Dvd let­ter­box

This week

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Film - Michael Bodey Twit­ter: @michael­bodey

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)


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