Tag Archives: Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Review: The Crimson Wing

The Crimson Wing (Disneynature, 2010)

Good for more than just prettying up Christopher Cross album covers, the flamingo is a fascinating creature that rarely gets its documentary due — but all that has changed with Disneynature’s The Crimson Wing. Don’t believe flamingos can hold your attention for 78 minutes? Turn on your hi-def set and prepare to get pink.

Synopsis: Discover one of nature’s last great mysteries in The Crimson Wing, a miraculous story of love, courage and survival from Disneynature, the studio that brought you Earth. In a place like no other on the planet, the dramatic and desolate Lake Natron in northern Tanzania, you’ll witness a spectacle unlike anything you’ve seen before: a million crimson-winged flamingos arrive to continue the circle of life. Focusing on the adventures of a single chick set against a backdrop of never-before-filmed landscapes, The Crimson Wing is a visually stunning journey into the life and struggles of the mysterious and inspiring flamingo. Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: Oceans

Oceans (Disneynature, 2010)

We seem to be living in an unusually prolific time for nature documentaries — I think this is the third underwater doc I’ve reviewed for Dadnabbit in the past year or so — but who’s complaining? We know next to nothing about the world around us, particularly the ocean, and between filmmaking innovations and the advent of hi-def home theaters, exploring the planet from the comfort of your couch is more fun than ever. For their follow-up to Earth, Disneynature decided to plunge into the sea with directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, and the movie they fished out — the appropriately titled Oceans — is another worthy addition to your HD wildlife collection.

Synopsis: Disneynature, the studio that presented the record-breaking film Earth, now brings Oceans to the screen. Nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, and Oceans boldly chronicles the mysteries that lie beneath. Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud dive deep into the very waters that sustain all of mankind –exploring the playful splendor and the harsh reality of the weird and wonderful creatures that live within.

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Featuring spectacular never-before-seen imagery captured by the latest underwater technologies, Oceans offers an unprecedented look beneath the sea in a powerful yet enchanting motion picture. Continue reading

Blu-ray Review: “Beauty and the Beast”

Tale as old as time, [expletive]!

There’s nothing the folks at Disney love more than reissuing old movies, so it’s fortunate that they’re so good at it. Their ongoing Diamond Series, which already includes some must-have hi-def classics — including Pinocchio and Snow White — adds another spotless jewel to its crown with this remastered, expanded edition of Beauty and the Beast.

Originally released in the fall of 1991, Beauty and the Beast cemented the unlikely comeback Disney started with 1989’s The Little Mermaid; an affirmation that the studio had left behind B-level animation like The Black Cauldron, it grossed over $375 million and was an awards magnet, netting two Oscars, three Golden Globes, and four Grammys. If Mermaid raised the bar for modern animation, Beast set the standard. It was a peak Disney would find it increasingly difficult to reach over the next decade, but that’s another story — we’re here to talk about this three-disc set.

All of Disney’s Diamond Series releases have looked and sounded flawless, and Beauty and the Beast is no exception. As a father, I’m ambivalent about the overall message of most Disney movies, and as a consumer, I find their incessant “limited time only” reissues repugnant; that being said, it’s awfully hard to argue with entertainment this beautifully crafted, in a package this lovingly curated.

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I’ve seen a lot of Blu-ray reissues, and nobody comes close to Disney in terms of content or presentation — they clearly don’t rush their conversions, and they don’t skimp on the added content, right up to the way they bundle DVD copies in with the Blu-rays (a decision so smart I can’t believe it hasn’t been done away with). Continue reading