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.
Studio: Walt Disney
Product Release: September 11, 2012
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital
Running Time: 60 Minutes (theatrical), 90 Minutes (extended)
ON A SCALE 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 4
3D Separation: 4
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 3
This past April marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of
the Titanic after it hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic during its
maiden voyage. For the past 100 years, the world has been
fascinated with the many stories of triumph and tragedy tied to
the luxurious ocean liner that was believed to be "unsinkable."
Perhaps no-one has been more obsessed with the Titanic than
director James Cameron who in 1997 won Academy Awards for
Best Picture and Director for his epic film portraying the disaster.
In 2001, between the making of Titanic and Avatar, Cameron spent
7 weeks as part of an expedition documenting the remains of the
ship using state-of-the-art mini ROVs for interior exploration. The
efforts of the exploration team have been captured in high definition
3D for this Ghosts of the Abyss documentary.
With a team of the marine experts and friend Bill Paxton, James
Cameron takes viewers directly into the wreckage which by all
accounts, is fascinating to watch. Cameron avoids any disorientation
as to what photographed, adding live-action overlays of what life
would have been like on that part of the wreckage. The inclusion
of Mr. Paxton makes this journey a far more personal one, and his
inclusion here as narrator is most welcome.
Descending 2 1/2 miles to the seafloor in a 3 man submersible,
the film's 3D depth really gives the viewer a better perception
of the cramped quarters inside the two MIRs and the sheer
vastness of the sea floor and wreckage. While the level of depth
is more pronounced above water than below, I couldn't help but
to be tickled by the small bubbles of water that danced before
my face as the rover cameras scaled across the bow of the ship.
In all, image quality is excellent. What is photographed above
water is presented with unparalleled HD clarity. Below water,
the level of detail is somewhat hampered by the murkiness of
the water and available lighting from the Medusa chandelier --
but surprisingly the view is still stunning, and with its added
depth, even breathtaking at times. Unfortunately, the ship's
interior images captured by the rovers (Jake and Elwood) are
of lower resolution and presented in small window boxes
against the main presentation.
I was pleasantly surprised to find some minor "In Yo Face"
pop-outs here, one of which involves a MIR submersible
going through its final tests, as it lunges its claws towards
the viewer. The other involves the cast-steel arms of the
Titanic's davit poking itself outwards during a rover flyover.
I did not notice any ghosting issues. Good thing.
I felt less submerged in the film's audio than I had hoped that
I would be. The surround channels that support all the eerie sounds
of the echoing ocean floor seemed more subdued than I would
have liked. Bill Paxton's narration rests squarely in the center,
never quite drowned out by Joel McNeely's score which is far more
detailed across the front and rears. I really enjoyed the fact that
communication between the two MIR rovers were divided up between
the left and right channels. LFE is abundant here. My subwoofer was
rattling several times throughout the film, whether punctuating the
film's music or the pounding ocean waves.
Ghosts of the Abyss arrives as a 3-disc Blu-ray 3D+Blu-ray+DVD
package housed in a lenticular slipcase. Only the film's 60 minute
theatrical feature is presented in 3D. An extended 90 minute feature
can be viewed on the Blu-ray and DVD. A featurette, "Reflections
From The Deep" can be found on the Blu-ray and it features
additional footage from the dives as well as interviews with James
Cameron, Bill Paxton and the crew.
Let's face it -- we are all caught up in the mysteries and stories
surrounding the deadliest maritime disaster in our history. Any
chance of going deeper into the wreck just to get a new "glimpse"
of its inner structures seems to be a never-ending fascination.
For anyone still in love with Titanic, Ghosts of the Abyss is as
good of a journey as it gets, though this Blu-ray set unfortunately
comes with a rather steep price tag.
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