G-Force [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Jeremiah Chin (1st January 2010).
The Film

There are so many subgenres of film that each category seems to get a new form of awards of some sort, with Independent Spirit, Saturn, even Spike TV Scream awards. What really has been avoided though would be the Absurd Awards, dedicated to movies that are just great big jams of action, effects and well… Michael Bay…ness. Given the circumstance Jerry Bruckheimer would consistently be in the running for productions, and probably win the inaugural lifetime achievement awards for his effects extravaganzas that he throws together for gigantic amounts of money. When I first saw the trailer for “G-Force” (2009) I realized absurdity on a whole new level, making a huge action blockbuster based on a special ops team of Guinea Pigs.

Bruckheimer you’ve gone mad with power.

Under some odd subset of the F.B.I. headed by Ben (Zach Galifinakis) who has developed technology to train and speak with Guinea Pigs, turning them into a special agent taskforce. Headed by Darwin (Sam Rockwell), along with Buster (Tracy Morgan), Juarez (Penélope Cruz) and the mole Speckles (Nicolas Cage), G-Force runs a mission without the permission of the F.B.I. to retrieve some secret files from Leonard Saber (Bill Nighy) on what could be a plot for global domination. Unfortunately the F.B.I. doesn’t quite see eye to eye with Ben’s aspirations and shuts down the unit. G-force manages to escape to a local pet-store, but has to escape their new owners and get back in touch with Ben before Sabersense, what could be a secret plot for global domination, goes online.

The most shocking thing about the entire film is Nic Cage’s voice acting. Honestly listening to the mole the entire film there is nothing that’s truly more amazing than Nicolas Cage doing a ridiculous voice. Of course there’s no footage of him doing the voice, so there’s no telling how digitally altered it is, but maybe Cage should look into voice acting. Other than that it’s a whole lot of question marks on the actors. Will Arnet and Zach Galifinakis have been hilarious elsewhere, Galifinakis’ Comedy Central special was one of my favorites, but now bolsterd by a ridiculously terrible script, it a show of how very easy it is to sell out. Throw Tracy Morgan into the mix, whos Astronaut Jones and Bryan Fellows characters are some of the funniest in “SNL” (1975-Present) history. Yet here, I’m really really confused whether or not his whole role is parody of the film itself, or if he’s just throwing his voice in there since I could easily see some of the things coming out of Bryan Fellows.

What really shows how awful this movie is the script. Cormac and Marianne Wibberley are masters of stupidly awful dialogue. I mean downright terrible. Guinea Pigs cracking jokes about buying clothes off the rack and mice fainting from farts, along with Tracy Morgan as the blackest guinea pig that has ever existed is amazingly ridiculous. Buster loves to dance, and is informed of the ‘rockin stereo’ in their hamster wheels as they are about to make a giant escape. I saw Tim Allen’s “The Shaggy Dog” (2006) as a ridiculous joke, and I thought that may have been the depths of written stupidity. I was wrong.

Maybe the most frustrating part of the film is the mixture of amazing and terrible animation within the film. There are obviously some scenes that utilized a great amount of dynamic lighting that really captured the lighting of the scene and looked good on the textures. And then there are others that just look like some cheaply animated… well “Delgo” (2008) level of quality. But these drops are unpredictable and random, tending to drop out when they have to play a huge role in a mostly live-action scene with human actors, yet when put in their own element they look a lot better.

Overall “G-Force” is one of the more ridiculously stupid movies I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. At first it’s comically bad, something you could enjoy hating on with some friends. But after the first 20 minutes its just mind numbing. Possibly the longest 88 minutes I’ve ever had to spend watching a film.

Video

Presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio in 1080p with AVC MPEG-4 encoding, the film itself doesn’t look bad at all. Technically, for the most part, it’s all fairly nice. The colors and clarity of the film look good, other than the major animation inconsistencies that seem to come up in the film. Overall the lighting and contrast in the film is amazing, though some of the animation and effects sequences miss the mark a little bit.

Audio

Similarly the English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track mixed at 48kHz/24-bit brings out a high quality transfer and production that I’ve come to expect from even the worst Disney releases. The voice acting, sound effects and fairly generic score are all distinct enough in quality, even if they aren’t that interesting to listen to on their own. However the super production value overlooks a bit in the voice acting as all the crispness of the voice actors overrides the live actors at times, making for an unbalanced dialogue track, but this is such a rare complaint it’s not terribly noticeable.
There are also French, Portuguese and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks along with English for the Hearing Impaired, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitle tracks.

Extras

G-force is spread across a 3-disc set, though follows more of a traditional Disney set in just containing the Blu-ray version of the movie, a DVD version and digital copy. Extras include a picture-in-picture video commentary, a series of featurettes, deleted scenes, music videos, bonus trailers and BD-Live access. below is a closer look at these supplements.

DISC ONE:

First up is the “Cine-Explore with Darwin, Blaster and Their Creator” feature that basically acts as a picture-in-picture video commentary for the film with director Hoyt Yeatman along with Tracy Morgan and Sam Rockwell in character. Yeatman talks a bit about the movie and making the film with some on screen behind-the-scenes looks and allows you to jump directly into featurettes as you watch the film. Because of the design of the featurettes, there are many pauses and breaks and it feels incredibly scripted, probably because it is, but it’s a clever way of doing picture-in-picture commentaries without seeiming too tacked on. As well as picture-in-picture there are smaller featurettes embedded within cine-explore that divert from the main film into separate featurettes described individually below:

- “Making of: Concept Art” runs for 4 minutes and 42 seconds. This featurette goes with Yeatman and producer Bruckheimer in looking at the concept art for the film covering everyting from character designs and the different equipment used in the film. A nice look at some of the art for the film, it’s a little ridiculous how in depth they went into the design for such a shallow film, but it’s where Yeatman’s history as an effects designer shines through in the crazy attention to minute details.
- “Making of: Moochvision” featurette runs for 1 minute and 48 seconds, delving deeper into how they filmed the different sections featuring the fly Mooch, through the effects department and speaking mostly with Yeatman.
- “Making of: Tour of the Lab Set” featurette runs for 2 minutes and 12 seconds, going through the production design and the actual set for the Lab of G-force, speaking with Yeatman, Bruckheimer, production designers and others to look at the making of the set as well as the different pieces that exist on the set.
- “Making of: Chirpie-cam” featurette runs for 1 minute and 46 seconds, looking at the chirpie cam invented by Yeatman to capture High Dynamic Range lighting on set. Maybe the most interesting thing on the entire disc.
- “Voice Squad: Finding the Character” featurette runs for 2 minutes and 37 seconds, here is some behind-the-scenes footage of the voice actors working on their characters, while Yeatman and Bruckheimer praise them.
- “Voice Squad: Teamwork” featurette runs for 3 minutes and 23 seconds, showing how Sam Rockwell and John Favreau working together in the same recording studio for many of their scenes in the film. Rockwell looks bored to be there in his talking head interviews, but I can’t blame him.
- “Voice Squad: Bucky” runs for 1 minute and 31 seconds, another voice squad featurette that looks at Steve Buscemi’s recording studio sessions for the film. Heaps of praise,
- “Voice Squad: Animating from the Voices” featurette runs for 2 minutes and 53 seconds, this one focuses more on Tracy Morgan and how they tried to incorporate his physical performance in the recording studio into his animation, but all it odes is show how irreplicable Morgan’s mixture of emotive and deadpan expressions are.
- “Making of: 3D” featurette runs for 2 minutes and 54 seconds, Brukheimer and Yeatman, along with other visual effects designers, looking into how they did 3D for the film, though the dramatic lack of 3D on the disc is more than a bit disappointing.

The next featurette is “Blaster’s Boot Camp” runs for 4 minutes and 41 seconds, Buster takes the viewer through some of the necessities of G-force and the different gadgets that G-force uses. It’s mostly clips of the movie with a few scenes of Buster that are new.

“G-Force Mastermind” featurette runs for 4 minutes and 13 seconds, Bruckheimer and Yeatman talk about coming up with the idea for G-force, talking with Hoyt Yeatman IV, Yeatman’s young son, who was playing around with a guinea pig and played with it like an action figure, inspiring Yeatman to turn it into a movie. Yeatman IV talks about his experiences with the movie and working with his father.

“Bruckheimer Animated” runs for 3 minutes and 12 seconds. This featurette looks at the many films of Jerry Bruckheimer, where he talks about the idea of making the visual effects look like they blended into the real live action world. There’s a lot more talk of the 3D of the film, talking up it’s pioneering advances in 3D but really this trailer made me want to watch the other movies instead.

“Access Granted: Inside the Animation Lab” featurette runs for 7 minutes and 52 seconds, here the people involved in the visual effects and animation done through Imageworks on Sony studios. They go through all the aspects of animation moving from frames, to animation to the different hair and visual effects used in the film. Nothing terribly groundbreaking here but still mildly engaging.

“G-Farce: Bloopers” runs for 1 minute and 49 seconds. This blooper reel are only bloopers of the live actors making jokes on set, and only really a couple of bloopers from people messing up lines.

Next are the deleted scenes, 6 in all, that run together for a total of 6 minutes and 17 seconds, or described individually below:

- “March of the Cockroach” runs for 55 seconds, Ben shows Agent Kip the cockroaches.
- “Mooch’s Donut Regimen” runs for 28 seconds, Ben shows Agent kip Mooch.
- “B-b-bunnies” runs for 35 seconds, G-Force is taken into the pet store 158.
- “Undercover Pets” runs for 1 minute and 52 seconds, G-Force and Hurley talk about new nicknames.
- “Hurley Under Attack” runs for 1 minute and 23 seconds, an extended version of Hurley being thrown into the snake pit.
- “World Domination” runs for 1 minute and 4 seconds, more scenes of appliances attacking people.

There are also 3 music videos:

- “Jump” by Flo Rida featuring Nelly Furtado runs for 4 minutes and 17 seconds.
- “Ready to Rock” by Steve Rushton runs for 2 minutes and 36 seconds.
- “Go G-Force” runs for 1 minute and 31 seconds.

“Learn How to Take Your Favorite Movies on the Go with Disney File Digital Copy” promo runs for 1 minute and 4 seconds.

The disc is also Disney BD-live enabled, giving access to some more trailers advertisements through BD-live.

Bonus trailers on the disc are for:

- “Dumbo: 70th Anniversary Edition” runs for 1 minute and 12 seconds.
- “Alice in Wonderland” runs for 1 minute and 41 seconds.
- “Disney Blu-ray” spot runs for 1 minute and 12 seconds.
- “Disney Movie Rewards” spot runs for 20 seconds.
- “Ponyo” runs for 1 minute and 33 seconds.
- “Beauty and the Beast: Diamond Edition” runs for 1 minute and 42 seconds.
- “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue” runs for 1 minute and 39 seconds.
- “Disney Parks” spot runs for 32 seconds.
- “Genuine Disney Wall-E” spot runs for 1 minute and 5 seconds, it’s a combination anti-piracy ad and trailer for “Wall-E” on DVD and blu-ray.

This disc is also D-box enabled.

DISC TWO:

This is the DVD version of the film, which comes with almost all the same special features, with a few changes.

First is a director’s audio commentary with Hoyt Yeatman, which is minutely different from the picture-in-picture video commentary on the Blu-ray, more focused on the technical aspect of the film and with a few less breaks its slightly more interesting but only just. Especially after hearing the other commentary it’s a bit repetitive, but more informative and should have been an option on the Blu-ray.

The rest of the featurettes, music videos and deleted scenes are all the same as on the Blu-ray with one exception, “Dylan and cole Sprouse: Blu-ray is Suite!” promo runs for 4 minutes and 45 seconds, same as every other time it’s appeared on a Disney DVD.

Bonus trailers are for:

- “Dumbo: 70th Anniversary Edition” runs for 1 minute and 16 seconds.
- “Alice in Wonderland” runs for 1 minute and 41 seconds.
- “Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie” runs for 50 seconds.
- “Disney Blu-ray” spot runs for 1 minute and 1 seconds.
- “Disney Movie Rewards” spot runs for 20 seconds.
- “Ponyo” runs for 1 minute and 33 seconds.
- “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam” runs for 39 seconds.
- “Genuine or Garbage?” runs for 1 minute and 4 seconds, which is identical to the “Genuine Disney Wall-E” trailer/ad on the blu-ray disc.

DISC THREE:

This disc is simply a digital copy of the film.

Packaging

This 3-disc set is packaged in a deluxe Blu-ray case housed in a cardboard slip-case.

Overall

The Film: F Video: B- Audio: A- Extras: D- Overall: C-

 


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