Grand Canyon Adventure: River At Risk 3D (IMAX)

Featured In Issue 157, May/June 2011

3D Picture5
WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Image Entertainment
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Greg MacGillivray
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Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Grand Canyon Adventure: River At Risk 3D is the IMAX 3-D production of a cautionary film about the threat to one of America's most iconic landscapes. Follow the great Colorado River as it reveals the most pressing environmental story of our time—the world's growing shortage of fresh water. Join environmental advocates Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Wade Davis as they travel deep into the Grand Canyon on a thrilling ride through raging rapids and breathtaking canyons, captured by stunning photography and sweeping aerial shots. Narrated by acclaimed actor Robert Redford and featuring the music of Dave Matthews Band, this film will leave you with a deeper respect for water everywhere and show you how you can make a difference for our parched planet. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a making-of featurette (SD 33:42), A Message From TEVA (HD 05:56), Water Saving Tips From Kohler (HD 02:51), Tara's Music Video (SD 04:06), The Film Soundtrack Sample (music only), About The Director, trailers, and BD-Live functionality.

The 1.78:1 1080p MVC 3-D picture is amazingly spectacular! Image Entertainment worked with Big Picture to optimize the 3-D image for home viewing, scanning the original 15/70 image at a minimum of 5.6K, and in some cases, 8K resolution. Resolution is excellent, with superb detailing of the various rock formations, canyon cliffs, the rocky river bed, sand bars, and foliage. Individual human features also are clearly discernible, with close-ups revealing facial textures and clothing. The imagery is perfectly natural in appearance and projects a "you-are-there" presence viewed in 3D. Colors are naturally hued with rich, earthy tones punctuated with bright hues, reflected off rafts and people's clothing. Contrast is excellent with deep, solid blacks. The picture projects an uncanny alive presence that enhances the excitement of the adventure. The 3D is stunning, from the opening shots with bubbles floating out of the screen. The wide scope and sense of depth and perspective is breathtaking, with seemingly endless expanses of canyon walls and their unique rock formations. The perception of depth is extraordinary, with every frame perfectly descriptive. The overhead panned shots of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, as well as Las Vegas, are impressively visual in 3D. While double image ghosting artifacts can be detected, mostly they are not distracting enough to dampen the unmitigated quality of the 3D. This is an incredibly fantastic 3-D visual experience, but sadly the film documents the Colorado River's continued diminishment from its once greatness and calls upon us to protect and heal the Colorado. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is nicely produced with a wonderful, informative and educational narrative by Robert Redford. The narration is well-balanced against the other sound elements, with excellent intelligibility. In the opening scene, dialogue is heard bouncing around the walls of the Grand Canyon with an aggressive directionalized presence all around the soundfield. Surround envelopment is generally strong throughout, with natural-sounding atmospherics and sound effects of water rapids. The Dave Matthews score is well recorded with a spatial frontal presence that is enhanced with effective surround envelopment. Low-frequency energy is felt during scenes in which swirling and rushing water pounds through the soundfield. This is a wonderfully supportive soundtrack to the incredibly grand 3-D imagery. (Gary Reber)