The best 3D Blu-ray movies
- 28 July, 2011 16:42
If you're buying a 3D TV, you may as well have some good 3D movies to show on it. We've watched quite a few 3D movies since the format's debut last year, and these ten are our top picks. They all boast great Full HD image quality and good 3D effects — nothing too unrealistic and no ghosting, just some high quality stereoscopic tri-dimensional fun. We make no promises as to the quality of the movies' plot lines, though.
The 3D release of the Megamind Blu-ray has to be one of the highest quality examples of 3D that we've seen. Like Despicable Me, the movie has some scenes that make great use of the 3D effect. And because it's an animation there are no teething problems with the 3D production — it's all spot-on and very clean.
We first watched Coraline on the huge 65in Panasonic TH-P65VT20A, which is a first-generation 3D TV. It still looked excellent (Panasonic's plasmas were the best first-gen 3D TVs) and the quality of animation of Neil Gaiman's story is top-notch. This is an example of a 3D animation that's not so bright and vivid, so it's a good choice to test 3D without being distracted by all the colours.
Bolt is a relatively recent 3D Blu-ray release, and like Megamind it's a colourful, clean, well-animated movie that has some surprisingly effective jump-out-of-the-screen 3D effects in it. There are also a few quick-moving action scenes, so it's a good way to showcase the smoothness of a 3D plasma or one of LG's Cinema 3D TVs.
Whether you like the movie or not, Avatar is one of the 3D Blu-rays to get. It's got some great cinematography, and there are 3D scenes that effortlessly fuse live-action with extremely high-quality CGI. The movie's outdoor scenes may not have the same over-the-top, duck-your-head 3D as Megamind and Despicable Me, but they're stunning to look at.
Saw 3D is one of only a few live-action films to have been shot in digital 3D. It's not the best Saw film (that dubious honour goes to the original), but it has some elaborate (if gory) scenes that make good use of 3D. It's also dark and gritty, which is not something you usually see with 3D movies.
Monsters Vs. Aliens
Monsters Vs. Aliens was actually the first 3D Blu-ray we watched, showing off a Samsung Series 7 3D LED TV. It's a good 3D Blu-ray for testing whether your 3D TV is ghosting — the battle on the bridge is as good as any other scene we've tested 3D TVs with. Look for any blurriness or double-images on the bridge's suspension cables — if it's there, your TV is displaying ghosting.
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is one of our preferred 3D Blu-rays to test TVs with, because it has a good mix of high quality 3D animation, slow-moving scenes and fast action. Plus it rains food, which is always fun.
Jean-Michel Cousteau's Film Trilogy
This is a set of three 3D Blu-ray movies, all of which have excellent stereoscopic live-action 3D, filmed entirely underwater. We imagine this would have been quite a gargantuan task, but the end results are excellent — there's a particular scene in Dolphins and Whales 3D that will have you thinking a humpback whale is sitting in your living room. It's also great to see documentaries being given the 3D treatment for a bit of diversity.
Despicable Me is one of the best 3D Blu-rays we've seen. It's got excellent lighting that really sets it apart from other, older CGI movies — it's extremely realistic (despite the cartoony style) and as such the 3D looks very true-to-life and impressive. This sits very near the top of our best 3D Blu-ray movie pile.
Under The Sea
Under the Sea is an IMAX film shot around the world, including some scenes from the oceans around Australia. It's one of the best live-action uses of 3D we've seen so far, and it's got some excellent three-dimensional scenes. It shows a huge range of ocean wildlife and it's well shot and produced — we can even overlook its Jim Carrey narration.
Have we missed anything? If you can think of a Blu-ray movie that does 3D better than any of these, let us know in the comments and we'll check it out.