3D Blu-ray Review “Escape from Planet Earth”

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, Jane Lynch, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson
Director: Cal Brunker
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Run Time: 90 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
3D: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Escape from Planet Earth” is a movie that came out of nowhere and surprisingly did pretty well.  I couldn’t help but relate it back to past alien CGI animated film “Planet 51″. I wasn’t really drawn in by the trailer but I have to admit, I am a sucker for anything science fiction, animated or not. The film really does have an impressive voice cast including Brendan Fraser, Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, William Shatner, Rob Corddry, George Lopez, Craig Robinson, Sofía Vergara and Jane Lynch. I mean there is a really nice wide array of talent here. But when it comes down to it, this is really a kids film and doesn’t really speak to their parents as much as other kids films try to do.  But kids should enjoy it as it is fun, well animated and did I mention it’s in 3D!

Synopsis: The 3D animated family comedy catapults moviegoers to planet Baab where admired astronaut Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) is a national hero to the blue alien population. A master of daring rescues, Scorch pulls off astonishing feats with the quiet aid of his nerdy, by-the-rules brother, Gary (Rob Corddry), head of mission control at BASA. When BASA’s no-nonsense chief Lena (Jessica Alba) informs the brothers of an SOS from a notoriously dangerous planet, Scorch rejects Gary’s warnings and bounds off for yet another exciting mission. But when Scorch finds himself caught in a fiendish trap set by the evil Shanker (William Shatner) it’s up to scrawny, risk-adverse Gary to do the real rescuing. As the interplanetary stakes rise to new heights, Gary is left to save his brother, his planet, his beloved wife Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker) and their adventure hungry son Kip.

This combo pack release is very impressive.  It includes both 2D and 3D presentations of the film, as well as a DVD and UltraViolet digital copy. The 3D on the film is a lot of fun.  There is some great in your face moments and gags that kids will enjoy. The 1080p transfer looks amazing and the colors is very crisp and sharp. The DTS-HD Master Audio  5.1 track really works with the action and the original music by composer Aaron Zigman. The special features are good and work checking out if you enjoyed the film.  There is an audio commentary with Director Cal Brunker, which might not keep the attention of kids but parent could enjoy. “The Making of Escape From Planet Earth” is a nice behind-the-scenes look at the film. There is a few Alternate Takes and Deleted Scenes included.  Lastly there are several Music Featurettes for musicians Delta Rae, Owl City and Cody Simpson.

3D Blu-ray Review “Texas Chainsaw”

Directed by: John Luessenhop
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Tremaine Neverson, Tania Raymonde, Thom Barry, Paul Rae
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Running time: 92 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

There is something about Leatherface that makes him such a great horror icons. “Texas Chainsaw 3D” is a direct sequel to the original 1974 film and literally picks up in the same day after the original’s events. The ending film’s is weakest point, so I was hoping for a director’s cut to fix that. Oh well, the film has it problems but it is overall a fun time to watch. The 3D effects are used to add extra “Chainsaw-in-your-face” but doesn’t really add much depth and only works in terms of gags. Fans of the series will enjoy the return of series stars including Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen and Marilyn Burns. If you are a fan the Leatherface series, then this is worth checking out…just expect tongue-in-cheek.

Official Synopsis: In Newt, Texas, people have been going missing without a trace for decades. Years later and hundreds of miles away from the original massacre, a young girl named Heather (Daddario) discovers that she has inherited a sprawling Texas estate from an unknown grandmother. To claim her estate, Heather goes on a road trip with her friends to Newt, but soon learns that wealth comes at a price when she discovers the horror that waits in the cellar of her new mansion.

The Blu-ray release is titled “Texas Chainsaw” but does still features both the 3D and 2D presentations of the film. The 1080p transfer looks very sharp and works well with the 3D presentation. I am very impressed with the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track but I would have loved to see a bit more scares in the film to fully take advantage of it. But there is still a lot of rip-roaring chainsaws sawing by you ears. There is also an UltraViolet digital streaming copy included.

The special features are impressive and worth checking out if you enjoyed the film. There are two audio commentaries track. The first is with producer Carl Mazzocone and Tobe Hooper, who is the director of the first “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. This is a very interesting track and a must listen for any fan. I was excited to hear what Hooper has to say about the film. The second track is with the returning cast from past “Chainsaw” films including Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns and John Dugan. This is a fun track with the cast.

“Texas Chainsaw Legacy” is a trip through the 40-year legacy of this series. A must watch for any fan. “Resurrecting the Saw” features director John Luessenhop, producer Carl Mazzocone and writers Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, Kirsten Elms and Stephen Susco talking about reviving this series (again). “The Old Homestead” is feature on re-creating the location from the first film. “Casting Terror” is a chat with the new cast of the film. “Leatherface 2013” is an interview with the new Leatherface actor Dan Yeager. “Lights, Camera, Mayhem” is a look into filming in 3D with DP Anastas Michos. “It’s in the Meat” is a look into the special make-up effects with make-up effects supervisor Robert Kurtzman and his team. Lastly there are “On-Set Short Subjects: Five Minute Massacres”, which are fun bumps into the production.

Film Review “Jurassic Park 3D”

Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Rated: PG 13
Running time: 2 hrs 7 mins

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

1993 was a great year to be Steven Spielberg. Or a fan of his films. In June of that year he took the world of visual effects deep into the future with his adaptation of Michael Crichton’s bestselling novel, “Jurassic Park.”

As the film begins we are introduced to Doctors Alan Grant (Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Dern). They are their team are working feverishly on a newly discovered dinosaur burial ground. Their work is interrupted by a visit from John Hammond (Richard Attenborough). He has been funding their research and now wishes for them to accompany him on a journey he assures them they won’t regret. A quick helicopter ride later they have arrived. “Welcome,” Hammond tells them, “to Jurassic Park.”

As exciting and frightening as it was two decades ago, “Jurassic Park” now has an extra scary feature – 3D. Though to be honest the process doesn’t really add a lot to the film. Of course that could be because only a few scenes in the film really lends itself to the gimmick (among them a tour car moving down the side of a tree and a P.O.V. shot of a leaping velociraptor). The depth of field is there but some of the shots come across poorly. The scene where the group first gets on the island and stand in front of a waterfall looks like it was shot with a back screen in the 1940s! Not a bad film…but sadly sometimes a bad process. Since the 3-D is really a non-entity (in my opinion – it doesn’t improve the film nor does it diminish it), the five star rating that I would give the original version still applies here.

The cast is great, of course, led by Neill and Dern, as well as Attenborough in kindly grandfather mode. Supporting characters like Wayne Knight, B.D. Wong and Samuel L. Jackson also show up to lend their talents. And I have to admit that I’d almost forgotten how totally cool Jeff Goldblum was in the 90s! As mathematician (and chaos theorist) Dr. Ian Malcolm he’s funny and sharp in every scene he’s in! All in all, the film is a classic and the chance to see it on the big screen again (or for the first time) should not be missed.

“Jurassic Park” was director Spielberg’s first film to be released that year. The second was “Schlinder’s List,” which would go on to win 7 Academy Awards (“Jurassic Park took home 3 of it’s own) including Best Picture and, finally for Spielberg, Best Director. Like I said, it was a great year to be Steven Spielberg!

3D Blu-ray Review “A Monster in Paris”

Actors: Adam Goldberg, Jay Harrington, Bob Balaban, Sean Lennon, Vanessa Paradis, Danny Huston and Catherine O’Hara
Directors: Bibo Bergeron
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: April 16, 2013
Run Time: 87 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1/2 out of 5 stars

“A Monster in Paris” is beautiful animated film from the director of “Shark Tale”, Bibo Bergeron. The film was a very successful French animated film from 2012. It never given the proper attention it deserves until now, thanks to Shout! Factory. The film also boasts an impressive voice cast including Adam Goldberg, Jay Harrington, Bob Balaban, Sean Lennon, Vanessa Paradis, Danny Huston and Catherine O’Hara. The film is looks quite stunning in 3D and ends up being a fun experience for the whole family. Some of the content is a little higher level for some kids but still should be attracted to the sharp animation and the colorful cast.

Official Premise: Paris, 1910. Panic sweeps the city as floodwaters rise and a monster is on the loose! Meanwhile a wacky inventor, his camera-crazy best friend, and a madcap monkey are on a mission to protect the beast, Franc, as he holds a rare and special talent. With the help of the beautiful but feisty singer Lucille, the team harbors the monster to keep him from the ghastly wannabe Mayor, Commissioner Maynott, who has a plan to capture Franc and reveal him to be nothing more than a monstrous danger to the people of Paris.

Shout! Factory delivered all the goods for this release.  They have the film available as a combo pack with a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + iTunes Digital Copy.  They have all their options covered here for various viewings.  Both the 2D and 3D 1080p transfers are presented in 1.85:1.  The animation and colors for the film look impressive in both transfers.  I preferred the 3D since it really created some impressive depth and there is just something about animation always looking better to be in the third dimension. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track also delivers the goods and some impressive music, which was also co-written by Vanessa Paradis. The most disappointing aspect of the release is the special features since there is only a trailer included.

3D Blu-ray Review "Tormented 3D"

Actors: Takeru Shibuya, Hikari Mitsushima, Tamaki Ogawa, Teruyuki Kagawa
Directors: Takashi Shimizu
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Well Go USA
DVD Release Date: April 2, 2013
Run Time: 83 minutes

Film: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1/2 out of 5 stars

When it comes to Japanese horror, the name Takashi Shimizu stands out and can carry a lot of wait. He is the genius behind amazing horror films like “Ju-On” and “The Grudge”. “Ju-On” is one of the only horror films (besides “Insidious”) that still gives me nightmares. Though recently his films have been nothing but disappointing. His last film, “The Shock Labyrinth”, was his first attempt at 3D and was also his worst film to date. At first I was thrilled for a 3D horror film from the dude that made “The Grudge”. Boy, was I wrong. But being a sucker for 3D horror, I was still excited for “Tormented 3D”. I figured how couldn’t mess up twice in a row…could he? Damn, this film was worse than the last one.

The horror factor in the film is at the level of a PG rated film. While watching there were several moments that I was waiting for the jump moment and it just passed right by. I am not what he was aiming to do here but he completely missed the mark. This film is being blended as a terrifying tale but then they have the main villain as a giant human sized person in a bunny costume. There is literally nothing creepy or scary about that at all. To make it worse, Shimizu connects his last film, “The Shock Labyrinth” together with this one using the actually film in parts and used the same sets and even shot for shot takes.

Official Premise: Daigo doesn’t speak anymore. Not since he killed that rabbit on the playground at school. His sister, Kiriko, is worried. He’s bullied. He sleepwalks. And their father is no help, trapped in his own grief and illustrating fantasy worlds where families are happily reunited and no one dies. They never should have gone to that 3D movie. The one with the stuffed rabbit that floated out of the screen. Now Daigo is missing. He’s in danger, and Kiriko will have to follow him into a world of nightmares to discover the truth. And the truth is worse than any dream. From the legendary director of THE GRUDGE, Takashi Shimizu takes an unflinching look into childhood fears, the ties that hold a family together, and bloody secrets that won’t stay dead.

The 3D presentation on this film is actually quite terrible. There is some major ghosting happening throughout various scenes whenever depth is added. For instance, when they are in the hospital and going up the stairs, I literally had to take my glasses off since it was that disrupting. I had a similiar issue with the 3D in “The Shock Labyrinth” and I would have thought that Shimizu would have worked out the bugs. The Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is not bad though but since there is little suspense or scares, it doesn’t get a good work out. There is no English dub track included, nor are there any special features besides a trailer. I will be thinking twice before being sucked into another Takashi Shimizu film. Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me!

3D Blu-ray Review "IMAX: To The Arctic"

Narrator: Meryl Streep
Directors: Greg Macgillivray
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Running Time: 40 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

When it comes to nature documentaries, who can turn them down. They are like a car crash you just can’t look away.  “To The Arctic” looked so cute with those little polar bears. The film is enjoyable but really when it comes down to it…it is just WAY to short.  I understand that IMAX movies used to run 40 minutes and that was the norm but now there are new 3D films in IMAX every week.  40 minutes really restricts this film to of getting a chance to spread it wings or paws in this case.  It feels rushed and right when it gets good it ends. I would have loved to seen this expanded for 90 minutes, like the Disneynature films.  I also felt the same way about the last IMAX film “Born To Be Wild”. Unless you are a 3D junkie like myself, I would catch this program when it airs on cable or rent it.

Official Premise: “To The Arctic” takes you on a never before seen journey through the power of the IMAX lens into the lives of a mother polar bear and her two seven-month-old cubs as they navigate the changing Arctic wilderness they call home. Captivating adventurous and intimate footage brings you up close and personal with this family’s struggle to survive in a frigid and dynamic environment of melting ice immense glaciers spectacular waterfalls and majestic snow-bound peaks.

The film gets it voice from three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, who narrates this documentary.  The film was shot on location in the Arctic Circle in the IMAX 3-D format. I thought the 3D was very impressive.  It adds quite a bit of depth to the Arctic and makes you feel like you are right there with them.  The film is written and edited by Stephen Judson, who worked on the award-winning “Everest”.  My favorite part of the film though has to be the music.  The score is very well done by Steve Wood and contains seven songs by Paul McCartney.  There were two songs from his span with Wings including “I’m Carrying” and “Big Pop”.  There is Cirque du Soleil’s “LOVE” version of “Because”. Mr Bellamy from his 2007 album “Memory Almost Full”. “Calico Skies” and “Little Willow” appear from his 1997 album, “Flaming Pie”. Lastly there is a nice cover of “Maybe I’m Amazed” in the end credits.

Warner Brothers really delivers a very impressive release here with “To The Arctic”.  The release comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet digital streaming copy.  But wait there is more, the film was released in 3D in theaters, so there is a bonus Blu-ray 3D included as well.  I enjoyed the 3D version quite a bit but luckily it is one of those films that can be enjoyed either way without loosing too much. I have to admit though, I really loved the underwater scenes in 3D. Very breathtaking.  The 1080p transfer looks very sharp within its 1.78:1 aspect ratio, I would have loved to see them keep the IMAX aspect ratio for this Blu-ray though. The DTS-HD Master Audio works perfectly with the music, especially Paul McCartney’s tunes! You will find yourself turning the volume to 11 and jamming out!

The special features are good and to be honest I am impressed they even had extras.  But with a documentary film, I am always interested in the behind-the-scenes. There are a four featurettes included to round out this release. The first is “A  Polar Bear Family” and takes a closer look at the stars of the film.  “To The Arctic with Meryl Streep” is a chat with the actresses and narrator of the film.  “The Challenge of Filming in the Arctic” is exactly what it sounds like.  I give these guys a lot of credit for their work. The last is called “Welcome to the Arctic”, which takes us on a journey through the frozen part of our world.  Lastly, there is a trailer included. I would have loved to see a few of these available in 3D as well since they were obviously shot in 3D like the film itself.

Complimentary Passes to the Orlando, FL Advance Screening for "Jurassic Park 3D" [ENDED]


© 2013 Universal

If you would like to enter for a chance to win passes to the following advance screening, please leave a comment below with what scene you are looking forward to most in 3D?. Winners will be chosen on a RANDOM BASIS on March 27th. ONLY ONE ENTRY PER PERSON PLEASE! OTHERWISE ALL ENTRIES WILL BE DISREGARDED. The winners will be will notified via email. Good luck and hope to see you at the screening!

Tuesday April 2nd at 7:00pm
AMC Altamonte 18 – Altamonte Springs, FL
Passes are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Get ready to experience one of the biggest films of all time in a whole new way.  On behalf of Universal Pictures, we are thrilled to announce that Yahoo! Movies has just debuted the NEW trailer for JURASSIC PARK 3D.

Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking masterpiece has been re-mastered into a state-of-the-art 3D format, introducing the three-time Academy Award®-winning blockbuster to a new generation of moviegoers and allows longtime fans to experience the world he envisioned in a way that was unimaginable during the film’s original release.

Watch the epic NEW trailer below and prepare to experience 3D movie magic 65 million years in the making.  JURASSIC PARK in 3D will be in theaters April 5, 2013.

Website: http://www.jurassicpark.com
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/jurassicpark
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JurassicPark
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JurassicPark3D #JP3D

3D Blu-ray Review "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D (Limited Edition)"

Starring: Erica Linz, Igor Zaripov, Dallas Barnett
Director: Andrew Adamson
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

I have always been a fan of Cirque du Soleil. I’ve seen numerous shows including “O”, “La Nouba”, “KÀ”, “CRISS ANGEL Believe and my favorite “The Beatles LOVE”. Each one is a unique experience and nothing compares to a Cirque show…nothing. So I was thrilled to see this film, especially in 3D. “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” is one visual trip. The last time I saw “Cirque du Soleil” in 3D was during the IMAX film from 2000 “Journey of Man 3D”. Of course this film is so much better than that film and really takes 3D to another level. The simple story in this film focuses on love at first sight and the fantastical happenings on the way to happily ever after. I just love the idea of that and it really hits a nerve with me. I highly recommend seeing this release, especially in 3D and get ready to be blown away with this visual spectacular film.

Official Premise: From the big top to the big screen, visionary filmmaker James Cameron and director Andrew Adamson (Shrek, Narnia) invite you and your family on an all new 3D adventure: “Cirque du Soleil Worlds Away”. A young couple who is separated, must journey through the astonishing and dreamlike worlds of Cirque du Soleil to find each other, as audiences experience the immersive 3D technology that will allow them to leap, soar, swim, and dance with the performers.

Paramount delivers “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” in a beautiful three-disc Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, as well as an Ultraviolet digital copy (in 2D). Since you know that James Cameron is involved expect that the 3D is going to look stunning. I am not mistaken, this film really is amazing looking with it’s 3D presentation. The depth is added so well that you literally find your dodging these performers as they fly around and perform this wonderful stunts. I have to say, the 2D transfer really can’t compare since this is really meant to be seen only in 3D. The music of Cirque du Soleil is also a very important part of their shows. I still, infact, still have my CD from when I saw “La Nouba”. This DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track is breathtaking just like the stunts performed in the film. The music really assists to tell the story and really transports you into this fantasy world.

The worst part of this release is the special features or lack there of. There are no 3D extras at all. There are only two short featurettes on the 2D disc. ”Making Worlds Away” is extreme short look into the production with the cast and crew. ”A Day in the Life with Erica Linz” features the actress talking about the film and working with both Cameron and Adamson. Lastly there is a “Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas Commercial”. Though not really a bonus feature but nonetheless a bonus, there is a coupon including a 20% discount offer on select Cirque du Soleil LIVE shows in the U.S. and Canada including “Amaluna”, “Quidam”, “TOTEM”, “Mystère”, “KÀ”, “CRISS ANGEL Believe”, “The Beatles LOVE”, “Zarkana” and “Zumanity”. So that is a little extra added bonus! I highly recommend “LOVE”!

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3D Blu-ray Review "Life of Pi"

Actors: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Gérard Depardieu
Directors: Ang Lee
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Run Time: 123 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 5 out of 5 stars

Wow! Wow! I think that about sums up my review. I have to admit I did not see this film in theaters. Not for the last of interest, just never hard the opportunity.  Boy, was I missing out.  “Life of Pi” was absolutely stunning.  I do not even think though that that is enough of a comment to describe how amazing it is.  But beyond being an amazing movie, this was the best 3D that I have seen, or at least since “Avatar”, especially on Blu-ray. “Life of Pi” is such a visually amazing film.  And how about the performance from newcomer Suraj Sharmaread, where the hell was his Oscar nomination.  Ang Lee won Best Director at this year’s Academy Awards, check out our interview with him here, which he well deserved. Do not miss this film and it is a must see in 3D. Highly (x2) recommended!

Official Premise: Embark on the adventure of a lifetime in this visual masterpiece from Oscar winner Ang Lee, based on the best-selling novel. After a cataclysmic shipwreck, young Pi Patel finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with the only other survivor – a ferocious Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Bound by the need to survive, the two are cast on an epic journey that must be seen to be believed.

“Life of Pi” is already hands down my favorite Blu-ray release of 2013 already. Fox really delivered the goods here. It comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy. This film is like I said really meant to be seen in 3D. In fact if you don’t have a 3D TV and where on the fence, this would be the film to push you over! I have never experienced a film like this before. From the moment the film started I sat on my couch speechless with my mouth wide open at the amazing visuals that were coming off my television screen. The 1080p transfer is just stunning and perfectly represents the 3D. Don’t get me wrong it also looks stunning in 2D but the visual aspect is drastically reduced. Kudos go to the incredible cinematography from Oscar nominee Claudio Miranda (“Tron: Legacy”) for this visual masterpiece.

One thing I wanted to point out with the video was there was a sudden change in the aspect ratio during the “flying fish” scene. The aspect ratio jumps the normal 1.85:1 to 2.35:1. I liked this change because during that scene, one of the fishes seem to actually jump out from beyond the black border on the bottom and into the film itself. I was blown away. ”Life of Pi” besides looking absolutely stunning on this release, it also sounds perfect. The fast and furious DTS Master Audio 7.1 surround audio track is a thing of beauty in itself. This works perfectly with the film’s action and events surrounding it. You literally can feel like you are in the storm or the tiger is actually about to attack right behind you. Top that with Mychael Danna’s Academy Award-winning score and you will be left applauding at the end of the film like myself.

The special features are also another spectacular edition to this release. With big name Blu-rays coming out with little or no extras (*cough* “The Hobbit” *cough*), this is a real treat. First since I was in love with the 3D aspect of this film, I almost fell over when I saw that their were actually 3D special features! Don’t bother re-reading that sentence, it is true! There are five deleted scenes, which total up just shy of 15 minutes. I really enjoyed the “VFX Progressions” in 3D, which shows the ship sinking sequence in various stages. There is also a montage of footage during the production of the wave tank used. Lastly there is a 3D Theatrical Trailer. All of these extras can also be played in 2D as well for those lacking the extra dimension, but what fun is that?

If you enjoyed this film or want to learn more be sure to check out the brand new microsite for “Life of Pi”, and explore Pi’s miraculous journey and how the film came together here.

Also check out the internationally recognized American chalk/street artist Tracy Lee Stum who brought her spectacular interactive 3D street drawing to L.A. in Downtown Los Angeles from March 9-12. She paid tribute to Life of Pi, in honor of the March 12 home entertainment release. The drawing was inspired by a key scene from the four-time Academy Award-winning film.


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3D Blu-ray Review "Rise of the Guardians"

Actors: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman
Directors: Peter Ramsey
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
DVD Release Date: March 12, 2013
Run Time: 97 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“Rise of the Guardians” is based on author William Joyce’s the “Guardians of Childhood” book series, read our interview with him here. The film was released in theaters and really got a bad rep. I think people don’t really understand why this film wasn’t the biggest animated film of the year. It came out with no competition but luckily it had some great legs nonetheless. I personally wasn’t thrilled the first time I saw it. I liked it but wasn’t blown away…that is because I did not see it in 3D. Wow, what a difference. This film really gets its wings with the addition of the third dimension. It also really has grown on my since. My 9-month also daughter also seems to really like it (not in 3D though, since the glasses don’t fit). But she goes crazy over this gorgeously animated film. If you like Dreamworks other titles like “How to Train Your Dragon”, this isn’t on par for story but production and quality it is.  I would recommend checking this out for sure, especially in 3D if possible.

Official Premise: When an evil spirit known as Pitch Black (Jude Law), the reviled Bogeyman, lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians — Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), the Sandman and spirit of winter Jack Frost (Chris Pine) — must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imaginations of children all over the world.

Since their success with “Shrek”, one of the great things that Dreamworks has really delivered consistenly with their animated films is amazing voice casts.  This film really boasts a very fun and colorful cast of actors including Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman.  Alec Baldwin is a blast playing good ‘ole Saint Nick.  Jude Law is a fantastic baddie voicing the Bogeyman. Speaking of sound, Dreamworks really delivered one heck of a fantastic Blu-ray presentation here. The Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround track is a think of beauty.  The film represented so well here with this track, especially the action scenes, which there are quite a few of.  It delivers the dialogue from the voice cast perfectly as well.  I really had to keep adjusting my 7.1 surround sound speakers so that it didn’t rumble my frames off the walls.  The 1080p transfer is also another gem of this release.  The 3D really adds so much wonderful depth to the film. The colors are so prominent and sharp that they literally jump off the screen. If you don’t have 3D Blu-ray, this release also comes with a standard Blu-ray, a DVD and a Ultraviolet Digital Copy. I have to say easily a 5/5 score just for the audio/video on this release.

The special features just continue on the successful path for delivers an impressive Blu-ray release. First off we have a don’t miss – audio commentary track including the director Peter Ramsey and producers Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein.  It gives tons of information about this giant production and is very entertaining. “Behind the Magic” is a great four part feature series to explore the filmmakers’ journey with the look, characters, effects and music, including “Dreaming Up the Look”, “Naughty & Nice: Designing Memorable Characters”, “Enchanting Effects” and “Creating an Epic Score”.  All of these factors are such a part of this film being a success.  “The Man Behind the Guardians” is a feature on the author William Joyce and how his novel is brought to life. “Dreamers and Believers” looks into the the characters of the film with the cast and crew. “Sandy’s Dream Guide” is an interactive guide to interpret your dreams. Lastly there are two additional interactive games that are exclusive to the Blu-ray,  The first is called “Jack Frost Snowball Showdown” and the second is “Rock, Paper, Scissors with Sandy”, both fun for kids to enjoy!

3D Blu-ray Review "Wreck-It Ralph"

Actors: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch
Directors: Rich Moore
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio:  Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Run Time: 101 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The first time I saw “Wreck-It Ralph”, I was blown away. Read our review here. Disney has done it yet again. Since that first viewing, I have seen this film five times now and it gets better and better with every viewing. If you are a fan of video games great you will love it.  If you have no idea about video games you will still love it. That is why this film succeeds. “Wreck-It Ralph” packs various cameo including Zangief from “Street Fighter II”, Sonic the Hedgehog and Q*bert to name a few. There is also appearances from Oreos, Devil Dogs, Mentos, Nestle Quik and Laffy Taffy. All of the cameos are very clever, not in your face and get tons of laughs. “Wreck-It Ralph” besides being funny and clever, also packs a lot of heart. Be sure to check this get ready to have some fun.

Here is our premise from the theatrical review: On the eve of celebrating the 30th anniversary with his game “Fix-It Felix, Jr.”, Wreck-It Ralph is tired of being the bad-guy.  He wants to be recognized for his work like Fix-It Felix does every game with his medals and getting respect from the buildings residents.  When Ralph leaves his own game to win a medal and prove that he is more than a bad-guy, he gets more than he bargained for.  After heading into the high-def first person shooter game “Hero’s Duty”, he is able to steal the hero’s medal but ends up taking one of the uncontrollable villains known as Cy-Bugs to the kart-racing game called “Sugar Rush”.  This is where he meets the cutie Vanellope von Schweetz and get involved with helping her with her issue of being a glitch and her dream to race in the game.  Of course, the ruler of the game, King Candy, has another plan.  With the help of the lead character of “Hero’s Duty”, Sergeant Tamora Jean Calhoun and Fix-It Felix Jr., they set out to find Ralph and return him to his game before it is put out-of-order for good, as well as to prevent a Cy-Bug invasion of “Sugar Rush”.

Disney spared no expense with this Ultimate Collector’s Edition.  We get a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy included within this combo pack.  The 3D effects on the Blu-ray look stunning.  You literally get swept into this video game world and taken for ride. The depth added is well balanced and the colors really jump off the screen. I prefer to watch this film in 3D but I have to tell you the 2D Blu-ray of this film looks just as impressive. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 audio track really delivers as well.  It is absolutely stunning, exciting and action packed.  Overall, Disney has again amazed with with their audio/video on their Blu-rays.

In terms special features included here, what is delivered it is amazing but overall a little light on content.  Firstly “Paperman” is one of best short that Disney has ever made it is available in both 3D and 2D.  “Bit by Bit: Creating the Worlds of Wreck-It Ralph” is a nice production featurette with Director Rich Moore, producer Clark Spencer, writer Phil Johnston, art director Mike Gabriel, co-art director Ian Gooding, effects supervisor Cesar Velazquez, animation supervisor Renato Dos Anjos and more on the creation of this video game world. There are four deleted and alternate scenes with an introduction and optional commentary with director Rich Moore. There are four fun promos for the film’s games “Fix-It Felix Jr.,” “Sugar Rush,” “Hero’s Duty” and “Fix It Felix Hammer.”  Lastly be sure to pause the film since it comes with “Disney Intermission”, which is hosted by Chris Hardwick (“The Nerdist”, “The Talking Dead”).  He spends the time informing us about the in-game jokes and video game references. Probably more for parents then kids but still worth pausing.

3D Blu-ray Review "Spiders"

Actors: Patrick Muldoon, Christa Campbell, William Hope
Directors: Tibor Takács
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Millennium
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Run Time: 89 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

When you approach a film like “Spiders” you have to just let go and enjoy yourself. The plot is terrible but that is expected and ignored. The CGI spider effects are actually quite impressive, especially the big momma! Patrick Muldoon has no lack of fighting alien objects after his roles in “Starship Troopers” and “Ice Spiders”. But like I said you don’t watch this film for the acting though or the story, you watch it for the title “SPIDERS”! Did I mention that this film is in 3D? Believe it or not, the 3D actually does work for this film. I was expecting more in-your-face cheesiness but they went more practically effects and depth. Overall a fun time here!

Do you really need a premise for “Spiders”? Not really but here it is anyway. Official Premise: “Spiders” centers on mutant spiders created by pieces of material from a disabled Soviet space station. With New York City threatened to be overrun, it’s up to health inspector Rachel Cole to prevent the Queen Spider from uniting with her eggs and creating a full on army of five foot tall, killer spiders.

Millennium released this film on a 3D Blu-ray/2D Blu-ray combo disc. Both formats are available on the one disc. Normally I am not a fan of this since it would reduce the quality of the transfers. But “Spiders” looks great on Blu-ray on its 1080p transfer, as does the 3D which is clear and adds nice depth. The film has this “King Kong” giant monster movie thing going on here and it really shows that scale well here. The audio track included is a very impressive Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track for this little monster movie. It really delivers with the suspense and its attempts audience-jumps. Overall, in terms of audio and video – this release really does deliver.

In terms of special features, they are not the greatest extras but are not the worst I have seen. Also they are actually all presented in 3D as well. This was a factor that I was very impressive with. The 3D though didn’t really add anything to the extras but it was still very neat to have the option. “Web of Terror: The Making of Spiders 3D” runs about six minutes and takes you through the production with cast/crew interviews. The extra is also run a little dark compared to the film itself. “Cast and Crew Interviews” features about twelve minutes of chatting with the director and the cast. Lastly there is a raw behind-the-scenes look into the production.

3D Blu-ray Review "Top Gun 3D"

Starring: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside
Director: Tony Scott
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Run Time: 109 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
3D: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love “Top Gun”? This film is easily one of the best things to have come out of the 1980’s and has Tom Cruise at his prime.  I think I must listen to Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” at least once a week.  So what is new about this release of “Top Gun”, well most importantly it has been converted into the third dimension and boy is it impressive. Paramount did a really sharp job in restoring and releasing this film in 3D.  It is a very solid 3D presentation without any cheap gimmicks.  Of course when this film hits the skies is where the 3D really gets a chance to spread its wings. The aerial scenes are truly amazing and delivers the best added depth. The adding of the 3D just seems natural and like it was meant to be seen like this. If you are a fan, I mean who isn’t?, of this 80’s classic then this is a great way to enjoy the film again for the first time in its new format.

Paramount has delivered an impressive release within this two-disc Blu-ray.  Besides the 3D Blu-ray, it also including the previously released 2D disc as well and an Ultraviolet digital copy as well. This 1080p transfer is newly re-mastered and comes with the highest quality image that “Top Gun” has ever been attributed to. This release carries over the same audio options as the last Blu-ray release, which are still amazing! There are two tracks a DTS-HD MA 6.1 and Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track.  They are both impressive but the 6.1 track really shines the most.  Once the film takes off any Loggins’ “Danger Zone” starts playing, I got the chills and blasted the volume to 11! Let me tell you how amazing it sounded. Of course that is not the only great song in this film including the classics Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and very funny “Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”.  Besides just songs the aerial battles are great and have you ducking as they fly by your speakers.

The special features are taken from the previous releases but are still very impressive.  First off we have a solid audio commentary track including producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Tony Scott, co-screenwriter Jack Epps, Jr. and naval experts.  This track contains information overload and really delivers. Must listen! “Danger Zone: The Making of ‘Top Gun” is a fantastic super in-depth 2.5 hour six-part documentary.  If you love “Top Gun” then this is the special feature for you. “Multi-Angle Storyboards” focuses on two sequences, “Flat Spin” and “Jester’s Dead”, from the film  with optional commentary by Tony Scott. This is cool but multi-angles extras feel a little too DVD for me. “Best of the Best: Inside the Real Top Gun” is another fantastic documentary is a look into the real-life history behind this film.

Next up have two decent featurettes, the first focusing on “Behind-the-Scenes”, which is clips mixed with interviews on the production. “Survival Training” looks into what the cast has to go through to get prepared for their roles. There is a nice interview with Tom Cruise chatting about the role and the film. Of course I go back to the great music in this film.  There are four music videos including Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone, Berlin’s Oscar-winning “Take My Breath Away”, Loverboy’s “Heaven In Your Eyes” and of course, the Top Gun Anthem with Harold Faltermeyer and Steve Stevens.  Lastly there are also seven vintage television spots wrapping up these great extras.


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3D Blu-ray Review "Monsters, Inc. 3D"

Actors: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, James Coburn, Steve Buscemi, Mary Gibbs
Directors: David Silverman, Pete Docter
Number of discs: 5
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Disney-Pixar
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Run Time: 92 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
3D: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This isn’t the first rodeo for “Monsters Inc” on Blu-ray. It was first released back in November 2009 to the high-def format. It was an amazing release and holds up very well to date. This new Ultimate Collector’s Edition presents this amazing film now in 3D, with 7.1 killer audio track and some great new extras. Is that enough to wet your appetite? My daughter is a big fan already of this film at the young age of eight months. She has a full outfit to transform her into Boo and has visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios in order to meet Mike and Sully. With the release of “Monsters University” hitting theaters this summer, this release is warm welcomed. Disney went all out with this release and is most definitely worth the upgrade whether it is for the 3D or the 7.1 track or the extras.

Official Synopsis: Believed by monsters to be toxic, children are strictly forbidden from entering Monstropolis.  But when a little girl named Boo accidentally follows Sulley back into his world, he finds his career in jeopardy and his life in utter chaos. Assisted by Mike, the two pals plot to rectify the mistake and return Boo to her home.  When the trio encounters an unexpected series of complications, they become embroiled in a cover-up catapulting them into a mystery beyond their wildest dreams.

Since the success of “The Lion King” in theaters, Disney has gotten the itch to go back and convert a view of their classic films. Next up with have “The Little Mermaid” this Fall, which is one that I am really looking forward to.  It is one thing to have the computer generated “Monsters Inc” but the real art comes from bringing the 2D animation into the third dimension. Nonetheless, this 3D presentation of “Monsters Inc.” is quite stunning. They really went through a lot of trouble in order to really make this look amazing. There is some really great depth added within this third dimension, whether it is on the Scare Floor or during the door chase scene. This film looks like it was truly meant and designed to be in 3D.

This five-disc release comes with the following 3D Blu-ray / Blu-ray / DVD Combo + Digital Copy. This is becoming the norm for Disney’s new releases and it does nothing but leaving you quite satisfied. Disney also has upgraded the Blu-ray’s audio track from the 2009 release, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 EX to a stunning Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround track with both the 3D and 2D versions. This track is literally amazing. It would have been very easily and still satisfying for Disney to just leave the old track in there but they went a step further and delivered more.

This 2013 release not only included an amazing 3D transfer, 7.1 sound but also a trio of new and exclusive extras.  There is an extended 3-minute “Monsters University” sneak peek.  I am very excited to see that they also included Toy Story Toons short “Partysaurus Rex” (in 3D, as well). I was shocked that this wasn’t included on the “Finding Nemo 3D” release since it was included with the film when it was released theatrically. There are also Outtakes and Company Play (also in 3D), the gag reel from the Monsters, Inc. theatrical credits included.  The only extra left out from the 2009 release (which is now outdated anyway) is “Ride and Go Seek”, which was a tour of the Monsters, Inc. attraction in Tokyo. Lastly, I was very impressed to see that the classic 2001 short “For The Birds”The rest of the extras are good but taken from prior Blu-ray/DVD releases.

The next set of extras are located on the second disc.  There is an audio commentary track from the Director Pete Docter, co-director Lee Unkrich, writer Andrew Stanton, and executive producer John Lasseter.  I have always like this track and it really gives a lot of details from this amazing collection of that on the film “Monsters, Inc.” There is a “Filmmakers Round Table”, which was filmed at the Hidden City Cafe with Docter, Unkrich, producer Darla K. Anderson, and story supervisor Bob Peterson. This was produced for the Blu-ray release exclusive and it is a blast to watch the genius flow through around this table. Lastly, there is also “Mike’s New Car”, which is the very fun short from the original DVD release of “Monsters, Inc.” I would have loved to see n this converted to 3D as well as “For The Birds”.

The remainder of the special features are located on the third Blu-ray and is a mix of HD & SD extras. “Roz’s 100 Door Challenge”  is an interactive trivia game. “Pixar Fun Factory Tour” is tour of the studio offices with John Lasseter (a little dated but still fun). There are four story Featurettes focusing n the pre-production featurettes of the film. “Banished Concepts” is a collection of five abandoned scenes. “Storyboard to Film Comparison” is a split-screen look at a few scenes. “Designing Monstropolis” introduces us to to work it took to create Mike and Sulley’s city. “Set Dressing” is a look at the props and cameras used on the film. “Location Flyaround” is a 360 degree looks at some of the film’s streets, rooms, and locations.  Too bad this wasn’t in high def, would have been better.

“Monster File” is a two-part EPK with some interviews from the voice actors. “Animation” is six-part feature focusing on the process, titles and the production. “Music & Sound” loos into the sound design and also Billy Crystal and John Goodman’s cover of “If I Didn’t Have You”. “Release” is a collection of promotional material from the premiere to trailers. “Monsters Only Section” is a few more featurettes including “New Monster Adventures”, “If I Didn’t Have You” music video, “Behind the Screams” which is an interview with Mike and Sully and “Orientation” which is a trio of animated videos “Your First Day,” “History of the Monster World” and “Welcome to Monsters, Inc”.  Lastly there is an art gallery of about 900 concept images and a farewell from the filmmakers included.

3D Blu-ray Review "Silent Hill: Revelation 3D"

Actors: Adelaide Clemens, Kit Harington, Sean Bean, Carrie-Anne Moss, Malcolm McDowell
Directors: Michael J. Bassett
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Universal Studios
DVD Release Date: February 26, 2013
Run Time: 95 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

When I first saw “Silent Hill”, I wasn’t really blown away at first.  The film has grown on me since but still isn’t near perfect.  With the sequel I was really hoping that this was going to fix all the issues they had but with the first film but they leave way too many loose ends and focus too much on the back story. There are also flashbacks to the first film countless times, I would have like to seen them take the film it is own and new direction instead of holding onto the first film like a crutch.  The film is still entertaining though and visually beautiful (like the first).

If you have played the games then you know they are scary as shit.  This film (and the first) never really captured that fear aspect.  The creepiest part in the film was the nurses but nothing really scary here. Pyramid Head plays the role of the anti-hero more than a villain. When it comes to gore, there are some decent gory moments, but not very many.  Maybe I am desensitized but I was missing some major “What the F***!” moments here.

Let’s get to the aspect of the 3D.  I have to say I was very impressed with the 3D.  It feel like it was used well and almost sparingly.  It delivered some great in-your-face moments without going cheesy, while also providing some amazing depth to the town of Silent Hill.  I loved any shots with the falling ash since I felt like they really stood out well.  I might even go as far to say that the 3D was in fact the best part of this film.  Having also seen the film in 2D, it plays well but misses that depth that really binds it all together with the extra dimension.

In the video game world, “Silent Hill: Revelation” is a take on the game “Silent Hill 3”. Sean Bean returns from the first film, but really feels more like a cameo.  It is similar to the appearances from Radha Mitchell and Deborah Kara Unger, who also return from the first but only one scene in the whole film. Carrie-Anne Moss is almost unrecognizable playing Claudia Wolf, the head priestess of the order. Adelaide Clemens takes the lead in this and does a good job playing Sharon Da Silva / Heather Mason, but I couldn’t get over her resemblance to Michelle Williams.  Lastly there is another fun cameo from genre favorite Malcolm McDowell.

Official Premise: Return to a place of insanity and blood-curdling chills in this shocking sequel to one of the most surreal and gruesome horror films ever created. Heather Mason (Clemens) and her father (Bean) have always tried to stay one step ahead of the malevolent forces intent on their destruction. But on the eve of her 18th birthday, a dangerous revelation leads her deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her in a nightmarish landscape forever.

When it comes to the release itself though, Universal has all option covered here and delivers the goods. There is a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + UV Digital Copy. I mean what else can you ask for? Everything format is covered and you have the option to what this film whenever/wherever you go. The 1080p transfer is very nice with the dark colored film and works well with the 3D presentation. The audio track is also solid here with its DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  It definitely delivers the score well and adds a lot of eerie aspects to the film.

The special features or should I say lack there of is another knife for “Silent Hill: Revelation” though. There is only one VERY short behind-the-scenes featurette, running about three minutes. The good thing is that it is actually presented in 3D, which is rare for extras but it doesn’t last long enough to deliver anything worth actually watching. Where are the rest of the extras? I would have loved to seen a visual effects featurette and even a commentary track.