Chronicles Of Narnia, The: Prince Caspian

Featured In Issue 138, January/February 2009

WSR Score3.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
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For epic battle action and violence
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Three-Disc Set: 2 BD-50 & 1 DVD-5
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Andrew Adamson
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DTS HD Lossless 7.1, PCM 24/96 5.1
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In this second installment of C.S. Lewis' beloved epic novel series The Chronicles Of Narnia, the Pevinsie children (Henley, Keynes & Mosely) journey back to Narnia to find 1,300 years have passed since their last visit. The White Witch (Tilda Swinton) has gone, Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson) has been missing for more than 1,000 years, and the realm is ruled by an evil tyrant. The children, along with Prince Caspian (Barnes), must embark on a remarkable journey of courage and faith to bring peace back to the Narnians. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features on Disc One (Feature Film 149:46) include an audio commentary by Director Andrew Adamson and Actors Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Mosely, and Anna Popplewell; a lengthy Circle-Vision interactive 360° behind-the-scenes look at creating the Castle Raid scene (HD); and sneak peeks, including the Pinocchio 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition (HD 1:27). Disc Two special features include ten deleted scenes with audio introductions by Director Adamson (HD 11:17); a blooper reel (SD/HD 3:04); and the following HD featurettes: Inside Narnia (34:38), Sets Of Narnia: The Adventure Returns (23:35), Big Movie Comes To A Small Town (23:13), Previsualizing Narnia (10:03), Talking Animals And Walking Trees: The Magical World Of Narnia (4:43), Secrets Of The Duel (6:41), Becoming Trumpkin (4:46), and Warwick Davis: The Man Behind Nikabrik (11:11). Disc Three contains a digital copy of the movie.

This beautifully photographed film is pristine and presented in the 1080p AVC 2.41:1 HD format. Color fidelity is naturally rendered, with perfectly saturated hues and deep, bold blacks. Shadow delineation exhibits excellent resolution and detail. Fleshtones are perfectly natural and finely defined. The darker scenes cast a gray-blue hue for dramatic effect. Contrast is superb throughout, and the outdoor scenes are photographed beautifully. There is no apparent noise or artifacts, which contributes to the pristine resolution and dimensionality. This is a mesmerizing picture, exhibiting reference quality. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1 soundtrack is well recorded and spatially holosonic® throughout. The uncompressed PCM 5.1-channel soundtrack encoded at 48 kHz/16 bit is not offered on this release. In this 7.1 lossless version it appears that the two additional channels mimic the normal surround channels. Thus, the potential is not achieved in this presentation. Unfortunately, the creative community and the studios, and the equipment manufacturers, have not dictated a spatial loudspeaker setup standard. Our preferred 7.1-channel setup is a perfect circle with each full-range loudspeaker location equidistant from the sweet spot and equidistant from each other along the perimeter of the 360-degree circle. In this arrangement, the added mid-left and mid-right surrounds convey added surround envelopment and dimensionality. Often the surrounds are aggressive and directionalized, with excellent bass extension. D-BOX® Motion Code™ dramatically heightens the experience, especially the battle scenes, for enhanced excitement. The symphonic orchestral choral music score is nicely recorded with a deep and wide soundstage and a dynamic and enveloping presence in all the channels. Bass extension is often deep, with intense below-25 Hz LFE .1 effects. Sound and Foley effects are nicely recorded and spatially integrated. ADR dialogue is prominent throughout and lacks the spatial integration of the best soundtracks, with its forward presence. But it is well recorded and perfectly intelligible. This is a reference-quality soundtrack that perfectly complements the pristine picture. (Gary Reber)