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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - June, 2011

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"Gnome & Juliet" (3D Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Adrian Wittenberg

movie-june-2011-gnomeo-and-juliet-3d

Synopsis

Two neighbors both share a passion for decorating their gardens with clay gnome statues.  The gnomes come alive when humans aren't looking.  The gnomes, which are colored red or blue, dislike the opposing colored gnomes and are constantly fighting with each other.  Gnomeo, (voiced by James McAvoy) one of the heroes of the blue colored faction is on a mission to defile the other gnome's camp and accidentally runs into an red colored gnome named Juliet, (voiced by Emily Blunt).  The two clay gnome statues instantly fall in love and they are then challenged by the beliefs of their respective clay gnome factions.

Specifications

  • Disney Studios
  • 2011, Color, Rated G, 1 Hr 24 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: MPEG 4 MVC
  • 1080p
  • English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Maggie Smith, Ashley Jensen, Michael Caine
  • Directed by Kelly Asbury
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Cartoon Violence
  • Sex: None
  • Language: No

Commentary

I watched this film on a 2D display at first and I was baffled as to why the kind of clay gnomes you could find at a craft store were picked as a character to develop a story around.  The film came off as a mediocre children's cartoon and I wasn't impressed.  When I rewatched this film in 3D I was instantly drawn into the world that the animators created and was entertained throughout the duration of the picture.  This highlights that the story on its own is not that inspiring but the 3D on the other hand is a technical showcase where viewers are drawn into observing and exploring the 3D world that has been created.  While the voice acting talents only do a moderate job at making the characters likeable, with a few scenes invoking laughter, the 3D effects on the other hand, do a spectacular job at giving personality and charisma to the characters.  Animators are likely the ones that will lead the way in how 3D will be implemented in modern films as they have unlimited angles and effects to experiment with.  In this film there were interesting and creative effects with a large variety of depth and spaciousness in the scenes.  I would have rated this film much lower for entertainment value if not for the 3D implementation.

Technical

On the video side, Gnomeo & Juliet as about as good as you can get when it comes to a transfer.  The level of detail in every scene is superb.  There is a robust color palette that is very rich in the primary colors.  The 3D effects in the film are excellent and every scene shows a sense of depth and adds uncanny realism to the clay gnome statues.  Some of the detail in the film really comes alive when it is viewed in 3D.  The DTS 7.1 Master Audio track for this film is very good and breathes life into the enviroment.  The sound track for Gnomeo & Juliet is upbeat and fun.

Extras

Extras include Fawn of Darkness, Crocodile Rock, Frog Talk with Ashley Jensen, Deleted Scenes, Alternate Endings, and Elton Builds a Garden.  Extras are the kind of routine additions seen in a Blu-ray release and unfortunately there are no 3D specific features included.