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3D Shout Factory's METALSTORM - in Depth (1 Viewer)

GregK

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The good: It's a very clean transfer, even with the over and under 3-D source limitations. $$ was clearly spent. Likewise for a very nice 3D menu and 2D making of short, which itself is entertaining and for the most part, very well done. Metalstorm is offered as a two disc release, with the 2D disc offering the bonus material. Audio is provided as both 5.1 and 2.0 stereo options, with the 5.1 adding some lower end heft. Metalstorm was originally shot in the StereoVision & StereoScope single strip over and under 3-D process, and while it has some source issues such as vignetting and on occasion soft edge focus, most of the time it fares far better than Jaws 3-D and Amityville 3-D, which are not nearly as sharp and also have chromatic issues baked in as well.


The bad: An entire feature with various types of stereoscopic misalignment that vary from shot to shot. It's a text book example of what can cause 3-D headaches. Even for those that can endure, our eyes are still doing things they were never supposed to do, and that amounts to a degraded 3-D experience. Adding to the eyestrain are some very poor convergence changes. "Tweaks".. that are worse than the original. Case in point- remember those opening titles made by Celestial Mechanics that zoomed out of the theater screen? Someone apparently decided those needed adjusted and just before the credits start, the stereo window racks heavily into positive z-space so the opening titles are never allowed to come out of the screen. The original intent is ruined. Likewise, there are times in the feature when positive parallax seems to be wider than it has ever been before, another recipe for stinging eyes.


Everybody's mileage with these issues will vary, and on smaller 3DTV displays the continuous cases of misalignment will be more tolerable on the eyes. But the salt in the wound is these issues could have been addressed. Shout put up a disclaimer before the feature starts on the original element limitations and how they worked on reducing these issues. If they would have addressed the 3-D issues half as much as the concerns they had over the element conditions, Shout could have easily had a knock out of the park 3-D release.


The Metalstorm making of short makes a number of references to the showcase 3-D teaser trailer that ran just before Jaws 3-D, and indeed, more have likely seen the Metalstorm 3-D trailer in 3-D than the actual feature itself. I've seen the trailer again in 3-D over the years, thanks to private film collectors. All the more frustrating the trailer on this two disc set is not what we saw before Jaws 3-D, as it is presented here in 2-D only. Someone in making of short innocently enough makes the mistake of thinking Metalstorm had the first ever true 3D trailer. The first true 3-D trailer was actually released in 1953 for "It Came From Outer Space", which has been preserved by the 3-D Film Archive and is available on the Universal 3-D bluray due out this October.


Summary: If you're a fan of Metalstorm, I would still encourage a purchase, as strictly from an element standpoint it has never looked cleaner and likely will never be visited again in 3-D. And that last part sadly is also the downside.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Thanks for the heads up - about what I expected, for better or worse. How does it compare to Comin' At You? I found that one to be brutally painful.
 

Bob Furmanek

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Thanks, Greg.

This is the third Shout 3-D release with alignment and other stereoscopic issues that should have been corrected.

Who is doing their QC work?
 

SFMike

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I recall that this was just as rough on the eyes during it's theatrical presentation. Wish Bob could have worked on the transfer. When will these guys learn? Kind of a fun budget cheapie but there are a lot better 3D titles not available.
 

J. Casey

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It's terrible (on many levels than even the 3D......) but I couldn't really watch the 3D version. Very uncomfortable viewing experience, a la COMIN' AT YA.
 
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Bob Furmanek

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There's no excuse for such sloppy work with 3-D mastering.

I've written to Shout CEO Richard Foos several times since their release of AMITYVILLE 3-D explaining the need for shot by shot 3-D alignment work.

He has not responded.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Finally watched it. Not the worst, not the best, as far as presentation goes.

For the over/under titles on BD3D I can think of offhand, The Bubble is easily the best, for the obvious reason that the right people worked the right magic on it.

The very worst were Amityville 3D and Comin' At You, both of which I found physically painful to watch.

I'd put this on par with Jaws 3D - not painful to watch, but not a consistent experience throughout. Some parts the 3D effect worked great for me, other parts not so much.
 

StephenDH

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Finally watched it. Not the worst, not the best, as far as presentation goes.

For the over/under titles on BD3D I can think of offhand, The Bubble is easily the best, for the obvious reason that the right people worked the right magic on it.

The very worst were Amityville 3D and Comin' At You, both of which I found physically painful to watch.

I'd put this on par with Jaws 3D - not painful to watch, but not a consistent experience throughout. Some parts the 3D effect worked great for me, other parts not so much.

I agree that the 3D isn't painful as in Comin' at Ya but almost everything else is: the pacing is all over the place, the acting is woeful and there are far too many endless scenes of driving through the same bits of lansdcape again and again. Even cinematographer Mac Ahlberg, who makes sure Charles (One Man) Band's movies are at least reasonably good-looking, can't save this turkey.
Jeffrey Byron, who has the same starey-eyed expression of surprise in every scene, is out-acted by Richard Moll's remaining eye and Tim Thomerson doesn't have enough to do.
Some of the scenes are marred by one eye view having a large shadow at the edge of the frame which doesn't help the 3D quality.
Perhaps it was more impressive at the cinema but the only effect it had on me was to make me want to see Spacehunter again even more fervently.
 
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Stephen_J_H

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The one positive of this particular transfer, which is a direct result of the photography and Chris Condon's excellent lenses, is depth of field. You don't see the crisp depth of field in today's 3D productions that you see in the best of the over/under format titles. I would love this corrected for vertical misalignment, which becomes bleeding obvious when you take your glasses off, but I'm not holding my breath.
 

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