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The Smurfs 2 in 3D(2013)
The Smurfs team up with their human friends to rescue Smurfette, who has been kidnapped by Gargamel since she knows a secret spell that can turn the evil sorcerer's newest creation - creatures called the Naughties - into real Smurfs.
For more about The Smurfs 2 in 3D and the The Smurfs 2 in 3D Blu-ray release, see the The Smurfs 2 in 3D Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on December 2, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Ricci, Katy Perry, Alan Cumming, Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays
Director: Raja Gosnell
» See full cast & crew
The Smurfs 2 in 3D Blu-ray Review
less magic, more monotony, quality 3D.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, December 2, 2013
Time to Smurf some magic.
The Smurfs is a delightful little film that played nicely within its kid-friendly confines and generated plenty of smiles with its silly but playfully mischievous plot. The film is replete with balanced humor and a visual novelty, a simple but adorable little experience with nothing but family-friendly vibes and plenty of zest to go around. Its successor, the aptly titled The Smurfs 2, offers much of the same but gone is a large chunk of the breezy charm, replaced here with a rather tedious pace despite a halfway imaginative origins story. Raja Gosnell returns to the Director's chair. He brings much of the same visual pizazz and appeal to the project, but this film gets too bogged down in run-around repetitive action and dry themes. It's only occasionally whimsical and oftentimes overwrought, failing to find a happy medium balance to its pace and never reaching that summit of agreeableness upon which the first film was built. While both films feel largely superficial, this sequel comes across as especially vapid. It offers some basic fun but cannot match the spunk and spirit of its predecessor in any scene.
It's Smurfette's (voiced by Katy Perry) birthday, and that means she's having her yearly birthday dream, a dream in which she sees herself not a natural Smurf but rather a creation of the evil wizard Gargamel (Hank Azaria) who made her to infiltrate and destroy the Smurfs. Papa Smurf (voiced by Jonathan Winters) reassures her of her proper place amongst the blue creatures. When she comes to believe her fellow Smurfs have forgotten her birthday, she retreats to a secluded place only to be accosted and kidnapped by Vexy (voiced by Christina Ricci), one of two small, gray, part-Smurf creatures Gargamel, now a worldwide wizard sensation, has created in hopes of finding an endless source of Smurf essence. With Smurfette, Gargamel hopes to secure unlimited powers. Papa, Vanity (voiced by John Oliver), Clumsy (voiced by Anton Yelchin), and Grouchy (voiced by George Lopez) travel to the human realm to save her. They team up with old friends Patrick (Neil Patrick Harris) and his wife Grace (Jayma Mays), their son Blue (Jacob Tremblay), and Patrick's stepfather Victor (Brendan Gleeson) on a mission to Paris to save their companion before Gargamel can use Smurfette's essence to further his evil agenda.
First, the things the film gets right. The Smurfs 2, much like its predecessor, is an unmitigated success of color and buoyancy, a treat for the eyes and a simplified but oftentimes visually arresting experience in terms of its lively and audience-friendly presentation. The animation is boundlessly terrific, a near perfect blend of real and digital. The Smurf characters look terrific; they feel voluminous, very lifelike, and they integrate seamlessly with both the real-world environment and their human co-stars. The picture offers playful action, action that's safe for the entire family, replacing real peril with comic mischief and harmless whimsy. It's everything a child's movie of this variety should be and in every scene there's no missing the fact that the series has struck gold in its superficial presentation. The Smurfs are brought to life with faultless voice performances, and the villain Gargamel is again the film's highlight, the character enjoying the prefect over-the-top villainous performance from Hank Azaria, the actor delivering one of the best comically inclined, deliberately goofy, and hammy efforts cinema has ever seen.
Unfortunately, most of what the film gets right is largely superficial. While the previous film didn't feature all that much dramatic depth, it found an excellent balance between all of the external shenanigans, its amazing visual appearance, and a bit of drama, soul, and heart underneath it all. The Smurfs 2, despite what would appear to be a deeper, more personal story rather than the first's classically simple "fish out of water" tale, can't find a rhythm to save its life. It opens nicely and certainly breezes through a few stretches, but the film feels bogged down with several unnecessary and overlong scenes. It attempts to find a double purpose by exploring not only a Smurf origins story but dramatically furthering the human side of the equation, too. While Brendan Gleeson is rock-solid, as usual, his character feels fully superfluous. It's nice to see him in the movie, but there's not much contribution of great importance. Chances are the youngest audiences will tire of the film's dramatic pauses and find little value in the picture's effort to tell a deeper story rather than simply cover the screen with zany Smurfs battling a mischievous villain. Unlike the first picture, this one takes itself a little too seriously for its own good, and the result is a fair but oftentimes dragging experience.
The Smurfs 2 in 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
The Smurfs 2's 3D Blu-ray transfer impresses throughout. The image showcases good, consistent depth of field in every scene, whether sprawling landscapes or more intimate locations. Spacing even in short distances is readily noticeable; for example, the space between Smooth's glasses frame and his face looks very real. There are a handful of extra-screen moments, such as when Smurf noses seem to extend beyond the boundaries or when magical sparks appear to drift in front of the 3D display. Just as critical, the 3D image retains the dazzling colors and positive details of its 2D-only counterpart. Bold Smurf blues, beautiful natural greens, and all those shades in the candy store still sparkle. Details, both digital and real, remain precise across the board, from cat fur to the tiniest lines in animated Smurf clothing. Image clarity is fantastic throughout. The only downside comes in a handful of shots that look a little flatter and pastier than they do in 2D; a good example is a dialogue scene between Patrick and Victor in chapter 12. Otherwise, the image shows precise black levels and balanced skin textures. As with the 2D release, there are no noticeable bouts of noise, banding, or blocky backgrounds. All around, this is a terrific 3D image from Sony.
The Smurfs 2 in 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The Smurfs 2 features a robust, well-defined, and fully pleasing DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack. This is a rich, absorbing, full presentation that delivers musical notes with uncanny lifelike precision. There's perfect balance and body to every note, with wide natural spacing and just the right blend of surround information. Ambient support elements are very nicely defined throughout the film, whether city traffic, crowd applause, or natural flavors. Every moment feels fully immersive, but naturally so, whether the situation calls for heavier support pieces or nuanced elements that help better define a quieter moment. Action effects are equally impressive, particularly some deep, dynamic sound effects that power into the stage near film's end. Dialogue plays evenly and accurately from the center. As is the video, this track is of reference quality from beginning to end.
The Smurfs 2 in 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Smurfs 2 contains a hodgepodge of small supplements. All supplements are found on the included 2D-only disc. No 3D-specific supplemental content is included.
The Smurfs 2 in 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Smurfs 2 may be a cute, cuddly movie, but it lacks the novelty, charm, and flow of it predecessor. The film exceeds its boundaries, attempting to put together a slightly deeper experience than is required. The result is a movie that's occasionally too slow, too absent the whimsy and sheer fun factor of the original. Hank Azaria is again the best reason to watch, and he's only improved on his comically deviant villain Gargamel. The Smufs show little personality, even in the confines of their specific essences, and even highlight character Smurfette can't escape the clutches of a very generic arc. It's a decent sequel but it's nowhere near as much fun as the original. Sony's Blu-ray 3D release of The Smurfs 2 features excellent 3D video video and fantastic lossless audio. A decent array of extras are included. Worth a rental.
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The Smurfs 2 in 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The Smurfs 2 Blu-ray - October 7, 2013
Sony Pictures Animation has officially announced and detailed its upcoming 2D and 3D combo pack editions of director Raja Gosnell's The Smurfs 2 (2013), featuring the voices of Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, Katy Perry, and Hank Azaria. The two releases will ...
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