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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - April, 2014

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"The Nut Job" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

movies-apr-2014-Nutjob

Synopsis

It’s time to go nuts for this action-packed comedy featuring the all-star talents of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Maya Rudolph and Katherine Heigl. Surly (Arnett) is a mischievous squirrel with a mission: to find the tastiest nuts for winter. When he discovers a whole store filled with his favorite food, he plans a heist of nutrageous proportions. But the place turns out to be owned by ruthless bank robbers, so it’s up to Surly and his furry friends to stop the nearby bank heist and save the town.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2014, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 26 mins
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: AVC
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master
  • Starring: Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson
  • Directed by: Peter Lepeniotis
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Cartoonish
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

After reviewing Frozen, these movie characters just come across as flat and dull. The image quality is good, but not up to Pixar or Dreamworks standards. I noticed lots of detailed fur, bricks and grass, but feathers looked too plasticine and smooth. The story is basically designed to demonstrate that sharing is good for everyone. Unfortunately, the telling is done in a haphazard fashion that had me looking at my watch more than once. Don’t get me wrong. Sharing is a wonderful thing to do, but the story deals with sharing your excess. In this case, a story full of nuts that can easily feed the city parks denizens for an entire winter. A better example would have been sharing, even when you have little surplus yourself. That's a better test of character. That’s a more gratifying example to give our children. The closing credits include an animated Psy doing "Gangnam Style" with the characters in the movie. Seriously. It made me weep.

Will younger kids find this entertaining? Perhaps. But with better stories out there, why waste time with this one?

Technical

I mentioned the feathers already. The picture quality is still quite good and so is the sound. This is not the finest example of digital production I have seen, but it is not the worst. In the extras, there are two shorts you can view. The first one is standard def and very primitive looking. They also use some questionable language not found in the actual movie. Why use that particular short at all? It's not special or interesting. Even an amazing CGI picture can not help a movie with dull, one dimensional characters.

Extras

Bonus features are Deleted Scenes, Storyboards, The Great Nut Heist, Animated Shorts and End Credits Sequence.