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Puss in Boots - Blu-ray Review

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Puss in Boots - Movie Review

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3 Stars

With a little more zing to its art and a lot more zap than the laser brain shenanigans that the Shrek series has become, Puss in Boots manages to be an artful and fun spin-off.  It tickles the funny bone and hits the snooze button on all the standard sentimentalities.  It’s often funny and often lazy, but its attention to animation makes it quite the charmer that is worth a revisit or two.

Dressed in a sort of Zorro-esque costume and certainly harkening back to that swashbuckling series, Puss in Boots (the title character again voiced by Antonio Banderas) reintroduces us to the beloved character from the Shrek series with a bit of a beefy take on his personality and some tweaks in the back story we have previously been presented with.  Assassin?  No, not here in the prequeled pages of Tom Wheeler’s and Will Davies’s and Brian Lynch’s script.

Years before he meets Shrek and Donkey as a hired killer, the thief-in-training Puss in Boots has his eyes (and paws) on some extra special magic beans that have been just out of reach for most of his life.  Accompanied by the mischievous on-and-off again cracked friendship of Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) and the disarmingly alluring charms of streetwise Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), Puss in Boots follows outlaw couple Jack (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (Amy Sedaris) into a series of madcap adventures as he tries to steal the beans and reward the civilians with a golden goose’s enriched eggs.

Alliances and puns are tested and twisty tangos are performed as Puss and company discover just what it takes to be the heroes they believe they can be.  Produced by (and even voiced by in some instances) Guillermo del Toro and directed by Chris Miller (Shrek 3),  Puss in Boots doesn’t break any new ground in animation, but does manage to sparkle enough to be a pretty solid feature in of itself.  The Spanish villas and desert lows aren’t nearly as crisp as the locales seen in Paramount’s Rango, but do engage the senses enough to sparkle with interest.  Pretty good for Dreamworks considering the animation was outsourced to India.

Unfortunately, in the wake of the powerfully moving How to Train Your Dragon and the hysterics of the original Shrek, Dreamworks’s Puss in Boots feels a bit too minor to be anything but a satisfying time waster.  While it plays with many fairy tales and combines them into one narrative, the title character, so wonderfully voiced by Banderas, stole the show in Shrek 2 and deserves a much better story than the one these three writers came up with.

As enjoyable as the lightweight Puss in Boots is, when most of the humor comes from goofy gags and not from smart writing I certainly fear for the quality of any sequels if these writers think they gave it their all and won…

…but what do I know?

{2jtab: Film Details}

Puss in Boots - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG for some adventure action and mild rude humor.
Director
: Chris Miller
Writer: Tom Wheeler
Cast:
Antonio Banderas; Salma Hayek; Zach Galifianakis; Billy Bob Thornton; Amy Sedaris
Genre: Family | Animated | Comedy
Tagline:
Nine lives. One destiny.
Memorable Movie Quote: "You know what they do to eggs in prison? I'll tell you this: it ain't over-easy!"
Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
www.pussinbootsthemovie.com
Release Date: October 28, 2011
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 24, 2011

Synopsis: Long before he even met Shrek, the notorious fighter, lover and outlaw Puss in Boots becomes a hero when he sets off on an adventure with the tough and street smart Kitty Softpaws and the mastermind Humpty Dumpty to save his town. This is the true story of The Cat, The Myth, The Legend... The Boots.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Puss in Boots - Movie Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
3 Stars

5 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
4 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - February 24, 2012
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); Digital copy (on disc); DVD copy; Bonus View (PiP)

Dreamworks presents Puss in Boots in a fantastically rich 1080p transfer that is certifiably golden.  Hues and colors are beautifully deep and exhaustive in bright quality.  The fine detail loaded in every frame; in every movement; in every moment is overwhelming and certainly a reason to applaud solid animation.  Black levels are deep and consistently engaging as they center the picture with fine and even punctuation.   Scenery changes from sunny exteriors to smoky interiors and still the transfer delivers with eye-popping visuals that certainly give the lackluster story a boost to favorability.  The sound, presented here in a lively Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless soundtrack, rocks the audio levels with dynamic attention to highs and lows and a healthy balance in the front speakers for dialogue.  There is a quality to this soundscape that gives the environmental factors the space to be immersive and intense with sound effects and engaging moments of auditory quality.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Found on a feature called The Animator’s Corner, the picture-in-picture commentary is supplied by Director Chris Miller and Producers Joe Aguilar and Latifa Ouaou and is pretty extensive in its coverage of the making of the film.  The picture-in-picture commentary is bolstered by cast and crew members explaining the animation process. It’s a quality track that shows just how dedication the whole of animation is to quality.

Special Features:

With numerous features and a brand new animated featurette entitled The Three Diablos, Puss in Boots is the cat’s meow of blu-ray highlights and choice supplemental materials.  With games galore and plenty of interactive features, it certainly has every opportunity to entertain kids and adults alike. There’s a trivia track that pop-up tidbits of information about the film, kitty keyboarded renditions of fairy tales, an inclusive pop-up book, and a bunch of themed games to play.  But fans of the movie should relax and not worry about missing information, there are several featurettes that cover the interesting parts of the movie: the voice work, the look of the characters, and the progression of the main character.  The DVD and a digital version of the movie is also included.

The 1080p special features include:

  • Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos (13 min)
  • Purr-Fect Pairing: The Voices Behind the Legend (9 min)
  • Deleted Scenes (8 min)
  • Kitten to Cat (12 min)
  • Glitter Box Dance Off! (5 min)
  • Klepto Kitty (4 min)
  • A DreamWorks Fairy Tale
  • Puss' Paw Pouncing Challenge
  • The Animators' Corner
  • Trivia Track
  • Kitty Keyboard
  • Fairytale Pop-Up Book
  • Kitty Strikes Again
  • World of DreamWorks Animation

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