The Great Muppet Caper/Muppet Treasure Island - Blu-ray Review - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-17-13, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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The Great Muppet Caper/Muppet Treasure Island - Blu-ray Review


Title: The Great Muppet Caper/Muppet Treasure Island

Movie:
Video:
Audio:
Extras:


HTS Overall Score:75


WARNING: THE SCORES ABOVE ARE A COMBINED SCORE FROM BOTH FILMS, THE INDIVIDUAL SCORES ARE CONTAINED BELOW IN THE INDIVIDUAL SECTIONS OF THE REVIEW

Summary
After a short hiatus, Disney is back again with the double features. Usually they have been relegated to their animated library where they would attach a Direct to Video sequel as the second title. Here we have two Muppet titles back to back, a bit of a different approach, and neither of the two titles is inferior in any way. This set completes the entire “Muppets” films on Blu-ray release (I’m not counting “Muppets Wizard of Oz” because in my mind that title does not exist in any way, shape, or form..*shudder). The “Great Muppet Caper” was the second “Muppet” film to hit the big screen, just two short years after “The Muppet Movie” came out garnering much success. Strangely enough, Disney decided to pair it with the MUCH later “Muppets Treasure Island” instead one of the earlier films, but this certainly does tie up the loose ends nicely and gives us a complete collection of our favorite Henson animals.

As with the previous 2 film packs, Disney has packaged together a 3 disc set, 2 discs being the DVD discs of the individual films, while the third disc is a 50 gig, dual layered BD with both films in 1080p on them. Also for the OCD collector, they come in the extra deep hubbed Elite cases with the DVDs stacked on top of each other (in case you couldn’t find that 3rd disc).


The Great Muppet Caper
Instead of playing themselves as they did in the “The Muppet Movie” the Muppets are now involved in a mystery and begin the process of adopting other roles. Kermit and Fozzie are a pair of twin reporters (I guess not identical twins ) and they are out to solve the mystery of a giant diamond heist. Along the way they run across a slightly demented female pig who has aspirations of becoming a model, and deal with the ensuing chaos of having her follow Kermit around all love-struck, finding the jewel thief and of course living happily ever after.

The plot is a bit thin, but really, what did you expect out of a Muppet movie? The real pull for these movies is the Muppets and their crazy antics giving us all a good belly laugh. Miss Piggy and Kermit are still star struck with each other and Miss Piggy is just as big an oaf as she is in the show. As with any good Muppet movie there are plenty of celebrity guest stars, such as John Cleese and Peter Ustinov. Cute, witty, and full of childish glee “The Great Muppet Caper” is definitely a step up from the rocky “The Muppet Movie” released a few years prior and shows that Henson has a good angle on translating a successful TV show to a successful Film.

Muppet Treasure Island
Fast forward another 14 years to 1996 and we have Brian Henson taking over the helm after his father passed away. Luckily for us (and Farscape fans), Brian Henson has kept the essence of the original man steering the helm and gives us another slam dunk hit. Adapting the Robert Louis Stevenson classic, “Treasure Island”, we follow along with a young lad named Jim Hawkens and his friends Rizzo, and Gonzo as they chase after a mysterious buried treasure. Tim Curry guest stars as the famed one legged man that everyone (and even the monicker of a successful chain of fast food restaurants) has adopted as pirate canon….Long John Silver himself. Sailing with the honest and good Captain Smollet (Kermit the Frog) and his slightly obsessed first mate, Mr. Arrow, Jim has to find the treasure, discover what it means to be a friend and save the day. Basically every young child’s dream. As with all Muppet movies, the plot isn’t really the central focus, the songs and the Muppet antics trump everything else as they gleefully stick their tongues firmly in their cheeks and sing and dance the hour and a half away.




Rating:

Rated G for General Audiences


Video

The Great Muppet Caper
Besides for a few minor issues, “The Great Muppet Caper” looks pretty much fantastic. Covered with a nice layer of 1980’s film grain the movie has a very classic feel to it. Detail is exceptional and there doesn’t appear to be much digital tampering done to DNR the tar out of it like some of the animated titles have done. There’s some specks of dirt and some flecks here and there on the print, but otherwise the print appears to be in excellent condition. There’s some minor ringing and haloing going on, but nothing too drastic. Blacks are nice and inky with some great shadow detail. Overall an excellent picture.

Muppet Treasure Island
“Muppet Treasure Island” is a bit more interesting of a transfer. The first 20 minutes of the film has some rather washed out blacks with a strange contrast level to it giving the whole thing an almost grey look. The minute that they leave the inn and go to the ship we see some absolutely fantastic imagery. The detail is through the roof and the colors are bright and cheery, giving us copious shots of the ocean and life aboard a sailing vessel. You can see every strand and fiber on Tim Curry’s outfit and each Muppet’s individual texturing is unique and replicated easily. Besides the washed out first 20 minutes or so, the black levels are deep and inky with lots of shadow detail. I would have given the film a 4.5/5 for picture quality, but that first 20 minutes was enough to pull it down to a solid 4.




Audio


The Great Muppet Caper
Right on par for the course, “The Great Muppet Caper” sports an excellent 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio track for us to enjoy. While not being perfect it certainly does an excellent job with what it was. A bit front heavy due to the massive amounts of dialogue, it lights up the front sound stage with a goodly amount of dialogue locked straight in the front channel and some solid panning across the mains. The surrounds are used pretty decently with the sounds of traffic and the songs utilize all channels pretty well. While it’s not going to be demo material, for the type of film that it is, the track is used quite well and leaves us with a satisfied feeling.

Muppet Treasure Island
Strangely enough, albeit being 14 years later, “Muppet Treasure Island” gives us a 5.0 DTS-HD MA track instead of the usual 5.1 tracks. As a result there’s a slight feeling of missing some of the low end LFE that could have gone with some of the canon shots and battle scenes, but that’s nothing against the encode, but rather a statement regarding the original mastering. Besides that fact I noticed some weird anomalies, scenes would have different volume levels, where in one scene I would feel that the vocals were coming through nice and clear and in another scene the dialogue felt a bit subdued, causing me to crank the volume a little more. It wasn’t anything truly distracting, but it was an anomaly that I replicated several times. Surrounds were used MUCH more intensively in this film than it’s predecessor. The canon shots rippled from all channels and the sounds of seamen doing their duties across the ships used all 5.1 channels with much aplomb.

Extras:
• Frog E Okie Sing along
• The Tale of the Story Behind the Tail
• "Let the Good Shine Out" - Music Video
• Audio Commentary with Gonzo, Rizzo and Brian Henson









Overall:

The Muppets have always been very dear to my heart and I’m ecstatic that the final two films have made their way out of moratorium and we can have a complete collection (again, “Muppet Wizard of Oz” does not exist!!!!). Both films presented here are must owns for any Muppet fan. With a solid presentation and the great price of having both films under one small MSRP is a steal. Now go out and get it!!!!

Additional Information:

Starring: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Tim Curry, Kevin Bishop
Directed by: Jim Henson : Brian Henson
Written by: Tom Pratchett, Jay Tarses : Jerry Juhl
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 5.0, French, Spanish, DD 5.1
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Rated: PG
Runtime: 98 minutes : 99 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: December 10th, 2013


Buy The Great Muppet Caper/Muppet Treasure Island Blu-ray on Amazon

Recommendation: Buy It


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post #2 of 4 Old 12-17-13, 08:27 AM
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Re: The Great Muppet Caper/Muppet Treasure Island - Blu-ray Review

Thanks for the review. We are fans of the "Muppets" so we will get this movie for the holidays. Possibly a stocking stuffer!

Very strange that the first 20 min isn't as great from a video perspective from the remaining parts of the movie..

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post #3 of 4 Old 12-17-13, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The Great Muppet Caper/Muppet Treasure Island - Blu-ray Review

it's really strange. it's only for the first part of the movie while Jim is in the Inn and blind pew appears.... after they leave it's different. I wonder if it's the optical effects for creating a smoky dim Inn type of situation. can't be sure
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-19-13, 09:12 AM
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Re: The Great Muppet Caper/Muppet Treasure Island - Blu-ray Review

Thanks for the review Mike!

Muppet lover here too - this one is sure to make it into my collection. Tim Curry was so good in this role - just so engaging!
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