Friday, January 28, 2011

Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 Blu-ray Review

After the first movie made over $150 million at the box office, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see a direct to video sequel being released. Although the characters from the first movie have returned, several original cast members including Drew Barrymore, Andy Garcia, Jamie Lee Curtis, Piper Perabo, and Manolo Cardona did not.

Film ( 2 out of 5 stars) 

The movie starts off with what appears to be a lavish wedding for Rachel (Erin Cahill) and Sam (Marcus Coloma) who got together at the end of the last movie. But no!  The thousands of dollars spent on what can only be described as a perfect Martha Stewart luxurious wedding, is for their two dogs, Papi (George Lopez and Chloe (Odette Yustman). That’s right.  A full scale wedding with a ton of guests, an open bar, and catering, is all for some dogs.  Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs but I don’t think that the movie is going to endear itself  to too many people with scenes like this during these hard economic times.
Not everyone is doing well though, as Sam’s parents are about to be evicted from their house  because they can no longer pay their mortgage.  I kept waiting for someone to say something about the extravagant wedding when they’re told that they need $40,000 to stay in their house but to my disappointment it didn’t happen.  Being a Disney movie, I guess everyone knew that the dogs would save the house anyway.
In any case, the dogs get married and have puppies who of course precocious and adorable and constantly get themselves into trouble. It doesn’t help that Papi tells them stories that inspires them to act out which dismays Chloe who wants Papi to start disciplining their children more.  Another subplot sends Rachel to the rain-forest for some reason so Sam is left to brood on how he doesn’t think he can offer her the life he thinks she needs.  Add in a obnoxious cat-loving banker, a snooty poodle owner, and some bank robbers, and you have the rest of the paint by numbers plot.

Video (4 out of 5 stars) 

This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer looks pretty good for a direct to video movie.  Colors pop, black levels are acceptable, and detail is satisfactory. There were a couple of scenes that looked overly dark and there was some poor blending of stock footage, but overall this was a decent transfer but it’s a far cry from the rest of the Disney titles I’ve been reviewing.  It’s been a long time since I gave a Disney movie less than a perfect rating for the video quality, but this one just couldn't match them.

Audio ( 4 out of 5 stars) 

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track was also strong but not perfect. Dialogue (human and otherwise) is clear and front and center, while the sound effects are directional and spread well across the channels.  The rear channels get a little action as well and this is a pretty good track for a non theatrical release.

Special Features ( 2 out of 5 stars) 

There’s only three extras on the disc which is a letdown for a Blu-ray disc from Disney.  The only positive thing I can say about them is that they are all in HD.
  • Beverly Hills Chihuahua Challenge – A multiple choice game hosted by Papi.
  • Blooper Faux Paws – A collection of bloopers from the movie.
  • Bridget Mindler Music Video – The singer performs “This is My Paradise.”

Final Thoughts ( 4 out of 5 stars) 

This is a movie aimed squarely at children and my young son enjoyed it for the most part as long as the dogs were on the screen.  His Dad not so much.  It is nice to see the Disney cross-pollination of their stars continue in this movie as I recognized several actors from their other TV shows or movies.  That’s a good gig if you can get it!   The movie has a predictable script, poor acting, and its attempts at humor fall flat.  On the plus side, it looks and sounds good and the talking dogs look pretty good.  If you liked the first one or have young children who love dogs, you will probably enjoy this one but don’t get too excited.
Order your copy today!

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