Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: BD-50
Film Size: 20.5 GB
Film Rating: G
Release Date: October 19th, 2010
Region: A
The Video
The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. Like the release of ‘Oceans’ from Walt Disney Home Entertainment, ‘The Crimson Wing’ also tends to impress much more than it disappoints.

This documentary film isn’t as consistently impressive as ‘Oceans’, but there is no denying that this is one strong presentation. ‘The Crimson Wing’ follows the flamingos through different environments, seasons, etc.

The video presentation can be impressive in one scene and a bit less focused in the next, this is to be expected though. Certain scenes are much brighter in comparison to colder months which are significantly murkier. The video presentation features a thin layer of grain throughout which was not a distraction whatsoever.

Colors are true to the source and are presented accurately. At times they can be notably richer and vibrant, but we also have to expect some darker less visually appealing moments in which the flamingos are transitioning.

The video presentation is free of any technical issues. The presentation isn’t as crystal clear as one could dream, but we also have to understand the environments and situations which were filmed to really set our expectations accordingly.

Overall I was much more impressed by the high-def visuals of ‘The Crimson Wing’ than I was disappointed. Everything appears true to the source, without technical issues and I really can’t expect more. It isn’t demo material, but it certainly looks very good overall. 8/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. Also included are French, Spanish (L.A.), Portuguese, Italian and German 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French, Spanish (L.A.), Portuguese, Italian and German.

The lossless audio mix is quite strong, but perhaps it wasn’t the best idea that I watched this directly after ‘Oceans.’ ‘Oceans’ features a demo-worthy track and has set a new high for nature documentaries and their audio tracks.

‘The Crimson Wing’ may not be up to the same level of ‘Oceans,’ but I will say that it also manages to impress compared to many other nature releases. Perhaps it is unfair to compare the two, considering the different environments in which they take place.

The audio mix for ‘The Crimson Wing’ is actually quite strong through. The film’s narration is always front and center, but always crisp and clear. The film’s audio effects are generally front heavy, but at times they did expand and helped make certain moments as immersive as they are.

The film is technically flawless and impressive for a documentary; it just doesn’t quite reach the level of that of ‘Oceans.’ I am not very disappointed by the mix, in fact I am actually very happy it sounds as good as it does. 8/10.

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc):

Living Planet (BD-Live Required)
Explore DisneyNature by selecting hot spots around the earth, learning about various environments and animals. Presented by some of the world’s leading conservationists and nature filmmakers this feature will update with new content every month if your Blu-ray player is connected to the internet.

Filmmaker Annotations (Picture-in-Picture) (1:17:46)
Expand your viewing experience through video commentary and behind-the-scenes footage presented by the filmmakers of The Crimson Wing.



Lake Natron Diaries: Behind The Crimson Wing (19:42) (SD)
This series of behind-the-scenes documentaries created by the filmmakers, gives an inside look at what it took to film at Lake Natron and create The Crimson Wing. The series of features are available as a play all option or in five different parts which include:
  • Life At The Camp
  • Life Of The Flamingo
  • Making Of
  • Lake Natron
  • Music
The Crimson Wing Screensaver (5:13) (HD)
Enjoy a montage of the beauty of Lake Natron and The Crimson Wing.

Disc 2 (DVD):

DVD copy of the film
With select features found on the Blu-ray release.

The extras included on this release are great, particularly for a documentary release. The behind-the-scenes footage included is especially entertaining. Some of the features are in standard-definition, but I am glad they were included. The DVD copy of the film is a nice addition for those on the fence between the two versions. 7/10.

The Movie
The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos’ is not a documentary film I had heard of until it was announced by Walt Disney Home Entertainment for Blu-ray release. The documentary film releases on the same day as ‘Oceans’ and both are released under the ‘DisneyNature’ brand.

‘The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos’ takes place at Lake Natron, which is located in norther Tanzania. This is place where millions of flamingos arrive each year to produce. The film documents the births, struggles and dangers that come with the location and the animal kingdom in general.

I have to say that I did enjoy ‘The Crimson Wing’ very much; however I did think it could have been better as far as overall impact goes. The documentary is very interesting and generally informative, but I do think much more could have been mentioned and explained, considering the focus of the flamingos.

Watching the picture-in-picture bonus feature, we find that informing was not the focus rather focusing on the storytelling. The storytelling is great and all, but I do think it could have informed much more and added to the film as a whole.
Trailer:


‘The Crimson Wing’ should be considered family friendly, particularly since it is released by Walt Disney Home Entertainment. Generally it is quite family friendly, since it will be visually appealing to audiences of all ages. However, I do think certain scenes involving young flamingos in danger will upset younger viewers, and this happens on more than one occasion. In fact, I felt quite bad for the younger flamingos as well.

Like the release of ‘Oceans,’ ‘The Crimson Wing’ features some incredible moments in which I found myself in awe. The focus on flamingos was certainly entertaining and makes this release stand out as they are usually overlooked in most documentaries.

Overall I think the storytelling was great for the film, but I didn’t find it as informative as I would have hoped. Regardless, I think the film is one which anyone who loves nature documentaries should see. The film is visually stunning and viewers will find themselves in awe by many moments included. 8/10.

The Blu-news Summary
‘The Crimson Wing’ is a visually stunning film with great storytelling. The Blu-ray release features a strong video and audio presentation which are true to the source. I really enjoyed the bonus features included, adding significant value to the release overall. ‘The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos’ is ‘Recommended’ to all.

Additional Screenshots:

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