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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011: The 3D Experience (Blu-ray Review)

Sometimes it really sucks being a Blu-ray reviewer, especially when it comes to titles like this.  Relax!  I’m kidding folks.  I took one for the team when I chose to review this title.   I mean come on, what kind of dude really wants to review a Blu-ray disc full of Sports Illustrated models running around the beautiful landscapes of Hawaii half naked? This dude!  And let’s be honest here, Sports Illustrated magazine isn’t exactly known for its sports coverage (in this day and age of the Internet it’s old news by the time it hits the newsstands)…it’s known for its annual swimsuit issue, baby!  So that’s why I got so excited, like a fat kid still drooling over ice-cream cake on a cold winter day, a month ago when I found out the 2011 edition would be coming to the Blu-ray format, donning the official title of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011: The 3D Experience.    Seriously, how could one go wrong?

Film  

I don’t really believe in beating around the bush so I will just come out and say it.   It wasn’t exactly the most entertaining Blu-ray I ever watched, but I sure didn’t want to turn it off either.  How could I?  I wanted to take in all the breathtaking Hawaiian scenery.   Yeah.  That’s it!  Err…wrong!  It’s the girls man.   Like the Motley Crüe song, “Girls, Girls, Girls,” that’s the main attraction here.  But seriously, like I mentioned above, Sports Illustrated has always held very high standards for its annual Swimsuit edition and when you have a legacy to live up to with the likes of Cindy Crawford and Elle Macpherson, from back in the days, it’s hard to believe that SI would steer you wrong here.   Isn’t it?  That’s where you are supposed to say it sure is!

Three girls appear within this very too brief 30-minute Blu-ray outing.  First, Russian cover girl Irina Shayk talks about her life and escape from the small town of Yemanzhelinsk.  She has actually appeared in the past several editions of the annual Swimsuit issue.  Next up is Houston native, Julie Henderson, who is the veteran among this lineup of girls.  She spends her time talking about the life of a SI Swimsuit model and the rugged photo shoots that she partakes in.  Finally, we are introduced to my favorite gal, newcomer Alyssa Miller.  Obviously, since I used the word favorite, I liked her the most out of the three.  Duh!  She spends much of her time talking about how it is to be a newbie among the elite and already proven models.   Don’t worry Alyssa.  Pretty soon, you’ll be the main attraction.  I’m certain of that.

The lucky man behind the camera, that no guy probably cares about, but every guy wants to be is Texas native Bjorne Iooss (pictured below).  The 30-minute runtime is pretty formulaic.  We get an initial glimpse of the model being featured and then a cornucopia of breathtaking Hawaiian scenery, the model of the moment prancing around and looking all sexy just for you and then the thing that all guys dread, the interviews and hearing the models talk.   I mean, what’s wrong with just showing the models galavanting around the beautiful Hawaiian terrain the feature’s entire runtime?  Absolutely nothing, if you want my opinion.

So really, there’s nothing of substance here.  The content is pretty tasteful and safe, just like the magazine equivalent “usually” is.   For those of you looking for a more “Playmate” kind of experience, I would strongly encourage to look elsewhere.  You won’t find the droids you are looking for here.  I promise you that.  But for those of you who just want to see three sexy girls romp around the unreal scenery, shrubs, beaches and forests of Hawaii, then by all means…these are the droids you are looking for!  Appreciate this disc’s beauty you will.

Video  

Please don’t throw tomatoes at me, but I don’t support the 3-D movement and therefore do not own the necessary equipment to properly project the 3-D content, but I could care less since the 2-D presentation is also housed on this disc.  That alone gave me ample ammunition, determination and motivation to want to review this title.   Well that, and that sexy as hell cover art.   Wow!   With the subject matter of this disc, the three sex bomb models and the to-die-for Hawaiian landscapes, it’s really hard to find fault with the images contained within, but that’s not to say there are not problem areas with the MPEG-4 transfer and 1.78:1 aspect ratio .  The scenery and texture of the Hawaiian backdrops are absolutely jaw dropping at times, but things can also get a bit fuzzy and blurry at times so needless to say, this disc isn’t reference quality no matter how much I wanted it to be.  I guess you could say, technically speaking, occasional moments of softness plague this release.   That’s too bad because I really had high hopes for this title.  It just goes to show you that you can’t always judge a Blu-ray by its cover.   LOL.   Anyway, the thing us guys care most about in this title…the skin tones…all look natural and when the sharpness is there, the textures of the Hawaiian terrain are prominently on display making me want to visit heaven on Earth that much more.   Thanks a lot Sony!

Audio  

Sony brings Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011: The 3D Experience to the Blu-ray format with a surprisingly jarring DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track.   I have to admit, things are pretty impressive in this department, more so than I ever could have expected.   I had no idea what I was in store for with so much low end activity.   Hell, even the rear channels got a small workout with atmospheric Hawaiian sounds and music bleeding over from the front channels.   I guess I will overuse the word “surprise” in this section.  I was really taken aback and pleasantly “surprised” to hear how good the audio sounded.   I was half expecting a 2.0 stereo track or a low fidelity experience.  You don’t generally expect something so robust, as what we are graced with here, for the subject matter in question.  So while it is quite far from being reference, I will say it truly is adequate and…not bad at all!

Special Features  

This is the first time this has ever happened in one of my Blu-ray reviews.  I get to give a section a big goose egg.   Yep.   That’s right.  There are definitely no droids to be found here.  You would think for the subject matter of this Blu-ray they may have given us a 1080p gallery of photos to sift through, but there’s absolutely nothing here.   Not being a big fan of extras, this doesn’t bother me too much.  I won’t lose any sleep over it.   But for many Blu-ray enthusiasts, this is usually a deal breaker for them unless they don’t care about double dipping.  Yes, I’m talking to you Mr. Deep Pockets.

Final Thoughts  

All in all, you get what you pay for here.   Take a look below, the price tag isn’t too bad.   You can’t test drive it before you buy it, but if you take my advice above, I promise I won’t steer you wrong.   If beautiful Hawaiian landscapes and bikini clad women are your thing, then I say pick this one up for research purposes (that’s a key justification you will need to use when justifying the purchase with your significant other or spouse).   You are buying this title for research.  Either you have always wanted to personally see what Hawaii is like firsthand or you just developed a new love for the photography of  Bjorne Iooss and you want to learn how he achieves those epic Sports Illustrated shots.   Whatever your reason is for wanting to pickup the Blu-ray title, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011: The 3D Experience, just make it believable.   I know you can do it.   Thanks for reading!

 

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

6 Responses to “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011: The 3D Experience (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Gerard Iribe

    LMAO! Dude, the goose egg rocks! I’m going to start using that in my reviews too!

  2. Sean Ferguson

    I was curious as to how the 3D for this looked. They probably spent more time on that version than the 2D one.

  3. Brian White

    I’m sure you are curious Sean 🙂

  4. Sean Ferguson

    I think everyone is! You need to get a 3D tv so you can cover the 3D discs!

  5. Brian White

    That’s one thing I will never get Sean. There’s not even a set standard speck for 3D. It’s way too premature.

  6. James

    To say “Julie Henderson, who is the veteran among this lineup of girls” isn’t quite right, since Julie Henderson and Irina Shayk both started SI in the same year – SI 2007.

    Also, the review could have mentioned that every time Irina Shayk is talking to camera in a medium shot, they’ve blurred the heck out of it digitally (some of her other shots look a little bit like that too, but not as much).