“Hop” Blu-Ray Review Tom March 27, 2012 Movie Reviews, Movies Imagine my excitement when I heard the creators of “Despicable Me” were creating another animated flick featuring bunny rabbits and Easter. Now imagine my disappointment when I heard that Russell Brand was going to be the voice of the main bunny… and imagine further my dispair when I heard that James Marsden was going to be in the lead, and not because I dislike James Marsden (because I don’t), but because that meant that it was going to be animation mixed with live-action… which, as of late, I can’t stand. Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent animation/live-action flicks out there; “Space Jam” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” are the only two that come to mind, but those were traditional animation mixed with live-action, not computer animation mixed with live-action. My problem with this lies in the fact that computer animation, in this sense, doesn’t ever seem to blend well with the live-action scenes. The lighting is never right and always makes things look like they aren’t supposed to be there. Granted I understand that it’s a movie about a talking Easter Bunny… but still. Maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t enjoy these kinds of movies, and this one was no different. The movie follows Fred O’Hare (Marsden) as he tries to straighten his life out. He has no job, lives out of his car and his parents have no respect for him. One day he hits a talking bunny with his car and things completely turn around, kind of. EB (voiced by Brand) is next in line to become the Easter Bunny, but wants no part of it. All he wants to do is play the drums, but his dad doesn’t think that’s what Easter Bunnies are supposed to do. See the correlation here? Obviously these two are destined to meet and spend the rest of the movie trying to figure out how to please their parents, but at the same time do what they want to do with their lives. I won’t tell you how it ends, but it ends exactly how you would expect it to. As you can probably tell from the way I started this review, I was extremely disappointed with this movie. I loved “Despicable Me” and was hoping to have some of the same type of comedy thrown in the mix here, but instead this was just boring and drab. So if you think this is going to be just as good as “Despicable Me”, I would suggest just waiting for “Despicable Me 2” which is coming soon. Video In terms of the video on this blu-ray, it was ok. The computer animation seemed alien in the world of the living and it took me out of the movie completely. The scenes where it was all CG or all live-action where, for the most part, fine, but when the two came together everything fell apart. There seemed to be a lot of grain in a lof of the scenes and it was just an overall poor showing if you ask me. The colors pop like you would expect a movie about Easter to pop and the black levels were solid. I really think it was just the mixing of CG and live-action that made the video quality suffer. Audio Surprisingly the audio was the best part of the blu-ray. Presented in 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, everything was pretty well rounded here. The voices are crystal clear and the sound mixing is spot on. If there is one redeeming quality of this blu-ray it’s the audio, but I don’t think that’s enough to save this one. Special Features The disc was jam packed with special features, or so it seemed. There are a good amount of menu items, but each one only amounts to about 2-3 minutes each, so I felt a little gipped. The U-Control Features allow you to watch the movie while EB “tweets” random messages and the “Pink Beret” tracker just keeps you abreast of what the current location in the movie is. Neither of these were very interesting. The longest of the special features is “The World of Hop” which clocks in at around 9 minutes. It includes six featurettes that dive into the different worlds and characters in the movie. Not terrible exciting either. “Phil’s Dance Party” is the “All-New Mini-Movie” featured prominently on the front of the box art, but it’s basically just chick’s dancing around and Carlos hijacking the party. The rest of the special features aren’t really noteworthy, but they include “All Access with Cody Simpson”, “Russell Brand: Being the Bunny”, “Russell Brand’s Kid Crack Ups”, “Carlos on Carlos: The Premiere According to Carlos”, “Emotion in Motion: The Dance of Ken Daurio”, “Post Coup Commentary: Carlos & Phil Tell All” and a few games. Each of these features clock in at around 3 minutes and are exactly what you’d expect from their titles. Overall I wasn’t too impressed with the features on this disc. Even though it seems like they jammed this thing full of cool extras, they really aren’t that cool. Overall I would have to say skip this one and just go back and watch “Despicable Me” again, or even “Space Jam”. Between the video looking ‘meh’ and the movie itself being ‘not-so-great’, you’re better off saving the time and effort.