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Despicable Me 2 (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
700
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
95





Studio and Year: Universal - 2013
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Genre: Family

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Steve Carrel, Kristin Wiig, Benjamin Bratt, Miranda Cosgrove, Russell Brand, Ken Jeong
Directed by: Chris Renaud & Pierre Coffin
Music by: Pharrell Williams
Written by: Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 10, 2013







"They're back...!"


Film Synopsis:

Gru, his adorable girls, and the mischievous Minions are back with a cast of unforgettable new characters in the blockbuster sequel to the worldwide phenomenon. Just as Gru has given up being super-bad to be a super-dad, the Anti-Villain League recruits him to track down a new criminal mastermind and save the world. Partnered with secret agent Lucy Wilde, Gru, along with the wildly unpredictable Minions, must figure out how to keep his cover while also keeping up with his duties as a father.


My Take:

I was taken with Despicable me and while I had good intentions I never made it out to the theater to see Despicable me 2 despite hearing great things from those that saw it. In the first film I loved the unusual storyline about a “professional” villain named Gru who is at risk of losing his status as the world’s greatest villain and devises a plan to steal the moon in order to put himself back on top. In the process he comes across three little orphan girls, Margo, Edith and Agnes, selling cookies (coconutties) and decides to use them to manipulate his way into his enemy’s lair in order to obtain the weapon needed for his plot. Of course as we know things turn out for the better for all involved with the girls and Gru bonding and becoming a family after he adopts them. I really enjoyed the emotive nature of the story with respect to the connection between Gru and the girls. The animated depiction of the various characters was priceless and added to their appeal as well the story’s theme/components.

Despicable me 2 finds Gru and the girls living happily as he has forsaken a life of evil doing in favor of an honest income by making jelly to pay the bills. When the world is being threatened by a faceless diabolical menace, Gru is approached by the AVL (Anti-Villain League) who seek his assistance in tracking down/identifying the culprit and pair him with their best agent Lucy Wilde. Meanwhile at home the girls are having a few growing pains. Margo is beginning to notice boys, Edith has become obsessed with becoming a ninja, and Agnes longs for the comfort of a new mom. Gru has also failed to notice that his Minions have slowly started to vanish at the hands of an unknown abductor. Add to this Gru’s sudden realization that his partnership with Lucy Wilde is more than just judo chops and spy gadgets and you have a recipe for another round of fun from the team for Illumination Entertainment.

Despicable me 2 once again strives to touch us as well as make us laugh. I think it achieves its goal and has its share of heartwarming moments that revolve around the wonderfully crafted relationship between Gru and the girls, specifically Agnes. Additionally it provides humor on varying levels which both adults and kids can identify with. I don’t think that the narrative is as well rounded as the first film but it successfully incorporates enough slapstick, witty dialogue, spirited adventure and family warmth to rate just a notch below its predecessor. The returning cast members are spot on of course and new comers Benjamin Bratt (who steals the show) and Kristin Wiig compliment the proceedings quite nicely.

Successful follow-ups to well received films can be difficult. I applaud screenwriter’s Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio as well as co-director’s Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin on another strong effort that follows in the tradition of many of today’s popular animated films which make for great family entertainment.

I also reviewed the 3D Blu-ray combo pack. That review can be found here:

Despicable me 2 3D Official AVSForum Review


Parental Guide:

The rating is for rude humor and mild action.



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.**


Audio: 90

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699



Video: 100

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


Despicable Me 2 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 mbps.

Like its predecessor this is a reference quality video presentation that boasts vivacious colors that are rich in saturation and bold in depth. Detail is superlative as the video has definitive three dimensional quality with crisp texture and excellent fine articulation. Contrast is strong and well balanced so that whites are crisp and colors pop without distortion or loss of detail. Blacks are deep with excellent dynamic range and gradational highlights. This is a beautiful and pristine quality digital transfer that looks stunning.

The DTS-HD Master Audio encoding makes excellent use of the entire surround platform and offers detail rich sonic clarity, crystalline dialogue and plenty of authoritative, room filling bass. This mix doesn’t bombard you with constantly aggressive surround sound. It applies it when appropriate and combines discretely placed directional cues with rear channel ambience that fills the listening area nicely. The front and rear sound field’s never collide but work in unison to render the soundtrack with precise imaging and acoustic presence that elevates the experience. The LFE channel is actively engaged throughout and offers bass response that is extended, punchy and clean. This is a well rounded overall presentation that should satisfy even discerning enthusiasts.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD)Three All-New Mini-Movies Starring the Minions—Introduced by Gru:
    1. Puppy
    2. Panic in the Mailroom
    3. Training Wheels
  • (HD)The Making of the Mini-Movies—A fun-filled take on the making of the mini-movies through the eyes of the artists who made them.

  • (HD) Deleted Scene

  • (HD) The Minions—A visit to Illumination Entertainment in Paris and Los Angeles to hear what it’s really like to work with the Minions.

  • (HD) Evil Minions - Bigger, badder and more purple than ever, the newest and fiercest addition to the Minion species can chew through metal and swallow a car. Find out more about the process that led to their creation and design.

  • (HD) A Gru-Some Transformation—A sit-down with Steve Carell as he discusses the transformation of Gru from the ultimate super-villain to super-dad and international spy.

  • (HD) El Hombre Malo: The Villainy Of El Macho—Every great story needs a good villain, and Despicable Me 2 brings on the diabolico in the form of El Macho! Learn about the creation of this character and the actor who brought him to life—Benjamin Bratt.

  • (HD) Gru’s Girls - Miranda Cosgrove, Elsie Kate Fisher and Dana Gaier weigh in on working with Steve Carell and playing the daughters of a world-famous super-villain – 5 minutes

  • (HD) Gadgets galore -Lipstick tasers, magnet ships, foam dart dispensers and jelly guns, these are the nifty gadgets of Despicable Me 2. Illumination Entertainment pulls back the curtain on what it takes to build a world that would leave even James Bond envious – 4 minutes

  • Feature audio commentary with directors Chris Renaud & Pierre Coffin

  • Bonus DVD

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Despicable Me 2 is the follow-up to 2010’s popular “Despicable me” and successfully follows in its footsteps. Its storytelling isn’t quite as polished however all the right chords are struck with the results being an entertaining and heartwarming film that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Like its predecessor it was a hit it my house and I am happy to report that its high definition presentation from Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a stunner that is sure to please even discerning home theater enthusiasts. Add to that an entertaining and fan friendly bonus feature set and you have an excellent Blu-ray offering that comes highly recommended.



attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

post #2 of 30
Very nice review, as always Ralph wink.gif
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattp24 View Post

Very nice review, as always Ralph wink.gif

Greetings,

Why thank you very much Matt! smile.gif

Considering the fact you watched it with me and approve of my review I assume you concur... wink.gif


Regards,
post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattp24 View Post

Very nice review, as always Ralph wink.gif

Plant!!! smile.gif


Ps I really enjoyed this sequel as well.

Thank Ralph
post #5 of 30
For all the 3d fans, this will be on 3d bluray as well.
post #6 of 30
Was one of the few movies the family and i actually saw in the theater. The kids loved it, will be a definite buy for us
post #7 of 30
I missed this in theaters and I was bummed it releases after Black Friday. Picked up many of the movies I missed over the summer this week. I really want to pick up this movie but I blew my budget already. I'll probably give it a rent when it releases just so I can finally watch it.
post #8 of 30
Agree with your review Ralph on pq and aq. Whole family loved it
post #9 of 30
Nice review. We saw this at a commercial theater that is very close to us and not as busy as the nicer, new places like Cinetopia. Being a little older it does not have the fantastic audio of Cinetopia, but also does not play as loud so is relaxed for the whole family as my eight year old does not always like it so loud.

Anywho, is hard to tell how good the audio will be, so nice to hear this puts out a bit. smile.gif
post #10 of 30
Nice review Ralph.

I googled you the correct slip case cover though. biggrin.gif

6305.jpg
post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

Nice review Ralph.

I googled you the correct slip case cover though. biggrin.gif

Greetings,

biggrin.gif

Great catch bass addict! I downloaded that file from the Universal Press Site taken from their placeholder. No idea how that ended up there let alone how I didn't realize it.

Corrected now. Thanks. smile.gif

Regards,
post #12 of 30
I saw this in the theater with my kids. We all loved the 1st movie, and enjoyed this one just as much. Have it on pre-order with Amazon.

Your review was spot on, Ralph.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattp24 View Post

Very nice review, as always Ralph wink.gif

Matt, I see you are checking in on the OLD MAN!
post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post

Matt, I see you are checking in on the OLD MAN!

Greetings,

Yeah yeah... biggrin.gif



Regards,
post #15 of 30
I rate movies a bit different than others:

Must buy
Buy on sale
Good to watch on tv anytime it's on
Watch if there is nothing else on
Avoid at all costs

Despicable Me was a Must Buy
I would put this one at Buy on Sale

I really enjoyed this movie but I just felt like some parts of the story were not as well developed as I would have liked to have seen. I wont go in depth here cause I dont want to risk spoiling anything that Ralph has not already said.

However it really is worth watching, especially if you have little ones.

My wife and I are both in our mid 20s and dont have any kids and enjoyed this by ourselves.
post #16 of 30
When I saw this movie I fully expected not to like it. I can't much remember the first one. I remember that I liked it but not enough to want to own it. The audience I saw this with was mostly families. Many very young children. I rather dreaded what it was going to be like; many strollers.

Well, the movie was very good. I liked it. And there was one little girl watching whose laughter caused occasional secondary laughter in the audience. She had the kind of happy, outloud laugh that one usually only hears from a character onscreen.

There was humor in the movie that worked well, I thought. And the finale was visually impressive.

I'll be buying this 3D disc. But as with most of my purchases it'll have to be on-sale.
Edited by Cyrano - 12/3/13 at 8:54am
post #17 of 30
Nice review Ralph. This is a must buy for me no question. I loved the first one and my wife and I seen the second one in the theater and we loved it! it was hoot! Gunna be getting the 3D version. My wife and her friends love the minions and im sure she will invite them over for movie night once this is out. Can't wait!!
post #18 of 30
Thanks for the review. I'll have to get this one.
post #19 of 30
Any word on the quality of the 3D for this movie vs the first one, other 3D reference material? Thanks
post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjodotcom View Post

Any word on the quality of the 3D for this movie vs the first one, other 3D reference material? Thanks

Greetings,

The 3D version should land on my doorstep tomorrow. If so I will add that review...


Regards,
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

The 3D version should land on my doorstep tomorrow. If so I will add that review...


Regards,

Great - looking forward to the additions
post #22 of 30
Thank you for another great review. This is the first (and usually last place) I go for blu ray reviews. I enjoy the move review as well as the technical review.

I have a quick technical question. You have 3 blu ray players listed. One is the vaunted Oppo BDP-103D. Do you have a preferred device you use for the reviews?

Do you notice a PQ or SQ difference among the three players you own?
post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzie Isaac View Post

Thank you for another great review. This is the first (and usually last place) I go for blu ray reviews. I enjoy the move review as well as the technical review.

I have a quick technical question. You have 3 blu ray players listed. One is the vaunted Oppo BDP-103D. Do you have a preferred device you use for the reviews?

Do you notice a PQ or SQ difference among the three players you own?

Greetings,

You're very welcome Ozzie and thanks for the support. smile.gif


My primary or reference player is the Oppo BDP-103D which I use for both 2D and 3D reviews. I use the Panasonic sparingly as a back up with titles that either won't properly load in the Oppo or as a cross reference when I observe technical issues that could be related to compatibility problems with a specific title and the Oppo.

The PS3 is utilized in every review as a means to view the bonus material and obtain bitrate data. I rarely have to use it to review the film itself but if I needed to it would be fine.


Regards,
post #24 of 30
Is anyone else having trouble getting Despicable Me 2 to play on a PS3? I have the original PS3 hooked to a Harmon Kardon AVR 2600 and Optoma HD33 projector. Neither the 3D nor 2D version will play for me. They both show the Universal logon then the screen goes blank. If I press the "display" button on the PS3, it shows all dashes where the chapter and time information should be. I have lots of 2D and 3D Blu Rays. This is the only one I have ever had trouble with. I checked and I have the latest firmware on the PS3.

Does anyone have suggestions or ideas?

Thanks.

Joe
post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Linn View Post

Is anyone else having trouble getting Despicable Me 2 to play on a PS3? I have the original PS3 hooked to a Harmon Kardon AVR 2600 and Optoma HD33 projector. Neither the 3D nor 2D version will play for me. They both show the Universal logon then the screen goes blank. If I press the "display" button on the PS3, it shows all dashes where the chapter and time information should be. I have lots of 2D and 3D Blu Rays. This is the only one I have ever had trouble with. I checked and I have the latest firmware on the PS3.

Does anyone have suggestions or ideas?

Thanks.

Joe

Greetings,

Try clearing the persistent storage on the PS3 or disable the BD-Live and see if that does the trick.


Regards,
post #26 of 30
Thanks! I didn't find a setting specifically for BD-LIVE, but I changed the setting to require confirmation before connected to the internet. I refused to let it connect and the movie played. That took care of it.

Thanks again.

Joe
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Linn View Post

Thanks! I didn't find a setting specifically for BD-LIVE, but I changed the setting to require confirmation before connected to the internet. I refused to let it connect and the movie played. That took care of it.

Thanks again.

Joe

BD-Live strikes again.
post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Linn View Post

Thanks! I didn't find a setting specifically for BD-LIVE, but I changed the setting to require confirmation before connected to the internet. I refused to let it connect and the movie played. That took care of it.

Thanks again.

Joe

Greetings,

No problem Joe. Glad you were able to get things going. Hope you enjoyed the movie...! smile.gif



Regards,
post #29 of 30
Hi Ralph smile.gif

They sure delivered a great follow up to the first and evolved the story & characters in a well done maner. It was great not to have that feeling of the same old bits rehashed because they worked the first time but more like you knew the characters and they were just being themselves. First rate A/V and a glad I did the blind buy ( my wifes buy of the year) simply loved it.

Thanks for the review wink.gif
Edited by audiofan1 - 12/17/13 at 2:12pm
post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Hi Ralph smile.gif

They sure delivered a great follow up to the first and evolved the story & characters in a well done maner. I was great not to have that feeling of the same old bits rehashed because they worked the first time but more like you knew the characters and they were just being themselves. First rate A/V and a glad I did the blind buy ( my wifes buy of the year) simply loved it.

Thanks for the review wink.gif

Greetings,

You're very welcomed audiofan1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.. smile.gif


Regards,
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