"I just want
to go home"
Boog (Lawrence) has had an easy life since been raised from
a cub by park ranger Beth (Messing). The 900lb grizzly bear had his own
show and lived in the Beth's garage in his own bed and all his favourite
things. Things change however when he saves Elliot (Kutcher) from the town's
resident hunter Shaw (Sinise) and he reluctantly makes a new friend. The
problem is that his new friend gets him so much trouble that Beth has no
option but to take Boog back to the wild but it is only three days to when
the hunting season starts.
When a goliath like Sony steps into the animation market people
are bound to take notice but all the money in the world doesn't guarantee
To make it into the now highly competitive computer generated
animation market is going to be difficult for any studio, however much money
they have but Sony has gone about the right way. Firstly they have hired
the director of one of the most popular animated movies of all time 'The
Lion King'. Then they hire the writers of 'Brother Bear' and 'Chicken Little'
to inject some humour into the story. And finally they go for a formula
that has delivered hit after hit over the years, funny talking animals.
You might think this is the safe bet and you'd be right.
'Open Season' is a fun entry into this highly competitive
market but it is not one that pushes any boundaries. The story of a captive
bear that is released back into the wild isn't the most original of plots
but directors Roger Allers and Jill Culton and their creative team really
try to have fun with it. For a start they have gathered a first rate vocal
cast including Ashton Kutcher, Jon Favreau, Gary Sinise, Debra Messing,
Patrick Warburton, Martin Lawrence and Billy Connolly.
Ashton Kutcher and Martin Lawrence bring Boog and Elliott
to life and both of them provide their best performances in years. Neither
of them really sounds like themselves, as they actually create a character
instead of a caricature of their screen personalities. The rest of the cast
have the same amount of fun. Billy Connelly is brilliant as McSquizzy, the
leader of the squirrel army. Patrick Warburton has fun as the lead buck
deer Ian. A barely recognisable Gary Sinise is exceptional is the mad hunter
'Open Season' is a fun family film with a lot of laughs and
some good characters. While it isn't the most original of stories, it is
another talking animals movie and it doesn't have the cross generational
appeal as some of the big Pixar or DreamWorks hits but it is still a very
good first attempt and one that you cannot help but enjoy.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the
movie is presented well.
Boog and Elliot's Midnight Bun Run (4.12 mins)
Watch an all new animated short that sees out heroes trying to get their
hands on some freshly baked buns. With the all star vocal cast returning
to voice the characters, this is more fun for fans of the movie.
Featurettes (22.50 mins)
Directors Roger Allers, Jill Culton and Anthony Stacchi, EVP Animation
Penney Finkelman Cox and Sandra Rabins, producer Michelle Murdocco, executive
Steve Moor, supervising Animator Sean Mullen and vocal stars Martin Lawrence,
Ashton Kutcher, Jon Favreau, Gary Sinise, Jane Krakowski, Debra Messing
and Billy Connolly come together to talk about the first release from
Sony Pictures Animation. Split into two sections entitled 'Behind the
Trees' and 'The Voices behind the Stars', the featurettes show you how
the 'In the Bleachers' comic strip was made into 'Open Season' and how
the character were transformed into computer animated 3D. We also get
to see the vocal cast recording their characters voices and revealing
how they approached the role.
Deleted Scenes (2.05 mins)
Entitled 'Forest 102' and 'Facial Tick', these two animated storyboard
deleted scenes suffer from a lack of commentary track to explain why they
were removed. Surf's Up A preview of the next Sony Pictures Animation
project that follows the World Penguin Surfing Champions. Here we can
see an exclusive sneak peak, the theatrical teaser trailer and meet the
Commentary with the filmmakers behind Open Season
Directors Roger Allers, Jill Culton and Anthony Stacchi and producer Michelle
Murdocco provide a chatty commentary track for the first film from Sony
Pictures Animation. They talk about adapting the 'In the Bleachers' comic
strip and the design of the characters. They also talk about the importance
of story and what the voices actors brought to their characters. This
is a good commentary from four people who are very passionate about the
Play the interactive games 'Voice-a-rama' and 'Wheel of Fortune: Forest
Edition' and take a look the Swept Away Scene Deconstruction.
Entitled 'Rabbit Ball', 'Security Camera' and 'Camouflage', watch these
fun 2D animated shorts from the original comic strip.
View images of the environments, characters and beat boards
Previews of 'Surf's Up', 'The Pursuit of Happyness' and 'Zoom'
Sony Pictures Animation has done a good job with the DVD treatment of
'Open Season'. Both young and old fans alike will enjoy these bonus features,
making this a good family package.
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