Despicable Me 3 - 4K Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    Despicable Me 3

    [​IMG]

    Movie: :3stars:
    Video: :4.5stars:
    Audio: :4.5stars:
    Extras: :3stars:
    Final Score: :4stars:



    [​IMG] Movie

    Universal doesn’t have a WILD amount of hit animated film, but they struck gold with 2010’s Despicable Me. Like many of these animated adventures, the story line is cute, and the characters solid, but what really makes the films work is the side characters (something Disney was a master of). The minions were the single greatest appeal of the first (and 2nd) film, and even branched out on their own to create a solo film (that did only so-so) in style. Mini movies were created, and Illumination studios (a sub set of Universal) has made BILLIONS off the franchise. I loved Despicable Me and really enjoyed Despicable Me 2, but felt a bit worn out by the time the Minions Movie came out a few years back. Despicable Me 3 follows in the traditions of the first few movies and regurgitates the same father/daughter bonding mometns, combined with Gru’s love for villainy to create another adventure. The only thing is, the movies are wearing a bit thin, and there’s not a while lot of adventures left to be had that was as emotional and lovable as the 2010 smash hit. The third film in the franchise (4th if you you count the Minion’s solo movie) is cute and fluffy, but like cotton candy, not a whole lot of actual depth to it.

    Gru (Steve Carell) and his new wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) are still working as good guys for AVL, only to be foiled by one Balthazar Bratt (South Park’s one and only Trey Parker), a megalomaniac villain who once PLAYED a child villain on an 80s sitcom. The only thing is, Balthazar never actually got over BEING a child star and lives his live trying to fulfill the destiny of his old persona. No matter how imbecilic he may seem, Balthazar is smart enough to elude Gru and Lucy, effectively causing the crime fighting duo to get fired. Now that Gru and Lucy are gone from the AVL, they have to find out what their purpose in life is. Lucy is desperately trying to get an “in” with Gru’s adopted daughters, but she’s having a tough time with this step mom business. Gru, on the other hand, is going through a bit of a slump. He’s been fired from being a good guy, and he has no desire to go back to villainy, leaving him with very few options.

    When Gru finds out that he has a twin brother Dru (also played by Steve Carell), he and the family head off to the little island where his long lost brother lives to reconnect. Dru is everything that Gru is not. He’s got hair, he’s rich, AND he’s a perpetual optimist. The one thing that he’s not, is a villain. However, that is not by choice, and Dru desperately begs Gru to teach him the tricks of the trade so that he can continue the family legacy of being the greatest super villains on earth. Against his better judgment, Gru agrees to teach Dru the art of villainy, as long as the person that they are stealing from happens to be none other than Balthazar Bratt himself.
    [​IMG]
    Despicable Me 3 is a fun little film, and has a lot of fun at the expense of other, bigger, films (there’s a wink and a nod to the minions passing by a couple of clown fish that will have animation fans chuckling at the prowess that the simple series has gained by now), but overall it’s coming to the end of the road for the stretched out series. The movie is given an invigorating breath of fresh air thanks to Trey Parker (it’s hard not to hear Randy Marsh’s voice every time Balthazar Bratt talks), and the kooky villain adds some much needed flair with his 80s style outfits and choice of musical battles. The rest, well lets just say that it tends to be stereo typically derivative. That’s not to say that the film isn’t FUN, but just that it doesn’t blaze any new trails. Gru is still trying to come to grips with being a hero, while Lucy is just as geeky and nerdy as ever, just having to deal with the trials of being a new step mom in an already established family.

    Dru is kind of a side character (even though Steve Carell is obviously having a blast playing both Dru and Gru), and Trey Parker is more than capable of being over the top as Bratt. I was mildly disappointed that the minions were basically a side note in the movie (usually they’re the biggest pull), but the film’s innate sense of balance keeps it afloat and does so with charming alacrity. Even though it doesn’t exactly step outside of the mold, the film creates a likable family film that does well with the tools at its disposal. My only real criticism is the fact that there doesn’t seem like there’s much left to explore in the universe, leaving the franchise feeling a bit thin and worn compared to the 2010 film that started it all with heart galore.




    Rating:

    Rated PG for action and rude humor




    Video: :4.5stars:
    [​IMG]
    The 4K UHD presentation of the film sports a very healthy, and definitely noticeable, improvement over the already stunning 1080p Blu-ray. Textures and colors come through brighter and with more clarity than the before mentioned disc, as well as a richer feeling to the whole experience. Look at the details on the Minions clothing, and you can see finer lines, and more intimate details like individual stitch marks that don’t show up on the Blu-ray. Colors are used wonderfully with the HDR encoding, and make an already lovely color scape pop even more. Blue skies and the bright yellow of the Minions themselves benefit the most from the color improvements, but even the soft blues of Lucy’s coat seem more lifelike and real. Blacks are silky deep as always, and while the upgrade isn’t as demo worthy as others, it is DEFINITELY the best way to watch the film as it shows a solid uptick in quality from the 1080p viewing.





    Audio: :4.5stars:
    [​IMG]
    Universal still continues to impress by including the DTS:X track on BOTH the 4K UHD disc, as well as the standard 1080p Blu-ray as well. The energetic track is vibrant and full of punchy energy, kicking things into high gear with the 80s pop songs that Balthazar Bratt likes to blast out as his theme music (or during his dance fights). Michael Jackson’s “Bad” and Nena Cherry’s “Ninety Nine Luft Balloons” coming through with intensity and forcefulness, while the theme song of the movie dances in the background. Laser blasts are powerful, and the roar of a jet engine car/boat/plane of Dru’s throbs with appropriate intensity. The overheads are used well, but there are a few moments (the rain in the second half especially) where I felt they could have been used a bit more than they were. However, these are small nit picks, as the majority of the track is punchy and fantastically balanced, with equal presence given to the dialog as well as the action oriented bits of the film.





    Extras: :3stars:
    [​IMG]

    • Mini-Movie: The Secret Life of Kyle
    • Deleted Scene with Intro by Dana Gaier
    • Minion Moments
    • Character Profiles
    • The Making of Despicable Me 3
    • Developing Dru
    • The AVL Files
    • Freedonia Visitors Guide
    • Despicable Me TV
    • "Doowit" Sing-Along
    • Music Video
    • Minion Mug Shot
    • Wanted Posters







    Final Score: :4stars:


    Despicable Me 3 doesn’t exactly do anything to push the franchise forward, but it IS an agreeable family film that has fun with the over the top characters. Gru is adorably grumpy as always, and Trey Parker’s addition as the main villain is probable the best change that the series has done in years. Universal makes for a stunning Blu-ray presentation, and an even better 4K UHD viewing. The increases between the two formats is becoming easier and easier to spot. So much so that I'm having a harder and harder time recommending a Blu-ray as an alternative to the 4K, unlike what I was doing early last year with mediocre increases in picture quality from Universal. While it’s not AS iconic as the first in the series, this entry into the Despicable Me franchise does well enough to work for kids and adults alike, making it worth a solid watch, in my opinion.




    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker
    Directed by: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin
    Written by: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
    Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 HEVC
    Audio: English: DTS:X (DTS-HD MA 7.1 Core), DTS Headphone:X, Spanish DTS-HD HR 7.1, French (Canadia) DTS 5.1
    Studio: Universal
    Rated: PG
    Runtime: 90 Minutes
    Blu-ray Release Date: December 5th, 2017








    Recommendation: Cute Watch

     
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  2. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    and as a "flash" opportunity. I will be giving away my copy of the 4K UHD combo pack (which includes a Blu-ray for those who haven't upgraded to 4K) to a lucky member of the site. All you have to do is be a member of AV NIRVANA, live within the CONUS, and make a comment in either this review thread, or the Blu-ray Review to be entered. Todd will also be announcing the giveaway on Facebook and the site regular, so, good luck!
     
    #2 Michael Scott, Dec 5, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  3. JBrax

    JBrax AV Addict
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    Thanks for the review. I’m a fan of the series so I’ll definitely be checking it out.
     
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  4. Tommy

    Tommy New Member

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    Nice review. This would be a great movie to watch with the kids, they loved the first two.
     
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  5. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    These computer animated movies are total eye candy... might have to check this one out!
     
  6. BD55

    BD55 Member

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    Nice review Michael! This series has been a good one my family loves, and while I liked the first one and the minions movie, the pinnacle has been the second one. I haven't seen this one yet, but it looks promising, and your excellent review gives me hope it's a decent kid flick.
     
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  7. thrillcat

    thrillcat Member

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    I did enjoy both of the Despicable Me movies, though I don't know if the Minions movie suffered because they had lost appeal, or because they simply aren't enough to carry an entire film.

    Either way, I haven't seen this one yet and would love to add it to the shelf.
     
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  8. Jon Liu

    Jon Liu Active Member

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    I enjoyed this one better than the 2nd Despicable Me entry and also the Minions movie. I ended up picking it up just so I could watch it with my girls again.

    Thanks for the review and offering this up for giveaway! (No need to include me in the drawing since I already have a copy)
     
  9. Asere

    Asere Senior Member

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    Thank you for the review Michael. I haven't seen it and my kids would really love this one :)
     
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  10. Charles Williams

    Charles Williams New Member

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    Great review, thank you.
     
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  11. Mjaybird

    Mjaybird New Member

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    I love the other 2. Looking forward to this in 4k
     
  12. Moviefan5150

    Moviefan5150 New Member

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    Super Awesome review! I loved this movie because it had a lot of 80's nostalgia! I yet need to watch it on 4K but by reading your review I cannot wait to own a copy! Thank You!
     
  13. bkeeler10

    bkeeler10 Member

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    Thanks for the review. I have not seen this yet, but I intend to. The first one really was such fun, mostly because it seemed like a fresh new idea and Gru was so . . . something, not sure what word to use. Steve Carrell does such a great job voicing him. Anyway, looking forward to watching it.
     
  14. Tonto

    Tonto Senior Member

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    Grrrrreeeeaaaaat review! These animated movies should always be spectacular in the new UHD format. Everything is always (or nearly always) in focus which is better than life! I can only imagine how good this must look since every screen shot is meticulously gone over to get color and detail perfect!
     
  15. bkeeler10

    bkeeler10 Member

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    That's the thing that always blows me away about animated shows when I think about it. In live action, you choose a location for your shoot, and all of the details of the surroundings are taken care of for you - you don't have to think about the minutiae. In animation, every last detail has to be imagined and created - nothing can be taken for granted. I'm sure there is some automation in it, but still . . .
     
  16. Matthew J Poes

    Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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    I love this series and like Todd said, always great eye candy. Plus its one of the few movies my daughter might sit through with me.
     
  17. Sushiv

    Sushiv New Member

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    Hi Michael, Thanks for the review. My children like the seiries and my elder sun is crazy about the third installment.
     
  18. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Congratulations to Thrillcat... the Random Number Generator pulled your number! You're the winner!
     
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  19. Sushiv

    Sushiv New Member

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    Thank UYou
     
  20. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    @Sushiv, definitely stick around - lots of movies to dissect and discuss! ;-)
     
  21. BD55

    BD55 Member

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    Congrats Thrillcat!
     
  22. thrillcat

    thrillcat Member

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    Thanks everybody, and thanks AV NIRVANA!
     
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  23. JBrax

    JBrax AV Addict
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    Congrats thrillcat!
     
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