Inside Blu-Ray: Mr. Popper’s Penguins (2011)

MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS

Rating: PG for mild rude humor and some language.
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Director: Mark Waters
Stars: Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino, Clark Gregg, Angela Lansbury

Technical Details:

Visual: Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC; Video resolution: 1080p; Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: English: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish

Studio Synopsis:

In this family comedy, Jim Carrey is Mr. Popper, a driven businessman who is clueless when it comes to the important things in life – until he inherits six penguins. Popper’s penguins turn his swank New York apartment into a snowy winter wonderland – and the rest of his life upside-down. Filmed on a refrigerated soundstage with real Emperor Penguins, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a contemporary adaptation of the classic book.

My Theatrical Review of June 19, 2011 (2 stars out of 5)

Jim Carrey’s return to lighter comedic fare comes in the form of the family film, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins”, a mediocre film that often plays to the lowest common denominator when it comes to humor and laughs. Carrey’s inspired performance makes this watchable but the questionable undercurrents of the plot are troubling, even if they will sail over the heads of the littlest of viewers.

The Extra Content:

Commentary by Director Mark Waters, Editor Bruce Green and VFX Supervisor Richard Hollander

Nimrod & Stinky’s Arctic Adventure:  A 6-minute animated short which picks up after the film’s conclusion and looks ridiculously amateurish.  It would appear to have been created with Flash and features film star Clark Gregg reprising his role as the zoo handler desperately trying to steal the penguins from Antarctica back to his New York City zoo.

Deleted Scenes:  12 in total with the option for a commentary from the same folks providing the film’s commentary as well.

Gag Reel:  Two minutes of Jim Carrey and other cast members being you know goofy…as in most gag reels.  This time though there are penguins!

The Legacy of Mr. Popper’s Penguins:  Literary experts and family members of the book’s authors, Richard and Florence Atwater, talk about the origins of the Newberry Award-winner book and the lasting popularity of the children’s book.

Ready For Their Closeup:  The cast and crew spend more than 8 minutes talking about the process of shooting with live penguins and all the steps which must be taken to ensure their safety.

Ladies And Gentoomen:  Everything you ever wanted to know about the Gentoo Penguin, the breed of penguin used in the film.

Stuffy Penguin Theater:  A look at how the crew used stuffed penguins as placeholders for the visual effects shots which were utilized alongside the real penguins also found in the film.

Penguin Pandemonium:  Director Mark Waters shows how he, the lighting director, and Jim Carrey prepared for a sequence involving CGI-penguins running amok in Carrey’s apartment.

Original Story Sampler:  An interactive feature which allows viewers to “read” the first few pages and first chapters of the source material from 1938.

The film’s theatrical trailer is featured.

Overall Thoughts:

Yeah, alright so, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” is not a good film at all, but it does have good intentions.  Kids will enjoy the low-rent bathroom humor (sigh…) and visuals of seeing real and CGI-penguins dancing around and wreaking havoc on Jim Carrey and other characters.  While there are a scant few laughs to be found amidst all of the silliness, discerning eyes will appreciate how seamless the integration between real and fake penguins is and Carrey does give an inspired, bought-in performance with all of this.  As I said in my review, the source material provided all the movie these producers needed to make a compelling and interesting family film.  Why they left essentially the front and back covers alone, and rewrote the entire classic novel, is beyond me.

SHOULD I RENT IT?!?! – Perhaps.
SHOULD I BUY IT?!?! – Please Don’t.