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WSR Detailed DVD Review
Golden Compass, The
Two-Disc Special Edition
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Reviewed In Issue 131 (May 2008) Of Widescreen Review®
Nicole Kidman, Sam Elliott, Eva Green, Dakota Blue Richards, Daniel Craig, Christopher Lee, Tom Courtenay, Derek Jacobi and the voice talents of Ian McKellen, Ian McShane, Freddie Highmore, Kathy Bates & Kristin Scott Thomas
Special features on Disc One of this two-disc set are limited to previews and commentary by Writer/Director Chris Weitz. Disc Two contains the following documentaries: The Novel: Author Philip Pullman And The Consequences Of Curiosity (19 minutes), The Adaptation Of Writer/Director Chris Weitz (16 minutes), Finding Lyra Belacqua: Introducing Dakota Blue Richards (15 minutes), Oxford: Lyra's Jordan (eight minutes), Armoured Bears: The Panserbjorne Of Svalbard (18 minutes), and Music (12 minutes); the following still galleries: Daemons, Costumes, Production Design: The Emotional Fabric Of A Parallel World, and an interactive view gallery The Alethiometer: Creating The Truth Measure; three different theatrical trailers in The Launch: Releasing The Film; and previews.
In a parallel universe where humans have animal spirit guides called Daemons and great armored ice bears act as warriors, a young girl named Lyra Belacqua (Richards) is given a very special instrument called an Alethiometer. The instrument, also known as The Golden Compass, is the last of a mystical device that, in the right hands, can unveil the truth and reveal what others wish to hide. When Lyra's best friend is kidnapped by mythical entities known as Gobblers, it is up to Lyra to find him and bring him home. But what Lyra must face is more diabolical than the Gobblers
The anamorphically enhanced 2.36:1 DVD shows solid black levels with good shadow delineation, helping create a sense of depth to the image. Color fidelity is quite good, with vibrant but natural hues and accurate-looking fleshtones. Fine details are recorded quite nicely, and the entire image has good resolution. While edge enhancement is minor, it can still be noticed over higher contrast transitions. It does not pose much of a distraction though. Pixelation is not a big problem either. (Danny Richelieu)
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