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Without question, 3-D technology has come a long way since the days of red and green cardboard glasses, andEncounter in the Third Dimensionis ample proof. This half-hour feature--also available inThe Ultimate 3-D Collection, which includes two other films and the H3D "i-glasses" hardware needed to generate the 3-D imaging--tells the story of three-dimensional cinema, in the process showing off a lot of what the technology can do. Elvira's presence is largely incidental; the best section by far is a dramatic tour through an otherworldly chasm. The film's sense of depth is astoundingly convincing, especially during the many point-of-view sequences; crags and dinosaur limbs seem to jut halfway between the screen and your viewing position. The disc's image and color resolution are not as good as we've come to expect from DVD, however.

Originally produced to showcase "large-format" 3-D (i.e., a towering IMAX screen), Encounter features fun snippets of old films and even a few stereographic still photos. Sadly, none of these fills the screen or lasts very long, and the process reverts to standard 2-D imaging in pause mode. The sound is well above average, enhancing the sense of depth with a seamless DTS surround mix that works well even in headphones. --Michael Mikesell

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CastStuart Pankin, Harry Shearer, Cassandra Peterson, Andrea Thompson
DirectorSean MacLeod Phillips, Ben Stassen
DVD Release Date:  October 16, 2001
Runtime:  57 minutes
Studio:  Sling Shot
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