Michael Scott

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Scoob


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Movie: :2stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :2stars:
Final Score: :3.5stars:



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Movie

Scoob was one of the theatrical releases that was effected by the gigantic Covid-19 pandemic, and it wisely skipped the theaters back in May, only to be shot onto VOD a few weeks later (after the huge hit that was Trolls World Tour) and then shot over to HBO Max and European theaters after that, where it garnered quite the financial return on investment.

Well, I’m not sure why it took so long for Scooby Do to hit the big screen in animated form, but it has been a staple of the old Hanna Barbera cartoon influences for over 50 years. The classic show is still just that, classic, but there have been several reboots of the TV series over the years (much like Ninja Turtles) and there was the two live action movies with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinz Jr. back a decade or so ago, but an animated movie just never made it to the screen till now. But as with all things 2020, it’s a hollow shell with a bitter center. This new re imagining takes the name “Scooby Do” and blends it into a sort of hollow mixture of Megamind meets The Avengers meets a Gen Z version of Scooby Doo and completely misses the essence of each of the three of those genres.

The first 15 minutes aren’t bad though. The film starts out with a young Scooby and Shaggy meeting up in a really goofy way, and sort of sets the stage for the mystery wagon and Mystery Inc’s creation. We get to meet Velma, Fred, Daphne and the rest, only for the rest of the 90 ish minutes goes straight down the crapper. The film fast forwards several years to when Mystery Inc is going into full time production, and the crew and needed some hot wheels (e.g, the Mystery Van), and then something happens that completely changes the tone of the film. Scooby and Shaggy get attacked by robotic bowling pins (yes that actually happens) and is saved by a real life Super Hero named the Blue Falcon (Marky Mark).

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You see, the Blue Falcon (or in this case, the son of the original Blue Falcon taking up his mantle) is searching for the super villain Dick Dastardly (well done Warner, you pulled another iconic Hanna Barbera out to use as the villain. This I actually like) who is looking to get the complete sets of dog skulls which just so happen to be the three heads of Cerberus (yes, the guardian of the Underworld). Not sure what he’s going to do with the skulls, but the Falcon and his crew are not about to let Dastardly (Jason Isaacs) do something...well...dastardly. The lynch pin to the whole operation is that Scooby is actually the last living descendant of Alexander the Great’s dog, which was used to create a portal to the underworld, and Dastardly wants Scooby doo to complete the puzzle. Now it’s up to Mystery Inc to team up with the Blue Falcon and take on Dastardly before he can open a portal to hell and unleash it’s powers on an unsuspecting world.

I’m not sure what EXACTLY went on, but the film’s gigantic tonal shifts and genre shifts just work against itself in spectacular fashion. My only suspicion is that this was a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, as the film has no less than FIVE writers at it’s helm. I can’t verify with any certainty, but when you have that many writers credited, there’s usually a few more uncredited behind the scenes with everyone vying for attention and nobody really getting what they want. The film reeks of trying to appeal to a broad audience using cringy pop culture references, and pleasing nobody at the end. The film could have worked if it went with the origin story of Scooby Doo and the Mystery Van, but the abrupt change to superhero movie, to supernatural mystery, to story about friendships just clashes so epically that the mind wonders who actually approved this stitched together Frankenstein to go forward as final product.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s some cute moments in the film. Will Forte is great as Shaggy and Zac Efron is surprisingly good as Fred, let alone Marky Mark as the Blue Falcon. The addition of Muttley and Dick Dastardly was quite clever and I really liked him being pulled from history and into modern times. However, the obvious stitching together of 5 different stories just really hampered the film in so many ways, leaving the audience confused on just what type of movie they’re actually watching.




Rating:

Rated PG for some action, language and rude/suggestive humor




Video: :4.5stars:
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The 1080p Blu-ray was sourced from a 2K master, and it looks great and faithfully replicates the source material. The animation style was created using soft edges and wide swathes of color, making this a very appealing looking disc. Colors are bright and shiny, there’s a very digital glossy sheen to it, and despite some artifacting (mild banding, a few soft lines and a flicker of macro blocking) the disc looks really great. Fine details are usually excellent (although the slightly soft line art sometimes blurs some of the better details on the Blu-ray) and blacks are deep and inky. Direct comparing to the UHD it is definitely an inferior look, but as a Blu-ray it is still quite pleasing to the eye and looks great







Audio: :4.5stars:
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While the tech nerd in me would have really loved to have seen a 7.1 DTS-HD MA track or a full on Dolby Atmos mix, the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track found on both the 4K UHD disc and the Blu-ray is still quite stellar. The mix reverberates with bassy low end throughout, with stomping feet of Cerberus, the roaring of the Falcon Fury, and general mayhem that really keeps the mix flowing with heavy low end. The vocals are always crisp and clean, and the surrounds are wildly active with the same sort of aggressive energy that the low end enjoys. Sure, it’s not as expansive as an Atmos mix, but this is a really good example of how a “basic” 5.1 mix can sound on a good sound system





Extras: :2stars:
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• Bloopers
• Deleted Scenes
• How To Draw Scooby Doo
• New Friends, Newer Villains
• Puppies!!







Final Score: :3.5stars:


Is Scoob totally unwatchable? No, of course not, but it IS a mess from a technical standpoint, leaving very little to enjoy about the film outside of a dirt cheap babysitter for the kids. I have loved Scooby Doo since I was a little kid, and even had fun with the live action films, but this animated re-imagining just misses the mark in an utterly spectacular fashion. The story is all over the place and the characters just don’t feel like themselves. The one good thing is that the audio and video for the Blu-ray disc are incredible, making this another animated demo disc for sure. However, the story is enough to pull those great stats down, leaving me with the sad duty of having to give a thumbs down to this release. Skip It.


Technical Specifications:

Starring: Jason Isaacs, Will Forte, Ken Jeong, Mark Wahlberg, Zac Efron, Frank Welker, Gina Rodriguez, Amanda Seyfried, Tracy Morgan
Directed by: Tony Cervone
Written by: Matt Liberman, Adam Sztykiel, Jack Donaldson, Derek Elliott
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Studio: Warner Brothers
Rated: PG
Runtime: 94 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: July 21st, 2020
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Recommendation: Skip It

 
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