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post #1 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=157360&d=1257439945
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692
Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692
Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

97




Studio and Year: Disney/Pixar - 2006
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 116 minutes
Genre: Family/animation

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English uncompressed 5.1 PCM, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Starring: Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, Paul Newman, Cheech Marin, Tony Shaloub, Jenifer Lewis, Michael Keaton, Jeremy Piven, Katherine Helmond, John Ratzenberger, Larry the cable guy
Directed by: John Lasseter & Joe Ranft
Music by: Randy Newman
Written by: John Lasseter & Joe Ranft
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 10, 2009







"Gear up!"



Film Synopsis:

Hotshot rookie race car Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) is living life in the fast lane until he hits a detour on his way to the most important race of his life. Stranded in Radiator Springs, a forgotten town on the old Route 66, he meets Sally, Mater, Doc Hudson (Paul Newman), and a variety of quirky characters that help him discover that there's more to life than trophies and fame. Revved up with a sensational soundtrack, featuring Rascal Flatts, Sheryl Crow, John Mayer, James Taylor and others, plus exciting bonus features, including the exclusive short movie "Mater And The Ghostlight," Cars is full of freewheeling fun for everyone.



My Take:

Believe it or not I had never seen Cars prior to receiving it for this review. When I was offered the chance to do so via this Ultimate Cars Gift Pack I couldn't resist. This is the third Disney/Pixar review I have written in the last couple of days. I will forego any further commentary on my affinity for their lovable characters, superbly crafted elements and fan pleasing lineage. Cars has been available on Blu-ray since late 2007. This is the same version but also includes a DVD version of the film as well as two limited edition die-cast collectibles cars. Here is an overview:

Steer your family toward the future of home entertainment fun with the all-new CARS: Blu-ray Combo Pack Gift Set. This limited edition Gift Set from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment includes the stunning Blu-ray transfer of the high octane adventure comedy, featuring eye-popping visual clarity, petal-to-the-metal sound and hours of innovative special features. Also included are a Standard Widescreen DVD version of the film for playback on portable devices, plus two very special, limited edition die-cast cars of the beloved characters Lightning McQueen and Mater. Arriving just in time for the holidays, the CARS: Blu-ray Combo Pack Gift Set is guaranteed to fuel hours of fun for everyone in your family and is the perfect way to rev up your Blu-ray collection!

Experience the freewheeling adventures of hotshot race car Lightning McQueen with CARS on Blu-ray and DVD! Featuring the ultimate in high definition picture and sound, the Blu-ray edition of CARS also includes the uniquely interactive features Cine-Explore, for the ultimate behind-the-scenes experience; Car Finder, an immersive game in which viewers can discover hundreds of "Car-acters; Deleted Scenes; Radiator Springs Featurettes and Movie Showcase. The Standard Widescreen DVD of CARS also arrives souped-up with hours of entertaining bonus features, including the Animated Short: "Mater WDSHE - CARS Blu-ray Combo Pack Gift Set, p. 2 And The Ghostlight; the Academy Award® Nominated Animated Short: "One Man Band"; John Lasseter's Inspiration For Cars; Deleted Scenes and more!

I really enjoyed Cars! It's sends a positive message built around a story that resonates with both young and adult audiences (especially those that have an appreciation for Nascar!). The Limited Edition die-cast collectibles come with custom Ransburg paint featuring crusin' Lightning McQueen and Rescue Squad Mater fire truck. Both are sturdily built and very detailed. The two disc set comes in the traditional Blu-ray slim profile case. This will make a wonderful gift and provides a great way to experience this entertaining and spectacular looking animated film.




Parental Guide:

This film is appropriate for all ages.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 96



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699



Video: 98


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Cars is presented on Blu-ray disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 19 mbps and lossless uncompressed 5.1 PCM audio that has a constant bitrate of 6.9 mbps.

This is a reference quality high definition presentation that has justifiable received praise for its incredible imagery. Colors are rich, vibrant, well balanced and visually stimulating. Blacks are stable, with ink like depth, and visible gradational stages. Lighter segments look great but darker ones mixed with lighter onscreen elements is where this presentation excels. The nighttime scene at the beginning of chapter 29 when Lightning McQueen leaves Radiator Springs for LA provides a great example of this. This segment looks stunning as the wide array of bright, crisp colors within the neon lighting/cars within the frame popped against the contrasted and deep dynamic black of the sky background. White and black levels are stable and strike a wonderful balance that highlight the multi-layered grays and delineated whites within the video. Crisp definition and razor sharp focus allow all of the texture, subtle delineation and high resolution inherent in this digitally created film to be fully realized. Depth is excellent but not quite as three dimensionally acute as some of the most recent animated films that I have seen. Otherwise this is a marvelous and pristinely rendered presentation that truly capable of outstanding video quality.

The lossless uncompressed multi-channel PCM soundtrack is on par with the video and is a real treat. This is an engaging mix that utilizes the entire system to create a truly theater like experience. Sound staging is excellent as both the front and rear channels are seamlessly integrated so that sound effects literally traverse the room. Surround activity is abundant and immersive as both directional and spatial information mixed to the rear channels weaves an enveloping pattern of sound. Dynamics are energetic and forceful which lends weight to the plethora of impact felt racing sequences featured in the movie. This is a fairly aggressive mix that makes regular use of the subwoofer to accentuate its already powerful dynamic range. The result is impressive low frequency effects that have authoritative depth and response that can be felt throughout the listening area. Dialogue is rendered with aplomb and sonic details are refined and clearly articulated regardless of their position with the sound field. This is an encompassing and sophisticated surround mix that makes for a fun, involving and demonstration level home theater experience.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) Movie showcase - Filmmakers chosen scenes (4) to highlight the high definition audio/video

  • Cinexplore - Documentary shorts (33 minutes total) :

    1. Radiator Springs -
    2. Character design
    3. Animation and acting
    4. Real world racing: Getting geeky with the details
    5. Hudson hornet
    6. Graphics
    7. Darrell Waltrip museum tour

  • The inspiration for Cars: featurette 16 minutes

  • 5 Deleted scenes

  • (HD) Mater and the ghostlight - 7 minute short

  • (HD) One man band - 4 minute short

  • Boundin' Cars - 1 minute short

  • (HD) Epilogue - 4 minutes

  • Car finder - Interactive game



Final Thoughts:

Cars on Blu-ray Disc needs no real introduction as many have sung its praises for breathtaking high definition video and reference quality audio. I wholeheartedly concur and am pleased to have had the opportunity to finally experience it in my theater room. Disney is offering it to fans in this Ultimate Cars Gift Pack which includes the original Blu-ray release, a DVD version of the film, and two limited edition die-cast collectibles featuring Lightning McQueen and Rescue Squad Mater. This will surely make a welcomed gift for the Cars fanatic in your life. Enjoy!









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 11:03 AM
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Ralph,

It was my understanding this release was supposed to have a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on it.

Is that not the case?

Thanks.

Mark
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post #3 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 11:16 AM
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I'm just not a fan of this one. Maybe it's the length, maybe it's Owen Wilson's crap acting, maybe it's the tired story (Doc Hollywood anyone?), or maybe I'm just not into cars. Whatever it was, i count this as my least favorite Pixar movie by far
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post #4 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giomania View Post

Ralph,

It was my understanding this release was supposed to have a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on it.

Is that not the case?

Thanks.

Mark

Greetings,

Mark, I thought so too but not the case. The press release indicates uncompressed 5.1 PCM. I will double check the back of the gift box. For some reason I thought it indicated DTS-HD MA. I will post back either way.

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post #5 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 11:56 AM
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I know a lot of people rank this film at or near the bottom of the Pixar releases, but Cars is near the top of my list for the storytelling, the ingenuity of the characters, and the demo quality of the Blu-ray disk. The nighttime scenes on the highway (when Lightning McQueen falls out of his trailer) are spectacular, the audio throughout is great, especially the racing scenes. The western scenery is so well done, it makes you think you are there in those fantastic overlooks. The decision to put the characters' eyes in the car's windshields rather than in the headlights was brilliant.

I also like that this is the rare Pixar movie that isn't built around a child character. While I have nothing against kids, it's refreshing to see a Pixar movie that is just about adult characters and their lives. Having grown up in a small town like Radiator Springs, they got the tone just right about what it's like to live in a town the rest of the world forgot.

And finally, while I'm not a racing fan, it was fun to look for all the in-jokes about the racing world, the RVs in the infield, the sponsor tents, etc. Any movie with Click and Clack in it is a winner in my book!
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post #6 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdferguson View Post

I also like that this is the rare Pixar movie that isn't built around a child character.

Can't we say the same thing about both Toy Stories, Bug's Life, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Wall-E?

Monsters Inc. used "Boo" as a plot device more than a central character and UP was certainly more about Carl than about Russel.

I think child-focused films are the exception, not the rule at Pixar.
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post #7 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Mark, I thought so too but not the case. The press release indicates uncompressed 5.1 PCM. I will double check the back of the gift box. For some reason I thought it indicated DTS-HD MA. I will post back either way.

Regards,

Greetings,

The packaging correctly states uncompressed 5.1 channel PCM.

Regards,

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post #8 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 02:50 PM
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So, it's the same release as the last one, but with the extra discs, right?

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post #9 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 02:52 PM
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Hmm, so this is just the same blu-ray but with the dvd disc tacked on (I do not get why they do this for Pixar films other than it is a cash-grab) and some models of the cars? Interesting.

I think the movie is decent and slightly better than Up but not as good as the other Pixar films. I have no clue why people find Up better than this but that is a whole other discussion...

ROB
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post #10 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 03:38 PM
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Not sure if it's an intentional gag (probably just my juvenile mind running amok) but I always get a giggle when they mention the "Piston Cup". Geddit?

Lost count of the times I've seen this movie and I always enjoy it.
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post #11 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inspector View Post

So, it's the same release as the last one, but with the extra discs, right?


Right.


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post #12 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by another schmo View Post

Can't we say the same thing about both Toy Stories, Bug's Life, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and Wall-E?

Monsters Inc. used "Boo" as a plot device more than a central character and UP was certainly more about Carl than about Russel.

I think child-focused films are the exception, not the rule at Pixar.

You're right, it wasn't an accurate assessment. However, I would categorize The Incredibles and Up! as very child-character driven. They may not be the lead character (as you say, Up! is more about Carl than Russell) but their story lines are central to the films.

Then again, they're all just friggin' pixels, so... :-)
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post #13 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 06:44 PM
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I agree with pdf. Not a lot of love for Cars here. It is, however, one of my favorite Pixar movies. It was the first film I played in my theater, and the first Blu-ray I purchased. I even collect the characters. (If they're good, I let my kids play with them, as long as they're careful.)

I'm into racing, and loved seeing the marbles bouncing around the racetrack. Typical Pixar attention to detail. (The long line for the women's room was also a side-splitter.)

However, I doubt I'll pick this one up just for the two characters in the box, since the disk is the same.

As always, thanks for the review. I'm going to go watch the movie again.
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post #14 of 29 Old 11-05-2009, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

The packaging correctly states uncompressed 5.1 channel PCM.

Regards,

Thats a bummer. Thanks for checking!

Mark
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post #15 of 29 Old 11-06-2009, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giomania View Post

Thats a bummer. Thanks for checking!

Mark

giomania,

If u do want the DTS-HD MA, I believe the single disc release from UK is DTS-HDMA.
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post #16 of 29 Old 11-06-2009, 11:48 AM
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Just for the record, below is the news release about the supposed DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on this disc. The only reason why I need DTS-HD over PCM is so that it will work with the D-Box motion simulation system. I am sure they will come out with a third release!

Disney Re-releasing Cars Blu-ray as Combo Gift Set
Posted August 24, 2009 08:05 AM by Josh Dreuth

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has announced that they will re-release the Pixar animated film 'Cars' as a limited edition gift set on November 10th, day-and-date with the Blu-ray releases of 'Up' and 'Monster's Inc.'. When released, 'Cars: Ultimate Cars Gift Set' will feature a Disney Combo Blu-ray release, which includes a DVD copy of the film, along with two die-cast models of Lightning McQueen and Mater.

The Blu-ray release will feature the same extras as the previous release, but will feature a new 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack to replace the original PCM soundtrack. The critically acclaimed video transfer is not expected to be changed for this release.
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post #17 of 29 Old 11-06-2009, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdferguson View Post

I know a lot of people rank this film at or near the bottom of the Pixar releases, but Cars is near the top of my list for the storytelling, the ingenuity of the characters, and the demo quality of the Blu-ray disk. The nighttime scenes on the highway (when Lightning McQueen falls out of his trailer) are spectacular, the audio throughout is great, especially the racing scenes. The western scenery is so well done, it makes you think you are there in those fantastic overlooks. The decision to put the characters' eyes in the car's windshields rather than in the headlights was brilliant.

Credit where credit is due...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...5716285796840#

Pixar touted this as a big influence and I loved this short when I was a kid.
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post #18 of 29 Old 11-06-2009, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by giomania View Post

Just for the record, below is the news release about the supposed DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on this disc. The only reason why I need DTS-HD over PCM is so that it will work with the D-Box motion simulation system.

Yep. Me too.

Chet
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post #19 of 29 Old 11-09-2009, 07:54 AM
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This is what hate about these kinds of releases.

Already have the regular BR and now they come out with this Combo Pack Gift set.
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post #20 of 29 Old 11-09-2009, 03:43 PM
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It's kind of like when WB will let you trade red for blue. The ones I wanted to trade were the same for red and blue, even now...didn't help me. The studios aren't going to do a new restoration...but they are going to add a bunch of crap to make you buy it again...J6P thinks it's a great deal. I hope that we're smart enough not to buy into their rape job!!!

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post #21 of 29 Old 11-09-2009, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venkatesh_m View Post

giomania,

If u do want the DTS-HD MA, I believe the single disc release from UK is DTS-HDMA.

I have it and can confirm that it has a DolbyTrue HD 5.1 track ,
(as well as DD 5.1EX)
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post #22 of 29 Old 11-10-2009, 02:20 PM
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Excellent review Ralph. Thanks.

First, let me state that I’m not a big Nascar fan. I do however love cars, and love to work on cars. I have also been an engineer for a large automaker in the past, so I have a little extra love for a movie that focuses on the automobile.

This movie may have the most replay value of any in my collection. I love it, the kids love it, and the wife seems to like it as well. I can pop this movie in, and none of my kids will complain. It’s a good one to have going in the background, rather than some of the noisy junk on TV these days.

Even for an adult, this movie has an excellent story, of how we easily miss some of the beautiful and potentially important things in our lives because of our drive to get things done quickly.

The wide array of characters and personalities in this movie are incredible. The more I watch this movie, the more I appreciate it, as I see new nuances and hear just how much thought went into each character.

The PQ is outstanding through most of the movie, with some utterly fantastic night scenes. The neon lights, on both some of the vehicles, and in the town are superb. (like the nighttime cruising scene) Shadow detail is excellent. There are a few outdoor, well lit scenes that lack some punch though. These scenes can tend to look washed out, like when McQueen take the drive with Ms. Sally and overlooks the horizon explaining why she stayed in Radiator Springs, and when they explain how Rt 66 was cut through in favor of the interstate. Most scenes are incredible though, such as the race in the beginning.

SQ is spot on, and easily reference material.

PQ 4.5 out of 5, SQ 5 out of 5, and Film 5 out of 5

Dan
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post #23 of 29 Old 11-10-2009, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stereomandan View Post

...and when they explain how Rt 66 was cut through in favor of the interstate.

Dan,

This scene was intentionally grainy and desaturated to look like old film stock from the "old days" of the highway. So, I guess it was an accurate portrayal.

I need to look into importing this title with a lossless audio track. PCM sounds good, but is not good for D-BOX.

Chet
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post #24 of 29 Old 11-10-2009, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckenisell View Post

Dan,

This scene was intentionally grainy and desaturated to look like old film stock from the "old days" of the highway. So, I guess it was an accurate portrayal.

I need to look into importing this title with a lossless audio track. PCM sounds good, but is not good for D-BOX.

You know what, now that you mention it, you are correct. I was trying to give examples of the washed out outdoor shots by memory, and that one came to mind. You're right, that one was intentional. Good catch.

The one that always strikes me is the first one I mentioned. When Sally and McQueen have their fun little race though the woods, under the tunnel and then over the bridge (all of which looks great). It's the scene right after that, I think McQueen asks Sally why she stayed, and she says something like "because of this". Then they show the landscape. It is as though I just took my projector from a gamma of 2.30 and bumped it down to 1.8-1.9. There is another scene at the beginning of a chapter that shows the side of a brick building that I remember also, but can't name the spot off the top of my head.

Dan
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post #25 of 29 Old 11-10-2009, 04:18 PM
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The one that always strikes me is the first one I mentioned. When Sally and McQueen have their fun little race though the woods, under the tunnel and then over the bridge (all of which looks great). It's the scene right after that, I think McQueen asks Sally why she stayed, and she says something like "because of this". Then they show the landscape. It is as though I just took my projector from a gamma of 2.30 and bumped it down to 1.8-1.9. There is another scene at the beginning of a chapter that shows the side of a brick building that I remember also, but can't name the spot off the top of my head.

Dan

I know the scene to which you are referring. I also believe that this is an artistic approach by Pixar. If you think about how the picture relates to the story, this is where Sally is "softening" the heart of Lightning. Plus, if you look at the "dreamy" colors of the sky, color pallets, etc. they all support the storyline at the moment. Remember, this is a relaxing stroll through the trees, rocky cliffs, waterfalls, etc. Not supposed to be hard crisp lines. Very soft and subtle is the key to this scene.

Chet
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post #26 of 29 Old 11-13-2009, 10:12 AM
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Credit where credit is due...

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...5716285796840#

Pixar touted this as a big influence and I loved this short when I was a kid.

I have never seen that short before. Thank you for posting it.
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post #27 of 29 Old 12-25-2009, 02:36 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph! This is one of my favorite Pixar flicks. I really like the scenery as well. The audio (uncompressed PCM) is quite good too. I've had this BD for a little over a year, and it has been watched numerous times.
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post #28 of 29 Old 12-25-2009, 07:07 PM
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Though far from being Pixar's best offering, it is a top-notch production, nonetheless.

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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post #29 of 29 Old 07-08-2010, 11:24 AM
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CARS is one of pixar movies I enjoyed a lot. I have watched it several times with my kids and we never fail to enjoy it...

Agree 100%. It is in my top 3 for sure, maybe even my #1. It surprises me that many call this one of Pixar's lesser works. I think you are either into cars, or not. The more you know about cars, the more this film makes sense. The age and model of every vehicle fits very well with each character. The nostalgia of route 66, and the joy of cruising the highway. My kids, none of whom know much about cars, will watch this one without hesitation. I can't say that about most other Pixar films, even though my kids may have loved them the first few times watching.

Dan
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