Dinosaurs Alive! 3D (IMAX)

Featured In Issue 157, May/June 2011

3D Picture3
WSR Score4
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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A, B & C
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Bayley Silleck & David Clark
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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Dinosaurs Alive! 3D is the IMAX 3-D production that follows the world's preeminent paleontologists as they uncover some of history's most astonishing dinosaur finds. Travel across the exotic dunes of the Gobi Desert and along the sandstone buttes of New Mexico as scientists make brand-new discoveries about dinosaur behavior and their environments and find what could be the oldest dinosaur ever unearthed in North America. With stunningly realistic and scientifically accurate CGI, these amazing creatures come a big way. Narrated by Michael Douglas. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a making-of featurette (HD 26:41), a "Meet The Creatures" slide and clip show, trailers, and BD-Live functionality.

While produced for exhibition in IMAX 3D, the 1.78:1 1080p MVC 3-D picture often disappoints. As with other Image Entertainment 3-D releases, the company worked with Big Picture to optimize the 3-D image for home viewing. Still, something is terribly amiss, as this presentation is at times too unstable and distracting to watch. Viewers will be distracted by annoying "ghosting" or "double images" throughout, often reflecting a sizable "ghost" the size of the creatures and the people shown. This is the worst occurrence of ghosting yet seen on a 3-D Blu-ray. Something is amiss because the opening and end animation and credit roll is rock solid and pristine and exhibits excellent 3D, as well as a few scenes. Of course, when the artifacts are not distracting, the 3D is imaginatively realistic. Still, it is pointless to discuss the other picture attributes, except that the 3-D presentation is overall darker but similar to the 2-D presentation, which is far superior in allowing one to appreciate the superb dinosaur animation. Detailing is solid throughout the 2-D presentation during various scenes of sand dunes and earth-covering fossils. Colors are naturally hued, with warm browns and orange tints. Black levels are nicely balanced. Fleshtones of scientists and students appear naturally rendered. While generally undistinguished, the picture exhibits reasonable quality, but not reference quality. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audioô 5.1 soundtrack is an excellent documentary experience. Fidelity is good. The orchestral music score is well recorded with a wide and deep soundstage, with an appreciative presence in the surround channels. Dialogue is forward sounding, but then this is pretty much an ADR production. Michael Douglas does a wonderful job narrating the storytelling, with intelligible and clean diction. Atmospheric and sound effects enhance the imagination of what dinosaurs would have sounded like. Dinosaur growls and snarls are realistic and often provide instances of jolting terror, enhanced by strong .1 LFE bass. In the Gobi desert scene winds swirl around the soundfield, and in other scenes rain and thunderstorms pound, for impressive effect. Even dinosaur screeches and movements are effectively communicated, to enhance observing their mysterious world. This is a well-conceived and produced soundtrack. (Gary Reber)