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Mr. Popper’s Penguins Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1:85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG
  • Run Time: 94 Mins
  • Discs: 3 (1 x Blu-ray, 1 x DVD, 1 x Digital Copy)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 6th, 2011
  • List Price: $39.99

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BestBuy.com:
Mr Popper's Penguins Spec. Ed. Plush (Exclusive) - Widescreen Dubbed Subtitle

Purchase Mr. Popper’s Penguins on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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:2.5/5]

Based on the children’s story of the same name, Mr. Popper’s Penguins finds Thomas Popper Jr. (Jim Carrey), a successful businessman living the kind of life that only includes work, with very little time for his family. He doesn’t understand anything in life minus work…that is until he gets an unexpected package arrives courtesy of his recently deceased father. The package contains a gentoo penguin by the name of Captain. Obviously Thomas is confused by this, but like most other things, he doesn’t really put much thought into it. That is until more penguins (Bitey, Stinky, Lovey, Nimrod, and Loudey) arrive at his doorstep. Now Thomas must decide what these penguins mean, if he should keep them or continue to focus more on his work and the pending deal with a local restaurant his father use to go to. What results is a fairly decent film that does have some charm the little ones will like, but doesn’t have anything of real, true merit.

Oh Jim Carrey…what has happened to you? A few days ago, I was talking to my co-workers about how Jim Carrey used to be the go to guy for laughs. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Liar, Liar, Dumb and Dumber, The Mask and countless others. This man use to be able to do no wrong! Then you had him move to dramas, of which none are really bad (actually The Truman Show is excellent), and he seemed to have lost his comedic edge. Granted Fun With Dick and Jane had some humor to it, a few laughs, but lacked the overall impact and “water-cooler” talk his other films had. Such is the case with Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Yes, the film is charming at times (more me remembering the childhood story), has a bit of humor, but you end the film thinking….hmm, I guess that was okay. You did laugh, but can’t really remember a particular scene that stood out that would make you want to revisit the film. I guess one can think that Carrey only did this for another paycheck, that he’s going the way of Robin Williams. Once a great, comedic gem in the world of film. Now? Another aging actor who has, seemingly, lost his touch.

Video Quality

[Rating:5/5]

The 1:85:1 framed, AVC/MPEG-4 encoded transfer is perfect. In particular, texture detail is some of the best I’ve yet to see on any live-action film. Literally pause any moment where there’s a close-up on the clothing worn by the actors here. Finite detail is fantastic. Also great is the facial close ups, as flesh tones are accurate as are contrast levels. The film’s color palette focuses on a somewhat calm, natural palette giving our characters a very realistic and natural feel. Grain, DNR, EE are all absent. I had wondered why this film looks so good. A quick glance over to IMDb shows this film was shot using the new Arri Alexa, Zeiss Ultra Prime and Angenieux Optimo Lenses, which is essentially their Red One camera. Seems to make perfect sense to me as this is an all around perfect transfer.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The film’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is just about as impressive as the aforementioned video. Dialogue is well reproduced via the center channel. Atmosphere, thanks in part to the score by Rolfe Kent, is full resulting in a fine sound field created throughout the room. Whether the somewhat annoying screams of the penguins that envelope the room or the background effects like cars zooming by, everything is well balanced throughout the film. LFE is a bit low, but still does give us a good amount of response. Like most big budget films, this lossless effort translates well onto Blu-ray with quite the fine aural track.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

The included features are shown in FULL HD:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Mark Waters, Editor Bruce Green, and Visual Effects Supervisor Richard Hollander.
  • Nimrod & Stinkey’s Antarctic Adventure – This runs a shy over 6 minutes and is a brand new animated short featuring the lovable penguins featured in the film. The short itself is about the penguins vs. their evil zookeepers.
  • Deleted Scenes – Roughly 15 minutes of deleted scenes (12 total) are shown with optional commentary by Director Mark Waters, Editor Bruce Green and Visual Effects Supervisor Richard Hollander.
  • Gag Reel – About 2 minutes of funny bloopers.
  • Penguin Pandemonium – A brief (3 minute) look into how a few of the penguin scenes were shot used puppets.
  • The Legacy of Mr. Popper’s Penguins – A 4 minute look into the book that inspired the film.
  • Ready for their Close-up – An 8 minute look into some of the adorable penguins featured in the film.
  • Ladies and Gentooman – A 5 minute and change look into penguins and their natural habitats.
  • Stuffy Penguin Theater – A 4 minute glance into how the producers used stuffed penguins as stand-in’s for the later replaced CGI versions.
  • DVD – A DVD of the film is featured on a separate disc.
  • Digital Copy – A Digital Copy of the film is featured on a separate disc.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

While I wasn’t that enamored with the film itself, I can’t deny that 20th Century Fox knows how to release a Blu-ray. With top notch video, fine audio and a few good features, this is one you know you’re going to pick up for the kids.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B004A8ZX3M[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Mr Popper's Penguins Spec. Ed. Plush (Exclusive) - Widescreen Dubbed Subtitle

Purchase Mr. Popper’s Penguins on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:2.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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