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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > CGI > Comedy > Holiday > Cable TV > Satire > Slapstick > Building > Construction > Architecture > Albert: A Small Tree With A Big Dream (2017/Nickelodeon DVD)/Despicable Me 3 4K (2017/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/The Greatest Brick Builds: Amazing Creations In LEGO (2017/Thunder Bay Pr

Albert: A Small Tree With A Big Dream (2017/Nickelodeon DVD)/Despicable Me 3 4K (2017/Universal 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/The Greatest Brick Builds: Amazing Creations In LEGO (2017/Thunder Bay Press Hardcover Book)/LORD: Legend Of Ravaging Dynasties (2017/Lionsgate DVD)/Tales Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Final Chapters (2017/Nickelodeon DVD Set)



4K Ultra HD Picture: A Picture: C+/B+/B/B/C+ Sound: C+/A/C/X/C+ Extras: D/B/D/X/D Main Programs: C/C/B/A/C



Our latest child/family titles include a surprisingly good book and franchises getting thin or trying to launch...



Albert: A Small Tree With A Big Dream (2017) is only 43 minutes long, but Nickelodeon is hoping that it could become some kind of holiday/Christmas favorite. The title says it all, can the title character hope for better things by dreaming of them? Will the holiday spirit help him achieve his dreams? Will the script offer something we've not encountered before?


Needless to say this is for young children and is child-safe enough, but I did not find this particularly memorable and if anything, it is one of the few bright spots in what has become a glut of mostly junk racing to become favorites that tend to be forgettable and even cynical and awful. At least this is not much better or worse than A Pac-Man Christmas. For children only.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image with some colorful brightness in its CGI presentation and the lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix are not bad and watchable, but hardly state of the art. There are no extras.



Universal/Illumination Animation, Disney/Pixar's main competitor now that DreamWorks is in transition being absorbed by Universal, returns with a third installment (not counting the spinoffs) in their Despicable Me franchise: Despicable Me 3 4K (2017). While high in production value and voice talent, the 'three-quel' features a fun new character (whose obsessed with the '80s) voiced by Trey Parker (South Park) that's pretty hilarious and a whole lot more of the same recycle jokes that worked in previous installments. Presented in 4K Ultra HD, the presentation is pretty remarkable with insane detail on the film's digital animation that is impressive on all front.


Returning voice actors include Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Elsie Fisher, and Dana Gaier.


Gru (Carell) and his wife (Wiig) are working for the good guys now but are fired from their crime fighting organization when they fail to catch a new villain Balthazar Bratt (Parker). Bratt was once an '80s child star, got fired when we went into puberty, and decided to become a bad guy after Hollywood shut him out... Just when he's about to give up and become solely a family man to his three daughters, Gru finds out that he has a rich twin brother, who also has aspirations of being a super villain. The two goofballs decide to go up against Bratt, with help from others, to help get a stolen diamond. There's also those annoying Minions... back with more cute gags.


The 2160p HECV/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced 2.40 X 1 Ultra High Definition image transfer is truly top of the line with Dolby Vision/HDR (high dynamic range) enhancement and there's also a 1080p HD version of the film on Blu-ray disc included as well in this set. The 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio is the same on both discs obviously with great soundtrack in English DTS-X 11.1/DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless mixes (it was both of those, plus SDDS/Sony Dynamic Digital Sound, Dolby Atmos 11.1 and Auro 11.1 theatrically), which serves the presentation well. The soundtrack in these films tend to be heavy on pop culture, with this installment even featuring a Michael Jackson song (which I'm sure wasn't cheap).


A digital UV copy is also included.


Special Features:


Mini-Movie: The Secret Life of Kyle


Minion Moments


Deleted Scene


Character Profiles


While it's sure to entertain small children or pre-teens and isn't without its technical merits, Despicable Me is starting to feel like DreamWorks' Shrek franchise. Tired. Bored... and a franchise in need of a hiatus. However, as long as those minions are bringing in the bucks, I'm sure our Despicable Me days are far from over...


The first 2 films in the series have already been issued in 4K editions (the first being the first 4K title ever to have 12-bit color Dolby Vision; we hope to see them soon), plus we covered the Minons spin-off here...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/13941/Minions+3D+(2015/Universal+Blu-ray+3D+w/Blu-r



Though you wouldn't know it with its odd cover of a male shape spilling what are LEGOs out of its stomach area, The Greatest Brick Builds: Amazing Creations In LEGO (2017, no author listed!) is not some deep intellectual exercise in the existential sense of LEGOs worldwide, but actually a good book (never judge one by its cover, of course) showing some of the most massive, accomplished and impressive items ever built out of thousands of LEGOs. This includes a Roman Colosseum, Green Dragon, Harpsichord, the U.S.S. Missouri, a Batmobile, Tarzan Versus The Lion cover, Ohio Stadium, American Eagle Rollercoaster, R.M.S. Queen Mary, Golden Gate Bridge and many more surprises in its 112 pages. A fun book, it offers more than you'd expect.


There are no extras, save an intro by one of the builders named Nathan Sawaya.



In a world filled with magic beasts and supernatural warriors it is filled with wonder and beauty, but there is also danger and great evil. The realm is guarded by seven Spirit Lords/Dukes from falling into chaos and darkness, but when one of the Spirit Lords falls from grace, the rest of the Lords are ordered to hunt down the traitor to restore the balance of the universe in LORD: Legend Of Ravaging Dynasties (2017).


Asbel was an ordinary mortal until he found out he was a disciple of the Spirit Lord Sliver. Each Spirit Lord has a disciple to train and take up his/her mantle after they pass on. Asbel has much to learn about magic, controlling magical animals, elements and martial arts. However, all the Spirit Lords must follow and obey the orders from the mysterious High Lords in their high castle. As Asbel learns and trains he begins to wonder why were they ordered to hunt one of their own in the first place? Are there secrets that the Spirit Lords do not know? A war between Spirit Lords begins, but are they saving the world ...or playing into someone else's plans?


This was a complete CGI movie, it was like a blend of Avatar the movie (the one with blue skinned people) and MMORPGs (Massive Multi-player Online Role Playing Games). It felt like it was Chinese entertainment and programmers showing that they could make full CGI movies just like Hollywood (and of course American companies bought the rights and stamped their logos on it), but they succeed visually well enough as the anamorphically enhanced presentation looks really good here. My only complaint is they should of allowed the movie to have the original voice tracks instead of just dubbing it in English (made it felt like they were Whitewashing the film), made worse by the awkward, lossy Dolby Digital mix. Extras includes trailers.



Finally we gave something that may not be that final in the new DVD set Tales Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Final Chapters (2017) which should have been final years ago, but this new double set of the CGI version of the franchise on TV is just more of the same and if anything, the animation slows the action down. Thus, the voice actors carry the 'speed' of the piece and it just goes on and on as a slow drag, even scratching the overly-dark theatrical film revival's feel. Too bad. This is meant for younger kids/teens and meant to be fun, if not as good as the best DC and Marvel superhero entries.


If your child want 266 minutes of this, then its for him or her, otherwise, the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix are sluggish and even dated to me. Maybe that's why this era might actually be wrapping up.


There are not surprisingly any extras.



- Nicholas Sheffo, Ricky Chiang (LORD) and James Lockhart (4K)

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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