Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Ronald Epstein
    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: October 29, 2013
    Ratio: 2.39:1
    Audio: 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
    Running Time: 117 minutes
    Rating: G

    On A Scale 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5
    3D Separation: 5
    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 2

    "Respect the classics, man"

    Watching Cars again for the first time in many years, I am fondly reminded
    of what a huge, deserved success this film was for Pixar. Directed by John
    Lasseter (Toy Story), it's the first effort from the animation studio that takes place
    in a world completely void of humans. Yet, despite this absence, it's amazing to
    watch the animators and storytellers bring out the very best in human emotions
    within the array of classic and modern vehicles that dominate the film.

    Snapshot-2013-10-20 at 07_46_37 AM-1412387738.jpg

    This is the story of Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), a young maverick of
    a race car who has been dreaming all his life of winning the coveted Piston Cup.
    McQueen is a little too arrogant for his own good, which is probably the reason
    why he ends up lost in a 3-way tie at the finish of the film's opening NASCAR-style
    race. Now it's off to Los Angeles for the final rematch.

    Through some unfortunate bumps and a detour in the road, McQueen finds
    himself arrested in the small, unforgotten town of Radiator Springs, located along
    Route 66. It is here that he meets an assortment of classic car characters, including
    Mater (Larry The Cable Guy), the only tow truck in town. Mater may be a little rusty
    around the edges, but certainly has a heart of gold. It's not long before McQueen
    is taken back by the town folk and realizes the importance of doing things for others
    can be more rewarding than placing one's own self first.

    Snapshot-2013-10-20 at 07_47_00 AM-1863962275.jpg

    It has already been established through its initial Blu-ray release, that CARS looks
    fantastic on Blu-ray. This completely digital transfer is without a single flaw and
    remains extremely sharp and extraordinarily well-detailed throughout. Colors are
    vivid and the neons at night are nothing short of stunning. Yes, folks, you can
    still marvel at Lightning McQueen's Rust-Eze shine while soaking in every little
    ounce of background detail within this gorgeous high-def transfer.

    You know, after recently reviewing and being disappointed with the level of 3D in
    Monsters University, I was expecting to be let down for a second time with CARS --
    particularly for the fact that this was not originally imagined for 3D and released
    directly to Blu-ray without theatrical play. Well, perhaps those low expectations led
    me to one of the biggest surprises of all: CARS looks amazing within its new
    dimensionality thanks to its seemingly infinite level of depth. Just within the film's
    opening moments you realize the level of depth and dimensionality and how it
    provides a very realistic perspective of sizing in objects. Take for instance, the
    overhead shot of a huge crowded stadium and the small helicopter that hovers
    just above it. As the opening race commences, stat overlays provide an added
    level of separated detail as they hover over the background action. The real treat,
    however, lies in the manner in which the the 3D brings out the nuances within the
    film's animation. As McQueen races across the desolate American landscape, one
    cannot help but notice the details in cloud formations or red rocks that surround the
    town of Radiator Springs. These are things that could easily be missed in the 2D
    version, but because they are now layered, makes them more focused. Even the
    reflections and shadings within the cars look truer to life than they ever have before.
    Check out how how impressive the overhead shot of layered line of telephone poles
    look along the long stretches of highway. If there is one thing that the addition of 3D
    accomplishes perfectly here, it is providing added layers to the existing the animation
    which often succeeds in diverting your eyes way from the action just to appreciate
    what is happening within the surroundings.

    Snapshot-2013-10-20 at 07_52_22 AM-774730770.jpg

    There is no blatant "In Yo' Face" gimmickry to be found here. I didn't expect as
    much from this upconversion, and besides, Disney animation almost always fails
    in that department. However, there are many moments where thrown road pavement,
    McQueen's front bumper or Mater's two buck teeth infiltrate themselves just slightly
    forward of the viewing window.

    There was absolutely no ghosting to be found here.

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    Viewers will be treated to a highly aggressive 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that
    can be overly noisy during racing scenes with revving engines, squealing tires and
    crushing, guard-rail crashes. All of this is supported with an abundance of cheering
    crowd noise that envelopes the viewer from the surrounds to fronts. With all this
    noise it's nice to see that the audio is well balanced throughout the mix. Even during
    the quieter moments in Radiator Springs, on can appreciate the manner in which the
    rear channels provide the soft sounds of insect-chatter -- just enough to bring more
    realism to the moment. For those that like boomy LFE, you'll certainly hear enough
    of it during the film's racing sequences.

    CARS arrives as a 3-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition (3D Blu-ray+2D Blu-ray+DVD
    and Digital Copy). As with Monster's University, I was very saddened to see that
    Disney has foregone using lenticular packaging. Extras include a "Cine-Explore"
    feature that allows viewers to go behind-the-scenes to hear the filmmaker's stories
    and see supporting storyboards and designs. There are also deleted scenes, a
    Carfinder game and two included shorts (Meter and the Ghostlite and One Band Short).


    Snapshot-2013-10-20 at 07_48_51 AM-1794875797.jpg

    Though I am the furthest away from being a fan of Nascar or Larry The Cable Guy,
    I still found myself immensely enjoying my viewing of Pixar's CARS. The added level
    of dimensionality that 3D brings to this film really made me appreciate the fine details
    within the animation which is just as stunning to watch today as it was in 2006.

    That being said, Disney has made this a rather expensive double-dip at the current
    price of $35 (at the time of this review). It's sad that the studios are still price gouging
    on 3D titles. While I feel this 3D presentation is worthy of a first or second purchase, I
    would wait for the inevitable price drop. In the meantime, I would recommend you get
    yourself a quart of oil and enjoy this 3D release as I give it a positive recommendation.

    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
  2. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

    Dec 13, 1998
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    I'm taking your advice and waiting. I don't think I would have bought it all, until I read your review.
  3. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member

    Jun 27, 2007
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    Same. I love Cars, the 3D sounds wonderful, but for now it'll just have to go on the list. :)
  4. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer

    Jul 23, 2001
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    Ron, I'm glad you are still giving us 3D reviews. I may pick this one up eventually even though it's not my favorite Pixar movie (I wish they would've chopped a few minutes out of the running time). The kids like it (I enjoy many moments in it) and like 3D too.
  5. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

    May 16, 2007
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    This 3D set has all the old extras, right?
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Ronald Epstein
    Seems to, yes.
  7. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

    Jan 22, 1999
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    I'm glad that they did right by this one with the 3D conversion. IMO it's one of the most visually stunning films ever made. There may not exist a more beautiful sequence than Lightning and Sally's joyride.

    If/ when I ever get a 3D set, I may very well triple-dip this.
  8. Adam Gregorich


    Nov 20, 1999
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    The Other Washington
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