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Alice In Wonderland (3D/2D) (2010) Print E-mail
Monday, 13 December 2010
ImageThis is a review for the 3D combo pack of “Alice In Wonderland.”  For more detailed information on the film itself, please visit the original 2D Blu-ray review of the film here.

Just to recap, “Alice In Wonderland” brings fantastic imagery to the forefront and leaves the story uninspired.  The original tale of “Alice In Wonderland,” based on Lewis Carroll’s story, is imaginative and well developed.  This new adventure lacks that imagination and puts CGI before story.

While some may like Depp’s portrayal of the Mad Hatter, there are an equal number that find his performance overdone, or at least far to similar to numerous past performances by the veteran actor.  Will I don’t think whether or not Depp’s acting impacts the real emotion beyond the film, for me it made the film a bit more indecisive.  The story is buried, with no real development or motivation behind each scene.

Over time I have become less of a fan of Tim Burton.  His visual style now seems to impose upon the effectiveness of a film.  While this is certainly a matter of taste, there are sure to be others that will, or have already, grown weary of Burton’s redundant visual style.

All that said, and more in the original review of the film, the 3D experience of the makes much of that almost disappear.  As 3D is still a novelty, and probably will be for quite some time, the audience forgets about the film nearly entirely.  Having already seen the film I was less interested in the film and more interested in what 3D has to offer.  While this is a native 2D film that has been converted to 3D, most audiences will not no the wiser.
“Alice In Wonderland” comes with a stunning 3D presentation that ranks with the best 3D films currently out there.  Of course this number is few so there is not a large basin for comparison.  Still, it is hard for me to imagine 3D looking much better.  If only 1080p 3D projectors were really available for home theaters then this experience would have been magnificent on a 9-foot screen.

As it stands, on a 50-inch Panasonic plasma, the 3D presentation is sure to enthrall.  As you begin to watch 3D Blu-ray films you will inevitably notice that most of the 3D presentation takes place within the screen and far beyond its physical depth.  Those 3D-pushing commercials where bodies are breaking through the screen and leaping toward the audience, or where marine life comes soaring over your head is a fallacy.  While there are usually a couple of instances in which the movement comes out of the screen, it is almost always loses its focus and resolution by the time is halfway from the screen.  Our eyes cannot adjust that quickly.

With “Alice In Wonderland” there is some terrific lingering sequences that provide excellent “out of the picture” 3D quality.  When the leaves fall in the forest it seems like they are falling right in your living room.  While I can’t say that 3D makes this happening all around you, it comes close.  More impressive than “out of the screen” effect, is the depth.  Take a look at any of the moments in the film when there is a crowd of people or playing cards as it may be, and examine the image for depth.  It is stunning how clear the people are as each row goes further and further into the depths.  This is where Full HD 3D is a real nice feature to have.

For those that have this 3D technology, you already know that it is superior over the age-old anaglyph 3D presentations that used red/blue, green/magenta paper glasses.  The biggest difference is simply color.  With anaglyph you are reduced to seeing colors that can be created using those color-paired glasses.  With active 3D glasses you retain full color.  In “Alice In Wonderland” color is amazingly important.  When Alice enters Underland, the colors of the flowers are stunning and they are now in 3D depth.  You can’t ask for much more than that.  The oranges of the Mad Hatter are brilliantly rendered.

The 3D effect of the film works best in the brighter, daytime sequences.  However, the darker sequences still have nice depth, with black levels still crushing on occasion as with the original 2D presentation.  Still, this 3D presentation is hard to beat.  Ghosting isn’t an issue but on perhaps a couple of occasions.  This largely has to do with how far you are sitting from the 3D TV.  Our eyes cannot adjust quick enough the closer you get.  So if you see a lot of ghosting on this presentation, which you shouldn’t, try adjusting the contrast and sharpness settings of your television and/or sitting a bit further away.

As far as I am concerned, 3D video would not really be 3D without high-quality, fully immersive audio.  The 3D Blu-ray contains the same magnificent DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track that was present on the original 2D Blu-ray disc.  The detail of the sound effects in the rear channels is much more engaging when coupled with the 3D video presentation.  Dialogue remains intelligible for the most part.  There are a couple of instances in which the dialogue falls into obscurity.  Directionality almost makes much more sense when the movie is shown in 3D.  The move of rubble and evaporating effects is spot on with the 3D movement.  This doesn’t happen all that often, but this audio and video goes together like peanut butter and jelly.

“Alice In Wonderland” comes in a four-disc 3D combo pack.  This is perhaps a bit annoying for those that already have the first 2D Blu-ray release.  A separate 3D Blu-ray only disc should be sold, but perhaps this would create confusion for retailers and consumers.  In any event, Disney is offering a rebate for those that purchase this combo pack who already purchased the original release.  This is four-disc set includes a 3D Blu-ray, the original 2D Blu-ray, a DVD Copy and a Digital Copy.

The 3D Blu-ray simply contains the feature film with no bonus materials.  Probably should get used to that as having two side-bu-side, or top-bottom full HD images is going to take up quite the disc space.  All this is fine by me.  I always thought studios should offer a disc with solely high-quality audio and video and now we get that with 3D.

The bonus materials are located on the 2D Blu-ray disc and are exactly the same as the original 2D release.  Please visit the original review for more details on the supplements.

“Alice In Wonderland” is not the perfect movie but it comes close to being the perfect 3D experience.  3D makes this film much for enjoyable than its 2D counterpart.  It is far more engaging.  For those that loved the original 2D presentation, then you will be floored by the 3D presentation.  For those that did not care so much for the film originally, should give it another chance in 3D mode.  It might surprise you.  Highly recommended.

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