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Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D(2012)
James Cameron produces this kaleidoscopic fantasy adventure performed by members of contemporary circus troupe Cirque du Soleil. When a young couple becomes separated, they must each journey through a sequence of dreamlike realms of discovery before they can be reunited.
For more about Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D and the Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D Blu-ray release, see Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 13, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Erica Linz, Igor Zaripov, Dallas Barnett
Director: Andrew Adamson
» See full cast & crew
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D Blu-ray Review
The circus is in 3D town.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 13, 2013
Get ready for circus marvelous!
With the barrage of 3D -- and high end 3D at that -- films dominating the visual entertainment landscape these past few years, it's a wonder it took even this long to bring to full, vivid, extra-dimensional life the acclaimed Cirque Du Soleil, and who better than the father of modern 3D, legendary filmmaker James Cameron (Avatar, Titanic 3D), to do it. Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away isn't the show shot in 3D but rather a filmed fantasy centered on the world of the circus, a dreamlike, colorful, fluid, and oftentimes exhilarating performance art set that captures the extraordinary talents of some of the most gifted physical performers the world has ever known. Directed by Andrew Adamson (Shrek) and aided by Cameron's eye for 3D and innovations in the medium, the film tells a simple story of love at first sight and the fantastical happenings on the way to happily ever after. Yet the story is really little more than a necessary addition, a reason to show off some of the most amazing feats of human agility via the most cutting-edge technological marvels currently available.
Mia (Erica Linz) wanders into a small-town circus and is approached by a clown who gently nudges her towards the acrobatics tent. Inside, she finds a room full of wondrous performers, but none of them can match the grace, skill, and good looks of the show's aerialist (Igor Zaripov). When the two share a brief moment from afar -- she in the stands and he high above the ground -- he misses his mark and tumbles to the earth. The ground gives way and pulls him into another world. Mia follows and finds herself in a fantastical world of the exhilarating and the bizarre both, a world populated by the greatest performers of Cirque du Soleil. As she travels through this new, magical, and mysterious world, she encounters new friends -- and a few enemies -- during her search for both the aerialist and her own destiny.
This is the circus like it's never been seen before on home video, a real spectacle of both cutting edge technology and finely-honed human skill. But no matter about the former. For as marvelous as Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away looks both in 2D and in 3D, the experience is far less about the technical merits and styles of the visuals but rather more about the human performances. To be sure, the added dimension of the 3D photography and the skill with which the material is captured serves to enhance the senses of movement, strength, agility, balance, daring, scope, and all of the other attributes required to perform on a level of this magnitude. Nevertheless, the human factor supersedes the technological elements in each and every scene -- these performers are really something to see -- and that's the way it should be. That these are flesh-and-blood people who have dedicated their lives to a dangerous and unique performance art and not digital renderings that can do anything and everything with a click of the mouse is what makes this experience so remarkable, so exhilarating, so unforgettable. But even the world's top performers and the planet's finest in 3D can't quite equal the sense of awe that comes from watching these sorts of performances in person. Technology has yet to reach the point that a screen can replace the authentic atmosphere of a live circus -- even the traveling circuses that pass through town every now and then -- but that's not to diminish anything in the film. Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away is a real eye-opening experience; it might get a little slow, at times, considering there's a minimal story and practically no dialogue, but the fun comes from watching the best humanity has to offer in terms of physical prowess, people who, in essence, are doing what seems like the impossible.
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away emits something of an IMAX feel; it takes on a very big, very detailed sort of grandiose presence in every scene. The acting is a bit forced, but the emphasis is on the physical rather than the emotional. And with next-to-no dialogue, a bit of exaggeration is exactly what the story needs, less dramatic nuance and emotional subtleties and more overreaching external constructs meant only to move the film along towards the next spectacle. The film is built around some larger-than-life and very highly stylized elements; it takes on the feel of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus in terms of scope and scale and visual cues. It captures a range of emotions, from the breathtaking to the bizarre, from the wondrous to the weird, from the adventurous to the artistic, but no matter who or what is on the screen, Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away engenders a real sense of the amazing in the fluidity of it all, the attention to detail -- no matter how abstract -- and the often hypnotic blend of adventure, simple storytelling, and physical wonderment, all playing out within the latest in digital technology that, even if it can't replace the authentic sights and smells of the real deal, brings audiences closer than ever before to the action.
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Knowing that James Cameron is involved, it's reasonable to assume that Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D will look marvelous in 3D. And that assumption would be correct. The 3D presentation is a real looker. It displays incredible spacing and depth in practically very shot and brings the audience so close to the performances, so near to the dangers, and so fully into the world that it springs to life in a way the gorgeous 2D transfer simply cannot match. From the film's very first shot forward, the 3D elements impress. A long country road stretches far back into the screen. In the next shot, grass sprawls back and towards the carnival. Then, the camera looks down the entryway and beyond a line of tents, making for a visual treat of realistic depth. Inside the big top tent, the sense of space between the ground and the top and the performer and the top is very clear; the volume feels authentic and places viewers right inside alongside Mia and the aerialist. In the "world away," the 3D visuals give greater definition to every performer and the environment in which they act. It's a wide-open world of wonder that's spacious and confined only by the limits of the frame. There are a few cool "gimmick" shots, but generally the film is all about depth perception and shape. The review equipment (Sony BD player, Panasonic plasma) did show some regular crosstalk elements. On the general side of the ledger, the transfer retains the beautiful details and colors and rock-solid black levels of the 2D release (see the link above for a more detailed review) but does look a touch flatter and a hair dimmer. Overall, however, this is a fantastic 3D transfer that rivals most any other on the market.
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away features a dazzling DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. It's smooth but also aggressive, making extensive and natural use of the surround channels in every scene. Musical delivery is precise, showing great clarity and seamless flow around the stage. The track makes use of a positive, balanced low end, whether a rumbling train -- which displays great sound imaging as it moves from one side to the other -- or in support of music. Some big, heavy sound effects also produce deep and exciting bass. All of the attributes mesh seamlessly together in the "world away" for a pleasurable and perfectly engineered sound experience that's as grandiose as the visuals and as captivating as the performances. The film is littered with all sorts of distinct, well-placed, and demo-worthy moments that bring the world to life and are guaranteed to put even the best sound system through its paces. This is a marvelous listening experience that alone is worth the price of the disc.
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D contains no unique 3D supplements. All of the extras from the 2D-only disc are carried over here on the included 2D disc. A DVD and UV and iTunes digital copies is also included.
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away doesn't have much of a heart -- the story is as paper-thin as could be -- but it does have a soul, a very human soul that surpasses in spirit and accomplishment even the cutting-edge technology used to bring it the screen. For all the marvels behind the scenes, Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away truly dazzles through the skill of its performers. It's an amazing spectacle of human agility that's been seen before but perhaps not quite at this level of perfect execution. It makes for a nice escape from the phoniness of Hollywood -- even as the world of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away is itself incredibly stylized -- and offers a glimpse into something uniquely human and very much real, even under makeup, costumes, and through the prism of the latest in technology. Paramount's Blu-ray 3D release of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away delivers excellent video and audio. Supplements are few, but this release nevertheless comes recommended.
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Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway - Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D - March 11, 2013
Blu-ray.com and Paramount Home Entertainment are offering three members a chance to win a copy of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D. Capturing the feats of the extraordinary artists up close using cameras that sometimes soar 70 feet in the air, Worlds Away comes ...
• Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away Blu-ray (Updated) - March 10, 2013
Paramount Home Media Distribution has officially announced and detailed its upcoming 2D and 3D Blu-ray releases of Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away. Executive produced by James Cameron and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Adamson (The Chronicles of Narnia), ...
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