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post #1 of 20 Old 09-28-2009, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=153851&d=1254160802
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 )

78






Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 1982
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 93 Minutes
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English/French/Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Directed by: Jim Henson & Frank Oz
Music by: Trevor Jones
Written by: Jim Henson
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 29, 2009







"Another world, another timein the Age of wonder"



Film Synopsis:

Travel back in time to the faraway planet of Thra. Cheer on the Mystics as they fight to overthrow the evil Skeksis and take back control of their planet! When Jen, a member of the Gelfling tribe, sets out to find the crystal's missing shard, his dangerous journey brings him face to face with monsters at every turn. Determined to restore peace to their planet, Jen will not back down!






My Take:

From the brilliant imagination of Jim Henson, this masterpiece of animation recounts the timeless tale of good vs. evil and has become a cult favorite of children and grown-ups alike. The story is straight forward with easily discernible lines drawn between good and evil in the soft spoken and inherently good Mystics and by contrast the violent, greedy and power hungry Skesis. Having been raised by the Mystics Jen believes that he is the last of his kind. On his death bed Jen's Mystic master tells him that he must fulfill his destiny by recovering the lost shard of the dark crystal and venture to the crystal's location to heal it by replacing the shard before the great conjunction of the three suns. Jen sets out on his quest and after locating the shard discovers that he is not the last of his kind. In the jungle he meets Kira, a female Gelfling, who also believed she was the last of her kind after being raised by the pod people after her family was killed by the Skesis. The two join up and Kira agrees to help Jen. While he is clearly drawn as the story's hero Kira is definitely the brains between the two. As things progress she firmly establishes herself as an equal ally with the ability to communicate with animals and other species as well as being able to think quickly on her feet. She proves her courage under dire circumstances during the climactic finale in the palace of the Skesis as she and Jen attempt to replace the missing shard and heal the crystal which will restore balance and avoid giving eternal power to the evil and monstrous Skesis.

I never saw this film theatrically but watched it numerous times on cable TV when it aired back in the mid eighties. I found the story and the characters enchanting and loved the expressive attributes that Jen and Kira exhibited. I love Fizzgigg, Kira's pet (?) who adds a wonderfully integrated air of levity to the story. Having not seen it in years I think it holds up quite well. The special effects are pretty dated but the elements have a timeless feel thanks to the great work by Jim Henson, Brian Froud (conceptual design) and screenwriter David Odell. The film has a charming appeal that those who remember it growing up can now share with their children. I watched it with my daughter, now 17, who shares my love for movies and we both enjoyed it. I can't imagine higher praise and I think that The Dark Crystal speaks volumes about the legacy of the great Jim Henson.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for frightening images, peril and thematic material that may not be suitable for younger viewers.






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: 74



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

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

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



Video: 82


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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

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

The Dark Crystal comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 26 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 2.5 mbps.

This is a solid looking encoding from Sony that appears to faithfully render this films elements. There is little use of blue screen and CGI and the video's higher resolution makes some of the costumes and puppet work obvious but I never found it distracting. Overall quality is quite good as images are stable with appreciable levels of detail and fine rendering that enhance definition. Black levels and detail in shadows fluctuate but depth and dimension in low light is notable for a print this old. The color palette varies depending on the setting but overall chroma appears natural and pleasing with no signs of weak primaries or over emphasis. Grain is present but never predominate and serves to provide a light but noticeable texture when seen against light backgrounds. This is my first experience with this film on home video and I thought the results are very good indeed. The high resolution audio mix has no trouble conveying the elements present in this soundtrack. Dialogue sounds great as it has ample weight and clarity which give it good articulation and prominence within the front soundstage. This is a front heavy presentation with most of the discrete portions of the audio being generated by the main channels and dialogue through the center channel. The soundfield isn't the broadest and the dynamic range doesn't provide impressive sonic impact however this track sounds just fine. Trevor Jones' music has appreciable warmth and presence that is viably rich amid the other elements contained in the mix. The surrounds are used exclusively for environmental ambience which helps extend the front channels reach. This is perfect because it offers a bit more atmospheric enhancement but still maintains the films front reliant presentation which is more in keeping with how it probably sounded originally.



Bonus Features:


  • PiP Storyboard track

  • The Book of Thra - The Dark Crystal Collector - An interactive feature allowing viewers to collect objects from the film with a viewable collection toggle

  • Skekteks crystal challenge - In movie game feature

  • Commentary with Brian Froud

  • Original Skesis language - 7 test scenes with intro by writer David Odell

  • Deleted funeral scene

  • The world of The Dark Crystal - 57 minute making of documentary

  • Reflections of The Dark Crystal

    1. Light on the path - 20 minute feature
    2. Shard of illusion - 16 minute feature

  • BD Previews:

    1. The Water horse: legend of the deep
    2. Open season 1 & 2
    3. Monster house
    4. Surfs up
    5. Close encounters of the third kind

  • BD-Live enabled




Final Thoughts:

The Dark Crystal is a wonderfully charming fantasy adventure film from the creative world of the great Jim Henson. It tells an age old and classic tale of good versus evil and does so using strong visuals in an elaborative style that can be enjoyed from one generation to the next. It's a film that I enjoyed in my younger years and watching it now with my daughter who is about the age I was when I first saw it was a rewarding experience. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony in a well rounded and fan friendly package that features great looking video and a superlative set of bonus supplements that include Blu-ray Disc exclusive content that enhances the enjoyment of this classic film. It has found a home in my collection and I recommend that you give it a spin.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/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)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel 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, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

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post #2 of 20 Old 09-28-2009, 11:34 AM
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OH MY GOD, my girl is going to flip for this, I swear she mentions this movie every so often, in fact she was just telling me about it again over the weekend.Obviously it was one of her favorite childhood films, I got her the SD version some time ago ,and made her toss her VHS copy which sucked big time. I got her Labyrinth the one with David Bowie but she wasn't very taken with that one.

Must buy for her and I know it will be an improvement over the SD release with the Video score being that high.



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post #3 of 20 Old 09-28-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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And its cheap to boot... amazon and bestbuy 18.99 plus labyrinth is also out tomorrow.
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-28-2009, 03:02 PM
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I got her Labyrinth the one with David Bowie but she wasn't very taken with that one.

Drop her; she's tainted goods!
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-28-2009, 06:41 PM
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Drop her; she's tainted goods!



In due time, in due time I kidd, I kidd....



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post #6 of 20 Old 09-28-2009, 08:30 PM
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Wow, I love this movie, I'm shocked to see that it's coming out on Blu.

-Pheran
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-28-2009, 09:34 PM
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Been waiting for this forever... I will totally be Great Conjunctioning my azz to BestBuy tomorrow for this one. Labyrinth too!

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post #8 of 20 Old 09-28-2009, 09:51 PM
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glad to see i'm not the only lunatic wakin up to pick up labyrinth tomorrow.
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-29-2009, 05:53 AM
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Thx for the review, Ralph. Any chance you will review Labyrinth?
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-29-2009, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Thx for the review, Ralph. Any chance you will review Labyrinth?

Greetings,

Yes. Look for it in the next day or two..


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post #11 of 20 Old 09-29-2009, 10:06 AM
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Good review of a classic Henson film.

However, its still missing some deleted scenes and the original work print of the film, that has been sitting in the Henson vault for about 20+ years, and after releasing 5 separate DVD releases of this movie, and now the blu ray one, without these hidden gems (or a commentary by Frank Oz for crying out loud), it is a major "miss" in the bonus features. All this stuff, minus one or two, can be found on the anniversary edition...released just last year.

Very disappointing. yes, it is a great movie, one of the best, but the lack of these truly epic extras, after 6 to 7 releases of this film, is another blunder by the Henson company. They simply do not listen to the fans.
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-29-2009, 06:57 PM
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Watched this film,still good even the time was passing by for many years.
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-30-2009, 01:55 PM
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I have this and Labyrinth on order from Amazon. They should be waiting for me in the mail today! I'm so excited for these titles on Blu Ray!! Labyrinth is my all time favorite movie.

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post #14 of 20 Old 09-30-2009, 10:45 PM
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The picture and sound on this release are not remarkable, although I suspect it is true the source. And the movie itself is a classic. I enjoyed the Blu-ray very much this evening, I had not seen the film in years.

Back off man, I'm a scientist.
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post #15 of 20 Old 10-01-2009, 08:06 PM
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I just finished watching The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, and though they looked good and they sounded ok, the films themselves were really lousy. This coming from a Gremlins fan...

Anyway, sorry for crapping in a perfectly good thread, I just really found these to be poor. Fans of the films will be happy with the quality, but unless it is nostalgia, I really don't see what people are drawn to.
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post #16 of 20 Old 10-10-2009, 07:34 AM
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Thanks for this review Ralph. If you wouldn't have reviewed it, I probably wouldn't have known it came out on Blu-ray and missed out on it. I don't think I ever did see this one when I was younger. Well, now I'm happy to have had the chance to view it.

Rented this one, hoping that my kids would like it. They are all of age 7 and younger. They liked it quite a bit. Granted, I had to sit with them, and explain some parts, but they were just as intrested in The Dark Crystal as the latest blockbuster Dreamworks/Disney releases. It was a little scary for them in parts, as the movie as a dark feeling throughout. My point is, it seems that the classics really are timeless. They watched Annie the other day and loved that as well, as did I (non Blu-Ray). Bright back some great childhood feelings for me as well. I forgot how great the songs are in that movie.

Anyway, back to The Dark Crystal. It's hard for me to give this a high score for video, mainly because the quality drastically changed from scene to scene. Some were very sharp with excellent contrast and shadow detail. Others were downright soft, as if I was watching a typical $10 catalog DVD title. Colors were solid throughout, and seemed to fit well with the films content. I actually enjoyed seeing the "CG" parts of the film, as it was a bit nastalgic to see how I used to watch movies back in the day.

Sounds was fine. Nothing stood out, and dialogue was a bit muffled at times, making it hard for my kids to understand. This was fine, since I was there to interpret.

So I was very happy to have the kids enjoy it, since I thought it could have gone either way. Watching it with them made a big difference I think, helping to explain what was going on.

Film 3.5 out of 5, PQ 3 out of 5, SQ 3 out of 5.

Dan
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post #17 of 20 Old 10-10-2009, 10:16 AM
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wow. I remember seeing the DC in theaters at 7 or 8 years old, and totally flipping out and we had to leave the theater. Scared the absolute ****e out of me.

I've yet to show it to my kids...I have some original posters from the film and they are scared of those...much less the movie. They are 8 and 9. I tried to pop on Labyrinth a few weeks ago...big mistake. They actually couldn't get through the opening (the part where Tobi is taken from the crib).

Something about puppets, that is more organic and real, then ANY cg fx.

I guess it will be few years before I'll be able to show these two films. I'm just surprised your kids sat through it, there are very creepy images and the skesis are the stuff of nightmares.
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post #18 of 20 Old 10-11-2009, 06:01 AM
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I actually enjoyed seeing the "CG" parts of the film

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post #19 of 20 Old 10-11-2009, 08:09 AM
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From what i understand from a few insiders,sony does not use dnr and ee on there titles. I don't know for sure if thats true,but from one insider i would take that to the bank. SO again this sony title is true to the film elements.

I hope other studios will take sony's lead on this and be more competitive with each other for great looking bd's,i know dream on.
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post #20 of 20 Old 10-11-2009, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabbageheat View Post

wow. I remember seeing the DC in theaters at 7 or 8 years old, and totally flipping out and we had to leave the theater. Scared the absolute ****e out of me.

I've yet to show it to my kids...I have some original posters from the film and they are scared of those...much less the movie. They are 8 and 9. I tried to pop on Labyrinth a few weeks ago...big mistake. They actually couldn't get through the opening (the part where Tobi is taken from the crib).

Something about puppets, that is more organic and real, then ANY cg fx.

I guess it will be few years before I'll be able to show these two films. I'm just surprised your kids sat through it, there are very creepy images and the skesis are the stuff of nightmares.

If I wasn't sitting there with them, it would have scared them, I'm sure. When there were "scary" scenes, I just talked them through it. Saying things like, "man, he's pretty ugly looking huh?". I didn't give their minds time to get all worked up. There isn't really anything to be scared about with the movie, but the images and characters could definately scare some kids. I don't show any truly scary things to them, and this was probably as "scary" as they've seen. If they were showing signs of nervousness, it would have been shut off. Some kids just have a higher tolerance. Our youngest, 2 years old, gets scared much easier then the other two at that age.

It was a gamble, but they liked it, and did great.

Dan
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