Ella Enchanted (2004/Lionsgate Blu-ray w/DVD)/Secret
Of The Wings (2012/Tinker Bell/Disney Blu-ray 3D w/Blu-ray 2D, Digital Copy
Picture: B 2D Picture: B & C/B-
& C Sound: B & C+/B- &
C Extras: C Main Programs: C
Disney issuing their classic Cinderella
on Blu-ray (reviewed elsewhere on this site), two similar Fantasy titles aimed
at an audience of young ladies also arrives on Blu-ray.
originally distributed by Disney, Ella
Enchanted (2004) was actually a Miramax production and Lionsgate has issued
the Blu-ray with a DVD. Anne Hathaway
continues to be one of the most critically and commercially successful
actresses in Hollywood
today, including her great turn as Catwoman in The Dark Night Rises in the middle of this year. This now 8+ year old fantasy comedy sends up
the genre like the Shrek films do
and has its share of early digital visual work, but it is live action and
because that work was styled, it does not look too bad or too dated.
character is coursed with being too nice (among other things) and decides to
find the Fairy Godmother who gave her to a family when she was born to get her
independence and free will back. This
gets silly and is not great, but supporting performances by Joanna Lumley, Hugh
Dancy, Eric Idle, Hugh Dancy, Cary Elwes and Vivica A. Fox help make this
96-minutres long exercise in obvious humor more tolerable. Unfortunately, it is amusing to watch, but
not very memorable. Tommy O’Haver is
adequate in directing this, but it remains a curio at best.
include a Music Video, Deleted/Extended Scenes, cast/crew feature length
commentary, Magic World Of featurette
and Red Carpet premiere featurette on both format versions of the film, but the
DVD adds a game and DVD-ROM feature.
fourth of CG animated Tinker Bell series has been issued, but this time we get
3D with Secret Of The Wings (2012) which
is child and family friendly, but not much better than previous sequels and
though the animation is not bad, it remains simple and on purpose for the most
time, our heroine is compelled to go into the forbidden Winter Woods, but it
will be to find the answer to the title of this adventure. This is interesting at times, not too scary
and competent, but is really intended for young viewers. It is not bad overall, but not rewatchable
unless you are the intended young age group.
I still do not always see CG as the classic Disney legacy and I bet many
others cannot unless they think PIXAR or Chicken Little, but it is more than
viable and as good as any of its predecessors.
include Digital Copy for PC and PC portable devices, a game, two Music Videos
and a preview for Fright Light,
which is intended as the next installment of what they are calling the Pixie series. We’ll see how that one works out.
X 1, 1080p full HD MVC-encoded 3-D – Full Resolution digital High Definition
image on Wings is better than its 2D
HD version and has a nice, smooth, simple, consistent quality that has maybe a
demo moment or two at best, but adds to the sequel which needs all the help it
can get. The DVD version is the weakest
of all (in 2D only of course) and much softer that I expected, especially when
compared to the Blu-rays. That is also
true of the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on the Ella DVD which seems old, while the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High
Definition image transfer on the Blu-ray has limited detail and depth, in part
from the styling of the film and in part from the dated digital work. The print might be a tad old and/or it is
also the HD master. I cannot imagine it
looking too much better than the Blu-ray we get since it was produced almost
semi-experimentally with the digital visuals.
on the other hand is lame.
Blu-rays have DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes, but only the Wings Blus have consistent soundfields,
being well recorded and nicely designed, albeit gently. The Ella
mix is more towards the front speakers and is just not as enveloping, plus some
of the audio shows its age. The lossy
Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD versions of both releases are weaker with Wings losing its fuller surrounds and Ella being surprisingly compressed and
too much in the center channel on home theater systems, which is quickly
dismissed and forgotten. Stick with the
DTS in both cases.
- Nicholas Sheffo