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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Literature > The Chronicles Of Narnia Ė The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (Fox Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)

The Chronicles Of Narnia Ė The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (Fox Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)

 

Picture: B/B-†††† Sound: B+/B-†††† Extras: B-†††† Film: B-

 

 

It is hard for a film to live up to the novel that inspired it and whereas the Narnia series has done a very admirable job in bringing the C.S. Lewis works to life, something is just not there.I have spoken of both the inspiring and letdown moments from the previous films and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader seems to be the same mixed bag.Disney had hopes that Narnia would be their cash cow like Harry Potter was for Warner Bros, but after the first film the hype has obviously died down.The true hardcore fans came back for more, but Narnia lacked the appeal Harry Potter did to draw in new fans and have repeat customers.This point is so much true that Disney even debated pulling the plug on the series all together; though in the end the return on the VERY expensive films was great enough to justify continuing the journey through Narnia, but this time around FOX picked up the bill.

 

We follow the Pevensieís, brothers and sisters, one (real world) year after the events of Prince Caspian.The brothers and sisters have been split up as Susan and Peter (the older siblings) are living with their parents in America, while the younger Pevensieís (Lucy and Edmund) are trapped living with their cousin Eustace Scrubb.Eustace is the epitome of drab; as everything is a chore and he stops at nothing to drag everyone else down with him, including his cousins.To pass the seemingly endless time they are forced to spend with Eustace, Lucy and Edmund decide to use their imaginations to explore an old painting that strangely looks like a familiar Narnia vessel.Before they know it the painting starts raining out water and the crew of Lucy, Edmund and even their glum cousin are transported back into Narnia and find themselves aboard the Dawn Treader.

 

The captain of the Dawn Treader is none other than their old comrade King Caspian, who over the past three years (Narnia time) has restored peace to Narnia and now seeks out the seven Lost Lords of Narnia.The Lost Lords were banished by Caspianís power crazed uncle and it is now in Caspianís hands to make things right.Lucy and Edmund will be there for the entire journey, maturing along the way, as well as finding out what true temptation is; having money, power and beauty thrust upon them by a must of pure evil.

 

Voyage of the Dawn Treader was entertaining, but I found it to be the worst of the three films.Having read the books there seems to be a lot missing and not quite what I imagined.Part of it is not the films fault as Dawn Treader attempts to make the C.S. Lewis classic a linear tale, which it is not.For the purposes of film and a general public that is understandable, but from the standpoint of a fan it made the film and epic novel feel watered down and restrained.I am anxiously awaiting how the series progresses, but if this is any indication the outlook is poor.

 

The video for Dawn Treader is presented in a 1.78 X 1 widescreen that gets the job done, but begs the question of what happened to the 2.39 X 1?The 1080p AVC encoded transfer has been fiddled with by the director himself (Michael Apted) because he felt it was better for the home viewing experience and the general publicsí Widescreen TVís, well I disagree.When I buy a Blu-ray I expect the presentation on my screen to be a faithful, if not improved, reproduction of what was on the Big Screen; that is not the case here.The matting was messed with and something feels off.With that said the picture quality is pristine, there is no grain (it was shot in all digital and plenty done in post production), colors are brilliant, and blacks are inky/bold.There are some issues with flesh tones, but minor gripes if any.The sound is another shortcoming as the 5.1 DTS-Master Audio track is the lesser form of the original 7.1 track that should have been accessible.With that said, like the picture, it is not a bad track by any means with it being crisp, clean and clear; but in the end it could have been more.

 

The DVD release in the areas of picture and sound is mostly just a let down as it lacks the quality Blu-ray has to offer and manages to downgrade the special effects and boisterous sound track significantly.

 

The extras are there, but little that held my interest for too long.Fans will enjoy the copious amounts of material there are to dig through, but casual viewers may be quickly bored.Bonus features are broken down into 5 islands and the Dawn Treader Vessel; creative and plenty of stuff to dig into.The extras include the following:

 

Goldwater Island

††††††††† Theatrical Trailer

††††††††† Explore Goldwater Island

††††††††† Dragon Discovery

 

The Dark Island

††††††††† Explore the Dark Island

††††††††† White Witch Discovery

††††††††† Serpent Discovery

††††††††† Good vs. Evil: Battle on the Sea

††††††††† Portal to Narnia: A Painting Comes to Life

 

Ramanduís Island

††††††††† Explore Ramanduís Island

††††††††† Reepicheep Discovery

††††††††† Aslan Discovery

††††††††† Lillandil Discovery

††††††††† Search for the Seven Swords Match Game

††††††††† VFX Presentation (Special Effects)

 

Magicianís Island

††††††††† Explore Magicianís Island

††††††††† Commentary Track (best thing on the Blu-ray)

††††††††† Dufflepud Discovery

 

Lone Islands

††††††††† Explore Narrowhaven

††††††††† Minotaur Discovery

††††††††† Deleted Scenes

††††††††† The Epic Continues

 

The Dawn Treader [tons of material found here]

††††††††† King Caspianís Guide to the Dawn Treader

††††††††† The Secret Islandís: Untold Adventures of the Dawn Treader

††††††††† In Character with Liam Neeson

††††††††† In Character with Georgie Henley and Will Poulter

††††††††† Direct Effect: Michael Apted

††††††††† Making a Scene

 

Again I am interested to see where the series go, but with Dawn Treader being merely adequate I will keep my hopes quite reserved.

 

 

-†† Michael P. Dougherty II


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