Open Season (2006/Sony Blu-ray (2D original release)/Computer Animated Feature
B+ Sound: B+ Extras: C+ Feature: B-
PLEASE NOTE: This title has been reissued in a
superior Blu-ray 3D edition you can read about at this link:
computer animated feature was once a novelty, but is now (despite their costs)
becoming a crowded field. With two HD
formats out there and HDTVs being sold all the time, the only way to
distinguish one from the other is with an old fashioned solid script and
exceptionally artistic choices with the limits of the digital technology
available to the production. Open Season (2006) is a giant step
forward for Columbia Pictures and Sony in the field, becoming one of the most
pleasant surprises of all such releases yet.
(Martin Lawrence) is a grizzly bear with only so much bite. He is not exactly the most able-bodied of his
breed and is just getting by. Suddenly,
mule deer Elliot (Ashton Kutcher) enters his life and he is even less able to
handle the wild, coming from the domesticated city. He thinks he is going to have a great
vacation, but even with Boog’s advantage of coming from there, they are both in
for the kind of adventure they would rather not take.
wacky and with nerve issues, then they meet more fellow animals. That’s good because they’ll need all the help
they can get as the hunters are on the way for the title event!
of something stupid, condescending or formulaic, the script (co-written by
co-director Jill Culton of Monsters,
Inc.) tries to be entertaining and offer more than just the standard family
fare. Not that this makes it
groundbreaking, but it has much energy (co-directed by Roger Allers of The Lion King) and it never stops
moving, yet the pace never seems futile.
Jon Favreau, Debra Messing, Patrick Warburton, Billy
Connolly and Gary Sinise also add their voices and all mesh very well.
1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image is easily one of the best on either HD
format for a computer animated feature release.
Other companies are slowly catching up to Pixar, despite the fact that
they are squarely in the lead in this field.
Depth is more impressive than most such productions to date and color is
a little richer than most. Still, you
eventually can tell it is digital, but it is one of the best demos for this
kind of material so far in HD. The PCM
5.1 16-Bit/48kHz mix is very nice and smooth with a nice soundfield throughout,
easily outdoing the Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes.
This was issued in both 8-channel (7.1) Sony Dynamic Digital Sound
(SDDS) and the also-awesome Sonics-DDP digital sound system used for IMAX
presentations. The only thing holding
back the sound is the PCM format’s limits, so we expect a Dolby TrueHD or DTS
HD Master Audio version down the line.
Otherwise, this is among the best PCM 5.1 mixes to date.
inside the animals studio, "Wheel
of Fortune" Forest Edition game, a making-of featurette, Voices Behind the
Stars featurette, Voice-A-Rama: See what the characters sound like with
different accents, Music Video for I Want
To Lose Control, deleted scenes, filmmakers commentary, Ring tales, art
gallery, Beat boards, sneak peek at "Surf's Up" and exclusive to this
Blu-ray, an all new HD short Boog & Elliot’s Midnight Bun Run. Of course, the Blu-ray format offers easier
navigation, altogether making this one of the best child-friendly and animated
features to arrive in either HD format to date.
- Nicholas Sheffo