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Greece: Secrets of the Past [IMAX] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English & French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1(48kHz/16-bit)
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: NR
  • Run Time: 45 Mins
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 10, 2012
  • List Price: $24.98

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Purchase Greece: Secrets of the Past on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are only are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

With partial narration duties handled by Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Greece: Secrets of the Past is an eye-popping IMAX documentary from Greg MacGillivray that is filled with beautiful aerial shots of the Greek isles, the cerulean seas, and an archaeological mystery of the culture’s past. As scientists study the volcano at Santorini and the people buried beneath the rubble, the story of the world’s cradle of democracy is told.

This is a truly beautiful and awe inspiring film from MacGillivray, one of the masters of the IMAX format, and these subjects seem perfectly suited to 70mm production.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Greece: Secrets of the Past doesn’t appear to be a new restoration or taken from a new master for this Blu-ray release. The 1.78:1 framed AVC/MPEG-4 encodement suffers from far more softness, issues with occasional source damage, graininess, and film judder than normally associated with the best of the large format, 70mm transfers we’ve seen on Blu-ray. That’s not to say that this release is all bad. There are plenty of great moments where the image looks clear and colors really pop, but they are tempered by an equal amount of moments that are just average.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Audio is where it’s at with this release. The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack is big and ambient with the Mediterranean score filling up all the main channels and foley effects engulfing the listener. When the film’s recreated volcanic eruption takes place, it is not only all encompassing, but resounding. Narration is also loud and clear in the center channel.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

We get the typical slate of extras from Image and MacGillivray with this release, which means a somewhat informative “making of” a slew of IMAX trailers and not much else.

The supplements:

  • Making Of (1.33:1; 00:22:25)
  • The History of MacGillivray Freeman Films (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:07:37)
  • Trailershow
  • BD-Live

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

This may not be the most reference quality IMAX Blu-ray release from Image Entertainment, but it still offers an awful lot of beautiful scenery. If, like me, you enjoy these sorts of films, then you owe it to yourself to complete your collection and snap this one up.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B004USUOVI[/amazon-product]

Purchase Greece: Secrets of the Past on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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