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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Adventure > Mystery > Fantasy > Comedy > Literature > Infinity Train: Book Two (2021/Cartoon Network/Warner DVD)/Lilly's Light: The Movie (2010/MVD/FilmRise Blu-ray)/Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

Infinity Train: Book Two (2021/Cartoon Network/Warner DVD)/Lilly's Light: The Movie (2010/MVD/FilmRise Blu-ray)/Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971/Warner 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B+ Picture: C+/B/B- Sound: C+/B/B & B- Extras: C/C+/B- Main Programs: B+/C+/B-

Now for some new family releases, including the restoration of a classic...

Mirror Tulip continues on the Infinity Train to search for a way off. Along the way she meets Jesse and a magical deer, now they journey together and learn the 'rules' of the train, but can they discover the secrets of the train? But the mirror police is after Mirror Tulip and will do anything to stop and from learning the 'truth' in Infinity Train: Book Two (2021).

Tulip is a silicon girl born on the Infinity Train where people come and go with mysterious numbers on their arms. Each train cart contains a mysterious door with its own rules in order to be opened to the next cart. She meets friends and enemies, some don't care and some want to use her, but the deeper secret of the infinity train is that the train never ends, never stops, and is meant to teach the 'passengers' a lesson, but Mirror Tulip herself is part of the system and the train itself, she was meant to guide those on board, but she herself can never leave. Tulip has free will of her own and she going against the system, she is being hunted down by the mirror police who can move through anything reflective. Can she and her friends ever find a way off?

This was another weird Western animation, it was like Adventure Time or Rick and Morty series, a macabre world with mysterious characters and even stranger world. It had a mix of sci-fi-ish world with main characters that the audience could relate to with themes of friendship, freedom and free will.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image and the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 look and sound as good as they can in this older format, but obviously, Blu-ray fans would prefer a version that way. Extras at least include commentary.

The live action children's fantasy film Lilly's Light: The Movie (2010) gets a new Blu-ray release courtesy of FilmRise. It's always difficult to a make a film of this nature that has well intentions and such ambition and imagination on a limited budget, but led by Sherry Hursey (Home Improvement), Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers) and the late Fred Willard, the film has some charm along with several inventive characters and filmmaking choices, including using animation as a way of storytelling.

Two curious members of Lilly's crew discover 'The Big Book of Little Adventures' in the lighthouse basement which adds to the enchantment of this wonderful lighthouse. Major curious characters present themselves such as a Royal Pig, a Wizard, a young boy who needs some new friends, and of course, a Stork.

Lilly's Light is presented in 1080p high definition on Blu-ray disc with a MPEG-4 AVC codec and a widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78 X 1 paired with a lossless English DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo mix. The animated and green screen segments remind me of Teletubbies or something of the like, and purposely (?) unrealistic. Some of the cartoony segments are groan-worthy, but you have to remember that is for young children who probably will love it regardless.

Special Features include:

Behind the Scenes

Q/A with the cast

Photo Gallery

Theatrical Trailer

and a Digital Activity Book.

An ambitious project for sure that isn't without some fun musical numbers and characters. However, Lilly's Light is definitely for a young audience.

Last and absolutely not least is Mel Stuart's hit feature film version of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory 4K (1971) from the Roald Dahl book, adapted into a screenplay by Dahl himself, though he apparently was still not happy with the final film. I think it is a combination of maybe throwing out too much of the book in places and maybe not feeling or thinking the songs do not mesh, but the film is more successful than not and its endurance is further evidenced by how badly the recent remake has aged so badly.

We have reviewed the film on an older Blu-ray edition, but it needed a better transfer for its picture and audio. From a solid 4K transfer Warner Bros. made a few years ago, we now have a fine new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition. About 3/5ths of the film is about the contest for children to find golden tickets to get to visit Wonka's factory and then when we get there, Gene Wilder gives one of his greatest performances as the title character.

Where there are flaws or issues here, his performance just powers right by all that and then you have the parts of the film that work. Its spoof of media and television is as timely as ever, the movie itself an interesting blend of British, Hollywood and German filmmaking as the latter is where the film was shot, yet the other two centers of production that brought the film to life are also here. The result is a unique synergy that makes this film one of a kind.

I still have to say the film has its down moments and maybe it takes longer to get to the Factory than I would have liked, but it is one of the more successful fantasy films of the time out of a cycle where artifice was somewhat embraced (think Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang, the original musical Doctor Dolittle with Rex Harrison) and was competing with the live action side of Disney.

The supporting cast, including Jack Albertson, Roy Kinnear, Leonard Stone and the child actors who became names thanks to the film are fine, but it is Wilder who puts it over. In 4K, you can see subtle, even brilliant things he does with his performance you could only see from a mint 35mm or 16mm film print, injecting so much heart and soul that you can see why this has been an evergreen moneymaker and classic with millions of fans.

Some of the visual effects look dated, as optical printing is grainier, for instance, than other such effects, though there is a moment using early full color analog video and that still holds up well. Otherwise, its the sets and they were well built with color richness in mind. So how much better is this in 4K?

The 2160p HECV/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 1.85 X 1, Ultra High Definition image loses the older 1080p Blu-ray version's (the same as the one included here) motion blur and small detail issues. This now plays very smoothly and the color has a wider range and scale than most people have likely ever seen the film before. Outside of a high quality 35mm or even 16mm dye-transfer, three-strip Technicolor print (if you can afford one,) this is the best way to now see the film.

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix on the new 4K version is also an improvement over the previous Blu-ray and its Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless mix that was always a bit compressed and limited. You can tell some audio was recorded monophonically, especially as compared to the stereophonic music, but that is typical of all musicals of the time.

Extras include Digital Copy, while both discs repeat the feature length audio commentary track by the child cast in adulthood, and the older Blu-ray repeats the other extras from older releases including 4 sing-a-long segments, an Original Theatrical Trailer, the documentary 'Pure Imagination: The Story Of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory' and a vintage Making Of featurette.

- Nicholas Sheffo (4K), Ricky Chiang (Infinity) and James Lockhart



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