[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=6307[/img]Title: Yogi Bear
Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Anna Faris, Tom Cavanagh, Andrew Daly
Directed By: Eric Brevig
Written By: Jeffrey Ventimilia, Joshua Sternin:
Runtime: 80 Minutes
When Mayor Brown (Daly) decides to turn the city's deficit into a surplus by closing Jellystone Park and turning it into an agricultural goldmine by selling off the forest, it is up to Ranger Smith to find a way to stop him. That proves easier said than done when Yogi Bear (Aykroyd) decides that Ranger Smith (Cavanagh ) needs the type of help that only Yogi can provide. It’s not long before a series of follies created by this bumbling bear creates a bigger problem for the ranger than the mayor ever could. Now it’s up to Ranger Smith, Boo Boo (Timberlake ) and Rachel (Faris) to undo the damage that Yogi has done and find a way to stop the mayor and save Jellystone Park.
It has become an annual event for studios to re-visit some old cartoon series and try to make a live action adaptation of it. From ‘George of the Jungle’ to ‘Scooby-Doo’, Hollywood can’t seem to stop themselves from exploiting these characters and Yogi Bear is just the latest of these cartoon icons to get this treatment and the results are, in my opinion, fairly abysmal. From the lame, and somewhat slanted premise, about evil capitalists and their desire to make a buck even if it means destroying a forest, to the stereo typical conservative mayor that is behind it all, Yogi Bear doesn’t hesitate to take a few social jabs as well.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=6303[/img]Dan Aykroyd stars with Justin Timberlake, Anna Faris and Tom Cavanagh as Yogi, Boo Boo, Rachel and Ranger Smith respectively. The first problem that I had with Yogi Bear is that this is basically a live action film based on a mediocre character. I mean, Yogi Bear isn’t what I would call the pinnacle of the Hanna-Barbara universe. Second, the cast doesn’t seem very engaged in the story and most of the actors are character actors just going through the motions. Now, that all being said, this is a kid’s movie and I am sure that most kids, ages 3-7, will probably find Yogi Bear to be a fun movie, but parents be warned, there isn’t much for you in this one.
I’ll admit that there are some cartoon-to-live action adaptations that are not that bad. The first Scooby Doo, Alvin and the Chipmunks and even The Flintstones were tolerable, but for every one of those there is a Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right and sadly now Yogi Bear. I am not sure what bothers me more, having to sit through Yogi Bear, or having the knowledge that it made enough at the box office to warrant a sequel.
Rated PG for some mild rude humor
The video in Yogi Bear is fairly top notch. The resolution is near perfect and the clarity is spot on. The colors pop off the screen, but not in an over powering way. Colors are actually muted just enough as not to distract from the rest of the scene. Jellystone Park flourishes with various shades of greens and sepia tones that fill the screen accurately and brilliantly and skin tones are natural and warm. Blacks are inky and deep and shadows appear accurately and well delineated. The local city is a balanced contrast to Jellystone’s lush and vibrant landscape offering a gritty and polluted alternative that has plenty of structural detail in the brick, steel and glass that make up the architecture.
Though the transfer looked good, some of the CGI did not look so good. The turtle in the movie was a bit cheesy and some of the action sequences with Yogi showed too many faults within the finished product however; I won’t fault the transfer for it as this was clearly an issue with post production. Additionally, I thought that some of the effects such as the fireworks in the big anniversary party were less than perfect and just plain looked bad.
Yogi Bear comes to Blu-Ray in 5.1 DTS-HD-MA and the results are very good, but not what I felt they could have been. The ambient noises in the surround mix are very detailed and clear and the entire sound stage gets a decent workout, but I just felt the sound as whole lacked the proper punch. The rapids for instance could have used a lot more bass as the rush of the waterfall approached and the fireworks seemed to lack impact. I also felt that the imaging was lagging substantially as well. The front sound stage just didn’t seem to flow the way that I have gotten accustomed to from many of today’s movies. Some of the surround activity also seemed off to me with noises that seemed to emanate from the wrong direction. As with the video, these issues seem to be a post production problem and not a fault of the codec itself.
The zany music that sets several of Yogi’s mishaps in motion comes across clear and energetic and does do its job of adding plenty of energy to the scenes and many of the intricacies in the surround mix were alive and active helping round out the effects. Like I said, not a bad bit of audio, just not that memorable either.
- Digital Copy/DVD
- Spending a Day at Jellystone Park
- Are you Smarter Than the Average Bear
- Looney Tunes: Rabid Ride
I guess in the end, Yogi Bear is really just mediocre at best. Little kids will probably laugh and giggle at the larger than life bumbling antics of a bear in a tie and hat, but some parents will probably groan with disappointment at the destruction of yet another childhood memory. Hollywood really is running out of ideas as I kind of believe that Yogi himself could have written a better script. Yogi may be “smarter than the average bear”, it’s just a shame that his movie isn’t. Until next time campers, have a good day and in case I don't see ya later, a good afternoon, a good evening, and a good night! :wave: