Ronald Epstein

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HTF TOP 30 3D BLU-RAY RELEASES
HTF 3D ADDICT Reviewer Ron Epstein picks his favorite 3D releases. These are the titles that he feels give the viewer the biggest WOW factor, and certainly demo worthy when showing off your 3D system to friends and family. These are not necessarily the top rated picks of the HTF membership or staff. These titles will be updated regularly so please check back often

Note: Some reviewed titles have been issued placement demerits due to crosstalk. However, please be aware that different display technologies may not produce the same results. Crosstalk is a problem related to certain displays, not the disc.

Please don't observe the numbering system as "absolute." It's very hard to place these very best 3D titles in perfect order. Consider this list to be the very best 3D titles that are available and worthy of your purchase consideration.


Updated September 24, 2019


1.


3-D Rarities is the most important release of its kind. Not only does it document the earliest experiments with the stereoscopic format right through the "golden era" of the 1950s, but it also offers the best combination of depth and pop-out for those two camps who can never agree which is more important.


2.

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (Gaumont) is a marvel to behold. The best live-action 3D film that can currently be purchased. Unfortunately, if you live in the United States it must be imported and the disc is region locked. A modified Blu-ray player is necessary.

3.


The Mad Magician (Twilight Time) is the ultimate 3D movie night. Not only do you get the most superior 3D transfer of any of the Golden Age classics, but also included are 2 Three Stooges 3D shorts. It doesn't get any better than this!

4.

It Came From Outer Space (Universal) is a true sci-fi gem of the golden age of cinema. With its pristine digital restoration from the 3-D Archive, this is an essential watch that you will thoroughly enjoy.

5.
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A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures (Optimum) is the most amazing use of 3D that I have seen in any film to date. Sadly, most won't be able to obtain this Blu-ray disc as it is only coded for region B.

6.
Alita Battle Angel
is the most recent film in our list to offer a satisfying 3D experienced. After all, it was co-produced by James Cameron who has been very committed to the format.


7.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Disney) is best post production conversion we have seen to date. To watch this in 3D is absolutely thrilling. It reinforces how wonderful this format really is.

8.
Everest (Universal) is the second best post production conversion we have seen to date. It's 3D is so convincing that it's often dizzying to watch as the climbers reach new heights.

9.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner) looks stunning on 3D Blu-ray thanks to its pristine image and level of depth that brings Middle Earth to life.

10.

Gravity (Warner) is not the best 3D I have seen, however combined with one of the most intricate sound mixes brought to film, this becomes an immersive experience like no other.

11.

House of Wax (Warner) is the epitome of what classic 3D film is all about. It represents an era that even though is long gone, pretty much surpasses the garbage 3D Hollywood produces today.

12.


The Bubble (Kino) epitomizes everything that makes a great 3D presentation. One of the true "classics" from the golden era of 3D with lots of "Space-Vision" 3D gimmickry.

13.


Thunder and The House of Magic (Shout! Factory) is a wonderfully produced and entertaining animated feature with terrific depth and lots of forward projection.


14.


Mad Max Fury Road (Warner) quickens one's pulse with some of the most amazing action sequences ever staged in film. The 3D puts it right over the top. One of the better upconversions out there.


15.


Kung Fu Panda (Dreamworks) brings a fresh 3D experience to the recent barrage of average fare. Terrific depth and the subtle sense of objects coming off the screen make for very satisfying dimensional entertainment.

16.


A Turtles's Tale 2: Sammy's Escape From Paradise (Vivendi) is the next best choice if you can't obtain the original film. It's filled with a chock-load of 3D pop-outs that will make for crucial demo material. Additionally, it's actually more entertaining to watch as well.

17.
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Avatar (Fox) was originally ranked in our top 5 list upon its release. The home 3D experience exceeds that of the theatrical. This is the title that sets the benchmark for the format.

18.
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Life of Pi (Fox) is the ultimate visual treat for 3D enthusiasts who wish to be immersed into the storytellng like never before.

19.


Inferno (Panamint) is one of those rare films from the golden age of 3D that supports as strong a story as the 3D itself. A thoroughly enjoyable 3D presentation with a tremendous level of separation. NOW ALL REGION

20.


Imax Hubble 3D (Warner) is my favorite of all the IMAX titles. With remarkable images taken from space, and the infinite sense of depth the 3D provides, this is a viewing that will be nothing short of awe-inspiring.



21.


The Walk (Sony) is the best upconverted effort I have seen thus far. Some of the best levels of depth I have seen in any 3D film.


22.


Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel) is fantastically fun, and in 3D, offers a thrill-ride experience with at least two prominent pop-outs.



23.


The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (Paramount) is an astounding mix of animation and live-action in glorious 3D. It's just plain "fun" for the entire family....adults, too!


24.
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Oz The Great And Powerful (Disney) fell very short of my expectations. That being said, its 3D presentation is highly enjoyable and among the best on Blu-ray at this moment.

25.
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Madagascar 3 Europe's Most Wanted (DreamWorks) ranks nearly as the best animated title available. It's dizzying, spectacular imagery draped in neon and translated in 3D is completely fun and stunning to watch.

26.
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Titanic (Paramount) is the second best upconverted 2D-3D film ever produced (after THE WALK). It's amazingly stunning to watch and it's no coincidence that 2 of the top 6 ranked titles are shared by a single director who has embraced this format like no other.

27.
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Hugo (Paramount) is such a rare wonder; a children's film that is more for the child in all of us than strictly for the young. An exceptional 3D presentation, though many have reported problems with excessive crosstalk.

28.
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Creature From The Black Lagoon (Universal) takes us back to the golden age of 3D. The film remains as appealing today as it did in 1954. Outstanding transfer and appreciable level of depth makes this one of the must-have classics.

29.


Pacific Rim (Warner) Yes, it's loud and noisy, but darnit, this ranks as one of the best unconverted films since Titanic , making it an ever-so-perfect 3D home experience that is demo worthy.

30.
harold.jpg


A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (Warner) is the most obscene and outrageously hilarious 3D spectacle I have ever seen. Play it at your next adult gathering.



Honorable Mentions




Despicable Me 2 (Universal) is just plain "fun" and one of the best 3D releases of 2013.



nemo100.jpg


Finding Nemo (Disney) will literally have your jaw dropping to the floor with its vibrant colors, HD clarity and 3D presentation. The best up-converted animated 3D title I have seen to date.


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Megamind (DreamWorks) is wickedly funny and is an outstanding 3D presentation.


despicable100.jpg


Despicable Me (Universal) is the rarest of sorts. Providing exceptional laughs and highly effective 3D immersion, it makes for the perfect family film.



Wreck-It Ralph (Disney) May not be filled with pop-up gimmickry, but represents the best use of 3D enhanced animation to tell a story. Thoroughly enjoyable and one 3D Blu-ray that should not be passed up.



The Wizard Of Oz (Warner) is a film you have seen countless times in 2D, but now newly converted to 3D, it's an entirely new viewing experience. You have never seen Oz like this before.




Pan (Warner Bros.) is quite immersive thanks to being one of the better upconversions. 3D is so well done, it feels like being on a theme ride.



coraline100.jpg


Coraline (Universal) is a wonder to behold as its intricate story and amazing visuals slowly unfold in glorious 3D.


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Yogi Bear (Warner) is perfect family entertainment enhanced with 3D that reaches far out to its audience.



The Hobbit (Warner), epic in scope, is a marvel to watch in 3D thanks to it depth and dimensionality that puts characters and their Middle Earth surroundings in proper perspective.


monsters100.jpg


Monsters, Inc. (Disney) is more expansive and impactful than its 2D counterpart. This is one monstrous presentation and ranks up there with the best Disney 3D releases.

toystory100.jpg


Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3 (Disney) whether bought individually or in the trilogy set, these are perhaps the finest examples of 3D without added gimmickry.

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Monsters vs. Aliens (DreamWorks) boasts highly enjoyable animation and effective 3D, though it is plagued with some ghosting issues on some displays.

born100.jpg


Born To Be Wild (Warner) is the most visually appealing of all the IMAX documentaries. Overpriced for 41 minutes of content, but if you can nab this for about $20, do grab it.

deepsea100.jpg


Deep Sea 3D (Warner) is one of the most entertaining of the IMAX documentaries. Fantastic 3D, though overpriced for content under 45 minutes.

undersea100.jpg


Under The Sea 3D (Warner) just placed itself behind Deep Sea 3D. Highly entertaining and effective underwater 3D photography. Lackluster narration by Jim Carrey. Best 3D moment in any title to date as a Cod fish comes inches before your face.

stepup100.jpg


Step up 3D (Touchstone) with its thrilling dance sequences is amazing to watch. Don't judge this movie by its cover!

journey100.jpg


Journey to the Center of the Earth (Warner) places the viewer dead smack in the middle of an adventure that mimics a wild theme park ride with plenty of projected effects.



Man In The Dark (Twilight Time) has fantastic levels of depth and some nice pop-out moments that either fail or succeed pending on your display.



The Lego Movie: Everything Is Awesome Edition (Warner) sports wonderful depth throughout, but overall, didn't make the major list because it falls short of providing a really AWESOME 3D experience. Still, a recommended 3D purchase.
 
Last edited:

JohnS

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I just watched Coraline in 3D bluray and it was a real treat.
Great depth and lots of "in your face" moments.
Lots of beautiful colors too.
And no ghosting!

I'm going to watch Despicable Me on 3D bluray right now.
 

Johnny Angell

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I think it's a problem when you've reviewed nearly 20 titles and the 3 I'm most interested in are not available for purchase. Are they trying to kill 3D at home on purpose? The people buying now are early adopters and I think I bunch of these people would be interested in 3D movies from the 50's. Release Creature from the Black Lagoon and It Came from Outer Space in 3D and you'll here me pleading "Honey, now's the perfect time to upgrade to 3D."

Attaching films to hardware is short sighted, IMHO.
 

Jon Lidolt

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You're right. There are a number of quality 3-D films made in the 50's which would most definitely help spur interest in owning a 3-D TV set - at least there'd be something to show off to your friends. They're not only live action (how many animated titles can one watch?) but the 3-D effect is more natural looking than most of the recent live action stereo films I've seen in the theatres recently. Mind you a lot of bad stuff was made to cash in on the 3-D boom in the 50's but I'd love to see the following titles made available on 3-D Blu-ray: the MGM musical Kiss Me Kate, Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder, Charles Bronson & Vincent Price in House of Wax, John Wayne & Geraldine Page in Hondo. Other lesser known 3-D titles could be packaged as double bills. The 3 Stooges made a couple of shorts in 3-D and even such stars as Bugs Bunny & Donald Duck appeared in a couple of 3-D cartoons. They could be used as added attractions to help sell some of the less known features such as Gun Fury with Rock Hudson and Miss Sadie Thompson with Rita Hayworth.

How about it Hollywood? You got 'em, we want 'em!
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I would probably pick up that Despicable Me 3D BD combo pack for the extra ~$10 (ie. ~50% premium) *IF* the 3D BD landscape looks much more promising than it is right now. But like others pointed out, things do not look good at all w/ this format launch so far -- and it doesn't look to change for the better anytime soon...

_Man_
 

Adam Gregorich

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Originally Posted by ManW_TheUncool
I would probably pick up that Despicable Me 3D BD combo pack for the extra ~$10 (ie. ~50% premium) *IF* the 3D BD landscape looks much more promising than it is right now. But like others pointed out, things do not look good at all w/ this format launch so far -- and it doesn't look to change for the better anytime soon...

_Man_
Check the HD Deals thread. You can get the 3D four disc pack from NBC with free shipping for a penny cheaper than the 3 disc pack at Amazon. I think the biggest problem now is a lack of titles. Most of the non-special interest documentary titles are tied to HW sales.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Thanks, Adam.

Yeah, I saw your post in the Consolidated Bargains thread and went ahead and bit on that deal -- it's actually still a bit more than I originally wanted to spend on the BD (at ~$24 after tax), which is why I hadn't bought the regular BD combo pack sooner, but it's close enough, especially since the 3D disc is actually a separate disc. Hope the backorder wait doesn't turn out to be much longer than the stated 12/27 date (plus shipping time).

Not sure when I'd actually be able to give the 3D disc a whirl though...

Thanks again (and to ScottJH as well for the original heads up)...

_Man_
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Hmmm... I wonder if the studios will eventually do 3D BD upgrade offers for those of us who already bought some of the 2D BD versions...

I could probably go for a $5-10 upgrade price for some titles if/when I do the needed hardware upgrades...

_Man_
 

DeeF

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Just a question. To get 3D, do you have to own a 3D Bluray player AND a 3D monitor? Why is that?
 

Ronald Epstein

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Hi Dee!

The simple answer (and I am certain a more
technical one will follow) is that the 3D Blu-ray
player needs to have the ability to decode the
3D content to send to the 3D capable monitor.

Older Blu-ray players do not have the encoding
capability.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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FWIW, the only older player that can (after software update) is the PS3 because it's just that much more powerful than standard standalones. So if you have a PS3, it can playback those discs in 3D (w/ some limitations nonetheless).

_Man_
 

tbaio

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I know this recommended film is going to be groan inducing, but have you seen the Blu-ray release of Friday the 13th Part 3-D? Yes, the video quality (sharpness, clarity, detail, etc) is overall dreadful. However the 3-D is, in my opinion, unrivaled. I'm not kidding here, its truly outstanding. Fans of "in your face" 3-D quality are bound to be amazed. Shots of clothes on a line blowing towards the camera, poles, antennas, a baseball bat, a rake & a projectile spear (my favorite effect) went beyond the limits of the TV right onto the viewers lap! I was very surprized by how good these effects were. I'm guessing since the 3-D back in the day was "real" rather than digitally added, it makes that much of a difference. If I'm correct about that, then I'd love to see other older 3-D movies make their way to Blu-ray 3-D such as:


  • House of Wax (1953)

  • Jaws 3-D

  • Parasite

  • Treasure of the 4 Crowns

These may not be classics (except for House of Wax), but I do remember the 3-D for these films being very good at the time. I welcome any & all comments.
 

Robert Harris

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The best attribute of 3D is in the marketing. That and some occasionally superb software.

Unfortunately, the worst attribute of 3D is in the marketing.

The fact that those who invested in Samsung, Sony and other 3D systems can't simply order a copy of Avatar is simply wrong-headed.

Can you image a situation via which there might be competing systems, and if one wished to own HD software from various studios, you would have to have two players?

Same thing, only far more ridiculous. If anything is going to bring 3D down, this is it.

RAH
 

Douglas Monce

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There are some films that I would love to see in 3D. Among them It Came From Outer Space and Creature from the Black Lagoon, which I saw at a double feature in 3D when I was a kid in the 70's. But also I'd KILL to see Dial M for Murder in 3D.

Beyond those there isn't much that gets me excited about the format.

Doug
 

Matt Hough

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As I said in a 3D thread in the DVD section of the forum, Warners is sitting on three marvelous 3D classics: Dial 'M' for Murder, Kiss Me Kate and House of Wax. (I don't guess they own the rights to Hondo.) While we wait for new 3D films to come down the pike, why not make new 3D masters of these films for distribution on Blu-ray? I saw two of these at theaters during the 3D craze of the 1980s, but I've never seen Kiss Me Kate in 3D.

If 3D in the home is going to catch on, there has to be all kinds of product out there to tempt folks of all ages to dive into the format.
 

Larry Geller

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Originally Posted by MattH.
I saw two of these at theaters during the 3D craze of the 1980s, but I've never seen Kiss Me Kate in 3D.
Best 3D movie--ever! Bob Fosse dancing across the rooftops is a religious experience.
 

Matt Hough

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Larry Geller said:
Best 3D movie--ever! Bob Fosse dancing across the rooftops is a religious experience.
Having never seen it, naturally it's the one I most want to see. Come on, Warners! Do us all a favor and release this in 3D!
 

SergeiShadow

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Originally Posted by Douglas Monce
Wow...now I know why I'm NOT investing in 3d.

Doug
3D is very big joke even for someone with millions of dollars. Am not interested movie studios and not interested in Avatar. James Cameron cannot make good movies anymore. All is plagarism from Dances with Wolves Ferngully The Last Samurai The Smurfs Dune Pocahontas but set in space.
Yes, only reason why is top grossing movie currently is because the added fee for IMAX and 3D to watching.
 

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