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Comin' At Ya!: THE HTF 3D GURU REVIEW

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    [​IMG]

    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.




    [​IMG]
    COMIN' AT YA!


    Studio: MVD
    Product Release: January 26, 2016
    Ratio: 2.4:1
    Audio: English DD 5.1 Surround
    Running Time: 91 minutes
    Rating: R

    [​IMG]
    On A Scale 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 1* (pending on your display)
    3D Separation: 5
    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 5



    I once admitted that a bad movie could actually be saved by good 3D. Comin’ At Ya’ is an atrociously bad movie plagued with enormous crosstalk issues despite the claims of a frame by frame digital conversion.

    Released theatrically in 1981, the makers of Comin’ At Ya’ had one sole purpose: to entertain its audience with every 3D trick they could invent. With a paper thin script, it was a film of style over substance, whereas its story took a backseat to the gimmickry. Perfect midnight fare, perhaps, where anyone could arrive at the theater after a night of partying, don some cardboard glasses, and enjoy some cheap onscreen effects.

    [​IMG]

    The story is rather simple: two ruthless brothers kidnap a bride and sell her at auction to work in a cat house. Seeking his bride and taking vengeance upon the kidnappers, H.H. Hart (Tony Anthony) grabs his guns and goes blasting at anything that stands in his way. Of course, being the film that this is, every stationary and moving prop is used to hurl itself towards the audience. From pistols to pitchforks, from rats to bats, every opportunity is taken to dazzle the viewer with an outward effect.

    [​IMG]

    I think the idea of using the spaghetti-western genre for its story was an ingenious, given the potential opportunities for using all sorts of weapons and critters to throw towards the viewer. The problem is, the characters are so underdeveloped and the story is completely weighed down with its manipulated visuals that don’t exactly work, that the watch is completely lacking in entertainment value.

    …and this is coming from a guy who LOVES 3D gimmicky. The problem is, as I initially mentioned, there are crosstalk issues with this disc that it make it mostly unwatchable. How badly these issues show up on your screen will probably depend on the display you are using. On both my Sony front projector and Samsung plasma, I was getting quite a bit of ghosting throughout the film. In fact, the opening credits were so bad, that I initially thought there was something wrong with my glasses. One really needs to strain their eyes to watch this film, and for the first few minutes before my eyes adjusted somewhat to what I was viewing, I was getting a headache.

    [​IMG]

    I own and have viewed nearly 200 3D titles and I have never seen anything this bad. That being said, some of our readers (mainly with DLP displays/projectors) are reporting they are having no issues whatsoever. That leads me to believe that the problem with this title rests in the manner in which it was originally lensed.

    If you have equipment capable of displaying this release properly, you most likely find yourself pleased to own one of the best "pop-out" offerings available. All you need to do is remove your eyewear to observe the amount of "blur" to understand how intense the level of 3D is. The level of depth is quite impressive, at times. Every scene of the film is set up to deliver some sort of "In Yo' Face" pop-out. It will either be an amazing or disastrous viewing experience pending on whether you will see ghosting with every effect that comes inches before your eyes.

    [​IMG]

    The overall image quality is fair. Obviously this was not intended to be a huge seller. As such, it doesn’t look like much was put into cleaning up this film. There are dirt and debris speckles throughout, hair in the film gate, and even dirt seemingly on the lens itself that shows up for most of the feature run. There is very little detail brought out in this rather muddy looking presentation.

    The 5.1 surround mix is adequate, as it highlights some of the 3D gimmickry including bats that fly and mice that scurry across the entire sound field. I'll give credit that it does enhance the immersive experience, with great clarity. Other than that, nothing memorable.


    CONCLUSION

    [​IMG]

    I am posting this review with a huge amount of regret. I realize the controversy that will be sparked by my opinion of this release. For some, Comin' At Ya! will be one of the most rewarding In' Yo' Face experiences. It's all a roll of the dice that weighs upon the type of equipment that you have. For the majority of viewers, I suspect the presentation will be hampered with non-stop ghosting problems and eye strain that will make for a difficult watch.

    It would be very unfair of me to put the blame on the restoration team. I believe the problem with this disc resides in the way it was originally lensed at the time. To put a fault on one's display may seem unfair as well. As of posting this review, I have tested this disc on 4 displays (projector, plasma, LED) --- each considered near the top of the line -- and all have exhibited crosstalk issues, though at varying degrees. Meanwhile, many will respond to this review claiming they see no issues at all (mostly DLP projector/display owners). So, the best I can say at the moment is that your type of display will be the defining determination to the level of proper/improper presentation.

    Based on what I have seen on my end, I cannot put this anywhere on my list of top 3D recommendations. However, certainly, this is an opinion that I completely understand will be either contested or defended for many years to come.


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

    Equipment

    Sony HW55ES Front Projector calibrated by Gregg Loewen, Lion AV
    Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player
    Denon 3311CI Receiver
    Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear side and back speakers
    SV Sound Subwoofer
     
  2. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member

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    Thank you for taking one for the team, sir!

    It's obvious I don't dare go near this one with my setup. But I look forward to seeing it projected on Reed's DLP.



    Oh wait. Maybe I should ask him first.

    Hi, Reed! :)
     
  3. Message #3 of 25 Feb 3, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
    Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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    Excellent evaluation Ron, Thank you!

    Glad to have Comin' At Ya! in my collection for its historical value.
    Only intend to play this if ever desired, on my HMD for a 'tolerable' viewing experience, and maybe someday use a supported DLP projector? :thumbsup::cool:

    Will definitely consider this for an effective 3D-Benchmark-tool for problematic 3D-resolving-ability in future setup evaluations.
     
  4. bob kaplan

    bob kaplan Supporting Actor

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    Using a SONY 4K TV (75"), I found the 3D experience "very cool;" other than it took a sec for my eyes to adjust to some the effects at hand. (But I am welllll over 65 years and the eyes are not quite as responsive as the used to be...). but the movie drrrrrraged. But I will watch again for the effects. It was the pic with the most pop out I have seen.
     
  5. bruceames

    bruceames Supporting Actor

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    I had ordered this but canceled due to an overwhelming concensus of bad user impressions. I don't want to have a movie just for historical value and it shouldn't be a chore to watch a movie.
     
  6. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    Recently I reset my Panny plasma to 24 FPS, and suddenly a movie I had never been able to watch properly (DIAL M FOR MURDER) due to extensive ghosting was really quite excellent. I am hoping COMIN' AT YA! will allow me this same experience.
     
  7. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    I have to agree with Ron on most all of his criticisms about the films plot, character development, the condition of the elements used, and the eyestrain, or even headaches that it may cause some viewers because of the extreme (and perhaps even careless) use of 3D by the filmmakers.

    That said, If you have a DLP TV or front projection system, and aren't really bothered by the aforementioned anomalies, This is one helluva 3D popcorn movie!

    Everyone is different. I can understand that this film may be uncomfortable, or even painful to view in 3D. But I enjoyed it as a "leave your brain at the door" type of entertainment, enhanced by some of the most incredible, contrived "in yo' face" moments of any 3D film that I've ever watched!

    I certainly wouldn't put Comin' at Ya! in the same pantheon of classic 3D films such as House of Wax, Creature From the Black Lagoon, or even recent efforts like T.S. Spivet, or The Walk. But it has, if nothing else, some historical significance in that it was one of the films that, for better or worse, attempted to keep 3D alive, back in the early eighties, when most young movie goers had never heard of, or seen a 3D film.

    It's a strange quirk of 3D film history that deserves to be seen, and preserved.
     
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  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I didn't experience any ghosting per se (and I don't have a DLP either) - when I'd close one eye with the glasses on, for instance, I didn't get any crosstalk or any of one eye bleeding into the other. I think I'm seeing the movie more or less as the filmmakers made it - I just don't think it was made particularly well. For a lot of the shots in the movie, my brain and eyes just did not want to fuse them together. I could freeze frame a particular moment, step a few feet back from where I'd normally sit, and see an image that was viewable and ghost free - but as soon as I'd put it back into play, or after watching more than a few minutes at a time, I just couldn't handle it anymore. I took a lot of little breaks during the movie's 90 minute running time.

    I haven't experienced anything like this since watching anaglyph transfers years ago.

    I don't want to blame the disc or the display, it seems to be how the movie was shot. I'm glad they released it, I'm glad I gave it a shot, but I don't think this is a title I'll ever be rewatching.
     
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  9. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    I'd never force this 3D film on my audience. It definitely has it's problems. But, it's like a rollercoaster ride at an amusement park. Some people will heave, and others will be so thrilled, that they'll get right back on and ride it again!
     
  10. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    “Aqaba’s over there. It’s only a matter of going.” ;)
     
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  11. pinknik

    pinknik Stunt Coordinator

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    My LG passive display didn't have much in the way of ghosting issues. I found the medium and wide shots to be pretty good, in fact. It's just that every thing they poke and prod at the camera gets way WAY too close to the lens. If they'd only held back a few feet, I think it would be mostly okay. With a modern two camera system, you could reduce the interaxial as objects got close and closer. With the system they had, though, by the time they're done jabbing your retinas, each lens is basically looking at the opposite side of the given object.
     
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  12. Mike Ballew

    Mike Ballew Second Unit

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    Ron, I salute you for a very fair review of a problematic film. You really went above and beyond to give the imagery a fair assessment, and nobody could ask for more.

    I entirely agree with you that whatever fault exists lies with the original camera crew and not with the restoration team, who seem to have given it their best. A fair number of medium and long shots are striking and even gorgeous, but a greater number of shots are staged way, way, way too close to the camera. Even those of us experiencing no ghosting issues sometimes experience eyestrain, or at least a vigorous ocular workout.

    I would still urge people to consider a purchase, partly to show support for a vintage 3-D Blu-Ray release of some historical importance, and partly to decide for themselves what they think of the film and its 3-D imagery.

    As for the film itself, I happen to think its story may best be appreciated if we take the director (Ferdinando Baldi) to be the cinematic equivalent of an unreliable narrator. (I mean he's acting as an unreliable narrator in this one particular instance, not across the entirety of his career.) I may develop this theory further in a follow-up post in the other Comin' At Ya! thread.
     
  13. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I had the time tonight to watch this. Yes, I saw some crosstalk but thankfully it never interfered with my enjoyment of the blizzard of 3D pop-out effects. I do agree that the visual problems must be photography related since they do often get too close to the camera lens with their projectiles, close enough to have distortion of fingers which seem elongated.

    The movie's quality was as minimal as I remembered it to be (the switching back and forth from color to black and white with color inserts really irritated me for some reason like this was their attempt at artistry), but I'm still very happy to have it a part of my 3D collection.
     
  14. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    The whole black-and-white thing was done for the recent reissue, shown digitally in a few theaters. The original version did not have that. I would have preferred the original version, but this was still better than nothing. You do have to focus your eyes on this, but I had no problem like that- the problem other people are having seems to be that the 3D in most recent productions hasn't been intense enough!
     
  15. sleroi

    sleroi Second Unit

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    I bought this about a year ago, even though I didn't have a 3dtv at the time. I remembered the radio spots from when I was a kid, sure wish they were included. I finally upgraded to a 3dtv and this was the second 3D blu I watched, and not only was the film awful, but then there is no way it could of lived up to the expectations I had set 30 years ago, but the 3D was flat. It really confused me, it looked like a conversion. Well a few days ago I read in another thread that someone was having the same issue on another title and it was suggested to start the movie from chapter 1 instead of hitting play. That solved the issue for me on Comin at ya as well. And all I can say is wow! The movie is still awful, but the 3D effects more than make up for it. What a fun experience. Definitely worth the $7 I paid for it.
     
  16. 3D Projectionist

    3D Projectionist Supporting Actor

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    Was it so many years ago I went to see this at the flicks 1981 I believe and a few viewings at that.
    I loved 3D so went for overdrive viewing, the film was more a massive demo of 80's 3D than anything and kickstarted the whole revival off once again. Really pleased its on BR and you can relive that moment all over again perhaps with the family now. The 3D back then was good and probably better now with the kit we have 3D DLP projection and sound kit etc.
     
  17. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    What model do you have? I've got the 65UH8500. Are you saying you had some ghosting?
     
  18. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    I remember this terrible movie from having seen it at the movies way back then.

    I would buy it if I found it for 7 bucks though.
     
  19. John Sparks

    John Sparks Cinematographer

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    I had it on DVD years ago and threw it away. Trying to view it thru anaglyphic glasses was the shits, hence the throw away...but it's in my queue now that's it's in BD 3D to buy at Amazon.
     
  20. John Sparks

    John Sparks Cinematographer

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    Ain't that something else. God bless Bob Cashill for coming up with the fix!
     

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