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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Nature > Environment > Fighter Planes > Science > Large Frame Format > IMAX/Image Entertainment Blu-ray/DVD Wave: Grand Canyon Adventure (2008/Blu-ray + DVD)/Hurricane On The Bayou (2006/Blu-ray)/Amazon (1997/DVD with WHM HD disc)/The Magic Of Flight (1996/DVD)

IMAX/Image Entertainment Blu-ray/DVD Wave: Grand Canyon Adventure (2008/Blu-ray + DVD)/Hurricane On The Bayou (2006/Blu-ray)/Amazon (1997/DVD with WHM HD disc)/The Magic Of Flight (1996/DVD)


Picture: B+/B-/B/B-/C+/B/B-/C+ Sound: B+ Canyon/B (the rest) Extras: C+/C+/C/B- Films: B-



Image Entertainment continues to issue IMAX films old and new on Blu-ray and DVD. Though we were not able to grab every release they have issued lately, the latest choices are all good films and it is great to catch up with them, or revisit them in some cases.


Grand Canyon Adventure (2008) was originally issued in 3-D, but these editions sadly do not include that option. Narrated by Robert Redford with others who appear on screen joining in, it tells how water is being depleted from the area in a way that would have been unthinkable not that long ago. At 45 minutes, it is rich, beautiful, engaging, often incredible and its arguments (scientific and otherwise) are pretty full proof, sound and valid. It succeeds in making the big statement about how bad things are and is a must-see IMAX film for all. The Blu-rays 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is often stunning, with plenty of demo moments and especially when you add the terrific DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix, this is a state-of-the-art sound mix (including The Dave Matthews Band) that is a must-own for all serious Blu-ray fans and home theater systems. The anamorphically enhanced DVD is not bad, nor it its regular DTS 5.1 mix. Released in the Sonics-DDP sound format, it is amazing and the best performer on the list.


Hurricane On The Bayou (2006) is about the disaster of Hurricane Katrina made worse by inaction by the Bush Administration, but this film is more interested in showing the side of the culture there and lost in the storm, as well as the damage, along with its relation to manmade environmental flux. Meryl Streep narrates and music sampled comes from artists like Allen Toussaint. The Blu-rays 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is really good, but sometimes detail is not where I would have liked it, but you still get demo moments just the same. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) lossless 5.1 mix is also from a Sonics-DDP sound format mix, but is not always as lively as it could be. At its best, it can have its moments, but sometimes in fairness to it, it has to be quiet in nature.


Amazon (1997) includes a bonus disc to play High Definition on your computer via WMV HD format Microsoft was peddling before Blu-ray was settled upon. Not as good as Blu-ray, it still looks better than the anamorphically enhanced regular DVD, but it is a DVD-ROM that cannot offer the MBPS of a Blu-ray, so it is amusing to see. The film itself is really good and has this amazing footage from the Amazon jungle and rainforests there, telling us about the lands and more. Linda Hunt does a fine narration job and the regular DTS 5.1 mix is rich and good. This also happens to have been a Sonics-DDP sound format release and I hope to see a Blu-ray version down the line.


The Magic Of Flight (1996) is another release we only received on DVD, but without a separate Blu-ray and there is not a WHV disc either. However, this film on The Blue Angels flying team is narrated nicely by Tom Selleck and traces the earliest days of flight before going into the amazing fighters that the best pilots in the world control. In this large-frame format footage, it is stunning. The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is as good as it is going to be for this format, while its regular DTS 5.1 mix has punch, even though it is not a release in the Sonics-DDP sound format, but older Sonix format. Still, I liked it.


The DVDs offer alternate 1.33 X 1 images, but instead of offering the full IMAX frame, they are actually squares taken out of the 16 X 9/1.78 X 1 frame and are quickly dismissible. Extras in all formats include trailers for other IMAX releases, quizzes and text on the makers and productions. All but Amazon have making of documentaries as well.



For more IMAX Blu-rays, start with these links:


Super Speedway



Fighter Pilot




- Nicholas Sheffo


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