Rescue [IMAX] Blu-ray 3D Review
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4 (2D); MVC (3D)
- Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
- Audio Codec: English, French, Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit)
- Subtitles: N/A
- Subtitles Color: N/A
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: NR
- Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray)
- Run Time: 46 Mins.
- Studio: Image Entertainment
- Blu-ray Release Date: November 6, 2012
- List Price: $24.98
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(All Blu-rayDefinition.com screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)
IMAX exhibition films, at their abbreviated length of around 45-minutes or so, rarely delve too deeply into the subjects they are covering. The main purpose of them it seems is simply to serve as eye candy, a simple diversion with some educational elements. As such, when they tackle topics such as the ones in Rescue, which covers military and civilian first responders and, ultimately, the disastrous magnitude 7.0 2010 earthquake in Haiti, they tend to seem even more trivial and patronizing.
Longtime IMAX filmmaker Stephen Low’s latest effort here seems like two films cobbled together. The first half of the film begins like any other IMAX film one might come across. It documents the training sessions of a few select military and civilian first responders from the Air Force, National Guard, Canadian Navy, and Volunteer Fire Departments. Capturing awesome images of airplanes and helicopters in flight, ships at sail, going right into the cockpits and on the bridge of the ships, Low gives us intimate views of the rugged and harrowing training sessions. Then the focus shifts as disaster strikes. The teams all head toward the Caribbean to take part in the international effort to bring aid to Haiti, flattened by the worst earthquake there in centuries. Sadly, the overriding tone of Rescue always seems way too light, with too little focus on the problems in Haiti and too much focus on building a narrative about the heroism of the first responders.
In all, the film works as a virtuosic display of IMAX technology, but this is one instance in which the subject matter would have been better served by a more in depth telling.
Well, this IMAX presentation is simply breathtaking, whether you prefer to enjoy it in 2D or 3D. Detail is sharp, colors sparkling, and the image splendidly clean. The 3D presentation offers excellent front-to-back depth, a strong sense of natural dimensionality, and, when the need arises, great pop-out effects. It plunges you right into the cockpit of airplanes and helicopters, the helm of a Naval ship, or down the cargo hold of a plane.
Rescue comes with a typically aggressive sound mix offered up in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit). It has lots of headroom offering great dynamic range and it puts you front and center for all of the action, with the sounds of helicopter propellers surrounding you, airplanes thundering overhead, ocean waves swooshing across the room, the clatter and clank of battleships coming from every angle. Dialogue is clean and natural as well.
Only brief interviews with the featured rescuers and their bios are included alongside trailers fro additional IMAX films from Image Entertainment.
- Rescuer Interviews and Bios:
- Steven Heicklen
- Major Matthew Jonkey
- Commander Peter R. Crain
- Captain Lauren Ross
The Definitive Word
The first half of Rescue is excellent, the second half shows the weaknesses of the shortened, exhibition-themed format with the shallow handling of such catastrophic circumstances. There’s even a brief CG-snippet that gives a rudimentary explanation on plate tectonics, helping bridge together what feels like two completely different films. As a complete documentary, Rescue doesn’t quite make the grade, but as pure eye candy, it works on all levels.
Additional Screen Captures