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Armed with the latest high-tech spy equipment, a covert team of highly trained guinea pigs discover that the fate of the world is in their paws. Tapped for the G-Force are guinea pigs Darwin, the squad leader determined to succeed at all costs; Blaster, an outrageous weapons expert with tons of attitude and a love for all things extreme; and Juarez, a sexy martial arts pro; plus the literal fly-on-the-wall reconnaissance expert Mooch, and a star-nosed mole Speckles, the computer and information specialist.
For more about G-Force and the G-Force Blu-ray release, see G-Force Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on December 12, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Director: Hoyt Yeatman
Starring: Bill Nighy, Will Arnett, Sam Rockwell, Nicolas Cage, Penélope Cruz, Zach Galifianakis
» See full cast & crew
G-Force Blu-ray Review
A kid-friendly family film earns a solid Blu-ray release...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, December 12, 2009
If you only have enough time to watch one talking-superspy-guinea-pig family flick all winter, make it G-Force, the decidedly harmless, wafer-thin action/adventure extravaganza from Disney that puts a ragtag band of rascally CG rodents through the proverbial government-espionage wringer. What it lacks in sharply penned humor, it offers in increasingly cheap fall-n-fart gags sure to please the youngest members of your household. Wherever its story crumbles, it distracts with lame one-liners, ludicrous car chases and abundant explosions (ahem... I believe the proper term in this case is 'splosions). When it desperately needs soul, it calls upon fireworks, lumbering robots, and schmaltzy subplots involving the same go-to kiddie lessons Disney has handed children for decades. You're special no matter what anyone says. Your real family is whichever group of people loves you the most. Your true value lies within. You can achieve whatever your heart desires. All well and good, mind you, but terribly familiar to anyone who grew up watching, I don't know, movies. Make no mistake, adults will be chomping at the bit to toss in something more substantial, but anyone under ten will be climbing the walls and cheering for Force's six-inch heroes.
Meet Darwin (voiced by Sam Rockwell), Blaster (Tracy Morgan) and Juarez (Penélope Cruz), a trio of genetically engineered, gadget savvy guinea pigs that have been subjected to extensive espionage and counter-terrorism training by their creator, Ben (Zach Galifianakis). With the help of computer expert and star-nosed mole Speckles (Nicholas Cage), six-legged surveillance fly Mooch (Dee Bradley Baker), specialized cockroaches, and advanced universal translators that allow them to communicate with humans, the three agents stumble upon a secret global extermination plot involving a successful electronics tycoon (Bill Nighy) and thousands of deadly home appliances. However, when an attempt to convince Ben's FBI handler, Kip Killian (Will Arnett), of the mammalian team's value goes horribly awry and G-Force is disbanded, the furry agents are forced to escape their facility only to find themselves trapped in a local pet store. There they encounter Hurley (Jon Favreau) and Bucky (Steve Buscemi), two cage-rattled lifers who aren't blessed with Darwin and his cohorts' innate talents. Desperate to return to action and prove their worth, the G-Force super-spies have to overcome insurmountable odds, reunite with old friends, and save the world.
In case you haven't figured it out by now, parents aren't going to get much from G-Force. Sure, there's the inherent joy of seeing your bubbly offspring gaze and grin at the screen as if it were about to impart the secrets of the universe, but it isn't the sort of film that will rope in anyone other than members of its pint-sized target audience. Almost every joke has been told before, every moment of dramatic tension culled from another film, every slapstick pratfall telegraphed, every heartstring pluck orchestrated by the genre gods themselves. In fact, the only area in which G-Force readily excels is its action sequences, and that's only because director Hoyt Yateman transforms each set piece into an epic, madcap spectacle brimming with squealing wheels and high-flying rodents. Otherwise, the script is fairly uninspired (enough so that I was often struck by Bolt déjà vu) and the characters, though sharp-tongued and light-footed, suffer from bland voice acting and slightly cartoonish CG. I know, I know... kids aren't going to notice or care about such shortcomings, but that doesn't mean every children's film should automatically get a pass. I adored Mac and Me when I was nine. Youth is often synonymous with bad taste.
Ah well, consider yourself warned. If you're looking for a healthy dose of good-natured, well-intentioned entertainment to appease your kids' action appetites, G-Force fits the bill. Just don't expect any depth. Once the fires subside, the SUVs finish flipping, and the walking toasters have all returned to normal, very little will actually resonate in your children's impressionable minds. Rent it for the laughs, but be sure to prepare yourself accordingly.
G-Force Blu-ray, Video Quality
Overcooked contrast and oversaturated skintones notwithstanding -- both of which adhere to the Bruckheimer School of Sparks-n-Splosions Action Photography -- Disney's 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer delivers a sharp and snazzy presentation that faithfully respects the vast majority of its filmmakers' intentions. With blazing hues and searing primaries, Yateman's paint-by-numbers kiddie-palette is brimming with every color in the rainbow. Moreover, blacks are inky and ominous, shadows are heavy and satisfying, and delineation is relatively rewarding. While the image is hindered at times by a hyper-processed sheen, detail benefits greatly, flooding the screen with crisp textures, well-defined foreground objects, and eye-piercing backgrounds. Alas, with great clarity comes great artificiality. Ringing, though faint, is a regular offender, and shimmering, though unobtrusive, sometimes detracts from the overall presentation. I was also surprised by the occasional flatness of the guinea pigs' fur, but I suppose I'd much rather deal with clumped hair than rampant aliasing. Thankfully, artifacts are nowhere to be found, source noise is kept to an absolute minimum, and banding is rarely, if ever, a distraction. All things considered, G-Force boasts a strong transfer. It isn't perfect, but it is an altogether excellent effort from Disney.
G-Force Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Having seen the film's theatrical trailer countless times with my son, I expected G-Force's 24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track to be the sonic equivalent of a kick in the baby-teeth. To my relief, and I'm sure to others' chagrin, it's a more docile, family-friendly beast, offering hearty but judicious LFE output, active but measured rear speaker activity, and precise but oft-times retrained directional effects. Don't misunderstand: the entire lossless experience sounds quite good -- great even -- and I doubt anyone other than the most discerning listeners and middle-aged audiophiles will find much to complain about aside from a few normalization inconsistencies. Dialogue is intelligible and well-prioritized, the film's action scenes are engaging and immersive (especially a mission involving dozens of cockroaches scrambling about the entire soundfield), and its beat-heavy soundtrack has definite oomph. As a track designed for children, it all works wonderfully even if, as a full-bodied action mix, it comes up a tad short (my son never covered his ears as he sometimes does when watching select scenes from Transformers or G.I. Joe). And knowing the film's target audience are three to four feet tall, I can't help but think Disney's lossless track sounds exactly like it's meant to. The mix may not send parents diving for their volume controls, but young guinea pig enthusiasts will be thrilled with the results.
G-Force Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
G-Force infiltrates Blu-ray with a fairly generous (albeit noticeably over-produced and ultimately underwhelming) supplemental package that offers several hours of special features, all of which are presented in high definition. Bonus DVD and digital copies of the film round out the 3-disc set.
G-Force Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
No surprises here: G-Force is the talking-guinea-pig-super-spies flick of the year. Adults will grit their teeth and wait for it all to be over, kids will giggle with delight at everything that graces the screen. The Blu-ray edition features a striking video transfer, a solid DTS-HD Master Audio track, and a decent, family-oriented supplemental package with a number of exclusives. In short, G-Force represents yet another reliable children's release from Disney that packs ample kid appeal and AV punch.
G-Force: Other Editions
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G-Force Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Disney Offers $10 Coupon for G-Force Blu-ray - December 11, 2009
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has a printable $10 off coupon good for the purchase of the 'G-Force' Blu-ray combo pack. This coupon is redeemable at participating retailers, and there are versions available for the US and Canada (limit two printed coupons ...
• G-Force Announced for Blu-ray Release - September 28, 2009
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment have announced that they will bring the Jerry Bruckheimer produced film 'G-Force' to Blu-ray on December 15th, day-and-date with the DVD release. This Blu-ray Combo pack - which features the film on Blu-ray along with a DVD ...
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