How to Own 3D Blu-Ray's Free & Which Movies are the Best? Reviews Will Help You Decide.

3-D television
3-D television | Source
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Drive Angry receive 4 stars
Drive Angry receive 4 stars | Source
Underworld Awakening receives 3 1/2 Stars
Underworld Awakening receives 3 1/2 Stars | Source

A Kid in Love with 3-D

Note: Ice Age Continental Drift, and Resident Evil: Retribution appear at the very bottom.

Vote for your favorites from this list.

When I was a kid, I became fascinated with 3-D comics and that sense of wonder has stuck with me. The only thing that was ever 3-D were comic books and they were far and few between. When 3-D reemerged more recently in theatrical releases; particularly "Avatar', things shifted into high gear. When I discovered that any high definition picture could be viewed in the 3-D format at the push of a button on the remote, I was hooked and promptly bought one.

This list is getting a bit long and will be concluded at the end of December and then we can begin fresh with the upcoming 2013 releases. This article will remain as a reference.

While the simulated 3-D can be viewed off of the high def cable box; the 3-D Blu-ray is where this format comes alive in a spectacular manner. There is a relatively small selection of 3-D Blu-ray titles available, but I suspect this list will grow very rapidly in the upcoming year.

List for Guys & Gals : I'm going to skip most of the animated features like Shrek and Cars 2 and simply recommend them for your children. The titles are in no particular order, however I place the latest reviews and releases at the bottom. Feel free to skip around for the title you wish to see reviewed.

Avatar: This is the best title ever and the spectacular imagery is worth many viewings. Four Star

Wrath of the Titans 3D:

“A great war erupted between the gods weakened by humanity’s devotion.” The plot doesn’t matter much. It’s pretty much the same as the earlier versions in which Perseus, half-god, half-human is needed to settle the business of saving the universe from Kronos. What does matter is that this is a special effects extravaganza with gorgeous sets and costumes thrown into the mix. Two highlights worked for me. There is a labyrinth that the characters must work through like a mouse in a maze and that struck me as truly original and the final battle with Kronos was another epic special effects extravaganza. The Cyclops scenes were great too. If you enjoyed the Clash of the Titians, get busy and purchase this as it is even more spectacular. This movie brought in much less that n the previous movie and the weak plot was a big part of the dissappointment.

I did tire of the scenes in hades with Zeus being tortured and this may be too much for younger viewers. I suspect this was a turnoff for most viewers and the reason for the lower ratings. If something else had been done here, the movie would have been much better. The final batle with Kronos is not as good as the battle with Kracken in the "Clash of the Titans."

It is a strong 2 1/2 STARS for this visually oriented viewer. For most of us,it is not going to be as well liked as Clash of the Titians.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

The description reads, “Johnny is hiding out in a remote part of Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect of a church to save a young boy from the devil. At, first,. Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider, but it is the only way to protect the boy and possibly rid himself of the curse forever.”

I did enjoy the first Ghost Rider movie and it looked to me from the previews that they stepped it up a notch in this 2nd film with the special effects in the trailer. They did lots of great special effects, battle scenes, and auto chase scenes that are quite spectacular. The Best Buy version contains a bonus disc that describes the making of the film. I did learn that the film was filmed in 2D and then converted in the labs. They considered shooting it with the bulky 3D cameras and decided against it as they directors needed more flexibility with all the action sequences. I must have been the correct decision as the action sequences are spectacular. The movies has a plausible story and, of course, Nicholas Cage, brings the entire movie up a notch. All the actors are terrific and the villain was up to the task with a great make-up job. It’s a rollercoaster thrill ride from beginning to end that earns 3 STARS.

The trailer appears at the bottom of this page. Enjoy

John Carter 3D:

I am probably the biggest John Carter fan in the entire world! I read the pulps many years ago and presently own the largest John Carter, Warlord of Mars collection in the World. And I sell them certified all over the globe. With all the hoopla about the big budget and the worried investors, the financial end of it was a disappointment. Everyone made money and the film opened global and brought in $100 million ( or was it $200 million?) before it opened in the USA. Let’s be fair—this is one of the big movies of all time. If they had brought it in for $100 millions, I imagine the investors would have been dancing in the streets.

Okay then, lots of critics gave it the bad mouth.

Not this viewer!

This has a George Lucas touch to it and anyone who thinks Star Wars is worth watching will jump up and down in 4 star excitement. Gorgeous, spectacular sets abound in every scene, just like Star Wars. Many of the scenes, like the battle in the coliseum, are reminiscent of Star wars films. It has a wonderful plot with a big romance featuring a gorgeous Deja Thoris. Oh,oh—I think I am in love! This does make me look forward to the new Star Wars 3D that is supposed to appear soon. The $200 million was well spent as it really shows. Don’t miss this one. 4 Stars.

Journey 2 The Mysterious Island:

This is fun formula movie making on a budget. Duane Johnson is the likeable star and Michael Cain, not shown on the cover, is a pleasant surprise. The special effects are sometime cheesy, but only by recent standards set by Avatar, John Carter and others. You’ll see actors doing the usual blue screen flying around on giant bees, pretty much like the special effects tour at Disneyland. It doesn’t matter as this isn’t meant to be taken seriously anyway. Now, I love any scene that has lots of panoramic scenery and dense tropical foliage in 3D and I must give it four stars in that department. The artists who designed the sets did a marvelous job here, sometimes coming close to the settings in Tim Burton’s Alice and Wonderland. This is comparable to the recent Gulliver’s Travels in story and production value with less humor. If a clever plot is important to you, you can bypass this one, however this is enjoyable fare for the whole family and I think an enjoyable 3 STARS is in order here.

Underworld Awakening:

Kate Beckinsale continues to star in this series where Vampire and Lycan clans batle to eradicate the humans species. The story doesn't matter than much as it is the dazzling special effects, mainly the Vampires and Lycon battles that steal the show. Whenever an animated Lycon appears the visual experience is intense. If you like Vampires and crazed Lycons battling in fast moving vehicles and a high body colunt , this is going to be your cup of tea.This is a big budget high-octane thriller. 3 1/2 stars. A better story would have helped.

Drive Angry:

Anything with Nicholas Cage is a must see for this viewer. I was rewarded with a jaw-dropping high octane thriller in the manner of Quentin Tarantino. In the opening scenes we are rewarded with Cage playing Milton who is on a crazy rampage dropping assorted tough guys. We eventually find out that Milton is an "undead" that has broken out of hell and has been sent to rescue a baby from cult worshiping savages. This is the kind of thing audiences love and critics hate. The 3-D is over the top as well as the Quentin Tarantino touches in every scene. "Pulp Fiction" comes to mind when viewing this thrill fest with a high body count. There is no redeeming value of any kind whatsoever with all the violence, nudity, and vulgarity. Hey get some popcorn and join the fun. Four stars for this viewer.

The Darkest Hour:

This is sci-fi just a notch above what you see on the Sci-Fi network. There are no stars, no spectauclar sets and the special effects are only routine.The story is nothing special: the characters set out to mainly save themselves from the alien threat and there is hope that the aliens will be defeated as the ending credits roll in. 1 1/2 stars.

The Adventures of TIN TIN:

This is an epic adventure in the manner of Indiana Jones. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson deliver an astounding animation epic based upon European comic character from the 30's. Follow the teen and his loyal dog, Snowy as they race around the world in a quest for sunken treasure. This could have been the greatest animated film of all time as it competes with Avatar for the spectacular imagery. However, the ending is a big disappointment and I wonder why talented writers would allow the film to end as it did. It is very posssible that the orignal comic material had an ending like this, however it would need to come up a notch to get the attention of the public.The 3D effects make a 3 star film even better.

The Three Musketeers:

This tale has been rehashed so often many moviegoers pass on the viewing. This one is a notch above any of the preveous versions. The viewer will be treated to a lavish production with spectacular mind-boogling settings, outragous wardrobes and talented acting. One suspects they were going for Academy awards here in about every catagory. There are things happening in the tale that certainly are not in the original tale and are a joyous surprise and delight for this viewer! The 3D adds greatly to the viewing experience. Anyone who liked the pirate films released in the last few years will love this. 3 1/2 stars.

Final Destination 3D:

“A strange premonition causes friends to abandon their day at the speedway, moments before a crushing pileup hurtles cars into the bleachers with fiery consequences.” That is what the description on the box says. If you have viewed any of the Final Destination releases and enjoyed them, this one will please you as it is as ingenious and as dumb as the others. If you have not viewed any of these and wonder what it is all about, be prepared for a preposterous plot that defies plausibility. Steven King would be proud! In spite of all this, it is fun to watch and the 3D is quite spectacular. Be prepared for actors you have ever seen before too. They all die in every movie and start with fresh actors who work for union scale. Oh, oh—I spoiled if for you. How in the world do you give a rating for something like this ? 2 stars—and get out the popcorn for mind numbing gore and adult language.

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D:

I always look at the trailers before I plunk down my money and at $42 at Best Buy I was on the fence. I could not possibly make my money back selling the unwanted discs at eBay. The trailer and various reviews gave it around 2/12 stars the trailer did not look that great to me. I believe it was the first 3D movie that started the 3D craze in earnest so it must have been around a while. I do like Brenan Frasier and Best Buy offered it for $19.95—akkkkk, without the sell-off discs. Too late, I already bought it and then proceeded to love it! Yep—the movie is very creative and they did not give it all away in the trailer. Lots of gorgeous sets in 3D and twists in the story made this a big winner. In all, it is like going for a hair-raising ride at Disneyland where you can be scared to death, but down deep you know that you are not going to die. 3 Stars.

Wrath of the Titans and more

John Carter 4 stars for Deja Thoris!

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3 1/2 Stars
3 1/2 Stars | Source

Finding Nemo

This was originally released May 3, 2003 and has received the highest accolades from critics and the public. To date it has taken in nearly a billion dollars and is considered to be one of the great animated films of all time. The 3D underwater settings are gorgeous and reason enough to view this in the new format. This is a genuinely funny story much of it due to the sidekick regal tang named Dory played by Ellen DeGeneres. This is easily Four STARS.

Brave

This Pixar animated film was a box office success around the world and has taken in over a half billion dollars to date. In that the story centers on the love of a mother and daughter, males may feel left out of the main story line. This is similar in theme to “Tangled” where a (foster) mother and daughter have an intense relationship. The animation reminds me of the wondrous Avatar. The 3D is FOUR STAR from the opening scene where it is apparent that the viewer is going to be in for an extraordinary visual and musical experience. The Scottish settings and folk music is beautiful and for me reason enough to view this wonderful film many times. The final scenes reach an emotional pitch that should have many viewers in tears. Many reviewers rate the film three stars, as it may not appeal to everyone like some to the other Pixar films that seem to cater to youngsters. The viewing audiences disagree as they attended the theaters in great numbers making this a FOUR STAR financial success. This is more adult and for me I cannot imagine a better animated film that I have enjoyed as much as this one. This compares to “Beauty in the Beast” with a strong female lead and music that is memorable. FOUR STARS.

Arthur Christmas

This is a 3D visual stunner of the highest order. The opening scene reminds one of the Hugo opening with that gorgeous pan. The story is about what one would expect and nothing really fabulous occurs that will grab the viewer’s heartstrings. This was a success with nearly everyone who viewed it. Santa’s workshop is operated much like a military OC staffed by a thousand elves sitting at computer terminals. The old fashion sleigh is replaced by a craft that would compare to the Enterprise in the Star Trek movies. It was a box office disappointment with $147 million world wide and short of fifty million in the US. It was a $100 million production and it shows in every scene. 3 ½ STARS. For the 3D enthusiast, this is a big winner.

ParaNorman

This is produced by the producers that did Coraline ParaNorman does have some nice 3D settings and animation; however nothing was really outstanding like the Pixar animations. I really wonder who the target audience is supposed to be. The critics liked it and the box office was respectable so I may very well stand alone in viewing it one time and selling it off on eBay.

The first forty minutes was very slow and it is only when the zombies are brought into the mix (forty five minutes into the story) that it picks up a little bit. One critic panned it as having little movement and that describes it for me. There is little to chuckle at here either. I was really put off with a scene in a filthy bathroom with yellowed urinals and a zombie coming out of a toilet then becoming entangled in toilet paper. If viewing animation with scenes like this sound appealing, then this one is for you. I wonder what child would enjoy that?

I imagine the theme is supposed to be more adult; however for this viewer it was all I could do to stay awake. Other animated movies like “Tangled,” “Brave” and “Arthur’s Christmas” are miles ahead of this one. Others give it 3 stars and my experience with this is ONE Star and happy to get it out the door.

MIB Men in Black 3

The original release was well received by the public and has earned nearly a half billion dollars since its release in February 2012. The idea for a time travel story came from Will Smith after completing MIB 2. The sci-fi comedy is full of special effects and clever moments nearly every minute. I found it to be wildly creative with gadgets and gags that are both clever and hilarious. The plot was inventive with time travel problems presented as plausible. There are spectacular scenes that take the viewer back to 1969 and the launching of the space craft that made the first moon landing. The story line included a heartfelt ending that took this viewer by surprise and brought the story up a notch from the special effects, violence, and special effects. The 3D is beautiful from beginning to end and is first rate. Anyone who enjoyed the earlier movies will enjoy this. FOUR starsis well deserved.

Amazing Spider-Man

This re-launching of the series was the fourth biggest box office hit of the year. It has a new cast that did a good job however I did like the original cast a bit more. The final scenes are outstanding (and the 3D works well) and the updating of Peter Parker’s use of the webbing is a standout. I felt the other Spider-Man films may have been just a bit more engrossing than this one. For me, it did not have the emotional impact of the others. If you enjoyed the previous films, you will enjoy this one too as I did. I must award this a strong THREE stars.

I’ll have a review of “Arthur Christmas” and “Brave” up this week. I have very high hopes for “Brave” as it has had great reviews and a ton of merchandising.

I, Robot

This is Sci-fi starring Will Smith that was released a few years back and has been reissued in 3D. This one has a terrific script taken from a short story by Isaac Asimov. In that it was made before 3D became popular, it does suffer a tiny bit with the close-up shots that do not work well in 3D. But this is nitpicking as most of it is spectacular in the 3D format. Unfortunately, the 2D and 3D movie is on one disc so selling off the 2D blu-ray is not possible. 3 ½ STARS

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter 3D

The credits mention that this is a Tim Burton presents a Timur Bekmambetov film. In that Tim Burton was involved was enough to get me involved as I love anything that Burton has ever done and the Alice in Wonderland was a true 3D favorite in my collection. This film was modestly received and as of October 2012 had the film has grossed $37,519,139 in the United States and $71,917,826 in other territories, for a total of $109,436,965 worldwide. The story line takes bizarre liberties with history and could be a stretch for many audiences. I thought it was great fun and the majestic settings were up to my expectations in that Burton was involved as a producer. The action scenes are first rate, particularly the last third of the film in which a locomotive rushes to Gettysburg to help save the Northern troops. For me, this was four stars; however the bizarre story line brings this in at a strong 3 STARS.

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Conan 3D
Conan 3D | Source

Immortals:

This was from the producers of the "300." The "300" (Spartans) is much better. It lacks a engaging script, however the special effects that prelailed in "300" are here and make this enjoyable to view in 3-D. This is similar to Clash of the Titans with the Greek Gods ruling the mortals from the heavens; however this is darker in theme and most teens would not get much out of this. Two Stars.

Hugo:

Hugo was released recently and was a wonderful surprise for me! This is a fabulous film for adults. Whenever the main characters are children, one suspects that the film is designed for the younger set. Not so here, although I imagine older chidlren will enjoy it. The art direction and the settings are astonishing throughout the film. The opening scene with the panning camera running over the streets Paris in 1925 is breathtaking. This is an instant classic and the script was first rate. If you have any interest at all in silent movies, this is a must-see! Four stars ( of four).

Tangled:

This one is a surprise for me as I tend toward live action movies. The movie has six great songs and the animation was designed with 3-D in mind. The settings are spectacular and after several viewings, most everyone will fall in love with the comedic horse. The animation deserves the highest praise as the expressions on the faces of the characters are incredibly lifelike. The song “I have a Dream,” nominated for an academy award, is beautiful and memorable. The film was a box office hit as it broke many attendance records worldwide and is one of the highest grossing animated films of all time. It was budgeted at $260 million dollars and it shows in every scene. This film made #3 on my all-time favorites list. This is a FOUR STAR viewing experience for most reviewers, including me

Puss in Boots:

This is a marvolous animated feature much like tangled with the gorgeous settings and the Mexican music and dance numbers. The story is a notch or two below "Tangled" and one feels the story is strung together. The fairy tales characters like Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, seemed to make this more for children than adults. On the other side, the first half of the film worked best with the Zorro theme without the characters that were introduced as the story unfiolded. 2 1/2 Stars

Beauty and the Beast:

This is another Disney animated feature that was great in 2-D and simply rises to a new level in 3-D. Then entire movie is spectacular with the opening scene in the village being a real standout. Do not overlook the tour of the castle either. Four Stars

How to Train Your Dragon

The Dreamworks title sounds like this will have little going for it. I saw it on the shelves all year and passed on it. Over the Christmas holiday, one of the channels ran it all day long and I decided to give it ten minutes as I figured it would be of little interest. I was sucked into it quickly and can see why critics loved it. The aerial battles are reason enough to view this as these scenes compete with the flying sequences in Avatar.

“The film was released March 26, 2010 and was well received by critics. The film grossed nearly $500 million worldwide. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score at the 83rd Academy Awards, but lost to Toy Story 3 and The Social Network, respectively. The movie also won ten Annie Awards, including Best Animated Feature.” (Quoted from Wikipedia)

I immediately made the purchase and the 3D viewing make this a FOUR STAR delight.


The Lion King:

This was released in 3-D; however it pales in comparison for the 3-D effect. In that it was not originally intended for 3-D, viewers must forgive the pale viewing experience. The Lion King is the poorest 3-D movie ( for 3-D viewing) ever! Save your money if you expect 3D to improve the viewing experience. 1 star for 3D.

Narnia, The voyage of the Dawn Trader:

This is the third in the series and I normally would not have been excited about viewing this as it is geared toward a children’s audience. Or so I thought! The visuals on this are colorful and the spectacular special effects have made this a surprising hit for me. Three stars

Clash of the Titans:

This is very similar to the Narnia and boasts special effects and action sequences that are worth viewing more than once. In that I love the ancient Greek concept with Zeus ruling the heavens, I find that this is appealing to many adults who can appreciate a good children’s story. 3 1/2 stars

Alice in Wonderland:

Johnny Depp leads the cast on this Tim Burton film. If you are a Tim Burton fan (like me) this is visual candy from the moment Alice arrives in Wonderland. The first time I viewed this, I thought something was wrong with the 3-D in the first twenty minutes of the story. It was there, but seemed subdued. It dawned on me that Tim was going for a spectacular entrance into Wonderland, much like the classic Wizard of Oz beginning in black-and-white Kansas, and then landing in a Technicolor land of enchantment. It is worth viewing many times just for the lavish production and talented acting. Four stars

Captain America:

This in a big winner because of the nostalgic WWII scenery. The story moves along beautifully and it is easy to understand why this was a big hit at the theaters. Four stars

Conan, The Barbarian:

Conan: This one has several scenes with topless females, so be careful showing this to the proper audience. Sword and Sorcery fans like me love this sort of thing and the many fight scenes lived up to my expectations. This was a $90,000 million dollar production and the $49,000 million dollar box-office must have been a disappointment. Beautiful settings and special effects abound here and they made spectacular use of 3D effects. The story is well scripted and the acting seemed perfectly fine to this viewer. For those viewers who are not into sword and sorcery stories and settings this may not have much appeal. This may very likely be the very finest sword and sorcery movie ever as most movies along this line are budget productions and mostly for the ten year old crowd. 3 ½ Stars for any sword and sorcery fan.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2:

Part one was also in 3-D; however it does not seem to have the production values of the part 2. The part one can be skipped when adding it to a collection in favor of the part two. Lots of spectacular action and settings make this a big winner. 3 Stars

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides:

This is a lavish production in everyway and children as well as adults will love the 3-D effects. Again, Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruze head up this adventure that takes the viewer on a search for the Fountain of Youth. 3 1/2 Stars

Transformers Dark of the Moon:

There is something for everyone here. This is a first-class production that rivals Avitar. The opening scenes beatuifully recreate the original moon landing. Much of the story takes place in Chicago and the viewer will feel that he is transported to this great town. This movie can be enjoyed by audiences who are not entranced by the TRANSFOMERS concept, particulalry if one enjoys war movies with great battle scenes. I figured the movie would wind up with a short battle scene, the good guys would save the world and I could call it a day. This movie runs nearly 2 1/2 hours and the last hour is a transfixing breathless experience as soldiers and Transformers battle the Aliens in Chicago. 3 1/2 stars.

Gulliver's Travels:

Jack Black fans will love this as he plays one of his usual carefree loser characters. This time he is a lowly mailclerk and ends up on an island of Lilliputins in which he declares that he was the president. There are a number of unexpeted and delighful twists and turns for our hero and in the end he gets the girl of his dreams. The 3D enhances this a bit, however it is not in the same class as Tintin or Hugo for the art direction. 2 and a half stars.

Resident Evil: Afterlife:

Don't look for an involved plot in this one. Do look for first -rate special effects, like bullets in slow motion and thousands of mindless zombies that need to be blown away by Milla Jovovoch! 21/2 Stars

Priest:

This may find a smaller audience as it is not quite as lavish as any of the others above; however I do enjoy this one over and over with its “darker” tone. I’m not one much for vampire movies and found I enjoyed it as it was more about the action than any vampire story. This is sci-fi with lots of fun weapons, motorcycles and a big battle aboard a futuristic train. 1 1/2 stars

Titanic:

This is a dazzling, spellbinding “must see” three and half hour movie. Incredible acting, settings, music, art direction, and story is all presented beautifully and will touch the heart. 3D works best when the camera is panning and moving around as it gives the mind more information and results in a richer experience. They did this with this movie and the result is nothing less than a spectacular in 3D. It rivals Avatar in that respect. The first disc presents the love story and Leonardo DiCapprio and Kate Winslet take center stage. The second disc begins when the iceberg has struck and we all know how this ends. This is a great value as it is as long as three movies so you get a lot for your bucks. This rates FOUR STARS as it doesn’t get any better than this.

The Pirates and the Band of Misfits

The Pirates and the Band of Misfits is family fun on a grand scale. There are laugh-out-loud gags going on all the time. The characters are delightful and the story is engaging. The 3-D is top notch and the settings are gorgeous. It would be difficult to find a reason to give it less than FOUR STARS. If you enjoyed Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, and Puss n’ Boots, plan to add this gem to your collection.

The Avengers

This box office hit is a winner for anyone who enjoys the super heroes concept. It does not have emotional impact at all like the Spider-Man where the hero is torn in all directions. This one is much like the X-Men movies where the Superheroes punch up the bad guys and save the world. The big budget shows and the last third of the movie really shows it. The 3D makes this a visual delight. 3 ½ STARS

Thor

I held off purchasing this one as the trailer did not appeal to me. When it was offered at a better price I crossed the line and bought it. It was better than the trailer and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. This is a father and two son’s story and most of it takes place in Asgard which features lavish sets. Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, didn’t work for me. Overall, a better cast might have helped. This is on par with Green Lantern, an average lower budget production that looks great in 3D. 2 ½ STARS.



The Future:

2012 looks promising for 3-D releases. The re-release of the Star Wars movie should be great.

Prices for a 3-D television are dropping rapidly and we can expect more viewers to make purchases during the upcoming year. I did notice that Spike HD TV seems to have the best HD picture and the 3-D viewing rises above the other channels. Spike is only the tiniest bit short of the Blue Ray experience.

Keep the Costs Down:

There is a trading market at eBay and Amazon for collectors of DVD’s and 3-D material. For me, I sell the 2-D materials to others and keep the 3-D. In that the price of the entire set is usually around $34.95-$39.95, it can become expensive. However, when selling off the discs to others is taken into account, the 3-D disc rarely runs me over ten dollars. My sales plan of making the purchase at a promotional price on the day of release (usually around $25) works well. Most often the 2-D materials can be sold for $15-$22.

This is a fun and rewarding hobby and I would encourage others who love movies to give it serious consideration. I'll add more reviews right here as new movies are released. It looks like the Star Wars ( 1 in the series) movies is going to hit the theaters in 3-D soon and that one is sure to be a big winner.

Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs… and Arabia 3D:

I love most anything to do with Egypt and ancient history. These two titles were produced for IMAX and both run around thirty-five minutes. I picked up each for $14.95 and there are no extra discs to selloff so, on a per minute basis, these are expensive.

The Arabia 3D is a documentary produced by an American Muslim. The highlight is the footage of the Kaaba and the panoramic flights across the cities are the highlights. There is a bit of Arabian history thrown in for good measure. This crew did produce Academy Award winning nominations for other documentaries.

The Mummies, Secret of the Pharaohs is a first-rate production with actors and magnificent settings not unlike something you would see in a lavish Hollywood production. It proposes to be educational too; with the “secrets” they carry being that the DNA pulled from the mummies may help cure Malaria. You will see the famous Pyramids of Giza, Four colossal statues of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel, the Karnak Temple, and other fascinating tourist attractions.

Both IMAX movies have a “Making of the Documentary” included. Of the pair, the Mummies would be the better choice as it has higher production values.

The Pirates and the Band of Misfits

The Pirates and the Band of Misfits is family fun on a grand scale. There are laugh-out-loud gags going on all the time. The characters are delightful and the story is engaging. The 3-D is top notch and the settings are gorgeous. It would be difficult to find a reason to give it less than FOUR STARS. If you enjoyed Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, and Puss n’ Boots, plan to add this gem to your collection.

The Avengers

This box office hit is a winner for anyone who enjoys the super heroes concept. It does not have emotional impact at all like the Spider-Man where the hero is torn in all directions. This one is much like the X-Men movies where the Superheroes punch up the bad guys and save the world. The big budget shows and the last third of the movie really shows it. The 3D makes this a visual delight. 3 ½ STARS

Thor

I held off purchasing this one as the trailer did not appeal to me. When it was offered at a better price I crossed the line and bought it. It was better than the trailer and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. This is a father and two son’s story and most of it takes place in Asgard which features lavish sets. Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, didn’t work for me. Overall, a better cast might have helped. This is on par with Green Lantern, an average lower budget production that looks great in 3D. 2 ½ STARS.

Prometheus

If you are old enough to remember “Alien” and enjoyed that, you will like this as it is much the same story by the same director, Ridley Scott. The special effects and settings are a visual delight for the 3D viewer. This is a frightening movie from beginning to end.Most reviewers give it a great rating and I liked it too and give it 3/1/2 STARS.

Ice Age Continental Drift


This is the fourth in the blockbuster popular series. I will admit that I haven’t viewed any of the others so all of it was fresh for me. I found the whimsical characters to be witty and loveable. I loved it all and would admit that there is no great story here, but it did not matter. Bring out a pirate gorilla on a rampage and I’m a happy camper!

Blue Skies Studios has turned the franchise into a multi-billion dollar enterprise and rightfully so. The antics of the characters and the break-neck pacing of the story will make this worth viewing many times over. The animation is first rate and the settings only slightly below four star standards. The 3D is eye-popping, colorful, and a joy to view.

I imagine the critics can be forgotten that panned the series as being simply jealous of all the money this franchise is raking in. There is a bonus second 20 minute feature “Ice Age Christmas 3D” included that is a little less intense that will appeal to the younger set.

I theorize that reviewers that panned this are jealous of all the money being raked in. What would have happened to the Disney empire if reviewers declared that Donald and Mickey where tiresome and repetitive with nothing new to offer? These characters are timeless and the box office tells us another empire may be on the horizon. 3 1/2 STARS.

Resident Evil: Retribution

This is the fifth installment in the popular zombie series and the third 3D film. Matt Singer from ScreenCrush said, “ … might be one of the dumbest things ever crafted by human hands," and he could be correct. It plays like a video game with never ending scenes of mindless zombies being blown away by Milla Jovovich and her crew. In spite of the videogame aspects, it is beautifully crafted and the action is nonstop. It was a box office success with around $200 million taken in worldwide. Audience drop-off on the second weekend etc. was steep as the plot is so (seemingly) weak.

A bonus 2D Blu ray is included and that helps to explain the story. On the third viewing, I can really appreciate the plot line that is difficult to comprehend on the first viewing. The film had around a $60 million dollar budget and easily competes with films that cost two and three times as much. Apparently this production company is efficient with the keeping the budget under control.

I did enjoy the other two 3D installments of this franchise more than this one; however the nonstop breathtaking action will make this an enjoyable 3D experience with each repeated viewing.

I did mention to a friend that being a 3D enthusiast has me viewing films that would normally be of little interest to me and zombie stories would be at the bottom of my list. However, it always surprises me that I enjoy these films. 3 STARS for beautiful sets and 3D that blows right out of the screen!

Vote for your favorites from this list.


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Comments 4 comments

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Looks like next year is going to be very exciting for movie goers, and television fans. That was a great, and very comprehensive review Reynold.

Thankyou.


reynold jay 4 years ago

I hoping I'll find some 3-D fanatics to share the hobby. Thanks for jumping in with the forst comment. This is one of two HUBS in the last two months. I've been busy with 3-D!


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thanks for the info. 3-D makes you feel so much more as part of the action.


reynold jay 4 years ago

Yep--there are lots of good 3-D movies out there. Thanks for reading this article that is a departure from my usual stuff.

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