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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Blu-ray) Official Review

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
attachment.php?attachmentid=208375&d=1302295035
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

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

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

89






Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 113 minutes
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure/Family

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Ben Barnes, Will Poulter, Tilda Swinton, Liam Neeson (voice), Simon Pegg (voice)
Directed by: Michael Apted
Music by: David Arnold
Written by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Michael Petroni
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 8, 2011







"Return to magic. Return to hope. Return to Narnia"



Film Synopsis:

Return to the magic and wonder of C. S. Lewis' epic world in this third installment of the beloved Chronicles Of Narnia fantasy-adventure series. When Lucy and Edmund Pensive, along with their cousin Eustace, are swallowed into a painting and transported back to Narnia, they join King Caspian and a noble mouse named Reepicheep aboard the magnificent ship The Dawn Treader. The courageous voyagers travel to mysterious islands, confront mystical creatures, and reunite with the Great Lion Aslan and a mission that will determine the fate of Narnia itself!






My Take:

Precocious siblings Lucy and Edmund Pevensie along with their insolent cousin Eustace are swallowed into a painting and transported back to Narnia. They join King Caspian and a noble mouse Reepicheep in a quest to rescue scads of Narnians taken by a mysterious and evil mist. They track it to a group of nearby islands where they learn of the whereabouts of the noble lords who had been lost fighting the evil. Their only hope to break the mist's spell is to recover and unite the seven swords once carried by the nobles. Aboard the magnificent ship The Dawn Treader, the courageous voyagers travel to Dark Island where they confront mystical creatures, and encounter the evil behind the mist. It will take stalwart resolve, the help of an unlikely ally and the reunion with the Great Lion Aslan if they are to succeed.

I liked the first two Narnia Films but the trailer for this one didn't leave me feeling that it was deserving of a trip to the theater so I held off. Voyage of the Dawn Treader just didn't grab me. It's modestly charming, meekly written, and features good special effects however unlike The Lion, the witch, and the wardrobe and Prince Caspian it lacks a definable foe. I also find Lucy, Edmund and Caspian, as a group and separately to be vaguely credible as saviors/heroes/leaders which makes their actions appear feeble. The deeper plot and epic feel of the earlier films is noticeably absent. The character of Eustace provides a welcoming contrast and the relationship he shares with Reepicheep the mouse is rewarding. Other than two momentary subplots/exchanges involving Lucy (I wish I was pretty like) and Edmund/Caspian (I'm in charge! No I am!) there was little in terms of personal drama that might have deepened the storyline a little. I understand that the film is based on the book however there isn't enough here to sustain a narrative that is capable of delivering the action/adventure, fantasy and drama that made the first two Narnia movies entertaining for audiences of all ages. Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the type of child-hero based entertainment that will appeal more to younger audiences. Seen in that light I think it succeeds admirably and should be an enjoyable experience for the adolescent Narnia fan (s) in your family.

The three disc set comes in a cardboard keep case housed in a slipcover. Inside the case is a single fold-out cardboard disc holder, and three slide in slots, one for the remaining two discs and one (behind the center panel) for a booklet containing promotional postcards that feature images taken from the film. The case is slightly larger (wider & taller) than a typical Blu-ray amaray style case and is of average quality.






Parental Guide:

The rating is for some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action.






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: 90



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 88


(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=109946&d=1210373699

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

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

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

The chronicles of Narnia: The voyage of the Dawn Treader comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.6 Mbps.

This is an excellent video presentation that that boasts image quality that is indicative of a newer release film coming to Blu-ray. There has been some buzz in the online community about concerns over the 1.78:1 aspect ratio of this video release versus the scope aspect used for the film's theatrical presentation. I don't see any cause for concern in terms of deleterious cropping etc. as the image appears fully intact. Shot on high definition video resolution is generally strong as images have crisp definition and lucid clarity. Objects onscreen appear dimensionally strong with exquisite rendering that discloses subtle minutia captured by the camera's lens. Having said that the presentation is imparted with a digital sheen that feels unnatural when compared to the filmic aesthetic of the first two films in the series. I wouldn't describe it as a shortcoming but the effect it noticeable. The perceived level of sharpness fluctuates some however this is attributable the extensive CGI used and I never felt it adversely affected the quality of what I was seeing. The range of colors used appears vibrant with warm vivid hues and delineated textures that look great in high definition. Fleshtones are naturally rendered with warm accents that give them lifelike tonality. Blacks are primarily noise free with discernibly variant shades that enhance the film's dark sequences. Contrast is elevated slightly which gives the image a dynamic quality that rarely infringes upon fidelity. The deep shadows, gradational grays, delineated colors, and punchy blacks looked terrific on my large screen.

I gave high marks to the lossless soundtracks on the first two Narnia films when they came to Blu-ray and this DTS-HD Master Audio presentation is equally deserving of praise. This is a very involving surround mix that delivers an enriching home theater experience. Integration of the front and rear soundstages is seamless as discretely placed sounds follow a deliberate and realistic path as dictated by the events onscreen. This is an active sound design that incorporates a vast number of sound effects that are intricately mixed to engage the listening position. Bass is robust and can sometimes be substantive in depth but never rises inappropriately in prominence within the soundfield. The blend of David Arnold's music, discrete effects/spatial ambience, crystalline dialogue and invigorating dynamics is supremely enriching as it weaves an aurally stimulating pattern across the surround platform. Taken as a whole this is an excellent audio/video presentation that enhances the enjoyment of this film.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) Goldwater Island:

    1. Explore Goldwater Island
    2. Dragon Discovery
    3. Theatrical trailer

  • (HD) Lone Island:

    1. Explore Narrow Haven
    2. Minotauer Discovery
    3. 4 deleted scenes with play all option
    4. The epic continues - 2 minute featurette

  • (HD) Magicians Island:

    1. Explore Magicians Island
    2. Dufflepud Discovery
    3. Audio commentary by Director Michael Apted & Producer Mark Johnson

  • (HD) Dawn Treader:

    1. King Caspians guide to the Dawn Treader - Interactive feature
    2. The secret islands: untold adventures of the Dawn Treader - 7 minute feature
    3. Fox movie channel presents: In Character with Liam Neeson, Georgie Henley and Will Poulter, Direct Effect with director Michael Apted and Making a scene

  • (HD) The Dark Island:

    1. Explore Dark Island
    2. White Witch Discovery
    3. Serpent Discovery
    4. Portal to Narnia: A painting comes to life - 7 minute featurette
    5. Good vs. Evil: Battle on the sea - 11 minute featurette

  • (HD) Ramandus Island:

    1. Explore Ramandus Island
    2. Reepicheep Discovery
    3. Aslan Discovery
    4. Liliandil Discovery
    5. Search for the seven swords match game
    6. VFX progression with optional director/producer commentary

  • BD-Live: Live Extras - Exclusive Theres a place for us music video by Carrie Underwood

  • Bonus DVD

  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc
attachment.php?attachmentid=208376&d=1302295035



Final Thoughts:

With its lower budget, shorter runtime and shallower storyline The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader doesn't have the epic feel of the first two films in the series. It's meekly written screenplay, paint by the numbers action and modestly charming characters add up to the type of child-hero based family entertainment that will appeal more to younger audiences. It makes its debut on Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in a well rounded package that features high quality video and rewarding lossless surround sound coupled with a fan friendly assortment of bonus supplements. Diehard fans of the series can add this to their collections with confidence. For all others I would suggest a rental prior to purchase.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Samsung BD-C7900 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
post #2 of 27
Just watched this with the family last night, rental. Not seeing it in theaters i wasnt sure what to expect. I thought this was a really good addition to the series. Definitely not epic in the way the first was, or as enveloping as the second, but a very good result nonetheless.

I never read past the second book in the series so i do not know if the grand scale was present in the book or not. The themes taught through this story of faith and trust were there but i felt ultimately werent fully fleshed out. In its smaller scale if they couldve really hit home those points with a better written and deeper impact from and on the characters i think it wouldve been just as good or better than the first two. As is, it was just left wanting to be better.

The sound and video were both really good, and i did not notice anything to complain about.

Thanks for the review Ralph.
post #3 of 27
I had read all seven books, and re-read Dawn Treader between seeing the film in the theater and watching the blu-ray. I think it's a worthy attempt to capture the book and a rather good stand-alone film.

Lion, Witch & Wardrobe fleshed out the battle, having only been one page in the book. And Prince Caspian, the film, was a battle and then some battles, and a battle. Epic, I guess.

My fear was the Dawn Treader is a very episodic book. And while all the books have life lessons, the film played them down somewhat. But the film's ending - for me - got me again. Very emotional. Quite a more personal film than the last.

Good review. Nice LFE!
post #4 of 27
This is the second widescreen movie I've seen that has been cropped down to 1.78 for BD (the other being STAG NIGHT, from Ghost House). The cropping may not be "deleterious", but it is an alarming trend...which has carried over to the OnDemand services where all major widescreen films are cropped. (Not to mention STARZ, HBO, and EPIX channels.) There is a sure trend towards the elimination of OAR that is now seeping onto BD discs...and should be abhored, regardless. If voices aren't raised, in a few years OAR may well be a thing of the past. And things like composition, distance, etc. in a movie will be completely lost for home viewing.
post #5 of 27
Thanks Ralph. Love the film! Not as much as the first two, but it still spun its fairy tale magic better than most of the genre. HATE the packaging though. Fox ever uses junk like this again, I'll wait for bargain bin pricing since the case design is completely useless.

I don't like paper packaging to begin with - it's not remotely user friendly to remove the discs, near impossible without getting prints on the disc, and there's much greater risk of scratching the discs over time - but this was rediculous! I'm on my second set; all three discs were scratched due to the packaging in the first set and amazon's replacement was damaged as well. I didn't feel right making amazon pay for Fox's poor packaging again, so I called Fox for a replacement the second time; fortunately they were already aware of the problem from other callers. I got a very helpful operator who said the case is some kind of response to Fox going more "green", which I'm sure is just the positive spin he was told to say, as the case uses twice the amount of paper necessary, not to mention the superfluous postcards. Now I need a BD case to keep the BD in, as this junk is completely disposable, just like the digital copy which you use once and then trash too; if they're trying to be more "green", the digital copy should be downloaded online, not from a disc.

We fight studios to keep them from turning HD into glossy SD and now we've got to worry about the cases too? I feel a rant coming on, so I'll stop before I get going. In addition to replacing damaged discs, Fox needs to offer reasonable BD replacement packaging free to all who invested their hard earned wages on this mess. I don't throw away my BDs, so I need packaging that will actually protect the disc(s), not to mention that lasts as long as the BDs do.
post #6 of 27
I enjoyed this one the best and really liked the audio mix!.
post #7 of 27
Put me to sleep (literally, on a trans-Atlantic flight). Appeared to diverge from the book's storyline about 5 minutes into the film, and didn't ever recover.
post #8 of 27
I'm on the fence about this one.
post #9 of 27
Thought this was a good one but didn't really have the feel of the first two installments. Although the ending was very serene and scenic on this.

Cheers
post #10 of 27
Kind of surprised at your reaction...many of the reviews I've read pointed to this as their favorite of the 3 movies. I guess I'll still rent it though (I should note that i didn't like either of the first 2 movies)
post #11 of 27
Almost skipped this one because i thought it would be the same as the first two movies, which i found quite boring. I personally enjoyed this third installment the most, the ending was very emotional for me. loved the audio.. very happy with this purchase.
I can't wait for the next part.

Thank you for the review Ralph
post #12 of 27
The 3rd one did not work for me. I know that I'm getting old but that got nothing to do with it since I really enjoyed kiddie movies like How to Train Your Dragon and Megamind.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Varnadore View Post
Thanks Ralph. Love the film! Not as much as the first two, but it still spun its fairy tale magic better than most of the genre. HATE the packaging though. Fox ever uses junk like this again, I'll wait for bargain bin pricing since the case design is completely useless.

I don't like paper packaging to begin with - it's not remotely user friendly to remove the discs, near impossible without getting prints on the disc, and there's much greater risk of scratching the discs over time - but this was rediculous! I'm on my second set; all three discs were scratched due to the packaging in the first set and amazon's replacement was damaged as well. I didn't feel right making amazon pay for Fox's poor packaging again, so I called Fox for a replacement the second time; fortunately they were already aware of the problem from other callers. I got a very helpful operator who said the case is some kind of response to Fox going more "green", which I'm sure is just the positive spin he was told to say, as the case uses twice the amount of paper necessary, not to mention the superfluous postcards. Now I need a BD case to keep the BD in, as this junk is completely disposable, just like the digital copy which you use once and then trash too; if they're trying to be more "green", the digital copy should be downloaded online, not from a disc.

We fight studios to keep them from turning HD into glossy SD and now we've got to worry about the cases too? I feel a rant coming on, so I'll stop before I get going. In addition to replacing damaged discs, Fox needs to offer reasonable BD replacement packaging free to all who invested their hard earned wages on this mess. I don't throw away my BDs, so I need packaging that will actually protect the disc(s), not to mention that lasts as long as the BDs do.
Chad,

Good to see you posting

By the way...nice rant!

Best,
post #14 of 27
I also felt that this movie was lacking in its ability to hold my interest. A friend of mine had purchased the Blu-ray and I was hoping for/expecting more from it I guess. I almost walked out halfway through, but stayed just so I could say I had given it a fair shake.
post #15 of 27
Good Review Ralph!

I agree with your scores.. I watched the movie at the theaters and just gave it a spin last night... Normally, when I watch a movie at home is much better that what I see in the theaters...At the theaters, the "digital look" kind of gets lost, but in this BD was so distracting... I think the previous films were much better in this department..

C
post #16 of 27
PQ ist horrible. The first two were great in that regard, but this crap has lost all the qualities, that the other two had. Granted, that it may have looked also crappy in the theatre, I did not went to the cinema to watch it.

And for the open matte->
post #17 of 27
This was my least favorite between the others. I only got chills a couple of times vs multiple in the other. Thank god they got rid of the older kid. He was an abysmal actor.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan G. View Post

I had read all seven books, and re-read Dawn Treader between seeing the film in the theater and watching the blu-ray. I think it's a worthy attempt to capture the book and a rather good stand-alone film.

Lion, Witch & Wardrobe fleshed out the battle, having only been one page in the book. And Prince Caspian, the film, was a battle and then some battles, and a battle. Epic, I guess.

My fear was the Dawn Treader is a very episodic book. And while all the books have life lessons, the film played them down somewhat. But the film's ending - for me - got me again. Very emotional. Quite a more personal film than the last.

Good review. Nice LFE!

Pretty much agree with above and wife and I are 6 days older than dust and we enjoyed it. I like feel good at end movies.
post #19 of 27
Comment: Packaging: I don't mind a properly assembled "GREEN" cardboard packaging.
_BUT_ my package was not glued together correctly and both the 'BluRay' and 'Digital Copy' had glue on them which I had to clean off, tried to repair the package.. but due to the glossy surface neither my double sided tape or white glue will 'stick', 'hold', & 'dry' whom can I contact about a replacement packaging? And no I was going to 'exchange' at my local Wal-Mart but after testing at random, five of there shelf stock has the same troubles!
avid
post #20 of 27
This movie sucked compared to the first one. They just keep going down hill...
post #21 of 27
I was wondering if the Blu-ray has the "short" that is mentioned on the DVD 2 Pack?
post #22 of 27
Watched this movie with the kids last weekend. I thought the audio and video were very good...especially the LFE track. The movie itself at times had low productions value and other times I felt it was very well done. For exampe, the ship itself, I thought looked very cartoonish...almost like something you would see at Disney World. The movie was pretty solid and had a good ending. Overall I enjoyed it.
post #23 of 27
I watched this last night--Netflix Blu Ray--and really enjoyed it. I am a bit of a sucker for this kind of movie and I personally really love the series. In many ways, this was my favorite. Of course one reason may be that I was able to watch it on my new equipment in my theater room--it looked and sounded awesome! Now I can only hope they will soon over a trilogy set that I would certainly buy.
post #24 of 27
Where'a the bass??

Agreed... Not great.
post #25 of 27
what really pissed me off is the chopped and cropped 1.78:1 ratio. Parts 1 and 2 are in 2.4:1, even the chapter selection thumbnails are in 2.4:1 but the movie itself got cropped to 1.78:1. WTF?
post #26 of 27
I bought a new Epson 3010 a few weeks ago and FINALLY I got hold of a 3D bluray to fire up. I have had fun watching some ESPN 3D and a few other programs, but bluray was really what I wanted to see in 3D.

Well, even though I've been to see 3D movies in the theater where I didn't think it was worth the premium over the 2D version, this movie was GREAT in 3D. I thought the effects were fantastic, and finally I felt the 3D actually enhanced the experience.

Like a few others have said, the ending really had me feeling emotional.

I've enjoyed each of the Narnia films...I'm assuming this was the last one, and if so, then I feel like it was three solid adaptations of my favorite author's best known works.
post #27 of 27
Agreed, 3D is good on this one! Not the best, but worth it, IMO... cool.gif As a movie, it stands better than Caspian, but The Lion etc remains as No. 1 for me, BTW.
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