What can I say? I love 3D! From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content. I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite. That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT. I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky. However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation. These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves. I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum. My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released. As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.
Despicable Me 2
Product Release: December 10, 2013
Audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Running Time: 98 minutes
On A Scale 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 5
3D Separation: 5
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 5
As I begin to write my final review for this year, I find myself reflecting
upon all the 3D Blu-ray releases over the past 12 months. I am going
on record as saying that 2013 was an exceptional year for this format
and I am very happy to report that ends with one of the finest 3D releases
of them all...
Yeah, I couldn't wait until release day for Despicable Me 2. The original
Blu-ray was once at the very top of my Top Must Own 3D Titles list, and knowing
how much the animators favored pop-out effects, I was certain going into this
film that it would aim to please. I was not disappointed....and neither will you.
Picking up some short time after the original film, we find Gru (Steve Carell)
retired from being a super villain as he concentrates on being a father and a
legitimate businessman. You know, instead of blowing things up and creating
general havoc, he he's entertaining young kids at a Birthday party, dressed as
a fairy princess. However, that life suddenly comes to a screeching halt when
an agent named Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig) persuades Gru to help the Anti Villain
League hunt down a mastermind who has taken off with a secret formula that
turns innocent people into monsters.
With most all of the original cast and filmmakers returning for this sequel,
Despicable Me 2 aims higher than its predecessor thanks to the amount of
emphasis that is placed on its unusual stars, the Minions. This was a smart
thing to do given the fact that any scene with these lovable creatures manages
to get the biggest laughs, while the rest of the film sort of "hits" or "misses" when
it comes to trying to retain the magic of the original.
It becomes rather impossible to say anything negative about an animated
transfer like this that has been created entirely within the digital realm. It's
virtually flawless, with its vivid palette of colors and razor-sharp images that
beautifully detail the film's tremendous animation efforts. I really loved watching
the scenes that take place in the Minion tropical paradise. I think they show off
the most impressive levels of color from deep sky blues to the banana yellows of
the Minions themselves. Black levels are something to behold here as well,
particularly evident in young Agnes's (Elsie Fisher) hair or Dr. Nefario's (Russell
Brand) gloves. This is a transfer that is going to really make your display show
As for the 3D, it's got a lot going for it as well. First, there is an ample amount of
depth that separates foreground and background objects. Animation is perfectly
layered throughout the film so that certain objects (such as overhead light fixtures)
stand more prominently forward than everything else. The use of descriptive
computer overlay gives a very nice 3D effect. Of course, as with the original film,
Despicable Me 2 plays to its audience, taking every opportunity it can to throw
props outwards. From an inflatable pony, to unraveling party horns, to floating
shards of glass -- there is always something coming at the audience. Look at Gru's
nose and the way it always seems to poke itself out of the screen. Unfortunately,
outside of a few character hand extends, the outward reach seems rather limited
for the in-film content. The real deal comes during the ending credits (which you
must watch completely through), where various objects mishandled by the Minions
come the furthest forward. These are the real 3D moments to savor. I suppose
Universal was afraid viewers would skip the credits so they have included most (or all)
of the credit hijinks in the opening menu.
Ghosting issues are ever-so minor. In fact, outside of the ghosting on the opening
credits (same problem as the original film) and a bubble sequence during the
closing credits, I hardly noticed any issues on my active shutter display.
Despicable Me 2 features a 5.1 DTS-MA track that is just as engaging as the film
itself. Effects work their way effortlessly across the channels. Dialogue is clear
throughout while the film's music seems to get even distribution around the entire
sound field. LFE is very much present in some of the film's action sequences,
particularly those involving the flying magnet. There's a lot of toe-tapping musical
moments to enjoy here. I was most pleased that one of my favorite instrumentals
by Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra was included.
Despicable Me 2 arrives as a 3-Disc set (Blu-ray 3d+Blu-ray+DVD and Digital HD)
housed in a really cool lenticular cardboard slipcover that features a blown party
favor. There's a wealth of extra material that I really didn't have time to spend with,
but I did take the opportunity to watch one of the three included mini-movies (the
only one in 3D), Puppy. It's actually a very cute short that features great dimensional
depth (though no pop-out).
Despicable Me 2 falls a bit short of the original, but still remains quite funny thanks
to the time that is spent with its lovable Minions. I can't get enough of those little
guys and I look forward to their own spin-off feature in 2014.
Meanwhile, this is yet another "must have" release for anyone that wants to enjoy the
full potential their 3D display has to offer. Despicable Me 2 is just plain "fun" and it
makes for one of the very best 3D releases of 2013.
Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc.
Panasonic TC-P65ZT60 THX Certified 3D display
Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player
Denon 3311CI Receiver
Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers
SV Sound Subwoofer