I, Robot 3D

Will Smith's 2004 sci-fi smash gets a 3D makeover - but should anybody really care?

The most telling thing about this big-screen sci-fi blockbuster is the on-screen credit that states that it was 'suggested by' Isaac Asimov's famous collection of short stories that goes under the same name. So, while it occasionally flirts with the deeper concerns of Asimov's writing, at the end of the day director Alex Proyas' I, Robot is all about making Will Smith look bad-ass and giving him thousands and thousands of robots to shoot, punch and run over. Which may be your thing, of course.

Picture: Fox's new release of I, Robot marks a potential turning point for 3D Blu-ray. Unlike the 3D conversions of Titanic or The Phantom Menace (both of which played at cinemas), I, Robot's stereoscopic transformation was done entirely for the home cinema market – and was undertaken using more 'cost effective' technology developed by JVC. So how does it actually measure up?

Sadly – if not entirely unexpectedly – the news isn't great. And the biggest problem with the film's conversion is its incredible inconsistency.

On the positive side are sequences such as Chi McBride shooting rogue robots with a shotgun in Chapter 31, which sprays shards of breaking glass out of the screen, or a brilliantly vertiginous use of depth to further confuse your senses as a walkway is twisted around under Bridget Moynahan's feet in Chapter 35. However, both of these examples fall within the confines of the film's action set-pieces, so it's hardly surprising that effort has been focused here.

Elsewhere, you can find evidence of where corners appear to have been cut to keep costs down. A prime example is Will Smith's character's first visit to his grandmother's house in Chapter 3. The shot of the kitchen still has a sense of depth, but the image is clearly split into flat layers – there's no sense of volume of depth to individual elements in the image, resulting in a table in the foreground that looks like a flat drawing rather than a three-dimensional object.

We also have concerns about the framing, with Fox changing the aspect ratio to 1.78:1 for this new release. This has necessitated not only unmatting the original 2.40:1 image at the top and bottom to reveal more picture info, but also hacking off large chunks from the sides of the frame.
Picture rating: 3/5

Audio: It may have been around since 2008, but the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack on the original Blu-ray release of I, Robot still offers plenty of thrills. Thankfully, Fox hasn't messed around here, serving up exactly the same audio for this 3D edition. So once again, the constantly immersive use of the 360-degree soundstage, clarity of the dialogue, thunderous bass presence and sheer musicality of its rendering of Marco Beltrami's score make I, Robot a reference-quality audio experience.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: The only additional content on the Blu-ray are 3D clips from The Darkest Hour and Prometheus. The accompanying DVD of the film dates back to 2004 (as demonstrated by the 'Coming Soon' ads for Garfield: The Movie and The Day After Tomorrow) and features a trio of commentaries, a 13-min Making of… featurette and a photo gallery.
Extras rating: 2/5

We say: The unconvincing 3D conversion means fans should stick to the film's original hi-def platter

20th Century Fox, All-region BD/R2 DVD, £25 Approx, On sale now