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Megamind - Blu-ray Movie Review

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Megamind Movie Review

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4 stars

Tired of the Megamind marketing blitz that’s been saturating the TV airwaves and Internet digital bits for the better part of the last eight months? From partnering on Justin Bieber concerts to sponsoring the baseball World Series, it’s been nothing short of staggering to imagine how much money Dreamworks has spent on promoting this thing. What’s even more astonishing however, is that in spite of all the money spent, they still weren’t able to get across the idea that Megamind is actually quite different from most of the other recent films it so closely resembles at first glance.

The trailers and advertising spots give the impression that Megamind is just another coattail hopper, looking to ride the wave of motion pictures (both animated and live-action) that center around masked avengers or caped crusaders. But Megamind is actually a bit different from most super-hero movies in that it tells its story from the viewpoint of the villain.  Not a totally unique idea, as others have done it – Despicable Me most recently comes to mind - but regardless, it’s difficult to create an effective super-villain, while also making the character likable. The film also kicks around the idea that good and evil can’t exist without each other. By effectively pulling off these ideas with Megamind, the filmmakers have created a clever little send-up to super-hero films that is just downright entertaining to watch.

A lot of the fun also comes from the colorful cast of characters voiced by a star-studded stable of popular actors. The titular anti-hero is voiced by Will Ferrell, who speaks with that stereotypical robotic Marvin the Martian delivery. But he also adds a goofy Shakespearian inflection while also randomly mispronouncing basic words. Funny stuff. He’s a blue extraterrestrial who, like his archenemy Metro Man (Brad Pitt), is packed into a capsule by his parents as an infant and jettisoned towards earth as their home planet begins to disintegrate into a massive black hole.

Playing on the familiar nature vs. nurture debate, the story finds additional lift by exploring what would happen if one of the infants were to land in the lap of luxury and the other in a bad place. As expected, Metro Man ends up with good-hearted farmer folk, and Megamind lands in a prison for the criminally gifted. Naturally, super powers honed in an upper-class home become focused on doing good, while equivalent powers polished behind bars go in an entirely different direction. Nobility and heroism vs. greed and lust for power… let the best man win.

Pitt’s Metro Man, built like a caped Dudley Do-Right, is blessed with handsome good looks and everything a hero would need: super strength, laser vision, and the ability to fly. He’s a true hero in MetroCity, which he protects from the evil-doings of his bumbling archenemy. But when he’s finally defeated by his adversary and sent to an early super-hero “retirement,” Megamind is left to wonder if a villain can be a villain without an enemy. Now free to run rampant through the streets of MetroCity, Megamind realizes that mischievousness without a thwart is a whole lot less interesting… if not entirely impossible. “The crime business is now just a bit too easy,” he thinks, so he hatches a scheme to create a new hero that will be even more formidable than the previous one. But naturally, that plan also goes awry when TV reporter, Roxanne Ritchie (Tina Fey) and her cameraman (Jonah Hill), are caught in the crossfire. With no Metro Man to save the day, it’s up to Megamind himself to eventually realize that not all villains are cold-hearted.

A big success by director Tom McGrath, and writers Alan J. Schoolcraft and Brent Simon was keeping the film light and fun by remembering that characters – even villains – must always be endearing and loveable to the audience. We like to root for the bad guy. Pixar has mastered the concept, now DreamWorks successfully follows suit.

Do yourself a favor by ignoring the film’s trailers and onslaught of ad spots that inadvertently paint Megamind as just another tighted candidate looking for a free ride. While not a perfect film by any means – its lack of catchy musical numbers and a questionable shift of focus in the film’s latter half knock it down a few pegs – the lively cast and interesting flip on the superhero concept make it a fun time at the movies for all ages.

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{2jtab: Film Info}

Megamind Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG for action and some language.
Director
: Tom McGrath
Writer
: Alan J. Schoolcraft, Brent Simon
Cast:
Will Ferrell; Tina Fey; Brad Pitt
Genre
: Animated | Family
Memorable Movie Quote:
"All men must choose between two paths. Good is the path of honour, friends and family. Evil... well, it's just cooler. Hit it!"
Distributor: DreamWorks Animation
Official Site:
www.megamind.com
Release Date: November 5, 2010
Blu-ray Release Date:
March 1, 2011.

Synopsis: Megamind is the most brilliant super–villain the world has ever known…and the least successful. Over the years, he has tried to conquer Metro City in every imaginable way – Each attempt, a colossal failure thanks to the caped superhero known as “Metro Man,” until the day Megamind actually defeats him in the throes of one of his botched evil plans. Suddenly, the fate of Metro City is threatened when a new villain arrives and chaos runs rampant, leaving everyone to wonder: Can the world’s biggest “mind” actually be the one to save the day?

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{2jtab: DVD/Blu-ray Details}

Megamind Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

3 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
3.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - March 1, 2011
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); DVD copy; Bonus View (PiP)

Well, here’s the bad news: the transfer is not altogether perfect and, at times, annoyingly unbalanced in its sheen. The 1080p transfer starts out fine, but quickly begins to wobble in consistency and then that pesky banding begins at the edges of the picture. This doesn’t go away anytime soon. The detail of the picture is essentially rendered void with a sort of shimmering effect that ruins depth, making this transfer insanely flat for an animated feature. The deep blacks are strong throughout, but there does appear to be some color drops throughout the blu-ray. Yet, the picture’s problems are buoyed up with an amazing field of lossless sound presented in Dolby TrueHD 7.1.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Dubbed “The Animator’s Corner”, the commentary is provided through (and without if preferred) the use of the Picture-in-Picture format which accesses the entire disc’s special features as you watch this version of the film.  The interviews are conducted with director Tom McGrath, producers Lara Breay and Denise Nolan Cascino, and writers Alan Schoolcraft and Brent Simons.

Special Features:

These animated films seem to always bring the value to their releases. Megamind is no different, there is a ton of bonus material included here – including interactive games for the kiddos. This release also has a brand new animated short featuring a new Megamind adventure. Full of fun interviews and interesting looks at the art and animatics of the film, Megamind is full of supplemental material, some essential, some just for fun (a Megamind rap?), but all a welcome addition to the festivities of the film.

The Special Features are as follows:

  • Meet the Cast of ‘Megamind’ (10 min)
  • Deleted Scene ‘The Toothbrush’ (2 min)
  • Inside Megamind's Lair (7 min)
  • AnimatorMan (2 min)
  • You Can Draw Megamind with Andy Schuler (13 min)
  • Mega Rap (1 min)
  • The Reign of Megamind -- Video Comic Book
  • Megamind: The Button of Doom (16 min)
  • Comic Creator
  • Behind the Mind
  • World of DreamWorks Animation
  • Spot the Difference: A Game
  • Trivia Track
  • Previews
  • DVD Copy

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