Herbie: Fully Loaded DVD Review
PictureDisney has provided a theatrically correct 1.85:1 aspect anamorphically enhanced for wide screen TV's with an average bitrate of 6.74 Mbps. On the whole I was very pleased with this print; it was very well detailed with excellent colour reproduction. Brightness and contrast were set a tad low, in my opinion, giving rise to very decent blacks, but consequently overall dark edges to picture, even if the colours were glaringly bright against it. Digitally there were no compression problems, but there was a smattering of edge enhancement. This modern print didn't suffer from any damage, nor was there any film grain to speak of.
SoundThere are three Dolby digital 5.1 tracks for the film, English, French and Spanish. All are the same mix, excepting the dubbing. Altogether a very well produced track, seemingly steered towards the front in fact there is plenty for all the speakers to be happy about. There are moments of very decent surround effects, especially the destruction derby and race at the end, the LFE having a great time. The score too is well realised with a full range and pumped through all speakers to fill the room. Dialogue was centred to the front and was always clear and distinct and never drowned out by the rest. In all a decent enough track, a little too subtle to be considered excellent though.
ExtrasThe first extra is a commentary by Angela Robinson, she is full of enthusiasm for the project, in fact she rarely pauses for breath. Plenty of information if you want to listen, she comes across as knowledgeable and proud even if this only her second picture.
Next up are three featurettes entitled A day at the races, Breaking the rules: The stunts of Herbie and Bringing Herbie to life. All contain interviews with cast and crew, many of which were recorded at the same time and then split into these three features. Of the most interest would be the first one which contains extended interviews with Deborah Renshaw, a real girl NASCAR racer. The other two concentrate on Herbie the effect and the new technology used to make him work. The insistence that most be done practically rather than rely on CGI, a nice change.
The deleted scene section can be played individually or all together with or without directors commentary. All were removed due to pacing, most significantly was a whole subplot with Ray Jr and his desire to give up racing and play drums in a band. Also in this section is an alternative title sequence ultimately rejected because it didn't introduce Herbie quick enough.
Next up is five minutes of bloopers containing the prerequisite fluffs and gaffs, also includes many instances of practical jokes played on Lohan, many using fake spiders, all rather dull.
Lohan also has her music video 'First' as an extra mastered in Dolby digital 5.1 no less, still sounded naff to me though.
Finally there are the normal trailers for other Disney DVD's available.
VerdictHerbie Fully Loaded is an entertaining ride, if a wee bit too long. There is just enough in the run time to keep the kids entertained and the adults watching, I wouldn't be surprised if it is the first of many. As a DVD Disney have produced an decent enough package, including a good transfer and extras that all can enjoy.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £18.59
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