Smoothly narrated
by Sir Ian McKellen, the film is presented in my liner notes as
a fantasy that follows the stages of human development from
birth to maturity, with each stage presented by a Cirque du Soleil
act such as bungee-diving through giant redwoods, synchronized
swimming, cube spinning and human balancing.
The single biggest problem with Journey of Man is its silly,
incoherent story which is the reason I couldn't quite describe
it in my own words. Where the real focus should have been put
on the Cirque du Soleil performers, things get bogged down
with a rather shallow storyline. Still, most of this can easily
be forgiven when you consider the visual impact this film offers
its viewers thanks to its amazing acrobatics and other human feats.
It's just amazing to watch these acts of human endurance.
This is a film that shines beautifully in 1080 HD for the fact
that it was shot on location in beautiful locales. You'll absolutely
marvel at the synchronized swimming sequences shot underwater
in the island of the Bahamas and the bungee-diving sequences lensed
in Boulder Creek, California. The transfer offers abundant clarity and
revealing detail that make these backdrops look magnificent. Costume
colors are often vibrant, leaping out at the viewer, and black levels
are quite good -- especially in the sequence involving the cube spinner.
To really appreciate how detailed this transfer is, one only need to
look at a sequence performed in the middle of a pond with its water
that looks like shimmering glass. Just one of many beautiful backdrops
for the viewer to soak in.
While originally conceptualized and shot for 3D, I am a bit at odds
as to whether the process really elevates the film itself. I think this
film would have worked equally well in 2D as the process of adding
depth to the film only slightly enhances the overall visuals. There
are oh-so-brief moments where heads, arms or shards of a broken
hat move out towards the viewer. However, for the most part, most
of the visuals remain confined inside the screen. The process makes
for an interesting 3D experience but not an outstanding one.
The soothing musical soundtrack from Benoît Jutras sounds clear
and crisp across the front channels with the rears giving support to
chorals as well as atmospheric effects. Turn the volume up and
you'll find the soundtrack to be a satisfying, encompassing experience.
Beautifully lensed, Journey of Man makes for a rather intriguing HD
experience for fans of Cirque du Soleil, though the 3D process doesn't
necessarily enhance the viewing. For what it's worth, I would have rather
seen the filmmakers skip the cornball story and just stick with the
Sadly, I am not confident that this title will appeal to those not
appreciative of Cirque du Soleil, however with this 40-minute 3D Blu-ray
reasonably priced at under $14, it may make for a compelling purchase --
perfect for the entire family.
LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display
Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player
Denon 3311CI Receiver
Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers
SV Sound Subwoofer