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: February 19, 2013
Audio: 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Audio. English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital EX
Running Time: 92 Minutes
ON A SCALE 0-5
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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