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Turning The Spotlight On...Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them (3D Blu-ray) (1 Viewer)

Ronald Epstein

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I am not turning this thread into a full-scale 3D review of this release. Since our more capable reviewers are handling titles like these, I don't have the opportunity to receive early screeners. Generally, these days, I get around to watching 3D titles around the same time all of you do.

Let's face it....3D titles have become rather bland. Although I still consider myself a huge fan of the format, it's rather rare that I get excited over films that have been simply unconverted. One of the more recent really enjoyable 3D features I have watched was Doctor Strange.

Based on advanced HTF recommendations, I blindly purchased Fantastic Beasts. Knew nothing about this film as I sat down in my theater early this morning to give it a view. The first thing that oddly hit me was the music. It had riffs of the Harry Potter theme to it. Turns out this is a Harry Potter spin-off written by J.K. Rowling. I am not a big Harry Potter fan. I think I kind of fell off that wagon somewhere in the later sequels. However, I was rather pleased to become completely immersed in Fantastic Beasts, thanks to its excellent use of 3D.

It is very apparent that director David Yates had 3D in mind throughout the lensing of this feature. He creates a digital world of infinite depth with placement of objects to give a terrific foreground/background effect. The level of depth is outstanding and exemplifies the beautiful set pieces of 1920s New York City. But what is most gratifying for me to see is the inclusion of POP-OUT effects. Yes, readers, for the very first time in memory, a 3D movie that actually is worthy of its ticket price.

I think home viewers will be absolutely delighted by the many objects and magical entities that project themselves forward, floating in mid-air. While the effect is not as "magical" as some of the best projections I have reviewed, it is rather refreshing to see a director use these tricks frequently throughout the story. And you know what? They work without becoming gimmicky.

Tack on an outstanding 7.1 DTS track which is very aggressive, filled with effect sounds that are pin-pointed to specific channels. Low end response was just remarkable, accenting rumbling destruction. This is yet another highly dynamic 7.1 mix that ranks among the best presently available.

Which brings me to the following...

With all good things said about this Blu-ray release, I have to once again chastise Warner Bros. for making a huge omission. There is no Dolby Atmos on the 3D release. The studio made the same stupid omission with Gravity. I don't know why Warner continues this practice of short-changing fans of 3D. There are some great opportunities in this film to heighten the listening experience with rain effects and massive flying creatures. Imagine how great they would sound with active overheads. Alas, that opportunity is completely robbed in the 3D release.

Fantastic Beasts is going to be added to my Top 30 List over the next few days. Presently, it stands as one of the best unconverted releases thanks to its pop-out effects.

 

Josh Steinberg

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I'm glad you liked it Ron!

My only disappointment with the disc is that it doesn't preserve the IMAX 3D presentation. Like the Ghostbusters (2016) 3D version, the IMAX Favorite Beasts had the effects breaking through the frame and coming out past the black bars. The Warner logo at the beginning just came flying out at you in IMAX 3D in such a cool way. The lack of that feature on the disc isn't a deal breaker for me but it is disappointing.
 

Robert Crawford

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After doing some research, I decided not to buy the 3-D release, but instead bought the 4K release which is derived from 4K elements and has the Dolby Atmos audio track. The way the industry has turned this format dilemma into such a mess for consumers, it causes us to make choices with our discretionary spending. In this case, I chose 4K.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Josh,

Now that I know that, it seems yet another lost opportunity with this disc.

Warner has been quite good in the past about preserving IMAX sequences, but alas, they are getting sloppy.
 

Ronald Epstein

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After doing some research, I decided not to buy the 3-D release, but instead bought the 4K release which is derived from 4K elements and has the Dolby Atmos audio track. The way the industry has turned this format dilemma into such a mess for consumers, it causes us to make choices with our discretionary spending. In this case, I chose 4K.

Yeah, I mean this isn't rocket science.

Easily, the studio can offer 4k titles with a separate 3D disc. Sony does it. And to only delegate Atmos to 4k discs? That's a real loss for Blu-ray owners.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Warner has been quite good in the past about preserving IMAX sequences, but alas, they are getting sloppy.

Sad but true. Same for the Batman V Superman BD - that movie had four IMAX sequences in theaters and that wasn't included on the disc. It might be filmmaker dependent. For instance, JJ Abrams shoots IMAX for theaters because he loves the look of the large format image but says he hates the look of the aspect ratio switching back and forth, so that's why the original Star Trek Into Darkness disc and all of the Force Awakens discs don't have them even though the movies were made that way. But yeah, it's a pet peeve of mine. The IMAX stuff with frame breaks and/or aspect ratio switches translates really well to home projection because on both IMAX screens and home TVs, the taller footage is larger than 2.35:1, so the idea of certain scenes seeming "bigger" works at home too in my opinion. (Full disclosure: I love that effect when done right.)
 

Ronald Epstein

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Josh,

I never notice the switch between IMAX and the normal ratio. It's done so seamlessly that one doesn't really notice it until several seconds after it occurs.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Easily, the studio can offer 4k titles with a separate 3D disc. Sony does it. And to only delegate Atmos to 4k discs? That's a real loss for Blu-ray owners.

I'm worried Sony might be winding it down - two of their upcoming releases (including the native-3D Resident Evil: The Final Chapter) should have been UHD/3D combos, but the press release ended up having it as UHD 2D only, and no domestic 3D release. Very disappointing.

I don't have Atmos in my home theater but even though I don't have it, I still completely agree that it makes no sense not to include it on the BD when it's available. It's one thing if the movie didn't have an Atmos track to begin with, but if it's got one, it should be on the BD.
 

Josh Steinberg

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(I'm liking because I think you're right, not because I think it's a good decision.)
 

Robert Crawford

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(I'm liking because I think you're right, not because I think it's a good decision.)
Yep, if they think I'm going to pay extra to see their films in 3-D at a movie theater and not being able to view it in 3-D at home, they're sadly mistaken. I'm going to stick to 2-D showings in movie theaters and then buy the 4K/UHD releases for home viewing.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Yep, if they think I'm going to pay extra to see their films in 3-D at a movie theater and not being able to view it in 3-D at home, they're sadly mistaken. I'm going to stick to 2-D showings in movie theaters and then buy the 4K/UHD releases for home viewing.

I've been thinking about that myself. If I see a movie for the first time in 3D and then watch it again in 2D, I enjoy it less, and feel like I'm missing something. So if it's the choice between loving it in 3D once and being disappointed with it in 2D at home for the years I'll rewatch it, or just sticking with 2D across the board, that might be the least painful option. We'll see, I'll keep buying them as long as they make them. Interestingly, the international branches of a lot of these studios are still putting out 3D discs, so hopefully I can keep grabbing titles for at least a little bit longer that way.

I'm glad Warner released this one in 3D, it was one of the better 3D titles I saw last year. Of the movies originally released in 2016, on 3D quality alone, Fantastic Beasts and Ghostbusters had the best 3D, but Fantastic Beasts was a better movie in my view. The 3D on the last Harry Potter movies were early conversions and so-so, but I had gotten used to the Harry Potter world looking that way... so this movie's 3D really blew me away and was such a great surprise.
 

Robert Crawford

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I'm glad Warner released this one in 3D, it was one of the better 3D titles I saw last year. Of the movies originally released in 2016, on 3D quality alone, Fantastic Beasts and Ghostbusters had the best 3D, but Fantastic Beasts was a better movie in my view. The 3D on the last Harry Potter movies were early conversions and so-so, but I had gotten used to the Harry Potter world looking that way... so this movie's 3D really blew me away and was such a great surprise.
I read the 3-D wasn't that good in this film and that the 4K presentation was superior to the 3-D. Granted, this reviewer only viewed those discs at home and didn't see the 3-D presentation at a movie theater.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I read the 3-D wasn't that good in this film and that the 4K presentation was superior to the 3-D. Granted, this reviewer only viewed those discs at home and didn't see the 3-D presentation at a movie theater.

I'd disagree strongly with that review but to each their own of course. If you ever get a chance to see it for yourself one day, I think you'd be pleased. But regardless of the format, hope you enjoy it!
 

Ronald Epstein

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I read the 3-D wasn't that good in this film and that the 4K presentation was superior to the 3-D. Granted, this reviewer only viewed those discs at home and didn't see the 3-D presentation at a movie theater.

From someone that watches a lot of 3D content, this is perhaps the best upconverted 3D presentation to date. The pop-outs throughout are very good.
 

Mike2001

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I watched the UHD version (first time viewing the film) and enjoyed it. But it was fairly obvious that many sequences were intended for 3D and I felt like I was missing something. I'll probably watch out for the 3D version going on sale at some point.
 

Robert Crawford

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I'd disagree strongly with that review but to each their own of course. If you ever get a chance to see it for yourself one day, I think you'd be pleased. But regardless of the format, hope you enjoy it!
After viewing the 4K disc, I thought it was a reference type presentation. With that said, I don't understand that review downplaying the 3-D as I agree with Mike that many sequences looked intended for 3-D. If I ever catch the 3-D disc on sale, I too will buy it.
 

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