Ghosts of the Abyss 3D (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 09-07-2012, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109942&d=1210373647

Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
82





Studio and Year: Disney - 2003
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 60/92 minutes
Genre: Documentary

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC/MVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1 (included only on 60 minute version)
Subtitles: English SDH, French
Starring: Bill Paxton
Directed by: James Cameron
Music by: Joel McNeely
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 11, 2012







"The legend no one can forget has become the greatest 3D adventure ever filmed"


Film Synopsis:

Academy Award®-winning Director and master storyteller, James Cameron journey’s back to the site of his greatest inspiration – the legendary wreck of the titanic. With a team of the world’s foremost historic and marine experts and friend Bill Paxton, he embarks on an unscripted adventure back to the final grave where nearly 1,500 souls lost their lives almost a century ago. Using state-of-the-art technology developed expressly for this expedition, Cameron and his crew are able to explore virtually all of the wreckage, inside and out, as never-before. With the most advanced 3D photography, moviegoers will experience the ship as if they are part of crew, right inside the dive subs. In this unprecedented motion picture event, made especially for IMAX 3D theatres and specially outfitted 35MM 3D theaters across the country, Cameron and his team bring audiences to sights not seen since the sinking 90 years ago and explore why the landmark vessel – more than any shipwreck – continues to intrigue and fascinate the public.


My Take:

When I was growing up the story of the Titanic fascinated me. It was one of those things that you heard about but viewed from an almost mythological perspective. When James Cameron’s 1997 film about the ill fated luxury liner came out interest public interest as well as my own was renewed. With the discovery of Titanic’s shipwreck in 1985 along with the internet and today’s technology the average person with an interest in it is able to learn so much more about what happened.

It would be fair to say that James Cameron is a Titanic enthusiast and with his resources and clout was able to journey down to the wreck’s location. In 2001 Cameron assembled a team of the world’s foremost historic and marine experts, and along with actor/friend Bill Paxton embarked on a voyage aboard the vessel “Keldysh” to the location of the Titanic’s sinking and resting place 12,000 miles below the ocean’s surface. Every member of the expedition/team shared Cameron’s passion and using the latest technology at the time took viewers to the site and places aboard the ship that haven’t been seen since that night over 100 years ago.

Seeing the remains of what was once such a beautifully crafted and massive ocean liner is haunting, intriguing and emotive. It was also interesting to see what was involved with diving to those depths as well as the logistical problems associated with filming and the use of remotely operated vehicles equipped with cameras etc. Cameron and company did an outstanding job painting a vivid portrait of what occurred after the ship struck the iceberg. For dramatic effect Cameron superimposed actors over certain areas of the wreck as narrator Bill Paxton recounted aspects of the events that unfolded.

The documentary began shooting on August 20, 2001. They were at sea on September 11th and returned to the news of the Terrorists attacks. It was tough to watch their reactions as it brought back some of the painful memories of that fateful day. They opted to continue with the film which turned out very well.

I found Ghosts of the abyss to be an informative and enlightening look at what I consider to be among the worst disasters in our nation’s history. Learning details about the ship, its crew and the many passengers, those who lived and died is extremely interesting. I get a bit melancholy when I think about the devastating loss of life and the horrific circumstances surrounding it but at the same time I am inspired but the stories of dedication, heroism and sacrifice displayed by many in the face of such grave peril.

This three disc Blu-ray offering includes the theatrical and extended versions (runs 30 minutes longer) of the film in 2D high definition/standard definition DVD, and the theatrical cut in 3D. It comes housed in a standard amaray style keep case with sturdy 3D imaged slipcover.


Parental Guide:

This film is appropriate for all audiences.



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.**




Audio: 84

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


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

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

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

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



3D Presentation: 80

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


  • Depth (Onscreen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

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

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

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


Ghosts of the abyss 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.3 Mbps.

This film was shot natively in 3D and positively translates to high definition on Blu-ray. Depth is appreciable as evidenced by the discernible virtual placement of objects and/or people layered in the foreground/background within the frame. Dimensionality and apparent resolution is rarely questionable in close ups and brightly lit exterior sequences. It varies some in the limited lighting and murky sequences filmed underwater and within the confines of the Titanic. Colors appear natural and contrast/brightness is well balanced throughout. There are a handful of sequences where 3D effects transcend the boundaries of the screen. A few are quite good while others just feel more gimmicky than natural. Otherwise I found that this made for a satisfying yet unremarkable 3D video presentation that didn’t especially enhance the subject matter.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack compliments the video and sounds quite good. Dialogue is articulated and clearly rendered even within the confines of the submersibles. The pounding of the ocean surf against the ships hull added palpable low frequency punch that rumbled nicely and the splashing waves, atmospheric ambience and music score created an enveloping presence that occasionally blanketed the sound field. If I had one minor complaint it would be that the low frequency effects channel was mixed a tad too hot which occasionally drew my attention away from what was happening onscreen.


2D Video Quality:

Video: 82

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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

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

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

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692


Ghosts of the abyss comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 33 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.3 Mbps.

This documentary style film boasts naturally rendered colors that represent the outdoor scenic ocean vistas and interiors aboard the “Keldysh” very nicely. Fleshtones generally appear lifelike and quite natural in depiction. Resolution is good but can be a mixed bag depending on the camera angle. Images are resolved well in most cases as detail rendering and depth are appreciable. The use of vessel mounted cameras and low light optics left some sequences looking typically colorless and lacking in discernible definition however this comes along with their use. Blacks are stable but not noticeably strong but again this has more to do with the visual style of the film. The majority of this presentation looks fine and is exactly what you might expect of a documentary like this.





Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1:


  • Ghosts of the abyss 3D Blu-ray (Theatrical version only)

  • Disc 2:


  • Ghosts of the abyss 2D Blu-ray (Theatrical and extended versions)

  • Reflections from the deep:
    1. Echoes in time – 4 minutes
    2. Paxton under pressure – 5 minutes
    3. Zodiac cowboys – 4 minutes
    4. The saga of Jake & Elwood – 6 minutes
    5. The unthinkable – 3 minutes
    6. Keldysh home videos – 5 minutes
  • The cheese sandwich prank – 2 minutes

  • Bonus DVD




Final Thoughts:

As someone who finds the Titanic disaster to be both troubling and definitively interesting James Cameron’s Ghosts of the abyss proves to be informative, enlightening and thought provoking. It comes to Blu-ray from Disney in this three disc package that includes the theatrical and extended versions of the film in 2D high definition and the theatrical cut in 3D. I found that both versions offer satisfying video quality and would give the overall edge to the 3D version which draws you a little deeper into the imagery/subject matter. The lossless surround sound compliments the high definition video while the bonus material offers little in the way worthwhile viewing. If you’re interested in the events surrounding the sinking of the Titanic as well as seeing its final resting place check out Ghosts of the abyss on Blu-ray.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





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post #2 of 3 Old 09-08-2012, 07:24 PM
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thanks for the review Ralph. I saw this back in 2003 in an Imax theater. I think it looked even better on my 142" HP with the BenQ W7000 3D projector.

This is a great documentary. You can sense how nervous Bill Paxton is during the first dive. I liked how they did the CGI overlays to give an idea of where we were in the ship during the video displays of the 2 rovers.

I definitely recommend this for those who are interested in seeing a close up view of the Titanic.
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post #3 of 3 Old 09-09-2012, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombie10k View Post

thanks for the review Ralph. I saw this back in 2003 in an Imax theater. I think it looked even better on my 142" HP with the BenQ W7000 3D projector.
This is a great documentary. You can sense how nervous Bill Paxton is during the first dive. I liked how they did the CGI overlays to give an idea of where we were in the ship during the video displays of the 2 rovers.
I definitely recommend this for those who are interested in seeing a close up view of the Titanic.

Greetings,

You're welcome zombie10k and thanks for sharing your thoughts. smile.gif


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