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Although 3D TVs targeted for the U.S. market have been discontinued there are still many in use, supported by a loyal group of 3D fans. Also, the 3D viewing option is still available on many video projectors, which is actually the best way to enjoy the 3D viewing experience.
There are well over 500 3D Blu-ray Disc movie titles available, and new titles will still be released as long as there is demand. However, U.S. 3D releases are getting sparse. On the other hand, many titles are still being released in the Asian and European market and can be found online. However, for U.S. viewers, make sure such releases Region Code Free.
The following are 20 of our 3D Blu-ray Disc favorites and is updated periodically as more 3D Blu-ray discs are released or come to our attention as good examples of 3D.
If you are interested in some great non-3D Blu-ray disc movies to add your collection, check out our companion listing of Best Blu-ray Discs For Home Theater Viewing.
Photo from Amazon
If you haven't seen The Walk on 3D Blu-ray and you have a 3D TV/Video projector/Blu-ray Disc player, definitely seek it out as it is one the best examples of 3D as storytelling tool ever released.
The film is based on the true story of tightrope walker Philippe Petit's historic high-wire walk between the two World Trade Center Towers in NYC in 1974. The film is both a tribute to Petit's accomplishment and the twin towers that are no longer a part of the NYC skyline.
Told from Petit's point-of-view (as portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt), we are taken on a journey back to his beginnings as high-wire artistic and juggler, through the planning of his dream, to walk between the twin towers.
The film was originally shot in 2D but converted by Legend 3D for both theatrical and Blu-ray Disc presentation. For those that dismiss the capabilities of 2D-to-3D conversion, this film will blow you away with the result.
As a build-up to the extensive final scenes, the 3D effects are realistically applied to low-wire and circus performance settings, but where the 3D really shines in the finale where you actually experience (close-up) Petit's famous walk.
If you are afraid of heights, this finale of this film will have you on squirming in your seat, but in a good way, just keep telling yourself "it is a movie", definitely a testament to how realistic the 3D effects were in this film.
The bottom line — Excellent movie, Excellent 3D!
If you are looking for a great 3D movie on Blu-ray, check out Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. Using 3D to its fullest, director Tsui Hark takes you back to a restless period of political intrigue in China's history with great sets, expansive outdoor cinematography, and excellently choreographed martial arts action, featuring martial arts stars Jet Li and Xun Zhou.
The 3D presentation is fantastic. There are a lot of "comin'-at-ya" effects, but they are not thrown in for no purpose — they are part of the integration of the martial arts action. Interior and exterior shots have an extraordinary amount of realistic depth as Tsui Hark uses an excellent technique of placing characters strategically between both foreground and background objects.
In addition, the colorfully layered period costumes are very detailed. Even the English subtitles are strategically placed just in front of the plane of the characters speaking the lines. However, you find the subtitle reading a little distracting at times — if so, you may want to opt for the English dub.
The Blu-ray Disc transfer is bright, thus translating well to 3D viewing with minimal brightness loss. Aside from the 3D, the Chinese Language DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 channel soundtrack is also excellent. However, if you prefer viewing the film in English, the English dubbed soundtrack is in Dolby Digital 2.0.
Even if you are not a fan of Asian martial arts films, the 3D Blu-ray disc release of Flying Swords of Dragon Gate is a great film to show off how good 3D can be, if it is done right.
A 2D Blu-ray version of the film, with bonus features, is also included in the disc package.
The 3D Blu-ray Disc release of this film is your chance to see a film where 3D is integral to the story, provided you have a 3D TV/projector and 3D-enabled Blu-ray Disc player.
After a devastating accident celebrated, but the egotistical medical doctor, Steven Strange, loses the ability to use his hands for performing complex surgeries. Desperate for a cure, he travels to Katmandu, Nepal. However, instead of finding a cure, he is thrust on a journey of discovery which takes him to unseen dimensions, ultimately facing off against powerful inter-dimensional and dark entities that threaten the universe.
The 3D effects are excellent, becoming the perfect tool to transport the viewer into alternate realities. Some scenes are reminiscent of the effects used in the film Inception, but this Doctor Strange takes it much further. If this film would have been possible in the 1960s, it would have been heralded as the ultimate "acid trip".
The aspect ratio of the film does change periodically between 2.39:1 and 1.78:1 to better present the action sequences.
The film was shot in 2D and was post-converted to 3D by Stereo D and Legend 3D, and is one of the best examples of post-production 2D-to-3D conversion done so far, a real testament on how 3D technology has matured.
This was THE film that started the current 3D trend, as it still one of the best, definitely deserves a top spot in your 3D Blu-ray Disc library. From the opening space arrival scene to the final battle, this film has it all in terms of a 3D feast for the eyes. The main things to take note of the 3D aspect of this film is the more natural approach used in the 3D process. There is very little of the "comin'-at-ya" type of 3D effects commonly used in 3D movies that actually ends up pushing the viewer away. Instead, James Cameron has opted for a more textural approach to 3D that actually draws you into the fantastical world of Pandora.
The soundtrack is a great example of well-blended and properly balanced audio mixing, which makes it the perfect complement for the video presentation. Avatar is a benchmark for 3D viewing.
Exotic location, giant monsters, and lots of action — these are the perfect reasons to watch Kong Skull Island. Hold on to your seat as Kong takes his anger on the flying helicopters!
Although originally shot in 2D and converted to 3D in post-production, you can tell that care was taken to get it right. The 3D effect takes advantage of the natural depth in the exotic landscapes, which really draws you into the movie.
Also, the differential size of the humans vs the monsters and the perspective of multiple mountains and trees vs the valleys and rivers is definitely effective.
In addition, a night scene where Kong faces off with Samuel L. Jackson, really shows off how well multiple objects in different planes can be enhanced using 3D. Of course, the great DTS-HD Master audio soundtrack definitely adds to the punch.
Even if you already have the 2D Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version of this film, the 3D version is excellent, despite being a 2D/3D conversion. However, there is a lot of going in this movie. Locations are constantly changing with their own 3D characteristics, and, of course, there is a heavy mix of live action and CGI for both locations and some key characters. That being said, the 3D provides a lot of depth but is not overly exaggerated so as to take you away from the story.
The downside is that although it also has a great soundtrack, unlike the Ultra HD version, which has a Dolby Atmos mix, the 3D version provides less immersive 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio. If you want to immerse the viewer in 3D video, it would nice to also immersive them in 3D audio.
Starting with an opening crawl, the 3D draws you in. In addition to the opening crawl, other distinctive scenes include:
3D effects were applied purposely and appropriately throughout the film and worked well in both dark and daylight scenes, and both costume and building textures were displayed realistically.
The 3D collector's edition also comes with a lot of extras, including both standard Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film and several "making of" mini-documentaries.
The only disappointment is that although this release includes a good DTS HD-Master Audio 7.1 channel soundtrack, it really deserved to have an immersive Dolby Atmos soundtrack that would have blended better with the 3D effects of the film.
From the wide expanse of space to claustrophobic space capsule interiors, Gravity delivers one of the most impressive 3D movie viewing experiences so far on Blu-ray Disc. However, what makes the use of 3D even more noteworthy is that is the result of 2D-to-3D conversion rather than being shot with 3D cameras.
Of course, just because the 3D is great doesn't mean that the movie would necessarily be good. However, Director Alfonso Cuarón, successfully weaves the style of a science fiction epic, with intense personal drama, using 3D a part of the storytelling vehicle. The only on-camera cast members are Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.
Gravity a great dramatic and visual film, but it's 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack definitely adds to the drama and immersive-ness of the film.
There is also interesting supplementary material including a documentary narrated by Ed Harris on the issue of space junk that is crowding near-Earth space and a short additional scene that shows the other side of a radio communication between Sandra Bullock's character and someone on Earth. Other supplements cover the film's pre-production and production process, as well as some interesting shot breakdowns.
Gravity is a must-have have for your collection.
Just about all superhero films are released in 3D these days, some provide a good 3D viewing experience, while some leave you asking "why bother?". However, Ant-Man is an example of an excellent 3D viewing experience.
Since the film deals with a superhero that can shrink and grow at will, there are abundant opportunities to take advantage of 3D. The contrast of Ant-man is his tiny state in relation to giant-sized ants, rocks, plants, and humans make for a fun viewing experience. Definitely, take note of the bathtub scene!
In addition to 3D, the film also features a great balance of adventure and humor, as well as the presence of veteran actor Michael Douglas and the smart and sassy Evangeline Lily.
To top it off, the 3D Blu-ray Disc also features an impressive DTS HD-Master Audio 7.1 channel soundtrack.
If you like Ant-Man, the sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp carries on in the same 3D tradition, so pick both of them up (Region Code Free – available via Amazon UK).
From casting announcement that Scarlett Johansson was going to play "Major" in this adaptation of the classic manga and anime, this film was not warmly received by critics and fans.
However, that aside, the film does have a lot to offer as it not only does Scarlett Johansson "dive" into the role, but the film recreates a few key scenes from the anime (check out the Making of Ghost In The Shell feature on the 2D Blu-ray for visual details). In addition, Ghost In The Shell provides an excellent platform for 3D execution.From the futuristic urban landscapes to the mid-air holograms, the 3D effect is very convincing, providing excellent depth. Also, a shout out has to be given to both the production and costume designers for adapting the look of the previous anime version and placing it in a 3D environment.
If you are a 3D fan and missed this one in theater and have resisted getting the 3D Blu-ray version, you should parallel Scarlett Johansson's leap and get it.
If you opt for the UK disc version it is region code free.
The Adventures of Tintin is a great example of how 3D can be used effectively to enhance the visual viewing experience and complement storytelling. In the hands of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, the celebrated comic-book adventurer, Tintin, is brought to the screen in grand fashion, with great action and adventure, in the vein of Saturday matinee series and Spielberg's own Indiana Jones films. Tintin makes an excellent transition from page to film, with distinctive and memorable characters and supplies the perfect balance of thrills and comedy.
The Adventures of Tintin Limited Edition 3D Blu-ray disc comes packaged with both the 3D and 2D versions of the film and a third disc containing the DVD version. Also provided are access codes to an Ultraviolet Digital Copy of the film.
The 3D and 2D Blu-ray versions, both provide a great viewing experience, but the 3D version is one of the better 3D transfers, retaining excellent detail, color, and holds up in fast motion sequences. Whether you prefer 2D or 3D, The Adventures of Tintin definitely belongs in your Blu-ray Disc collection. This film should have gotten an Oscar for Best Animated Film for its qualifying year – it was disappointing that it wasn't even nominated. However, The Adventures of Tintin definitely won't be ignored on this list!
Martin Scorsese's Hugo is not only a great 3D movie — it is a great movie — and Scorsese's first in 3D.
Hugo is one of those movies that takes us to a place and time that is both real and fanciful, grand in scope, yet very personal. Through the lens of Martin Scorsese, this Hugo reveals the magic and importance of film and filmmakers on our hopes and dreams.
The film is a delight to watch in either 2D or 3D, but the masterful use of 3D is woven in the film as an effective storytelling tool that draws you into the world of a 1930's Paris train station and its cast of distinguished characters.
3D is used to great effect that adds visual texture and perspective that makes you feel that you are actually in the movie. As the story develops, the viewer, along with Hugo and his friend Isabelle, discover the magic of movies that is inspirational.
Hugo deserved its Academy Award nominations and wins, and some argue it could have won Best Picture. Whether you watch in 3D or 2D Blu-ray or DVD, Hugo is a special film that the whole family can enjoy and be inspired by.
In addition, the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 channel sound mix complements the 3D viewing experience perfectly.
Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those films that turned out to be an unexpectedly huge hit. With a great cast, and excellent character and story execution, Marvel/Disney really pulled it off.
The film does an excellent job of introducing us to an unfamiliar group of characters (to most)who start off as outlaws and making them relate-able to the viewing audience. Fan favorites: Rocket Raccoon and Groot.
The most touted touch of the film was its great retro soundtrack — but what is not heralded so much as was the excellent execution of 3D.
The transfer onto Blu-ray is clean, with exceptional detail. Also, despite being a 2D-to-3D conversion, the 3D execution was consistently good throughout the film with natural depth and appropriate emphasis where you would expect it.
Some of the key 3D scenes include the opening scene/title sequence, a brazen jail-house escape, the elaborate finale.
The only thing that we were hoping for was more spaceship flying at you effects — but for 3D fans, you will still not be disappointed with the overall result.
It is brutal, violent, unrelenting, and definitely deserves its R-rating. However, Dredd provides an excellent 3D viewing experience in which 3D is actually an integral part of the storyline. Rather than resorting to pop-out effects, the film utilizes well-placed slow motion and excellent foreground-background perspective to draw you in.
Based on the well-known cult British comic book, viewers are taken on "day in the life of Judge Dredd", who is one of an elite corps of individuals who is assigned to be judge, jury, and executioner (if need be) in the fight against crime in the near-future metropolis of Mega-City One.
However, his additional assignment on this day is to evaluate a new recruit. The unlikely pair decides to investigate some odd goings-on in the 70,000 population Peachtrees Megablock, where they end up with facing off with both corrupt Judges and murderous drug lord Ma-Ma. If you can handle the intensity of the action, and the gritty film style, this is one great 3D movie.
The 3D Blu-ray edition of Drive Angry literally blasts its way into your living room with tires screeching and guns blazing. Although the plot is not all that original, and the execution of the film has similarities and references to films like Bullit, Gone in Sixty Seconds (1974), Vanishing Point (1971) and Death Proof, it certainly justifies the extensive use of "comin'-at-ya'" 3D effects that are actually well-staged.
We found the video transfer to be excellent with exceptional detail and color (although there were some instances of overly bright whites). We didn't notice any over-processed post-production image enhancement (although the CGI used in the beginning and end of the film wasn't that great). The skin textures, fabric, and the chrome and bodywork on the cars were very detailed in both 2D and 3D. In addition, the Midwest and Southern locations looked great and provided the perfect rural backdrop to the action.
Although there is some minor intermittent ghosting (that is most noticeable in dark scenes), the 3D holds up well. The 3D has a lot of natural depth and does not suffer from "paper doll" effects. In addition, the soundtrack complements the over-the-top action very well.
It seems like every few years, a new version of the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol" hits either the local cinema or TV screens. We all know the main character, and we all know how the story ends. However, that is not the point. It is the way the story is told that really brings it home. In this case, Disney, who usually takes great liberties when translating literary works to the screen, doesn't veer off the details of the story that much. Also, instead of a live action performance, Disney has used the medium of 3D motion capture animation to bring this classic to the screen.
There are some sequences that emphasize an exaggerated 3D effect we endure with just about every 3D movie, however, director Robert Zemeckis also uses 3D to tell the story. One of the most impressive is the sequence where Scrooge has to pay the coffin maker for the casket of his previous boss. The excellent use of 3D with the interplay of color and shadow is extraordinary, not to mention the 3D texture of the Scrooge's facial features. This is definitely a 3D Blu-ray disc that is a must-have demo disc - even if it is not Christmas.
At first, this film seems like a rip-off of "Spy vs Spy" with cute yellow creatures and cheesy 3D effects. However, behind the comedy, it goes into the nature of loneliness, the need for acceptance, and redemption as much as fun and games.
The 3D effects are mostly played for laughs, but with great effect. The strange world of the title character Gru (the World's preeminent super-villain) and his lemming-like Minions, although impressive in the 2D version, really come alive in the 3D version that makes this movie a great fun piece of entertainment, with just the right dab of seriousness, for the whole family. Definitely a great 3D demo disc.
Before the current 3D TV and 3D Blu-ray push, IMAX has been presenting documentaries and nature films in 3D theatrically for quite a while. Now, these wonderful films are being released on 3D Blu-ray Discs. Although short (usually about 40 minutes or so in length), they are great additions to a home 3D movie library.
One of the best of these films is Under The Sea. The narration provided by Jim Carrey isn't that impressive, but what you see on the screen is amazing. You are taken down into an undersea world where you get the chance to see creatures that very few humans get to see in their natural environment, if at all.
The added bonus of 3D gives the feeling that that undersea is alive in your viewing room. Watch for that shark and don't let the sea lions jump out of the screen. You even get to enter the world of the Leafy Sea Dragon, a creature that is camouflaged so well, you would almost certainly miss it, even at close range. This film demonstrates what 3D does best, bringing aspects of our world to us that we may never be able to go to ourselves.
Last on this list, but not least, is House of Wax. This film is not only classic Vincent Price but is classic 3D. Released in 1953 (please don't confuse this film with the inferior 2005 remake), this film represents the beginning of the brief 1950's 3D craze and, fortunately, has been preserved in that format for release and enjoyment on 3D Blu-ray for modern audiences.
House of Wax has all the spookiness of a good 1950's horror film, and the 3D effects definitely help. The only odd thing in the film is an obvious (but short) demonstration of comin'-at-ya 3D effects that really don't need to be there (you will know it when you see it), but does provide some levity from the drama.
Also, the film quality is a little softer than want you might experience these days, but keep in mind that this was before CGI and other modern production/post-production techniques were available.
If you are both a film and 3D buff, this film is definitely worth putting in your collection, before it goes back into the Warner vault.
This one is a real gem. Resurrected to its original 3D glory by the Warner Archive, this film was originally released during the 1950's 3D craze.The film does show its age somewhat, but the saving grace is that it is shot in native 3D, before age of conversions and CGI.
The 3D is excellent and a pleasant departure from 3D horror and action movie fare made during that time period but does include some very effective in-your-face moments. The stage-style sets reveal a lot of natural depth and as a musical, the dance numbers take full advantage of 3D depth and motion.
In addition to the 3D video, the original stereo soundtrack has been remastered to 5.1 Channel DTS-HD Master audio, which is a definite improvement.
The disc is available in the U.S., but it is also region code free for those international buyers that would like to take the dip.