- Jul 3, 1997
- Real Name
- 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: Warner Bros.
Product Release: December 20, 2011
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
Running Time: 113 Minutes
ON A SCALE 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5
3D Separation: 5
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 2
A Real Fish Tale!
You know, I'm the kind of guy who likes my meat and potatoes.
I also like action movies with occasional science fiction thrown
into the mix. Romantic comedies? I don't have the time for them.
Movies about a dolphin? Not something I thought I would ever
place into my Blu-ray player.....
But you know what? Call me a softie if you must, but Dolphin
Tale is one of the most truly moving films I have seen in a long
time and I'm not ashamed to say, it tugged at my heartstrings.
Inspired by a true story, this is a film about a dolphin named
Winter who is found on a beach after being tangled in the ropes
of a crab trap. Among the people who discover the helpless
dolphin is a young, shy boy named Sawyer (Nathan Gamble)
who has been mostly withdrawn since his father left home many
years before and whose cousin Kyle (Austin Stowell), a champion
swimmer, has just left for tour in Afghanistan.
When Winter is rescued and brought to the Clearwater Marine
Hospital, Sawyer is immediately drawn to the hospital staff which
includes a young girl named Hazel (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) and her
veterinarian father, Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick, Jr.). As
the young boy and Winter quickly connect with each other, his
Mother (Ashely Judd) is discovering her son becoming more
social as he realizes his dreams coming true.
Sadly, Winter's tail becomes infected and must be amputated
leaving only a stump in her rear. At the same time, Sawyers' cousin
Kyle, injured in war, returns home in a leg brace unwilling to face
his new future. It is at the local VA hospital where Sawyer meets
Dr. McCarthy (Morgan Freeman), whose specializes in fitting amputees.
McCarthy agrees to fit Winter with a prosthetic device to help her swim
again. However, with funding running out at the Marine Hospital,
it looks as if Winter's own life hangs in balance.
Dolphin Tale works so wonderfully on so many levels. At its heart,
it's the story of bonding between a boy and mammal. At the same
time, the film gives real inspiration to individuals affected with
physical disabilities -- many of whom we meet during the closing credits.
This Blu-ray sports an immaculate transfer that shows off an
impressive amount of perfectly clean, razor-sharp detail both
above and below water. Colors are solid and black levels look
acceptably rich. The fact that 95% of the film is shot outdoors
and under well-lit underwater conditions makes it an especially
pleasing experience to watch in 3D thanks to its exceptional
level of depth. It's a little hard to describe, but there is a sense
of "layering" where in-between the foreground and background
objects, rays of sunlight or splashes of water exist on their own
levels. It doesn't just immerse the viewer into the story -- it
makes the viewer feel part of the story. All of it feels incredibly
natural and this is one the few times I have really appreciated
3D for what it's meant to be, sans the abundance gimmickry
that I usually crave.
Still, young ones should find themselves delighted with the
few 3D gimmicks that do exist here. At the start of the film
we are treated to some beautiful underwater ocean photography
featuring playful dolphins, fish and a sea turtle that seems to
float before our eyes. Though the effect is not as dramatic as
Imax: Under The Sea, it still should garner "oohs" and "aahs"
from viewers old and young. Not much else after that other
than the beak of a pelican that jabs itself outward from time
to time. I'm rather surprised to hear myself say this, but I am
happy that the filmmakers didn't push the envelope on gimmicks.
The basic level of depth the 3D provides makes this film a far
more engrossing and intimate experience for the viewer over
its 2D counterpart.
And guess what? Not one bit of ghosting to be seen anywhere,
including the few darker interior scenes.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is up to the task of
providing a perfectly smooth, flawless sonic presentation.
Mark Isham's heartwarming score is conveyed across the
entire soundfield with amazing definition given to the strings
and woodwinds. Though a tad on being front-heavy, there
is quite a bit of surround activity particularly in the underwater
scenes and poolside whistling of Winter. Dialogue is always
clear and intelligible. The dynamics of the soundtrack is perhaps
best demonstrated during a sequence involving a tropical storm
where viewers become suddenly enveloped in windswept rain
accented with powerful LFE bass. In all, a very pleasing soundtrack.
Dolphin Tale arrives as a 3-disc combo package that includes
3D Blu-ray, 2D Blu-ray, DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy. Ultraviolet
allows you to watch movies at home or on-the-go, using streaming
or permanently downloaded copies on devices such as smartphones,
PC's and in the near-future Internet connected Blu-ray players and
TVs. The discs housing is enclosed in a lenticular cardboard sleeve.
Extras on the 2D Blu-ray disc include:
* Animated short about the legend of Rainbow Bridge,
narrated by Harry Connick, Jr.
* Behind-The-Scenes look at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium
* See how the filmmakers created the underwater opening of the film
* The true story of Winter's rescue and creating her prosthetic tail
* Ormie and the Cookie Jar animated short
* Additional Scene and Gag Reel
Dolphin Tale aptly fits the definition of perfect family entertainment.
In fact, it's been a long time since I can remember watching anything
as wonderfully inspiring as this film. The 3D does an amazing
job of making the viewer feel part of the action without resorting
to a barrage of gimmickry. In fact, I am going to be placing this
film somewhere on my list of the best 3D titles currently available.
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