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Treasure Island (2012) Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: VC-1
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec:  English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: NR
  • Run Time: 185 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Vivendi Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • List Price: $29.95

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:2.5/5]

This is the second adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel Treasure Island to be delivered to my doorstep within a month, the last one being the rather disappointing Disney animated sci-fi adventure Treasure Planet. This two-part mini-series, which originally ran on SyFy in May of 2012, is a far more straightforward take on Stevenson’s tale.

With a star-studded cast that includes Eddie Izzard (Cars 2); Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy), and Donald Sutherland (The Hunger Games; Horrible Bosses; Moby Dick; Cold Mountain), the story follows young Jim Hawkins (Toby Regbo) who meets the pirate Billy Bones (David Harewood) at his mother’s inn. When Billy Bones dies leaving behind a treasure map and a group of angry, treasure hunting, bloodthirsty pirates in search of the map, Jim enlists the help of timid Dr. Livesey (Daniel Mays) to help him find the hidden treasure. They partner with the local squire, Trelawney (Rupert Penry-Jones) hiring a captain and commissioning a ship. Unfortunately for our protagonists, they also unwittingly hire on Long John Silver (Izzard) and his underlings as their crew, the very pirates who were after John and the treasure map he carries. Silver is nursing secret plans to mutiny and steal the treasure while Squire Trelawney may have his own nefarious plans as well. It will make for a dangerous adventure on the high seas for all involved.

Frankly, I didn’t think I could come across a Treasure Island adaptation that I dislike more than Disney’s Treasure Planet, but this is it. At least the latter had some really great animation and was good for what it was. This is simply dull and sucks the adventure and danger out of Stevenson’s story. Eddie Izzard doesn’t make for a convincing Captain Silver at all. The best performance in this series is by Philip Glenister (TV’s Mad Dogs; TV’s Life on Mars) as Captain Smollet. His absolutely natural grimace and stern demeanor makes him a natural – he would also be a natural fit in the role of Captain Bligh in a remake of Mutiny on the Bounty.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Colors in this VC-1 1080p/24 encodement from Vivendi Entertainment look spectacular, especially blues that really stand out like the azure seas, clear skies, and the piercing blue eyes of Elijah Wood. With that being said, there are parts of the image that suffer from banding. It can often be seen on those very same clear blue skies. Detail is uneven, at times looking sharp as a tack in close-ups, but other times looking just a bit soft. There are hints of video noise here and there as well. The image does have fairly good shadow detail, however.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

A fairly strong lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack is offered that is pretty good at surrounding listeners in the atmospheric sounds of the seas with the crush of waves and the creaking of the sail ship. There is some slight clipping detectable in dialogue, however, from time to time when voices get a bit louder.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The behind-the-scenes, “making of”- type featurettes are all rather brief and don’t get too in depth, but they do run the gamut on the series’ production. There is also an audio commentary that is more detailed if you’re looking for further information.

The supplements:

  • Commentary by Director Steve Barron and Actor Eddie Izzard
  • The Making of Treasure Island (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:03)
  • Cast Interviews (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • Eddie Izzard (00:02:54)
    • Elijah Wood (00:03:11)
    • Toby Regbo (00:02:08)
  • Philip Glenister & Rupert Penry-Jones (00:01:59)
  • A Tour of the Hispaniola (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:03)
  • Anatomy of a Stunt (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:15)
  • Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Treasure Island is just your average remake of this famous adventure novel. Despite the A-list cast, it is hindered by its poor screenplay, budget restrictions, and the restrictions of being a commercial television mini-series.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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