[color=rgb(0,0,255);]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.[/color]
Imax Hubble 3D
Studio: Warner Bros.
Product Release: May 31, 2011
Audio: DTS HD-MA 5.1
Running Time: 44 minutes
[color=rgb(0,0,205);]On A Scale 0-5[/color]
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5
3D Separation: 5
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 4.5
I think I have been a little unfair towards the collection of IMAX 3D Blu-ray
releases that have been available for the past few years, giving more
preference to movie releases when compiling my list of top 3D titles. After
all, I am guessing most consumers who are gauging 3D Blu-ray purchases
are looking for the most bang for the buck and tend to pick movies over
documentaries. After all, these IMAX Blu-rays are very expensive when
considering they only have a running time of 45 minutes. That's a huge
deterrent for anyone looking to keep their entertainment purchases within
The good news is, if you wait long enough, the price of these IMAX titles
usually always hit the $20 mark, which I think is the perfect price point for
most individuals, including myself. You see, I never received an advanced
screener of Imax Hubble 3D, so I took my time and waited for the eventual
price drop. For those of you reading this review, I am about to persuade you
to open your wallets and make a very wise $20 investment that will harness
the full power of your 3D display.
With the space shuttle program winding down in May of 2009, Imax Hubble 3D
archives the mission of 7 astronauts and their last chance to save the ailing
Hubble Telescope's warped mirror. With state-of-the-art instruments on board,
their mission is to improve the telescope's discovery capability.
The best word to describe the experience of watching this mission unfold is
"stunning." Donning 3D eyewear, I was simply amazed at how my display was
turned into a perfect picture-window where I felt instantly connected to the events
on screen. The IMAX footage itself is incredibly awe-inspiring -- so crisp and
ultra-detailed -- that I felt as if I could reach out and touch the telescope laying
before me. An astounding level of depth -- almost limitless -- creates an immersive
environment like no other.
Some of the best moments to savor....
* There's an amazing shot of the pool in which the astronauts use for weightless
training. We are actually introduced to it at water level, just before going under.
The perspective of depth within the room combined with the gorgeous blue color
of the water at eye-level is breathtaking to see.
* Approximately 19 minutes into the documentary there is a shot from, I believe,
the Space Shuttle Endeavor. A long rescue arm extends downwards, with the
Earth hovering just beneath. On a large screen, it is perhaps the most incredible
sight you will ever witness on your display. Just sit back and savor the reach.
* At Approximately 27 minutes, there are more stunning shots of the Hubble
telescope floating above earth, but with the addition of a very thin tether that
places itself most prominently forward in view, creating an additional layered
obstacle that only furthers the 3D enhancement.
I mentioned limitless depth earlier in the review, and it plays the most essential
part of this 3D experience. You really get a sense of the vastness of space,
watching our earth and the man-made creations above it, floating in what can be
best described as black nothingness. If you want to test the level of black your
display can produce, this is the perfect demo disc. I am very fortunate to have a
plasma that was able to produce the inkiest levels of black. When you see that type
of blackness surrounding the Earth, it's...well...something you really need to see for
While watching some of this awesome footage, you begin to take notice of items
that pop themselves forward. Look at how the open panel doors of the Hubble
telescope extend themselves outward. Various tools that the astronauts use for
repair also protrude forward. This isn't an overly gimmicky presentation -- and
it need not be as the visuals from space are inspiring enough to watch on their own.
Some may complain that a lot of spectacular 3D footage is bogged down by the
personal moments spent with the astronauts aboard the space shuttle. Personally,
I found these moments rather cool to watch. Some may also object to the amount
of computer-generated 2D static images taken from the Hubble telescope that were
converted to 3D by pulling apart stars and nebulas, giving them more texture and
a feeling of space as it really is. Personally, I really enjoyed these re-imagined images.
All I can say is be patient. As we near the end of this documentary, we find ourselves
peering into the edge of the observable universe, looking at images 10 billion light
years away. I have never dropped acid in my life, but as the camera pulls back on a
multitude of star fields, I can just imagine what the drug-induced experience must
have been like.
The audible experience of Imax Hubble 3D is just as immersive as the video. The
soothing narration by Leonardo Dicaprio is delegated to the center channel. The fronts
and rears provide an enveloping array of effect sounds. I love the way that the voices
of the astronauts and mission controllers were placed squarely into the rears. This
provides a constant level of vocal cross-direction. Do yourself a favor and turn up
your receiver/amps during the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis. It will be quite
an amazing experience to watch and feel, thanks to the strong rumble of the LFE channel.
Imax Hubble 3D arrives as a single Blu-ray disc with both 3D and 2D feature
presentation. It may have originally come with an outer cardboard sleeve -- I am
not certain -- but with the discounted price it comes in a standard case. There is a
really great added feature that takes viewers behind-the-scenes of filming this
Imax documentary. There is also a Hubble Mission Logs Webisode Gallery included.
What more can I say to persuade you to drop $20 on the best IMAX feature I have
had the pleasure of reviewing thus far?
If you have been spending all your money buying and watching 3D feature films, I
urge you to give these IMAX documentaries your highest consideration -- particularly
this one. They really unleash the full potential of your 3D display. These are the the
moments that you just sit back in your chair, gasp in admiration, while continually
uttering the word, "WOW!"
My thanks to HTF member, Brett_B, for urging me to purchase and review this title.
[color=rgb(128,0,0);]Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc. [/color]
[color=rgb(24,24,24);font-family:verdana, geneva, lucida, 'lucida grande', arial, helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:13px;]Equipment[/color]
Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 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