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Dustin Putman

Dustin's Blu-ray Review
Despicable Me 2  (2013)
Reviewed by Dustin Putman

The Film
2 Stars
(Release Date: December 3, 2013) – 2010's "Despicable Me" unsuspectingly snuck up from behind to become one of that summer's biggest hits—so big, in fact, as to earn $251-million in the U.S. and place at #10 on the list of highest-grossing animated features. The movie itself was no ground-breaker, but in its story of a master villain out to steal the moon whose cold heart is slowly melted by the three orphaned sisters he takes in, the picture was devilishly funny and offered equal shares of soul and catchphrases ("It's so fluffy I'm gonna die!"). It also didn't hurt that the movie had highly-sellable supporting characters in the form of rambunctious yellow creatures called Minions, used sparingly enough that children fell in love with them even as they were left wanting to see more of them. Three years later, "Despicable Me 2" has arrived with the same directorial team, Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, and screenwriters, Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul (2012's "The Lorax"), who know their way around the family film market. The animation is as peppy and candy-coated as one could possibly wish, and there's a slam-dunk new character in the form of Kristen Wiig's (2011's "Bridesmaids") spunky agent Lucy. She's likable enough to almost make the viewer want to forgive "Despicable Me 2" for all of its deficiencies—of which there are many. When taken as a whole, this is a pedestrian sequel with half the heart and twice the overblown slapstick.

Read Dustin's Theatrical Review

Blu-ray Picture/Sound

"Despicable Me 2" might be a lesser film than its predecessor, but the 1080p digital transfer of is every bit the equal of the one for the 2010 original—if not even better. Computer animation in 2013 can almost always be assured to pop on Blu-ray in such a way that makes 3D an utterly pointless hindrance. Case in point: the high-definition 2D presentation of "Despicable Me 2" practically jumps off the screen, full of such clarity and vivid, rainbow-centric colors that to have to darken this artistry by throwing on 3D glasses is akin to slapping the animators in the face. The only less-than-gushing comment to be had about the picture quality is that it is not quite as stunning as "Monsters University." This isn't a fault of the transfer, though, so much as it is a testament to how awe-inspiringly animated that Pixar movie was. All things considered, "Despicable Me 2" looks great. Its lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Audio Master holds up its respective end of the bargain with sound that zips around all corners of the soundfield. Dialogue is crystal-clear, music is full-bodied, and sound effects and action are consistently well-utilized and wonderfully resolved. No complaints here.

Blu-ray Features
Audio Commentary with directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin; Featurettes: "Gru's Girls" (6 min., HD), "Gadgets Galore" (4 min.,HD), "The Minions" (3 min., HD), "Evil Minions" (4 min., HD), "A Gru-Some Transformation" (5 min., HD), "El Hombre Malo" (4 min., HD); Delete Scene (1 min., HD); Mini Movies: "Puppy" (5 min., HD), "Panic in the Mailroom" (5 min., HD), "Training Wheels" (5 min., HD); The Making of the Mini-Movies (6 min., HD)

Bottom Line
I was in the minority on Universal Pictures' and Illumination's "Despicable Me 2," and I fully admit it. Entertaining on occasion, but also abrasive in spots and lacking in originality, the film comes off as an inferior sequel with a fraction of the charm of the first film. Still, for viewers who enjoyed it when it was in theaters and for anyone who simply cannot pass up the latest animated eye candy in high-def, this disc more than delivers the goods. Sometimes, seeing a film in the best possible aesthetic presentation can make a lesser movie more palatable. For this, and for its dazzling visuals and audio quality, the Blu-ray of "Despicable Me 2" is worth checking out.

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© 2013 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman