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September Storm: THE HTF 3D ADDICT REVIEW

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Feb 8, 2017.

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  1. Message #1 of 16 Feb 8, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
    Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    post-269895-0-91416800-1364832359.

    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.





    81bjOrGkl9L._SX522_.

    September Storm


    Studio: Kino Lorber
    Product Release: March 28, 2017
    Ratio: 2.39:1
    Audio: DTS-MA 2.0
    Running Time: 92 minutes
    Rating: NR


    post-269895-0-13032800-1364832432.

    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.

    Snapshot-2017-02-08 at 05_39_51 AM-1298782788.


    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....

    Snapshot-2017-02-08 at 05_42_28 AM-1618529808.


    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.

    Snapshot-2017-02-08 at 05_43_55 AM-455126507.


    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.


    Snapshot-2017-02-08 at 05_47_18 AM-2121936182.


    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.

    Snapshot-2017-02-08 at 06_07_32 AM-2064236541.


    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.

    Snapshot-2017-02-08 at 06_09_09 AM-1025227302.


    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.



    CONCLUSION

    Snapshot-2017-02-08 at 05_47_47 AM-120485145.


    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.

    Equipment

    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
     
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  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This film is mediocre at best, but I might buy this disc sometime down the road at a cheaper price-point.
     
  3. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Price is down to $22.49 at Amazon.

    Bob mentioned elsewhere the lenticular cover is only for Kick Starter contributors.
     
  4. Message #4 of 16 Feb 13, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017
    Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    Ron, while Bob and Greg at 3-D Film Archive deserve praise for their restoration work on this film, one of the unsung heroes is Eric Kurland at 3-D Space who spearheaded the Kickstarter campaign with the Archive that raised the funds to make this release possible. Eric is an old friend of mine, going back to my days at Cinekyd (in fact, he was the first friend I made there way back in 1978), and has been working as a technology consultant on The Simpsons. Eric is also the one who produced the interview segment with Asher Donn.
     
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  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Todd,

    Thank you for pointing out Eric Kurland's efforts. Absolutely, he deserves a great deal of credit for this release.
     
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  6. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Thanks, Todd but just to be clear: we approached Eric and 3-D Space to collaborate with us on this venture.

    I have long admired his tireless work to promote 3-D and when the rights were available for 3-D Film Archive to license (and ultimately restore) it was the perfect opportunity to bring 3-D Space on board.
     
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  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I hope the success of this collaboration and method of funding might lead to another one.
     
  8. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Well, some interesting things are brewing...
     
  9. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Yes! I don't know what it is but it doesn't matter. It's 3D!
     
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  10. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Keep your fingers crossed!

    The results and success of this particular restoration are very gratifying as we were told it couldn't be done.
     
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  11. 3D Projectionist

    3D Projectionist Supporting Actor

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    I'm shortly to order this and its another saved 3D gem thanks to all those who put in the hours to whom I say a massive thank you.

    Really tops of those hard core 3D fans is BWANA DEVIL so perhaps we may stand a chance before some of us make the projection room in the sky. Bwana is one of those packed with production history 3D movies any archivist would be proud to own right from the film stock it was shot with and beyond. Call me Bwana but it sure would make a great 3D Blu-Ray!
     
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  12. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Price drop to $19.99 on Amazon.
     
  13. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

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    Finally watched the movie last night. Based on Ron’s review, I wasn’t expecting much as far as pop-out scenes but, I found many. The 3D was similar to what we have seen on 1950’s 3D titles on Blu-ray. Close ups of actors heads and bodies are out-of-the-screen. There is one scene where Joanne Dru and one of the men are about to enter the water in scuba gear. The man is out-of-the-screen and Joanne is behind him so she is even further out, maybe half way into my home theatre room!
     
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  14. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    I will agree that the restoration and 3D is outstanding, but I also agree that this is a very dull film with ridiculous acting and one unintentionally hilarious musical number.
    I literally fell asleep with the 3D glasses on and woke up to see tremendous cross talk. I finally realized my active glasses had run out of power! I had to switch glasses and "re-wind" over an hour to get where I dozed off.
    One last thing did people really smoke that much in 1960? At every possible opportunity except under water, people smoke their brains out!
     
  15. 3D Projectionist

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    Your post made me smile Terry.. If you look back at the old stars most were holding cigarettes at the time.
    Sept Storm is another fave of mine with belting colour, Joanne Dru and some very nice 3D filmed moments in it plus those underwater shots.
    As a collector of films for more decades than I want to own up to for me it is a wonderful time to have these pre digitally filmed movies in my collection of 3D cinema history to enjoy over and over again. With Harmony Lane also included produced over here in our green and pleasant land it didn't take many minutes to get my order made as did many 3D vintage film fans this side of the lake.
    I'm amazed at the superb resto on this it looks great when projected here ;)
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    My memories of this movie from my childhood was that it was mediocre. It's less than that, but I did enjoy the video presentation in 3-D.:)
     

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