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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
72





Studio and Year: Universal – 2011, 2013
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 55/45/53 minutes
Genre: Documentary

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: MVC/AVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio (Amazing Oceans), Italian, Spanish, French, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, German, Czech, Polish, Hungarian DTS 5.1, DTS 2.0 (Amazing Oceans)
Subtitles: English SDH, French German, LA Spanish, Dutch, Finnish, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Arabic, Czech, Icelandic, Polish, Romanian, Cantonese, Thai, Korean, Swedish, Turkish
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 29, 2013
"The magic of the deep blue sea"


Film Synopsis:

Amazing Ocean: Let yourself be amazed by little schools of fish that swim right into your living room! See squid and the elusive octopus up close, along with the magnificent manta ray, and experience dolphins and turtles that visit you in your living room. Shot in stereoscopic 3D, Amazing Ocean 3D, is a breathtakingly beautiful experience for your whole family.

Fascination coral reef: Enjoy watching an entire ecosystem of marine species including blowfish, porcupine fish, goliath groupers, giant morays, sea turtles and whale sharks, as well as the play of colors of the many different coral and anemone species. Let yourself get caught up in the wonders of the deep.


Fascination coral reef: Mysterious Worlds Underwater: Often referred to as "The Pearls in the Indian Ocean," the Maldives' true treasures are to be found beneath the waves: the coral reefs. See breathtaking colorful coral forests. Observe turtles searching for food as they swim by. Duck your head as huge swarms of colorful fish take refuge in the numerous caves and crevices.


My Take:


I generally tend to enjoy documentary films on Blu-ray based on this subject matter as remarkable high-definition footage transports viewers to places human beings rarely see. Seeing the unique underwater worlds populated by exotic sea creatures and vistas that exist in an intriguing balance of nature is interesting. I am always astounded by the dedicated underwater film crews that venture into the deep to capture these creatures in their habitats. Each of these films provide a look at the world’s beautiful coral reefs and aquatic life while offering tidbits on some of the species that live in and around them. Unfortunately the running narrative associated with each has a choppy and rushed flow that I found diminished the material. The sporadic details on the undersea life tend to have little variety and those that occasionally seem interesting only get momentary mention. I found each of these films to be almost interchangeable both in subject and presentation. Not to mention that the feeling of been here and done that looms large throughout. The result is three minimally interesting undersea documentaries that offer little other than to possibly lull you to sleep.

Parental Guide:


This documentary is appropriate for general 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: 74

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

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:




3D Presentation: 70

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

  • Depth (Onscreen):

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen):

  • Realism:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Color reproduction:


Amazing Ocean 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 1.8 Mbps.

Fascinating coral reef 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.5 Mbps.

Fascinating coral reef: Mysterious worlds Underwater 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.4 Mbps.


In looking at each of these presentations I found the quality of the imagery and sound to be nearly identical so my comments will pertain to the trio. As I watched these on my large screen it resembled peering into a huge crystal clear aquarium as each presentation boasts fair levels of detail. The plethora of brilliant colors is vividly alluring as the deep primaries and resplendent secondary pop from the 1.781:1 framed video. Contrast balance is spot on as the various shades of gray and blue are gradationally revealing and whites appear bright with crisp highlights that preserve detail. Unfortunately these presentations make minimal use of the 3D platform resulting in rather flat imagery even within the confines of the screen’s borders. There are sequences that provide a bit of pop out but the effect is overt seeming staged when compared to the background elements onscreen. I noticed minor artifacts such as moiré and light digital noise but ghosting/crosstalk wasn’t much of an issue. Similar to the source material these 3D presentations were serviceable but ultimately unremarkable.



The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks are essentially identical (despite the fact that the Amazing Ocean is stereo only) and satisfyingly deliver the elements contained within these documentary films. Hence my comments relative to them will apply to all. The running narration is rendered with clear articulation and smooth intonation. It probably could have been a bit more forward within the front soundstage but otherwise presented well. The front three channels are integrated nicely and combine high level detail/clarity with good imaging. The music sounds airy with smoothly rendered instrumentation, and appropriate presence. When applied the surrounds are effectively used to generate an enveloping soundscape that simulates the undersea world and its various sounds. Bass response is appropriate in that it lends low level extension in support of the recorded elements and music.



Each of these Blu-ray releases includes an AVC encoded 1080p 2D presentation for viewers that haven‘t yet made the move to 3D. In looking at them I found the image quality to be on par with the 3D quality, including the aforementioned anomalies. I will forego my usual narrative breakdown of the 2D video and only provide the numeric rating below.


2D Video Quality:

Video: 76

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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:






Bonus Features:

There are no bonus features.





Final Thoughts:

Amazing Ocean, Fascination coral reef and Fascination coral reef: mysterious worlds underwater 3D transport viewers to the undersea depths via three interchangeable documentary experiences that offer little variety both in subject and presentation. The end result is three serviceable but lackluster 3D releases that fail to standout. If you're a big fan of these type of aquatic life documentaries and are curious a rental is strongly recommended before purchase.












Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal )

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen

Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 
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