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Film Review

Alice Through The Looking Glass: Review

Once again, we join young Alice in that mystical world of marvel, known as Wonderland. As we catch up with her some years later, and her success in the real world, things soon lead her on a new quest to save the Mad Hatter.

Reprising her role as the title character Alice, Mia Wasikowska brings yet more life and delight with her acting. Whilst on the other hand, Johnny Depp has managed to reign in his performance as Hatter Tarrant Hightopp, making for a character that is much easier to to accept, and deserving of the pity that one would feel for him.

As the story moves from the every day world, to Wonderland itself, we are treated to some of the most amazing scenery and locations, thanks to some incredible effects. And it is here that we are introduced to the character of Time, played by Sacha Baron Cohen in what is sure to amount to one of his best roles yet.

Back in this second iteration are both Helena Bonham Carter as Iracebeth and Anne Hathaway as Mirana. Hathaway was indeed born to be a princess. Stephen Fry lends his voice to the grinning Cheshire cat, who along with several other characters is also back.

The story of Alice Through The Looking Glass is thoroughly enjoyable, and paired with talented acting, great direction and amazing effects, it is sure to thrill both young and old.

The small serving of some science fiction to go with all the fantasy is not too complicated that it will leave the younger audiences wondering about the plot, but adds just enough to spice up the plot, and of course set the stage for a few rather humorous moments.

Sadly, and not through any fault of the movie itself, but some cinemas are still lacking in the 3D department, with the picture being far too dim. Not to mention the inability to display the image in screen with the correct settings for the bars masking the screen, meaning that there is a portion of the image that is chopped off. Not too much, but noticeable and annoying, nonetheless.

Alice Through The Looking Glass opens 27 May 2016 in South African cinemas.

Categories
dvd / blu-ray Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (BluRay): Review

Film

Whether you’ve seen the film in 2D, 3D, 4DX or Imax, fans the world over are going to want to own Star Wars: The Force Awakens, on DVD or BluRay.

Going by the fact that many people saw the film so much that they saw it in the cinema several times, this is sure testament to the rewatch value of the story. The film is fun, enjoyable, and worth multiple viewings. With so much action on screen, and so much fine detail in each scene, you are bound to notice something new each time.

Staying true to the root of the franchise, The Force Awakens stays just as enjoyable when seeing it again. For a spoiler free review on the film itself, see the SAMDB review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Disc

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is available now, on disc, for purchase in South Africa. Be sure to look about, as there are a few editions of this (one with some very nice packaging).

Video

Video is encoded at a very high bitrate, as should be the cast with a BluRay, and is to be expected from a Disney disc. There are no visible artefacts on screen. Blacks are deep, and colours vibrant. The overall video is stable and clear.

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high bitrate, with clear sound from each channel. While an Atmos soundtrack would not only have been great, but with a disc such as Star Wars, it is pretty much expected.

Navigation

Starting with the BB-8 icon as the disc loads, to a very detailed, yet easy to navigate menu system, a lot of thought and effort has gone in to designing this oft overlooked aspect of a disc release.

Bonus

There are no bonus features on the first BluRay disc in the box, just the main feature, and a way to choose a scene, language or subtitle.

The second disc however, contains a plethora of additional material and features.

Secrets Of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey – With a running time of just over an hour, this feature is a treasure trove of behind the scenes info, showing us the journey from pre-production all the way through to on-set.

A Story Awakens: The Table Read – The first full read of The Force Awakens script, with all the cast. Bringing together old and new, as they bring life to the characters.

Crafting Creatures – In a world such as Star Wars, there are so many diverse alien creatures, and droids of many sizes. This features visits those who produce these stunning beings, and shows how they are brought to life.

Building BB-8 – Likely, by far, the most loved character in the entire movie, we see how BB-8 came in to being. Seeing some of the techniques used to bring him to life on screen, and how he appeared to the actors on set, this feature is bound to be a favourite of many of the little droids fans.

Blueprint Of A Battle: The Snow Fight – A feature on the now popular, climactic battle, showing us how the actors trained for this, how the fight came about through choreography and the incredible set that was built for this location.

ILM: The Visual Magic Of The Force – A film such as Star Wars relies heavily on computer generated effects, so it is only fitting that we get to take a peek into the work environment of those who create those jaw dropping visuals.

John Williams: The Seventh Symphony – A look at the master of music himself, the legendary John Williams. He talks about the subtleties and changes to the score. In this behind the scenes peek, we also get to hear about each characters theme, and how the music drives the films emotion.

Deleted Scenes – Six scenes that were cut from the final film. This provides not only the opportunity to view those, but a chance to see how these would fit into the final film, had they not been removed.

It’s not too difficult, at least in most cases, to see why these might have been removed.

Force For ChangeThe Force For Change is a charitable initiative from Disney and Lucasfilm. Following the worldwide success of the first Star Wars in the 1970’s fans, industry professions and companies have used the power of the Star Wars community to help those in need.

This short video explains a bit more about the organisation, it’s main goals, and how Star Wars: The Force Awakens was also used to help this important cause.

Info – For those of you who wish to replay the warning about copyright, piracy and that you shouldn’t copy movies.

See Also

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

Q&A With John Boyega Of Star Wars

Q&A With Daisy Ridley Of Star Wars

Star Wars: Episode VIII Begins Production