3D Blu-ray Review Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: THE HTF 3D ADDICT REVIEW

Ronald Epstein

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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.






Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles


Studio: Paramount
Product Release: December 16, 2014
Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English Dolby Atmos (7.1 Dolby TrueHD compatible)
Running Time: 101 minutes
Rating: PG-13


On A Scale 0-5

Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 4
3D Separation: 5
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 2


Be one with the blades. Lead Their Path.


When Paramount sent me a copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3D,
I felt as if I had a rather difficult job ahead of me. I am not a fan of the
series. Never read the 80s comic book or watched a single episode of
the tv show from that same era. I guess it also becomes obvious that I
never watched any of the movies that were made before this new iteration.
However, in a sense, I'm the perfect person to go into a movie like this blindly
as a "newbie" to judge this world devoted to four 6' teenage anthropomorphic
turtles who live in the sewers of NYC and fight crime with their ninjutsu skills.

Color me...surprised. While Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3D remains
mostly geared for teens and younger with its juvenile humor and tamed
violence, I was quite taken back by the film's level of production. This is
certainly a Blockbuster orientated release and as such, all stops have been
pulled to push the envelope on its effects and entertainment value. It's no
wonder that the film has not only been released in 3D, but has Dolby putting
its Atmos brand behind it as well. More on that in just a moment...

If you are like me and have no idea of the history behind these crime-fighting
leatherbacks, don't fret....the film does an excellent job of giving viewers a
complete history of how a laboratory accident allowed the mutations of the
four turtles: Leonardo, Michelangelo. Raphael, Donatello and their master,
Splinter, a rat who became their adoptive father and taught them the ways
of ninjutsu.



As the film opens we find that New York City is under attack from the
a criminal organization known as the Footclan. It's leader, Splinter, is a
sinister, highly-skilled dark master of ninjutsu. One evening, a young, beautiful
reporter named April O'Neal (Megan Fox), who has been investigating the
Footclan activities, suddenly stumbles upon a crime-in-progress that puts
her face-to-face with the city's superheroes. April attempts to convince her
editor (Whoopi Goldberg) to break this sensational story in the news, but soon
finds that no-one will believe that these crime fighting vigilantes even exist.



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is filled with cutting-edge effects thanks to the
efforts of Industrial Light & Magic. Their motion-capture system that uses actors
in body suits to emulate the turtle characters, comes off with very convincing results.
And, with Michael Bay's production team behind the helm, it's no surprise that this
film contains some very impressive over-the-top action sequences and effects work.

The transfer, in a word, is "fantastic." Colors look suitable, and black levels are
deep. There is not one digital distraction to be seen anywhere. Picture is so crisp
that the amount of detail that can be seen within the turtle faces and long hairs
attached to Splinter's nose is just immense. The day-lit scenes of New York City
benefit the most from this transfer. They just "pop" with vibrancy, as do their neon-lit
signs at night.



The 3D is a mixed bag. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3D is not so much an
out-of-display experience than it is in-display. This is another typical film that
production felt would be better upconverted than shot natively in 3D. As all of you
are aware, this greatly limits the format's impact. Fortunately, there is an excellent
level of depth represented here that saves this film from being a completely wasted
upconverted effort. New York is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I was quite
pleased to see how much was filmed on and below its streets and how perfectly the
enhanced definition brings this metropolis to life like never before. There is an absolute
sense of expansive space as the camera swoops above and across the city during a
climatic showdown between Shredder and the Ninja Turtles. It's quite astounding.

I was surprised that a feature called "In Your Face! The Turtles in 3D" is included
as a special feature. I would not even venture to say that this film contains any
impressive level of pop-out to quantify that claim. I mean, c'mon, this is a film that
was upconverted to 3D in post production. That's one hell of a major strike against
it. There is no blatant "In Your Face" pop-out anywhere. At best, some bladed objects
as well as chunks of rock and snow do manage to slightly protrude themselves forward.
I will tell you that this film is absolutely littered with light spots, smoke and floating debris
that were purposely placed to give viewers an added sense of layered 3D effect. Those
are the elements that when combined with background depth, look very pleasing to the
eye. Elements like falling snow, flying sparks and floating dust debris often place themselves
just outside of the screen as if they are darting right before your eyes. I just wish Michael
Bay would stop using so much sunspot type effects in his film. It's grossly overused here.

Absolutely no ghosting or crosstalk to be seen.



As I previously mentioned, Dolby had enough faith to attach their Atmos sound technology
to this film. While I do not have a Dolby Atmos compatible system (as of yet), I knew that
the mix would automatically be reconfigured for my 7.1 setup (and subsequently 5.1 systems).
This is one hell of a powerhouse audio mix even at 7.1 level. The overall sound design is
nothing short of amazing with a precise level of detail that is craftily delegated to specific
speakers across the entire soundstage. The clanging of swords jump across channels while
the swoosh of bullets whiz by your ears. With our turtle heroes dispersed in every direction,
it's not uncommon to hear them communicate from one channel to another. LFE activity is
extremely aggressive as it accents every punch and explosion on screen. Even Brian Tyler's
choral-filled score gets some impressive LFE undertones. This is certainly a soundtrack that
can be considered demo material. It's no wonder Dolby has their Atmos name behind it.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3D arrives as a 3-disc set housed in lenticular cardboard
packaging. The discs include the Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD feature discs and Digital
HD content. Extras include the usual behind-the-scenes production features as well as
a "Shell Shocked" Music Video.


CONCLUSION



As someone new to the franchise, not not knowing any of the history behind these
characters, I found Teenage Ninja Turtles 3D to be a tolerable, entertaining experience.
Most of that was due to it's extremely aggressive (and impressive) soundtrack and
level of depth that its 3D presentation provides. The 3D presentation won't even make
my most recommended list, but it is still somewhat satisfying -- particularly for its scenes
on and above the streets of New York City.

Hardcore fans of the turtle series may not like this film as much as I did.



Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc.

Equipment

Samsung PN64F8500 display professionally calibrated by Gregg Loewen, Lion AV
Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player
Denon 3311CI Receiver
Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear side and back speakers
SV Sound Subwoofer
 
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Colin Jacobson

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
10,089
Good review, though I was more impressed by the 3D than you were. You've been watching home 3D longer than I - this is probably my tenth or so 3D review - but I thought it worked really well. In particular, the chase scene in the snow popped out pretty well.

That was also the best scene in the movie. Much of it was pretty dull, but the chase was fairly exciting...
 

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