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3D Blu-ray Reviews


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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 10 2013 - 08:38 AM

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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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Studio: Walt Disney

Product Release: February 19, 2013

Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Audio. English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital EX

Running Time: 92 Minutes

Rating: G

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Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5

3D Separation: 5

3D In Yo' Face Factor: 4

Just a little more than two months ago I sat down at my keyboard and wrote

a review on Disney's Blu-ray release of Finding Nemo.  I was filled with excitement,

as I raved about the remarkable job the animation team did with the film's 3D

translation. When all was said and done, I placed Finding Nemo at the top of the

list as the best animated upconversion that I had seen to date.

Now, I sit here again, filled with the same exhilaration, having just watched

the newly released 3D Blu-ray of Monsters, Inc. which I can completely assure

you benefits greatly by its new dimensionality added in post production.  

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The success of Pixar's 2001 release rests mostly on the charm of its voice

talents.  The pairing of Billy Crystal (Wazowski) and John Goodman (Sulley)

provide some of the best comedic performances found in any Pixar film to

date.  For those of you who still may not be familiar with the story, it concerns a

pair of specially-trained monsters WHO work 9 to 5 at the largest scream-processing

factory in Monstropolis.  As they sneak into bedrooms, the screams of frightened

children are collected and used to power the Metropolis.  Believed by Monsters

to be toxic, children are strictly forbidden from entering their world.  As you would

expect, that is exactly what happens as a little girl named Boo (Mary Gibbs)

enters the factory, creating complete chaos. As Sulley and Wazowski try to

return Boo, they uncover a dangerous plot about to be set off by a multi-legged

chameleon-like lizard named Randall Boggs (Steve Buscemi), that could be

deadly to them all.

Monsters Inc. translates flawlessly to 3D Blu-ray, which amazes me because

often you'll hear skeptics talk about how wearing format eyewear diminishes

overall picture quality.  Through my active shutter glasses, I was astonished

to find no such degradation. In fact, what I saw before me was strikingly perfect

imagery with its palette of rich colors and vast amount of textures that are really

pleasing to the eyes.  There's just a wonderful array of vivid, neon-rainbow colors

to behold here.  Black levels are fantastic.  Even more astonishing is the level

of detail that only Blu-ray could provide.  You can see every strand of fur

across Sully's Monstrous body, and with the added depth that 3D provides, it

appears to be more realistically soft and natural.  This is another one of those

transfers that turns your display into a picture window where everything seems

so perfect inside that you could almost reach in and touch it.  In a word, it's


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The 3D itself is quite excellent, opening this film up to an entirely new viewing

experience thanks to a noticeable amount of depth that makes each scene

look limitless in size.  While there are no blatant gimmicks it's very cool to see

just how many body...err...monster parts protrude outwards.  Take notice how

Randall Bogg's slinky lizard head pokes itself outside the boundaries of the display.

Check out the snakes in Celia's hairdo as they move in and out of the space

between film and viewer.  I even enjoyed the opening title sequence with its many doors

that jettison outward when opened.  And speaking of which....the most thrilling 3D

effects can be seen during the door vault sequence.  If you have a subwoofer and

turn the sound up loud, you almost feel as if you are on a roller coaster ride as doors

race down a conveyor belt.  The pure depth that is portrayed as you look to the bottom

of the vault is immensely impressive. I also loved the overhead shots of the CDA

swat team and all its helicopters converging on the city. This is the kind of perspective

you just cannot replicate in 2D. 

And up to this point you haven't heard me complain about crosstalk.  Well, that's because

there is absolutely no ghosting to be found here.  That's a real thumbs up for this transfer.

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While the 3D is impressive enough, nothing can prepare you for the explosive Dolby

TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack (downconverted to 5.1 on my system).   I don't think I could write

anything about the acoustic experience and do it justice.  Let me just say that I have

rarely been so sonically immersed in a film as I was here.  There is such an unbelievable

level of effect placement and panning that are perfectly executed as if without any effort

attached.  At any moment, you could expect sounds to emanate from different corners

of the room.  At times, I heard helicopters encircling my head.  Other times it was the

screams of frightened children.  Every stomp, thump, drop, crash and pounce in this

film is heavily accented by powerful LFE that can be felt as well as heard. I talked

about how great the door vault sequence looks in 3D.  Just wait until you crank your

system high and find yourself in the middle of the action as you feel the floor vibrate

beneath your seat cushion.  Make no mistake about it -- this is reference quality audio

that will be the subject of conversation with your friends long after the credits roll.

...and when you are done assaulting your senses with Monsters, Inc., don't forget

to take a look at the included short, Partysaurus Rex.  It stars the lovable Rex

dinosaur of Toy Story fame as he throws a party for discarded bathtub toys. I

found it a highly entertaining short, mostly thanks to its effective use of 3D, brilliant

neon colors and pumping techno track.  Very worthwhile addition to this package.

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The Ultimate Collector's Edition of Monsters, Inc. arrives as a 5-disc set.  There

are single 2D and 3D feature film discs, a bonus Blu-ray disc with a wealth of extra

features, and separate DVD and Digital Copy Feature discs. The Blu-ray case is

sleeved with clever lenticular packaging that gives the effect of Wazowski and Sully

opening a bedroom closet door.  


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I continue to praise Disney for their efforts in bringing new life to their existing library

with 3D upconversions that are extremely well done.  Monsters, Inc. looks more expansive

and feels more impactful and emotional than ever before thanks to the amount of depth

and realism this format is able to provide.  If one could afford it, I would recommend

enthusiasts purchase every single 3D animated feature Disney has released to date.

However, if you could only afford to buy two, I would place Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc.

at the top of the list (in that order).

Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc. 


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


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner


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#2 of 2 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

Johnny Angell

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Posted February 10 2013 - 09:08 AM

I've preordered this baby back when there was a coupon for it. I'm ready to watch this in 3D! Is there a commentary? I've noticed that when a 3D movie has one, its usually only on the 2D disc. I wonder why they do that? Surely a commentary doesn't take that much space?
But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend

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