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FOX

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Chris Butler
Cast:
Hugh Jackman, Zack Galifianakis, Zoe Saldana
Writing Credits:
Chris Butler

Synopsis:
Mr. Link recruits explorer Sir Lionel Frost to help find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$5,944,950 on 3413 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$16,649,539.

MPAA:
Rated PG.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English Dolby Atmos
English Descriptive Audio
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish

Runtime: 94 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 7/23/2019
Bonus:
• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Chris Butler
• “Creating Mr. Link” Featurette
• “Bringing the Final Battle on the Ice Bridge to Life” Featurette
• “Animation Inspiration” Featurette
• VFX Breakdown Reel
• “Oh What a Mystery” Featurette
• “Making Faces” Featurette
• “Inside the Magic of Laika” Featurette
• Gallery
• Trailer & Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Missing Link [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 24, 2019)

Another in a mix of Bigfoot-related animated movies across a short release span, 2019’s Missing Link takes us back to 1886. There we meet Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman), a dashing investigator of mythological beings.

However, Frost’s peers don’t believe these creatures exist. They mock him and refuse to join the Optimates Club, a “society of great men” that Lord Piggot-Dunceby (Stephen Fry) leads.

Frost receives a letter that claims to lead to evidence that Sasquatch exists. Desperate to join the Optimates, Frost convinces Piggot-Dunceby to admit him if he can prove this.

Thus Frost goes to the Pacific Northwest, and he indeed meets Sasquatch, who he eventually names “Mr. Link” (Zack Galifianakis). It turns out Mr. Link wrote the letter himself.

Lonely, Mr. Link believes he can find more of his kind in Tibet, and he wants Frost to take him there. This leads to a perilous journey that also involves Adelina Fortnight (Zoe Saldana), an adventurer who used to date Frost.

The animation studio Laika produced their first big-screen stop-motion animated effort via 2009’s Coraline, and Link represents their fifth release. None of these set box offices on fire, but at least the first three - Coraline, 2012’s ParaNorman and 2014’s BoxTrolls managed to surpass $100 million worldwide.

2016’s Kubo and the Two Strings proved less successful, as it snared an unimpressive $69 million overall. Still, that figure looks terrific compared to the shockingly low $24 million total.

Why did Link flop so badly? I have no idea, as the film offers a fun, charming affair from start to finish.

Like all Laika films, Link comes with stellar animation. The material flows so smoothly that it becomes easy to believe Laika made it all in a computer.

They didn’t, and that means the visuals seem all the more remarkable. While the film uses some CG elements, Laika has perfected stop-motion animation, and Link remains a feast for the eyes.

Beyond that, it’s simply a lot of fun. Going into the movie, I lacked high hopes, mainly because the trailers made it look silly.

Those ads showed pretty much all the movie’s goofy/stupid moments. Some of those offer laughs, but the promos omitted the more clever/intelligent moments that manifest throughout the film.

Link comes with many of these insightful jokes, and it manages to develop its characters quite well. Mr. Link himself turns into a much more engaging, warm role than one might expect, and the others manage their own journeys as well.

As much as I appreciate the movie’s message and its character elements, the laughs become its primary asset. I’m a tough audience for comedies, but I chortled many times during the film, including one bit that literally left me giggling for a good five minutes.

All the actors do nicely with their parts. Galifianakis offers a sweet tone for Mr. Link and he also plays the loneliness well, while Jackman tempers Frost’s bravado with depth as well.

Does Link offer an animated classic? No, but it touches all the bases: good acting, solid "message" story, strong comedy, and exciting action.

Link kept me thoroughly entertained the whole way and I felt sad to see it end, as I liked the whole experience enough that I wanted it to continue. What more could I ask?

Footnote: no added scenes show up during/after the end credits, but some minor animated tidbits do arise.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Missing Link appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. We got the high-quality presentation we expected.

Sharpness looked positive. Minor softness materialized in a few shots, but those remained infrequent and modest.

No issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and I saw no signs of edge haloes. Source flaws remained totally absent as well.

Colors worked fine despite an orientation toward orange and teal. Other tones showed up as well, so expect a fair amount of purple, red, and additional hues. These came across with nice vivacity.

Blacks were dark and deep, and I thought shadows seemed smooth and clear. This was a very good transfer.

Though not killer, the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack also worked well, as the movie demonstrated good range and activity. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the forward channels did the most damage, as they showed nice movement and integration.

The surrounds offered a solid level of involvement as well, as the movie packed a lot of action scenes to add to the proceedings. Moments like a fight on a ship in the stormy seas brought strong power, for instance.

Audio quality was fine. Speech was consistently natural and concise, without edginess or other issues. Music appeared bubbly and bright, while effects showed good power.

Those elements offered positive accuracy and heft throughout the movie. The track suited the film and added impact to the proceedings.

We get a mix of extras here, and we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Chris Butler. He presents a running, screen-specific look at story/characters, cast and performances, influences and inspirations, music, editing, production and costume design, animation, and other domains.

Lively and charming, Butler makes this a fine commentary. He covers a broad array of subjects and does so with wit and candor. Expect a top-notch chat from Butler.

From there we find a bunch of brief featurettes, a domain that includes “Creating Mr. Link” (one minute, 23 seconds), “Bringing the Final Ice Battle on the Bridge to Life” (1:46), “Oh What a Mystery” (2:25), “Making Faces” (0:46) and “Inside the Magic of Laika” (2:46).

Across these, we hear from Butler, puppet fabrication supervisor John Craney, animation supervisor Brad Schiff, rigging supervisor Ollie Jones, visual effects supervisor Steve Emerson, CEO/producer Travis Knight and actors Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, and Zack Galifianakis.

The clips examine character design and creation and animation. They’re too short to tell us much, but they bring some good glimpses of the production stages.

A piece called Animation Inspiration occupies three minutes, 44 seconds and shows a comparison of the final film with various storyboards, test animation and color scripts. It allows us to view the way the planning art came to the screen.

We can watch “Inspiration” with or without commentary from Butler. He gives us useful notes about the footage.

A VFX Breakdown Reel spans six minutes, five seconds and includes notes from VFX supervisor Steve Emerson. We watch animation at various stages of effects completion in this fun, educational compilation.

Under Gallery, we see 24 photos. These give us a look at the animators at work.

The disc opens with an ad for Breakthrough. Sneak Peek adds promos for The Miracle Season and Dog Days. We also find a trailer for Link.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Link. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

A delight from start to finish, Missing Link brings a terrific animated adventure. With a fine cast, fun action and plenty of laughs, it soars. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio along with a decent roster of bonus materials. A terrific film, Missiing Link deserved a much bigger audience than it earned.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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