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The Three Musketeers(2011)
The hot-headed young D'Artagnan joins forces with three rogue Musketeers in this reboot of Alexandre Dumas' story. They must stop the evil Richlieu and face off with Buckingham and the treacherous Milady.
For more about The Three Musketeers and the The Three Musketeers Blu-ray release, see the The Three Musketeers Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 5, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Logan Lerman, Matthew MacFadyen, Ray Stevenson, Milla Jovovich, Luke Evans, Christian Oliver
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
» See full cast & crew
The Three Musketeers Blu-ray Review
Not the one for all.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 5, 2012
We were the Musketeers. Now, we're just...us.
It's a technical accomplishment, an unquestionably grand picture of visual splendor and precision, the product of a multimillion dollar budget made by a crew obviously well-versed in the art of crafting a nearly impeccable recreation of 1600s Europe. Paul W.S. Anderson's (Resident Evil) The Three Musketeers delivers to the five-star level in terms of its technical merits, the movie a fine example of polished, big-budget, 21st century filmmaking. But that's pretty much the best of it. As grand as it may look, The Three Musketeers is also the epitome of the modern day style of superficial and skin-deep filmmaking. Once one gets past the scale and scope of the production, there's nothing left except hollow dialogue, flat characters, mindless action scenes, and an A-B-C plot. It's absolutely predictable and absolutely pointless. Aren't there enough movies already in circulation that only really discredit the source rather than bring it to life? Aren't there any hundreds of films that aim only for overly stylized action rather than plot? The Three Musketeers seems but an excuse to modernize a tale that needs no modernization. The movie features a Musketeer, in an early scene, rising from the water as if the inspiration was a ninja Benjamin Willard. Anderson favorite (and real-life wife) Mila Jovovich slides and slithers and swings and swats and sword fights around the frame in slow motion, avoiding booby traps as if she were Ethan Hunt or Virginia Baker during a bullet-time sequence from The Matrix, all while wearing a period dress that would hardly allow her to breathe, let alone perform action movie stunt work. Then there's the high-flying aerial combat between 17th century aircraft that basically look like blimps with warships slapped onto the bottom. The mantra for this film seemed to be "how cool can this movie be" rather than "how smart can this movie be?" The results speak for themselves.
The Three Musketeers -- Athos (Matthew Macfadyen), Aramis (Luke Evans), and Porthos (Ray Stevenson) -- plus one damsel in a dress called Milady (Milla Jovovich) -- have traveled to Venice for a little action and a big reward: plans for an airship drawn up by none other than Leonardo Da Vinci. The excursion proves a success. Yet as quickly as they claim their prize and as soon as they can celebrate their success, they learn that they have a traitor amongst them: Milady double-crosses the men and gives Da Vinci's plans to the English Duke of Buckingham (Orlando Bloom). A year later, the group has been disbanded by order of the conniving Cardinal Richelieu (Christoph Waltz), but don't tell upstart D'Artagnan (Logan Lerman), a Musketeer-in-waiting trained by his father, himself a former member of the famed society of French heroes. It's off to Paris young D'Artagnan goes to become a Musketeer, riding his steed, Buttercup, and heeding his father's advice to find trouble and make mistakes. His first mistake is nearly a killer: a run-in with the one-eyed Rochefort (Mads Mikkelsen), Captain of Cardinal Richelieu's guard, leaves him shot and at the end of a sword. The suave D'Artagnan is saved only by the graces of Milady, who proclaims him to pretty for death or disfigurement. Soon, D'Artagnan tracks down the three remaining Musketeers. They're broke and aimless, but when they fight valiantly together against incredible odds versus the Cardinal's guards, they are granted an audience with none other than King Louis (Freddie Fox) himself. As the Musketeers become more involved in the court's politics, they become central players in a dangerous conspiracy that could lead to a devastating war with England, a war only their skill and bravery can prevent.
Perhaps the best way to describe The Three Musketeers is to say that it's a Costume film with the most movement and loudest noises in cinema history. The picture attempts to intersect two completely different styles, the classic centuries-old story of treachery in a time of great ornateness with modern day kinetic action that's more about wires, digital aids, and camera trickery than real human motion or capabilities, a terribly odd combination to be sure. Nevertheless, this is Anderson's -- and one of 2011's -- most visually-arresting films. In that regard, it's a real treat and a commendable accomplishment worthy of Oscar nomination recognition for its art direction and costume design, though it probably failed to receive any nominations because it's otherwise too ridiculous to take seriously. Anderson's direction is unquestionably slick, too. He has an eye for this style, which works in the video-game inspired modern day world of Resident Evil but not so much in centuries-old France. The movie undoubtedly means well, and it's a relatively harmless little slice of escapism, but considering there are just so many other, better options out there that don't leave audiences scratching their heads and groaning at the out-of-place elements, bizarre plot lines, generic characters, and awful dialogue, The Three Musketeers, it would seem, just doesn't serve much of a purpose.
Indeed, there's absolutely nothing in The Three Musketeers that hasn't been done before, done better, and done with more purpose and adherence to genre/style combination norms. There's nothing wrong with bucking convention, but some combinations just don't work, The Three Musketeers and other, similar pictures like Wild Wild West proof positive that some genres are best left to the way they already are. As if the odd combination wasn't bad enough, The Three Musketeers doesn't really get anything else right, either. The plot is generic and the surprises hardly surprising. It's very linear and predictable, which makes a watch all the more agonizingly pointless. The characters are absolutely flat and their relationships the product of a poorly-conceived script. There's the "brash!" and "cocky!" good looking lead, the "sensuous!" and "treacherous!" femme fatale, the "chunky!" and "goofy!" fifth wheel (literally) Musketeer sidekick (by the way, why in the world have these stories always been called The Three Musketeers when there are four?). Then there are the singleminded villains, the pretty but otherwise worthless love interest for D'Artagnan, and the Musketeers themselves, who at the beginning parade around like Batman or The Hulk or some such nonsense but pretty much revert back to mere sword fighting masters for the rest of the movie. Every moment is but another tick towards the inevitable ending where a big battle yields victory for the good guys and a setup for the potential sequel. The Three Musketeers is the perfect example of a movie with no teeth, no originality, assembled from stock elements that no amount of visual or aural flash could improve upon.
The Three Musketeers Blu-ray, Video Quality
This one's ridiculously simple. The Three Musketeers looks fantastic on Blu-ray, no question about it. This is a dazzler, easily one of the nicest transfers yet in high definition. The image boasts breathtaking clarity. The digital photography never once appears flat or lifeless. On the contrary, it's clean but yields incredibly well-defined and sturdy textures. Fine detail is unflappably excellent. The period costumes spring to life with a level of authenticity and tactility really never captured to this level of 1080p precision. Facial textures appear complex, stone fašades immaculate, and even distant grasses sharp and well-defined. Colors are just as impressive. There's no end to the myriad of bright colors that appear throughout the film. Gold trim; blue, green, and purple garb; blue skies; and pretty much every other shade imaginable -- whether in bright daylight or at night -- is presented with balance, vibrancy, and realism. Black levels -- noted primarily in the opening thievery sequence -- are perfectly balanced, just the right shade of dark, never too bright and never crushing out fine details. Flesh tones are also balanced and true. There's not a hint of banding, blocking, aliasing, noise, or anything else that would detract from the image. This one dazzles from beginning to end, a true work of high definition art that ranks amongst the very best on Blu-ray.
The Three Musketeers Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Three Musketeers sounds just about as good as it looks. Summit Entertainment's DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack dazzles with its crisp definition and sonic precision. The track plays in a wide, almost cavernous, soundstage. Music is endlessly rich, naturally spaced, and plays with a heavy but balanced surround element. The track plays just as big even in quieter moments. Dialogue and slight sound effects -- the creaking of a large door, for instance -- as heard in spacious royal halls echo about with startling natural authenticity. General dialogue remains balanced and focused up the middle, even as it, too, plays with a rather big, cinematic flair. Minor but mood-critical ambient effects play in harmony, setting the stage for various scenes by building the listening area up with necessary elements to bring each scene to vivid life. Big sound effects are superb; strong winds and thunder dominate, and the big high-flying aerial action sequence comes alive with heavy cannon fire and even heavier explosions, the soundtrack practically sending splinters of wood and other damaged goods flying throughout the soundstage. For as chaotic as it often may be, everything is in its proper place, whether static center-focused sounds or in-transit and location-specific effects. This is a real treat, the perfect compliment to a beautiful transfer. Both together almost mask the movie's shortcomings, and The Three Musketeers is worth a watch on Blu-ray just for the technical presentation.
The Three Musketeers Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Three Musketeers contains a commentary, featurettes, deleted and extended scenes, and a fabulous PiP experience. Note parts of the featurettes are repeats from the PiP feature.
The Three Musketeers Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Three Musketeers might look great and sound wonderful, but it's otherwise a dreadful movie. Rather than a legitimate take on the old tale, this is a dumbed-down flick that fails to entertain, preferring fantasy and make-believe and eschewing even a semblance of a plot that audiences could take seriously. There's suspension of disbelief, and then there is just ridiculous. Just because something can be made a spectacle doesn't mean it should. Maybe sixth grade boys will like this movie, but there's far better out there for even slightly more discerning audiences looking for a way to spend their mindless entertainment buck. And for those attracted to the two things this movie does well -- set design and costuming -- there are other alternatives that are just as flashy and serve up a better story to boot. Summit Entertainment's Blu-ray release of The Three Musketeers does offer perfect video and audio to go along with a good array of extras. Nevertheless, just looking pretty isn't enough to recommend this disappointment as anything other than a rental, but do give it at least a rent so as to enjoy Summit's perfect video and audio.
The Three Musketeers: Other Editions
The Three Musketeers Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Exclusive Giveaway: The Three Musketeers - March 8, 2012
Blu-ray.com and Summit Entertainment are offering three Blu-ray.com members the opportunity to win a copy of Paul W.S. Anderson's The Three Musketeers, starring Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans, Ray Stevenson, Orlando Bloom and Milla Jovovich. The musketeers cross ...
• The Three Musketeers (2011) Blu-ray - February 6, 2012
Summit Home Entertainment will bring The Three Musketeers to Blu-ray in March. This retelling of the Alexandre Dumas classic stars Logan Lerman (3:10 to Yuma) as young D'Artagnan, whose quest for justice allies him with three former Musketeers (Matthew Macfadyen, ...
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