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Despicable Me 2: THE HTF 3D ADDICT REVIEW

Universal

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#1 of 9 Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 11 2013 - 09:43 AM

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Despicable Me 2

 

Studio: Universal

Product Release: December 10, 2013

Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Running Time: 98 minutes

Rating: PG

 

post-269895-0-13032800-1364832432.jpg

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.

 

post-269895-0-00281800-1386779248.jpg

 

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.

 

post-269895-0-88873700-1386779266.jpg

 

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

its worth.

 

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.  

 

post-269895-0-20164900-1386779285.jpg

 

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.

 

post-269895-0-66310200-1386779305.jpg

 

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).

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

post-269895-0-21403000-1386779323.jpg

 

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. 

 

Equipment

 

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


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 9 Richard V

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Posted December 11 2013 - 11:40 AM

Picked it up last night.  I too, LOVE THE MINIONS!!!  They are just too hilarious every time they appear on screen.


See you at the pah-ty, Richter.

#3 of 9 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 11 2013 - 11:43 AM

I just found myself chuckling throughout this film.

 

It is very funny.

 

I also was so moved by the minions that I placed an order for this....

 

minion.jpeg

 

Click Here

 

This should look cool in my home theater room.  There are other

Minions available, but I like Dave the best.


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#4 of 9 Aaron Silverman

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Posted December 11 2013 - 12:07 PM

I'm going to assume that some sort of automated spell-checker converted "Gru" to "Guru" throughout your review. :)


"How wonderful it will be to have a leader unburdened by the twin horrors of knowledge and experience." -- Mr. Wick

#5 of 9 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 11 2013 - 12:13 PM

I'm going to assume that some sort of automated spell-checker converted "Gru" to "Guru" throughout your review.

 

It sure did, and I didn't catch it in the final proofread.

 

Thanks, Aaron. I made the corrections.


Ronald J Epstein
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#6 of 9 Johnny Angell

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Posted December 11 2013 - 07:25 PM

Methinks an update to THE list is forthwith.
Johnny
www.teamfurr.org
But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#7 of 9 Richard V

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Posted December 11 2013 - 08:02 PM

I just found myself chuckling throughout this film.

 

It is very funny.

 

I also was so moved by the minions that I placed an order for this....

 

attachicon.gifminion.jpeg

 

Click Here

 

This should look cool in my home theater room.  There are other

Minions available, but I like Dave the best.

 

Phil is my favorite, but I love them all.


See you at the pah-ty, Richter.

#8 of 9 DavidJ

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Posted December 11 2013 - 09:30 PM

Thanks for the review Ron. I enjoyed this one in theaters and picked up the 3D version of it yesterday, but haven't had the chance to watch it. I'm glad to hear it's good. I almost didn't get the 3D version because of all the different options, retailer exclusives, etc., but eventually did and it sounds like I'll be glad I did. 



#9 of 9 Stephen_J_H

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Posted December 12 2013 - 02:21 PM

This is under the tree for my youngest this year. He loved it in theatres and will love it at home.


"My opinion is that (a) anyone who actually works in a video store and does not understand letterboxing has given up on life, and (b) any customer who prefers to have the sides of a movie hacked off should not be licensed to operate a video player."-- Roger Ebert





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