- Apr 24, 2006
- Charlotte, NC
- Real Name
- Matt Hough
Perhaps the least ingratiating or creative entry in the DreamWorks Animation canon, Tim Johnson’s Home borrows a bit from E.T. and other sci-fi films and television shows in a vain attempt to create a charming, heart-warming fish-out-of-water comedy. It’s all very pleasant and family safe, but the raucous sense of mischief which has often marked DreamWorks’ particular animated features is barely present this time out, and the animation is among the least detailed and impressive of any of their products. The company really seems to be struggling to connect to an audience that it once had in its hip pocket.
Studio: DreamWorks Animation
Distributed By: Fox
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DD, French 5.1 DD
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Run Time: 1 Hr. 34 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy, UltraVioletkeep case in a slipcover
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Release Date: 07/28/2015
The Production Rating: 3/5
Fleeing from their sworn enemy the Gorg, an alien race known as the Boov have chosen Earth as their refuge. Leader Captain Smek (Steve Martin) has all humans deposited into Australia so the Boov can set up shop on the planet on their own terms. Misfit alien Oh (Jim Parsons), however, in trying to make friends when no one around him cares to get to know him, sends a text message throughout the galaxy announcing a party he’s planning to throw simultaneously alerting the Gorg to the Boov’s whereabouts. Announced as a traitor, Oh must flee from his own race and while on the run meets the one human left behind after the transferal, a pre-teen named Tip (Rihanna) who’s just as lonely and misunderstood among her neighbors as Oh is with his people. Oh promises to reunite Tip with her mother (Jennifer Lopez) in Australia, and if he can get to a terminal, he can cancel his party invitation before it reaches the Gorg and brings doom on them all.
DreamWorks has dipped into this misfit well many, many times in previous movies like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, even their first foray into CG animation Antz (which happens to have been directed by Tim Johnson who also helms this picture). The script by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember based on the novel The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex features a fair share of comic missteps for Oh (sampling urinal cakes and “lemonade” in a gas station bathroom are among the funnier but still obvious gags), and the gradual building of trust and feeling between the two misfits Oh and Tip follows predictable paths but is nevertheless admittedly sweet and involving. But the plot strands seem very simplistic this time out, and major set pieces like Oh and Tip’s escape from their pursuers in Paris and the climactic face-to-face between Oh and the Gorg leader (Brian Stepanek) don’t have quite the snap and thrill that can be found with the usual DreamWorks hullabaloo. Additionally, while there is less raunch here than in the previous pictures (they do manage to squeeze in one fart joke as Smek consumes a football), the humor quotient is undoubtedly reduced in this entry.
Using a kind of fractured syntax and some odd English euphemisms, Jim Parson’s Oh is somewhat off-putting in the early going but grows into a more lovable and understandable creature later (the purple-colored Boov change color according to their moods so when they’re green, they’re lying; red when they’re angry making for one of the more stylish decisions made for the animators). Rihanna’s Tip is feisty and often implacable (as pre-teens have a tendency to be), but we do sense the loneliness she’s feeling and the hurt in her eyes and heart that she doesn’t fit in anywhere. Jennifer Lopez offers a warm portrait as mother Lucy. Matt Jones as Oh’s “best friend” Kyle (he’s really just one of the few who will speak to him) gets off a few funny lines. Steve Martin steals all of his scenes as the outwardly brave/inwardly cowardly commander Smek. As you can see, the movie seems underpopulated as well as being a bit deficient in humor and plot complexity.
Video Rating: 5/5 3D Rating: NA
Framed at its theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and offered in 1080p resolution using the AVC codec, the transfer is as solid as a rock with superb sharpness, outstanding and fiercely stable color, and consistent contrast throughout. Despite bright, bold colors, there is no blooming. There is no banding present, and the black levels of space are rich and inky. The movie has been divided into 24 chapters.
There is also a 3D version of the film shown in theaters available on Blu-ray.
Audio Rating: 4/5
Despite a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 audio track, this is one of the least aggressive sound mixes available for a CGI animated feature. While there is directionalized dialogue used on occasion (most of the speech has been sent to the center channel) and the succession of sixteen pop songs (including efforts by stars Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez) and the background score by Lorne Balfe and Stargate get a nice spread through both the fronts and rears, atmospheric effects seem a little underpowered in the mix, and bass which is often a hallmark in DreamWorks’ pictures isn’t especially impressive here apart from the one climactic use of it.
Special Features Rating: 3.5/5
Best Party Ever! (1:01, HD): an introduction to the bonus features on the disc.
Oh’s Shake Your Boov Thing (2:56, HD): Oh gets down and boogies for your entertainment.
“Feel the Light” Music Video (4:10, HD): co-star Jennifer Lopez performs one of her songs used in the movie.
“Feel the Light” Lyric Video (2:04, HD): sing-along lyrics are provided for the Lopez tune.
Oh’s Boovy Jukebox (28:09, HD): the viewer can watch any or all of the sixteen background song sequences in the movie.
Oh’s Party Planning Tips (4:04, HD): Oh offers suggestions for making a super special party of your own.
Oh’s Costume Party (HD): an interactive feature in which the user can dress both Oh and Smek in special colors and attire.
This Is Being Boov (2:53, HD): a quick guide to the characteristics of the typical member of the Boov civilization.
Almost Home (4:08, HD): an entertaining animated short showing other worlds the Boov tried before deciding on Earth featuring Steve Martin as Smek.
Testing Lab (2:04, HD): the Boov try some typical Earth items in their lab to discover their usefulness.
Deleted Scenes (26:05, HD): director Tim Johnson introduces each of the five planned scenes that didn’t make it into the finished film featuring some CG animation and hand drawn storyboards.
Be an Artist! (22:41, HD): DreamWorks animator Andy Erekson offers detailed instructions on drawing three different characters from the film.
Boov Pop! Mobile Game (0:38, HD): instructions on the downloadable game app for the movie.
Stars of Home (1:32, HD): a ridiculously brief bit of talk about their characters from the film’s stars Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, and Jennifer Lopez.
Gallery (HD): two dozen color stills from the movie which the viewer can step through.
Theatrical Trailer (2:26, HD)
Promo Trailers (HD): Peanuts, Penguins of Madagascar, DreamWorks TV Animation.
DVD/Digital Copy/Ultraviolet: disc and code sheet enclosed in the case.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Home is certainly a pleasing animated family comedy, but it’s perhaps the least memorable of all of DreamWorks’ cartoon feature efforts with neither graphics work, sound, or comic inspiration especially notable this time out.
Reviewed By: Matt Hough
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