Thursday, April 28, 2011

FILM: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Trailer Breakdown (Commentary)

On Wednesday the first trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was released and like was done with Part 1, here on GeekPlate the trailer will be broken down and speculated about in this post. The hope is to point out most of what is revealed in the trailer and what part of the story the scene is from. Spoilers will follow from this point forward with the embedded trailer and the breakdown below it.

Throughout the trailer is a Voldemort voice-over that is probably what he says to bring Harry out to the forest to him.

0:06 - Snape is walking down an alley in Godric's Hollow. Most likely memory related, either a flashback or perhaps a new location for the scene between he and Harry.

0:10 - The Ravenclaw Diadem. One of the many horcruxes that have yet to be found or identified. Realization of Voldemort's nod to the founders will hopefully happen by the time the focus of the story returns to Hogwarts.

0:11 - Two girls on a hill, watching a flower grow in the redhead girl's palm. The girls are Lily and Petunia Evans as children and the moment is most likely from Snape's memories.

0:12 - An older hand holding the destroyed diary at Dumbledore's desk. Reasonable elimination of possibilities leads to the hand probably belonging to Professor McGonagall.

0:13 - A shot of Harry's arm reaching for a female arm in the forest. This is probably the resurrection stone scene with Lily in the forest. The only other possible female in the forest would be Narcissa and I do not see why Harry would reach for her.

0:16 - A look at Voldemort's face. It is only a short flash but from the perspective I could almost imagine it as a post-Harry's sacrifice scene.

0:23 - Harry kneeling at Dobby's grave outside Shell Cottage and glancing at the broken mirror shard. Has to be one of the opening scenes of the film.

0:27 - An angled closeup of Harry's face, probably during an introspective/emotional moment.

0:30 - Fenrir Greyback being thrown back by a spell. The background looks like Hogwarts, so the final battle is a safe bet.

0:32 - Voldemort at Malfoy Manor with bodies littering the floor and Draco with his head bowed. Clearly the aftermath of Voldemort's rage at Harry's escape and probably one of the first scenes of part 2.

0:36 - A cart ride through the depths of Gringotts. Interesting to see that it has evolved since the days of the first film but not really surprising. Looks like they are being chased by another cart. Then there is the guard dragon on the main level of Gringotts being ridden by Harry, Hermione and Ron followed by the guard dragon's fiery breath. These moments are from their search for Hufflepuff's cup and the escape from Gringotts.

0:42 - Snape standing outside the Potter's blown up home at Godric's Hollow. A continuation of the scene that began the trailer, makes me curious to where they are going with this.

0:44 - Outside the Great Hall where students appear to be gathering an animated armored knight falls into a defensive stance at the entrance. Possibly right before the final battle, with Hogwarts getting ready to fight as well.

0:47 - Voldemort standing with his Death Eaters. Bellatrix and Pius Thicknesse are directly behind Voldemort. I assume this is part of their march on Hogwarts.

0:51 - Harry grimacing somewhere in Hogwarts. That is usually the way Harry reacts in the films when Voldemort is near or angry.

0:53 - People scatter as Hogwarts is blasted and debris rains down. Definitely part of the final battle.

0:54 - Shacklebolt deflects a spell at the entrance of Hogwarts as Harry, Ron and Hermione approach. More of the final battle, depending on how Yates has decided to film the movie I have a feeling this is just before Harry and Voldemort's face off.

0:55 - Narcissa turning around in the forest. I imagine this could be her turning around to lie to Voldemort and declare Harry dead.

1:02 - The Weasleys surround a fallen Fred. This should take place after the retrieval of the diadem but before Harry takes on Voldemort and I doubt there will be a dry eye from anyone in the theater.

1:05 - Voldemort, Nagini and Bellatrix are at some type of hill/cliff as a spell expands before them. Now this is one part of the film that I have no idea where it is supposed to take place. All I have come up with is maybe this moment is just after Voldemort retrieved the Elder Wand and is giving it another test of its strength.

1:07 - Tonks and Lupin reach for each other. Probably part of their last moments on screen, I imagine there will be probably a passing reference to their demise whether it be a reference or passing shot of their fallen bodies but I do not imagine it will be onscreen.

1:10 - Harry pulls Voldemort off a bridge. I do not know what to think of this moment, it was the part of the trailer that had me stop with bewilderment. This feels like it will be something like the dragon challenge in Goblet of Fire where they went off in a tangent to make things more interesting. Cannot wait to see how they come back from that jump.

1:17 - Snape twirls his cape and disappears in the Great Hall. From the mysterious shapes made with his cloak it is easy to connect the dots to the moment where he is run out of Hogwarts and was said to fly off like a bat.

1:19 - Hermione and Ron run away from the fiendfyre rushing behind them. This is in the Room of Requirement when in search of the diadem, they cross path with Draco and his fellow Slytherins.

1:22 - The Hogwarts paved courtyard is in chaos with the final battle. If you look closely the statue is moving as part of the castle fighting back and there appears to be a giant among the wizards battling.

1:25 - What appears to be the Hogwarts covered bridge begins to blow up and fall apart, catching several people trying to cross it.

1:28 - Molly and Bellatrix face off. Looks like it will go down in the Great Hall and is started because Bellatrix fired a spell in Ginny's direction. I think everyone is waiting to hear Molly yell, "Not my daughter, you bitch!"

1: 31 - Harry and Voldemort wands do battle. The films have fallen in love with the aspect of Harry and Voldemort's wands continuously connecting even when they no longer have brother wands. The awesome visual is worth repetition and is most likely part of the final showdown.

1:38 - Hogwarts reaction shot. Ginny is screaming, Arthur catches her, Neville is looking grim as others look on behind. This is either the battle is over or Harry's apparent death. I am leaning towards the latter given the faces on the characters.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

FILM: 2011 Summer Movies Game + Trailers (Commentary)

Last year, a few months before the existence of GeekPlate, I played along as a fan for the first time with the Totally Rad Show and Slashfilm guys in prognosticating the final standings of the summer film releases in terms of their United States domestic gross. I ended up with a solid 41 points. I enjoyed it so much I thought I would do it again this year and include it here on GeekPlate.

--The goal of the game is to pick what you think will be the top ten grossing films in the U.S. and three extra choices to make the top ten that you are not as sure of. For an overview of the rules check out the game's originating page at Time Travel Reviews.
--Use this page to see the list of 2011 Summer movies (through August is applicable).
--How the Scoring Works:
Getting number 1 or number 10 dead-on gets you 13 points (each).

The rest of the scoring goes like this:
10 points for numbers 2-9 dead-on
7 points if your pick was only one spot away from where it ended up
5 points if it was two spots away
3 points if your pick is anywhere in the Top 10
1 point for each dark horse that makes it into the Top 10
The scoring is tabulated so that you get the SINGLE HIGHEST point value for each pick- that is, if you get number ten right, you don't get 13+3, you only get 13.

GEEKPLATE'S 2011 PICKS (Trailers linked):
1) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (July 15)
2) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (May 20)
3) Transformers: Dark of the Moon (July 1)
4) Kung Fu Panda 2 (May 27)
5) Cars 2 (June 24)
6) Green Lantern (June 17)
7) Thor (May 6)
8) Super 8 (June 10)
9) Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World (August 19)
10) Fast Five (April 29)

The Smurfs (July 29)
Cowboys & Aliens (July 29)
X-Men: First Class (June 3)

This summer seems loaded with heavy hitters nearly ever week, and I am very interested in seeing which movies distance themselves from the pack. Enjoy the theatergoing, I know I will!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

FILMonDVD: Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo (Review)

Scooby Doo: Abracadabra-Doo
2010 - Warner Home Video
Released on DVD on February 16, 2010

# of Discs: 1
Runtime: 75 Minutes

Animation's favorite team of teenage sleuths is back in a feature length film that blurs the line between reality and illusion. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and their dog Scooby go on a trip to visit Velma's younger sister, Madelyn, who is studying magic at the Whirlen Merlin Magic Academy. But where the Scooby Gang goes, mysteries cannot be far behind. There is trouble brewing at the Academy with attendance dwindling due to sightings of a giant beast around the castle. It is up to the gang to investigate and find the truth to the beast before the school is forced to close.

Most of the film takes place at the magic academy the gang visits, which happens to be in an ancient Irish castle. And the great mysterious beast that is terrorizing the school happens to be a mythical griffin. There is also a large cast of suspicious characters around the magic academy for the gang to check out: the head magician and his brother with differing personalities, the attractive magician's assistant, a gruff groundskeeper, a woman caretaker and a crafty tycoon eager to purchase the castle property. Another point of interest is the reason for the Scooby Gang's presence, Madelyn. She seems to be harboring a crush on Shaggy that is adorable to see and throws some intrigue with the fact that Velma is usually the girl paired off with Shaggy. Seems the Dinkleys find Shaggy irresistible.

As a direct-to-video release (the fourteenth animated film based on the Scooby-Doo Saturday morning cartoons) there is not much on the disc when it comes to extras. There is a short featurette where the host shows the steps to make your own scary hand puppet and not just one kind is made, several different puppet designs are created.

Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo is a fun ride for all, Scooby fans and just plain animation fans should check it out. And if that is not going to convince you, there are also some great contributors to the film: Andrea Romano did casting and voice direction; Alan Burnett was a co-producer, created the story and did the teleplay with Paul Dini and Misty Lee.

The voice actors Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn and Grey DeLisle return to their iconic roles and were joined for the first time on the animated side by Matthew Lillard as the voice of Shaggy. Throw in eighties teen heartbreaker Danica McKellar as Madelyn and you have a wonderfully diverse cast of voices performing a Scooby-Doo story worth watching.

Look to buy Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo DVD over at Amazon for only $11.99.

Friday, April 22, 2011

FILMonBLU-RAY: Tangled (Review)

2010 - Walt Disney Pictures
Released on Blu-Ray & DVD on March 29, 2011

# of Discs: 2 (Blu-Ray, DVD)
Runtime: 100 Minutes

For it's fiftieth full-length animated feature film, Disney presents a new twist on one of the oldest fairytales ever told. Tangled focuses on Rapunzel (Mandy Moore), a girl with long magical hair that is forced by her mother to live her life trapped in an isolated tower.

Her only wish is to see in person the floating lights in the sky that only appear on her birthday. Enter thief Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi), who needs a place to hide after stealing the tiara of the lost princess and double crossing his accomplices. He finds Rapunzel's tower and Rapunzel realizes he is the chance to leave the tower she was waiting for.

The best moments happen during Rapunzel and Flynn's journey that takes them away from the hidden tower. Their first stop is a rowdy pub called the Snuggly Duckling. There they meet a cast of characters that are both unique and properly rounded out despite their labeled appearances. The interaction leads to a fantastic musical number, "I've Got a Dream" between Rapunzel, Flynn and the pub-goers. There is also a fantastic dance scene once they arrive at the kingdom that Rapunzel starts with all of the villagers in the street. The special features mention that the scene is the biggest crowd scene in a Disney animated film with over three thousand CG characters. The previous largest crowd scene had been in 1995's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. But the most breathtaking moment in the movie may just have to be when Flynn and Rapunzel go out into the water to witness the floating lights and sing "I See the Light".

The extras that come with the movie include three deleted scenes, which is a rarity in animated films due to the cost producing animation usually anything produced makes it into the final film. The unfinished scenes presented here include different versions of the film's beginning using a storybook introduction for Tangled that the directors were experimenting with to give the movie a classic Disney feel to it. There are also two songs extended, Rapunzel's "When Will My Life Begin" which starts off Tangled and Mother Gothel's "Mother Knows Best", a wickedly delicious song from the film's villain.

But the highlight of the special features might be the making of featurette "The Making of a Fairy Tale" hosted by the film's stars, Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi. With Mandy's adorableness and Zachary's charm, they entertain viewers with Disney trivia and facts while sharing behind the scenes segments on Tangled with the directors, animators and voice actors.

Very few movies can replicate the theater experience but watching Tangled on Blu-Ray was just as wondrous as seeing it in 3D theaters. It is easily the most beautiful looking animated movie I have seen, animation and Disney fans alike should flock to stores and pick up a copy of Tangled on Blu-Ray. It is well worth the purchase and I expect it to quickly become one of the most watched films in my collection.

Look to buy Tangled Blu-Ray over at Amazon for only $17.99.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Tiny Titans #38 (Review)

Written by Art Baltazar & Franco Aureliani
Art by Art Baltazar
Cover by Art Baltazar

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Youth was a big theme during the third week of March's comic book releases. Adventure Comics had the Legion Academy in its pages, the Avengers Academy title also came out, as well as the side book to Avengers Children's Crusade featuring the Young Avengers, the current young mutants book - Generation Hope and the next issue of DC's Young Justice companion book. But despite the crowd of minors, there was still the veteran of the kids pack to deal with - Tiny Titans - and in the end the pure fun the series brings distanced itself from the others.

Baltazar and Franco, the creative team for Tiny Titans continues to hit the ball out of the park when it comes to spinning tales with these characters. They have this way of telling simple stories in a fun and exciting way that appeals to both young and old readers alike. And the balance in their story design makes it so the book is a constant good read no matter which characters are in the issue, like this one where regulars like Supergirl do not show up but that does not take away from the story one bit.

This issue of Tiny Titans shifts the focus of the book from the regular cast of Tiny Titans to the water-based members of the group. Aqualad and Lagoon Boy go swimming and meet Aquagirl, her super hero team and their pets. There is also cameos by Starro, Batcow and Atlantis has to deal with a wet pants epidemic. Deliciously funny moments once again in the pages of Tiny Titans.

Baltazar continues to be stellar with his art on the book. The cover with Lagoon Boy, Aqualad and Aquagirl is cute and fun to look at and stands out on the shelf. The best thing about the Tiny Titans style is that any character that gets brought into the universe for the first time looks like they were always a part of the book and brings the energy onto the page like previous characters. Every panel flows with the story and the quality brought is so great I would not minding seeing an absolute version of Tiny Titans someday.

Tiny Titans is becoming a regular top of the stack winner lately with its last two issues and it always seems to be one of my favorite books to read month in and month out. As long as Baltazar and Franco continue to be the creative force behind the book I don't see my enjoyment of the title changing anytime soon. It is always one of the first books I mention when recommending people on titles to try out. The brilliance of this comic should not be contained to just pages and I hope that in the future DC can turn it into an animated series.

Monday, April 18, 2011

FILM: Living the Dream - Tangled (Review)

Two decades ago, Disney Animation entered a golden age of feature film releases with the likes of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. One decade later, the sun began to set on Disney's animated hits leading to an eventual philosophical change in 2006 when Pixar was bought and the minds in charge of that studio were brought in to run Walt Disney Animation Studios.

And now, after putting finishing touches and improving the quality of Disney Animation feature films like Meet the Robinsons, Bolt, Princess and the Frog, the product has been taken to a new level with their latest release, "Tangled", which also happens to be the fiftieth Disney animated feature produced.

Directed by Nathan Greno ("Meet the Robinsons" screenplay writer) and Byron Howard ("Bolt"), "Tangled", like Princess and the Frog, is a return to Disney's wheelhouse - a princess fairytale. "Tangled" is based off of the German tale "Rapunzel", about a girl who is forced to live in a tower by an enchantress that took her from her parents and she has incredibly long hair and meets a prince.

With Disney's version, Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) is a lost princess living in a hidden tower with who she believes is her mother. Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) actually kidnapped Rapunzel from her parents, the king and queen, because of the magical abilities contained in her hair. Along comes the thief, Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi), who has just stolen the tiara of the missing princess and needs a place to hide from the kingdom guards and the accomplices he double crossed. Rapunzel has a wish to see the floating lights that always appear only on her birthday and sees Rider as an opportunity to do just that and that is where the fun begins.

In the classic style of Disney, "Tangled" is an animated musical and as such the main characters were cast brilliantly. Musician and actress Mandy Moore plays Rapunzel perfectly with the cheery attitude and peppiness for the girl's innocence along with her melodious voice for the catchy songs. The film ends up being a breakout performance for actor Zachary Levi ("Chuck"), who as Flynn Rider plays the devilishly handsome hero role well and displays a talent for singing that was never before heard from him. And to bring veteran stage actress Donna Murphy into the film to play Mother Gothel might be the film's smartest move. Her voice captures the wickedness needed for a Disney villain and her singing takes the film to the next level.

The most magical part of the film may have to be the look and feel of it. It is by far one of the most beautiful animated movies I have ever seen, and very smartly they seemed to mold the design of the main characters to reflect the actors that voice them. Along with Pascal, the cute chameleon who at the beginning is Rapunzel's only friend, and Maximus, the kingdom guard horse that eventually becomes an ally to Flynn Rider thanks to Rapunzel, the film is filled with fabulously designed characters to fill out the supporting cast of "Tangled".

Any animation or Disney fan should immediately go out and see "Tangled" because you will not be disappointed. It is unfortunate that the film came out in a year where Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon had already wowed audiences and will probably be considered underrated as a result but in every respect this film matches their level of quality and entertainment. In my eyes it is an instant Disney classic that I will repeatedly rewatch in the future endlessly. It is worth a look without a doubt.

Friday, April 15, 2011

TV: Smallville the Final Season Mid-Season Reflections + Finale Trailer (Commentary)

With six hours left to air in Smallville's final season starting with tonight's episode, "Kent", it felt like the right time to look back at season ten so far and see how the show has lived up to expectations and leave some final hopes for what is left to come in the last episodes.

Back in August before the Fall TV season started, a season ten wishlist was posted here on GeekPlate and now it is time to see which of those dreams have come true so far.

"#10 Clark & Tess - I would like to see a relationship between Clark and Tess to happen either due to both being under a spell or because of the situation they are in." CHECK. While it was not the regular characters, this coupling did occur thanks to the alternate Clark/Tess that existed in episode ten "Luthor". Anytime Tom Welling and Cassidy Freeman can share the screen is bonus, and to add the twist of intimacy with these alternate characters just increases the entertainment factor. Expect a return to these waters in "Kent".

"9 Bruce Wayne/Graysons & 8 Wonder Woman - I would enjoy it if they were willing to at least mention Bruce Wayne in passing/I think it would be fun if they had the circus come to Metropolis in an episode and had Clark watch a young acrobat couple, The Flying Graysons. & I would love to see the interpretation of Diana for the Smallville universe." CHECK. CHECK. Ignoring the Graysons wish that was an extreme long shot, the Bruce mention did happen and Wonder Woman came along for the ride. In the episode "Fortune", Chloe says to Clark, "I have met several others like you - a billionaire with high tech toys and a wondrous woman who's gonna throw you for a loop."

"7 Directing - I think what would be awesome for the final season is if they allowed all of the actors that have directed an episode over the series' run to come back and direct an episode of season ten." CHECK? All of the actors directing might have been asking too much, but Tom did direct an episode "Patriot" and in the final few episodes yet to air Justin Hartley (Oliver Queen) will be making his directing debut.

"6 Guest Star Arcs - I would like to see in the final season guest stars get more than one episode to explore their character." CHECK? Not quite what I was expecting but this season has so far brought multiple episode appearances by Lionel Luthor ("Luthor", "Beacon", "Scion"), Alexander/Conner (Played by 3 actors "Lazarus", "Isis", "Harvest", "Beacon", "Scion"), Rick Flagg ("Lazarus", "Shield", "Ambush", "Collateral"), Slade Wilson ("Patriot", "Icarus"), Desaad ("Abandoned", "Masquerade"), Carter Hall ("Shield", "Icarus"), Jonathan Kent ("Lazarus", "Kent") and the final few episodes will include a second appearance this season from Supergirl.

"5 More Interconnectivity - how the characters on the show used to interact with each other a lot more without needing Clark to be there." CHECK? This is something that is made more difficult this season with such a small regular cast but to my enjoyment there have been many scenes with Tess and Lois, and when Chloe returned right before this last hiatus she and Lois had some classic Chlo-Lo scenes as referred to by the fandom.

"4 Diversified Cast - the disappearance of different age groups involved in the cast." FAIL. I really thought this would be one of the first wishes to happen but it seems the show went against growing the supporting cast to focus on the story and returning guest stars. Mia, Zan & Jayna have not appeared nor been mentioned once, the same goes for John Jones with only Perry White having had a few mentions. Scant appearances by returning guest stars Lionel Luthor, Martha and Jonathan Kent have represented the older generation, and the newcomer Conner Kent is the sole youth character this season.

"3 Return to the Red and Blue - As nice as it was for Clark to be wearing the House of El crest in season nine, it came at the suffering of his signature color scheme which went dreadfully gray and dark." CHECK. Not only have primary colors been returned to Clark's wardrobe, but his Blur persona got a brand new red jacket with the House of El crest on the front in "Shield". Brilliant and most welcome style choices this season. Not to mention Conner wearing the flannel in "Scion".

"2 Cast Reunion/Retrospective for DVD" INCOMPLETE. It is still too early for this wish as the season is still ongoing but given the fan support this season and the focus of creating a great season I still hold out hope that they will be able to wrangle everyone together for one day to reflect on the show, their experiences on it and how things/actors changed/developed over the years.

"1 Chloe Sullivan - my sincere hope is that she is in the final episode - would be nice to have her in episode 200 as well - and maybe even in the final scene of the series." CHECK? At the time of the wishlist the rumors around Allison Mack's character Chloe Sullivan was that she would only be in a handful of episodes. While for the most part that was true, the show did its best to keep her presence around, showing photographs, flashbacks, and texts when possible. It was disappointing that she could not be in "Homecoming" and that they restricted story possibilities with Oliver by continuing their romance even while she was away but her return arc of episodes were all entertaining and true to her character. Now just the finale awaits, which she is confirmed to be in.


That is an amazing result for a list made before the season when I had no idea what would take place and probably why I have thought this final season so far has been outstanding and enjoyed it so much.

With five episodes left counting "Kent", there are only simple hopes for the rest of the final season of Smallville: more guest stars, the suit, flight, Luthor involvement and a finale as timeless as the pilot that created the series. No Darkseid need apply.

Here is the CW trailer for the two-hour Smallville series finale:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

FILM: Detailed Look at Green Lantern (News)

Warner Bros. got off to a rough start with its promotional direction for the upcoming Green Lantern movie when the first trailer was unveiled back in November. Fast forward to now with the studio continuing to repair the movie's image first with positive feedback from fans at WonderCon where twelve minutes of film footage was previewed and now with the release of new hi-res images of Ryan Reynolds in the finished Green Lantern costume.

Using the power of CG technology to create the mystical costume of Hal Jordan, Warner Bros. is going in a new, previously unexplored direction for superhero films. The result? A unique look and feel to a character and film that is different from any other previous comic book franchise that has been brought to the silver screen.

Green Lantern lights up theaters on June 17, 2011.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

FILMonBLU-RAY: The Chronicles of Narnia - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Review)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
2010 - 20th Century Fox
Released on Blu-Ray & DVD on April 8, 2011

# of Discs: 3 (Blu-Ray, DVD & Digital Copy)
Runtime: 113 minutes

The third film set in the magical world from C.S. Lewis' fantasy books, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader takes place three years after the events of Prince Caspian and brings back Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy Pevensie (Georgie Henley) to the world of Narnia. This time around their crabby cousin Eustace (Will Poulter) comes along when the three are swallowed into a painting back to Narnia where they join King Caspian (Ben Barnes) and crew on the magnificent Dawn Treader. They find themselves on a wondrous journey through uncharted seas, mysterious islands and confront their very own fears to save Narnia once again.

Much of the story has the characters traveling on the Dawn Treader, a majestically designed ship that was the clear focal point for the film. They visit several islands on their journey to rescue the seven Lords of Narnia that were once banished, each island with its own look and problems. The Lone Islands is their first stop where they battle slave traders and become aware of a mysterious green mist that people were being sacrificed to. Later islands reveal a magical pool that transforms anything it touches into gold, cursed treasure that turns Eustace into a dragon and Aslan's Table where three of the lost lords sit in a spelled sleep.

Much like the characters' zigzag journey, the navigation for the special features disc is much the same. It is a cute idea to separate the features with a map display of the islands the characters visit, something I have seen before on older DVDs like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but it is also a frustrating method to use to get around. Without a detailed explanation of what each extra is and where it is to be found, users are left wandering aimlessly and having to guess at the titles of the extras as to what content is held inside.

The packaging is very much like the navigation of the special features, an original design that veers away from the typical Blu-Ray case and instead the cardboard structure has folds with sleeves where sit the discs on each side and the middle holds a selection postcards with photos from the film.

Whether it is a result of knowing that Disney was no longer involved with the film series or not, there was a definite look and feel to the Voyage of the Dawn Treader that was different from its predecessors. Despite the film nearly being two hours in length, the story felt like it needed ten to fifteen more minutes to help support some of the character developments that happen between Lucy and her sense of self and with Edmund and Caspian.

Having not read the book I cannot speak towards the adapting of the story, but some points like the Dufflepud characters seemed more silly and pointless than useful to the story or the main characters. Eustace was wonderfully portrayed as an annoying boy, and that made the transformation of his character along with the bonding to Reepicheep that much more compelling. Fans of the previous films should find this next chapter in the story an interesting watch as well as fans of actors Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley, who have both matured as actors and shine in this film with their elevated roles.

Look to buy The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Blu-Ray over at Amazon for only $19.99.
Check out GeekPlate's Tumblr for today's The Chronicles of Narnia themed picspam.

Monday, April 4, 2011

TV: Cartoon Network's Thundercats Trailer (News)

Momentum continues to build for Cartoon Network's upcoming franchise relaunch of Thundercats with the first trailer of the new animated series that was shown at WonderCon this past weekend released online today.

Fans of the franchise will recognize many characters from the original series in the trailer interpreted in the new style of the show along with several of the newer aspects this new series brings to the story.

Thundercats is scheduled to premiere this fall on Cartoon Network.