SPECIAL FEATURES C+
BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 3.75
(OUT OF 10)
I know this film is held in high regard in geek circles, but I never got John Boorman's King Arthur epic. It's long; it's sloppy; and it's boring.
It's the little things that bother me, like Nigel Terry playing the boy King Arthur, even though Terry was 36 years old at the time. (It also bugs me that he looks like Kenny Loggins during Arthur's middle years.) The green lighting used to reflect on Excalibur is just crappy. The movie is supposed to be magical; instead, it's dirty and plodding.
Still, it is fun to see the likes of Gabriel Byrne, Helen Mirren and Liam Neeson in early roles. You even get Patrick Stewart doing some major overacting as he tries to remove a sword from a stone.
Boorman was supposedly trying to mount a production of The Lord of the Rings, but was unable to secure the rights, so he decided to tackle the legend of King Arthur as his follow up to Exorcist II: The Heretic.
I'm glad somebody stopped him on the Rings front. He would've screwed that up, big time.
SPECIAL FEATURES: A Boorman commentary is the lone supplement.
SPECIAL FEATURES C+
BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 4.75
(OUT OF 10)
While this is no great movie, it is certainly better than the 14 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes would indicate.
Eric Brevig's film puts a CGI Yogi (voiced by Dan Aykroyd) into a world with real actors, Roger Rabbit-style. He and his partner in crime, Boo-Boo (excellently voiced by Justin Timberlake), run around Jellystone Park stealing picnic baskets and causing headaches for Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh).
When a mean mayor (a funny Andrew Daly) threatens to close Jellystone on the eve of its 100th anniversary, Ranger Smith tries desperately to save his park. With the help of his newfound friend Rachel (Anna Faris ... it's always good to have her around) they arrange for a big fundraising festival that Yogi is sure to crash.
I happen to think the movie looks pretty good, and mixes the live action with the CGI characters well. While the film is no gold mine of laughter, characters like the mayor and an overly ambitious park ranger (T.J. Miller) provide some good giggles.
Cavanagh's park ranger is kind of flat, and his romance with Faris' Rachel is boring; the story spends too much time on them. It's because of this that I can't truly recommend the film. However, as a rental or as something for youngsters to watch on a Sunday afternoon, it's not bad.
Maybe viewers got angry because they had to shell out big bucks for a not-so-great 3-D film in theaters. I watched it in 2-D on my home screen, and it was only slightly dissatisfying.
SPECIAL FEATURES: A game and some behind-the-scenes stuff. You also get a new CGI Road Runner cartoon.
SPECIAL FEATURES B
BLU-RAY GEEK FACTORY 3.5
(OUT OF 10)
While the original was not the classic it's now being touted as, it had its charms. As for this sequel, a clever idea was squandered due to the casting of one of the dullest leading men within the past decade.
Garrett Hedlund totally lacks charisma and humor as Sam Flynn, son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), who, like his dad, travels into a computer to play life-or-death games on "The Grid."
The novelty of seeing both young and old Bridges (a younger incarnation of him has gone rogue and looks to take over the world) wears off fast as your ears are treated to some of the worst dialogue since Avatar.
On the plus side, ears-wise, the Daft Punk soundtrack is the best thing about the movie.
Most annoying of all is Michael Sheen as some sort of cyber club's emcee—it's like he's starring in some really bad Cirque de Soleil—and the script's tendency to give Bridges aspects of his Big Lebowski Dude persona. From what I can recall, the younger Kevin Flynn didn't have a pothead personality. Somebody probably thought it would be funny to have him doing Dude-speak, but it doesn't translate well.
Some of the film looks OK. The costuming is terrible, but a few of the games being played look neat, even if the outcomes are never surprising. I caught this in 3-D in a theater, and the effects impressed me for the first half—before I realized the story wasn't going to get better.
Aside from the music and the occasional visual, nothing works in this movie. It's a dud.
SPECIAL FEATURES: There's a short film that sort of stands as a prequel to the sequel, and it's an OK thing to have if you are a fan.
You also get plenty of behind-the-scenes stuff and a first look at the new animated TRON series.