Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monsters vs. Aliens Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 37.8 GB
Film Size: 23.5 GB
Film Rating: PG
Region: Free

Monsters vs. Aliens comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. No surprise the film looks terrific, with the presentation leaping off the screen from beginning to end. Detail was fantastic, colors were vibrant and detail was about as strong as it could get.

The animation is very impressive, reaching texture levels seen on Pixar Blu-ray releases such as Monsters, Inc. The textures and flow in the animation really did impress, and they really gave characters a very detailed look. They clearly worked hard on hair, facial, and skin details.

This is a top notch high-def release, and fans of the film will be very pleased with this marvelous Blu-ray release. 10/10.

A 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track is included, and it really shines. I expected a great audio track to begin with, considering the theme of the film itself, but I didn't expect such an active track like this.

The film's dialogue was crisp and clear, comparing with the best animated releases on the format. Sound effects and music were lively and aggressive, and made much use of the surround speakers. I felt everything in the track had fantastic direction, and it really did enhance the viewing experience.

The track will have your room shaking with some good bass involvement as well. I was left very surprised by just how good the track was, it rivals the quality of Kung Fu Panda and Monsters Inc on Blu-ray. 9.5/10.


Filmmakers' Commentary
With Producer Lisa Stewart and Directors Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon.

The Animators' Corner (PiP)
A Picture-in-Picture track which features video commentary from animators, early animation footage, as well as some recycled bonus features.

Trivia Track
A standard trivia track, featuring trivia about the crew and cast involved, the environments, and the characters.

B.O.B.'s Big Break (13:20) (HD)
Included in both 2D and 3D versions, which is why four standard 3D glasses are included with the release.

Paddle Ball Game 3D
The 3D glasses also support an included Paddle Ball game, as seen in the beginning of the film.

Karaoke Music Party (HD)
Ginormica, B.O.B., Dr Cockroach & The Missing Link are all selectable, and each character sings a popular karaoke song. For example, Ginormica sings 'I Will Survive' with lyrics on screen for you to sing-along.

Deleted Scenes (5:29) (HD)
Mostly in sketch form, but the latter part in animated form. So all different stages of development scenes.

Moden Monster Movie-Making (17:29) (HD)
Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of Dreamworks Animation talks about how Monsters vs. Aliens was the perfect 3D title. It also serves as a making of featurette, with cast and crew interviews on each character.

Tech Of MVA (6:19) (HD)
A featurette also featuring Jeffrey Katzenberg, discussing the InTru 3D technology used in the film. It's a shame we didn't even get basic 3D for this release. This feature also felt very sell out, constantly mentioning the Intel and HP products.

Dreamworks Animation Video Jukebox
A feature present on all Dreamworks Blu-ray releases, which allows you to view a music video in high-def from every other Dreamworks animated release. From Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, to Over The Hedge.

Blu-news Summary
Monsters vs. Aliens is definitely not going to be a favorite for everyone, but I did enjoy it very much. The characters were very unique and fun, and the story was generally solid. I certainly enjoyed it more than other previous Dreamwork releases.

The Blu-ray release is very good, featuring impressive video and audio, as well as good amount of bonus features. There is clearly a lot of effort put into this release, making this one certainly 'Recommended' when you consider the film quality as well. Those just looking for animated demo material or don't really care what I think about the film, you can't go wrong with this release, 'Highly Recommended' in that aspect.

Additional Screenshots:

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