Superman and Star Trek epics coming very soon

2 epic Trailers Superman and the new Star Trek what a couple of months it will be. Both will be in 3d and large chunks of Star Trek were shot using Imax Cameras a bit like the 2nd and 3rd Batman films.

I have loved Superman since I was a kid, who doesnt want to fly. The disaster that was Superman returns looks to be forgotten by the new Man of Steele film. Its looks great judge for yourself.

These films are pure escapist stuff. For 2 hours forget your troubles and be taken into a great adventure.

Les Miserables (2012) and Life of Pi Blurays my impressions

Les Mis Blu ray

I recently acquired the Blu Ray of Les Miserables. I am not going to go into the film as such as that has been covered elsewhere but what I can say is the transfer is very pretty. It was shot on film but retains that warmth and grain film presents without being soft. The detail is wonderful you can see pours in the actors skin finite hairs in beards. The transfer has a wonderful three dimensional quality to it. I would definitely describe this as a near reference disk . The disc also comes with some great extra material not seen before. These are basically documentaries covering the history of the piece . Life of Victor Hugo and various behind the scenes short features.

Life of Pi blu ray

Life of Pi took out best director and best film at this years Academy awards. Its different ,its deep and highly spiritual. Described as one of the best uses of 3D I was let down when I saw it at the cinema. The picture was flat and lifeless . Fast forward to the Blu Ray and the story is a whole different kettle of fish “excuse the pun” set on ocean moving on. Start the disk and immediately you are struck with a gorgeous 3d menu and from there it only gets better. As the viewer you feel like your in the picture. Gimmickry is rarely used and the effect is wonderful. This film was shot digitally with plenty of CG work in the ocean scenes . I actually feel here that the 3d helps to sell the fact the kid is on a real ocean. Note the whole thing was shot in a tank. The effects have life and depth. I dont know what was going on when I saw it at the cinema . Maybe it was not set up properly. The Blu ray presents an absolute reference quality transfer. As it was shot digitally its absolutely pristine and crisp. Detail is plentiful and black levels are fantastic.
The Disk comes with a documentary which runs over an hour going into innate detail about how it was made the process of casting the boy and the process of preparing him for the role.

Incase anyone was wondering I loved this film. I thought it deserved best picture . I saw all the other nominees and just felt there was a bit of daring in the film which made it stand out. As much as I loved Les Mis life of pi really connected with me. Lincoln was a so so film with a great performance that fact was recognised on Oscars night.

The Hobbit In HFR 48FPS my take

hobbit poster

Last week I had the fortune to see the Hobbit in the new high frame rate format.
All standard movies have been filmed in 24 frames per second for over a century.
Peter Jackson has decided to film this new trilogy with this format to provide a more immersive experience, but does it work? The answer is yes and no.

There are sequences where it just looks like junk. These sequences tend to be very heavy effects laden scenes. The effects look 2 dimensional and fake. When the HFR works it works brilliantly. These sequences tend to be in natural light or sweeping New Zealand vistas . They look beautiful almost like you would walk into the screen and be there.

When the film starts the videoness of the movies look can be quite startling to people who are used to a more filmic look. It grows on you, its this for everyone no of course not ,its like 3D it would have its chosen applications. This HFR format would be fantastic for nature documentaries or anything where a feeling of realism is important to telling the story at hand.

For those who would like to geek out on further technical information about the HFR format and its use in the Hobbit, I include a few links to some of my favourite articles on the matter.

http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2012/12/22/237826_entertainment.html

http://gizmodo.com/5969817/the-hobbit-an-unexpected-masterclass-in-why-48-fps-fails

So after all this talk about the technical aspects of the film the question remains ,is the movie any good?

At 3 hours I only felt it dragged at the beginning whilst Bilbo was still in his house. Once the journey got going it was a lot of fun. My problem with the film really is the fact there is not a lot of story. This comes from a book that isnt very thick ,and is a children’s book made simpler to appeal to younger people.
I do feel making it a trilogy is a way to drag out the income from this franchise. The story isnt as rich as the Lord of the rings trilogy. There is a lot of time standing around talking about story points that seem out of place. I did enjoy it I found it moved along at a good pace and kept me interested. The HFR didn’t work all the time for me and the story felt light and less meaty than Lord Of the Rings. In years to come I do feel from a technical stand point that this film may the a water shed in technology for the future of cinema.

Already James Cameron has signed up to shoot Avatar 2 in this same format. I believe with time and development, this technology could be incredible.

3d Movies what the cinemas never tell you.

So you are going to a new 3D movie. Exciting hey?
What the cinemas never tell is how the 3D effect drops of the more off axis you are from the screen.
I recently went to see the Life Of PI as it was the first day of the film seating was limited.
We sat on the side aisle . So the film starts I could barely see any 3D depth.
Just consider for a second the theatres told you this was the case they would have to sell you the side tickets more cheaply.

I for one love 3D , but I am also a realist the technology is far from perfect. It doesn’t work for anyone with eye tracking problems.
It can hurt and even make you feel sick if your eyes are not rite. Yes you have to sit straight in front of it.
My 3D tv at home works in a very similar way the effect drops off when off axis. But when I am viewing from straight ahead its very strong.

My other tip is this. When deciding where to sit in a theatre for a 3d presentation , make sure that your field of view is covered by the screen.
Visual distractions can also ruin the 3D effects . Put simply sit back and not to far forward as being to far forward can induce motion sickness.

4 weeks on 3d tv some obervations

I have had my 3d TV now for over a months. I thought I would ad some further reflections on what I like and what I dislike.
Firstly 3D looks just terrible in light rooms. For it to really take effect the room must be pitch black.
My favourite 3D bluray is Peter Gabriel new blood concert in 3D Peter Gabriel

The 3D element is fantastic. I was at this concert for the shoot. The depth the lighting really gives you the feeling of being in the theatre. The music is sublime the mix fantastic. It is a true demo disk. I really feel live concerts are really suited to 3d . Where the New Blood concert also works , it avoids rapid cutting. I find rapid editing within the 3D realm can induce headaches. But no it doesn’t happen here.

My next favourite is HUGO.
hugo_poster_02__span

Hugo was shot digitally using the 3D process. The 3D here is used to create space and give you a feeling of being in the small spaces within the train station Hugo inhabits. I feel the 3D here enhances the story rather than distracts from it.

These two examples are great ones. But I have seen some horrible 3D to.
Anything that is converted to 3D avoid at all costs . It doesn’t look any good it tends to look like multiple layers of flat card board cutouts .

SMART 3d TV in the home.

Last week, we acquired a new Samsung 3d smart television .

I have been very excited about the smart television platform as in my opinion and others this is the future of home entertainment and media.

Consider a day when you the viewer can watch what you want when you want.

Consider also no matter what your interest there will be content for you when you want it.

How will this work? Production houses ,organisations small companies and big companies will be able to develop smart apps. These apps will like smart phone apps deliver content via your internet connection. Some will be pay per view some will have subscriptions and a lot will be free.

But and here is the but ,the future is already here. Most television manufactures already have smart tv platforms. They work in mostly the same way to an iphone . They have a app store where you download your apps, you install the app and your away.

Already there are apps for streaming movie rentals , 3d streaming short films an english theatre app to view plays from the UK just to name a few.

3D in your TV, I have the spectacle of 3d since I was a child. I understand why it is contraversial .

Most things they say about 3d are rite. The picture is darker , it can give you a headache and the glasses can be annoying. In my opinion this is the worst case scenario . At its best its exciting ,immersive and genuinely fantastic. There are varying factors as to what you will need to get the best from 3d.

Firstly content, bad 3d will give you eye strain. Forget those silly things flying at you. I hate that. 3d is at its very best when used it a subtle way giving depth to space . I have seen it used brilliantly in a film called PINA which was a documentary about dance. The camera would be in between the dancers giving a feeling of space and depth only possible before by being in the actual theatre.

Gaming is also fantastic in 3d Batman Arkham city is fantastic in 3d. Just watch Batman glide through the city as the buildings pass you by.

I am not saying its perfect or for everyone. But as an added extra that comes with your TV its a fantastic feature. In the end if you dont like it dont use it.