Best BluRay 3D Releases

New to the world of BluRay 3D? Come here to see what the best disks to get are!

Worst BluRay 3D Releases

If you're new to BluRay 3D there are disks you want to avoid at all costs. If you see a movie here it's best to avoid.

MIA BluRay 3D

These movies were made with 3D in mind but are not available to buy on BluRay 3D.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Paramount sets date for BluRay 3D!

Studio Report Card

Which studios are producing the best BluRay 3D's in the market? We look at them here!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Should You See "Justice League" in RealD 3D or IMAX 2D?

Here we go again.  I didn't think I would be writing an article like this again so soon after I wrote extensively about "Blade Runner 2049," but it appears that if you are a fan of 3D movies and IMAX movies, you have a choice to make if you want to see "Justice League."  Now, personally, I don't think the movie is worth seeing in any format.  Like, really, truly not worth seeing in any format.  That said, I know there are many of you reading this that DO want to see it, and want to know whether it is worth seeing in RealD 3D or IMAX 2D!  Unlike last time we went through this, I actually managed to see the movie in both formats in the last few days, so I think I can properly judge which version is the best.  And before we continue I need to stress this: I saw "Justice League" TWICE within three days so I could do this comparison 'justice,' so don't let my pain go to waste!

Okay?  Ok...

Unlike "Blade Runner 2049," director Zach Snyder ways always shooting "Justice League" to be a 3D movie.  Granted, he was filming in 2D with the intention of upconversion later on, but he was still framing certain shots knowing that they would have a third dimension down the road.  However, tragedy struck when his daughter committed suicide, and suddenly making a dark superhero movie wasn't a top priority anymore, and so he stepped down as director, and Joss Whedon was brought in to finish the film.  It should be noted that for Synder this was absolutely the right thing to do and I don't fault him one bit for it.  That is a bit of a wake up call, and if it comes down to family and a pick family every single time.  That said, when Whedon came onboard there was no way he could really know what Synder was going for, and from all accounts the studio heads weren't impressed with the film as it was coming along anyway, and tasked Whedon with retooling it.

Though Synder still receives sole directing credit, apparently Whedon changed a LOT of what was originally there, wrote new scenes, and even cut whole characters out of the movie!  He added more color.  Also, he wasn't shooting with 3D in mind.  And even if he was there was only a small chance that it would match with Snyder's vision.  That means, when you watch the movie in general, the film is a visual and tonal mess.  It is almost fascinating to watch because you can very clearly tell what scenes are Synder scenes and what scenes are Whedon scenes.  You can feel the differences from sequence to sequence, and there is almost no consistency to the final project.  This, I'm sorry to say, extends to the 3D version.  Watching "Justice League" in 3D is frustrating as it is WILDLY inconsistent in quality!  There are scenes when the 3D is popping and everything is working as it should, reminding us of how good 3D can be.

Then you have...the other scenes.  The "other" scenes is where the 3D is jerky, ghosty, and in some cases down right flat looking.  These scenes may be the worst 3D I've seen in a LONG time!  It's "The Last Airbender" and "Clash of the Titans" level of bad!  It is very, very discouraging to see the transfer get as bad as it does at times.  Also, I guess I should note, that even when the 3D is good, it isn't that good.  It's good enough to pass with two action sequences being of especially high quality, but otherwise there isn't much to write home about.  So, while the RealD 3D version of "Justice League" is far from a total wash, it is inconsistent enough to make seeing it in IMAX 2D the preferred option.  Seeing that Warner Bros. is one of the few companies still releasing BluRay 3D's (minus "Blade Runner 2049" of course), I'm hoping they will fix the 3D to be more viewable at home, but we'll just have to wait and see. 

The only thing that doesn't make this a black and white situation is that whether you are watching a good 2D version and a sometimes good/sometimes bad 3D version, the bottom line is you're still seeing "Justice League."  Unlike "Blade Runner 2049," this isn't a movie worth seeing in either format, and it's not like either one really helps or hurts the movie anymore than it already does.  So I think the question of this post is sort of moot when you get down to it.  Whether you see something in 3D or 2D I think we can all agree you want that movie to be good.  And - seeing that MoviePass isn't going to get you into either of these premium formats anyway - it might just be worth passing this one up altogether and save your money for what is surely going to be a far superior theatrical experience in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."  If you must see this I guess I sort of lean towards IMAX 2D, but the 3D version has enough good moments that neither is a total waste.

Friday, November 10, 2017

IMAX Scraps 3D Version of "Justice League"

My earlier suspicions were correct: IMAX has scrapped the 3D release of "Justice League."  Early posters for the movie proudly touted the movie as being an IMAX 3D release...only to slowly get away from that claim and just being advertised as being "in IMAX."  Though this may not be the final listing, so far...

...NO ticket pre-orders are selling any showings of the movie that are in 3D, which means its pretty unlikely there will be any when the time comes!  This contributes more to the notion that IMAX is getting out of the 3D game, but it should be noted this seems like an exception to the rule rather than the norm.  Right now "Thor: Ragnorok" is playing in IMAX theaters with 2D and 3D showings being split pretty much down the middle.  "Geostorm" was shown completely in 3D regardless where it played.  "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" will have some 2D showings, however the vast majority will be in 3D.  Which means, since making the original announcement, "Justice League" will be only the SECOND release to ditch 3D from a movie that has a 3D version available (the first being "Blade Runner 2049" of course).

What is odd about this movie is that originally it was being directed by Zach Snyder, who stepped away from the project after his daughter tragically committed suicide (and my thoughts and prayers are still with him).  Joss Whedon was brought in to finish the film, but in the process has apparently restructured the film, has written lots of new scenes, cut Lex Luthor from the film, and has made the movie more humorous and colorful.  From many accounts, it is now more Whedon's film than Snyder's.  Why do I mention this?  Because while Snyder was making a movie that he knew was going to be converted to 3D, Whedon might not have been.  Granted, he HAS directed 3D films before ("The Avengers" and "The Avengers: Age of Ultron"), but he might have been too busy fixing the movie to worry about how it was going to be presented in 3D!  Warner Bros. does have a conversion in the can, but it might not compliment the scenes Whedon has directed, and it's entirely possible the director told IMAX not to bother projecting the it that was as a result.

Or, maybe, "Thor: Ragnorok" really did sell more 2D tickets than 3D.  Look, it's entirely possible.  I personally think that if you did that you made a mistake because the 3D in that movie was extremely well done and immersive, and it reminded me why I loved 3D movies so much.  There's no solid numbers on that though, so...I can't comment on it.  Right now I'm thinking the lack of an IMAX 3D release has more to do with changing directors than anything.  However, I will do my due diligence and see the movie in both formats and give you my two cents on them, and which one you should see.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Where Has the Discussion of "Thor: Ragnorok" Been? (UPDATE: Strikes Over)

It's amazing how fast a situation can turn around.  I wanted to write about the Disney boycott of journalism, but didn't have time to write a proper piece this morning.  I filmed this quick YouTube video sharing my thoughts on the matter with the intention of elaborating later on.  Now the video will serve as a prequel to my thoughts on the situation now that Disney has 'unbanned' the Los Angeles Times from future movie screenings.

So that was this morning.  What's the current status of the boycott?  Well, Disney has officially decided to de-blacklist the LA Times.  In an announcement this afternoon they stated:

We’ve had productive discussions with the newly installed leadership at the Los Angeles Times regarding our specific concerns, and as a result, we’ve agreed to restore access to advance screenings for their film critics.

Alright, so...that's the end of discussion right?  The LA Times can go to Disney movies again, critics pledged a boycott until the decision was publicly rescinded, so everything's cool right?  In my mind, no, things are not alright.  It would have been one thing if Disney publicly apologized for being a bully.  It would have spoken volumes if Bob Iger admitted he crossed a line and pledged not to do so again.  Instead, Disney simply claimed that they discussed their concerns with "new leadership" and have agreed to restore their access to movies.  Really...that's it?  Alright, let's discuss two major problems with this statement.  The first is that I was unaware that there was "new leadership" at the LA Times.  What does that even mean?  Are they talking about management?  I mean, there COULD be new managers...but considering the paper is without controversy except this one issue (with which they have had overwhelming support) it seems odd that the paper would have to shake up management at all!

Personally, I want the LA Times to personally confirm this is true and who the new bosses/leaders/writers even are.  The second problem I have is even if this is true, then the reasons for Disney lifting their ban are actually far, FAR worse!  It gives off the impression that Disney got their way in the end.  They got old bosses/leaders/writers fired (for what appears to have been accurate reporting), new people got installed, Disney lawyers told them what's what, and THEN they agreed to let them back into their movies!  This doesn't bother anyone?  Not one?  I mean, for the record, I think the Disney's explanation is total bullshit (sorry mom, I could be in legal trouble if I use the nicer word...seriously).  I don't believe the LA Times has new faces overseeing the business.  I don't believe the LA Times agreed with any of Disney's assertions (the lack of retraction speaks volumes in that area).  I believe Disney realized this was an unwinnable battle and a potential public relations disaster.

They have awards to win.  They have Star Wars to push.  They have a Best Animated Feature Oscar that they have had a monopoly on for YEARS (and they sure as heck aren't giving it up to "Loving Vincent" or "A Silent Voice")!  The critics weren't going to back down and in doing so became supported in ways they hadn't been for a long time.  Dare I say it, the critics were even relevant for the first time in years these past few days.  They had no reason to back down.  That wouldn't be a big deal for Disney in and of itself though.  What really did it was that the critics guilds jointly disqualified Disney's films, thus cutting out the first phase in what award bloggers refer to as "The Whisper Campaign," and not having that could cost movies like "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," "Coco," "Queen of Katwe," and the various Marvel movies early ammo for the big awards.  Also, what if the Hollywood Foreign Press Association decided to join the boycott?  They support free press and (more importantly) run the highly successful (for some reason) Golden Globe Awards.  A shut out there could be devastating, so Disney likely didn't want it to get to that point.

They couldn't just admit any wrong doing though.  That would look bad on the company and Iger (who is considering a presidential run when his contract with Disney expires in 2019), so this (likely) bullshit story about new management was created and the ban was lifted, and Disney is hoping things go back to normal.  What's concerning is that if some articles are to be believed, the critics won this round.  I can say with safety and a straight face they did not.  If the critics and the guilds let Disney enter the awards race they have lost.  Disney still walked over everyone, tried to destroy the ethnics of journalism, and got to make up their own story and walk away scot free.  You can write your own happy ending in the movies, but this is real life, and Disney can't be allowed to do that.  I believe the shutout from awards needs to stand (and be expanded to bigger awards, if necessary).  The story that the LA Times has new leadership needs to be confirmed or denied in detail.  If it's true, Disney AND the Times needs to be held to the fire as these "discussions" could be a HUGE conflict of interest in the industry!

If the story of the times getting new management is not true, Disney needs to be publically questioned for slander.  In any scenario the Mouse owes the industry and apology that at least sounds sincere.  Otherwise there is no lesson learned, and the company will go back to their bullying ways and revisionist history.  I suppose we'll just have to wait and see how this plays out, but in my eyes the story isn't over by a longshot.  If it is then it will be the most depressing cop out in journalism I've seen in a long time.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Is "Blade Runner 2049" Worth Seeing in RealD 3D?

After more than a couple weeks of being out in theaters, I was finally able to get away from family obligations and government paperwork to see "Blade Runner 2049" a second time.  While I have not written a review of the movie due to excessive writers block (as well as potentially rethinking my career as a writer), I will say that this is so far the best film I've seen this year.  It has made me think about things in ways that I never thought I would, it is smart in ways that few movies are, and it is more interesting the second time around.  Everything is beautiful to look at and the acting is appropriately subtle in what is being said with silence.  It is a modern masterpiece and the fact that no one is turning out to see it shows that people deserve the sorry state of the movie business they currently have.  If you haven't seen it yet, I think you are missing out on an experience you may potentially feel is great.

However, should you see it in IMAX 2D or RealD 3D?  That is the question I asked in a previous article, and I've been slowly answering that question throughout the month.  For someone who loves 3D so much that he'll maintain a blog about the format, it is amazing that it took me as long as it did to see it in this format.  However, the preferred viewing method for this film has been one of much speculation, and after some digging I came to the conclusion that the film makers wanted the film to be seen in 2D.  Still, I wanted to see what the 3D looked like, so I bought a ticket to a XD 3D screening late at night (with Auro 1.11 sound to boot!).  I watched the movie and soaked up the brilliant film making once more.  I also paid attention to the 3D, how it was used, and how it affected the overall experience of the movie.  And now that I've seen the movie in both IMAX 2D and RealD 3D I can safely say that the "Blade Runner 2049" in 3D experience is...ok.

Yeah, that's pretty much all I can muster for it.  It's funny to think I've been writing about this topic for months on end, decrying IMAX for not projecting it in the first place, using it as the reason they won't show 3D movies anymore, having them pretty much back off on that claim pretty quickly, and then finding out that key people who made the movie weren't that impressed with the 3D, it's frustrating because it feels like I've been doing all this complaining for virtually nothing. Because what we ultimately have is a 3D experience that does not detract from your enjoyment of the movie, but doesn't add a whole lot either.  This is especially frustrating because this has all the makings of a great 3D experience.  The kind that could have sat with "Avatar" and "Life of Pi" as being one of the best to be had yet.

There are long, slow shots.  Quick editing is nowhere to be found.  There are vast, open spaces to help 3D emphasize the space between the characters and the world.  Many scenes involve airships in the air and flying.  The pacing and sets are placed so perfectly, that there was a possibility for total emersion on the audiences end, to be literally be sucked into the world and in the middle of it all.  If ever there was a movie I look at and think "this would be SOO much better in 3D," this would be it!  It should be it.  It's not though.  The 3D experience I had with "Blade Runner 2049" was one of minor depth in the background, a few pop out effects for passing buildings, but not a whole lot else.  Even the scene where Joe talks to the prostitute hologram (as seen at the top of this article) - a scene that begs to surround the audience and suck them into the world - only sort of pops out (and certainly never surrounds you).

However, it should be noted this is an up-converted job, and those really can only go so far.  So why didn't Denis Villeneuve just film the thing in 3D?  I don't know.  Really, I don't.  The shooting style of the film goes in hand with the techniques of 3D so perfectly I find it frustrating that the director just couldn't see it.  Or maybe he did and just didn't care?  It is true that the best live action 3D experiences have come from directors who are known for being true masters of the art of cinema: Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Alfonso Cuaron, Steven Spielberg (alright, that ones animated, but it was SHOT like a live action film), James Cameron, George Miller, and Peter Jackson have delivered the best 3D experiences by far.  I would argue that Villeneuve is in that league of directors and could have pulled it off.  Either he didn't see the potential 3D could bring to the project, or he simply didn't care to.

So, for what it's worth folks, I'm really sorry I made a bigger deal of a 3D version of "Blade Runner 2049" than I had any right to.  I got caught up in IMAX threatening (in a round about way) that 3D experiences in the theaters would be in jeopardy if this movie did well in it's 2D only release.  I got caught up in the lack of BluRay 3D releases we continue to get.  I got excited by the potential of this movie being in 3D.  Ultimately, the experience is average.  Not lukewarm enough to completely ruin the experience, but lukewarm enough that it makes wearing the glasses a royal pain to have to wear.  I hate having to admit this, but I want to be honest with my readers, and the sad reality is that "Blade Runner 2049" is not the 3D experience that was worth dying on a mountain for.  The other sad reality is that is very well could have been, which may be more frustrating than the 3D simply not being very good.

Monday, October 16, 2017

"Geostorm" to be Released in IMAX 3D

"Geostorm" is one of those really weird movies that comes along once in awhile that makes one scratch their head and wonder who greenlit it?  Who do they expect to see it?  Who is interested?  Who decided there was enough demand to put it on a really expensive theater and charge $20 a ticket for?  I don't know the answer to any of those answers, but whatever they are, "Geostorm" is a thing, and it's coming to theaters October 20th.  What's more interesting though is that a search for listings on IMAX's official website shows that ALL showings of the movie (thus far) are going to be in IMAX 3D!  Is the banishment of 3D movies over for the chain?  Still too early to say, but I think "Blade Runner 2049" did more damage by only being shown in 2D.  Yeah, that's how it was SUPPOSED to be seen, but this is why the company needed to be upfront about it rather than use the format as an excuse to explain away sagging ticket sales!

Numbers don't lie and the numbers have shown only one thing really: that people will see the movies they are interested in seeing and skip the ones they aren't.  If IMAX wants to turn their numbers around they need to first and foremost focus on getting movies people want to see, movies that take advantage of the giant screen, and get more deals with companies to shoot in IMAX cameras so that more image is available exclusively on their theaters.  Once that's over they might want to open more IMAX screens that are truly giant, own the theaters the screens are on, lower the ticket costs a little bit, maybe partner with MoviePass and Sinemia to attract more people to their screens, and just try to be a better experience all around.  With that said, some people likely want to ask me if I think "Geostorm" will prove to be a hit and show that 3D is still a viable format.  No, I don't believe it will.  I'm not under the impression the movie will do all that good at the box office in general, which may prove my point about 3D more or may prove it less.  We'll just have to see how the stockholders feel.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

"Blade Runner 2049" NOT Coming to BluRay 3D?

"Blade Runner 2049" is one of the best movies of the year.  So far, it may even be the best one I've seen.  It's the rare intelligent grand spectacle that Hollywood used to make, but now doesn't unless they have superheroes in them.  It has also been a key movie at the center of a big controversy: can it prove that audiences aren't interested in 3D?  IMAX used it as a scapegoat to justify showing more 2D movies (only to have it bomb at theaters).  However, then it was reported that both the director and cinematographer were unhappy with the 3D version, and preferred people see it in 2D.  Now the movie has been announced for pre-order on both 4K and BluRay, but no BluRay 3D version has been announced.  Of course, this doesn't mean we're not getting a 3D release, but it's becoming increasingly unlikely that we do get one if it isn't announced upfront.

What's working in the films favor is that Warner Bros. is handling domestic distribution of the film, and they have been very consistent supporters of the 3D format.  That doesn't mean their stance won't change at some point, but for the time being there is not a lot to suggest they are dropping out now (other movies beyond "Blade Runner 2049" are receiving BluRay 3D releases).  Working against the film are key film makers who don't really care if audiences see the film in 3D or not.  Personally...I haven't seen it in 3D.  I'm going to be making my way out to see it in 3D in a few days.  I have seen it in IMAX 2D and loved the experience.  It LOOKS like a movie that would benefit from 3D, but then the 2D image was so perfect I could just as easily understand why a third dimension could potentially hurt it.  I'm on the fence on whether this is a bad thing or not.  Once I see the movie in 3D I'll let you know if the controversy was worth all the fuss it received (including from me), but for the time being the movie is up for pre-order and there's no 3D version to be found, so take from that what you will.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" Poster Advertises IMAX 3D

The most recent posters for movies that have been coming out to IMAX have been omitting the word '3D' from advertisements.  This happened for "Justice League," "Thor: Ragnorak," and (most obviously) "Blade Runner 2049."  I assume IMAX has been vague about the '3D' part because they were in the process of pulling away from 3D movies, and didn't want to be falsely advertising them.  Then "Blade Runner 2049" didn't bring in any more movie goers than most of their 3D movies did.  That raised the question on whether or not the company would stick with their new policy or back track a little bit.  Well, while I can't point to this as a definite reversal of policy, when "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" tickets went on sale, I was quick to point out that way more theaters were showing it in 3D and that 2D showings were (at the moment), hard to find.  Well, a new poster for the movie has emerged, and the most telling thing is that it is once again advertising the movie is going to be in IMAX 3D.

So, at least for this movie, IMAX Corporation is pushing the 3D version as the version to see.  I guess we'll see how long THAT lasts!