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Ghosts of the Abyss Blu-ray 3D Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4 (2D)/MPEG-4 MVC (3D)
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: G
  • Run Time: 60 Mins (Theatrical), 90 Mins (Extended).
  • Discs: 3 (1 x Blu-ray 3D + 1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: September 11, 2012
  • List Price: $44.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
2D HD: [Rating:4/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.

 

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

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Ghosts of the Abyss follows Director James Cameron’s journey back to the site of the infamous RMS Titanic. With a team of the world’s foremost historic and marine experts, as well as friend Bill Paxton, Cameron embarks on an unscripted journey to the grave of nearly 1,500 souls. The purpose of this trip, for Cameron, was to view parts of the Titanic never before seen by human eyes. The ending result is an extremely well-made, informative, and highly interesting glance into the world of the Titanic.

Ever since the mid 90s, the name James Cameron has been synonymous with the RMS Titanic. Cameron released  Titanic in 1997 to critical (and worldwide) success, thus bringing the Titanic back into the forefront some (at that point) 75 years after the ship had sunk. With his interest in the ship and the reasons as to why it physically sank, Cameron ventured back to the ship’s grave.

Using state-of-the-art cameras (at the time) with one system actually designed by Cameron himself (more about that below), we’re given an in-depth look into parts of the Titanic never before seen by the human eye. Stories about some of the more famous people like Bruce Ismay and ship designer Thomas Andrews are covered, revealing details about them that were previously unknown. Cameron, as one might expect, has an interest in Titanic like very few do, so one can hear and see the raw emotion he has about this ship in every syllable uttered. Granted, some of the emotion Cameron has can get a bit old at times (I personally would have liked to hear more about the passengers and the ship instead of the technology Cameron and crew used), but I can’t argue that this is a very well made documentary. Those interested in all things Titanic should definitely give this one a watch if they haven’t.

Video Quality

2D HD: [Rating:4/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:3.5/5]

Ghosts-of-the-Abyss-3D-BD_02

The film’s 1.85:1 framed, AVC MPEG-4 encoded 2D transfer is solid. The documentary was shot using Panavision Cameras, as well as the Reality Camera System (specifically designed by Cameron himself). Colors can vary in quality as the exterior shots like that of the ship used to man the expedition showcase bright whites and blues of the sky. Once underwater, the darker colors do look okay, but detail is clearly lost as the footage had to be shot through a thick glass window. These sequences do have a bit of EE (Edge Enhancement) and noise to them; however, this is never really a big issue. All in all, the 2D presentation looks fine throughout.

Similar aspect ratios are shared with the 3D presentation, only the encode is AVC MPEG-4 MVC. Shot using Sony CineAlta 3D Cameras, I felt a majority of the 3D was rather gimmicky. The camera zooms out and uses techniques that makes depth appear natural, like different angles; however, outside of the exterior shots of the ship, there isn’t any real 3D to speak of. Some of the wider, swooping shots showcase fine depth, and little things like fish swimming do pop out at us. Common issues found on other 3D releases, like that of crosstalk weren’t too noticeable here. In comparison to other 3D titles out on the market, I found this release to be fairly solid.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Ghosts-of-the-Abyss-3D-BD_03

The provided DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track suits this documentary well. Dialogue is well reproduced throughout via the center channel. Atmosphere is actually impressive, considering the limitations that this genre typically places on audio mixes. When the vessels first dive into the ocean, we’re given a kind of wooshing sound that envelopes the entire room almost making us feel like we’re submerging right along side with them. LFE is mostly reserved for musical cues, which add in a bit of low-end in a kind of emotion moving manner. All in all, this mix suits the film just fine.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

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The provided supplements are

  • “Reflections From The Deep” – This feature covers the filmmakers journey to the ocean floor. Mixed in with footage is interviews with Director James Cameron, Bill Paxton and others.
  • DVD – A DVD of the film is included.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Ghosts-of-the-Abyss-3D-BD_05

The sinking of the “unsinkable” Titanic will always be a topic that intrigues people. James Cameron has put together an informative documentary that is interesting throughout, even though it doesn’t add much depth into the physical ship as much as some of his latter documentaries have. Disney’s Blu-ray, either 2D or 3D, is solid with a good technical presentation. I’m going to recommend this as a purchase for fans of the film or those interested in the ship itself.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Ghosts of the Abyss on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

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[amazon-product]B0081VMY7W[/amazon-product]

Purchase Ghosts of the Abyss on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles on Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
2D HD: [Rating:4/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2/5]

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