Sunday, June 12, 2011

Red Riding Hood Blu-ray Review

Release Date: June 14th, 2011
Blu-ray Disc Size: 28.9 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: ABC


Red Riding Hood is available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand and for Download 6/14!

The Video
Red Riding Hood’ debuts on Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation, featuring both cuts of the film via seamless branching. I found the clarity of the film to always be great, you won’t ever confuse the presentation for a standard DVD, but detail isn’t always as sharp as I would have liked.

Colors are nicely presented, although the film does have a darker look. Black levels are nowhere as inky as I would have liked, generally looking a bit more grayish. The look of the film as a whole just doesn’t blow me away, and perhaps it is just the way the film is intended to look (much like Twilight does).

The presentation can be impressive and is impressive throughout, it just doesn’t reach the demo levels I’m used to with a typical new release film. Overall there is a significant improvement to be found, despite the disappointing aspects. Once you pop in the DVD, you will be much happier with the Blu-ray release.

Warner Home Video’s transfer does have a few issues to be found, but overall I think the film was intended to have the look that we see on this Blu-ray release. I may sound a bit too critical in my review, but there are plenty of positive aspects, overall I enjoyed this Blu-ray release very much. 7.5/10

The Audio
Alternate Cut: An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the only audio option included on the alternate cut of the film. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Theatrical Version: An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless audio option included. French, Spanish and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks are included on the theatrical version. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The audio mix is strong, just as I had hoped. Dialogue is crisp and clear, always easy to understand. The film’s audio effects can be a bit front-focused at times, but definitely opens up whenever the real action happens.

The film’s score comes through clearly, making fantastic use of the surround speakers. The most exciting audio moments are the moments when you anticipate the wolf, and when the wolf actually appears. Overall this is a very impressive mix, with many demo worthy moments. 9/10

The Extras
Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc):
Secrets behind the Red Cloak (PiP)
This is a Picture-in-Picture commentary by Catherine Hardwicke, Amanda Seyfried, Shiloh Fernandez and Max Irons, plus storyboards and conceptual artwork. This feature is available only for the Theatrical Version.
Behind the Story (HD)
  • The Reinvention of Red Riding Hood (5:25)
  • Red Riding Hood: Red’s Men (3:18)
  • Red Riding Hood: Making of the Score (11:00)
  • Before The Fur…Making of the CGI Wolf (0:40)
  • Casting Tapes (7:24)
  • Rehearsals (5:52)
  • Red Riding Hood in 73 Seconds (1:28)
Deleted Scenes (4:18) (HD)
Four deleted scenes are included and presented in high-definition.
Gag Reel (2:37) (HD)
This gag reel consists mostly of people falling or bumping into things.
Music Videos (HD)
  • “The Wolf” – Fever Ray (2:20)
  • “Just A Fragment of You” – Anthony Gonzales & Brian Reitzell (3:07)
Easter Egg (0:26) (HD)
After ‘Music Videos’, click right to a blank space, then click enter. This is a joke feature in which the director argues with the Big Bad Wolf on casting… really stupid.
BD-Live (Internet Connection Required)
Preview trailers for other Warner Home Video releases and view features from other films.

Disc 2 (DVD):
DVD copy of the film
Digital Copy of the film
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media devices.

I was very impressed by the extras included. The picture-in-picture commentary was a nice surprise, and I loved all the behind-the-scenes footage included as well. The DVD and Digital Copy are a nice addition for fans of the film, making it the obvious choice. 8/10

The Movie
I did not see ‘Red Riding Hood’ theatrically; the film didn’t start off with the greatest reviews so I chose to stay away. The film’s trailers also didn’t particularly do anything for me either, but I have always found Amanda Seyfried to be a great actress in every role she has taken on.

I went into the film with low expectations to be honest, and perhaps that is why I was quite surprised that I actually enjoyed the film. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, you definitely get a lot of Twilight vibes from the film.

The Twilight similarities can be found throughout the film, whether it is story, characters or look. The story has a bit of a love triangle, and there is certainly a lot of mystery to it. Some of the lines are a bit cheesy like you would see in a Twilight film as well.

While it does have plenty of Twilight similarities, I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I did Twilight. The film is certainly made to appeal to teenage audiences, so it doesn’t get too extreme, but I thought it was well done for a PG-13 film.The film is based on the classic Little Red Riding Hood tale, but I would say loosely based. All the major connections to the classic story are here, but there are so many differences to be found that I can’t say they are very similar at all.

‘Red Riding Hood’ hasn’t received a very positive critical response, but my job isn’t to go along with what everyone else is thinking, even if I come across as stupid. Personally, I liked it. Sure, there are cheesy lines and some storylines that didn’t go anywhere significant, but I still found it to be enjoyable.

The mystery in the film may be obvious to some, but it also may throw you off from time to time. I think it is a fun popcorn flick that some may be pleasantly surprised by, I certainly was. For a teen-targeted film, I certainly have seen far worse, just don’t go in with the highest of expectations. 7/10

The Blu-news Summary
Red Riding Hood’ is a fun popcorn flick with a good Blu-ray release. The visual presentation is definitely satisfying and the audio mix will impress throughout. The extras are both entertaining and informative, and there is quite a bit to see. Overall this Blu-ray combo pack is ‘Recommended’ to anyone who enjoyed the film.

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