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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

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Posted April 01 2013 - 08:09 AM



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.



To The Arctic


Studio: Warner Bros.

Product Release: March 26, 2013

Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Dolby Digital French & Spanish 5.1
Running Time: 40 minutes

Rating: G



On A Scale 0-5


Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 3

3D Separation: 3

3D In Yo' Face Factor: 2



I always enjoy watching these IMAX 3D titles coming out of Warner's

library.  Immersing the viewer in glorious 3D, these documentaries offer

a captivating look at the world around us.


Snapshot-2012-05-12 at 11_49_20 AM-1154667990.jpg


To The Arctic continues the IMAX tradition of taking us to regions that

are generally inaccessible -- in this case, the Arctic, which is the polar 

region located at the top of our earth.  Where the temperature usually 

reaches 30 below, we meet a mother polar bear and her two seven-month

old cubs as they attempt to survive the wilderness within the changing, 

warming Arctic climate.  As you would expect, global warming is to blame

for the melting of the ice caps which is making it more difficult for wildlife to

survive there.


Narrated by Meryl Streep, the documentary tends to cater more to children

than adults with its depiction of playful animals and constant reminders that

these creatures need their frigid cold environment to survive.  WIth the arctic

warming twice as fast than any other place on earth, the polar bears are finding

it increasingly difficult to hunt for food, and are in more danger of being hunted

themselves from hungry predators.


Snapshot-2012-05-12 at 11_49_50 AM-1842673638.jpg


As would be expected from these IMAX presentations, the transfer is visually

flawless.  From the breathtaking waterfalls created by the melting ice caps 

to the close-ups of polar bears and caribou, the viewer is constantly mesmerized

by the amount of detail that only this high definition format can provide.  


Unfortunately, the 3D doesn't seem to add as much impact to the story as

it does to other IMAX films I have seen.  Outside of a title sequence with its

snowflakes that place themselves outside the screen, the overall effectiveness

of the 3D process is mixed.  Levels of depth seem to change from one shot to

another, with some sequences looking more flat than others.  Perhaps, this is

not the most inviting environment for spectacular 3D effects.  Still, I must say

that I thought the underwater sequences involving swimming polar bears and

walrus were the most stunning to watch. It was almost as if I could reach out

and touch these creatures.


Snapshot-2012-05-12 at 11_51_13 AM-954160479.jpg


If the 3D doesn't immerse you wholly, the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track will make up

for the void.  This is a very aggressive mix that takes advantage of placing 

action across all the channels.  With narration clearly emanating from the front,

the rears do an exceptional job of delivering ambient sounds that include the

crackles and crunches of the melting ice, the grunts of walrus, and the flyby

of dozens of birds during their flock.  Steve Wood has written the music for

this film and it's quite enveloping with a chorus that resides mostly within the

rear channels.  As an added treat, the soundtrack also features familiar and

original music from Paul McCartney.





Snapshot-2012-05-12 at 11_53_00 AM-1314778404.jpg


When considering the many IMAX titles I have reviewed, it's difficult to place

To The Arctic as the best of the bunch.  While it's visually perfect in both 2D

and 3D, the latter format doesn't really add enough impact to justify the exorbitant

price that is being asked for its purchase.  There really are better 3D IMAX titles

to consider and you can check my list to see which ones I recommend most.


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



Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner


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#2 of 2 OFFLINE   Everett Stallings

Everett Stallings

    Second Unit

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  • LocationWilmington,De

Posted April 26 2013 - 10:27 AM

It's a crime what WE are doing to Mother EARTH. When I talk to some young people about the animals and FORRESTS I am shocked at the response I get, like people are more important then the rest of Earth!!!  And they have small children. GOD help them! and the future.

Former projectionist @ all downtown theatres in Balto. City.Which are all closed. frown.gif

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