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Blu-ray: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2009)

Whether you hate performance capture or like it, this Blu-ray release will only support your opinion no matter what it is. That’s because the crystal clear presentation shows off everything. The color palette is rich with festive reds and golds in the cheery moments. The darker scenes are balanced wonderfully as well. Blacks are bold and there is no digital problems as characters emerge from the dark into light. Overall the picture shows no signs of aliasing, banding or any other kind of digital distortion.

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Read my review of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

Whether you hate performance capture or like it, this Blu-ray release will only support your opinion no matter what it is. That’s because the crystal clear presentation shows off everything. The color palette is rich with festive reds and golds in the cheery moments. The darker scenes are balanced wonderfully as well. Blacks are bold and there is no digital problems as characters emerge from the dark into light. Overall the picture shows no signs of aliasing, banding or any other kind of digital distortion.

The audio equals the picture very well. The soundscape utilizes the more action filled moments well. In one screen Scrooge is overwhelmed with chimes and clocks and we understand his feelings. Directionality flows nicely across speakers as characters move across the environment. The soundtrack is presented in DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless.

The disc contains three exclusive Blu-ray features. “Behind The Carol: The Full Motion Capture Experience” is by far the best. It presents a picture-in-picture view of the film and the performance capture sessions with the option of having director Robert Zemeckis commenting on the process. For anyone interested in the extent of new tools filmmakers have with performance capture, this is something to watch. The DVD featurette “Capturing A Christmas Carol” extends a bit the information in the aforementioned feature. Hosted by actress Jacquie Barnbrook, it’s jokey (and a little corny), but it does present the basics of the technology for those who don’t know anything about how it works.

Also exclusive on the Blu-ray is an interactive advent calendar and three additional deleted scenes not on the DVD. The deleted scenes provide an interesting look into what from Dickens’ tome hit the cutting room floor. The six scenes are in varying forms of completion. Several are the on-set reference footage of the actors overlayed onto the previz models. The other DVD featurette included on the Blu-ray disc is “On Set With Sammi,” a TV interstitial-like behind-the-scenes of filming with young actress Sammi Hanratty.

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Rick DeMott
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