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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Science > Airplanes > History > Volcanoes > Animal Life > Environment > Nature > Water > Ocean > Legends Of Flight IMAX Blu-ray 3D (2010/Image Entertainment)/Greatest Places (1998)­/Ring Of Fire (1991)/Search For The Great Sharks (1995)/Tropical Rainforests (1992/Inception IMAX Blu-rays)

Legends Of Flight IMAX Blu-ray 3D (2010/Image Entertainment)/Greatest Places (1998)­/Ring Of Fire (1991)/Search For The Great Sharks (1995)/Tropical Rainforests (1992/Inception IMAX Blu-rays)


Picture: B+ (3D) & B (all 2D)     Sound: B (Places: B-)     Extras: C (Flight: B-)     Films: B-



The latest round of IMAX shorts now hitting Blu-ray are as fine a set as we have covered to date, including a newer 3D release.


Stephen Low’s Legends Of Flight IMAX Blu-ray 3D (2010) has a mix of various forms of flying machines old and new, with some of the 3D location shooting, leaving others as CG animation that has its moments.  Some shots look like a mix of the two, but this is usually more fun in 3D without being gimmicky.  We also get to see the development of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A380, as well as fighter jets and simpler forms of flight, including inspirations from nature and natural sources.  Running 42 minutes, it is pretty engaging and worth seeing in either 2D or 3D.  Extras include a Making Of featurette, trailer and section About The Planes.


The remaining Blu-rays come from Inception Media who have wisely picked up the rights to some key IMAX catalog titles from other companies who once handled them on DVD.  The following four releases are also all recommended and come with IMAX trailer reels.



Mal Wolfe’s Greatest Places (1998) travels to locations not visited much and the results are some incredible sights worth seeing.  Madagascar, The Namib Desert, Greenland’s Icebergs, Iguazu Falls, Amazon River and Okavango Delta are included in this solid 40-minutes-long presentation.


One of my personal favorites and best IMAX shorts still to this day is George Casey’s Ring Of Fire (1991) narrated by Robert Foxworthy, dealing with our planet’s volcanic structure in a very engrossing way that specifically exists encircling in the Pacific Ocean.  The visuals offer some of the best use of the large-frame 70mm IMAX format to date and once you start watching, you just cannot stop.  Hard to believe it is only 38 minutes, but it is that good.


Mal Wolfe’s Search For The Great Sharks (1995) is one of a series of IMAX films on the subject and as good an entry as any of its counterparts, showing the Great White Shark from Australia to California narrated by Joseph Campenella.  I really enjoy the use of the large film frame to show just how great these underrated, overly feared and highly exploited creatures are.  Too bad more people don’t understand how priceless they are, but other titles reviewed on this site will show you just how much.  This one runs 46 minutes.


Last but definitely not least is another personal favorite, Ben Shedd’s Tropical Rainforests (1992) narrated by Geoffrey Holder (Live & Let Die, Annie, The Noah) showing the greatness of rainforests in some of the most effective footage ever shot of them and with outstanding writing that really hits the point home of their pricelessness.  Yet another IMAX classic (running 38 minutes), it was great to see again.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 MVC-encoded 3-D – Full Resolution digital High Definition image on Flight has enough good 3D to rate it just over the 2D as noted, but the IMAX footage looks terrific in either case, but the 2D is lacking at times.  The 1080p 1.78 X 1 2D digital High Definition image transfers on all five releases are pretty good overall, though sometimes the Inception transfers have minor micro aliasing, staircasing or flaws, they never get in the way of how great these discs look and no liberties were taken on the original look of the films which really helps.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is available on all five Blu-rays have good soundfields, but considering these mixes were designed for huge screens with 64 speakers, the sound sometimes lands up more in the center channel than I would like.  Flight originally had Sonics-DDP sound, while the rest were originally offered the older Sonix sound system, but only Places tends to have its soundfield too much towards the front speakers.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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