Piranha 3DD Blu-ray Review
Presented in 1.85:1 24FPS 3D and shot at least in part in native 3D, it does not look too bad. I noticed a fair degree of ghosting in dark scenes on my active Panasonic TV and this only got worse when I tried it on a passive LG set. The contrast is limited, but this is more to do with the TV having to push extra brightness for the glasses rather than the filming. There is some early animation that is very jerky, having been frame rate converted for some reason. The transfer to Mpeg AVC is fairly clean, but the sheer amount of detail overwhelms the stream at times and lack of detail is noticeable during some of the busier scenes. Some of the brighter shots look over exposed, with the sky burned and then artificially re-coloured (Blue clouds, always a giveaway!). By no means a reference film.
Full use is not made of the DTS-HD MA format as it is a bit compressed at times, but the dialogue is clear and I like the use of surround channels for some of the music track as well as well steered effects. If your system has small rear speakers, you might find the sheer weight of the combined score overwhelms them a bit. The indie-rock music track is spot on for the genre but a bit repetitive at times. I found the soundtrack a little bass light in the upper bass register, while the extreme low stuff (Sub 30Hz) was a bit uncontrolled. This is an indication that the mixing and mastering was carried out on a system that did not go that low and was tuned bass heavy. This is acceptable for most theatres, as their systems generally do not extend below 30Hz, but many home theatre systems now dredge down below the threshold of hearing and into the “feeling” range. To put this into context, it is much closer to a blockbuster movie than a budget horror flick, which ultimately, is what it is.
The boot up of the disc is commendably fast and the simple menu easy to navigate. Not a lot of features here, just a dull commentary track, English subtitles and 2D or 3D selection. The disc failed to boot into 3D mode on first load up, but I think this was because my amp had not fully powered up and therefore the Blu-ray player did not see a valid 3D display. A quick reload of the disc and all was well. A big thumbs up to putting the film trailers on the menu instead of making the viewer sit through them before the movie plays. The actual extras are a bit poor. The usual 20 minutes or so of various behind the scenes featurettes are not great, as there is just too much repeated footage.You do get the feeling that it was a fun movie to make though. The most bizarre clip is a 5 minute tennis match short featuring John McEnroe. What this is about or even doing on the disc is totally lost to me.
This movie was better than expected, but has limited market appeal. A lads film rather than a true comedy horror, but none the worse for it. Lots of pretty girls both in and out of their swimming attire and plenty of plastic and silicone poured in for good measure. The piranhas are not that scary but do jump out the screen at you quite well. A must see? Well probably not, but a few beers and a curry with the boys helps to overcome its shortcomings.
The 3DD is more of a marketing ploy than anything to write home about. The crosstalk is quite noticeable at times and the rest of the 3D looks a little flat compared to some releases. The lack of contrast due to the 3D format is an issue, but to what extent will be down to your TV. Not a reference or must buy disc, but still funny, fast paced and worth a watch.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £25.00
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