|Brave (3D/2D Combo) (2012)|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Monday, 12 November 2012|
“Brave” is the latest in the line of Pixar films. It is hard to keep up with which is exactly Disney and which is Pixar given they share the same creative director. However, this film is certainly Pixar. Now, I write that not indicating its awe-inspiring power (or what happens to be the lack thereof) but because of the general feel the film conveys. It is strong but at the same time fails without a doubt to live up to the Pixar name. It was inevitable that Pixar would turn out a film that was not beloved by all. This is it. The film that divides the age groups.
“Brave” will no doubt keep your kids glued to the screen, particularly with the Blu-ray 3D release. However, for the first time adults will find themselves drifting away from the attentiveness factor. The film is much too simple and lacks any drive. It is evident that the creators squandered the potential of this film in terms of a more complex story and atmosphere. It is hugely disappointing that not more of Scotland in terms of scenery is used. It is limited, which hadn’t seemed to be in Pixar’s vocabulary in the past.
Despite the limited nature of this production, story, characters, animation, etc., I still found myself drawn to the product. Maybe it was the wishing for something a bit better. Maybe it was that I give all things Pixar a chance. Regardless there were still many pieces of the film that I loved. And that is the problem. I love parts and not everything.
The video quality of this Blu-ray release is simply magnificent. There is nothing more pleasing that such a meticulous release. There isn’t a single entity out of place. The colors, particularly the oranges and greens are chroma and hue perfect. The details are beyond extraordinary. If only our eyes were actually this detailed in real life. Incredible. The black levels are just as perfect as ever. They help provide for a solid matte that bursts with dimensionality. You will not find a single instance of noise or artifacting in this release. Go ahead and try. I dare you.
If you are looking to pick up this film in its native 3D version then you will not be disappointed. I was inspired by the 3D nature of “Tangled,” but “Brave’s” 3D presentation is just jaw-dropping. It is rare to find a 3D release that isn’t hounded by problem after problem. If it isn’t overbearing shadows then its color issues. If it isn’t that then it is artifacting and ghosting. The list goes on and on. And it is usually never just one of those problems but a bunch together. With “Brave” the 3D is flawless. If you experience ghosting then work on the contrast and viewing distance of your system. This is as good as it gets for home theater. You will not believe the depth that is provided by this 3D release. The environment is utterly perfect. It is too bad that the video presentation is 2.40:1 because you need a really big screen to make this 3D work. If my nine footer hardly does it justice.
“Brave” is the first film to be mixed and released in the new Dolby Atmos 64-channel system. Of course, your guess is as good as mine as to where you could have seen it in all that glory. However, I had the fortunate opportunity to get a demo of this Atmos system using a variety of material, one being a segment of this film. I couldn’t believe it. I wanted one in my home immediately, not that it is practical or anything. Nevertheless, the Blu-ray has a simplified Dolby TrueHD 7.1. Just in case you were wondering why this Blu-ray has TrueHD instead of DTS-HD like every other Disney release, it is because of the licensing of the Dolby Atmos system originally used carrying over to distribution. Anyway, the 7.1 track is killer. Everything plays perfectly together. The surround channels and side channels add the perfect amount of immersion factor. The LFE channel fills the room smoothly and evenly. The dialogue and effects are perfectly balanced. This is the best of the best right here.
Special features are abundant on this release. There are actually several interesting materials and not just all kiddie play. There is an audio commentary with a couple directors, story supervisor and editor. The commentary is insightful for all lovers of animation. There are eight behind the scenes featurettes that total about 50 minutes. These featurettes cover everything from character voicing to story to animation and development. These are followed by four extended sequences.
There are two short films. “La Luna” and “The Legend Of Mordu.” “La Luna” is presented with 7.1 audio and is included on both the Blu-ray 2D and Blu-ray 3D discs.
The remaining bonus materials deal with art galleries, promo pieces and short character segments.
The 5-disc Blu-ray 3D combo pack includes a Blu-ray 3D disc, 2 Blu-ray 2D discs, a DVD Copy and a Digital Copy. All bonus materials are presented on the Blu-ray 2D discs.
“Brave” is certainly not the best Pixar film but it does have a certain charm about it. The 3D is incredible and the lossless 7.1 audio is stunning. This is a must add for its technical achievements.
Director: Mark Andrews
Cast: Kelly MacDonald, Kevin McKidd, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Craig Ferguson
Release Year: 2012
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Runtime: 93 minutes
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, 5.1; English Dolby Digital 5.1; French Dolby TrueHD 7.1; Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1; English DVS 2.0; English 2.0 Near Field Mix
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Special Features: Director Audio Commentary; 8 Behind The Scenes Featurettes; 4 Extended Scenes; 2 Short Films; Art Galleries; Alternate Opening; DVD Copy; Digital Copy