Senior HTF Member
- 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: Kino Lorber
Product Release: March 28, 2017
Audio: DTS-MA 2.0
Running Time: 92 minutes
On A Scale 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 4
3D Separation: 5
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 2
A rather mediocre film provides a pleasurable 3D viewing experience with great thanks to the wonderful restoration that has been done by the 3-D Film Archive and a huge amount of support from Kickstarter backing.
With waning interest from both studios and manufacturers for the 3D format, it has become increasingly more difficult -- if not impossible -- to get the many remaining classics from the golden age funded for restoration. Fortunately, hundreds of fans who still want to see these films released, came to the rescue and contributed to a Kickstarter campaign launched by the 3-D Film Archive for the restoration of September Storm. Not so surprisingly, more than enough money was raised through this campaign to see the restoration finalized and the film finally released to Blu-ray. The names of the supporters can be read after the film's final credits. I was very pleased to see the names of many HTF members on that list. If it weren't for the 322 generous backers, this film would be lost forever. On behalf of the 3-D Film Archive, I thank all of you.
The story is fairly simple. While vacationing in Spain, a model (Joanne Dru) gets mixed up with a treasure-hunter (Mark Stevens), his side-kick (Robert Strauss) and a supposed yacht owner (Asher Dann) in a quest to find sunken treasure beneath the Mediterranean,
September Storm was an attempted comeback for the format in 1960. Twentieth Century Fox was hoping that a new generation of viewers would flock to see a 3D presentation. However, I feel as if audiences at the time felt the same way I feel about this film today....
Despite some beautiful locales and interesting underwater photography, the entire film is just completely dull. It's as if the story was purely built around providing exceptional underwater shots -- which quite frankly, doesn't enhance the storytelling. For example, there's a great moment for the divers to have a dangerous interlude with sharks, but instead, that opportunity goes completely by the wayside.
Fortunately, the one thing that works greatly in the favor of this Blu-ray release is its rather stunning restoration provided by the 3-D Film Archive team that provides this Cinemascope presentation with stunning 3D opticals.
The restoration looks fantastic. Oh, there may be some occasional artifacts here and there, but overall, the film looks incredibly clean throughout. Color saturation is a mixed bag here. Some of the outdoor shots look quite vivid, while others look soft and muted. The underwater shots can often look murky. I would highly suspect this is just something inherent in the print that could not be improved upon.
The 3D presentation itself is exceptional, in thanks to the intended placement of objects in front of the camera and the amount of depth that is conveyed throughout the film. It has that "Viewmaster" expansive feel that I have much preference for. Above water, viewers will appreciate how the camera shows layers of depth among the ropes and cables that support the yacht. During a cocktail party, lamps are carefully placed to show proper composition between foreground and background. The underwater photography, though somewhat murky at times, presents ocean debris that float before the viewer's eyes. There is very little pop-out to be seen other than a scene near the end that involves a fishing spear. Other than that, I noticed a few instances where the brims of hats gently protruded forward. Ghosting was completely non-existent during my viewing.
The DTS-MA 2.0 audio, for some reason, was conveyed solely by my center speaker. I am assuming this was a mono release but I am waiting for confirmation. While the sound was completely clean and audible, there was no sense of expansiveness to be had.
What I really appreciate about recent 3-D Film Archive releases is that they truly make their Blu-ray offerings a superb purchase value by including added bonus content that is certain to please fans.
First out of the gate is a cute animated short, The Adventures of Sam Space, produced by Volcano Productions in 1953. The short is nothing spectacular, in my opinion, though it has a nice level of depth with no forward projection. Be aware that there is some visible original wear throughout the presentation, though not overly distracting.
Next up is a British short, Harmony Lane, from 1953. This short has something for everyone: toe-tapping music, dancing, singing, ballet and comedy. It's presented flawlessly in beautiful B&W. There's blatant pop-out with the film's opening titles. However, since the short was almost considered lost forever, one of the key pop-out sequences is presented flat, due to the fact that its original 3D elements could not be found. Still, a wonderful inclusion that I think everyone will greatly enjoy. I love the dog act!
Other extras include color and B&W trailers for the film release, and a 2016 interview with September Storm co-star Asher Dann (presented both flat and in 3D).
The Blu-ray gets one of the best lenticular covers I have yet to see. It's gorgeous! I am not certain if this is exclusive to Kickstarter donators or will be included in the widespread release by Kino Lorber.
September Storm is a rather mediocre film that provides a pleasurable 3D viewing experience in great thanks to the wonderful restoration that has been done by the 3-D Film Archive and a huge amount of support from Kickstarter backing.
The 3-D Film archive has done an awesome job of providing a Blu-ray release chock-filled with 3D content, out of their vaults, that is sure to please everyone on one level or another. It's more historic content that is finally making its way into the hands of fans,
And you know what? We need more of this stuff released. I know Mr. Kintz and Mr. Furmanek have so much more material to offer the public. It is my hope that they launch more Kickstarter campaigns to get this stuff released. I am certain that fans will be happy to continue funding these restorations if it means getting more quality Blu-ray releases like these released.
Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc.
Sony HW55ES Front Projector calibrated by Gregg Loewen, Lion AV
Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player
Denon AVR-X7200WA Dolby Atmos Receiver
Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear side and back speakers, AW-5 overheads (x4)
SV Sound Subwoofer