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The Secret Of Moonacre Blu-ray Review

The cast and production values make “The Secret Of Moonacre” watchable.

The plot: After her parents passed away, Maria Merryweather is sent to live with her rude, mysterious uncle (Benjamin) at Moonacre Manor. While there, she becomes drawn into a magical world that surrounds the house. Unfortunately for Maria, she also becomes aware of an ongoing feud between the Merryweather and the “villainous” De Noir families. Basically, their feud is over magic pearls that the Moon Princess/Loveday (the Benjamin’s once to be wife). Sickened by her father (Coeur) and Benjamin’s greed, she called off the marriage and put a curse on them. The curse states that only someone of pure heart can break the curse otherwise Moonacre will fall to darkness. Can peace and reunions occur or will the obsession with the pearls destroy everyone’s friendships/relationships? Will the valley turn to darkness? The story is based on “The Little White Horse” novel.

“The Secret Of Moonacre” is a mixed bag. The story itself is slow moving and there’s far too much set-up at the beginning. Even when the story gets going, the overall conflict isn’t very engaging. Additionally, I found the story to be a little too reminiscent of past fantasy flicks (like “The Nevernding Story” and “The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe”) which certainly hampers any originality the film has. Luckily, there are some positive aspects that make the film worth watching. First and foremost, the production values are outstanding. The CGI is respectable for such a modest budget, the location shooting is first rate, and the sets are as good as you’ll see on screen. Secondly, I have to give credit to the cast. Without their efforts, I doubt the film would have worked at all. Dakota Blue Richards (who plays Maria) is especially great here. She’s certainly one of the best child actors I have seen in quite awhile. Hopefully, she will get more roles in the near future. Ioan Gruffudd and Juliet Stevenson also give notably good performances here. Really, the only performance I didn’t particularly care for was Tim Curry who seemed to be going through the motions.

Summary: “The Secret Of Moonacre” is a pleasant, but flawed fantasy flick. You can certainly do a lot worse than this fantasy film.

The 2.35:1 1080p picture quality is surprisingly amazing. From the sparkling water and crystal blue sky to the CGI and forest locations, this is an impressive looking disc.

The 5.1 DTS-HD audio track disappoints here. I found the dialogue to be a little on the low side for my taste. It could certainly be much better.

Extras:
* E1 Entertainment trailers and a “The Secret Of Moonacre” trailer.
* Interviews with Tim Curry, Dakota Blue Richards, Augustus Prew, Juliet Stevenson, Ioan Gruffudd and Natasha McElhone.
* 11 minutes of deleted scenes.
* A making of featurette contains an interview with the cast and crew (including the director), set footage, still photos, and clips from the movie.
* “Behind The Scenes Footage” is exactly what it says.

November 30, 2010 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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