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 September 5, 2003


DVD Of Light, Part I
Purple_Dave:


I think the worst part about getting this so early was having to wait almost eight hours before I could open it so I could photograph it with the coupon still attached. If you buy both the DVD and either the MAKUTA set or the TAKANUVA set at the same time, you can redeem the coupon for $2 off that purchase.

The front cover features a holofoil image of TAKANUVA standing before the MASK OF LIGHT, which makes for a very eye-catching image that should (hopefully) stand out on the store shelves. The back cover lists the eight bonus features (if you want to read them, check out the Archive) and offers a brief description of the setting of the movie, though it, thankfully, doesn't spoil any more details than the teaser movie that was released on the official website.

Also tucked inside the DVD case is a small brochure that's chock full of product details for some of the sets released over the last year, the upcoming video game and novels, a clue for the SEVENTH TOA contest, the Nike shoes, and the TOA NUVA clock and watch. Also found within are coupons for LEGOLAND California and the upcoming TOA NUVA toothbrushes, and a brief glimpse at what the 2004 lineup holds in store for us (I haven't been authorized to reveal it yet, but trust me, it looks like it will blow all of the previous stories away).

The movie itself is excellent (and you can believe me when I say that because I'm not trying to sell you a copy), though a bit short for my tastes at only 74 minutes. The CGI work was designed to lean more towards a feel of realism and less computerized robotica aside from the actual characters. Many of the creatures seen within actually do have a half-robot/half-animal look to them, especially the RAHKSHI. If you weren't intimidated by their models, you probably will be by the movie versions, which resemble a cross between Giger's Alien, the Sarlaac Pit from SW:ROTJ, and the sandworms from Dune. Amazing attention to detail can be seen in such things as the various ways that the mouths move (they don't all work the same way), the way the environment moves around the characters, and the way the various characters' powers are represented in visual form. The story (which I can't reveal at this time) plays very well around the personas that we've come to know from the comic books, online games, and various other sources. After the PowerPack CD, which never really felt like it had anything to do with a tropical island full of techno-organic life, I was thrilled to experience a full dedicated orchestral score that was tailored very well to fit the action within the movie.

If nothing else, the commentary track is enough reason to opt for the full DVD version over the VHS. Featuring the insight of David Molina and Terry Shakespeare (yes, he is a relation), a variety of interesting tidbits are tossed at the viewer, explaining much of the thought that went into designing the CGI version of MATA NUI. While it's common knowledge that the CGI forms were designed to appear as if they were the inspiration for the actual toys, one tidbit from the Directors' commentary is that GRAALOK and the GUKKO bird actually were, as neither model had been designed as a toy when they started animating the script. An odd thing that I did notice is that it appears the two Directors did their commentary before the final cut was done, as the soundtrack from the final fight scene onwards lags a bit behind the visuals, though it matches perfectly if you watch it with the original movie soundtrack.

I did spot a few visual easter eggs hidden within the movie. The one that's commonly known is that the MASK OF LIGHT has writing on the interior surface. I was able to decode most of it, but the middle two letters in the third word are very hard to make out clearly, so I'm a bit uncertain as to what it actually says. One other egg is hidden in the end credits, though I'll leave that to you to find. Speaking of the credits, however, there is a section proclaiming Special Thanks to a variety of people, and two names that are well-known to MoD readers can be found within that list.

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If you want to see the whole movie, click right here.

 
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