Friday, January 7, 2011

Piranha (2010) 3D Blu-ray Review

Release Date: Jan. 11th, 2011
Disc Size: 41.5 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: AThe Video
Piranha 3D’ comes to Blu-ray 3D with a 1080p MVC video presentation. Please note, to view the 3D version you must have a 3DTV, Blu-ray 3D player and compatible 3D glasses. The 2D version of the film is also included on the disc for those without a 3D setup quite yet.

The 2D and 3D presentation both look great, with terrific colors and high level of detail. The special effects while at times cheesy (intentionally?) are also very good for the most part. Black levels remain solid and inky throughout and overall clarity makes for a noticeable improvement over DVD.

The film was done with 3D in mind, but was shot with 2D cameras. ‘Alice in Wonderland (2010)’ proved to be an excellent conversion and one of the best 3D releases despite being shot in 2D. Unfortunately, Piranha’s conversion fails to always impress.

3D effects in this film tend to focus more on pop, although there are a few moments with great depth. Many scenes however just look very flat and certain intended ‘pop out of the screen’ effects failed to have any real impact.

Ghosting was surprisingly minimal however. The most notable moments when I viewed the film included the ‘Dimension’ logo at the beginning of the film (the D in particular) and an underwater sequence with a diver exploring the ocean caves (which was distracting).

Overall the film does have some great and impressive 3D effects, but so much more could have been done to make this one of the best 3D releases at least from a gimmicky perspective. The 3D is fun and while I wouldn’t say I am very disappointed, it certainly isn’t one of the best 3D releases. 8/10

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option and only audio option included (aside from the English audio commentary). Optional subtitles include English, English SDH and Spanish. Commentary subtitles include English.

The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track included is an excellent audio experience. The mix makes use of the surround speakers actively and nicely. Dialogue is presented front and center, crisp and clear as a new release should be.

The film’s music is aggressive as it fills the surround speakers, special effects also make fantastic use of the surround speakers to make certain sequences feel like you are in the lake yourself. The mix is very immersive and I really enjoyed it and loved it. 10/10

The Extras

Audio Commentary
With Producer/Director Alexandre Aja, Producer Grégory Levasseur & Producer Alix Taylor.

Don’t Scream, Just Swim: Behind-The-Scenes of Piranha 3D (HD)
  • Welcome to Piranha (2:52)
  • Aja, Cast & Story (16:26)
  • Lake Victoria (15:39)
  • Spring Break (21:16)
  • Blood & Gore (15:28)
  • Special FX & Stunts (22:22)
  • The Music (9:20)
  • Piranha & Visual FX (17:20)
  • Why 3D? (6:41)
  • Last Bites (3:07)
BD-Live (Internet Connection Required)
Download the latest trailers from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Features NOT included on the Blu-ray 3D release:
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary
  • Deleted Storyboard Sequences
  • Piranha 3D Trailer and TV Spots
The extras included on this Blu-ray 3D release are great; however it is disappointing to see that a few extras from the regular Blu-ray release are not included. The missing features are listed above. The behind-the-scenes featurettes are thankfully included and are the best of the features, with informative interviews and fun on set footage. 8/10

The Movie
Piranha 3D’ is a reboot/remake of the popular film ‘Piranha’ from 1978. 3D has been put to use in many films, but it is animated films and select live action films can be used for some gimmicky fun. ‘Piranha’ seemed like the perfect 3D film.

‘Piranha 3D’ is a fun movie, mindless, but still fun. Watching the special features everyone seemed to be excited about making this is a 3D film, shot in 2D to make it financially possible. As mentioned earlier, 3D effects in the film can be great, but there were also times which intentionally shot for 3D moments fail to have a great 3D pop.

The film has plenty of gimmicky effects placed throughout and when it delivers, it looks really neat. The underwater nudity scene which was also made with 3D in mind has great clarity (thanks to Blu-ray), but ultimately it feels rather flat in comparison to most films on Blu-ray 3D.
I love some very dumb films and I love this new take on ‘Piranha.’ The film is one big spring break party with plenty of blood/gore and nudity. The blood and gore exceed that of a Saw film and the nudity almost feels excessive at times, at least for an R rating.

There are plenty of stupid moments (which I enjoyed), but nothing topped the cringe-worthy kiss of two of the leads. I understand the romantic formula was intended the entire time, but the kiss made no sense considering the danger they were in at that specific moment, it was just so stupid.

Overall this is a fun film which I do think can be just as fun in 2D as it is in 3D. The 3D does add some fun gimmicky moments, but ultimately it doesn’t deliver like the best 3D releases. The conversion really shows and while it is better than other conversions (see The Last Airbender/Clash of the Titans) it could have been SO much better if it was actually shot in 3D.

Regardless of viewing preference, I did like the film from a purely ‘leave your brain at the door’ perspective. I wasn’t overly critical of the film as it was a horror comedy after all with not the greatest original film to inspire from. Ultimately the film delivers what it set out to be, a fun teen horror romp which delivers for anyone looking for exhausting levels of gore and nudity in a 3D package. 8/10

The Blu-news Summary
Piranha 3D’ is a fun film with a good 3D video presentation and a very impressive audio mix. Overall this Blu-ray 3D release is ‘Highly Recommended’ to fans of the film and definitely ‘Recommended’ to those new to the film.

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