Despicable Me 3 - 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

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    Movie: :3stars:
    Video: :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.
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    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: :5stars:
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    Yup, this is 100% digital perfection, straight from the proverbial tap. Illumination/Universal has always done a great job with the Despicable Me films, and this third outing is just as 100% perfect as you can get on Blu-ray. Textural details are impeccable, with line details and intimate nuances in the digital imagery just about as good as you can get. The colors are bright and shiny, with strong yellows, blues and every other primary known to man. The picture is so crystal clear that you can almost reach through the screen and touch them. Artifacting is non existent, and even on a 120 inch screen the movie just dazzles in ways that most films can only hope to achieve. Black levels are deep and inky, with just the right amount of shadow detail, while maintaining octopus inky blacks. You can see every little nuance from the threads on the Minion’s denim jeans, to the ripples and waves in the ocean as Gru and Dru blast their way out of sticky situation. The bit rate is given a healthy boost (it’s in the mid to high 30s), allowing the picture to really shine at every turn. Brave Universal, bravo.





    Audio: :4.5stars:
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    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:
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    • 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 demo fans everywhere will be in love with the glorious 1080p picture quality. 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 AVC
    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

     
    tripplej likes this.
  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 upgrade) 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 4K UHD one 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

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