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Blu-ray Review Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Ken_McAlinden

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Capsule/Summary **½



Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil gets the old gang back together from the original Hoodwinked! film with mixed results. The frenetic pace of the film's gags insures a decent number of laughs for most viewers, but while the first film compensated for its cheap-looking CG animation by pairing a similarly frenetic pace with a clever twisty plot that riffed on the Rashomon concept, this sequel moves in the direction of underestimating the viewer's intelligence and commits the unforgivable sin of artlessly bringing the film to a screeching halt on multiple occasions so its characters can "learn lessons" about the value of team work.



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Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil

Directed By: Mike Disa

Voice Cast: Hayden Panetierre Glenn Close Patrick Warburton, Joan Cusack, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Andy Dick, David Ogden Stiers







Studio: Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay

Year: 2011

Rated: PG

Film Length: 87 minutes

Aspect Ratio: 16:9



Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Release Date: August 16, 2011





The Film **½



Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil reunites most of the characters from 2005's Hoodwinked! for another romp through a fractured fairy tale land. Following the events of the first film, viewers learn that Red (Panetierre, replacing Anne Hathaway from the original film), The Big Bad Wolf (Warburton), Granny (Close), and Twitchy (Edwards) are all being employed by a group of crime fighters known as the Happy Ever After (HEA) agency under the direction of Nicky Flippers (Stiers). With Red away receiving special training from the mysterious "Sisters of the Hood", the HEA undertakes an operation without her to rescue kidnapped siblings Hansel (Hader) and Gretel (Poehler) from Verushka the Witch (Cusack). When The Wolf and Twitchy take a bit too much initiative, the mission is botched and the Witch escapes with both the children and Granny as hostages. This creates friction between The Wolf and Red, who must find a way to work through their differences if they are going to put together the clues necessary to locate and rescue Granny and the children.



With a marketing campaign and plot description that made it look like nothing more than a cheap Shrek knock-off, the original 2005 Hoodwinked! was a pleasant surprise due to a clever Rashomon-inspired plot that managed to integrate a satisfyingly twisty mystery with a frenetically paced series of gags lampooning fairy tale conventions. It was also helped immensely by a voice cast that managed to lend a good deal of personality to characters that were, to put it bluntly, hard to look at due to poor designs and cheap CG animation that looked like crude puppets with inflatable bladders in their faces. The film assumed a certain level of intelligence and attentiveness in the audience and repeatedly rewarded viewers who exhibited such characteristics.



Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, on the other hand, assumes the audience has the attention span of a gnat with ADHD, and only manages one decent twist over the entire length of its plot. It maintains a frenetic pace for its gags, which (faint praise alert!) made me chuckle more than the third and fourth Shrek films combined, and the voice cast is still an asset despite the loss of Anne Hathaway in the lead role. New additions to the cast, including Joan Cusack, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Brad Garrett, and yes, even Heidi Klum all contribute more than their share of funny bits. The assets, unfortunately are greatly outweighed by the liabilities, including the still awful character designs, the reliance on telling repeated variations of the same jokes (both from the first film and even over the course of this one), and, worst of all, the decision to stop the movie in its tracks at numerous points to hit the viewer over the head with awkwardly talky lessons about teamwork.


The Video ****


The 1080p high definition presentation approximates the film's original theatrical aspect ratio by filling the entire 16:9 frame and is encoded via the AVC codec. The presentation was generally very strong with near perfect renderings of the film's cheap and ugly animation. No sign of film grain or artifacts mar this digitally rendered feature.

The Audio ****


The DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless encoding of the film's soundtrack presents the solid if not spectacular sound mix for the film with excellent fidelity. The film is very dialog heavy, and as one would expect from a modern animated film, the dialog is well recorded and integrated into the mix. Surrounds and LFE provide some occasional kick to the film's several animated action set-pieces. No alternate language dubs are provided.

The Extras **


When the disc is first played, the viewer is greeted with the following skippable promos presented in AVC encoded HD video with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound:

  • Spy Kids: All the Time in the World Theatrical Trailer (2:24)

  • Rio Blu-ray/DVDTrailer (2:32)



Proper extras consist of a series of video features. All except for the "still gallery" are presented in 16:9 MPEG-2 encoded SD definition video with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound:



Music Videos (9:58 w/ "Play All) is a collection of the following three music promo clips:


  • Hayden Panetierre - "I Can Do it Alone" - Panetierre sits in front of a microphone and sings intercut with clips from the film

  • Lavay Cole - "You Know It" Cole raps surrounded by a group of dancers in a library intercut with clips from the film

  • Ceej - "Perfect Two" - Ceej strums acoustic guitar and sings in various outdoor locations, sometimes in a red hoody, intercut with clips from the film



The Voices (19:12 w/Play All) mixes behind the scenes footage of the voice recording sessions for the movie with interviews with the voice actors and director Disa covering both the process of voice acting for animation, details about the characters being voiced, and the particular strengths of each actor.


  • Hayden Panetierre as Red

  • Patrick Warburton as Wolf

  • Heidi Klum as Heidi

  • Wayne Newton as Jimmy Ten-Strings

  • David Ogden Stiers as Nicky



Storyboard Sequences (4:29 w/play all) includes story reel versions of two scenes from the movie. The temp track voices are clearly a step down from the voice actors in the finished film, but the pencil, ink, and occasionally painted artwork from the storyboards frequently exhibits more charm and expressive character than the actual finished CG animation. The two sequences are identified as "Bridge" and "HEA Invasion", and are viewable individually or via a "Play All" selection



Production Artwork is a stills gallery of 39 production art stills highlighting the designs of the film's characters and environments.



Hoodwinked Too! Video Game Teasers (:41 w/ "Play All") include two very brief teasers for Hoodwinked Too - themed games for mobile devices:


  • Red's Escape Mobile Game Teaser plugs the game available for iOS devices

  • Decoder Game Teaser plugs and shows a playable example of the sliding puzzle square game for Android devices.



Finally, this two-disc set also includes an SD DVD of the film which includes all of the subtitle options and special features available on the Blu-ray


Packaging


The disc is enclosed in a standard Blu-ray case with an extra hub on the inner left side allowing it to accommodate the SD DVD disc as well as the BD of the film. The only insert is a coupon for a free small cup of dippin' dots and/or $10 off of a $30 purchase of dippin' dots merchandise. The flipside of the coupon insert includes information on how to enter a Hoodwinked Too! - themed sweepstakes sponsored by dippin' dots.
 

Adam Gregorich

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I haven't seen the first one, but we watched this one. The 5yo twins really liked it and there was enough "over their heads" humor to keep their mom and I from being bored. I don't see there being a lot of repeat viewing for me, but the kids asked me to please buy it. The 3D version was just a couple of bucks more so I picked that one up, but haven't watched it in 3D yet.
 

Todd Erwin

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Not one of the better 2D to 3D conversions....

Originally Posted by Adam Gregorich

I haven't seen the first one, but we watched this one. The 5yo twins really liked it and there was enough "over their heads" humor to keep their mom and I from being bored. I don't see there being a lot of repeat viewing for me, but the kids asked me to please buy it. The 3D version was just a couple of bucks more so I picked that one up, but haven't watched it in 3D yet.

/t/314160/hoodwinked-too-hood-vs-evil-blu-ray-review#post_3843729
 

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