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Cars 2 Blu-ray 3D Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Video Codec:  MVC (3D); AVC/MPEG-4 (2D)
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: (2D & 3D) English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English, Spanish, Spanish (Mexican) Dolby Digital 5.1 EX, English Audio Descriptive Video Service 2.0; (2D-Only): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1,
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: G
  • Run Time: 106 Mins.
  • Discs: 5 (1 x Blu-ray 3D + 2 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD + 1 x Digital Copy)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 1, 2011
  • List Price: $49.99

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BestBuy.com:
Cars-2-3D-5-Disc-Combo-pack

Purchase Cars 2 on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
2D HD: [Rating:5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:2/5]

I have to say that the first Cars film was not one of my favorite Pixar movies to begin with, but now Cars 2 has dropped below it on my Pixar-O-Meter. In the first film, at least we were given a heartfelt tale about a big city showoff who lands in a small town and learns about himself, friendship, and love. This sequel really has nothing to do with anything other than placing these Cars characters in a highly unlikely scenario with no real heart behind it. Dare I say, it feels like a big budget version of one of Disney’s direct-to-video cash grabs – yikes!

Cars 2 places Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and his small friends overseas for a big, international race, The World Grand Prix, that Lightning is goaded into by the showoff Italian race car Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro). At first, everything is going smoothly, until Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) is mistaken by two British secret agents (Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer) for an American spy they are supposed to meet, and thus he becomes unwittingly embroiled in international espionage.

And that’s basically the crux of the film. Mater has his adventure as a spy, while the rest of the colorful cast of Cars characters are sidelined, even Lightning takes the proverbial backseat in this one. The spy references are completely overdone, although it works in the opening sequence of the film with Michael Caine, in that classic Bond-ian automobile character, as Finn McMissile, but otherwise this is one film that should have parked and left on the lot. It is all surface paint and no engine, pardon the overdose of automotive metaphors, but you get my “drift.”

Video Quality

2D HD: [Rating:5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:4.5/5]

2D or 3D Cars 2 comes with a typically gorgeous Blu-ray transfer from Pixar. Starting with the 3D MVC 1080p/24 image, it is one of the better looking 3D animated titles to come to Blu—ray in a long while. Detail is strong while problems with ghosting are nearly nonexistent. There aren’t many instances of very strong “pop-out,” no items sticking out in your face, not even early on when there are some missiles being fired do they take advantage of this, but the the overall sense of depth is very strong and at no times does the image very seem flat.

Of course, the 2D image, in AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24, is breathtaking. There are no signs of aliasing or digital noise, no macroblocking, and the detail in the animation is astounding. The rust on Mater’s body is as flaky as ever, while the crystalline sheen on Lightning McQueen looks good enough to lick.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Moving on to the English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack, what an be said about this purely foley effects-driven wonder? Those additional back channels aren’t there as window dressing, that’s for sure. Even early on, they are filled up with the sounds of revving engines and whirring missiles, but wait until you get to the racing scenes. Even in the first Tokyo race, WOW, this mix is audacious! The big bass, the “vroom, vroom” of the car engines as they speed by the sides – it’s dynamic, clear, and a whole lotta’ fun.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:5/5]

This five-disc set is packed with extras that both adults and kids alike can appreciate, not to mention the value of having the 3D, 2D, DVD and digital copy all together at your disposal. There are two Pixar shorts, one from the world of Cars and one from the world of Toy Story while the rest of the set is filled up with an audio commentary and wonderfully detailed behind-the-scenes featurettes, broken down by territory, all in high definition.

The supplements provided with this release:

Blu-ray 3D:

  • Air Mater (1.78:1; 1080p/24; MVC (3D); English Dolby Digital 5.1; 00:05:23)

2D:

  • Director Commentary
  • Hawaiian Vacation (1.78:1; 1080p/24; DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; 00:05:53)
  • Air Mater (1.78:1; 1080p/24; DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; 00:05:25)

Bonus Features Blu-ray:

  • The Pacific (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • Somewhere in the Pacific (3:34)
    • Making Lemon-Aides (4:02)
    • Oil Derrick Set Exploration (:21)
    • Art Slideshow
  • Emeryville (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • Motorama (7:38)
    • He Lives! Making the Finn McMissile Toy (3:47)
    • Animation Pit Stop (4:16)
    • US Domestic Teaser (1:30)
    • US Domestic Trailer (2:30)
  • Radiator Springs (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • Tall Tale Deleted Scene (3:34)
    • The Origins of Cars 2 (6:03)
    • Radiator Springs Set Exploration (:29)
    • Art Slideshow
  • London (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • Brawl at Big Bentley (5:28)
    • Spyified (6:27)
    • Spy Training: London (:46)
    • Big Bentley Set Exploration (:10)
    • Tower Bridge Set Exploration (:08)
    • The London Eye Set Exploration (:15)
    • Buckingham Palace (:10)
    • UK Trailer (:30)
    • Art Slideshow
  • Paris (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • Paris Race Deleted Scene (5:59)
    • Streets of Paris (4:32)
    • Spy Training: Paris (:42)
    • Arc de Triomphe Set Exploration (:15)
    • Eiffel Tower Set Exploration (:10)
    • Paris Market Set Exploration (:17)
    • Art Slideshow
  • Munich (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • Germany Deleted Scene (2:36)
    • Oktoberfest Deleted Scene (4:23)
    • Mater-Hosen (:09)
    • German Trailer (1:58)
    • Art Slideshow
  • Prague (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • Prague Chase Alternate Opening (2:57)
    • Art Slideshow
  • Porto Corsa (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • Finding Porto Corsa (7:31)
    • The Heart of Italy (4:15)
    • International Insurance (:15)
    • Uncle Topolino’s Square Set Exploration (:15)
    • Porto Corsa Set Exploration (:18)
    • Art Slideshow
  • Tokyo (1.78:1; 1080p/24):
    • Tokyo Race, Lap One Extended Scene with optional filmmaker commentary (3:25)
    • Mater Takes Tokyo (4:55)
    • Many Nations, One Race (7:05)
    • Spy Training: Tokyo (:41)
    • Japanese Trailer (2:05)
    • Museum Set Exploration (:11)
    • Art Slideshow
  • Sneak Peek: The Nuts & Bolts of Cars Land (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 6:47)
  • DVD
  • Digital Copy

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Pixar has finally stumbled and created a dud. Let’s hope they don’t continue down this tumultuous path and turn into their lesser rival DreamWorks, and give us something akin to an endless barrage of Skrek-ian drivel. Oh, what’s that you say? Brave looks to have great potential? Let’s hope the studio’s first fairy tale can wipe the memory of this car wreck from our minds.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B005AUWXZ0[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Cars-2-3D-5-Disc-Combo-pack

Purchase Cars 2 on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:2/5]
Video Quality
2D HD: [Rating:5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:5/5]

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