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4K UHD/Blu-ray Review: DESPICABLE ME 3

Dec 05 Posted by in DVD/Blu-ray, Reviews | Comments

It’s been nearly 30 years since former child actor Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) starred on his own TV show. However, he is till trying to recapture those glory days, pretending that he’s still living in the 1980s. He believes he is the super-villain he played on TV for three seasons decades earlier, and plans to bring one of his character’s most evil plots to fruition.

When Bratt steals the world’s biggest diamond, reformed super-villain Gru (Steve Carell)—who now works as an agent for the AVL (Anti-Villain League)—takes on the mission to get it back. However, he manages to bungle things up, and Gru’s failure to capture Bratt causes him and his wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) to be fired. Gru’s Minions try to convince him to take this as an opportunity to return to villainy, but when Gru refuses, they quit and head off for their own adventure.

Just when things are looking bleak for Gru, he receives a visit from a butler named Fritz (Steve Coogan), who informs him that his identical twin brother Dru wishes to meet him. Gru is excited to meet this brother he never even knew that he had, and so the family heads for a vacation in the country of Freedonia. Dru is the complete opposite of Gru, with his white suits, flowing blonde hair and ever-cheerful demeanor. Gru is a bit jealous of his more-handsome sibling, but the two get along like gangbusters. Dru reveals to Gru that their father was secretly a legendary super-villain, and asks if Gru will teach him the ways of villainy so that he can follow in their father’s footsteps. While Gru has left villainy behind him, he does enjoy the company of his newfound brother. So when Balthazar Bratt and the diamond resurface, Gru sees the opportunity to not only help Dru learn the art of stealing, but also try to win back favor with the AVL by capturing their most wanted and returning the missing diamond.

 

Despicable Me 3 is a thoroughly entertaining and welcome next chapter to the Despicable Me franchise. It feels both fresh and familiar, giving us more of what really worked in the first films, but also adding some fun new characters and allowing the existing characters to grow. Dru is such a fun character—his cheerful, playful demeanor pairs nicely with Gru’s more gruff, serious attitude. While Steve Carell provides both voices, the two characters each sound unique and have very distinctive personalities. One scene that had me laughing out loud was when the twins attempt to dress up like one another and swap places at the dinner table—while they think they are fooling everyone, it is so completely obvious that they have swapped places.

I have always enjoyed the character of Lucy. While she may be a top notch secret agent, there’s one thing she’s not an expert at…raising children. In this film we see Lucy struggling to find her role in the family, trying to be a good stepmother to the children, and gain their acceptance. So there’s a lot of fun interactions between Lucy and the children while Gru is off bonding with Dru.

The Despicable Me films have always done an excellent job at coming up with interesting and entertaining villains, and Balthazar Bratt is no exception. The writers have given this character a great backstory, which we get to see over the course of the film, as well as some actual intelligence despite his goofy appearance. Bratt is obsessed with the 1980s—from his hair and clothing style, to the way he speaks, the music he listens to, and the gadgets he uses…everything screams the 1980s. This leads to some very humorous and nostalgic sequences.

Finally, we have those adorable, nonsense-speaking Minions. Once they leave Gru, the Minions are pretty much in their own separate storyline for most of the film. These feel like a series of connected shorts that are used to break up the action of the main film. The Minions end up in a series of wacky situations and find their way out through luck or ingenuity , just to end up in another predicament. (This kind of reminded me of how Scrat is integrated into the Ice Age films.)

While Despicable Me 3 was released theatrically in 3D, Universal has not made a 3D release available within the U.S., though a region-free disc can be imported from the U.K. or other countries. That said, Universal’s 4K Ultra HD release looks and sounds spectacular. The picture is pristine, and the colors are vivid, especially when watching with Dolby Vision. There is incredible detail in all of the characters and their clothing—this is especially noticeable in the textures of Gru’s spy body suit. The audio track is also quite impressive, providing an immersive experience with sound coming from all speakers. The audio track is well-utilized to add aural direction to accompany the on-screen action.

This release contains about an hour of bonus material, though most of it is relegated only to the Blu-ray disc. The only feature that is also included on the UHD disc is a new mini-movie following the adventures of family pet Kyle. The rest of the bonus material includes a deleted scene, interviews with the cast and creators, music videos, photo galleries, interactive features and more.

The two discs come packed in a standard UHD keepcase along with a cardboard slipcover with an embossed title/artwork. The case also contains a UHD digital copy code for the film, as well as a code for a bonus digital film (from a selection of 6 titles).



What’s Included:

Film: (1:29:39)

    4K Ultra HD:

    • 2160p / Widescreen 2.40:1
    • Dolby Vision
    • HDR-10
    • Audio: English DTS:X, English DTS Headphone:X, Spanish 7.1 DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, French (Canada) 5.1 DTS Digital Surround
    • Subtitles: English SDH, French (Canada)

    Blu-ray:

    • 1080p / Widescreen 2.40:1
    • Audio: English DTS:X, English DTS Headphone:X, Spanish 7.1 DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, French (Canada) 5.1 DTS Digital Surround, English DVS (Descriptive Video Service)
    • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

    Digital HD (for redemption deadline, see NBCUcodes.com):

    • Digital Copy
      The included Digital copy redeems in 4K in the 4K Ultra HD release. Redemption options include Fandango Now, Vudu, or iTunes. We suggest redeeming the code Vudu as this will add the title to both your Movies Anywhere and UltraViolet accounts, and will propagate in 4K to iTunes via Movies Anywhere.
    • Bonus Digital Movie (Redemption Deadline 3/25/2018)
      Additional bonus digital movie redeemable at www.upherewards.com. The list of available titles currently includes Big Miracle, Midway, 5 Flights Up, Doom, Born on the Fourth of July and Sudden Death.

Extras:
The only bonus feature that also appears on the 4K disc is the Mini-Movie, the rest only appear on the Blu-ray disc.

  • Mini-Movie: The Secret Life of Kyle (4:14)
    This mini movie takes a look at what family pet gets up to when the family is gone for the day, and he tries to win the affections of the poodle next door, but finds competition from a handsome Doberman.
  • Deleted Scene with Intro by Dana Gaier (:40)
    Dana Gaier (“Edith”) introduces this deleted scene were Edith plays a prank on Fritz.
  • Minion Moments
    Two Minion animated shorts. Select from:

    • Drenched (:40)
      Two minions splash in an inflatable pool and things escalate.
    • Overkill (:38)
      An ant is found in the lab and two minions go overboard trying to get rid of it.
  • Character Profiles
    The actors talk about their characters, and how both the actors and the characters grown since the franchise first started. Select from:

    • Steve Carell: Gru & Dru (2:12)
    • Kristen Wiig: Lucy (1:48)
    • Miranda Cosgrove: Margo (1:57)
    • Dana Gaier: Edith (2:20)
    • Nev Scharrel: Agnes (2:06)
  • The Making of Despicable Me 3 (6:50)
    The participants talk about combining the elements people loved from the previous films with a new story to tell, finding the voice of Dru, finding a worthy adversary for Gru and Lucy, bringing in the 80s, and more. Includes recording studio footage, and interviews with Illumination founder/CEO Chris Meledandri, director Kyle Balda, co-writers Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio, and editor Claire Dodgson.
  • Developing Dru (4:13)
    A look at defining the character of Dru and how he can be differentiated from Gru. Includes production artwork, and interviews with Illumination founder/CEO Chris Meledandri, director Kyle Balda, co-writers Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio, actor Steve Carell, and animation directors Bruno Dequier & Julien Soret.
  • The AVL Files (12:38)
    Explore AVL personnel dossiers for various Agents & Villains from the franchise. Select from Gru, Lucy, Dru, Balthazar Bratt, El Macho or Vector.
  • Freedonia Visitors Guide
    Interactive map that launches tourism board promos for various locations in Freedonia, featuring clips from the film. Select from:

    • The Crooked Forest (1:08)
    • The Cheez Festival (1:04)
    • Free Range Pigs (1:09)
    • The Tipsy Unikorn (1:00)
    • The Riviera (1:17)
  • Despicable Me TV
    Narrated TV ads comprised of clips from the film. Select from:

    • Balthazar Bratt Action Figure (:54)
      Re-release toy ad featuring clips from the original 1980s TV ad.
    • Bad Boy Bod by Balathazar Bratt (:56)
      Ad for a workout video.
    • Agnes’ Super Cute, Incrediblly Amazing Toy Sale (1:18)
      Ad for Agnes’ toy sale.
  • “Doowit” Sing-Along (1:36)
    Lyrics for the Pharrell song appear on screen to footage of the Minion jailbreak.
  • “Yellow Light” Music Video (3:43)
    Live-action music video featuring Pharrell Williams and some 8-but Minions walking down a city street. The animation slowly takes over and by the end the everything looks like a 1980s video game.
  • Minion Mug Shots (1:50)
    This slideshow of 9 Minion mug shots automatically advances every 10 seconds.
  • Wanted Posters (1:30)
    This slideshow of 8 Minion wanted posters automatically advances every 10 seconds.

 


Final Thoughts:

My Rating
Film:
Video:
Audio:
Extras:
Highly Recommended

Despicable Me 3 is a wonderful addition to the the franchise. It not only brings back a lot of the fun characters and elements that have made these movies so popular, but also introduces some hilarious new characters and plot developments. Universal’s 4K Ultra HD release looks and sounds fantastic, and the Blu-ray comes with about an hour of supplemental material. Fans of the franchise will not be disappointed, and will definitely want to pick this up!