Featured In Issue 128, February 2008

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
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For rude humor, mild language, and action
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Frederick Du Chau
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Dolby Digital 5.1, PCM 24/48 5.1
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Shoeshine (Lee) is an unassuming beagle who falls into the hands of an unscrupulous doctor named Simon Barsinister (Dinklage). When a secret experiment goes awry, the hapless beagle acquires incredible super-powers, including the ability to fly and speak. After escaping the meglomaniacal doctor, Shoestring is adopted by an ex-cop (Belushi). Armed with a fetching superhero costume, Shoestring becomes his alter ego Underdog, and goes about protecting the fine folks of Capitol City. (Stacey Pendry)

There are three additional deleted scenes to those found on the DVD and the cartoon "Simon Says." All other special features are the same: forced up-front previews, three deleted scenes with optional commentary by Director Frank Du Chau, a two-minute blooper reel, the featurette Sit. Stay. Act: Diary Of A Dog Actor (six minutes), a music video of the song "Underdog Raps" by Kyle Massey, and Safe Waif the first Underdog cartoon episode (five minutes).

The anamorphically enhanced 2.40:1 DVD exhibits a harsh appearance, with digitized edges and recognizable edge enhancement. Still, the resolution is good, with well-rendered fine details. Colors are slightly undersaturated, especially greens, which look pasty and pastel. Black levels are fairly deep, but the picture is generally very bright with few dark scenes. Shadow delineation is good as well. Source element artifacts can be recognized at times, and occasionally heavy film grain can be a distraction. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc shows fairly good resolution, but the strongest aspects of the release are its solid black levels and good shadow delineation. Fleshtones have a slightly pink hue. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack features good articulation, with dialogue that generally sounds full and natural. There are times, especially with the dogs' voices, that dialogue can sound too forward. Music is mixed decently across the front stage, but there is little center fill in the stereo stage. Surround envelopment is fairly well integrated, but there are many scenes when the levels are much lower than in the front channels, which limits their effectiveness. Deep bass is delivered well using each of the full-range channels when needed, and the LFE channel is also incorporated well at times. The Blu-ray Disc's uncompressed linear PCM 5.1-channel soundtrack was encoded very high levels, and there is noticeable clipping distortion throughout the presentation. Dynamic range also seems to have been compressed, and dialogue sounds harsh and distorted. The Dolby encoding that is also on the disc sounds much better, unfortunately. (Danny Richelieu)