Thunderbirds DVD Review
PictureGood, but with some caveats. Firstly there is a lot of added colour to Thunderbirds. Primary and secondary colours are ultra rich as a homage to the original series. This makes the picture overly saturated at times, but this is on purpose. Contrasts are also rather obvious possibly to try and re-capture the shiny puppets of the original series? Nevertheless, there is some grain in picture, but whether this is as a result of the colourful post production I can't be sure. Lastly, some of the effects are a bit off and while I would like to say that British company Framestore was up there with Weta or ILM, they aren't, at least in this movie. Now, I am not detracting from the efforts that were put into Thunderbirds especially as this is Framestore's first major production. Indeed some of the CGI work is very good, like the Olympic Monorail, just not consistently good. A shot of FAB1, the pink faux Rolls Royce, coming into land at Tracy Island seems particularly jarring. I'm not talking Die Another Day bad, but unreal enough to matter.
SoundThis movie lives on its sound. From Loony Tune lifted cartoon noises to the bass rumble of the Thunderbirds taking off this movie is larger than life. Hans Zimmer's score is subtle with nodding acknowledgement to the original Thunderbirds score in a few key moments. Rear effects are similarly noticeable and are more obvious than most movies. This just adds to the OTT outgoing nature of Thunderbirds and is perfectly in keeping with the original series.
ExtrasAll of the extras are short and condensed, thankfully. There is a feeling that there isn't enough time to put needless information into the extras and so all of them are good. One thing I will say is the menu system is just about indecipherable needing a small team of cryptologists to get anywhere. In addition, there are some items you can't escape from after selection, and it takes forever to get to the main menu screen, which was a bit annoying.
Creating The Action is a look at how the London sequence came together in terms of effects and CGI work. Introduced with gusto by Jonathan Frakes, he seems to have a great energy for the movie. Storyboards, animatics and pre-visualisations are touched upon. Information is salient and to the point, even if nothing extraordinary is shown. Tracy Island Revealed is an insight into the design of said island and how the design changed for the modern audience. Scouting locations are discussed as clearly a utopian tropical island was needed for the iconic Tracy Island and the Seychelles were chosen. Lady P and Parker - Fun & Stunts examines the stunt requirement for the fight sequences. Training, preparation is gone into, as is the slapstick humour. It looks like the actors all had a good time, admitting that, though it isn't the Matrix, they all had good fun. For some reason, Rolls Royce pulled out of designing the car FAB1, so Ford did the car instead. FAB1: More Than Just a Car is about how the fully working car was designed and built, the inspirations of the aesthetics and production problems.
VerdictIf you have kids with imagination, or are a free thinking Thunderbird fan, then there is a lot to enjoy, here. Leave the brain behind and let the movie wash over you. Thunderbirds, in this context is very good, honest. Just don't expect the most sophisticated movie ever made.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £19.99
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