A few nights ago I was finally able to view AMITYVILLE 3-D, which as we all know has the distinction of being the first 3-D movie from the 1980s to be released in the 3-D bluray format. What follows is, for the most part, a technical critique of the 3-D presentation.
As expected, certain 1980's single-strip-shot 3-D traits rear their head. Occasional chromatic fringing, some vignetting, and a few occasions of focus issues with one eye compared to the other. These short comings are understandable, as for the most part, these are "baked in" issues that in many cases don't always have an easy fix. But the misalignment issues, ranging from mild to occasional moderate in severity were non-stop throughout the feature, including various geometric 3-D alignment errors. While these various errors thankfully leaned more towards mild misalignment much of the time it is still unfortunate, as these could be corrected. A final bit of irony regarding fixing these misalignments: The older anaglyph 3-D DVD release in the UK *had* some alignment and convergence adjustments done. A pity this wasn't also done for the HD masters, considering the 3-D blu-ray can obviously deliver such a far superior presentation over anaglyph.
So I don't inadvertently send a mixed message, the presentation again IS still quite viewable in 3-D. The 3-D parallax is typical 1980's style wide, which for some can present another form of eyestrain in itself. Speaking for myself, when viewed on a DLP projection setup, the 3-D offered a refreshingly deep image with plenty of positive parallax. Negative (out of screen) parallax is in no short supply either, with an array of flies, spirits, lights, microphones, pipes, and even a burned corpse lunging out of the screen. Sometimes off-screen material was literally within arm's length, an effect certainly missing from today's "new and improved" 3-D features. With this title having an abundance of parallax, it is highly recommended to watch this title on a display known for no or little ghosting for maximum 3-Dimensional effect.
Along with the admittedly minor but always present 3-D misalignments, the biggest head scratcher is the "new" alternate titles which are in place of the missing originals. There is a good reason these alternate titles have never been seen before: They were layered wrong and simply do NOT work correctly in 3-D. The 3-D logo is supposed to slide out of the screen. But instead, this alternate title open as presented on this disc, tries to slide out while being "stuck" behind the Amityville title. The result is both a ruined 3-D effect and eyestrain. Add to that a missing "large fly" in a scene later on in the movie. These anomalies seem to suggest the IP is not a completed version of the feature. Strange that this was not caught before hand.. Certainly so with the opening credits, which are totally different and inferior to what was shown theatrically. This is why 3-D QC is important.