Finding Neverland (Blu-ray) (2004)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-The Magic Of Finding Neverland
Featurette-On The Red Carpet
Deleted Scenes-With Optional Filmmakers' Commentary
|Year Of Production||2004|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Marc Forster|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|RPI||$19.95||Music||Jan A.P. Kaczmarek|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Linear PCM 96/24 5.1 (4608Kb/s)
Italian dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
German dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
Spanish dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Finding Neverland was released in cinemas in 2004. The home video release occurred the following year. Our review of the DVD of Finding Neverland can be found here . The film has been available on Blu-ray for some time. The previous Blu-ray release was not submitted to the site for review. As sometimes happens, Walt Disney Studios home entertainment has sold this catalogue title (a Miramax release) to Roadshow Home Entertainment who have now issued it for your viewing pleasure.
What's the difference between this and release and the previous Disney release? The answer is nothing - it has the same video transfer and suite of extras. The key difference is simply the fact that it has been released at a sub-$20 price point. Therefore, if you already have this Blu-ray in the collection look away. If not, read on…
Finding Neverland was a huge success upon its release in 2004. Trading on the meteoric rise of its leads - Johnny Depp graduating from independent star to box office megastar with the 2003 launch of the Pirates of the Caribbean series and Kate Winslet experiencing both box office success in Titanic and a flurry of awards for her roles in Iris and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The result is a film which is elevated by the star wattage and superlative acting of its leads, as well as careful direction (Marc Forster), into a superior tearjerker.
The story of Finding Neverland is slight, dealing with the life and loves, mainly loves, of J.M.Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan. As played by Depp, Barrie is a man both adorably flighty and irritatingly childish. The film takes us to the crossroads of his life both in terms of the opening of the stage production of Peter Pan and the collapse of his marriage to Mrs Barrie (Radha Mitchell), and his fall into love with widow Sylvia Davies (Kate Winslet). As good as the leads are it is perhaps the performance from child actor Freddie Highmore (later to be seen with Depp in the Willie Wonka movie) as Peter that really generates emotional depth.
The film was nominated for seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor bringing home only one - the best original music score. It was a huge success at the box office and should be a part of any good Blu-ray collection.
Finding Neverland is presented on Blu-ray in the original aspect ratio of 2.35:1.
At the outset I should say that this film was one of the early movies presented on Blu-ray. It uses the now pretty much defunct MPEG-2 format. That is not to say that it is in some way inherently defective. The difference is largely one which affects the amount of content that can be present on the Blu-ray before compression issues arise. Some great transfers like Blackhawk Down were presented in this format. For the keen eyed this transfer perhaps lacks the sharpness of some MPEG-4 or VC-1 transfers. Still, it is an improvement over the DVD of the film and is never disappointing.
The colours are vibrant and well handled, particularly in the fantasy sequences. The skin tones are accurate. The blacks are deep and the shadows well defined.
There is a batch of subtitle options on offer : English, English for the Hearing Impaired, Italian, German, Spanish.
As with the DVD release there are five audio tracks on offer. The advantage of the High Definition format is that each track has been beefed up. They are: English LPCM running at 4608 Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 Kb/s), German DTS 5.1 (1509 Kb/s) Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 kKb/s), Italian DTS 5.1 (1509 Kb/s) Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 Kb/s), Spanish DTS 5.1(1509 Kb/s) Dolby Digital 5.1 (640 Kb/s).
This is not exactly a film that trades off its sonic fireworks yet there is a pleasing warmth and depth to the soundtrack. The surrounds and subwoofer are not heavily engaged, however this is a reflection of the film rather than the transfer.
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand. There are no technical defects with the sound.
The Oscar winning score from Jan A. P. Kazmarek is perfect for the film, conveying whimsy, emotion and heartbreak in equal measure.
Overall, an effective sonic transfer.
|Surround Channel Use|
Fans hoping for an extra magical experience in the transition from DVD to Blu-ray will be disappointed. The features described in the DVD review are all present bar one - the commentary track by director Marc Forster and producer Richard Gladstein has been whisked away to Neverland. Bear in mind, however, that this was also the case for the previous Disney release of the Blu-ray.
The DVD features included are:
The extras are brief and more of an EPK nature.
Are there any HD extras? Only one. Entitled Movie Showcase this is really a reflection of the early history of this transfer. It allows you to play a series of Wow Factor moments from the film to show off your home theatre system to your friends. Except that your friends probably have Avatar or Inception to show off. A curiosity.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This lacks the commentary track of the Region A Blu-ray.
Finding Neverland was a big hit upon its release and furthered the reputation of Johnny Depp as a maturing heartthrob. The film is sentimental without being cloying. If you had held off buying it waiting for the price to come down then now is your chance!
|DVD||Cambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer SC-LX 81 7.1|
|Speakers||Aaron ATS-5 7.1|