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Shrek: Dreamworks' Two Disc SE Latest Reference DVD...

2388 Views 32 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  cvye
I sort of dismissed this incredibly witty animated film when it first came out in the theaters, but was enough interested in it after reading about its contents and technical prowess that decided to order the DVD online. Am happy I did!

What makes this quirky movie so endearing is its smart witticism as delivered by the main characters throughout the film, and its amazing technical achievement in terms of its ultra-sophisticated computer-originated imagery (CGI).

The dialog is aimed squarely at the adult among us -and believe me you, there is a lot of adult-oriented material!- while the animation is certainly more than good enough to keep the kiddies highly entertained.

I loved the Robin Hood and His Merry Men musical scene in particular, but laughed at everything that aims at ridiculing or parodying the many films and other stuff done by Disney. Extremely witty stuff indeed!

Well enough of that...and on with the "technical review"...

Since what I received is the 2-disc DVD (in a very nicely and smartly designed keep case, by the way) -with disc 1 containing the full frame version while disc 2 containing the widescreen version- I chose to view the latter (I love the widescreen looks, what can I say?).

What I found from the 1:85:1 anomorphically enhanced video signal -to my most pleasant surprise- were incredible 3-D looking images, images that possess a densely rich coloration scheme, and well focused, very sharply defined resolution. Only film and HD can do better!

Shadow detailing is excellent due in great part to the transfer's great contrast dynamics, as is the balance between it and brightness. Unless your display set is awash with pumped up contrast or poorly calibrated brightness, this transfer is more than satisfying in its rendition of contrast and brightenss as well as gray scale; you should be able to see a lot of detail and a huge variation of color hues even in the darkest scenes of the movie.

The incredibly looking and aptly rendered animation is replete with human-like qualities that evokes poetry in motion...even if most of it is of the slapstick humorous variety. I believe the total lack of digitally-originated artifacts aids in achieving that goal as I saw none...absolutely no artifacts to mar the moving pictures whatsoever.

And most incredibly, I also failed to notice the dreaded and most unwanted "EE," which helps the movie looking extremely film-like and not at all as a NTSC video signal. Only in couple of scenes did I wound up asking myself "was that EE?" but dismissed the thought as I continued enjoying what was being displayed on the screen before me: a new benchmark in video transferring achievement...and truly of reference quality.

I also chose to view Shrek with DTS sound. But as with all previous Dreamworks DVDs that contain the DTS track option, my HT-PC stumbled, coughed, tripped, and sort of skipped. Argh! It wasn't until I remembered what somebody recommended I do to "fix" the problem that things went more smoothly. This is wat I did to remedy the situation: select the DTS soundtrack and then the opening credits without selecting "play." Bingo! Success at last; playback was flawless...

The DTS track offers well balanced sonics with plenty of bass oomph and reach. In certain scenes there is plenty of high amplitude dynamics, which are thrilling to hear and felt. Surround sound is very enveloping yet without being intrusive to the visual contents. A very smartly mixed soundtrack, indeed.

I can't think of no movies fan not liking and enjoying this highly intelligent, smart, witty and highly entertaining flick. Certainly its contents are apt to please both adults and children.

What's more, its image quality is so good that most of us will be using it as a new demonstration reference with which to impress (naw, none of us do that, do we?) our friends and occasional guests. My recommendation is: add Shrek to your movie collection pronto if you haven't already done it. Try it...you'll be glad you did!...

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I saw it last Thursday. cool! what an image! and a nice dts with much better bass than the dolby.

However, the dts could have been even more expensive a bit.

Dvdfile review sums it up well:

superb image, great dts sound but could have been better (too many audio tracks, they are crazy at Dreamworks! with superbit dvds, anything more than 2 audio tracks and tons of extras and I rant! ), but also weird pack, with that pan and scan crap and the supplements spread over the two discs, without the 11hour anyway ( or Dreamworks has a weird way of counting hours, just like tech companies and their accounting :D ).

it should have been: disc one, dts, dolby 5.1, subs and disco two, extras. plain and simple.

but hey, the US-Spanish market is rising :D
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How much better is the DTS track over the DD? I'm still haven't made up my mind if I should get the R1 for the DTS track or the R2 for the increased resolution?

The R2 has only 1 disk and no DTS although I don't care about extras.
Frank, you are so right, when I saw this in the theaters I couldn't stop smiling, and was hoping to hear good things about the transfer. I'll be picking this up immediately!
Great, can't wait to pick up the disc. I do have to chime in on my one big gripe with the movie though, the soundtrack. Can someone please tell me why we have Smashmouth's Allstar song playing over the credits in a fairy tale movie about an ogre? The soundtrack is so inappropriate for the film that I dropped it a whole star, which still puts it at 3/5 (yes, I was THAT taken out of the movie by it). It would've easily been 4/5 with a more appropriate soundtrack. However, at the price point it's at with the extras that are included, the disc is a no-brainer for me.

Thanks for the review Frank!
What I found from the 1:85:1 anomorphically enhanced video signal
This movie was shown in the theaters at 1.85:1, but the DVD exhibits a 1.78:1 image from the DVD. I'm totally nitpicking here, but as someone that uses a 16:9 screen with horizontal masking, I like to mask any unused portion of the screen. With this DVD I won't need to mask for this DVD since it fits the screen perfectly.

As always Frank, your review is excellent and right on the money!:)
Here's a good deal thru Nov. 2nd (I think):

You get ten rentals (one DVD per week for 10 weeks) and get the Shrek DVD, all for around $25 (don't remember exactly), i.e., 10 rentals plus Shrek!.

At BlockBuster.

Thanks again for the detailed review of this DVD. I've figured out why your reviews hit the spot. You touch on those things that end up being important to the folks with big screens and also give some nice film background info. There have been several DVD puchases I've made on your recommendation now and each has been right on the money. I just find that so many reviews just don't go deep enough(especially in the print media).

You're sooo right! The aspect ratio should be 1:78:1 (16x9 :D ) and not 1:85:1, which is the theatrical presentation ratio.

I had both in mind when I did the piece and somehow managed to slip up. :p

This being the case, what we get from the widescreen version is higher vertical resolution because of the taller image, which contains even more active lines of rez. Cool! :cool:

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Wow! Thank you indeed for the kind words. Am overwhelmed by, yet humbly accept them. But just in case, I am running away with them before you change your mind! :D

Indeed, picture looks great.

But I have to say there is something somewhat disturbing in this transfer, and I don't reach to find what it is. There seems to have no EE but there is ringings, especially vertical ringings , albeit almost not disturbing (except in a few shots, I found).

IMHO, it doesn't look as great as toy story.

I'm complaining again (some people will think I'm never satisfied:) ), but I find it a very good transfer (hugely better than the very disappointing final fantasy)

Umm...perhaps what I saw (and did state it as such) was some sort of "ringing" or EE, but happened so fleeting and I was so enthralled with the movie that didn't bothered me as much as, say, The Phantom Menace, which has the worst case of EE'ness I've ever seen.

As for the transfer not being at a par with Toy Story 2, well, perhaps you're right and Disney (or Pixar) still has an edge over Dreamworks in that regard.

Still, Shrek is one heck of a video transfer job and quite a sight for sore eyes after we've visually sampled some poorer looking video images recently, won't you say?... :)

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I think you'll be in for a very pleasant visual surprise when you finally get to see Shrek on DVD. Since you already seen the flick on film, it will come to 'ya that much easier.

At all possible get the 2-disc set. Is worth the money. Enjoy!... :)

Saw this in the theater three times! Glad to hear the transfer is better than FF. I think it's a great follow-up to Antz.

I love the competition between Disney/Pixar and Dreamworks--I'm off to see Monsters Inc. on Friday. Going by the trailer, while I watched FF in N.Y. on one of those megabuck 3-chip DLP digital projection theaters, it looked absolutely stunning. Now if only Pixar would include a DTS soundtrack with their DVD's.
"Hey Frank", Why don't you review the Private Screening of "The Exorcist" that we'll be attending on Halloween Night. You can compare the 35mm Film image to that of the DVD, and not to mention that the soundtrack will be presented in DTS:D. I'm bringing Rosary Beads and Holy Water with me, you can supply the Crucifix and Bibles :eek:.
Nice review, Frank. I missed Shrek in the theater. I knew I would buy it on DVD. Dreamworks usually does a great job with their DTS soundtracks. I look forward to hearing it. I'm glad to hear the video is up to snuff. Animation is probably the best way to show off your front projector. Anyway, I look forward to the adult in-jokes in the movie. ;) Hey, now your getting your DVD's before me. What's up with that? :D
Hey Frank:

The DTS glitch that you get is a bug in the Direct X DVD navigation filters. It should be fixed in the next version of Direct X(8.1, I believe). It is most common in Dreamworks/ Universal DTS discs. With these DVDs your best bet is to simply start the movie from ch. 1 in the chapter menu. You should check out the thread in the HTPC forum regarding the new TheaterTek SW DVD player. It is made for big screen users such as yourself, and really makes that prospect of a Radeon card much easier since you won't have to deal with the twitchy ATi player as it is designed to emulate a HQ STB player.

This disc is just stunning..

I watched it through a V1X and a Teranex and OOoOOOOooo W-O-W

Just scarry 3D. Almost everyplace in the movie is a demo .

YES this disc will be everywhere at CES

Quite impressive.
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35mm Man,

"Hey, dude," indeed I am planning to "review" The Exorcist after screening it tomorrow night. But wait until I tell folks that theatrical DTS is waaayyy beyond what we get on DVD...they might not like to hear it! :eek:

As for the stuff you asked I bring...well...I am planning to go as El Cid so the only cross you'll see will be on the breast plate on my chest...large and in red...along with one of 'em very large swords folks used back then to fight the forces of evil.

That will do very nicely... :D

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Hi, Larry,

Than you for the kind words, my friend.

You're right; animation seems to go with FP systems like a nice fitting glove, so you got an idea what to expect. That's why I think you'll like the DVD's image.

Hey, I've been getting the stuff from the same place you suggested after I dropped Amazon! Seems to be working OK so far, so I will stick with them for now anyway. Thanks for the heads up, Larry!... :)

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