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BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA
(Widescreen Edition)

Knowing nothing about BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA ($30), other than what I saw in the television commercials and theatrical trailers, the actual film on DVD came as something of a surprise- a pleasant one to be exact! Certainly the trailers and commercials set up an expectation that I would be in for some sort of CHRONICLES OF NARNIA variant, but instead, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA is a rewarding film about adolescent friendship- both found and lost.

Based upon the Katherine Paterson book, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA tells the story of farm boy Jesse Aarons (Josh Hutcherson)- your typical social outcast at school, who buries himself in his love of drawing. Things change for Jesse with the arrival of imaginative new student Leslie Burke (AnnaSophia Robb), another social outcast, whom he reluctantly befriends. Facing the everyday problems, like bullies, together, Jesse and Leslie become fast friends, with their after school adventures involving the creation of their own fantasy land, where they come to grips with the harsher realities of the outside world. The fine cast of BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA also features Zooey Deschanel, Robert Patrick, Bailee Madison, Kate Butler, Devon Wood, Emma Fenton, Grace Brannigan, Latham Gaines, Judy McIntosh, Patricia Aldersley and Lauren Clinton.

Walt Disney Home Entertainment has made BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA available on DVD in a 1.85:1 wide screen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA is a truly terrific looking DVD, which should make fans very happy. The image is exceedingly well rendered, appearing quite sharp and highly defined. Colors are very strong, without appearing pumped up. Plus the flesh tones remain completely appealing throughout. Blacks accurately rendered, while the whites are crisp and stable. Contrast is very smooth, shadow detail is admirable; in addition, the picture produces a nice, dimensional quality. The film elements appear very clean and appreciable grain is mild. Digital compression artifacts are usually very well contained.

BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA comes with a nicely mixed Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack that is certain to please, but the talky nature of much of the film, isn’t likely to blow anyone away. Apart from a few aggressively mixed fantasy sequences, the forward soundstage remains dominant, while the surrounds offer their fair share of active effects, plus ambient sounds and musical fill. The bass channel is solid and adds a nice bit of rumble to the proceedings during key moments. Voices are natural sounding and the film’s dialogue is always completely understandable. French and Spanish tracks are also encoded onto the DVD, as are French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice extras. BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA comes with two running Audio Commentary tracks; the first is with director Gabor Csupo, screenwriter Jeff Stockwell, and producer Hal Lieberman, while the second includes actors Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb. Behind The Book: The Themes Of Bridge To Terabithia is a fourteen-minute program that looks at the influences of the book on its youthful audience. Digital Imagination: Bringing Terabithia To Life spends six minutes on digital visual effects. A Music Video for Keep Your Mind Wide Open featuring AnnaSophia Robb is also provided, as are trailers for other Disney releases.

BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA comes as an unexpected pleasant surprise. It is a well-acted and moving film that is augmented by visual effects, instead of letting them be the film’s driving factor. Presentation-wise, Disney’s DVD is first rate. Recommended.

 

BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA (WIDESCREEN EDITION) 


Bridge to Terabithia (Widescreen Edition) (2007)

ENHANCED FOR 16:9 TELEVISIONS 

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DVD reviews are Copyright © 2007 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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