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The supervillain Megamind finally conquers his nemesis, the hero Metro Man... but finds his life pointless without a hero to fight.
For more about Megamind and the Megamind Blu-ray release, see Megamind Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 11, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey, David Cross, Ben Stiller
Director: Tom McGrath
» See full cast & crew
Megamind Blu-ray Review
Mega fun in this mega-original movie.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 11, 2011
Being a hero is for losers.
Sure they're fun and exciting and packed with great special effects and they dazzle with the strength of the hero and the cunning of the villain, but there's only one problem with Superhero movies: the superheroes always win. When's the last time The Joker finished off Batman, Lex Luthor permanently got the best of Superman, or any hero failed to save the day when the day is done? At least in the mainstream, the answer is hardly ever, if at all. That leaves one burning question: what would happen if, by some miracle of writing and if a studio was bold enough to let it play out in such a way, the bad guy actually won, as in not only won the day but flat-out killed the good guy? What would happen when evil was truly left unchecked, when darkness could finally run rampant and do all those things it always wanted to do with unlimited power and nobody to take a stand? That's the plot of Megamind, a borderline genius new animated Action/Comedy from DreamWorks that looks at the life of a super-villain after he's vanquished his nemesis and finds himself free to terrorize, rule, and just be evil when he wants, where he wants, and as often as he wants.
Two babies, two planets, two destinies, and only one shall win the day. On the day of his world's destruction, a blue-skinned infant is whisked away and launched into space with only his fishlike minion at his side. On his way towards his future home planet, Earth, his ship is met by another pod carrying another ejected-into-deep-space humanoid, this one taking on physical human characteristics. The human-looking baby lands under the Christmas tree of a wealthy, childless couple who raise him to be a good little boy with extraordinary powers, while the ultra-intelligent blue child is raised in a prison where he learns to value wrong over right. It's not long before the two are sent to the same school; the human-looking baby arrives first and wins over his classmates and teacher with acts of great strength and courage. The blue alien, meanwhile, fancies himself the smartest in the class but his supernatural mental abilities are no match for the "good guy's" personality and good acts. The two develop a rivalry that lasts until adulthood; the human-looking superhero has dubbed himself "Metro Man" (Brad Pitt, Legends of the Fall) while the blue alien has chosen to call himself "Megamind" (Will Ferrell, The Other Guys). The two clash and clash and clash some more, but finally, today, Megamind gets the best of Metro Man. He vanquishes the superhero for good, much to the dismay of the residents of Metro City and to the utter shock of himself. With no one stop him, Megamind sets out to dominate the city, until he realizes that, for him, there's no joy in victory. Lamenting the defeat of his adversary, he turns to the reporter he'd always kidnapped at the height of his rivalry with Metro Man -- the beautiful Roxanne Ritchie (Tina Fey, The Invention of Lying) -- as a potential romantic interest, but he ultimately comes to the conclusion that only another powerful adversary can satiate his desire and restore balance to his life.
It's all about the balance. Like that old Neal McCoy song says about socks and shoes, hammers and nails, rhythm and blues, and all those things that go hand-in-hand, evil just needs good to act as a counterbalance, to make the evil more sinister, the plots more daring, the potential for chaos all the more alarming, the pending disaster all the more frightening. Evil is kind of like an addiction; the latest and greatest dastardly scheme is the drug, the execution is the high, the loss is the craving for more, and the victory is the crash, the realization that there's something missing, a vacancy that the drugs alone can no longer fulfill. Victory over good, for the evil mastermind, is the removal of the secret ingredient that makes being the bad guy so much fun. Megamind posits that without the struggle, the ebb-and-flow, the potential for victory, the risk of loss, and the constant challenge of scheming up the next great thing that's sure to triumph over good, evil will lose its spark, the will to go on, the purpose behind the madness, and perhaps most importantly, the escape for all of the pent-up evil energy. Is winning really the ultimate low? It's a fascinating turn of events, a novel approach to a genre that seemed to be completely out of novelty and banking only on style and smarter stories to win over audiences. A sympathetic villain is nothing new, but Megamind takes it a step further, transforming its villain through the course of the film as he comes to realize that power doesn't need to lead to bad, that brains don't have to only conjure up new ways to destroy. It's a hilarious look at a genre and a character turned upside down and for the better. The movie isn't a seriously dark and grizzly picture such as are the new Batman films, but Megamind's bright backdrops, colorful characters, and easy mood allow for the full exploration of what it means for evil to overcome good, and more importantly, for the audience to buy into it and care about a character built up throughout the movie as the ultimate villain.
While the characters, then, in conjunction with the novelty of the story, make Megamind work, it's the voice actors that really bring the movie to life. Will Ferrell is spectacular as the voice of the title character, injecting the blue-skinned super-villain with just the right combination of brilliance and social ineptitude and smarts and self-doubt. That he can defeat the hero and construct incredible destructive devises proves his brilliance as an all-time great evil mind, but his flubbing of the English language -- mispronouncing words like "school" and calling "Metro City" "Metrocity" (as a play on words for "atrocity," no doubt) -- really helps to round the character into form and not only ingratiate him with audiences, but to sell the character's changes through the second and third acts. Ferrell is also superb when mimicking Marlon Brando in several scenes, playing the part of the film's Jor-El character -- expanded here far beyond anything in Superman -- with a brilliance and hilarity that only Ferrell could offer. Brad Pitt does a fine job with Metro Man, but it seems like a lost opportunity not to have Bruce Campbell providing the voice; after all, Metro is almost a dead ringer for the famous B-movie actor, and why he wasn't a part of this seems a mystery. Last but not least, director Tom McGrath (Madagascar) keeps his film moving along at a wonderful pace; even if things do get bogged down a bit at the start of the third act, the film recovers nicely by the end and wraps up the story expectedly but without sacrificing the charm of the characters or the strength of the idea.
Megamind Blu-ray, Video Quality
Megamind's 1080p Blu-ray transfer unfortunately comes up short of perfection. While the majority of the image is strikingly handsome and colorful, things often run afoul when nasty bouts of shimmering, false colors, jagged edges, and banding appear with regularity. The banding is present but not obnoxiously troublesome, but the other problems are real eyesores that stick out with every appearance and ruin otherwise breathtaking scenes. Viewers will note such issues primarily on building façades, but they're also evident with regularity in characters's hair and around picture frames and other assorted objects inside Metro Man's secret lair into which viewers are taken at one point in the film. Otherwise, the transfer is a real winner, even though the pluses often seem lessened by the unfortunate minuses. As one would expect of a brand-new animated release, colors really sparkle. Megamind's blue skin is the real standout shade, but this is an all-around infinitely bright and cheery movie that even looks good in several of the darker scenes, all of which do sport handsome, deep blacks. Fine detail is superb as well, as good as the animation will allow, and viewers will note even the most intricate texturing on various metal objects, clothing, and faces. The image is meticulously clean and polished-in-appearance; it's sharp, shiny, and sports nice depth even considering the limitations of the 2D environment. The transfer is certainly not a disaster, but it has its fair share of troublesome problems that simply should not be present in a brand-new animated movie unleashed onto Blu-ray.
Megamind Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Megamind zooms onto Blu-ray with a reference-quality Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless soundtrack. Unlike the video, there are no warts here; it's full steam ahead for lossless audio fun from beginning to end. This is a track that manages to be strong and hefty but not obnoxious. Bass is potent but tight and accurate, with several well-placed rumbles managing to enhance the action without overwhelming it. Music is spacious and clear as a whistle; both instrumental score and the various Rock and Pop tunes heard throughout the movie play with a solid and immensely crisp frontal foundation supported by just the right amount of back channel activity. Speaking of the surrounds, they're engaged throughout the movie. The track incorporates both discrete effects and pinpoint imaging with regularity; whether an off-camera voice coming naturally from the rear or a vehicle zipping across the soundstage, the track is always on top of things with accurate sound placement and using the extra rear channels to fine effect. Rounded out by strong and crisp dialogue, Megamind's lossless soundtrack is a real pleasure in every area.
Megamind Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Megamind unleashes a steady diet of extra content for its 2D-only Blu-ray release.
Megamind Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Megamind is an enjoyable little romp through the world of the Superhero movie turned on its head. The bad guy wins and suddenly...there's nothing left for him to do! What a wonderfully unique little idea that's been expertly executed with fine animation, great characters, and superb voice acting. Megamind is one of those truly enjoyable little animated movies that will entertain the young ones but also satisfy adults; it's a complete package of fun, even if it does fumble around a bit and never quite finds a heart, but that's OK. It's superb for what it is and another winner for DreamWorks as the studio inches a bit closer to Pixar quality with each release. Paramount's Blu-ray release of Megamind delivers a pitch-perfect lossless soundtrack and a fine helping of extras, but there's just enough wrong with the video transfer to keep this release out of the running for a spot on the "best of 2011" list. Nevertheless, it comes heartily recommended.
Megamind: Other Editions
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Megamind Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Blu-ray Sales, Feb. 21-27: Megamind Rules the Blu World - March 3, 2011
Megamind was the top-selling title on Blu-ray during the week ended February 27, according to Nielsen VideoScan, even though it was released on Friday and thus only had three days' worth of sales counting for the week. The title with the highest Blu-ray share was ...
• $5 Coupon for Megamind Blu-ray - February 26, 2011
Coupons.com has a printable coupon good for $5 towards the purchase of the Megamind Blu-ray/DVD combo, which streeted yesterday. You will need special coupon printing software installed.This coupon can be redeemed at participating retailers, and is valid through ...
• Buy Megamind and Another Blu-ray at Amazon, Get $10 Gift Card - February 22, 2011
For a limited time, if you order the Megamind Blu-ray/DVD combo along with a qualifying BD from Dreamworks Animation and Paramount, you can receive a $10 gift card free of charge. Add the three items to your cart and the discount will be reflected at checkout. ...
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