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post #1 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 07:37 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

93






Studio and Year: Paramount - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 154 minutes
Genre: Action/Sci-Fi

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC/MVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English 5.1Discrete Dolby Digital, French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Shia LaBeouf , Rosie Huntington-Whiteley , Josh Duhamel , Tyrese Gibson , Patrick Dempsey , John Malkovich , John Turturro , Alan Tudyk, Ken Jeong , Frances McDormand , Leonard Nimoy , Peter Cullen , Hugo Weaving
Directed by: Michael Bay
Music by: Steve Jablonsky
Written by: Ehren Krueger
Region Code: A,B,C


Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 31, 2012







"Mankind's finest achievement, our nation's proudest moment. A secret hidden for forty years"



Film Synopsis:

A mysterious event from Earth's past threatens to ignite a war so big that the TRANSFORMERS alone will not be able to save the planet. Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and the AUTOBOTS must fight against the darkness to defend our world from the DECEPTICONS' all-consuming evil in the smash hit from director Michael Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg.



My Take:

I reviewed Transformers: Dark of the moon on Blu-ray when it was released in a barebones offering back in September. This review will include my comments from that review as well covering the new material found in this Limited Edition 3D four disc offering.

Whether you like Michael Bay or don't like him there is no denying that he knows how to make an action film. I tend to like his work, probably because I am an action junkie that loves to see and hear stuff blow up, and few do it better him. I was a teenager when Transformers toys/animated TV series was all the rage among young kids in the eighties. I honestly never once watched the cartoon but I can recall the theme pretty well. Needless to say when the first Transformers film hit theaters in 2008 I had little interest in taking the plunge and decided to wait and see what it offered on home video. As it turned out Transformers was a big hit which has spawned two sequels. Each of the films revolves around a continuing/age old battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons from the distant planet of Cybertron. After their war decimated Cybertron their epic struggle came to Earth, where a teenage boy, Sam Witwicky, is befriended by the Autobots and joins them in their fight against the evil Decepticons. Over the first two installments in the series the truth about the ancient origins of the Transformers, is revealed and we learn more about the war, the players and their history (and its relevance with respect to events in our own history). Sam, along with a select group of U.S. Military/government personnel and civilians play an integral role in assisting the Autobots with putting down the Decepticon threat. Unfortunately the Decepticons and their leader Megatron won't easily give up their quest for the destruction of the Autobots and dominion over the Earth.

Transformers 2 Revenge of the fallen wasn't terrible but compared to the original it was largely disappointing. The announcement of Transformers Dark of the moon didn't hold out much hope for better so once again I opted to catch it when it made its way to Blu-ray. There was a bit of buzz surrounding the departure of Megan Fox from the cast. I thought she was okay in the first two films but didn't see her leaving as a big problem and it wasn't. In this third installment we once again see the uprising of the Decepticons and learn of Earth's detection of an alien landing on the moon (during the Kennedy Administration) which served as the true impetus for the space race and moon landing. There is a tie in to those events in our history as well as the alien war which leads to the discovery of an ancient plot by the Decepticons the key of which lies on the dark side of the moon. Of course things unfold pretty much as you might expect with Optimus and his Autobots squaring off against Megatron and his minions. There are some new faces on both sides of the alien and human equations while many of the characters return from the previous films.

Let's be honest, no one should sit down to watch these movies expecting grandiose storytelling, inspirational performances and original themes. We are in it for the action plain and simple. All we ask is for a fairly cohesive script, credible characters and rewarding mindless entertainment. I think that Transformers Dark of the Moon manages to deliver that and is certainly a better film experience than Revenge of the fallen. The cast is a little top heavy with supporting roles filled by Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Patrick Dempsey, Leonard Nimoy, Alan Tudyk, and Ken Jeong, but it works out well enough. Returning cast members, Shia LeBeouf, Josh DuHamel, John Turturro, Tyrese Gibson, Peter Cullen and Hugo Weaving do well in reprising their respective roles. I wasn't impressed by newcomer Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who added little but took nothing away. The real star of this show is the dazzling special effects which are incredibly seamless and engaging to watch. For me this is the kind of popcorn entertainment that I like to revisit from time to time. It doesnt have a higher purpose or require strict attention to detail. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence, mayhem and destruction, brief sexuality/innuendo and language.




AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 100



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: Detail:%20%3Cimg%20src=

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


3D Presentation: 86


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Depth (Onscreen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

  • Realism: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

Transformers: Dark of the moon 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount HE featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 4.3 Mbps.

So far I have been satisfied with what I have seen of the natively shot 3D offerings that have come to Blu-ray and Transformers: Dark of the moon is no exception. While this presentation doesn't offer continual use of screen popping effects it makes for a natural and visually pleasing experience. Detail is well preserved as the image retains its high level of clarity as objects within the frame are delineated and sharp. Depth is appreciable as evidenced by the notable separation of objects or people layered in the foreground/background which serves to draw you in by creating a discernible sense of virtual space occupied by things of various sizes and shapes. There are sequences that provide a bit of reach out and touch dimensionality (which is fine) but what I enjoyed most was the impressive lifelike depth the image had. I wasn't drawn out of the film by odd looking proportions or hokey 3D for 3D's sake. In fact I would say that it was just the opposite. Comparing color and fleshtone reproduction to the 2D presentation I saw no discernible difference. The rendering of detail and clarity is similar although I would give the slightest edge for all around visual pop to the 3D version. I didn't notice any distracting signs of crosstalk/ghosting. For those hoping for all the 3D bells and whistles I would say that you won't find them here. That isn't to say that this isn't a worthwhile viewing experience. I found this to be an excellent 3D presentation that enhanced the enjoyment of the film.

This 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is not only of reference quality but is among the best surround sound experiences I have had in my theater room. I was treated to an impeccably detailed, powerfully dynamic, and demonstrative surround sound presentation infused with multi-layered sound effects and bolstered by a mix that makes effective and aggressive use of the surround channels to elongate the front soundstage to reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds of this demanding soundtrack. The front and rear sound fields are integrated with precision which enables a seamless transference during panning sequences. The listening position is submerged into a 360 degree web of sound that is sometimes riveting as it bombards the senses with a combination of well placed effects and ambience. Dialogue is supremely articulated with excellent focus, clarity and descriptive intonation. The extended dynamic range of the recording coupled with the inherently higher resolution of lossless audio renders the bombastic nature of battle with superlative high level sonics and authoritative bass transients that are deep, powerful and sometimes timber rattling. I love deep, clean, powerful bass and this track delivers it in spades. Low frequency effects can be substantial and occasionally reach seismic levels that will test the limits of lesser subwoofers. As viewers I think we sometimes miss some of the intricacies that go into the design of soundtracks such as this. Not so in this case as even seemingly inconspicuous minutia within the recording is detectable. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute with terrific soundtrack.



2D Video Quality:



Video: 100


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Transformers Dark of the Moon comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps.

This is reference quality video presentation that simply looks stunning. Images are impeccably detailed with enriching transparency and three dimensional depth that seems to reach as far as the eye can see. Detail perception is nearly flawless with lucid visual acuity and fine rendering throughout. The extensive palette of colors, are vibrant, deeply saturated and visually stimulating. Primary colors are particularly striking which made the various blues and reds really pop. Flesh tones are tonally natural with appreciable delineation among the varied complexional types in the cast. Blacks are deep and rich, with extended dynamic range that compliments visual depth. Contrast is strong which emboldens colors and bright sequences without compromise to fidelity. Shadow delineation is equally impressive which provided a near infinite level of depth perception to dark backgrounds and low lit scenes. On occasion the mix of film/digital photography seems to soften some shots but its effects are innate and considering the amount if CGI I found the integration of live action/effects to be excellent. The end result is a superb looking Blu-ray presentation that delivers high level detail, razor sharpness and resolute definition that brings out the lifelike textures captured by the camera lens.



Bonus Features:


  • Disc 1:


  • 2D Blu-ray - Transformers: Dark of the moon

  • Disc 2:


  • Bonus Features (Blu-ray BD-50)

  • (HD) Above and beyond: Exploring Dark of the moon ( 5 segments totaling 107 minutes)

    1. Rising from the Fallen: Development and Design
    2. Ready for Prime Time: Filming Across America
    3. Battle in the Heartland: Shooting in Chicago
    4. Attack of the Birdmen: Aerial Stunts
    5. Shadow of the Sentinel: Post-Production and Release

  • (HD) Uncharted territory: NASA's future then and now - 26 minutes

  • (HD) Deconstructing Chicago: Multi-angle sequences

    1. Previsualizations with optional commentary by director Michael Bay and previsualization supervisor Steve Yamamoto
    2. Previsualizations/Final Shot Comparison with optional commentary by director Michael Bay and previsualization supervisor Steve Yamamoto
    3. Visual Effects with optional commentary by visual effects supervisors Scott Farrar and Matthew Butler
    4. Visual Effects/Final Shot Comparison with optional commentary by visual effects supervisors Scott Farrar and Matthew Butler

  • (HD) The art of Cybertron

    1. Autobots
    2. Decepticons
    3. Environments
    4. Weapons and gear
    5. Ships

  • (HD) The dark of the moon archive (5 segments totaling 18 minutes)

    1. 3D: A transforming visual art
    2. Moscow world premiere
    3. Birdmen featurette
    4. Cody's iPad (human interest story)
    5. The sound of Transformers: Dark of the moon

  • (HD) The Matrix of Marketing

    1. Theatrical/Teaser trailers
    2. Marketing gallery- Posters, style guide, promotional/concession items

    Disc 3:


  • 3D Blu-ray - Transformers: Dark of the moon

  • Disc 4:


  • DVD/Digital Copy - Transformers: Dark of the moon


Final Thoughts:

Transformers Dark of the Moon is the third installment in the Transformer film franchise. It doesn't quite live up to the original however it improves upon the disappointing Revenge of the fallen and makes for the kind of rewarding popcorn entertainment that action junkies like myself enjoy revisiting from time to time. As I stated in my review of the initial Blu-ray release, I had high hopes for its high definition audio/video presentation and am happy to report that it looks marvelous. I was blown away by its 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack which is among the best surround sound experiences I have had in my theater room. This four disc limited edition package from Paramount adds 3D and a hefty supplemental offering that looks behind the scenes at the film's production and spectacular special effects. The 3D presentation won't bowl you over with ostentatious effects but I thoroughly enjoyed watching it with the added depth that made for a visually pleasing experience. If you held off waiting for this release you're in for a treat especially if this will be your first time experiencing it on Blu-ray. If 3D and bonus features aren't important to you the original barebones release should do nicely. Either way Transformers Dark of the Moon on Blu-ray is a demonstrative worthy experience that should have a place in the collection of those that love to show off their home theater systems.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 07:51 AM
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Sounds like this one is all about depth 3d which is fine by me. I certainly enjoy the pop out moments, but 3d relies mainly on the depth aspect so I think that is the most important element to get right.

This might have been my overall favorite audio track on blu for 2011 as well so I need to own it just for that

Thanks for the review Ralph and looking forward to the experience!

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post #3 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 08:59 AM
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Thanks Ralph for another excellent review. You are the best BD reviewer in the business IMHO. I enjoy 3D depth the most so I'm sure I will be pleased with this release if I can ever make up my mind on a 3D projector.

Tom

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post #4 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 09:27 AM
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It sounds like a solid 3D presentation but the film is meh. I think I will stay with the original 1 BD release.
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post #5 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 09:32 AM
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Studios and their 3D double dippings. lol
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post #6 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Monahan View Post

Thanks Ralph for another excellent review. You are the best BD reviewer in the business IMHO. I enjoy 3D depth the most so I'm sure I will be pleased with this release if I can ever make up my mind on a 3D projector.

Tom

Greetings,

Thank you very much Tom.

As for the search for a 3D projector I can understand your dilemma. There are some very very good offerings presently available and coming to market at prices that are quite competative especially in light of performance/features.

Pick one and jump in. The water's great..


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post #7 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 02:22 PM
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Great review as usual Mr. Potts. Question: Does the reduction in brightness on 3D movies degrad the experience for you or is it less noticeable on better> Read> more pricey display equipment?
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post #8 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 02:48 PM
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Audio - 100, Video (2D) - 100.
I already had the 2D version - Is the 2D version on this disc exactly the same as the previous one?
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post #9 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fight4yu View Post

Audio - 100, Video (2D) - 100.
I already had the 2D version - Is the 2D version on this disc exactly the same as the previous one?

Greetings,

Exactly the same...


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post #10 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Exactly the same...


Regards,

Thanks Ralph! So, this will have the extra + 3D... Hmm.. If there is a sale somewhere around $25, I will get it Otherwise, I will keep my 2D.
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post #11 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Tao View Post

Great review as usual Mr. Potts. Question: Does the reduction in brightness on 3D movies degrad the experience for you or is it less noticeable on better> Read> more pricey display equipment?

Greetings,

This would probably have to be weighed on a case by case basis but in general I would say that any brightness reduction is minimal and doesn't degrade the experience.

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post #12 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by fight4yu View Post

Thanks Ralph! So, this will have the extra + 3D... Hmm.. If there is a sale somewhere around $25, I will get it Otherwise, I will keep my 2D.

Best Buy will have it for $25 and -$10 if you have the coupon from the original 2d release.

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post #13 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Tao View Post

Great review as usual Mr. Potts. Question: Does the reduction in brightness on 3D movies degrad the experience for you or is it less noticeable on better> Read> more pricey display equipment?

I picked up my first 3D proejctor back in November, an Epson 3010, and I definitely agree with Ralph. Generally there is little to no degradation in the experience with 3D with ONE very notable exception.

The only film I watched and absolutely could not continue in 3D due to the poor quality was Fright Night (the remake with Colin Farrell). I read some feedback about the production process after I saw it because of how poor the experience was, and there was some sort of filming technique they used that just did not lend itself at all to 3D viewing. I saw a lot of reviews from people who did not seem to have an issue with it, but if you search on google it doesn't take long to find plenty of folks who had the same experience I did.

But everything else I've watched has been fantastic. The one lesson I did learn, though, was to not use keystone adjustment with 3D. Most people will tell you not to use it period, but it honestly wasn't something that I really noticed much with 2D. But with 3D material, once I ceiling mounted my Epson appropriately to where the natural offset was in play and no keystoning was needed, the overall 3D image was improved. The biggest thing I noticed was edges and lines. The delineation of objects was much more evident and the image just seemed sharper overall.

But yeah, 3D stuff over the projector is a really fun experience. Check out Final Destination 5 if and when you get the chance. The 3D effects on that were really something.
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post #14 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 07:09 PM
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"Transformers 2 Revenge of the fallen wasn't terrible ..."

You lost me right there.
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post #15 of 60 Old 01-27-2012, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Toe View Post

Best Buy will have it for $25 and -$10 if you have the coupon from the original 2d release.

Don't mean to go off-topic, but how does one nab this coupon? Is it a mail-in thing you receive by sending your barcode in or something?

Anyway, I saw this both in 2D and in 3D in theaters. I think 3D always helps enhance the CGI, partially because everything that's non-CGI meshes well with the CGI shots when everything is created in a 3D world. I'm looking forward to picking this one up, provided that I can get that $10 off.
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post #16 of 60 Old 01-28-2012, 12:28 AM
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I held off on a purchase until they came out with the 3D version. I will definitely be buying this. Can't wait to see how this is in 3D.
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post #17 of 60 Old 01-28-2012, 04:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sarge in PA View Post

You lost me right there.

Greetings,



You made me chuckle Sarge..


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post #18 of 60 Old 01-28-2012, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muffinmcfluffin View Post

Don't mean to go off-topic, but how does one nab this coupon? Is it a mail-in thing you receive by sending your barcode in or something?

Anyway, I saw this both in 2D and in 3D in theaters. I think 3D always helps enhance the CGI, partially because everything that's non-CGI meshes well with the CGI shots when everything is created in a 3D world. I'm looking forward to picking this one up, provided that I can get that $10 off.

As far as I know, the coupon only comes with the bare bones edition that was released last year so you would have to find someone to send or give you one if you dont plan on getting that version (I had a fellow forum member that was kind enough to send me his since he was not going to use it).

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post #19 of 60 Old 01-28-2012, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post

As far as I know, the coupon only comes with the bare bones edition that was released last year so you would have to find someone to send or give you one if you dont plan on getting that version (I had a fellow forum member that was kind enough to send me his since he was not going to use it).

Ah, I have it on the flip side of the same paper that shows the digital copy code. Thanks!
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post #20 of 60 Old 01-28-2012, 02:14 PM
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Held off from watching this one until the 3D version was announced. Tuesday night I'll be watching with glasses on!

"The powerful will be ripped from their decadent nests. And cast out into the cold world that we know and endure. Courts will be convened. Spoils will be enjoyed!"

 

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post #21 of 60 Old 01-28-2012, 04:29 PM
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Had my 3D tv since December 2011 and haven't tried 3D yet. This blu-ray and two sets of glasses are incoming!
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post #22 of 60 Old 01-28-2012, 06:00 PM
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Having just made the leap to 3D Projection (JVC DLA-RS45), I'm combing through your reviews to find the best 3D presentations. It looks like 3D has a long way to go before it reaches reference levels of any quality, eh? That being said....I'll probably STILL pick this one up.....it's a stellar movie for those of us to whom story is only 1/3rd of film enjoyment (visual fidelity and audio quality also being worth 1/3 each.)

Great review!
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post #23 of 60 Old 01-28-2012, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Having just made the leap to 3D Projection (JVC DLA-RS45), I'm combing through your reviews to find the best 3D presentations. It looks like 3D has a long way to go before it reaches reference levels of any quality, eh? That being said....I'll probably STILL pick this one up.....it's a stellar movie for those of us to whom story is only 1/3rd of film enjoyment (visual fidelity and audio quality also being worth 1/3 each.)

Great review!

Nicely put, I agree!
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post #24 of 60 Old 01-29-2012, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Having just made the leap to 3D Projection (JVC DLA-RS45), I'm combing through your reviews to find the best 3D presentations. It looks like 3D has a long way to go before it reaches reference levels of any quality, eh? That being said....I'll probably STILL pick this one up.....it's a stellar movie for those of us to whom story is only 1/3rd of film enjoyment (visual fidelity and audio quality also being worth 1/3 each.)

Great review!

I agree! When you have a good A/V setup, movies can be enjoyed from multiple angles. This Transf 3 is just killer in the A/V already going off the 2d release from last year........cant wait to see what 3d brings to the mix!

JVC 3D: Been there, done that, bought a DLP
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post #25 of 60 Old 01-29-2012, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Having just made the leap to 3D Projection (JVC DLA-RS45), I'm combing through your reviews to find the best 3D presentations. It looks like 3D has a long way to go before it reaches reference levels of any quality, eh? That being said....I'll probably STILL pick this one up.....it's a stellar movie for those of us to whom story is only 1/3rd of film enjoyment (visual fidelity and audio quality also being worth 1/3 each.)

Great review!

Greetings,

Well it's still pretty a new format and there isn't alot available but there are some decent ones out there. Much depends on what you like..

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post #26 of 60 Old 01-29-2012, 03:51 PM
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Nicely put, I agree!

+1

lol
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post #27 of 60 Old 01-30-2012, 07:57 AM
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I'm not the best person to comment on 3D because I have 20/400 vision, (legally blind) in my right eye and 20/10 vision, very good in my left one. I have seen 3D films in the theater and less so on TV's / Home projectors. Avatar in the theater was pretty good and most times I "got" the effect. Using powered 3D glasses and watching several 3D movies on a 65" GT30 Plasma at my Dad's house just didn't cut it for me. The active 3D glasses seem to cut the light output by 20% or more and of course the color was also negatively affected. I applaud early adopters, I've been one myself, but I think we have a ways to go for 3D TV to become mainstream.
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post #28 of 60 Old 01-30-2012, 04:08 PM
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You lost me right there.

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Greetings,



You made me chuckle Sarge..


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Me too

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post #29 of 60 Old 01-31-2012, 07:13 AM
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I waited too for this copy to come out and i am going to pick it up at lunch from bestbuy for 25.00. thanks for the great review!
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post #30 of 60 Old 01-31-2012, 09:16 AM
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its included in the 2-D version
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