Planet 51 (Blu-ray) (2009)

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Released 6-Apr-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Planetarium: The Voice Stars of Planet 51
Featurette-Life on Planet 51
Featurette-The World of Planet 51
Music Video
Featurette-Animation Progression Reels
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 91:01
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jorge Blanco
Javier Abad
Marcos Martínez
Studio
Distributor
Hoyts Distribution
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Dwayne Johnson
Jessica Biel
Justin Long
Gary Oldman
Seann William Scott
John Cleese
Freddie Benedict
Case ?
RPI ? Music James Seymour Brett
Alex Rodríguez
Ruth Lambert


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    3D animated flicks seem to be a dime a dozen every school holidays. There always seems to be a low-rent alternate to the Pixar & Dreamworks juggernauts, with far more modest production values and a crasser gimmick, vying for the spill-over babysitting moolah. Planet 51 is one such also-ran. One that sits on the lower side of the middle in terms of quality, both story and animation.

    The story is set on the titular "planet 51", an alien world, populated by little green men, that has roughly reached the 1950s in terms of development. In this suburban, white picket-fenced alien world, Lem (voiced by Justin Long) is a little green teenager who works at the local planetarium. As he whittles his days away dreaming of the girl next door, Neera (voiced by Jessica Biel), he and his friend Skiff (voiced by Sean William Scott) are gearing up for the premiere of the next in a long line of alien invasion movies at the local cinema. Lem's dreary adolescence is interrupted by the arrival of Chuck (voiced by Dwayne Johnson), a human astronaut who lands in Lem's back yard. The pair reluctantly make friends as Lem helps Chuck escape the clutches of an evil general (voiced by Gary Oldman) and the mad scientist who works for him (voiced by John Cleese), who are both convinced Chuck's plan is to turn the world into zombie slaves.

    The film struggles to pitch itself at both kids and accompanying adults. Each of the jokes targets one or the other and none really appeal at both levels. A couple of lewd gags, which would be far above most kids' heads, are prominent enough that they are likely to leave a few parents with uncomfortable questions. The middling quality of the gags is another vote for caution.

    The ultimate test of whether a kids flick is worth the rental or purchase is the "rewatch test" - give the kids a week and see whether it still works as a babysitter for a second time. Planet 51 gets a narrow fail on this front. The kids were excited to watch it again, but lost interest partway through and casually came and went throughout the duration. Kids who are particularly fixated on astronauts might feel differently, but for most Planet 51 will be worth no more than a rental.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio in 1080p.

    Although the animation is nowhere near as stunning as top tier 3D fare, the video looks very good. The image is sharp and clear. There is an excellent level of detail in the image, although a lot of the objects on display aren't incredibly intricate.

    The colour palette is bright and cheerful without being particularly fancy. There is a good level depth to the colours, with little sign of colour banding.

    There is no sign of any compression artefacts or film artefacts in the transfer.

    English subtitles for the hearing impaired are available for the feature. Based on the portion sampled, they appear to be accurate and reasonably well timed.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The film features an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track English descriptive audio Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

    The audio is decent without being anything particularly noteworthy. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand. The audio sync is about as good as you could reasonably expect from an animated feature.

    The film has a paint-by-numbers orchestral score, which fits the film adequately but is otherwise forgettable.

    The surrounds are put to decent use throughout, with a good number of effects used to create a fun environment. The subwoofer is used reasonably sparingly, however.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The disc includes a wide assortment of extras, each presented in 1080p.

Extended Scenes

    3 extended scenes, none of which really adds anything but time to the story.

The World of Planet 51 Featurette (2:50)

    Three minutes of camera pans around the environments made for the film. Kind of an unnecessary "Hey Mum, look what I did!" featurette.

Life on Planet 51 Featurette (12:04)

    A featurette that looks at the characters and critters in the film. The featurette comprises narrative parts with interviews with voice cast and crew members.

Planetarium: The Voice Stars of Planet 51 Featurette (2:47)

    Another press-kit style featurette, this time exalting the reasonably diverse voice cast of the film.

Music Video (2:11)

    Pretty much just a montage of clips from the film. Pass.

Animation Progression Reels Featurette

    A moderately interesting set of 6 featurettes that compares of the animation of 6 different scenes at different stages of production, from storyboarding through to early animatics, early renders and the finished product. The screen is split into four parts with each part showing the footage from the various development stages, as the scene plays.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The US Region A edition features the same extras as the Australian Region B edition, in addition to an interactive game and BD Live connectivity. A win for Region A.

Summary

    A hit and miss 3D animated comedy.

    Audio and video are fairly basic but of a high standard. A wide range of generally worthwhile extras is provided.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, April 30, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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