The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 94 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English, Spanish, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Madeline Carroll, Angela Lansbury, Maxwell Perry Cotton, Philip Baker Hall, Ophelia Lovibond, David Krumholz, Jeffrey Tambor
Directed by: Mark Waters
Music by: Rolfe Kent
Written by: Sean Anders, John Morris, Jared Stern Based on the novel by Richard & Florence Atwater
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 6, 2011
"What's black and white and blue all over?"
Chill out with the funniest family comedy of the year! Jim Carrey stars as Tom Popper, a successful businessman who's clueless when it comes to the really important things in life... until he inherits six "adorable" penguins, each with its own unique personality. Soon Tom's rambunctious roommates turn his swank New York apartment into a snowy winter wonderland - and the rest of his world upside-down.
In this contemporized adaptation of the book by Florence and Richard Atwater, Jim Carrey is Mr. Popper, a driven businessman who is clueless when it comes to the important things in life. Divorced and barely clinging to a relationship with his son and daughter he enjoys a plush lifestyle and long working hours. Having grown up with an absentee father Popper has long since buried his feelings. Things are about to change. With his father's passing Popper inherits a crate containing 6 Gentoo penguins that proceed to turn his swank New York apartment into a snowy winter wonderland. Hoping to rid himself of the pesky penguins Popper's plan is put on hold when his kids take to them and start spending more time at his apartment. Unexpectedly Popper finds that his penguins have taught him a thing or two about family and have renewed his outlook on family and life.
Jim Carrey runs hot and cold for me. The trailer for Mr. Popper's penguins didn't look too promising so expectations were low going in. This is a good natured family film that maintains an upbeat tempo. Unfortunately the formulaic script is flat and the laughs are few. The sentiment/drama is ineffectual which leaves little connection to what is supposed to be the heartwarming aspects of the story. The best penguin moments are handled by CGI which seriously diminishes the cute/cuddly factor. Carrey is given ample opportunity to flex is comedic muscle and does a decent job with what he has to work with. As a Carla Gugino fan I am always glad to see her but this role presented zero challenges. It was good to see the wonderful and talented Angela Lansbury at work. She and Ophelia Lovibond, as Pippi, stole most of the scenes they were in with Carrey. There are a host of familiar faces among the remaining cast, including Jeffrey Tambor, Philip Baker Hall, and David Krumholz but none of them had much to do. Mr. Popper's Penguins isn't all bad but its reliance on a middling script and the diminished star power of funnyman Jim Carrey make it forgettable. Younger audiences will get more enjoyment out of it than their parents who will probably wind up nodding off.
The rating is for mild rude humor and some language.
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:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Mr. Popper's Penguins comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.
This is a great looking high definition presentation from Fox. Detail is exemplary as images look clean, sharp, three dimensional and lifelike. I never felt that the video was lacking in terms of depth or the perception of visible detail within the structure of objects or people onscreen. Colors are cleanly reproduced with eye catching primaries and pleasing secondary hues. Fleshtones appear natural with complexional variation and subtle texture that varies among the differing skin types of the cast members. Blacks are gradational, fairly deep and exhibit good dynamic range. Images are pristinely rendered and appear free of compression related artifacts.
The DTS-HD MA soundtrack has no trouble rendering clear and well articulated dialogue. Sound effects have ample dynamic energy so that they sound full bodied and proportionate. This is not a film that requires heavy use of surround sound to deliver its message but it does rely on the entire soundstage for proper atmosphere from time to time. The mix excels at creating the right sounds at the right levels and placing them appropriately within the acoustic environment. Low frequency detail is present in support of the soundtrack's score but rarely engages the senses.
- (HD) Nimrod and Stinky's Antarctic Adventure - 6 minute animated short
- (HD) 12 deleted scene with optional filmmaker commentary
- (HD) Gag reel - 2 minutes
- (HD) The legacy of Mr. Popper's penguins - 4 minute documentary
- (HD) Ready for their close up - 8 minute featurette
- (HD) Ladies and Gentoomen - 6 minute production featurette
- (HD) Stuffy penguin theater - 4 minute visual effects comparison featurette
- (HD) Penguin pandemonium - 3 minute visual effects comparison featurette with filmmaker commentary
- Audio commentary with director Mark Waters, editor Bruce Green, and VFX supervisor Richard Hollander
- Original story sampler - interactive feature where fans can read the first pages of the original book
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- BD-Live enabled
- Bonus DVD of Mr. Popper's penguins
- Digital Copy Bonus disc
Mr. Popper's Penguins is a contemporary adaptation of the book by Florence & Richard Atwater. It is a good natured family film with an upbeat tempo however the formulaic script is all too familiar and the laughs are too few. Funnyman Jim Carrey is typically entertaining and the shallow humor may prove enough for young audiences but when all is said and done this is a middling comedy that misses the mark. On a positive note its high definition video presentation from Fox looks stellar and if you like the film the bonus features are worth exploring. I would recommend Mr. Popper's penguins as rental for the kids on a rainy afternoon.
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