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Shrek Forever After - Blu-ray Movie Review


Shrek Forever After

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Shrek Forever After promises to be the final chapter in the Shrek series and, at this point, it already feels like it’s been one movie and two sets of triplets too many.  Crowded with too many cast members who are mostly in it for the paycheck, Shrek 4 allows for little of the chaotic hilarity that made the first outing so memorable and barely a glimpse of the manic imagination that fueled Shrek 2.  Repeating and rewriting the outline of the first and most energized of the series only adds to the overall tired feeling that encapsulates the final outing of Shrek.

Directed by Mike Mitchell (previously of Sky High and Surviving Christmas), this fourth installment revolves around a couple of new and evil cast members: Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn in a Pee Wee Herman type of vocal performance) and Pied Piper (absurdly piping out such classics as Sure Shot by Beastie Boys) who band together to create a world in which Shrek (Mike Meyers) never existed.  Once tricked into signing a magical contract that erases him out of existence, Shrek gets one day to himself…in the reality he just signed away.  In the alternative world, Rumpelstiltskin is King of what’s left of a destroyed Far Far Away and Fiona (Cameron Diaz) has gone underground (since Shrek didn’t save her in the tower from the first film) to lead an uprising of unfunny Ogres against Rumpel’s oppressive rule.  A joyless Shrek must find a way to return things to normal by sunrise or he will be gone for good.  His solution?  Find his old friends – who are now strangers because he never met them – and convince him (all too easily) to help him reunite with Fiona and share, all over again, True Love’s kiss.

The movie starts with a burst of energy and, certainly, watching Shrek and his buddies – including the kiddos - move around in “real” 3-D is unique (unlike Alice in Wonderland and Clash of the Titans).  However, it seems that making the film for the 3-D format was the only inspired idea within the boundaries of Shrek Forever After.  We see the day-to-day effect of being a friendly family man type of ogre that Shrek has become and then, when the alternate universe begins upon the brooms of the wicked witches, the movie quickly becomes a draining stretch as the idea that made the film worthy becomes tame and downright lazy.  There is hardly any joy in these performances – outside of Rumple and Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) and the bland jokes – while amusing to see Gingy (Conrad Vernon) as a gladiator in the alternate universe – suffer from a story that largely repeats the plot points of the first one to a lesser degree.

While the film somewhat apologizes for the mightily directionless Shrek the Third (other than the babies there is no mention of that film’s events – even Rumplestiltskin has been redesigned) the latest and, hopefully as promised, final installment is simply a pale ghost of its former self.  While the first movie in the series will be remembered best (as it should be), the sequels seem to be less, ironically enough, animated.  The littlest of kids might still find the ride in Shrek Forever After amusing, but the older ones might recognize that the Shrek Express has simply run out of steam and ask, as one did loudly during the screening, “Is the movie over yet?”  Fingers crossed, kid.  Fingers crossed.


Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
2 stars

4 stars



Blu-ray Experience
3 Stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - December 7, 2010
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles
: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Audio:
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs:
50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); DVD copy; Bonus View (PiP)

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • The Animators' Corner - picture-in-picture commentary/behind-the-scenes supplement
  • Audio commentary track with Director Mike Mitchell, Head of Story Walt Dohrn, and Producers Gina Shay and Teresa Cheng

Featurettes:

  • Shrek's Interactive Journey
  • Spotlight (1080p, 13:46)
  • The Tech of 'Shrek Forever After' (1080p, 7:32)
  • Shrek, Rattle & Roll
    • Darling I Do music video (1080p, 4:00)
  • Shrek the Musical
    • From Swamp to Stage: The Making of 'Shrek the Musical (1080p, 8:13)
    • Who I'd Be (1080p, 3:56)
    • Shrek's Yule Log (1080p, 30:18, Dolby TrueHD 7.1)
    • Donkey's Caroling Christmas-Tacular (1080p, 5:11, Dolby TrueHD 7.1)
  • Deck the Swamp
    • 12 Days of Christmas Pop-Up Book (1080p, 2:18)
    • Donkey's Decoration Scramble (1080p)
    • Cookin' With Cookie (1080p, 4:54)

3 Deleted Scenes

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