The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5)
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 2009 - TriStar Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 91 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English/German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Stereo
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, German, Turkish
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Seann William Scott, Gary Oldman, John Cleese
Directed by: Jorge Blanco
Music by: James Brett
Written by: Joe Stillman
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 9, 2010
"Something strange is coming to their planet...Us!"
When Chuck the astronaut (Dwayne Johnson) lands on a distant planet filled with little green people, he is surprised to discover that we are not alone in the galaxy. But he gets the shock of his life when the residents of Planet 51 mistakenly believe that his presence is the start of an alien invasion of the human kind! Luckily, Lem (Justin Long) quickly realizes that Chuck is friendly and makes it his personal mission to help him return safely to his ship.
My Take:Planet 51 is the name of an Alien planet that's stuck smack-dab in the 1950's. Its supposed clever title is a jumping off point to easily spoof the Sci/Fi Alien Invader films of that decade. The twist is that the Aliens are the ones sent into a state of panic and paranoia with the arrival of a "Humanoid." Human Astronaut Chuck is ready with the American flag and golf club in hand, thinking he is going to be the first to step foot on this planet--Surprise!! A decent premise that is too caught up trying to be all it can be. Its a like E.T meets Back to the future with Alien face hugger dogs. There are so many Sci/Fi genre pop-culture references squeezed into every moment of Planet 51 that I wished they spent a bit more time developing the plot as they had a decent little premise to work with. In E.T. opposite land, the kids are hiding and helping the Alien (human) get to his ship to take him home. The setting of 50's diners and music rip hard from Back to the Future. It was nice to see some great animation from a company besides Pixar or Dreamworks; if only they could match the depth of story telling the big guns have achieved. Not to say this is a bad flick, Planet 51 certainly has its moments, and some pretty funny lines like when the Aliens give each other a "High Four!". If I were a 8 year old kid I would totally dig Planet 51, I just felt they were trying too hard and coming from the wrong angle to make the parents like it. It's about the story guys, not about pleasing us with every familiar reference under the sun. Maybe if you combined the two you would have had a winner.
Rated PG for mild sci-fi action and some suggestive humor.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
- Alien Fleshtones:
Planet 51 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 30.2 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.9 mbps.
Animated movies usually shine in HD; Planet 51 is no exception. Sony delivers a phenomenal transfer where no compression or artifacts are apparent. There is fine detail to be seen on almost every surface. Vivid and rich colors, dark blacks levels and resolved detail in shadows combine to give Planet 51 amazing depth. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound was top notch. Surrounds were used a-plenty, whipping hovercraft's, alien dogs and laser fire around my room with command. From crisp high end to deep and smooth lows Planet 51 was a dynamic and reference audio track. My only wish there was a bit more charge in the LFE during major explosions.
* CIH users should note that the subtitles appear below the picture area *
- (HD) The World of Planet 51(2:54)
- (HD) Life On Planet 51 - Behind-the-Scenes Featurette(12:04)
- (HD) Planetarium - The Voice Stars of Planet 51(3:17)
- (HD) Animation Progression Reels(15:45)
- (HD) Music Video Montage(2:11)
- (HD) 3 Extended Scenes (2:49)
- Digital Copy
Planet 51 never hits the highs of most the other modern animation films; but its still a fun watch! The premise is better than the plot, but with audio and video of this caliber, who cares!? You kids certainly won't and you can use this one to show your system off. A few cool special features are just one timer's but all are worth a spin. My player had a hard time navigating the menu and got very sluggish at times. Sony makes their 'Planet 51' Blu-ray release be all it can be, delivering a A/V reference disk that is recommended based on its quality.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS35 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Custom 1.3 Gain 128" 2.37:1 CinemaScope Screen
Pioneer SC27 Receiver (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Pioneer Elite BDP-23FD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Triangle Zerius Speakers (7.1)
SVS PC13-Ultra Subwoofer