3D Blu-ray Review THE HTF 3D ADDICT: Ultimate G's: Zac's Flying Dream

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Ronald Epstein
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    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.


    Zac's Flying Dream

    Studio: Image

    Product Release: April 5, 2011

    Ratio: 1.78:1

    Audio: English, French DTD-HD Master Audio 5.1

    Running Time: 37 Minutes

    Rating: NR


    ON A SCALE 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 3

    3D Separation: 4

    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 0

    Ultimate ZZZzzzz's

    Out of all the titles that comprise the recent batch of Image

    IMAX releases, I had the highest expectations for Ultimate

    G's: Zac's Flying Dream.  I mean, you take one look at the

    cover and feel your heart race looking at the cool pictures

    of monoplanes racing across the sky.  Then, you look at

    the label on the corner and see that Michael Cera is involved

    with the project.  How cool this must be!

    The first disappointment comes when you find out that 

    Ultimate G's is a film originally produced in 2000 for

    Imax exhibition.  It features a 12 year-old Michael Cera 

    who dominates the first half of this short as a young

    boy named Zac whose dreams of flight leads him to

    building all sorts of flying machines with the help

    of his friend Laura.  Sixteen years later, Zac has become

    the pilot he has always dreamed to be, and upon visiting

    his long-time childhood friend, Laura, he is challenged to

    an aerobatic dual by a hotshot pilot.

    What does all this have to do with cool 3D flight?

    Absolutely nothing other than grounding this movie 

    firmly for most of its length with a badly written,

    hokey storyline that throws in a sappy love story 

    that is so bad you would think it was written by

    George Lucas.

    It seemingly takes forever for viewers go get through

    the film's opening story of the young Zac (Michael Cera)

    and his many attempts to build the perfect flying machine.

    It is only 17 minutes later that we get our first taste of

    actual flight footage, but that is quickly replaced with a

    more tedious storyline concerning two rivals trying to

    impress a girl that leads to an aerobic duel high above

    the Grand Canyon. 

    With a camera placed in the front seat of an Extra 300

    monoplane, there is some breathtaking aerial footage 

    from above Lake Powell and The Grand Canyon.  The

    stunning photography holds up to the standards of what

    you would expect from an IMAX presentation.  Unfortunately,

    I would estimate that there is about 10-15 minutes of actual

    flight footage within this 37 minute feature.  

    The transfer is sharp and well detailed.  That's the good

    news. The 3D looks....well....okay.  Certainly, the Grand

    Canyon sequences with its striking rock formations and

    colors benefit most from the added dimensionality as the

    overhead shots of Lake Powell.  While there is distinct 

    foreground and background separation, most of it has

    no benefit to the viewer when most of the film takes place 

    indoors --- whether it be in Zac's bedroom, garage workshop 

    or a nearby bar.  Most all these scenes lean towards being 

    dark, and thus, I found a considerable amount of ghosting 

    present.  In fact, I found image doubling was a consistent 

    problem on this disc.  Even some of the flight sequences 

    that take place in broad daylight exhibit ghosting around 

    the edges of the monoplane wings.  There is absolutely 

    no "In Yo' Face" 3D to be seen here.  

    The best thing that I can say about the overall presentation

    is that it sports a full-bodied, triumphant musical soundtrack

    with very active surrounds.   The entire film sounds immensely

    epic with its sweeping music enhanced by the sound of planes

    that roar from the rears across the front.  An overabundance

    of effect noise keep the back channels competing for attention.


    Perhaps most of the blame for the flaws in this IMAX 

    presentation is due to the time period it was created.

    Back in 2000 (only 11 years ago), 3D was technology

    that was limited to IMAX screens and people who went

    to see these films cared less about the content of what

    they were watching as long as it showed off a certain

    amount of intriguing 3D footage.

    These days, I think audiences are demanding much 

    more than what Ultimate G's Zac's Flying Dream can

    offer. Personally I would be quite mad if I had just

    plopped down $15 for this Blu-ray and ended up sitting

    through the cornfed storytelling with a hint of mildly

    satisfying 3D footage.


    LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display

    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray Player

    Denon 3808CI Receiver

    Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers

    SV Sound Subwoofer

  2. PhiloM5

    PhiloM5 Auditioning

    Mar 9, 2011
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    great thread.., maybe others can recommend some good 3D content. I know DTV just launched a 3D channel.., or maybe I just found it !

    Also.., I just purchased the JVC Procision (sp?) 3D projector and an SI 100" screen... so am I in for a great ride ? I really want to know. All the home theater places my wife and I went to didn't have a 3D projector hooked up.. so we took a leap of faith and went for it. This will be Active 3D of course.

    Thanks !

  3. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Ronald Epstein

    Welcome aboard and congrats on the purchase of your

    JVC projector. You picked the right technology as we

    greatly recommend active shutter 3D technology over


    You can find a lot of great 3D recommendations right here.

    First, here is the archive of all the 3D reviews we have done

    to date.

    If you are looking for what I think are the very best 3D

    titles that are currently available, look no further than

    this Top 10 List.
  4. RolandL

    RolandL Producer

    Dec 11, 2001
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    Cromwell, CT
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    Roland Lataille
    On Comcast here in Cromwell, CT they added ESPN 3D and Xfinity 3D channels on March 1. Xfinity 3D has the following short films:

    Wild Ocean
    Secrets of the Mummies
    Adventures in Animation
    Wild Safari 3D: A South
    SOS Planet
    African Adventure
    Ultimate G's: Zac's Flying
    3D Sun
    Chinese Lion Dancing 3D
    Rhythmic Gymnastics
    Dinosaurs of the Patagonia
    Haunted Castle
    Dinosaurs Alive
    Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box
    Encounter in the Third Dimention
    Alien Adventure
    Misadventures in 3D

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