Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Shrek and I took this potion, and now we're SEXY!!!

Shrek 2 is hysterical. Nary a scene goes by without a side-splitting gag, and the casting is wonderful, featuring John Cleese and Julie Andrews as Fiona's parents, Rupert Everett as Prince Charming, and, in one of the most inspired roles, Jennifer Saunders as the Fairy Godmother. Larry King is the voice of the ugly stepsister.

The film maintains the amiability of the first while sharpening its wit. Most of the more cutting gags are aimed at Disney (although not Pixar, it should be noted), but what makes much of it work is the familiarity of the characters from the first film juxtaposed into new and interesting situations. Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy are all in top form (especially Murphy). I don't want to get into too much detail, as I don't want to ruin anything.

There were scenes that were so damn funny that I cried. Be forewarned, while this film is pretty safe for children on the whole, some of the jokes, especially those involving the sexually ambiguous Puss In Boots (Antonio Banderas) are really raunchy.

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner and Meet the Parents
have nothing on this gem.

Great DVD Sound Demo Sequences

Blade II
New Line Platinum Series; Chapter 2: Bike The Bullet
Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1; DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 Surround

This is a thunderous DTS track, with power and separations to spare. Of particular interest here is the strident sound of the motorcycles.

Die Another Day
MGM UA; Chapter 4: Like A Hovercraft On Fire
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1; DTS-ES 5.1 Surround (Matrixed Center Rear Channel)

The full and rich sound is full of aggressive surround activity and deep bass. Chase sequences tend to make good demos because of all of their activity; this one is superb.

Die Hard
20th Century Fox Five Star Collection; Chapters 47-48: Choppers Up The Ass, The Roof
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1; DTS 5.1 Surround

A little known fact is that helicopters were actually designed with the knowledge that eventually 5.1 audio would be developed.

The Fifth Element
Columbia TriStar Superbit; Chapters 21-22: “Lucia di Lammermoor,” Leeloo vs. Mangalores
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1; DTS 5.1 Surround

The aria from the Donizetti opera presents an smooth, deep orchestral sound, and when all hell breaks loose, the audio opens up and cuts loose as well.

Finding Nemo
Walt Disney; Chapter 8: Sharks
Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX

If the concept of sharks in recovery wasn't hilarious enough, the sound design of this sequence only adds to the sense of fun and adventure, with Barry Humphries' voice being a wonderful use of the subwoofer channel... which gets a more traditional workout at the climax of the scene.

Columbia TriStar Superbit; Chapter 16: Road Test & Crossing
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1; DTS 5.1 Surround

This film has an interesting sound design throughout, each moment solidifying the reality of Andrew Niccol's future. One of the most interesting is the sleek zipping sound created for the electric cars. In this scene, one finds that that formerly innocuous sound becoming terrifying entirely because of the separations.

Universal; Chapter 19: Maximus The Merciful
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1; DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 Surround

This scene has everything from the point of view of audio: big, hard thumps and crashes; subtle sound effects supporting the big, hard crashes; chains clanging; tigers roaring and a crowd cheering. The surrounds are wonderfully active, making great use of the discrete rear center channel. This was the first DTS 6 channel discrete tracks, but it hasn't aged.

Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets
Warner Brothers; Chapter 15: Rogue Bludger
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX

While the first Harry Potter film DVD was plagued by a pixellating picture transfer and weak audio, the second film makes up for this with a flawless image and a wonderful soundtrack. This Quidditch match features wonderful use of the surround soundfield, with swishes and bumps coming from all over the place. The bludger itself is a subwoofer bonanza, but it is counterbalanced by the high-pitched Golden Snitch, which zips from speaker to speaker (including the EX matrixed rear center surround channel).

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
New Line Platinum Series; Chapter 36: The Bridge Of Khazad-dúm
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1; DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 Surround

What can anybody say about this? In addition to being one of the best action sequences in cinema history, the presentation on DVD is outstanding. If the bass is a bit heavy, well, well, that's because the bass is a bit heavy, and arrows whiz by one's ear.

Master and Commander: The Far Side Of The World
20th Century Fox; Chapter 4: Under Attack
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1; DTS 5.1 Surround

As I keep mentioning about this film, the 360° soundfield that the filmmakers created really put you on the ship. This is an interesting soundtrack because of how unusual many of the sounds are in today's day and age. Wood exploding does not sound like metal or plastic, and nothing can prepare the viewer for the scene belowdecks during this battle after the first volley; that thumping sound above you is bare feet upon a wooden deck. Power and subtlety going hand in hand to bring you into the scene.

Universal; Chapter 7-8: The Dragon's Keep, Rescuing The Princess
Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1; DTS 5.1 Surround

Yeah, it's hilarious, but it also sounds amazing. The audio is deep and has great surrounds, particularly when the dragon is chasing the protagonists.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
20th Century Fox; Chapters 20–22: Begin The Race, Lap Two, Home Stretch
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX

If there was ever a movie made up entirely of demo sequences, then this is it. The Star Wars movies have always had some of the best foley ever, and the original trilogy set the standards for movie sound (Dolby Stereo became the norm for film releases after the success of Star Wars in 1977). The new trilogy is taking advantage of the technological advances, and even if George Lucas can't write worth a damn, one thing he does know how to do is get the sound for his film to sound like the shizznit. And The Phantom Menace, for all its flaws, sounds awesome. The Ben-Hur inspired pod race is the most gripping sequences in the film, and one of the main reasons is because the sound design is so complete and natural sounding, despite the fact that it is entirely manufactured.

Artisan Ultimate Edition; Chapter 8: A Doorway Between Worlds
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1; DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 Surround

Deep bass and powerful separations characterize this sequence, which has been a cornerstone of home theater demos since its premiere on laserdisc a decade ago.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Artisan Extreme Edition; Chapter 57-60: Terminator Serves Notice, In The Vault, S.W.A.T Offensive, Dyson And Cyberdine
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround EX

There are helicopters, grenade launchers and miniguns in the scene. You do the math.

The World Is Not Enough
MGM UA; Chapter 3: Blazing Boat Chase
Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1; Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

If the sound of the boats in the water don't get to you, the sound of a car alarm going off when two bobbies are trying to boot it will, and if that doesn't work, then the hollow sound of the fish market will satisfy. I'm pretty sure you'll be fine from the beginning, though.

...of a kind...

Click here for a topless picture of Cameron Diaz mysteriously found as part of my Google search for pictures from Shrek 2. Or click here for another one. How about this one? Or even this picture? Hey, what about this gratuitous photo? Good heavens!!!
Tags: audio, cinema, lists
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