'Chronicles Of Narnia: Voyage Of The Dawn Treader'
(Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley, Will Poulter, Gary Sweet, et al / DVD / R / 2011 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Return to the magic and wonder of C. S. Lewis' epic world in this third installment of the beloved Chronicles of Narnia fantasy-adventure series. When Lucy and Edmund Pensive, along with their cousin Eustace, are swallowed into a painting and transported back to Narnia, they join King Caspian and a noble mouse named Reepicheep aboard the magnificent ship The Dawn Treader. The courageous voyagers travel to mysterious islands, confront mystical creatures, and reunite with the Great Lion Aslan and a mission that will determine the fate of Narnia itself!
DVD Verdict: I have to say my expectations were blown away at the captivating magic quality of the film. The mystery of the islands the characters explore brought me back to the feeling I had when I first saw "Goonies", which is one of my favorite films. The movie seems to successfully capture the wonder and mystery that "Pirates of the Caribbean" tries for, but I honestly think "Dawn Treader" is far more entertaining.
The only reason I can fathom for people not liking this film (as the message boards have been hit pretty hard about that fact!) is being made uncomfortable with the religious allegory. But even then, it doesn't feel unnatural or distracting to the story. Then again, I'm not sure why "Prince Caspian" in particular was better-received because "Dawn Treader" is easily my favorite film of the Narnia series!
As for the cinematic capturing of Narnia, well the quality is pretty top notch. The film was shot digitally so you get a very clean image that pops from the screen and the lossless sound is immersive and fun, making good use of surrounds to add a 3D feel. WWII fighter planes roar overhead, the sounds of the ocean come through well and you feel like part of the scene when dragons and magical creatures jump around you.
I would say what really made the movie so great to see was the ending scene. In all three of the movies combined, the "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" had the most inspirational ending. Lucy's tearful departing from Aslan was enough to move the audience emotionally. The line that got me was Aslan's soft words to Lucy: "But you must get to know me by my other Name in that world." To make it even better, Carrie Underwood's closing song to the movie was just perfect. [PM] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary By Director Michael Apted and Producer Mark Johnson