The source print is as you would expect from a recent cinematic release - quite simply pristine with no visible dirt, or scratches on the print. The Emporium itself needs a very sharp, clear, and detailed print to truly bring it to life - and the transfer is certainly up to scratch. Colour is very important to the film, and reflects the mood of the shop. Colour levels are bright and vibrant without ever looking over saturated. Once the surroundings go into black and white the transfer deals with this well, displaying good contrast levels and allowing the action to be clearly viewed even in the dark areas of the frame.
Detail level is also great, and the attention of detail in the picture is up with the best that HD has to offer. Individual toys and displays in the store are beautiful to behold and the transfer really does show the length the filmmakers went to in order to create a believable environment. Objects in motion (either CGI or real) always are clear and well delineated, and facial detail is always top notch, with realistic skin tones.
The first thing to notice is the expansive sound field we are presented with. Sound effects zip around the room to great effect, as flying objects zoom from front and back, as well as around the viewer in a 360 degree rotation. Subtle ambient effects are also rendered well, and the result is a truly realistic sound that really does immerse you in the action.
The other pleasure here is that the dialogue is well mixed into the front, and anchored well - so that it is always clear whatever the mayhem going on around the viewer. The score is also always clear and consistent.
This is not an action film and as such the sub does not get a massive workout. When needed it is used well, notably in the scene in the room with the gigantic balls, but generally it is fairly muted. This is not a fault of the mix however - it is simply not needed.
And occasionally a disc comes along that omits all the extras from the SD release and gives the HD buyers absolutely nothing. Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, unfortunately, belongs in the latter category and this is quite simply a disgrace.
Full marks to the filmmakers for effort in attempting to make an original and enchanting film. Sadly, due to some rather sub standard performances from the actors, and a plot which seems to meander rather than focus this film ultimately fails to deliver any sense of wonder or excitement for the viewer.
The disc does have the advantage of top notch video and audio, but when you realise that this disc is completely extras-less (not even the sub standard SD extras are included) then this may well be one you will consider avoiding.
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