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The NeverEnding Story Blu-ray

United States
1468
21
33
Die unendliche Geschichte Warner Bros. | 1984 | 94 min | Rated PG | Mar 02, 2010

The NeverEnding Story (Blu-ray)
Large:


Video
Codec: VC-1 (23.07 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 2.0
Portuguese: Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles
English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Discs
25GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Playback
Region free

Price
List price: $14.98, Price history

Amazon: $9.29 (Save 38%)
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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
7.7
307
ratings.


Blu-ray rating
Video 3.5 of 53.5
Audio 3.7 of 53.7
Extras 1.4 of 51.4
Based on 15 user reviews

Movie appeal

 
Family100%
Fantasy84%
Adventure62%
Drama-
93%
popularity
3105
collections
90
fans




The NeverEnding Story

 (1984)

The NeverEnding Story Blu-ray offers solid video and audio in this enjoyable Blu-ray release

When young Bastian borrows a mysterious, ornately-bound book, he never dreamed turning a page would draw him into a shimmering fantasy world of racing snails, hang-glider bats, soaring luckdragons, puckish elves, a Childlike Empress, the brave warrior Atreyu and a slab-faced walking quarry called a Rock Biter.

For more about The NeverEnding Story and the The NeverEnding Story Blu-ray release, see the The NeverEnding Story Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.

Starring: Barret Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Tami Stronach, Thomas Hill, Moses Gunn, Alan Oppenheimer
Narrator: Alan Oppenheimer
Director: Wolfgang Petersen (I)

» See full cast & crew


The NeverEnding Story Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

The NeverEnding Story features a competent, at-times striking 1080p/VC-1 transfer; one that outclasses the standard DVD's dated, ungainly picture and, despite some lingering setbacks and inconsistencies, looks quite good. (All things considered.) Cinematographer Jost Vacano's haunting palette -- which descends further and further into darkness the closer Atreyu comes to the end of his journey -- is brimming with earthy browns, rich amber hues, wintry whites, lifelike skintones, and inky blacks. Although primary colors only appear on occasion, they arrive in force, granting blue flashes of lighting searing intensity, a deadly gateway's golden glow palpable warmth, and the spilled blood of a lunging beast a fittingly visceral edge. Moreover, contrast is stark but reliable, and depth is fairly convincing. If the presentation falters, it's in regards to detail. While many shots look fantastic, several extensive effects sequences, low-lit scenes, and dreary interiors don't fare as well, suffering from grain fluctuations and pulsing, middling delineation, minor print damage, and some intermittent softness. That's not to say there are any debilitating technical issues -- the film's grainfield is intact, noise reduction is used judiciously, there isn't any glaring edge enhancement, and eyesores like artifacting, aliasing, and banding aren't a factor -- but it's clear The NeverEnding Story didn't receive the sort of high-dollar overhaul it would take to eliminate the picture's prevailing issues.

I'm sure there will be those who balk at the presentation's at-times erratic, admittedly distracting graininess, its errant nicks and specks, or the manner in which the high definition transfer showcases every seam of the film's aging special effects, but I chose to focus on the richness of it all. Could it be more faithful? Perhaps, given any number of scenarios (a Blade Runner-esque miracle supervised by Petersen springs to mind). I'm just relieved Warner didn't slather the Nothing with noise reduction, toss some artificial sharpening at Artax and call it a day. Look at Atreyu's face when he speaks with Gmork, the Rock Biter's teary eyes when he describes how he lost his friends, the cracks and grooves in Morla's thick skin, the bristling fur on Falkor's scaly hide, the sandy surface of the Oracle statues, the mud-spattered overgrowth in the Swamps, the dust that flitters through the shafts of light in Bastian's hideaway, the frazzled crowds gathering round the steps of the Ivory Tower, Engywook's unruly beard, the tattered books in Mr. Koreander's shop, the paintings on the walls of an ancient ruin, the wrinkled, witchy face of the Nighthob... on and on. I'm sure some NeverEnding newcomers will shrug their shoulders here and there, but cinephiles and nostalgic filmfans will hopefully appreciate the qualities of the transfer.

UPDATE: After speaking extensively with one of our readers about the differences between the Dutch Blu-ray release and the US edition, I decided to compare the two. The results were interesting to say the least. The main differences? Contrast leveling, color timing and image brightness. Warner's transfer is darker and more foreboding, with sometimes oppressive blacks that occasionally veil Petersen's backgrounds in heavy shadow. The Dutch transfer is brighter, revealing more of the director's production design, albeit at the cost of slightly washed out hues. (An extremely helpful series of member-contributed screenshot comparisons are available in our forum's 'NeverEnding Story' thread.) Personally, I prefer the aesthetic of the US edition, but I can definitely see why others gravitate to the Dutch version. For me, the richness, saturation, and sinister, end-of-days atmosphere of the domestic remaster is more complementary to Petersen's tone and thematic pursuits. Warner's harrowing image makes Bastian and Atreyu's encounters more frightening, more dangerous and, most importantly, more unnerving. It's also worth noting that fine detailing is a bit crisper and foregrounds are cleaner in the US presentation, not to mention the fact that the import struggles with some minor artifacting, noise and other instabilities). Even so, the Dutch edition shouldn't be dismissed by any means. The import boasts more background and shadow detail in a variety of key sequences, chief among them an early meeting between the rock giant and his newfound friends, Atreyu's first arrival at the Ivory Tower, and several sequences involving Bastian and his school's attic.

Petersen inadvertently stirred up a small storm when he revealed Warner hadn't consulted him on the US Blu-ray release. However, because he didn't elaborate on the intended look of the film, fans have been left to wonder whether he would favor the dark domestic transfer or the brighter Dutch presentation. While I doubt Petersen would want his production design blotted away by overzealous shadows, I also doubt he would want his tone sacrificed to see more tufts of grass. Though he doesn't address The NeverEnding Story directly, ever-insightful Motion Picture Archivist Robert Harris had this to say on the issue of image darkness and the accurate preservation of a filmmaker's actual intent. In it, he explains that just "because something is exposed to a film negative's emulsion does not mean that it is intended to be seen during projection or electronic viewing." Or, more simply, "the fact that information exists on a negative does not mean that the viewer is intended to see it." His full analysis is invaluable to this debate, and I would strongly encourage everyone to read it. Still, if Petersen expressed specific dissatisfaction with Warner's transfer and its contrast leveling, rather than their treatment of him as a filmmaker, this would suddenly become a very different review. Director's intent is paramount.

So Until Warner decides to release a newly mastered, director-approved definitive edition, or until Petersen reveals exactly how the film should look, consumers will have to rely on their own tastes and preferences. I know my take-away isn't the chastisement of the US edition some feel is deserved, but I hope it brings attention to the differences between the two editions and offers readers a more comprehensive analysis of both NeverEnding Story releases.


The NeverEnding Story Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.5 of 5

Presented for the first time on home video with a 5.1 surround track (at least domestically), The NeverEnding Story boasts a solid DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that, while not the immersive sonic spectacle I was hoping for, still manages to impress. Dialogue is clean, crisp, and well-prioritized, regardless of whether it's shouted in the boggy mists of the Swamps of Sadness, whispered in the chilly air of the gnomes' Southern Oracle overlook, or barked in the dust-swept confines of a cave as Gmork prepares to strike. Likewise, LFE output is strong and hearty, lending welcome weight to the Rock Biter's transport and tenacity to the ravenous winds of the Nothing. The soundscape is overwhelmed on occasion -- crackling thunder, crumbling stone, and uprooting trees sometimes jumble together, resulting in some displeasing low-end distortion -- but the fault seems to lie with the original elements, not Warner's lossless efforts. Rear speaker activity is aggressive as well, allowing Klaus Doldinger and Giorgio Moroder's music to consistently envelop the listener, but many of the film's effects (ambient or otherwise) are merely culled from the front channels, resulting in a fairly artificial, somewhat shallow soundfield. Even so, Bastian's cries to the night sky have never sounded better, Atreyu's visits to the Ivory tower have never been so absorbing, and Falkor's roars have never been more satisfying. Though it suffers from a few issues, the overall experience is commendable, and one fans will be pleased to hear unfold.


The NeverEnding Story: Other Editions




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The NeverEnding Story Blu-ray, News and Updates



The NeverEnding Story: 30th Anniversary & The NeverEnding Story I... - June 10, 2014

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has announced the 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release of director/co-writer Wolfgang Petersen's The NeverEnding Story and the Blu-ray debut of director George T. Miller's The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter. Both films ...

NeverEnding Story Director Wasn't Told about Blu-ray - March 12, 2010

When 1980s fan favorite The NeverEnding Story came out on Blu-ray last March 2, extras were conspicuously absent from the disc - not even a trailer. It turns out that Warner Home Video never contacted director Wolfgang Petersen to let him know about the upcoming ...

Today on Blu-ray - March 2nd - March 2, 2010

If Hollywood needs something blown up, Roland Emmerich is the man to do it; he has made a very successful career in destroying the world over and over again for the amusement of film fans. For his latest film 2012 - which is out on Blu-ray today Emmerich uses ...

» Show more related news posts for The NeverEnding Story Blu-ray


The NeverEnding Story Blu-ray, Forum Discussions



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