SRP $39.95 2.35:1 DTS-HD MA 5.1 SONY
 

Alas, the first blu-ray 3d title from SONY, has been made available with "CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS." While not having the other blu-ray 3ds available(MONSTERS VS. ALIENS, CORALINE, ICE AGE 3) for comparison at the time of this review, we can only comment on the 3d experience of this specific title. We viewed 1/2 of the film on the new 3d Panasonic 50 inch plasma and the other half on the 58 inch Samsung plasma tv. Why only 1/2 on each? While it would seem reasonable to assume we were comparing the image quality differences between the two brands, wrong! It was because those 3D glasses necessary to view the Panasonic are not feasible! "CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS" is not a long film by any stretch, and it's never dull. However, with only 40 minutes in, the weight and general discomfort part and parcel of the lousy Panasonic glasses was just too much to deal with! PANASONIC, "WAKE UP!" Who's running things over there??? What dimwit thought it was excusable to release such crappy, miserable 3d glasses on the marketplace??? It's not only pathetic, it's shameful!!!

PANASONIC deserves to lose the entire market for 3D for daring to put out such inferior product to begin with! This doesn't remove responsibility from Samsung either. While their glasses aren't in any way as uncomfortable as the ones from PANASONIC, they're still far from being the light, easy-to-wear glasses that the format needs to become a major house-hold item for home entertainment systems. And, "all" of these glasses(haven't been able to check out the SONY 3D offerings yet) are too fragile and unreliable. One of the four pair we had for our review has stopped working correctly in less than two weeks! And, at over $150.00 a pair, that's not excusable!

Ok, so....now back to the actual 3Dblu-ray, "CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS,"...it looks and sounds terrific! From the opening credits, the richness of color is impressive and consistent throughout. This was a previous concern with 3D in general. Would the format, bring about a softness in color. No! Color and detail are on par with the 2D version(also available within this release!) Of course, the one "major" difference between the two lies in depth. "CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS" never feels like 3D is being used as merely a cheap(or rather "expensive")gimmick.  Within virtually any frame, the level of depth to various scenes becomes enhanced from this process in a way which really enriches the viewing experience. No, it's still not quite as impressive as the passive 3D glasses(due to weight and comfort issues), but it really proved to be entertaining and easily re-watchable. For the most part, 3D imagery floated off the screen seamlessly, without "ghosting," apparently a somewhat prevalent problem on the other 3D blu-ray releases and LED tvs, as well.

SONY has included DTS-HD MA 5.1 mixes in English, French and Portuguese. The lossy mix is extremely immersive. Discrete, panning and Bass effects are all over the place and while they're pushed to extremes, they somehow blend together with an impressive balance, never overshadowing the dialogue. A fantastic lossy mix!( A little puzzled as to the lack of a Spanish DTS-HD MA mix, although it is offered in standard Dolby digital 5.1)

Most, but not all of the extras (1080p/480p)from the 2D version are included in this 3D release.