Shrek the Third
Lacking the magic of the first two movies, Shrek the Third has its moments, but they are few and far between. Shrek is still the lovable ogre, Donkey is funny, and Puss in Boots is adorable, but they are up to the same antics we've seen before, and the story drags along at a tepid pace.
Previously released on HD DVD during Paramount/DreamWorks short-lived exclusivity to the failed format, Shrek the Third looks just as good on Blu-ray with a reference-quality VC-1 encode. Banding is the Achilles' heel of this codec, but it never rears its head, even in the difficult-to-render skylines or bright objects surrounded by a dark background. Color saturation is astounding with vivid primaries, and detail is just as impressive in both close-ups and longer shots. Although it's not in 3D, the depth of the image approaches that realm.
One area of improvement over the HD DVD is the inclusion of a lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack instead of lossy Dolby Digital Plus. Dynamics are impressive, although the sound design isn't as aggressive as what we have heard from Pixar. Dialog is crisp and clear, and the soundtrack is top-notch overall. My only complaint is the limited use of the surround speakers with sporadic discrete effects. The mix takes a more front-and-center approachwhich isn't a bad thing, but it could have been better.
The BD50 disc is loaded with bonus content geared toward a younger audience. There is a BonusView PIP that includes interactive storyboards, a Shrek trivia track, and a bevy of supplements presented in HD, including some deleted scenes, "Tech of Shrek," "Shrek's Guide to Parenthood," and many more.
My kids like Shrek the Third a lot more than I do, but they are members of the intended demographic. I enjoyed the reference-quality video, but I felt the sound design was a little on the weak side. Hopefully, Paramount/DreamWorks will release the first two films of the franchise on Blu-ray to round out the set. Recommended for fans.
Release Date: September 23, 2008
Movie: 6 out of 10
Picture: 10 out of 10
Sound: 9 out of 10
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Onkyo PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 Amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector