TMNT (HD DVD)

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

At one time, the streets were safe and criminals had fear in their hearts, as a quartet of heroes known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were on patrol. Now however, the group has splintered with Leonardo honing his skills in the remote jungles of South America, while Michelangelo uses his comedic skills to entertain children at parties. Raphael has continued the crime fighting, this time under a mask known as Night Watcher, while Donatello has settled into a normal job, helping people solve their computer related problems. A reunion seems improbable, but when a wealthy and maniacal man named Max Winters plots to unleash ancient monsters on the world, the time seems right. But can April O’Neil convince the turtles of Winters’ devious intentions and if so, can they shake off the rust and save the world one more time?

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back, but not in live action like previous films or traditional animation as in the television shows. This time around, the turtles are computer generated and while this isn’t labeled as a sequel to the live action films, TMNT does seem like the next installment. I want to say right off the top, the animation here is not up to Pixar or Dreamworks standards, but it is well done and still looks quite cool. The animated platform suits the material, as it allows more freedom in visuals and in action, so the choice was a wise one. The story is passable, but relies on the characters being familiar to the audience, which means there’s a lot going on and the plot is sometimes rushed. As a standlone, the story is lacking, but if you know the characters, the plot works much better. I think TMNT is a fun movie and while the story is a little rough around the edges, the entertainment value is there, so I am able to give this a solid recommendation. This HD-DVD release shines with a beautiful visual transfer, plus all the extras from the standard version, so this is the one fans will want to own.

Video: How does it look?

TMNT is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. In my review of the standard disc, I said I couldn’t wait to see the film in high definition, so I was looking forward to this release. As it turns out, this is close to an elite level transfer, but a couple of minor issues keep it from the perfect score. I saw some banding in several scenes, but that was the most serious flaw, so you know this is one impressive treatment. The detail is much improved over the standard edition, with more depth and better overall clarity, which in turn makes the animation look excellent. The colors are well handled too, with vibrant hues that really stand out and contrast remains on the mark throughout. This is just a terrific visual effort that is a blast to watch, great work from Warner.

Audio: How does it sound?

I was impressed by the Dolby Digital 5.1 option on the standard release, but this Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is superior in all aspects. At first I didn’t detect much different, but once the action kicks in, this track offers more power and presence. So the surround use is deeper and more refined, which really brings the action to life. This has a very powerful, immersive texture, you’ll be pulled right into the middle when the action heats up. The more reserved elements don’t benefit quite as much, but without question, this is a much improved audio experience. This dsc also includes a Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 option, French and Spanish language tracks, and subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The same assortment of extras from the standard disc are present, so no concerns there. Kevin Munroe provides his director’s comments, but he comes off as dull and unremarkable. He gives us a few worthwhile snippets of information, but his voice is hard to endure, so there is a trade-off here. Not the worst session I’ve ever heard, but not one I’d want to revisit. You can also view alternate opening and ending sequences, sure to please fans, as well as a selection of deleted scenes, presented in somewhat rough form. This disc also includes some brief cast and crew interviews, a storyboard to scene comparison, and Donny’s Digital Data files, which is quite brief.

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