3D Blu-ray Review Gnomeo & Juliet: The HTF 3D ADDICT REVIEW

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, May 12, 2011.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    What can I say?  I love 3D!  From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content.  I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite.  That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT.  I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky.  However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation.  These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves.  I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum.  My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released.   As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.



    Studio: Touchstone

    Product Release: May 24, 2011

    Ratio: 1.85:1

    Audio: DTS-HD MA 7.1, English and 5.1 DDS French

    Running Time: 84 Minutes

    Rating: G


    ON A SCALE 0-5

    Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 3

    3D Separation: 3

    3D In Yo' Face Factor: 3

    This 3D Blu-ray kicks some grass!

    Shakespear's Romeo and Juliet and has become a

    timeless classic, and certainly one of the author's most

    popular plays.  It has been re-imagined many times for

    stage and screen, most notably in 1961 for West Side

    Story.  Now, once again, the tragic love story has been

    re-imagined by the folks at Touchstone animation in

    this newest film, Gnomeo and Juliet.

    Gnomeo and Juliet was actually the brainchild of

    Elton John, who served as Executive Producer on

    this film.  It is my understanding he spent the last

    decade developing this children's re-telling with the

    idea of using Gnomes for the subject matter of this film.

    Personally, I think it was a brilliant idea as these

    highly-underrated garden sculptures have gone mostly

    unnoticed with, uhm, the exception of the more infamous

    Traveling Gnome that has been roaming around with

    Travelocity for all these years.  Sir Elton John and the

    animators certainly had a wide playing field before them

    and they take every advantage of  throwing in as many

    ceramic and garden puns as possible, though most of the

    humor that flies over kids heads will bring a smile to adults.  

    The Montagues and Caputlets are represented as feuding

    neighbors living in a London suburb, each with a gardened

    backyard filled with a variety of adorable gnomes who have

    taken on the lead characters of the Shakespearean play.

    These feuding Gnomes are represented as blue and red,

    segregated into separate gardens divided by a huge wall.

    The blue-painted Gnomeo (voiced by James McAvoy) falls

    in love with the red-painted Juliet (Emily Blunt) and both

    must find a way to continue their relationship despite

    the escalating feud between the two families.  Juliet's cousin

    Tybalt (Jason Staham) is faithfully represented as the

    main antagonist in the story, a hot-headed gnome who is

    bent on destroying Gnomeo and the rest of the blue gnomes.

    Gnomeo and Juliet takes the source material, follows

    it mostly through, but takes a few added liberties to give

    the tragedy a happy ending -- all with the blessings of

    Shakespeare himself (Patrick Stewart).  After all, this is

    a children's film where tragedy should be turned to happiness.

    I have to be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this film

    going into it, as I believe it only had modest success at

    the Box-Office and was released to home video almost
    immediately.  And though nothing about this film leads me

    to believe it will be a memorable classic, I did manage to

    have a fun time watching it.  You'll instantly appreciate the

    cast of voices here from the likes of Maggie Smith, Michael

    Caine,  Ozzy Osbourne, Dolly Parton and Hulk Hogan.

    The clincher in really appreciating this film was its near

    faultless viewing experience. This is a first-rate Blu-ray 

    and perhaps one of the best looking animated transfers

    in recent memory.   Firstly, the transfer is exceptionally sharp

    and well detailed.  This allows for the film's brilliant array

    of colors within the gnomes garden world to vibrantly saturate

    the screen.  In fact, this is perhaps the most chroma-enriched

    animation that I have seen.

    Yet, despite the immaculate transfer, the 3D is only...well...

    adequate.  I haven't been able to find out if the film was rendered

    specifically for 3D or upconverted in post, but the end result is

    just average.  There is definitely noticeable separation and at

    times you get that nice cardboard cut-out look (for those like

    myself who prefer that kind of thing).  I felt as if the animators

    could have made better use of placing their characters behind

    objects that would lend to a greater perception of depth.  Another

    failing I found was that most all the 3D effects stay within the

    confines of the screen with the exception of a few poke-outs that

    include sticks, weed killer gun and a flamingo's beak.  There

    are some overhead shots above rooftops that give a spectacular

    sense of depth but used only sporatically.  There are some lost

    opportunities with falling flower petals and dandelion seeds that

    would have looked spectacular floating before the viewer's eyes,

    but yet, never reach out beyond the display.   That's not to say

    that Gnomeo and Juliet is a total disappointment in 3D.  I felt it's

    use of the format definitely enhanced the viewing experience --

    it's just not anything anyone's going to display as demo material.

    It really disappoints me that when dealing with animation, you have

    the ability to do some really cool 3D rendering and in the end, you

    are not providing the audience with any "Wow" factor.   

    Fortunately many of the scenes that take place under the veil

    of darkness do not suffer any ghosting issues.  In fact, ghosting

    is practically nonexistent here.

    Gnomeo and Juliet features the music of Elton John whose

    notable pieces of music are peppered throughout the film either

    as instrumental or original recordings.  There is also at least

    one new song featured by Elton and his long-time collaborator

    Bernie Taupin, though I have to admit it's pretty forgettable.  Still,

    for Elton fans, the film plays like a "greatest hits" tribute with songs

    such as  Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting,  Don’t Go Breaking

    My  Heart, Rocket Man and Your Song

    Featured on this disc is a 7.1 DTS-HD soundtrack that was

    downconverted to 5.1 on my system.  There is excellent stereo

    imaging to be found here and I was quite taken back by the

    surround's ability to bring out the tiniest nuances in the effect

    sounds.  I mean, you can hear the crack of every branch as

    the little gnomes race across the yard.  Unfortunately, the one

    complaint I have is that the audio lacks "punch."  I mean, here

    is a film filled with instrumental and pop score and it sort of

    comes across as bland.   For my personal tastes, I would

    have wanted a little more LFE activity to give a little more kick

    to the music. Otherwise, this is an active soundtrack certain

    to embrace the viewer.

    Gnomeo and Juliet arrives in a 3-disc Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray,

    DVD/Digital Copy.  The added content appears on the standard

    Blu-ray disc and includes 2 alternate endings, deleted and

    alternate scenes and a featurette. 


    Though it will never be considered an animated classic,

    Gnomeo and Juliet succeeds as being a cleverly enjoyable

    family film.   The 3D is just average, and it's disheartening

    that the animators didn't make better use of the props for

    the format.  Still, when considering the price difference between

    the standard Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray, the latter is positively

    worth purchasing.  Bravo to Disney for doing such a wonderful

    job on this transfer as it doesn't get much more beautiful than this.

    Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc. 


    LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display

    Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player

    Denon 3311CI Receiver

    Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers

    SV Sound Subwoofer

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