First review of Le Labyrinthe de Pan ('Pan's Labyrinth') HD DVD - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 06-14-2007, 03:59 AM
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Default First review of Le Labyrinthe de Pan ('Pan's Labyrinth') HD DVD

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It’s a World Premiere and we’re happy to publish the first available review of this THX certified HD DVD. The master looks brilliant (picture and sound). The video compression is invisible and we couldn’t find any halos… Of course, we compared the HD DVD picture to the standard one available on the DVD. In short, the textures are richer and more expressive in HD. The real benefit of HD blows up on day scenes. Indeed, the master presents beautiful 3D effects and the colors are fully in line with the director’s vision and will (hot and natural). Nevertheless, the difference between SD and HD is less obvious during night sequences or very dark moments. In the end, this HD DVD looks very “cinema-like” and can be considered as a real upgrade to the DVD. The spanish DTS-HD Master Audio track just rocks ! It offers a very nice presence in the front stage (almost perfect stereo). The voices are great, understandable and well integrated. The rear effects are numerous and some of the EX/ES just amazing. The low tones are very rich and one can feel sub-bass lines in several sequences. Finally the overall sound dynamics is excellent. If we wanted to compare this HD DVD to some of the discs we’ve already reviewed, CHILDREN OF MEN would probably meet the same criteria in terms of transfer quality. Please note that no english subtitles are available on the disc !
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The year 1939 signs the end of the civil war in Spain. A few years later, Carmen and her Ofélia girl decide to settle together at new and very authoritative husband. This last is a cruel and tyrannical captain pro-Franco army. Ofélia will discover a magic labyrinth close to the garrison where all resident… kept by a strange creature answering in the name of Pan.
Undoubtedly the most personal film of the realizer (MIMIC, the SPINE OF the DEVIL, BLADE II or HELLBOY), like it say it in its introduction before the beginning of film… We believe it readily, this universe in Lewis CAROLL, strange, phantasmagoric, populated fairy-insects and eaters of children is of a rare beauty. But the true monster of film is not imaginary, it exists, it is this pro-Franco captain who does not hesitate to kill, torture and subject all those which are opposed to its will. There are scenes which make cold in the back and it is impossible to come out unscathed from such a projection, are prevented! This realization impressed of elegance and intelligence is certainly one of the most beautiful surprises of the year…
With not louper!

The image

Presented in a master of any beauty (THX obliges!) on DVD, this edition Ultime offers an astonishing exclusiveness the involved in a specific no-claims bonus which grants a HD DVD to film! Same the master, this time encodé in 1080p, thus takes place in the superb sleeve 5 discs.

The general standard is excellent, whether it is in daylight or low light.
Piqué varies according to the scenes, more the share of the superb time of precision and softness. In direct comparison with the DVD, one notes a real profit on the scenes of day, more details and of presence on the seconds and back plane. The matters and textures are also richer. Unfortunately, on the very dark passages, the contribution of the HD remains much more minor compared to the DVD (but already very good him also).
Compression is completely free of pressing HD DVD whereas it becomes appreciably more visible on support DVD. The scene where Ofélia will discover the tree with the clamping plate is a beautiful example.
Note the passages close to the tree and its small branches to feel and see the defect of compression on the plane backs… In HD, on this same scene, piqué goes up, the level of detail and textures also and all is much more natural.
Contrast is undoubtedly the centre piece of this film and this pressing. The scenes of day enjoy a remarkable contribution of the luminosity associated with enough powerful blacks to offer real feelings 3D on many passages. The grey scale is very full, the reading of the ton ochres, gray and blacks reveals a perfect alchemy between each one.
Attention, if your system is not gauged perfectly on this side, that is likely to be rather catastrophic, stopped or diluted blacks! Fortunately, the THX Optimiser 2.0 is available on this HD DVD with video test cards and tests audio tones…

Innocence stronger than the evil…?

Colorimetry, very particular to film, proposes a strange universe, worrying and all the more rich in version HD…
One thinks a little of the image of superb CHILDREN OF MEN, very realistic, with a little grain and the very hot… but passably die-saturated colors.
The interiors post an astonishing chromatic range, as the office of VIDAL attests some. Guillermo LED TORO is very accustomed to these partially monochromic and dark environments. This all the more raises the presence of the primary educations when they are used (the blood poured at the end for example!).
Side synthesized images, they are surprisingly well integrated, graphically tempting and completely adapted to the matter. There is no video noise to announce (even in dark passages) and the absolute cleanliness of the master to what to charm. Fluidity is excellent, hardly perceptible judder effect time of a traveling descendant

With final, it releases a very beautiful silver feeling on this carryforward. The realism posted in full day is completely convainquant when with the founded good of a “no-claims bonus HD DVD” and the quality of pressing our beautiful country honours.
Cheer with the editor and all the team…

The sound

Completely in agreement with film, it offers an architectural richness of each moment…
The front frontage is broader and expressive that usually. It posts a remarkable presence of the stereophony, very employed at the time of “huntings or shootings”.
There are many universe, environments and sound textures which emerge from the LCR to form a very open and powerful block.
The dialogues in VO ideally understandable and are superbly integrated in-depth in the mixing.
This same power station is besides richer in VO than in VF, in spite of a good doubling.
The effects postpone are remarkable of complementarity.
It is necessary to consider the mix like a total and multichannel whole, each rich and full passage being. There is thus always a little sound matter which enjolive the experiment or of the music subtly evoked through erudite sound effects.
The panoramic side ones very good, powerful and are superbly connected for certain purposes of the type EX/ES.


The passage where Ofélie meets fauna is a very beautiful demonstration, the small fairy circles there with delicacy from one enclosure to another (passage on the left, on the right, behind you etc). There is a very beautiful sound coherence which is created between all the enclosures, the tonalities being adjusted perfectly the ones compared to the others…
One would have liked to be able to discover this film in his mixing DTS-HD Master Audio complete, recall here that only “core” SDR is currently exploitable on support HD (equivalent with a track SDR full flow).
The section of the low registers is very full, rich in pallet of expression and especially of an absolute integration. Associated the very good general dynamics, the experiment is worth the turning in many percussion passages.
Will infras are rather present (this only for the steps of fauna or the small door would be which leads to Paleman!) and take part to give this feeling of great freedom to the mixing.
The top of the spectrum is seen marvelously constant and emphasized, of the blow…

One remains truly under the charm of the perfect fusion brought by the history, the image and the sound. It is a beautiful example of cinematographic success and here technique. We grant a gold HD well readily for this reason.
The note “its” could be re-examined with the rise when decoding Master Audio is available…

Interactivity

Spectacular and hard-liner, in two words!

The team of WILD SIDE, made up of impassioned the 7th art, made a success of the turn of force to propose the richest edition in the world (US no-claims bonus + Spanish + French exclusivenesses!). Note that for the occasion, it is of first HD DVD Européen labelized THX and the first offensive of the editor on support HD. Let us rent them for the initiative and wish their great success for this box.

The discs 1 & 2, proposed in a menu graphically of most tempting, contain a traditional or alternative navigation (“LIVE the EXPERIMENT”, adaptation of HDi to support SD), proposing film (DVD 1), makings of, talks, creatures, costumes and decorations, effects special, photo gallery, teasers and trailers, catalogues of films, bonds Internets and integral scenario + storyboard printable (for the ROMANIAN part)…

Small interactive of face DVD

Disc 3 adds, always is in traditional navigation or mode “TO TRAVERSE the LABYRINTH”, an access to the personal of the realizer, documentary notebooks with his photo director, talks, comparative film/storyboard, work on the image, the colors and the forms, photo gallery and bonds Internet

Disc 4 also proposes film in HD DVD, certified THX him… with audio comment of the realizer

Small interactive of face HD DVD

Disc 5 is CD of the original band of film

All this is added a booklet of 68 pages, in short, if you do not find your happiness of film enthusiast in the middle of all that, one will not include/understand…
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:04 AM
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Any word on how to get this imported with english subs?
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:44 AM
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It seems that this release doesn't have English subs which if true is just astounding. What are these companies thinking? You've got to be kidding me! This is tragic news.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:12 AM
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It would be nice if it had english subs but I don't need the $100 box set just to get the 1 HD DVD disc.

I'm sure it will be released eventually on a standard HD DVD in either the US or UK. Might have to wait another 6 months though.
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Arkadin View Post
It seems that this release doesn't have English subs which if true is just astounding. What are these companies thinking? You've got to be kidding me! This is tragic news.
I agree...with the majority of HD players in the US it only makes sense for a Euro distributor to include subtitles. Let's be real here, Underworld Evolution would have sold a third the copies that it did were it not for the import market. It's a real shame they've dropped the ball with Pan's...
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:42 PM
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according to AVS, a new pressing with subtitles is coming out.
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DigitalFreakNYC View Post
according to AVS, a new pressing with subtitles is coming out.
Awesome, I wants mes a copy, damnnit!
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DigitalFreakNYC View Post
according to AVS, a new pressing with subtitles is coming out.
Have you got a link to this? It's great news if true, but bad for my wallet!
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Staffyman View Post
Have you got a link to this? It's great news if true, but bad for my wallet!
Same here.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:11 PM
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I just don't get the French. I would have bought a lot of region 2 french films if they had just added some subtitles. They really make very interesting films. Unfortunately the French have a misplaced arrogance about their language. So, not having English subtitles isn't a suprise but from an economic standpoint very stupid.
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