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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Peter Lepeniotis
Cast:
Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson
Writing Credits:
Peter Lepeniotis, Lorne Cameron

Synopsis:
An incorrigibly self-serving exiled squirrel finds himself helping his former park brethren survive by raiding a nut store, a location that also happens to be a front for a human gang's bank robbery.

Box Office:
Budget:
$42 Million.
Opening Weekend
$19,423,000 on 3427 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$64,251,541.

MPAA:
Rated PG.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 86 min.
Price: $9.99
Release Date: 4/15/2014

Bonus:
• Deleted Scenes
• Storyboards
• “The Great Nut Heist” Featurette
• Animated Shorts
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
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-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


The Nut Job [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 24, 2019)

As someone who writes about movies, I try to discern logic among different patterns. This means I attempt to figure out why some films succeed while others flop.

On the surface, 2014’s The Nut Job had “bomb” written all over it. A fairly inexpensive animated flick, it hit screens mid-January 2014 while 2013’s big holiday releases still dominated theaters.

Job earned persistently bad reviews and looked like a movie that would sink like a stone. However, it took in $64 million US and $120 million total worldwide, figures that allowed it to turn a passable profit.

Though blessed with a superior August release date, 2017’s sequel did flop, as it pulled in a pretty weak $65 million worldwide. This makes a third Job less likely.

In the original Job, we meet Surly (voiced by Will Arnett), a squirrel who lives up to his name. Self-centered and anti-social, he refuses to participate in the community that other animals in his park form.

Fed up with his antics, these critters banish Surly and his mute rat pal Buddy. Unhappy with his exile, Surly plots a robbery at a nut store to feed the community and allow him to re-enter.

Wacky hijinks result, right? Yeah, though by “wacky”, I suspect I mean “eye-rolling and predictable”.

Because I’m a cheap bastard, I latch onto retailer reward programs with a tight grip. When Job debuted, Regal Cinemas offered a massive bonus if you went to the movie.

Despite the bad reviews, I did so. The siren call of the bonus points proved irresistible, and the film couldn’t be as bad as those brutal reviews indicated, could it?

Yeah, pretty much. I went with a friend, and she tried to get me to leave mid-movie, but I insisted we watch the whole thing because I hoped it would improve as it went.

It didn’t. Job starts poorly and never rises above a persistent level of sub-mediocrity.

On the positive side, Job boasts a pretty good cast. In addition to Arnett, we find Liam Neeson, Brendan Fraser, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Stephen Lang and a few other recognizable names.

None add much to their parts. I can’t claim the actors do anything to harm the movie, but they fail to elevate Job either.

Not that I think they could do much to fix this wholly uninspired effort. The movie’s $42 million budget must’ve mainly gone to the actors, as I can’t find anything else about the production that would seem to warrant the money.

Animation seems cheap and crude. Job comes with computer work that seems more akin to material from the late 90s or early 2000s, so it doesn’t match with circa 2014 standards well.

In addition to the uninspired animation, we find an uninspired plot and uninspired characters. Job comes with roles that rarely rise above the level of simple archetypes, and none of them can feel lively or engaging.

The “plot” follows formulaic paths and goes down a series of tiresome arcs. Anyone over the age of 10 knows where the tale will go and won’t discover a single surprise or clever moment along the way.

Honestly, it wouldn’t take much effort to make Nut Job a peppy, bright caper flick, but it barely tries. It seems happy to explore well-trodden paths and not attempt anything fresh or clever.

Footnote: a tag scene shows up midway through the end credits, and another short animated bit arrives at the conclusion of the credits.


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

The Nut Job appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image looked solid.

Sharpness worked well, as the movie boasted consistently detailed elements. No softness emerged in this tight, accurate presentation.

I saw no shimmering or jaggies, and edge haloes remained absent. The flick also lacked any print flaws.

Blue became the movie’s dominant hue. However, the film sometimes managed a broader palette, and the movie showed these colors in a vivid manner.

Blacks seemed dark and deep, while shadows appeared smooth and clear. Everything about the transfer pleased.

In addition, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked pretty well. The film included enough action scenes to add pep to the soundscape and make it an involving affair.

Music boasted nice five-channel presence, and the mix came with a lot of well-placed localized speech as well. The soundfield didn’t bring constant action, but it meshed together nicely and became a pleasing presence.

Audio quality seemed good. Speech was distinctive and natural, without edginess or other issues.

Music was perky and full, while effects appeared accurate and packed a nice punch. I felt this qualified as a “B+” mix.

Eight Deleted Scenes fill a total of five minutes, 20 seconds. As one can infer from the running time, none of these lasts very long. They offer minor tidbits with nothing memorable on display.

We also find Storyboards. This compilation spans two minutes, 42 seconds and shows a running sequence of art that resembles crude animation. It’s a good way to see the prep work.

With The Great Nut Heist, we locate a two-minute, six-second featurette with actor Will Arnett. Basically he describes the story and tells us the movie will be fun. It’s cheap promotional fare.

Two Animated Shorts follow: “Surly Squirrel” (10:52) and “Nuts & Robbers” (4:22). From 2005, “Surly” offers a primitive precursor to Job, while 2011’s “Robbers” provides a more direct teaser.

Of the two, “Surly” seems more interesting just for historical value. “Robbers” is much better animated but it seems like something intended to promote Job, and that makes it less interesting to me.

Finally, we get the End Credits Sequence. It just shows us the end credits performance of “Gangnam Style” as it appears in the final film.

I thought “Sequence” would give us the animation sans text, but nope – it really does simply duplicate the same segment in the finished movie. This makes it completely pointless.

The disc opens with ads for The Boxtrolls, American Girl: Isabelle Dances Into the Spotlight, Barbie: The Pearl Princess, The Little Rascals Save the Day, and Justin Bieber: Believe. No trailer for Job appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Job. It includes the two shorts but it lacks the other extras.

Even a good cast can’t redeem The Nut Job, a relentlessly mediocre animated tale. Nothing about the film brings life or fun, as the flick pursues trite plot and character areas with no wit or cleverness. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture and very good audio along with a smattering of bonus materials. Little kids might enjoy this dull effort but I can’t imagine it’ll entertain others.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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