Thursday, July 4, 2013
The Pirates! Band of Misfits 2D (2012)
"We're Not Really Scientists. It's Us, the Pirates. See?"
A few months ago; while searching through the used Blu-ray copies at Drug Mart, I managed to score a used copy of The Pirates! Band of Misfits while another coupon deal was going on and managed to score it for $6. I had been trying to score a copy of the film during Black Friday 2012 with no luck. I believe back then, it was going for like $10 for a brand new copy, but for $6 + tax, I felt this was just right.
The film revolves around the Pirate Captain, voiced by Hugh Grant, as he tries to win the "Pirate of the Year" awards. While he is out done by three higher up pirates, the Captain gives up hope on ever winning the prize. He begins to raid every ship with no success and finally hits a ship that has Charles Darwin on it. Darwin realizes that the Pirate Captain's faithful parrot is indeed to be a dodo bird, which has been extinct for about 200 years. Darwin takes the Captain and his crew back to London where hilarity ensues and the Pirate Captain must make the choice on keeping his beloved bird or giving her up to the Queen of England.
I thought the film was pretty funny. I really liked how the pirates kept ruining Darwin's plans on taking the dodo away as they disguise themselves from girl scouts to scientists. It did feel like it dragged a bit in some spots, especially during the first half hour before the pirates land in England. After that, it felt to flow evenly and I enjoyed the humor. I give the film a 3.5/5.
Sony has presented the film in it's original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and in 1080p with MPEG4 encode. It's nice to see an animated film in scope, seeing that most are in 1.78/85:1 is a bit boring if you ask me. The film has a bitrate that stays in the mid-20's for Mbps. It's pretty flawless, in terms of quality since it's been all done digitally. It's as close as perfection as possible. 5/5.
Sony has given the film a very nice English DTS-HD MA 5.1; along with a French dub track in DTS-HD MA 5.1 and a Spanish dub in basic Dolby Digital 5.1. For those who have hearing problems, we have an English descriptive audio track. The main English audio track is all around amazing. Like the video presentation, Sony gives the film's audio presentation something as close to perfect as possible. 5/5.
We some pretty interesting and entertaining bonus materials; a commentary by Pete Lord; three short films; two making of segments; some games; and trailers. There's also a DVD and Ultraviolet copies provided in this release which I don't honestly care for at all. The three short films, two of which are prior stop motion works by Pete Lord are pretty entertaining. The third short is "So You Want to Be a Pirate?" which is more like a parody of a late night talk show and runs for a good twenty minutes long. Even though I thought it was good, what was the point of it?
The two making of segments run for a total of a half hour, shows a good in depth look at how this film was put together and shows how much vast detail goes into getting a stop motion film made on a studio level. And it also shows how much care went into getting us the final product. I give all these bonus materials a 5/5.
Sony has given this film the release it deserves. The audio and video presentation is flawless and is quite demo worthy for those who would like to show off how good an animated film looks in high definition. Considering I picked this release up for a very low price, I'd say it's worth picking up for anywhere up to $15 to $20. I give The Pirates! Band of Misfits a 4.5/5.