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Open Season 3(2010)
Boog thinks his friend Elliot distanced himself from him since he started a family. In search of real friends, Boog joins a touring Russian circus, where he meets an alluring female grizzly bear and a devious look-a-like grizzly bear whom Boog trade places with. But soon the circus was going back to Russia and Elliot have little time left to rescue him. Boog's woodland pals have to team up with the domestic animals to rescue their pal.
For more about Open Season 3 and the Open Season 3 Blu-ray release, see Open Season 3 Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 26, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Matthew J. Munn, Matthew W. Taylor, Melissa Sturm, Karley Scott Collins, Ciara Bravo, Harrison Fahn
Director: Cody Cameron
» See full cast & crew
Open Season 3 Blu-ray Review
This DTV sequel delivers just enough laughs to keep the series chugging along.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 26, 2011
Sometimes you don't know what you have until you've lost it.
That's pretty much the theme of the cuddly and fun but generic Open Season 3, which promises not to pave paradise and put in a parking lot in the fourth installment (the final song actually hints at going "on the road again"). A formula direct to video venture, Open Season 3 returns several favorite characters and puts them through the paces that ultimately lead them to find the roles of honest friendship and self-worth in their lives, good messages to be sure but ones that feel forced into the plot and fail to resonate beyond the superficialities of the feel-good nature of the story. This is the very definition of a generic kids' movie; it's bright and colorful and well-meaning, but as far as originality goes, well, it ain't got none. That doesn't make it a dud. Formula is formula for a reason, and Open Season 3 follows it to the letter. It'll make the kids laugh, bring a few smiles to parents' faces, and reinforce several valuable lessons that have probably already been drilled into the little ones' minds, but Open Season 3 is ultimately little more than a 70-some-odd minute babysitter. The parents will want to get to know her, but after that short introductory period, they'll be comfortable leaving their children in the capable hands of Director Cody Cameron's fun little adventure film that's suitable for all ages.
Boog (Mike Epps), fresh off his winter hibernation, is recharged and ready to go on his boys-only getaway. There's only one problem: there are no boys who can go. Even his best friend Elliot (Joel McHale) is too busy to go; his wife Giselle has guilted him into staying home and taking care of the kids while she's away. Dejected but not down, Boog marches onward and sets out with nothing but a dream of a great guys-only vacation and his trusty stuffed animal, Dinkleman. However, it doesn't take Boog long to realize that a guys' getaway without the guys just isn't all that much fun. Boog drowns his sorrows in an overindulgence of calories during a midnight raid on a local convenience store and then and there decides to join a traveling circus he sees advertised in the store's window. No sooner does Boog find the circus does he meet a lookalike bear named Doug (Matthew J. Munn) with whom Boog trades places, allowing Doug to fulfill his lifelong dream of roaming the wild and proving himself the biggest and best of all the animals. Boog also meets the lovely Ursa (Gina Torres), a Russian bear and the featured attraction in the show. It's love at first sight, but before the relationship can get off the ground, Boog's friends see him performing on TV and decide it's their duty to rescue their friend. With Elliot leading the charge, that's a tall order, but one that the gang is determined to carry out to the end.
Of all of the animated films and franchises that have dominated the cinematic landscape since Toy Story forever changed the face of movies, the Open Season threesome has proven to be one of the lesser of the bunch. Sony's top animated franchise just can't hang with the big boys -- Pixar, DreamWorks, and even Fox with its Ice Age series -- and that's a shame because, well, the more the merrier. The problem is that Open Season just screamed "generic" from the start; the franchise not only lacks the better animation of the top films, but its characters are relatively flat, its stories are not particularly interesting, and the themes lack much emotional resonance outside of their reinforcement of basic niceties. That's not even to mention the mediocre voice acting, the latter of which surprisingly doesn't suffer considering that Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher were replaced following the first film. Still, the series continues to churn out titles, but unlike Toy Story, there's no real forward development; as is evident in Open Season 3, the animation seems stagnant, the characters' development halted, and the stories continue to lack any real muscle. The latter two might be forgiven considering this one's direct-to-video roots, but the puzzling lack of a more polished façade is 3's biggest mystery; there's little life and even less flow to the animation, and aside from a few close-up shots, the film looks stiff rather than organic, a look that didn't even seem up-to-date when the first film was released in 2006.
Nevertheless, Open Season 3 can proudly boast "mission accomplished." The film manages to create a light and fluffy little diversion that's high on fun and low on intensity. The kids will love it -- it has talking animals, and talking animals they already know -- and will probably want to watch it more than once. Better yet for the target audience, the plot is easy to follow and the new characters are generally likable, even if the roster is getting rather crowded. The film even means well in its themes, but the kids will probably be more content to laugh at the jokes, enjoy the colorful visuals, and if they have the Blu-ray, throw virtual rabbits at the screen for good measure (and if it appears the little ones will in turn want to throw something real at the screen, be sure to keep a supply of plush bunnies on hand -- better something like that than, say, a remote control -- or better yet, teach the kids the difference between the real world and the virtual one). Open Season 3 also makes good use of music -- "Real Wild Child" is a nice touch, even if this version's not quite as catchy and thematically relevant as the one heard in Pretty Woman -- and the film pays homage to the first film with a few scenes that bring back some fond Open Season memories, notably a raid on a convenience store and a binge on all things junk food. The picture even flows well despite a few slowdowns midstream, and the short runtime is definitely one of the film's best assets, keeping things nice and tight and fluff to a minimum.
Open Season 3 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Open Season 3 yields a strong but nevertheless routine 1080p experience. Sony's transfer is great in all the right places, but there's nothing really here to differentiate it from all the other upper-tier animated transfers on the market. Colors are definitely this transfer's selling point. They're incredibly vibrant and appealing, as seen on the lush greens of foliage and sprawling plains, the light tan shading of the Elliot clan, or the darker fur of Boog's brown coat. Detail is fine, too, limited only by the quality of the animation itself. That means fur, trees, and other objects screaming out for superior texturing sometimes don't get it -- there's a definite chunkiness to much of the movie that just doesn't pass muster for a 2011 animated release -- but the Blu-ray handles everything thrown its way with remarkable ease. When the animation does find a chance for better texturing -- look at the close-up shot of a white dog in chapter five that reveals an incredible amount of free-flowing fur -- Sony's Blu-ray excels at delivering it for all it's worth. Depth is fair in some places and the image is as flat as a pancake in others, again the transfer seeming to reflect exactly what it has to work with. A slight bit of banding is the only real mar here. Open Season looks good; it would look even better if the animation gave the transfer more to work with.
Open Season 3 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Open Season 3 features the requisite DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless soundtrack that serves the film well. There's no lack of energy anytime the track calls for it; the film's music is exciting and spacious, flowing from the front channels with ease and letting loose a slight but critical back channel support that rounds it into form. The track plays around with a few directional and speaker-specific sound effects that help to create an immersive listening environment. Whether it's Boog zipping through the soundstage in a shopping cart in one early scene or dialogue that plays off to the sides to accomodate an out-of-frame talking character in another, the track makes sure to offer pinpoint and space-accurate effects throughout. It's all rather basic stuff; nothing about the track sets it apart form the pack, but that's certainly not a bad thing. Sony's track is satisfyingly crisp and accurate all around, and it's completed by solid and smooth dialogue. Well done for a budget DTV animated release.
Open Season 3 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Open Season 3 features a fairly inconsequential collection of extras.
Open Season 3 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Open Season 3 is no great shakes, but for a direct to video outing as part of a floundering franchise? It's not half bad. Sure it was probably written at warp speed and the animation doesn't seem greatly improved in the few years since the original's release, but it's good enough to keep the kids entertained and to bring a few smiles to wary parents' faces. The film features a few good messages and has its heart in the right place, even if the execution is mediocre at best. Sony's Blu-ray release is short on substantive extras, but who needs 'em on a movie like this? The kids will like the included mini games and the parents will be pleased with the solid A/V quality. Recommended to parents of young children.
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Open Season 3 Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Open Season 3 Blu-ray Announced - November 15, 2010
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has announced Open Season 3 for Blu-ray release on January 25, 2011, in a BD/DVD combo pack. In this direct-to-video sequel to Open Season and Open Season 2, Boog switches places with a circus bear bound for Russia and it's up for ...
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