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Originally published in Sound and Image, Feb/Mar 2008, V.21#4
Shrek the Third
2007 - Paramount Home Entertainment (Australasia) Pty Ltd
Director: Chris Miller and Raman Hui
Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, John Cleese, Rupert Everett, Eric Idle and Justin Timberlake
Movie: Picture: Sound: Extras:
Not a great deal needs to be said about the movie Shrek the Third. If you've seen either of its predecessors, it's more of the same. That isn't to say that it isn't a great deal of fun. It is.
The beauty of computer animated movies is that they can be transferred to digital media without any degradation. No telecine process from a printed (and degraded) film. They are just regenerated at the target resolution and poured into the appropriate video encoder (VC1 in this case). So the picture quality is not just unsurpassed, but unsurpassable for the 1080p HD DVD platform.
The sound, being created without the constraints of an actual physical universe, is equally impressive.
There is a decent range of extras (but make sure you return to the main menu since most aren't accessible from the pop up one), including persistent bookmarks. Unlike
The Bourne Ultimatum, these ones worked flawlessly. There are also a trivia track and a set of character profiles that can be downloaded to your player's persistent storage from the Web.
Note: My Blog entry describes an illustrates the Web-enabled special extras in some detail. See
'Web Enabled Features' here.
Running time: 93 minutes
Video: 1.78:1 anamorphic, 1080p24, VC1
Sound: English, French, German: Dolby Digital Plus 3/2.1*
Subtitles: German, English, French, English for the hearing impaired
Features: 'The Animators' Corner' (pops up deleted scenes during movie); My Menus; Web-enabled features; Propoganda: 'How To Be Green' (1080 MPEG4AVC - 4 mins); 'Learn the Donkey Dance' (1080, MPEG4AVC - 2 mins); 'Merlin's Magic Crystal Ball' game (1080 MPEG4AVC); 'Shrek's Guide to Parenthood' (1080 MPEG4AVC); Featurette: 'Meet the Cast' (MPEG2 - 11 mins); Four 'Lost Scene' pitches (1080 MPEG4AVC - 26 mins;); Featurette: 'Tech of Shrek' (1080 MPEG4AVC - 10 mins); 'Donkey Dance' (1080 MPEG4AVC - 30 secs); 'Big Green Goofs' (MPEG4AVC - 2 mins); Dreamworks Animation Video Jukebox: 6 clips (MPEG4AVC - 10 mins)
* I normally use Cyberlink PowerDVD to tell me the bitrate for Dolby Digital Plus audio tracks, but I can't get it to play this HD DVD.
© 2002-2008, Stephen Dawson