Dragon Hunters aka Chasseurs de dragons [Blu-ray]
(Guillaume Ivernel + Arthur Qwak, 2008)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video:Peace Arch Home Entertainment
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 17,605,874,420 bytes
Feature Size: 14,728,482,816 bytes
Video Bitrate: 19.10 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: June 23rd, 2009
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2386 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2386 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS Audio French 896 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 896 kbps / 16-bit
English, Spanish, none
• Interview with Forest Whitaker (4:23)
• Dragon Gallery
•The Universe of Dragon Hunters
• Trailer and Peach Arch Previews
Description: With more than US$ 15M in box office to date,
Dragon Hunters has already been successfully released
in France, Russia, Brazil, Germany, Singapore, Poland,
Turkey, Belgium, Norway, etc. It has been sold in over 25
countries and will be released on more than 2000 screens.
Gwizdo and Lian Chu fancy themselves dragon hunters, mercenaries of
sorts that roam the land fighting dragons for profit. Their goal is to
earn enough money to purchase a little farm where they can relax in
peace. But the dragon hunting game is a tough one, and fighting dragons
isn't quite as hard as getting paid for their services. Zoe offers them
a grand opportunity to join her uncle and be paid handsomely for ridding
the Kingdom of the World Gobbler, a dragon, as its name implies, capable
of consuming everything in its path. Although the promise of great
financial game is the official reason he's taken up the fight, for Lian
Chu, removing the evil World Gobbler is personal.
There was a French Blu-ray of this film released in November of 2008 but it only offered the French language version with no English subtitles. Like this though the image and audio quality are extremely strong - as the expandable screen captures below should attest. Being digital animation - it has some healthy advantages over live-action film. There are no (zero) visible artifacts, haze is only intentional to represent motion - and frankly, the image amounts to perfection at the high resolution levels of Blu-ray . What then enters into play is your personal preference for the animation style. It grew on me fast and I can see it doing so for most who give it a chance. Colors are vibrant and contrast exhibits healthy, rich black levels. Certain scenes show some real depth. This Blu-ray also benefits with the dynamic action of the film - it's a real boisterous ride and the 1080P carries it extremely well - despite the feature's pragmatic file size (at less than 20 Gig). I don't feel any vast increase in this would dramatically effect the end presentation. This is flawless hi-def video in 1.78 (despite stating 2.35 on the back of the box).
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2386 kbps may be even more impressive than the seemingly perfect video. As one friend stated - it was like my basement was 'decompressing'. The mix is incredible and chapter eight exhibits such cutting bass it is definitely demo material. This ends up being a big part of the viewing experience. Klaus Badelt's score sounds super-tight with sharp bells, pulsating cues and gentle 'choir'-like backgrounds. This is an incredibly impressive English track and it comes with an optional French DTS DUB and subtitles in English or Spanish. My Momitsu has identified this disc as being region FREE!
Supplements are kind of bare with a scant (less than 5-minutes) interview with Forest Whitaker and Mary Matilyn Mouser (Zoe) talking a bit about their voice characterizations. Peach Arch have included a kind of neat feature under the Character Biographies, Dragon Gallery and a Universe of Dragon Hunters extras. You move your arrow buttons on the remote to float to the next (or previous) piece of information as on a humungous spec sheet - be it a paragraph or two on 5 dragon types or the characters etc. It's visually impressive and very kid-friendly (maybe more so than some of the film's intensity) and as you grow into this 'universe' it may be something you revisit. There is also a trailer for Dragon Hunters and some Peach Arch Entertainment previews.
June 10th, 2009
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be
it, but film will always be my first love and I list my
favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible
Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player
Gary W. Tooze