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Blu-ray Review: Disney’s ‘G-Force’
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disney g-force blu-rayG-Force
3-Disc DVD/Blu-ray Combo
Directed by Hoyt H Yeatman Jr
Starring Sam Rockwell, Jon Favreau, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan, Nicolas Cage, Steve Buscemi, Bill Nighy, Will Arnett, Zak Galifianakis
Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment
Release date: December 15, 2009

I’m an adult that can really enjoy a children’s movie, so long as it’s smart. When I saw the posters for Disney’s live-action/CG-animated combo G-Force — a film about a group of guinea pigs specially trained to be secret government agents — I thought for sure it would be riddled with puns and corny jokes to make little kids laugh. And that’s totally fine, little kids need entertainment too. But, if I have to slap my forehead and roll my eyes through a movie, I’m not sitting through it. Plus, it’s you know, CGI guinea pigs!

As it turns out, I loved G-Force. I know, I know, I’m surprised too. But those furry little government spies are totally adorable, and they kick butt too. Zak Galifianakis stars as Ben, the human leader of the special FBI animal unit G-Force, which consists of guinea pigs Darwin (Sam Rockwell), Juarez (Penelope Cruz), and Blaster (Tracy Morgan), along with mole Speckles (Nicolas Cage), and fly Mooch (Dee Bradley Baker). After their latest field mission to gather damaging evidence against appliance giant Leonard Saber (Bill Nighy) proves unsuccessful, Agent Kip (Will Arnett) informs Ben that the FBI is pulling the funding on the G-Force unit. When the furry agents overhear Kip horrible plans for them, the animals make a run for it and decide to complete their original mission to uncover Saber’s nefarious plans.

Once you accept the premise of talking guinea pigs, all the rest of their life and death Mission: Impossible-like scenarios seem believable too. When the animals are in agent mode, I found that I was totally confident in their abilities and had no fear for their welfare, but once they are thrust into the “real” world inside a cage at a pet shop in the hands of insensitive humans and sadistic children, that’s when I got really scared for them. Every time the animals had to make a getaway, I was holding my breath that they’d make it. And believe it or not, I dug the fly, who I feel stole every steal he was in.

For most of the film, G-Force has a cute little story that keeps you interested with all of its twists and the multi-layerd mission of the animal agents, but the last third of the movie turns into an all-out action movie with explosions — you can thank, I’m sure, producer Jerry Bruckheimer for that. At one point, it pretty much turns into Transformers, which is a far cry from how this film began. Nevertheless, G-Force turned out to be quite entertaining, and will, no doubt, be a hit with kids.

Bonus Features

• Blasters Boot Camp (4:41) —Blaster (Tracy Morgan) gives a tutorial on all the G-Force high-tech equipment, like the Frequency Encoder that allows humans to hear the animals talk. When you complete this boot camp, you’re ready to ride the G-Force specialty vehicle.

• G-Force Mastermind (4:13) — If you’re wondering what made this filmmakers do a film about guinea pig commandos, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Hoyt H. Yeatman, Jr. talk about their surprising inspiration for the film.

• G-Farce: Bloopers (1:49) — Most of these bloopers come from Zak Galifianakis having a hard time keeping a straight face while speaking to nothing, as the CG guinea pigs are added in later. Not as funny a feature as you would think. I thought this would have gone the route of the Pixar bloopers that have the animated characters flubbing their lines.

• Deleted Scenes (6:17)
– March of the Cockroach
– Mooch’s Donut Regimen
– B-B-Bunnies
– Undercover Pets
– Hurley Under Attack
– World Domination

• Three Music Videos
– “Jump” by Flo Rida featuring Nelly Furtado
Flo Rida appears in this video with a computer animated Nelly Furtado, interspersed with scenes from G-Force. Catchy song, with a typical rap video accompaniment minus the scantily clad women.

– “Ready To Rock” by Steve Rushton
Steve Rushton has his own high-tech spy mission to accomplish with the help of the G-Force in his video, that frames some of the story into comic book panels. Very cute video, fits in nicely with the movie.

– “Go G-Force”
A very short G-Force ‘theme’ song, sung in part by G-member Blaster (Tracy Morgan), and featuring the rest of the G-Force gang in the video.

Exclusive Blu-ray Hi-Def Bonus Features:

• Cine-Explore with Darwin, Blaster and their Creator
This is feature-length picture-in-picture commentary, which means that as the film is running, windows open on the side to show behind-the-scenes clips and video footage of the commentator. Note, this is far more intrusive than your typical audio commentary, with a lot of windows opening at once and the commentary taking over the audio of the film most of the time. Director Hoyt provides tons of details on the making of the film, while characters Darwin and Blaster add some playful banter. This feature can be played also with special video files that pause the movie to reveal more making-of details.

• Bruckheimer Animated (3:12) — A short look at producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s biggest effects films, like Pirates of the Caribbean, and the groundbreaking computer graphic effects work that have become a trademark of his films. There’s also an inside at the unique way they combined the animation and live-action for the 3D G-Force.

• Access Granted: Inside the Animation Lab (7:52) — Sony Pictures’ Imagesworks created the animation for the film, and director and effects master Yeatman Jr. shows you the facility where the G-Force was animated. We get to see the artists who worked on the film and learn what they do, as well as the original rough concept animations and sketches through the finalized animation seen in the film.

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