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Cars 3 Blu-ray Review

Cars3

“Cars 3” is a surprisingly mature entry in the “Cars” franchise.

In the third entry of Disney-Pixar’s “Cars” franchise, we discover that Lightning McQueen isn’t what he used to be. Not only is he slowing down, but a younger generation of racers (including hot-shot Jackson Storm) are starting to become the stars. After being severely injured in a race, Lightning begins to train at a racing center under the tutelage of Cruz Ramirez. The training doesn’t go well and Lightning finds himself on the verge of being taken off the racing circuit. In order to prevent that, he tries to get back into shape, but alas, his journey doesn’t pan out in the way he thinks it will. As a result, he begins to ponder a new life for himself.

After the colossal misfire that was “Cars 2,” “Cars 3” goes back to basics and focuses on what made the first film rewarding- the characters. Lightning McQueen is thankfully once again the main focus here as we go on a bittersweet journey with the character. Without delving into spoiler territory, I will say McQueen’s character arc is a very adult story about aging, youth, legacy, life, technological advancements, finding yourself and change. It’s not exactly subtle in how it’s presented, but it is quite moving. There’s actually a lot of heart in this story especially with all of the callbacks to Doc Hudson (the late Paul Newman’s character from the first film) whose shadow is all over this film. As for Mater, he is thankfully mostly sidelined here. He was always better in small doses.

Of course, “Cars 3” is not ALL about fan favorite characters. There are some new faces including the most notable and best new character Cruz Ramirez (superbly played by Cristela Alonzo). Her interactions and scenes with Lightning McQueen are a huge part of the film’s success.

On the downside, there are a few moments I can do without here. The big middle set piece of the film (a demolition derby) is over-the-top and silly and kind of slows the movie down to a certain extent. Younger audiences will probably be immensely entertained by the action though.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? Time and time again Pixar films have had some of the most colorful and pristine Blu-ray transfers. “Cars 3” is no exception.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This is a loud and lively track as it should be. The racing scenes are particularly satisfying from an audio perspective.

Extras: Digital copy, DVD copy, Disney trailers, a poignant animated short titled “Lou” about kids and lost and found items (sort of “Toy Story” esque), an in-universe short titled “Miss Fritter’s Racing Skool,” a featurette on the character “Cruz Ramirez: The Yellow Car That Could,” a feature on real race car driver William Byron in “Ready For The Face,” a talkative and informative commentary by Brian Fee, Kevin Reher, Andrea Warren, and Jay Ward, 4 promos and 5 “Cars 3” trailers, 5 deleted scenes and an intro to them, 3 gorgeous Fly Throughs of the digital environments of Thomasville, Florida International Speedway and Rust-EZE Racing Center, 3 “My First Car” stories from Kerry Washington, Craig Foster, and Valeria Barra, and a 5 part Behind The Scenes set of extras about the story, the Crazy 8 demolition derby, die cast car toys, racing history, and graphics.

Overall Thoughts: After some stinkers as of late (I’m looking at you “Finding Dory” and “The Good Dinosaur”), “Cars 3” is just a downright satisfying Pixar film. I believe it will be especially meaningful to fans who have grown up with the franchise.

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November 10, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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