Life of Pi 3D (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 85 Old 03-14-2013, 10:11 AM - 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=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
95





Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 123 minutes
Genre: Adventure/Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: MVC/AVC
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, English/Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Suraj Sharma, Iffkan Khan, Rafe Spall, Gerard Depardieu
Directed by: Ang Lee
Music by: Mychael Danna
Written by: David Magee based on the novel by Yann Martel
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 12, 2013







"Two castaways, one journey…."


Film Synopsis:

Life of Pi tells the story of Pi Patel, a young man on a fateful voyage who, after a spectacular disaster, is marooned on a lifeboat with the only other survivor, a fearsome 450 lb Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker. Hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery Pi and his majestic companion make an amazing and unexpected connection.

My Take:

I generally avoid revealing to many intricate plot details during my reviews however in this case I wanted to tell more about the story than I normally would. In reality knowing what happens in the early parts of the film don’t spoil its impact. The essence of the film lies in its ability to act as a conveyance to draw us into its world allowing us to share in its epic and emotional journey. Feel free to read on…


The story begins and ends in Montreal with a writer who, seeking inspiration conducts an interview with Piscine Militor Patel who sources say has an incredible story to tell. As the two men sit and chat Piscine , known to everyone as Pi begins to tell the story of his early years growing up in Pondicherry, India during the 1970s. His father owned a zoo, and Pi would spend his days among tigers, zebras, hippos, and other exotic creatures. Pi was bright and inquisitive and began developing his own theories about faith, belief, and human (and animal) nature.

Curious to test his theory about animals Pi attempts to befriend a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. His father interrupts and decides to teach young Pi a harsh lesson about the relationship between human and beast. The experience impacts his insatiable curiosity about the world and, ultimately, the unknown journey upon which he is about to be hurtled. With difficult economic times hitting close to home Pi’s parents close their zoo choosing to relocate to Canada, taking their sons and animals aboard a Japanese cargo ship. Late in the night, deep at sea, there is a raging storm that tosses the ship. Pi rushes out on to the deck to see it first hand. His awe at the onrush of nature quickly turns to cataclysm. The ship is swallowed up by the ocean in the storm but Pi miraculously survives being cast adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean aboard a lifeboat with a most unexpected traveling companion, Richard Parker.

Stranded and struggling to survive the two embark on their adventure, the ferocious tiger, and the boy trying to cope. Slowly they learn to co-exist, forming a bond reinforced by shared experience. Soon Richard Parker becomes Pi’s best hope in his quest to survive and find a way home.

Based on the book of the same name that has sold more than seven million copies, Life of Pi is a story of personal discovery that takes place over three continents, two oceans, many years, and speaks from an imaginative and heartwarming perspective. From a narrative standpoint Life of Pi can be a bit uneven as it paints in broad strokes that aren’t always clearly defined. It excels at exploring thought provoking themes underscored by a visually compelling imagery that appears to have no bounds.

Four years in the making director Ang Lee’s passion and vision are fully realized in this dazzling spectacle that stretches the limits of imagination as it teeters between what we as the audience might conceive as possible or impossible. Either way Life of Pi reaches out to us on varying levels allowing us to draw from its visual lyrics and shaped metaphors. I watched it with my wife and we enjoyed it. I can’t escape the feeling that a second viewing will allow further absorption of its elements. I plan on watching it again soon and tip my hat to Ang Lee, the cast and the production team on a marvelous film experience that is indeed a must see.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for emotional thematic content throughout and some scary action sequences and peril.



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: 96

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

  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

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

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


3D Presentation: 94

(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=109945&d=1210373692

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

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

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


Life of Pi 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 Mbps.

I have watched a variety of 3D high definition video both animated and live action. Prior to the introduction of Blu-ray 3D I was never a big fan of the medium. Upon hearing of its implementation for high definition I was intrigued and looked forward to experiencing it. To this point it has been a bit of a mixed bag with very few instances of what I guess we can refer to as reference quality (on my scale) 3D presentations. Those that I have found to be ahead of the pack have proven to be thoroughly involving visual experiences that enhance the subject matter for which it was created.

Life of Pi is one of those high definition presentations that looks as good in 3D as it does in 2D. Detail is preserved as the video retains its high level of clarity with objects, people and backgrounds within the frame appearing delineated and sharp. I was amazed by the depth and realism of the three dimensional imagery. The spacing of objects/ people in the foreground/background is incredibly lifelike which imparts a natural sense of scale as things of various shapes and sizes occupy the virtual world onscreen. 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. The cinematography utilizes near field camera perspectives that enhance proportional correlation. There are a variety of sequences that utilize the 3D platform to reach beyond the borders of the screen and the effects are excellent. Contrast is spot on, blacks are inky with excellent dynamic range and colors are deeply saturated and beautifully vibrant. I didn’t notice any distracting signs of ghosting/crosstalk or other video related anomalies.


Films like this are tailor made for lossless audio’s higher fidelity and Fox’s 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio mix doesn’t disappoint. This reference quality soundtrack bristles with active surround sound, extended dynamic range, and punctuated, room energizing bass that makes for an involving home theater experience. Whether it’s the supple texture of falling rain or the weight of an airborne humpback whale submerging into the depths the auditory is richly basked in sonic clarity and potent dynamic energy. Surround activity is abundant with directional cues and diffused atmospheric placement that creates an immersive sound field. Excellent balance between the front and rear soundstages enables seamless transference of sounds that pass between the speakers going in either direction. Low frequencies are rendered cleanly with tactile richness and appropriate extension. Dialogue is clear, full bodied and tonally descriptive throughout. This is a terrific lossless audio soundtrack that makes for a perfect companion to either Blu-ray presentation.


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=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

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

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

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


Life of Pi comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps.

This is a stellar high definition presentation that boasts rich, delineated primary colors, beautifully lush pastels and vibrant hues that are vivid, bold and striking in high definition. The video quality is nothing short of mesmerizing in its depiction of the film’s digitally captured/crafted images. Objects onscreen are exquisitely detailed with a luminous and sparkling clarity that seems infinitely lucid and three dimensional. It never left me wanting for fine degrees of subtle refinement and texture. Contrast is on the money and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. The various wide angle shots of the film’s visually complex world look absolutely stunning. Flesh tones are not overtly complex in tone but appear diverse in subtle structure and complexional makeup. This is a sophisticated visual design that uses real imagery mixed with CGI. The end result is a flawless and superlative video presentation that truly evokes the spirit and emotion of the film.




Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1:


  • Life of Pi 3D Blu-ray
  • 3D (HD) 5 Deleted scenes (with option for 2D playback)

  • 3D (HD) 2 VFX progressions (with option for 2D playback)

  • 3D (HD) Theatrical trailer (with option for 2D playback)

  • Disc 2: Life of Pi 2D Blu-ray


  • (HD) A Filmmaker’s journey – Four part documentary (totaling 63 minutes)

  • (HD) A remarkable vision – 19 minute featurette

  • (HD) Tiger Tiger burning bright – 8 minute featurette

  • Gallery

  • Storyboards

  • BD-Live: Live Extras – The importance of storytelling

  • Bonus DVD

  • Digital Copy



Final Thoughts:

Based on the book of the same name that has sold more than seven million copies, Life of Pi is a story of personal discovery that speaks from an imaginative and evocative perspective that is enhanced by the visionary direction of Academy Award winning director Ang Lee, top notch production elements and a terrific performance by Saraj Sharma. Life of Pi comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in this three disc offering that features superlative 3D and 2D high definition video, reference quality 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound and an excellent supplemental set that looks behind the scenes at the production, including insightful perspectives from the cast/crew. I can’t say for certain that Life of Pi will be everyone’s cup of tea but I can vouch for its superb presentation on Blu-ray. In that light it’s must see viewing and belongs at the top of your rental queue.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 85 Old 03-14-2013, 10:30 AM
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Thanks for the review Ralph my copy arrives from Amazon tomorrow so I'm looking forward in watching it smile.gif

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post #3 of 85 Old 03-14-2013, 10:39 AM
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When I first heard about this movie I thought it was a biography of Melissa McCarthy. eek.giftongue.gif

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post #4 of 85 Old 03-14-2013, 10:46 AM
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Looking forward to watching this on Friday.

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post #5 of 85 Old 03-14-2013, 11:02 AM
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just watched this in 3D last night. i agree with everything Ralph. i loved the 3D in this one and really enjoyed the movie.

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post #6 of 85 Old 03-14-2013, 11:08 AM
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I'm so glad the Blu-ray is finally here, so I can check out the 3D version. I also can't wait to see how the 2D Blu-ray version compares to the Digital HD releases, since it gets a perfect 100 for visuals on BR. Agreed, great movie all around - visually, acoustically and thematically.

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post #7 of 85 Old 03-14-2013, 12:43 PM
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great review - hadn't thought of renting until now.

planned or coincidence you posted this review on 3/14?

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post #8 of 85 Old 03-14-2013, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UGAd13 View Post

great review - hadn't thought of renting until now.

planned or coincidence you posted this review on 3/14?

Hah that's awesome, Pi day.

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post #9 of 85 Old 03-14-2013, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UGAd13 View Post

great review - hadn't thought of renting until now.

planned or coincidence you posted this review on 3/14?

Greetings,

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post #10 of 85 Old 03-14-2013, 01:12 PM
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Ralph,

Does this film have good replay value in your opinion? I keep reading great things about it and really want to check out the 3d, so I am considering another blind buy. What do you think? smile.gif

Thanks!

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post #11 of 85 Old 03-14-2013, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Ralph,

Does this film have good replay value in your opinion? I keep reading great things about it and really want to check out the 3d, so I am considering another blind buy. What do you think? smile.gif

Thanks!

Greetings,

Todd, it's a visual treat which in and of itself may warrant repeat viewings. As far as the film itself goes I think it's a toss up. My advice would be to rent first if you can hold out. wink.gif


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post #12 of 85 Old 03-14-2013, 01:40 PM
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I'm sure it will become one of the standards for system demos, because of the visual aspect—it's one spectacular looking film. The story can only work it's magic once, of course. In retrospect, maybe my first viewing should have been in 3D. It's a tough call because it is such a spectacular 2D film.

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post #13 of 85 Old 03-15-2013, 06:09 AM
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Im hoping to watch this tonight in 2D. Going by the trailer it does look quite spectacular.

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The 3D reminded me a lot of Avatar, a lot of depth, not very much "pop out", and virtually no cross-talk or deviation from the 2D picture quality. There were some really stunning visuals, especially during the night scenes and "glowing" scenes, almost breathtaking, wish I seen those on like a 120" screen. I was actually a little disappointed in the audio quality, but that could be due to the fact I had it turned down a bit more than usual.

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I thought the audio quality was phenomenal. The rainstorm scene and the whale scene were extremely detailed with great LFE. Accurate mids and crisp highs throughout. I'd recommend a rewatch at your normal listening level.
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post #16 of 85 Old 03-15-2013, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brasic View Post

I thought the audio quality was phenomenal. The rainstorm scene and the whale scene were extremely detailed with great LFE. Accurate mids and crisp highs throughout. I'd recommend a rewatch at your normal listening level.

Doesn't help that I have this head cold either, everything sounds muffled and low. So I will definitely need to re-watch once my head clears up.

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post #17 of 85 Old 03-15-2013, 10:59 AM
 
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Ralph, great review as always.

I watched two nights ago, and it's right up there with Avatar, Titanic and Hugo for presentation value using the 16:9 format. The beginning of the story is like a travelougue, then goes into a Perfect Storm->Robinson Crusoe->Castaway mode. The animals are cgi after the zoo scenes and they are gorgeous and very lifelike. I watched the extras and it's amazing how they kept the 3D clarity of the water combined with the blue-screen plates, and the depth is excellent. Is it the best movie of the year--hmm, I didn't think so, but it's an engaging story, though somewhat tedious at times, but the 3D makes up for that. There is one part in the middle where the screen ratio goes from 16:9 to 2.40:1, then into another format for several minutes. The effects during this sequence are startling, and there is a cut where the 3D effect is something you'll want to check out several times--the first time you see it, it goes by too fast.

I thought the sound was a little weak also, especially when keeping it at a "don't-bother-the-wife-upstairs" mode wink.gif. I will have to watch again when I can turn it up.
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post #18 of 85 Old 03-15-2013, 11:19 AM
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I'm pretty much re-watch every movie I own on the weekends when my wife is working just so I can crank it up.

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post #19 of 85 Old 03-15-2013, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by CheYC View Post

I'm pretty much re-watch every movie I own on the weekends when my wife is working just so I can crank it up.

Yep. I call it Daddy movie time. smile.gif

Thanks for the review Ralph. Picked this up today. Listened to the audio book when it first came out years ago. Looking forward to seeing Ang Lee's depiction.
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post #20 of 85 Old 03-15-2013, 04:14 PM
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If you don't watch this movie in 3D then you are not watching it as the director intended. The 3D experience, IMO, is so much better than the 2D experience and this movie takes it to another level. I now don't believe that 3D will be much more than a niche like LD before it and that's a shame, especially since there are some 3D movies out now that are simply visually amazing -- this is one of them -- great story, great visuals and a must have.
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If you don't watch this movie in 3D then you are not watching it as the director intended. The 3D experience, IMO, is so much better than the 2D experience and this movie takes it to another level. I now don't believe that 3D will be much more than a niche like LD before it and that's a shame, especially since there are some 3D movies out now that are simply visually amazing -- this is one of them -- great story, great visuals and a must have.

Just got the 3D disc, ready for the full experience!

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post #22 of 85 Old 03-15-2013, 06:23 PM
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Mine arrived from Amazon today and I can't wait for the sun to go down and the 3D to go up! I remember how beautiful this was in the theater and I'm really looking forward to the 3D experience that should equal Avatar, Titanic, etc. I'm solo tonight so this will be a full volume affair (with popcorn).

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post #23 of 85 Old 03-15-2013, 10:35 PM
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Watched this in 3D this evening and will likely watch the 2D version sometime during the coming weekend. It was a very nice 3D experience without being overly distracting in any way, although that hummingbird toward the beginning of the film did fly right out of the screen and hover in front of my face for a second or two. It is an interesting story with some spectacular video and audio.

Thanks for reviewing it for us, Ralph! cool.gif

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post #24 of 85 Old 03-16-2013, 04:07 AM
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All in all I thought the audio was weak too but scenes like the whale jumping stood out as sounding great or the tiger jumping thru the screen at you.

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post #25 of 85 Old 03-16-2013, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deja Vu View Post

If you don't watch this movie in 3D then you are not watching it as the director intended. The 3D experience, IMO, is so much better than the 2D experience and this movie takes it to another level. I now don't believe that 3D will be much more than a niche like LD before it and that's a shame, especially since there are some 3D movies out now that are simply visually amazing -- this is one of them -- great story, great visuals and a must have.

+1. I watched the 3d version earlier this week because I couldn't wait till Friday. Last night I watched the 2d version with the wife. I thought the 3d version was better than the 2d version, but both didn't disappoint. The audio was fine on my end and even made my wife jump out of here seat once!

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post #26 of 85 Old 03-16-2013, 07:43 AM
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Is there a way such as RedBox to rent the 3D version?
I see VuDu has the HD 2D version up.
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post #27 of 85 Old 03-16-2013, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by HDTBill View Post

Is there a way such as RedBox to rent the 3D version?
I see VuDu has the HD 2D version up.

Even if Vudu had a HDX 3D version, I strongly advise against renting or buying it. Are you talking about renting the 3D Blu-ray? I don't think there are any rental option aside from a couple of specialized sites: http://stores.3d-blurayrental.com/StoreFront.bok and http://www.3dbymail.com/index/default.php

There is too much loss of quality with 3D on Vudu and the slightest glitch in playback can result in really unpleasant effects. With 3D, the slightest problems with the presentation are magnified many times over—online distribution of 3D is not there yet.

The 3D blu-ray services are costly, here's an article that covers the issue, like I said I cannot agree with the notion of using Vudu for 3D... at least nothing I've seen so far. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2023001/answer-line-where-can-i-rent-3d-blu-rays.html

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post #28 of 85 Old 03-16-2013, 10:28 AM
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Watched it last night. Good story well told.

Beautiful great sounding film. 3D was perfect.

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post #29 of 85 Old 03-16-2013, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Even if Vudu had a HDX 3D version, I strongly advise against renting or buying it. Are you talking about renting the 3D Blu-ray? I don't think there are any rental option aside from a couple of specialized sites: http://stores.3d-blurayrental.com/StoreFront.bok and http://www.3dbymail.com/index/default.php

There is too much loss of quality with 3D on Vudu and the slightest glitch in playback can result in really unpleasant effects. With 3D, the slightest problems with the presentation are magnified many times over—online distribution of 3D is not there yet.

The 3D blu-ray services are costly, here's an article that covers the issue, like I said I cannot agree with the notion of using Vudu for 3D... at least nothing I've seen so far. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2023001/answer-line-where-can-i-rent-3d-blu-rays.html

Thank you, the 3d-blurayrental site sounds like it might work.
Prices range from $4 to $8 for new ones (eg; Life of Pi)
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post #30 of 85 Old 03-17-2013, 07:41 AM
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I saw this in the theaters in 3D and it was the most spectacular 3D experience I've had to date.

Just got this disc for my home theater and have only had a chance to watch bits and pieces in 3D - its definitely a good 3D blu ray but the experience isnt as good as the theater experience (I didnt really think it would be).

Has anyone noticed that in at least one scene (the scene with the flying fish) black borders are added to the top and bottom of the screen so that the fish can appear even more like they are coming out of the screen? I haven't noticed that done before in a movie and I almost didnt notice because I was involved in the film. Has that been done in other places or even other movies?
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