Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Dog Skip Blu-ray Review

Release Date: Jan. 4th, 2011
Disc Size: 20.4 GB
Film Size: 20.1 GB
Film Rating: PG
Region: ABC

The Video
My Dog Skip’ debuts on Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation. The film is now over a decade old so I really had no expectations on the quality, but my hopes were positive considering the fairly random Blu-ray release with no tie-in.

So how is the high-def presentation? Quite good, but not without a couple of flaws. I have never seen the film in high-definition and it has been years since I have last seen the film, but there were a few issues I encountered that may or may not have also been present on DVD.

The negatives? The film’s colors look a bit oversaturated at times and many sequences appear somewhat dark compared to your average Blu-ray release, but that may be the way the film has always looked, I didn’t love it however.

The positives? While the presentation is somewhat soft in nature, I found textures and details to be quite impressive as a whole. The overall clarity is nice and it would be difficult to confuse this with a DVD release. Overall this is a good looking disc, particularly for a catalog film over a decade old. 7.5/10

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included as the lossless option, also included is a French 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French and Spanish.

The audio mix is by far the best aspect of this release, everyone I viewed the film with commented on the nice level of surround use present throughout the film. Clarity was excellent and everything was very easy to understand, it didn’t sound as dated as I expected.

The mix features nice direction and I was really impressed throughout. There are some quieter scenes with less surround use, but nothing to complain about. This mix is not among the very best we have heard on Blu-ray, but it sure sounds much better than I anticipated. 8.5/10

The Extras

Audio Commentary
By Director Jay Russell

Audio Commentary
By Frankie Muniz and Animal Trainer Mathilde De Cagny

Deleted Scenes (4:11) (SD)
With commentary by Director Jay Russell

Theatrical Trailer (1:40) (HD)

There are not many extras included, but everything appears to be ported over from the DVD release. While I do wish new features were included, I do see why the studio may have not seen it as a wise decision financially (especially for not being an anniversary release). 4.5/10

The Movie
I love ‘My Dog Skip,’ and I always have. I admit, I am a sucker for films involving dog friendships. There have been some great dog films within the past few years, but ‘My Dog Skip’ really is among the most touching and enjoyable.

The film is over a decade in age and I cannot believe I am saying that, while I have not viewed the film in years, it is difficult to imagine so much time has passed since its theatrical release. I was very excited to have the chance to revisit the film on Blu-ray and my feelings stay just as strong as ever about it.

The film stars a young Frankie Muniz as Willie Morris, a boy who desperately needs a friend. His mother plans a birthday party for him and unfortunately he knows nobody he could invite, aside from relatives. On his birthday his mother surprises him with a terrier named Skip who changes Willie’s life.

The film makes for a great evening with the family and dog lovers will find the greatest enjoyment from the film. It is a story of love, loyalty and growing up. The film always touches me (being a dog owner) and I always find myself tearing up by the end as hard as I try not to.

The movie is well made and beautifully told. Not everyone will embrace the film like I did, and I can understand that. Viewers who don’t particularly embrace animals will have a hard time connecting with the film and others may find it somewhat cheesy. Personally, I love it. 9/10

The Blu-news Summary
‘My Dog Skip’ is a great family film with a good Blu-ray release. The video presentation is satisfying and the audio mix is impressive. The extras are all ported over as well. Overall this Blu-ray release is ‘Recommended’ to all.


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Bolt 3D Blu-ray Review (Sony Exclusive)

Disc Size: 32.5 GB
Film Size: 32.0 GB
Film Rating: PG
Region: AC
The Video
Bolt’ debuts on Blu-ray 3D from Walt Disney Home Entertainment with a 1080p MVC video presentation. This release is 3D only and the disc will only load if you have a 3D enabled Blu-ray player connected to a 3D display. A 2D copy of the film is not included at the moment; however it is expected once a general retail release is announced.

The Blu-ray 3D release looks simply fantastic, but there are just a couple of brief moments which keep this from being the most impressive 3D presentation available. Viewing the film on my Panasonic 3D plasma, I did notice some slight ghosting in the ‘Bolt’ logo at the beginning of the film.

The second noticeable ghosting moment occurs on the train in which the ladder drops towards the audience, there was significant ghosting for a few seconds, but depending on your display it may not be a very distracting issue.

Aside from those two moments, there really wasn’t anything that stood out in a negative manner. The 3D pop is quite fantastic in this release and it starts off extremely strong. The opening action sequence provides plenty of 3D depth and pop which is cleverly used.

The pop is especially present during the action sequences, but even the milder of scenes feature at least somewhat of a pop effect. The characters themselves tend to look outside of the screen throughout, particularly during close-up shots.

The film features a great mix of 3D with content that will appeal to everyone. There are some somewhat gimmicky effects placed in this kids film, which is welcome in this situation and thankfully it isn’t random (like the paddle ball scene in Monsters vs. Aliens).

Colors are fantastic and the look is just as I remembered from the previous 2D Blu-ray release of ‘Bolt.’ Details are strong as expected and add to the incredible 3D experience. Overall this is one of my favorite 3D releases yet, aside from a few less than perfect moments, this is demo material all around. 10/10

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Extended Surround track is included as the lossless option; there are also plenty of 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks such as Spanish, French and more. English, French, Spanish and Italian are just a few of the subtitle options included.

The English DTS-HD Master Audio track included is the exact same mix found on the previous 2D Blu-ray release. I remember the 2D mix well, particularly the specifically placed surround use moments, such as the scene when Rhino is watching television and the television audio comes from a left surround speaker. The same impressive mix can be found here.

The film starts off with a strong action sequence following the opening ‘Bolt’ logo and it makes for fantastic audio mix. Everything about the mix is strong. Dialogue is crisp and clear as expected and surround use is aggressive and immersive.

This strong audio mix with the 3D presentation makes for one of the most immersive 3D experiences yet and they both go hand in hand in delivering an experience of epic proportions. I have loved the mix for ‘Bolt’ since I first heard it via its initial Blu-ray release, but my appreciation for it is even more thanks to the immersive 3D presentation of the film. 10/10

The Extras

No extras are included on this promotional release. 0/10

The 3D Movie
Bolt’ is one of my favorite Disney computer animated films not from the Pixar brand. When the original trailers released for the film I didn’t have any idea I would love the film as much as I did, the characters looked somewhat annoying and the story just didn’t look particularly appealing.

The film really delivers however, with fantastic characters and a great storyline. The storyline while not Oscar worthy was enjoyable for a family film and brings plenty of humor and heart. The characters are amazing however and I was especially surprised by that aspect.

The hamster named ‘Rhino’ is one of the cutest (slightly annoying) Disney characters ever and quickly became one of my favorite Disney characters of all time. He may be small, but he brings some of the funniest moments to the film as well.
The 3D film is one which I am experiencing for the first time as I did not see the film in 3D theatrically. The film was obviously made with 3D in mind and it is clear with the impressive level of 3D use in the film. The film doesn’t rely on gimmicks to make an impressive 3D presentation and that is what I enjoyed most about it.

Moments of 3D pop are present throughout the film and it will impressive viewers of all ages. I loved the 3D use during the action sequences especially, it adds a level of immersion that just isn’t there in the 2D presentation and basically makes many scenes far more exciting, it really is so neat.

The story is cute to begin with, but the 3D definitely adds a lot to the film. The video and audio presentations are among the best on Blu-ray 3D and makes for one of the overall best 3D experiences yet in film, video and audio. I loved ‘Bolt’ and it is far better in 3D. 10/10

The Blu-news Summary
‘Bolt’ on Blu-ray 3D is among the best 3D releases yet. The video and audio presentations make for a fantastic demo-worthy experience. Overall this Blu-ray 3D is a ‘Must Own’ for fans of the film, whether you get your hands on this exclusive soon or wait until a regular U.S. retail release.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Alice in Wonderland (1951) Blu-ray Review

Release Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
Disc Size: 40.9 GB
Film Size: 16.0 GB
Film Rating: G
Region: ABC
The Video
Alice in Wonderland’ debuts on Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film can be viewed in its original aspect ratio or with DisneyView, a feature which allows you to fill the black bars with beautiful and unique borders by veteran Disney artist Michael Humphries.

I had high expectations for ‘Alice in Wonderland’ based on Disney’s perfect record when it comes to bringing classic animated titles to Blu-ray. I am not entirely sure why I was so surprised by how wowed I was by the video presentation, likely because I forgot the look of the film since I haven’t viewed it in years.

The film looks absolutely beautiful in high-definition. The animation quality is amazing and it is even more incredible when you realize the film is now sixty years old. Clearly some scrubbing has been done to remove dirt and grain, but unlike other studios, Disney does a careful job to keep the film looking stunning.

Colors are also top notch, rich and vibrant throughout and they really had me in awe at times. The DisneyView feature while not for everyone looked fantastic as well and fits the film surprisingly well. Thankfully Disney gives us options with viewing mode.

Overall this is an amazing high-def presentation and it makes me much more excited for future animated classics. The presentation really impressed me and I had high expectations to begin with. This is one high-def release that must be seen. 10/10

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. Also included is a restored original mono soundtrack, as well as French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French and Spanish.

Disney has not included a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track like with other releases, but thankfully the studio has included a lossless mix regardless. The original mono track is included for those who prefer it, it is also newly restored.

I went with the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and was pleasantly surprised by the results. Everything is clear as one could imagine for a film released in 1951. The surround use moments are nicely placed as well for a film of its age, but of course it won’t compare to a new release film (nor should one expect it to).

The audio isn’t perfect, but I have a hard time imagining the film could ever sound any better than it does now. The audio is a clear improvement from previous DVD releases and fans will notice that right from the start. 9/10

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc):


DisneyView
View the film with optional painted borders by veteran Disney artist Michael Humphries.

Through The Keyhole: A Companion’s Guide to Wonderland (16:17) (HD)
Kathryn Beaumont (Voice of Alice) introduces this feature. Film historians talk about how Walt Disney adapted the novel by Lewis Carroll.

Reference Footage: Alice and the Doorknob (11:33) (HD)
Reference footage from production is featured in high-definition and Includes optional commentary by Kathryn Beaumont.

Pencil Test: Alice Shrinks (0:54) (HD)
Kathryn Beaumont introduces a pencil test from production of the film.

Walt Disney Color TV Introduction (1:15) (HD)
See a TV introduction by Walt Disney from 1959.

Painting the Roses Red (Interactive Game)
Paint the roses red via interactive puzzles.

Classic DVD Bonus Features (SD):
  • Reflections on Alice
  • Operation Wonderland
  • “I’m Odd” Newly Discovered Cheshire Cat Song
  • “Tru the Mirror” Mickey Mouse Animated Short
  • One Hour in Wonderland
  • An Alice Comedy: Alice’s Wonderland
  • Original Theatrical Trailers
  • Walt Disney TV Introductions
  • The Fred Waring Show (Excerpt)
  • Deleted Materials
  • Interactive Art Gallery
Disc 2 (DVD):

DVD copy of the film
With select bonus features found on the Blu-ray disc.

Plenty of bonus features are included on this release and thankfully on the disc (unlike the Fantasia/Fantasia 2000 release which used BD-Live). There aren’t too many new bonus features, but the additions are extremely neat to see. The classic DVD features are included as well; topping the release off is a DVD copy of the film, I just wish a PiP track was included. 9/10

The Movie
It has been years since I remember watching the classic animated film, ‘Alice in Wonderland (1951).’ Now on Blu-ray in celebration of its 60th anniversary, I had the perfect excuse and opportunity to revisit the film.

Let me start off by saying I really had forgotten so much about the animated classic. I really enjoyed Tim Burton’s version of the film and I even thought it was better than this 1951 adaption. Revisiting the film however, my opinion has changed.
This animated classic holds up surprisingly well, far better than other Disney classics. The characters are fantastic and the animation is impressive throughout. The storytelling is fun, charming and very funny. I was surprised by the many laughs I had watching the film, with mostly intentionally funny moments.

I am in love with the film all over again and It will definitely get many more viewings throughout the year. The film makes for perfect family entertainment, as trippy as the storyline can be. I can’t get over how much I enjoyed the film.

‘Alice in Wonderland (1951)’ is one of the best film experiences I have had on Blu-ray. I keep mentioning how surprised I was, but I really was. The film is magical like most Disney classics, but don’t know why I let myself forget about the magic that is Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ 10/10
The Blu-news Summary
Alice in Wonderland (1951)’ is an incredible family film with a stunning Blu-ray release. The strong video presentation, pleasant audio mix and great selection of extras make this release ‘A Must Own’ for fans of the film and ‘Highly Recommended’ to anyone else.

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Saw: The Final Chapter 3D Blu-ray Review

Release Date: Jan. 25th, 2011
Disc Size: 39.9 GB
Film Size: 31.9 GB
Film Rating: R/Unrated
Region: A
The Video
Saw 3D’ which is now referred to as ‘Saw: The Final Chapter’ comes to Blu-ray 3D with a 1080p MVC video presentation. Please note, to view the 3D version, you must have a 3DTV, 3D Blu-ray player and compatible 3D glasses. A 2D version of the film is included on the same disc, which is compatible with your regular Blu-ray setup.

‘Saw: The Final Chapter’ is the second Blu-ray 3D release from Lionsgate. Their first release ‘My Bloody Valentine’ is a Best Buy exclusive release at the time of writing. ‘My Bloody Valentine’ was filled with ghosting issues and I had hoped it was a learning experience and there was no way there would still be serious issues on future releases like ‘Saw.’ Unfortunately, Lionsgate we have a problem.

Yes, unfortunately ‘Saw: The Final Chapter’ has ghosting issues throughout. The good news, most of it is forgivable as it tends to be quite brief with blink and you’ll miss it moments. The bad news, there are some moments which should not have made it past quality control, one of the most notable moments being when a girl is walking into a group meeting, it just looks horrendous.

That ghosting moment perhaps was difficult to manage as the colors tend to be quite murky and blended even in 2D, just not a great shot in general. I still think the ghosting effect shouldn’t have been as noticeable as it was though.

People like to put the blame on the display, which can have some effect on the amount of ghosting you see during 3D films. My experience with ghosting on my Panasonic 3D plasma has been minimal, there has been VERY little I have found distracting while going through over 30 3D titles already.

How it is that a dark film like ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’ can be so free of ghosting, while my experience with ‘Saw: The Final Chapter’ is such a drastic difference? They both feature darker settings throughout and one obviously handles it better. Something makes me think some of the ghosting could have been prevented and not fault of the display.

Don’t start thinking the release is a disaster. Yes, there are a few ugly moments, but I would still take the Blu-ray 3D presentation over the 2D presentation any day. Detail remains as strong as the 2D transfer and features some incredible depth throughout.

‘Saw: The Final Chapter’ doesn’t rely on ‘pop out of the screen’ effects, so you will see very little coming out of the screen as the trailer would make you believe. All I can say is thank you, while it could have been fun, it would have been a bad idea for a final film in such a great torture series.

The depth really is incredible however, the traps are razor sharp (literally) and you can often feel like you are looking in an open window. I was very impressed by the dimension throughout and how detailed everything is, it really can look incredible.

Overall I am disappointed to see the ghosting throughout the presentation. While I do think some of it could have been prevented, it ultimately doesn’t make this release worth skipping. The 3D quality (aside from ghosting) looks great. If it weren’t for the ghosting, this would have been a 10/10 3D presentation, but I am afraid it will have to settle for a respectable but less than desirable 3D score. 8/10

The Audio
An English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. Also included is a French 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track. Subtitle options include English, English SDH and Spanish.

The English 7.1 lossless mix included is fantastic, as expected. Saw on Blu-ray has always made for a great audio experience and the finale is no different. Surround use is very heavy throughout, truly immersing you into the 3D experience.

Dialogue is crisp and clear as it should be. The film’s audio effects as mentioned are placed throughout the surround speakers and hear every movement of the traps with perfect clarity. The mix is just extremely impressive; I loved every second of the mix. 10/10

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray 3D):


Audio Commentaries
  • Producers’ Audio Commentary
  • Writers’ Audio Commentary
Deleted & Extended Scenes (13:46) (HD)
Six scenes are included and presented in high-definition.

Music Videos (20:48) (HD)
  • Karnivool – “Goliath”
  • Kopek – “Cocaine Chest Pains”
  • I-Exist – “Pass Out”
  • Dakno Jones – “Full Of Regret”
  • Dir En Grey – “Hageshisa To, Kono Mune No Naka De Karamitsuita Shakunetsu No Yami”
52 Ways to Die (14:16) (HD)
The creative masterminds behind the Saw traps talk about the many traps throughout the Saw franchise.

Theatrical Trailer (0:58) (HD)
Is included in high-definition.

Also From Lionsgate (HD)
Previews for other Lionsgate horror releases, including ‘Saw 1-7,’ ‘The Last Exorcism,’ and more.

Bookmarks
Save your favorite scenes or where you left off and return to them later.

LG Live (Internet Connection Required)
  • LG Gadgets
  • Twitter/Facebook Integration
  • Wallpapers
Disc 2 (DVD):

DVD copy of the film

Digital (Download):

Digital Copy of the film
To redeem your iTunes Digital Copy you must visit the specified website, enter your unique redemption code and download via iTunes. The Digital Copy is not included on the DVD disc.

The extras included on this release are satisfying. This is the ultimate package release of this film, including a Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy version of the film. The featurette included is very enjoyable, I just wish more was included. 7.5/10

The 3D Movie
Saw: The Final Chapter’ was filmed in 3D and marketed itself as one of the most gimmicky films of all time when it comes to 3D use. You remember those trailers right? Check it out below if you don’t.

Thankfully the actual film does not rely on those 3D effects, it would feel so out of place considering the other films were not released in 3D nor featured items flying towards the screen for the sake of ‘impressing’ audiences.I absolutely love the ‘Saw’ franchise and I was ecstatic when they announced the films were coming to an end, they could go on and on, but it was the perfect time to end the series. I saw the film theatrically in 3D and was quite impressed, but I found my in-home viewing experience to be even better when it comes to depth and dimension.

The film stars where the last film left off on, it does rely on the other films heavily for the ultimate experience. Those who have not seen the other films will be quite confused throughout, that isn’t to say you won’t enjoy the creative traps and tension throughout.

The traps in this film are probably the most disappointing aspect of the film this time around. I was expecting bigger traps for the final film, but some of the deaths were rather underwhelming in comparison to those seen in previous ‘Saw’ films. Regardless, there are still some enjoyable ones to be found in this film.The film while far from a masterpiece was very fun. I thought it was a great conclusion to a very exciting series. I am especially grateful the film didn’t sell itself out for a gimmicky 3D experience (those can be cool), but not here. If they want to do that, they should start a totally different series of films.

I love ‘Saw: The Final Chapter’ and I think most will find entertainment from it. I am sure some will find the ending somewhat disappointing, but I thought it great fun overall. It is sad to see ‘Saw’ come to an end, but all good things must come to an end and hopefully before they lose all respect of viewers. 8/10

The Blu-news Summary
‘Saw: The Final Chapter’ is an incredibly fun film and is a respectable end to a great franchise. The Blu-ray 3D features fantastic 3D moments which are unfortunately flawed at times with notable ghosting. The audio presentation is top notch and makes for fantastic demo material. The extras are very satisfying, although more is always better. Overall the Blu-ray 3D release is ‘Recommended’ despite the flaws.

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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 3D Blu-ray Review (Panasonic Exclusive)

Release Date: June 1st, 2010.
Film Rating: PG
Region: A
The Video
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs’ debuts on Blu-ray 3D from Fox Home Entertainment and is available exclusively with Panasonic 3D product promotions. The Blu-ray 3D features a 1080p MVC video presentation that requires a 3DTV, 3D Blu-ray player and compatible 3D glasses to access. For those without a 3D setup just yet, a 2D version of the film is included on the disc.

The film looks truly terrific in 3D with fantastic depth and surprising levels of pop throughout. The film has that crystal clear look throughout that makes your television look more like an open window than just a display, an effect that comes with some of the finest Blu-ray 3D releases.

The strong dimension of the characters and their environments help add to the 3D look with many moments that literally look as if the characters are somewhat outside of the screen during even the most casual of scenes. The 2D presentation included also looks fantastic, but it won’t get any additional playback in my home thanks to the remarkable 3D presentation.

Colors are always impressive, they are very rich and vibrant, and always leap off the screen. The animation lends itself well to 3D and I think any viewer will be thoroughly dazzled by this 3D presentation. I did not encounter any ghosting throughout the entire film when viewed on my Panasonic 3D plasma, which made the transfer even more loveable.

Overall this is a top notch Blu-ray 3D release and by far one of the best releases on the format. Everything about the 3D presentation had me in awe; it was far better than I could have ever imagined. The presentation may not have the most intentional ‘pop-out’ effects, but the smart animation manages to bring 3D pop without feeling gimmicky. 10/10

The Audio
An English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. Also included are French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish and Mandarin DTS/Dolby Digital tracks. Optional subtitles include English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish and Mandarin.

The audio is very strong, I was particularly impressed with the high quality of direction the mix had. The release made full use of the surround speakers to create an environment for the film, as well as providing different character perspectives.

During one scene we are viewing from the eyes of Diego, the surround speakers are used perfectly to show distance from the screen where he is viewing as well by making him breathe from the rear speakers. Dialogue was always impressive, providing the perfect clarity we have come to expect from most new release films.

There are a few times I felt the track lacked that extra power it could have had during certain scenes, particularly the dinosaur scenes. It was still very good and had a great quality to it, I was just left hoping for a bit more.

Overall I was very impressed by the track, it had a great dynamic use, and hopefully we see even more 7.1 lossless mixes from Fox in the future. The track creates a fantastic environment, and I really believe the additional speaker use benefited the mix greatly. 9/10

Extras

No special features are included. 0/10

The 3D Movie
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs’ was released theatrically in 3D, but a 3D home video release was held off until this Blu-ray 3D release. I did not see the film in 3D theatrically, at least not that I recall. Going into the 3D presentation I had no expectations on what to expect.

The film’s 3D use is not necessary to enjoy the film, but the 3D adds a significant level of fun that I didn’t experience from my regular 2D viewing of the original Blu-ray release. The film while annoying to some was cute in my eyes, at least for family material.

The 3D experience isn’t filled with effects that pop out simply because it is 3D. The 3D pop is more subtle but noticeable throughout, things aren’t thrown at the screen but we often feel the characters are somewhat outside of the screen throughout.
The dinosaur chase sequences were very impressive in 3D and really enhanced many moments throughout. The film is fun, but it has plenty of flaws and has some stupid scenes to appeal to a new generation of audiences with the shortest of attention spans.

Overall I think the film is cute despite a few annoying sequences, but even those are more enjoyable in 3D. The film looks fantastic and the 3D look is very effective considering the material wouldn’t always make you think the film was made with 3D in mind. 8/10

The Blu-news Summary
Ice Age: The Meltdown’ is a cute but at times annoying film, which does make for a very enjoyable 3D experience. The video and audio presentations are top notch and makeup for the lack of extras on this release. Overall this Blu-ray 3D release is ‘Highly Recommended’ if you can get your hands on it.

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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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