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SONY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Cody Cameron
Cast:
Dana Snyder, Matthew W. Taylor, Kirk Baily, Crispin Glover, Matthew J. Munn, Dana Belben, Jeff Bennett, Ciara Brav, Cody Cameron
Writing Credits:
David I. Stern

Synopsis:
Boog, Elliot and all their forest friends return with an all-new adventure that is their fastest and furriest yet – this time in a big top circus! When Boog’s buddies can’t make their annual guys-only getaway, he decides to take a trip by himself. Stumbling across a visiting circus, Boog switches places with a look-alike circus grizzly and takes over his part in the act. But when the circus decides to go back to Russia, it’s a race against time for Elliot, McSquizzy, Mr. Weenie and the gang to rescue Boog before it’s too late!

MPAA:
Rated PG

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Portuguese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
Spanish
Portuguese

Runtime: 74 min.
Price: $38.96
Release Date: 1/25/2011

Bonus:
• “Rabbit Splat Mode”
• “Boog’s Cannon Blast Game”
• Progression Reel
• Previews
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Open Season 3 [Blu-Ray] (2011)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 1, 2011)

Animated franchises never die – they just go the direct-to-video route. Such is the status of Open Season. The original 2006 flick made a mediocre $84 million, so the studio saw no reason to attempt another theatrical release. Apparently the 2008 direct-to-video Open Season 2 did well enough for another incarnation, though, so that ends us up with 2011’s Open Season 3.

Boog the bear (voiced by Matthew J. Munn) looks forward to his annual “guy’s only” vacation. However, all his pals find themselves bogged down with family responsibilities, so he ends up on his own. Rather than abandon his plans, Boog decides to make the trek solo.

Along the way, he gets lonely and feels elated when he sees a poster for a circus that features bears. When he happens upon that site, he meets Doug (Munn), another grizzly who wants to escape the circus. He tricks Boog into switching places with him, as Doug wants to live in Boog’s circumstance; while Book likes the idea of being with other bears, Doug prefers the notion that he’ll be the only grizzly in town. We follow their adventures in the various circumstances and watch the rescue that Boog’s friends eventually stage.

Given that I didn’t think much of the original Open Season - and never bothered with Season 2 - I went into Season 3 with low expectations. However, that doesn’t mean I felt resigned to a bad experience. I’ve seen direct-to-video sequels that surpassed their predecessors, so I figured there was a shot this one could be fun.

Alas, such vague optimism proved to be unfounded, as Season 3 can’t muster even the most minor pleasures. That doesn’t mean it’s awful, but it does mean that the movie lacks any remote sense of fun or adventure. It feels like something that takes a bunch of overused stories like Prince and the Pauper, tosses them into a blender and hopes a coherent, entertaining product will result.

It doesn’t. As I noted, I don’t expect much from a direct-to-video sequel to a pretty ordinary film like the original Open Season, but I’d like more than what we get here. A sense of cheapness infuses the entire project, from the animation to the voice cast. I don’t want to come down hard on the actors, as they do their best, but it’s a bad sign when a movie goes from established stars like Ashton Kutcher and Martin Lawrence – the first flick’s leads – to Joel McHale and Mike Epps – the guys who took over for Kutcher and Lawrence in Season 2 - to Matt Taylor and Munn here.

Again, I don’t intend this as a criticism of the actors themselves; indeed, I think career voice artists are usually better at that work than the celebs who’ve dominated animated movies for the last 20 years or so. However, I take it as a bad sign of a studio’s confidence in a project when they abandon any well-known performers. The cast list for Season 3 includes two names I recognized: Georgia Engel and Crispin Glover. Not exactly above the marquee folks, are they?

The cheapness affects the film in other ways, especially in terms of animation. The art itself looks fine, but the various elements don’t fit together well. There’s an awkwardness to the animation that makes it seem disjointed and rough. Mouth movements look off, and characters seem pasted onto the backgrounds. This isn’t awful animation, but it lacks a smoothness that would make it more effective.

If the movie boasted more creativity and wit, I’d be fine with the cast of unknowns and the lackluster animation. Unfortunately, Season 3 relies on too much slapstick and too many tacky jokes like the running bit about Fifi’s neutering. Not only did the movie never make me laugh, but also I failed to crack a smile at any of the flick’s gags.

Suffice it to say that if Open Season 4 ever materializes, I plan to skip it. While I didn’t think much of the original film, at least I found some pleasure in it. This sequel lacks even minor entertainment value.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus D+

Open Season 3 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This wasn’t a killer presentation, but it usually looked very good.

Compared to other CG animated Blu-rays, this one could be a little soft. That was a relative weakness, though, as most of the flick offered very nice clarity and delineation. I just thought that it wasn’t as consistently crisp as expected based on experiences with other CG efforts. The transfer lacked any moiré effects or jaggies, and no issues with edge haloes appeared. The image also failed to suffer from any print flaws, as it remained consistently clean.

Colors went nice. The film opted for a warm natural palette that seemed vivid and full; it gave us some appealing hues. Blacks were deep and dark, and shadows showed nice clarity. Though the image wasn’t stellar, it was strong enough for a “B+”.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it proved to be perfectly competent but not much more than that. The soundfield tended to be somewhat restricted, as the mix came to life only on a few occasions. Most of these occurred during the movie’s third act; that sequence offered a smattering of action beats that allowed the various channels to present good movement and activity. Otherwise, we got reasonably nice stereo music and a general sense of atmosphere; not much memorable information appeared, but the audio added positive presence.

Sound quality was always good. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, with no edginess or other issues. Music appeared lively and clear, while effects appeared accurate. They probably could’ve used a bit stronger low-end, but they remained acceptable. All of this felt like a good but not great “B-“ soundtrack.

Only a few minor extras flesh out the disc. Something unusual shows up via the Rabbit Splat Mode. This allows you to chuck virtual bunnies at the screen. Believe it or not, this actually ties into the story in a weird way. Kids might enjoy this silly activity.

In a similar vein, we get Boog’s Cannon Blast Game. This requires you to shoot five animals at a target in an attempt to free Boog. It’s clunky but more fun than I expected.

Next we find a Progression Reel that lasts one minute, five seconds. It shows the various stages of lighting, colors and other visual elements as the movie goes through various levels of completion. It’s a short but nice way to see the different steps.

The disc opens with ads for The Smurfs, Surf’s Up, Open Season, Open Season 2 and an Open Season-themed promo for 3D TVs. These also appear under Previews. No trailer for Season 3 shows up here.

Finally, a second platter provides a DVD Copy of Season 3 . If you want to own the film but aren’t yet Blu-ray capable – or if you want a portable edition - it’s a good option.

One shouldn’t expect much from a direct-to-video animated film, but I’d like to get something better than Open Season 3. It feels like cheap product that fails to provide even minor fun or wit. The Blu-ray comes with very good picture, decent audio and some minor supplements. Even big fans of the original film should avoid this forgettable, dull release.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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