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Writing Credits:

Paradise won't ever feel closer than it does in Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit 2011 - The 3D Experience. Join supermodels Julie Henderson, Alyssa Miller and 2011 SI Swimsuit cover girl Irina Shayk as they explore the natural beauty of Maui - and see it in breathtaking 3D on Blu-ray. Featuring exclusive interviews with the models and amazing photo sessions on some of the most pristine beaches in the world, Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit 2011 - The 3D Experience is so vivid and lifelike you'll almost be able to feel the sand between your toes. So join us on our little trip to heaven. (Sunscreen not included.)

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Chinese (Traditional)
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 30 min.
Price: $19.95
Release Date: 6/7/2011

• None


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011: The 3D Experience [Blu-Ray 3D] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (June 22, 2011)

As a kid in the late 1970s, Sport Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue was a gift from heaven. If you weren’t old enough for Playboy or the like, the swimsuit issue granted you the opportunity to ogle super-hot women in the nearly-altogether.

Though the market now offers thousands more opportunities for kids – and adults – to get their hot lady fix, the SI swimsuit edition keeps on keeping on, as evidenced by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011, a video documentary connected to that issue’s shoot. In this one, we see and hear from three models: Irina Shayk, Julie Henderson, and Alyssa Miller.

We also get a few notes from photographer Bjorn Iooss, but the emphasis – logically – remains on the models. We get a few behind the scenes images of the shoot, but we mostly see the models wander around tropical settings and smile or pout at the camera.

As I alluded at the start of this review, the girl-ogling marketplace has changed radically since my childhood. With so many other options – so many of which are much more revealing than the swimsuit issue – does SI’s annual calling card still serve a purpose?

Yeah – to a degree, at least. The SI swimsuit issue’s main appeal comes from the classiness of the project. It boasts immaculate production values and top-notch photography, so it always looks amazing.

And the models are awfully stunning. You’ll find virtually no silicone on display in SI, and that means a lot to some of us. As dazzling as they are, most of the models still look real; they’re not plastic fantastic Pam Anderson approximations of women. Of course, each viewer will have his faves, but it’s impossible to find any models who are less than gorgeous.

So I still appreciate and enjoy the SI issue, but I’m not quite as wild about this documentary. Granted, I can’t observe one of the Blu-ray’s big selling points: its 3D presentation. I don’t have a 3D TV or player, so I had to opt for the included 2D version.

Because of that, I was somewhat reluctant to review the title – after all, I couldn’t watch the show in its full glory. But hey, 2D guys like hot babes too, and since 3D buyers make up such a small percentage of the market, I figured there’d be a logical reason to review it without the 3D side.

I’d be curious to see the show in 3D, but I can’t imagine the extra depth would add a lot. That’s what Swimsuit opts to do: just use the 3D for a bit of extra dimensionality and “you are there” feeling. It’s not like the models thrust their boobs at the camera or do anything that would appear to pop out of the screen.

For the 2D viewer, that’s a good thing, as it means Swimsuit never shoots for silly 3D elements. Really, I can’t see anything here that would differentiate the cinematography from a traditional 2D presentation. As a 2D viewer, I can see how the program uses the 3D for depth, but it still works perfectly fine as a 2D image.

As beautiful as the models are, though, there’s just not a lot on display to make Swimsuit particularly interesting. It’s not especially good as a documentary. We get fairly banal comments from the models and Iooss; these offer a smattering of information about the SI experience, but don’t expect to really learn much more than it’s an honor and it’s awesome.

Despite all the lovely eye candy on display, Swimsuit tends to be a bit of a bore. There’s a definite sameness to the situations; we see the women wander through similar settings with similar motions and similar expressions. Okay, Henderson smiles more than Miller and Shayk, but still, there’s not a lot of variety here. Each year, SI in a wide variety of locations – why not give us scenes from a few others to spice things up a bit?

At no point does Swimsuit 2011 become a bad program; it’s hard to really dislike 30 minutes of well-photographed super-hot bikini models. Nonetheless, it also never turns into anything especially engaging. It’s a mild, pleasant diversion and nothing more.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus F

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. As noted in the body of this review, I was unable to check out the 3D version of the show, so I could only address the quality of the 2D edition. The program usually looked great, though a few minor exceptions occurred.

Sharpness was the only occasionally questionable element. Though much of the show delivered excellent clarity and accuracy, a few soft spots interfered. I suspect that these most likely resulted from the conversion of the 3D photography down to 2D, as they just didn’t make much sense otherwise; for instance, a shot of Alyssa Miller in a pool showed nice definition in the background but the model herself looked fuzzy.

In any case, sharpness was usually terrific, and I noticed no issues with jagged edges, shimmering or haloes. Print flaws also weren’t a concern. The show always appeared clean and free from blemishes.

With the tropical settings, colors became a highlight. The hues were consistently vivid and dynamic, so they delivered the locations well. Blacks were deep and dense, while shadows seemed clear and appropriate. Only the occasional issues with sharpness made this a “B+”; most of the program earned a full “A”.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Swimsuit, it was perfectly acceptable. The soundfield boasted good stereo music, and the score also spread to the back speakers to engulf the viewer. Effects played a smaller role but appeared throughout the show in a decent manner. These tended toward beach sounds such as the lapping of waves. The side and rear speakers managed to make these reasonably involving, though they remained pretty subdued.

Audio quality was generally good, though speech wasn’t great. Dialogue was always intelligible but could seem a little brittle and rough at times. Still, most of the speech was fine. Music sounded full and rich, and effects boasted good clarity. All of this seemed enough for a “B”, though the edgy dialogue almost knocked my grade down to a “B-“.

In terms of extras, we get none – unless you count the 2D version of the program as a “bonus”. I don’t. The absence of extras disappoints since the Blu-ray easily could’ve included lots of outtakes and additional footage.

The lack of supplements also makes it more difficult to recommend Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2011. Indeed, copious extras might’ve been the only thing to make me endorse a purchase. The main program is pleasant to watch but not especially compelling. The show boasts very good picture quality and positive audio but as noted, it comes with absolutely no extras.

And it arrives with a list price of nearly $20, which seems awfully steep for what you get. Add a bunch of outtakes and Swimsuit becomes an easier sale, but almost $20 for 30 minutes of girls in bikinis is just too expensive. Even if you’re desperate for material to show off your 3D TV, there’s not enough substance here to merit my recommendation.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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