Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sasaki Time's Review of Disney's Cinderella (live action) Blu-Ray Combo Pack!

Kenneth Branagh's takes us into the truly magical world of Cinderella, a world more fully rendered and realized than the animated classic. From majestic sets, to wonderful costumes, to a sweeping musical score, to amazing performances from an outstanding cast, this is one movie that is destined to become a classic.

We begin the tale with Ella at her youth. Her friends who are the animals around her and the love of her parents are very evident here. You will quickly care about Ella and her parents. Which makes the loss of Ella's mom that much harder but bonds Ella and her father closer than ever.

Then enter the evil stepmother, played to perfection by Cate Blanchett! The stepmother brings along her two horrible daughters and Ella's world begins to change. Only Ella's good heart and virtue are keeping her strong.

When Ella's father leaves, she is left to move into the attic and becomes the maid for the three new women in the house. Ella's world has come to a crashing halt. When the three women see ash and soot on Ella's face, one of them proclaims her new name to be Cinder-Ella.

Ella then runs into the Prince, or as he introduces himself, as Kit, an apprentice at the Palace. And Kit doesn't really lie about himself, it is the truth from a certain point of view. Ella, remains anonymous, but you can see the sparks of romance begin to fly between these two. 

As it becomes time for the ball, the anger you feel as Stepmother and the step-sisters destroy Ella's dress is real. Watching them tear Ella's mother's dress apart is heartbreaking. But then the Fairy Godmother appears and the magic truly begins! Ella's dress is pure magic! The way her dress moves is something that animation could never truly capture! And then we know the rest of the story as Ella leaves at the stroke of midnight. She leaves behind one of her glass slippers and the Prince sends the Grand Duke and the Captain of the Guards to find the young woman who fits this glass slipper.

Searching out every young maiden, will they find Ella? Will the story have a happy ending? Well all I can say is that Cinderella ends magically.

Video Quality:

The 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation is truly stunning. Colors are rich and true from Cinderella's blue gown, to skintones, to the lush greens of the forest and fields. Rich details from the textures are clearly defined. 

Audio Quality:

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track is right up to par with the video quality. The dialogue is crystal clear and effects are blended perfectly into the soundscape. The rear channels bring the forest, the attic and every part of the movie to life. 

Bonus Material:
  • A Fairy Tale Comes to Life (HD, 9 minutes): a  behind the scenes look at Cinderella with the cast and crew
  • Costume Test Fun (HD, 3 minutes): various costume tests to determine how fabric textures and colors would look in the movie
  • Staging the Ball (HD, 12 minutes): taking a look at everything for the ball from set design, costumes and choreography
  • Frozen Fever (HD, 8 minutes): a cute animated short, in which Elsa, suffering from a cold, works to prepare a birthday party for Anna 
  • Ella's Furry Friends (HD, 4 minutes): discussion about using real animals in Cinderella from its challenges to its surprises
  • Alternate Opening (HD, 3 minutes): "Ella's Childhood," with an introduction by Branagh.
Final Thoughts: 

The story of Cinderella is a magical one. Ella needs the prince as much as the prince needs Ella. They both fight their demons and fall in love with one another. This is a fairy tale for all of us. 

This movie is a wonderful reimagined look at the story we all know and love. The blu-ray release is perfectly fit for this film from the outstanding video and audio presentation to a good selection of bonus material this is one film you will want to add to your collection.

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