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post #1 of 54 Old 11-05-2012, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
95





Studio and Year: Pixar/Disney - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 93 minutes
Genre: Family/Adventure

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: MVC/AVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 7.1/5.1, French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, John Ratzenberger
Directed by: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell
Music by: Patrick Doyle
Written by: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell, Irene Mecchi
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 13, 2012







"Change your fate"


Film Synopsis:

Pixar Animation Studios, the creator of Toy Story 3, whisks you away on an astonishing adventure to a land full of mystery and tradition. Bursting with heart, unforgettable characters and Pixar's signature humor, Brave is "a rousing, gorgeously animated good time," raves Peter Travers of Rolling Stone. Take a heroic journey with Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land. When Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos in the kingdom, she must harness all of her skills and resources - including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers - to undo a beastly curse before it's too late, and discover the meaning of true bravery.

My Take:

Brave tells the story of Merida, an impetuous and willful young woman, who is the daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor of the Dun Broch Scottish Clan. As heir to the thrown, Merida is expected to act accordingly which not only means with regard to proper decorum but also subjecting to the protocols involving the arrangement of marriage to a member of the neighboring clans.

This puts Merida at odds with her mother Elinor who herself went through much the same thing at her age. Elinor expects Merida to conform while Merida has her own ideas about who she is and how she wants to spend her time. When Elinor draws a line in the sand Merida seeks outside help from a local witch who produces a spell that Merida anticipates will help Elinor see things her way. The outcome is not only far from what Merida intended but it could spell disaster for not only her family but the kingdom. The only way Merida can right things is to understand the meaning in a riddle left by the witch if not completed by the second sunrise will become permanent.

I am most definitely a fan of Pixar films and as such was remiss in not getting out to the theater to see Brave. I heard positive things from those that did which included praise of its animation. That didn’t come as a surprise of course and I eagerly awaited its release on Blu-ray. After seeing it I found Brave to be entertaining and fun but not among the best films in the Pixar canon. With the central focus being on the conflicted mother/daughter relationship between Merida and Elinor there is a succinctness that prevents a viable connection to the remaining characters. That aspect of the story has a bit more of a mature theme which is fine however the connecting fairytale plot is thin which imparts a slight unevenness to the narrative.

The film does have plenty of heart and successfully speaks from an emotive familial perspective that eschews generational boundaries. I liked the action which is engaging where appropriate and the cast does a splendid job of handling their respective roles. On top of that Brave is an absolutely gorgeous animated film. In that regard it is among Pixar’s top tier efforts. Minor complaints aside, I really enjoyed it and look forward to watching it again.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for some scary action and rude humor.



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.**


Audio: 94

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


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

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

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

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


3D Presentation: 96

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


  • Depth (Onscreen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

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

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

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


Brave 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate 6.6 Mbps.

Knowing Disney I had high hopes for this native 3D presentation and of course I wasn’t disappointed. I must admit that while I don’t mind gimmicky in your face 3D effects I much prefer to view 3D that takes advantage of the depth and dimension that can bring images onscreen to life in a visually involving and natural way. Brave incorporates its share of fun pop out of the screen 3D however its implementation isn’t overplayed. This is a stellar 3D presentation that features superlative onscreen dimensional correlation. A great example can be seen in the sequence where Fergus addresses the clans in the throne room. The shot is seen from the back of the room as the rows of gatherers hold their spears etc. The various sizes, shapes and heights of each person within the group as well as their respective places within the formation are drawn out in terms of visual depth.

Textures abound as the richness of the digitally created objects onscreen are incredibly nuanced and lifelike regardless of their placement within the frame. Merida’s flowing red hair looks about as lifelike as it comes. Detail is impeccable as the video retains a high level of clarity that is enhanced by the bolstered reproduction of color and contrast. This isn’t an effects laden spectacle however there are enough floating, flying and screen popping objects to keep 3D zealots happy. As for me, this is 3D entertainment that literally brought a smile to my face

I think this is the first Dolby TrueHD encoded soundtrack I have seen on a Disney Blu-ray release. I have to say that this 7.1 channel mix is in a word, awesome. Lossless audio’s higher resolution brings out the superbly crafted and sometimes delicate nature of the soundtrack. Subtle nuance in both the sound effects and music is readily apparent. Excellent dynamic range and crystal clarity enable the shifts from moments of quiet to visceral action to shine equally. This is an active surround mix that features superb directional correlation/imaging which expertly combines the events onscreen with the integration of the front/rear soundstages. The two rear channels aren’t consistently engaged but effectively provide discretely placed effects and ambient detail on cue. Where applicable there is an enriching and solid feel to low frequencies. This isn’t the deepest bass response that I have experienced but it has palpably rich presence that occasionally energizes the room. The voices of the cast are reproduced with good tonal delineation and crystal clarity even during more active sequences. This is an entertaining home theater presentation that compliments this wonderful family film.


2D Video Quality:

Video: 100

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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&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


Brave comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney/Pixar featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps.

This is a beautifully crafted digital film that looks amazing in high definition. From start to finish this presentation is nothing short of mesmerizing in its depiction of the film’s animated images. The video is exquisitely detailed, incredibly three dimensional and never left me wanting for fine degrees of subtle delineation and texture. The attention to detail in the construction of the animated characters physical features as well as objects within each frame is superb. Looking at Merida I could see the varying lengths/uneven texture and natural flow of her curly red hair. The same was true of the rough hide and matted fur of Mor’du the demon bear.

Other examples can be seen in the textural nuance in the walls and stone floor in the castle and physical characteristics in the wooden surfaces in the witch’s cabin. The chromatic palette isn’t an extensive one but colors appear vivid and bold with an enriching level of saturation that exhibits subtle degrees of separation and eye pleasing depth. Contrast is exemplary and blacks are inky with extended dynamic range and deep gradational highlights. The film’s low level sequences (there are many) look just as stunning as the dark and shadow filled backgrounds exhibit a near infinite level of dimension, with superb contrast and visible shading that draws out lots of detail. Those with high contrast displays can fully appreciate how superlative this film looks. I was blown away by this flawless high definition video presentation from Pixar. Bravo!





Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1:


  • Brave 3D Blu-ray

  • (HD) 3D La Luna – 7 minute animated short film

  • Disc 2:


  • Brave 2D Blu-ray

  • (HD) La Luna – 7 minute animated short film

  • (HD) The legend of Mor’du – 6 minute animated short film

  • Audio commentary by director Mark Andrews, co-director Steve Purcell, story supervisor Brian Larsen, editor Nick Smith

  • (HD) Brave old world – 12 minute featurette

  • (HD) Merida and Elinor – 8 minute character design featurette

  • (HD) Bears – 6 minute character design featurette

  • (HD) Brawl in the hall – 5 minute production featurette

  • (HD) Wonder moss – 2 minute location featurette

  • (HD) Magic – 7 minute featurette

  • (HD) Clan Pixar – 4 minute feature on the Pixar team

  • (HD) Once upon a scene – 7 minute featurette

  • (HD) Extended scenes – 3 sequences with introduction/narration by director Mark Andrews

  • (HD) Fergus and Mor’du – 2 minute Alternate opening sequence with introduction by director Mark Andrews

  • (HD) Fallen warriors montage – Deleted scenes with introduction by director Mark Andrews

  • Dirty hairy people – 3 minute character design featurette

  • (HD) It is English…sort of – 3 minute featurette

  • (HD) Angus – 3 minute character design featurette

  • (HD) Promotional pieces:
    1. Feast yer eyes montage
    2. Relics
    3. Clan Dun Broch
    4. Launch
    5. Flying guts theater
    6. USA, Japan, UK trailers
  • (HD) Art gallery

  • Bonus DVD

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc


** Dolby developed an Audio Lovers Guide with Brave re-recording mixer Tom Johnson. The Audio Lover’s Guide to Brave is the perfect listening companion as you take a breathtaking adventure with Brave on Blu-ray disc. Featuring behind the scenes insight from re-recording mixer, Tom Johnson, follow along with the seven most memorable audio moments of Brave. From the opening scenes with Merida, Elinor and King Fergus that set the tone for the entire film all the way down to the will o’ the wisps circling your home theater, the Audio Lover’s Guide will assure you hear and appreciate every nuance of this exciting Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix.

You can check it out at Dolby's website by visiting this link: Audio lover's guide to Disney's Brave


Final Thoughts:

I liked Brave. It’s not quite as evocative and endearing as some of the more popular films to come from Pixar but it is entertaining and fun just the same. Speaking of entertaining and fun, Brave represents one of the finest animated high definition presentations I have seen on Blu-ray. This is true of both the 3D and 2D experiences. Couple that with reference quality Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless surround sound and a boatload of bonus material and this is a highly recommended and must have release for Pixar fans.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 54 Old 11-05-2012, 09:20 PM
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Can't wait! Getting the Pre-order Collector's metal case from Best Buy. Really liked the 3D in the theater, but did think that some of the story elements were reminiscent of Disney's Brother Bear.
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post #3 of 54 Old 11-05-2012, 10:37 PM
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Your Final Thoughts nailed this perfectly. A true A/V stunner, even if the storytelling was slightly off point. smile.gif
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post #4 of 54 Old 11-06-2012, 04:25 AM
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Saw this in the cinema enjoyed it very much and will definitley be picking this up. Another pixar added to my collection.

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post #5 of 54 Old 11-06-2012, 05:45 AM
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I took my son to see this in the summer. Middle of the road PIxar but really looking forward to this 3D presentation. This has to be one of the highest 3D video scores I've ever seen given on an official review. NICE!
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post #6 of 54 Old 11-06-2012, 09:38 AM
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Thanks Ralph! Will be getting this bundle! 3D ALL THE WAY! cool.gif
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post #7 of 54 Old 11-06-2012, 10:36 AM
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Saw it at the theater and have the same opinion for the story line... nice review.

Now 100 for video quality... it is a must have!!!

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post #8 of 54 Old 11-07-2012, 05:44 AM
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Going to do a blind buy on this one which seems safe considering it is Pixar.

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post #9 of 54 Old 11-07-2012, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
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Going to do a blind buy on this one which seems safe considering it is Pixar.

Going by Ralph's score I guess audio and visual we shouldn't be disappointed, looking forward to it smile.gif

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post #10 of 54 Old 11-07-2012, 11:26 AM
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Definitely an eye-candy. Story is not as great as in Toy Stories, Monster Inc... but I guess good things don't last forever smile.gif
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post #11 of 54 Old 11-07-2012, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

Going by Ralph's score I guess audio and visual we shouldn't be disappointed, looking forward to it smile.gif

No doubt! Ralphs review has me excited to see this! smile.gif

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post #12 of 54 Old 11-08-2012, 02:59 PM
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Thanks Ralph for another great review.

Pre-ordered as soon as I saw the e-mail. Looking forward to seeing it.

Everyone has their favorite Pixar movies. Some people I know who saw it said it wasn't their (Pixar) greatest work, others thoroughly enjoyed it. I find most modern day animated movies to be more entertaining than a lot of the stuff Hollywood puts out.

Being a geek I can appreciate the work that goes into making one of these movies. What kind of brain power does it take to write an "engine" to correctly render human hair and have it look and move correctly.. then write another "engine" to create curly hair, and another (engine) to make it naturally interact with all the other curls of hair.. The physics involved are way beyond me... I'll just enjoy the eye candy. biggrin.gif
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post #13 of 54 Old 11-09-2012, 10:33 AM
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Wasn't this supposed to be the first real use of the Atmos sound system in theaters?  Did anyone who saw this in the theater have the Atmos experience?  Just curious.  I see the Blu Ray is 7.1 and wonder if it decodes in an 11.2 system any better given its Atmos heritage.


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post #14 of 54 Old 11-14-2012, 04:57 PM
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I didn't see this in the theaters so nor there is any Atmos theater near me, but the end credits did say that it was mixed for Dolby 7.1 for theatrical release, so this was not an upmix, or remix that we have quiet a bit in the past, and I'm sure in the future as well. I agree with the review this was a very good mix, on par with the better Pixar films out there. Too bad the film didn't resonate with me as well. This should have been a Disney film all around as it didn't feel as a Pixar film.The lack of original story was the real culprit here. Yes this was the first Pixar "fairly tale" and let's hope the last as well. Leave those stories to Disney. Having said that it's not a bad film, but simply it is not what I was expecting from Pixar.

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post #15 of 54 Old 11-15-2012, 07:32 AM
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Saw this in 3D Tuesday. It was ok. Audio was good not stellar and 3D was fair.
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post #16 of 54 Old 11-15-2012, 08:09 AM
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Well I seem to be on a shopping spree and just blind bought a few more including Brave 3d and Expendables 2. I blame Ralph for providing these persuasive reviews! wink.gif

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That's awesome Todd let me know what you think of Brave audio, I'm looking forward in picking Brave and Ice age 4 next week.

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post #18 of 54 Old 11-15-2012, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franin View Post

That's awesome Todd let me know what you think of Brave audio, I'm looking forward in picking Brave and Ice age 4 next week.

You got it! smile.gif Report back on Ice Age 4. I thought the audio in IA3 was excellent!

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post #19 of 54 Old 11-15-2012, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post

Well I seem to be on a shopping spree and just blind bought a few more including Brave 3d and Expendables 2. I blame Ralph for providing these persuasive reviews! wink.gif

Greetings,

Sorry Todd.. biggrin.gif

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post #20 of 54 Old 11-15-2012, 12:06 PM
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Received my copy in the mail yesterday and watched it on my Plasma. Dang theater is not done yet...

Pixar did a fine job. While not as good as some of their other movies I enjoyed it just the same. I think this is the heaviest use of the surrounds in my 7.2 system I've heard to date. Very, very active and blended perfectly with the fronts.

Animation is of course eye popping.

I do agree with the statement that Brave may have been more suited for Disney animation studios project since they are the only ones who can do princess fairy tales perfectly. That's not to say PIxar's first dip into the genre was a failure, far from it. They have to branch out into other areas and subject matter in order to remain competitive in the market.

In my opinion Pixar is still the top of the game, but Dreamworks is right behind them biting at their ankles.
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post #21 of 54 Old 11-16-2012, 09:51 AM
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YES!!! Loved it in the theater. My girls are definately getting this for Christmas.
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post #22 of 54 Old 11-16-2012, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxfj View Post

Received my copy in the mail yesterday and watched it on my Plasma. Dang theater is not done yet...
Pixar did a fine job. While not as good as some of their other movies I enjoyed it just the same. I think this is the heaviest use of the surrounds in my 7.2 system I've heard to date. Very, very active and blended perfectly with the fronts.
Animation is of course eye popping.
I do agree with the statement that Brave may have been more suited for Disney animation studios project since they are the only ones who can do princess fairy tales perfectly. That's not to say PIxar's first dip into the genre was a failure, far from it. They have to branch out into other areas and subject matter in order to remain competitive in the market.
In my opinion Pixar is still the top of the game, but Dreamworks is right behind them biting at their ankles.

Isn't this great? Disney, Dreamworks ... throw in Sony, Fox, Universal, et al. actually standing up to PIXAR??? Who would've said such blasphemy a while back! 'Course no one can forget it is thanks to PIXAR in the first place! cool.gif
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post #23 of 54 Old 11-16-2012, 03:07 PM
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Glad I rented this instead of blind buying as I usually do with PIXAR titles...

Brave is absolutely one of their weakest attempts thus far and right up there with Cars 2 (and Disney's Brother Bear and Treasure Planet) for mediocrity. It wasn't even close to Tangled in quality (and that had a few small flaws itself). It just seemed blah and lackluster, as if PIXAR decided to pull all their punches and play the subject matter completely safe. Practically no adult humor and in-jokes, which they're usually great at sneaking in, to make the story just as fun for the young at heart as it is for little kids. And it lacked any real heart, suspense, danger, or atmosphere. They were definitely going through the motions on this one.

I worry with this spate of sequel-itis coming out of PIXAR as well that this does not bode well for their future.

It could have actually had a Dolby Atmos surround mix included on the disc (I'm being hypothetical here, since on Blu-ray, it couldn't exist) and I still wouldn't have plunked down money for it. If you haven't seen it... rent it first. Just because it's PIXAR, that doesn't make it a sure bet anymore.
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post #24 of 54 Old 11-16-2012, 06:57 PM
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Just got done with the 2d version and what a great blind buy! I truly enjoyed it all around. I actually found the story very satisfying and very Pixar worthy, even if it felt more like a Disney/Dreamworks hybrid? Whatever it was, I really enjoyed it and not a dull moment and would probably place it mid pack overall among the Pixar films (Cars and Cars 2 IMO are the two weakest films in the Pixar cannon and both are still very good from my perspective). I thought it offered up plenty for adults and kids alike just like most other Pixar films. I kept thinking throughout the movie what a perfect double feature this would make one night with How To Train Your Dragon. HTTYD and Brave have a similar feel in ways such as the character personalities and general look/feel of the two time periods.

PQ was exceptional and nothing more to say there. Not the absolute best looking animated title I have seen due to the art style, but gorgeous all the same.

Audio was flat out perfect IMO! One of the best all around audio tracks I have heard lately with everything hitting with appropriate weight and impact. I feel that some of the more recent Pixar films have been slightly conservative in the LFE department compared to tracks like Nemo, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc, but Brave felt like it belonged among Pixars best in the low end as there was nothing conservative here! The rest of the audio was just as good with incredible surround work, awesome dynamics and perfectly mixed dialog............I loved this track! The last big action scene was truly demo worth IMO as well and I LOVE when a movie/audio track saves the best for last which was the case here.

All around awesome HT experience and very glad I blind bought it! smile.gif Cant wait to check out the 3d next watch! cool.gif

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post #25 of 54 Old 11-16-2012, 07:05 PM
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Thanks for that Todd, I've seen it in the movies and I'm definitely looking forward in watching it on blu ray.

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post #26 of 54 Old 11-16-2012, 07:18 PM
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Thanks for that Todd, I've seen it in the movies and I'm definitely looking forward in watching it on blu ray.

I think you are going to love it! What a disc!

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post #27 of 54 Old 11-16-2012, 10:42 PM
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I think you are going to love it! What a disc!

Looking forward to it smile.gif

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post #28 of 54 Old 11-18-2012, 04:45 AM
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My comment here is really on the technical aspects the audio track. This 7.1 Dolby TRUE HD soundtrack: It's amazing. I don't know that I've ever heard a more active, full on 7.1 mix with a number of discrete rear and side effects that are perfectly blended into the soundscape. It was a fantastic reference soundtrack that had more discrete effects than any other soundtrack I've ever experienced. There are a few low frequency bass scenes and other good bass scenes but is not a bass heavy movie - but there;s plenty of low end there to like and you rarely feel anything was left out. Just great!

PQ was stellar. I mean, really stellar!

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #29 of 54 Old 11-18-2012, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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My comment here is really on the technical aspects the audio track. This 7.1 Dolby TRUE HD soundtrack: It's amazing. I don't know that I've ever heard a more active, full on 7.1 mix with a number of discrete rear and side effects that are perfectly blended into the soundscape. It was a fantastic reference soundtrack that had more discrete effects than any other soundtrack I've ever experienced. There are a few low frequency bass scenes and other good bass scenes but is not a bass heavy movie - but there;s plenty of low end there to like and you rarely feel anything was left out. Just great!
PQ was stellar. I mean, really stellar!

Greetings,

Glad to hear you enjoyed this one too Jeff. Thanks for offering your thoughts.. smile.gif


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post #30 of 54 Old 11-18-2012, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Toe View Post

Just got done with the 2d version and what a great blind buy! I truly enjoyed it all around. I actually found the story very satisfying and very Pixar worthy, even if it felt more like a Disney/Dreamworks hybrid? Whatever it was, I really enjoyed it and not a dull moment and would probably place it mid pack overall among the Pixar films (Cars and Cars 2 IMO are the two weakest films in the Pixar cannon and both are still very good from my perspective). I thought it offered up plenty for adults and kids alike just like most other Pixar films. I kept thinking throughout the movie what a perfect double feature this would make one night with How To Train Your Dragon. HTTYD and Brave have a similar feel in ways such as the character personalities and general look/feel of the two time periods.
PQ was exceptional and nothing more to say there. Not the absolute best looking animated title I have seen due to the art style, but gorgeous all the same.
Audio was flat out perfect IMO! One of the best all around audio tracks I have heard lately with everything hitting with appropriate weight and impact. I feel that some of the more recent Pixar films have been slightly conservative in the LFE department compared to tracks like Nemo, The Incredibles, Monsters Inc, but Brave felt like it belonged among Pixars best in the low end as there was nothing conservative here! The rest of the audio was just as good with incredible surround work, awesome dynamics and perfectly mixed dialog............I loved this track! The last big action scene was truly demo worth IMO as well and I LOVE when a movie/audio track saves the best for last which was the case here.
All around awesome HT experience and very glad I blind bought it! smile.gif Cant wait to check out the 3d next watch! cool.gif

HTTYD is quiet a few notch above this one IMO, everything that's missing from Brave is there in Dragon. I do agree as I said that the sound finally returned to it's previous glory of the Incredibles and the likes.

sent via Morse code...........

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