FOR the 11 of you who have connected a 3-D television to your 3-D Blu-ray player, this is a week to savour. The release of the extraordinary hit Life of Pi bolsters slim pickings in the Blu-ray 3-D catalogue ahead of a mini-boom in films that may captivate users of the new technology. The Hobbit was last week’s big release on 3-D, although not in the 48 frames per second format presented in some cinemas.
Anyway, that’s all wonky-talk, meaning little to the majority of us who merely plug and play. Back to the content, which in the 3-D sphere has been very slim. Improvement is coming off a low base.
The nifty Disney animated film Wreck-It Ralph is out now and the excellent 3-D upgrade of Jurassic Park is out in a month. Following soon are The Universe in 3-D: How the Solar System was Made, animated films Tad, the Lost Explorer and ParaNorman, Cirque du Soleil’s live performance Worlds Away, and the one we’re all waiting for, Julia X, the horror film starring Kevin Sorbo.
But Life of Pi (PG, Fox, 127min, $29.99) is the 3-D pick of the moment, and probably year, for souped-up home entertainment systems. It is a stunning film visually and its 3-D Blu-ray is enhanced with exclusive menu material shot specifically for the 3-D DVD.
Not that the film needed it; this is a sumptuous film in 3-D, popping off the screen right from its opening moments in the zoo and deserving of its Oscars in the technical categories.
I’m not so sure about Ang Lee’s Academy Award for direction, though, given the film’s shaggy narrative; but they said Yann Martel’s book was unfilmable. Lee proved it wasn’t and the DVD feature on his casting of Suraj Sharma only enhances the director’s mystique. Space doesn’t permit a thorough discussion here, but just know this: Life of Pi is an essential film for any 3-D library. Or Blu-ray library, for that matter. BBC (588min, $39.95)
(MA15+) Beyond (132min, $29.99)