Saturday, October 28, 2017

Blu-Ray Review: Cars 3

Cars 3 brings us back to the core values of the first film. We get an amazing comeback movie reminiscent of the original Cars movie in a young vs. old and change vs. heritage story. The humor, heart, action and a nostalgia of the first movie is back in this third movie in the franchise.

We open with Lightning McQueen on top of the world but suddenly his world changes with the arrival of hotshot rookie Jackson Storm (voiced by Armie Hammer). Jackson Storm takes the racing world by storm and brings a wave of next generation racers into the racing world and many of Lightning's friends are forced into retirement.

Lightning continues to race and pushes himself too far that leads to this dramatic crash that we saw in the first teaser trailer and poster. Now Lightning questions if he should race again. After months of time to think he decides to make a comeback with the help of an ambitious new sponsor, Sterling (voiced by Nathan Fillion) and an over-eager trainer, Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo).

Lightning begins his training with Cruz and we get into the deeper story of someone who is aging and slowly comes to terms with not being the best at what they do anymore. The relationship between Lightning and Cruz is a great one and you watch it grow and develop throughout the movie. You learn that Cruz is not only a more than capable trainer but she once had a dream of being a racer herself but ruined her only chance.

It is to be noted that Cars 3 makes little to no mention of Cars 2 and seems more like a direct sequel to the first Cars movie rather than the third of the franchise. On the other side of that, Doc Hudson is of huge importance here. Paul Newman passed away after the first film and they used his dialogue from the original to great effect throughout the film. We get a much greater sense of Doc's story and how it pertains to Lightning's thought process of his future.

This is definitely the best of the Cars franchise. It ends in a way that you can see a fourth film down the road. It is a wonderful film about moving on with one's life or career while surrounding itself in an underdog sports story.

Video Quality:

Cars 3 is another gorgeous 1080p blu-ray from Disney. The rainbow of colors is what really stands out here. The colors of the cars and the various types of paints shine. The textures on the various surfaces are near photo-realistic from sandy beaches to the glossy interior of the state-of-the-art training facilities. Every detail is impressive from the tire treads to the rust on Mater's body. Another outstanding transfer from Disney.

Audio Quality:

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack is stunning. The sounds of the race track are spot on. You get a sense of precise movement on the track with the immersive audio, the sounds of the engine to the PA announcements. The score is extremely clear as is the dialogue.

Bonus Features: 

Disc One: 

  • Lou (1080p, DTS-HD MA 7.1, 6:43): Another outstanding Pixar animated short about recess and lost-and-found items coming to life.
  • Miss Fritter's Racing Skoool (1080p, 2:48): A funny commercial aimed at cars looking to get their groove back.
  • Ready for the Race (1080p, 5:40): Real-life human race car driver William Byron discusses his passion for racing and life as a professional driver.
  • Cruz Ramirez: The Yellow Car That Could (1080p, 7:46): A closer look at designing and voicing the film's key new character.
  • Audio Commentary: Director Brian Fee, Producer Kevin Reher, Co-Producer Andrea Warren, and Creative Director Jay Ward discuss their work on the franchise, character design, story and themes and how they are broadly and intimately depicted in the film, diversity in the voice cast, general technical construction, and a whole lot more.

Disc Two: 

  • Behind the Scenes (1080p): A five-part feature.
    • Generations: The Story of Cars 3 (11:20): An insightful look at the story making process of Cars 3. 
    • Let's. Get. Crazy. (7:41): A look at the making the Thunder Hollow sequence.
    • Cars to Die(cast) For (5:21): Taking a look at the toys of Cars 3.
    • Legendary (11:22): The filmmakers take a look at racing history to help them make a better film. 
    • World's Fastest Billboard (5:30): Take a look at the logos and made-up brands in the film.
  • Fly Throughs (1080p): A look through some of the film's key digital environments. Included are Thomasville (1:10), Florida International Speedway (0:37), and Rust-Eze Racing Center (0:56).
  • My First Car (1080p): Cast and crew discuss their first cars: A Green Car on the Red Carpet with Kerry Washington (1:53), Old Blue (1:21), and Still in the Family (2:16).
  • Deleted Scenes (1080p, 26:17 total runtime): The Boogie WoogieLug NutsJars of DirtThe Bolt, and More Than New Paint. With optional director introduction.
  • Trailers (1080p): Crash -- North America Teaser (0:56), Icon -- North America Trailer (2:33), Theatrical Payoff -- Japan Trailer (2:02), All New -- International Teaser (0:31), and Rivalry -- Global Trailer (2:10).
  • Promos (1080p): Cars D'oeuvres (4:27) offers character moments against a black background while Car Reveals briefly shows off a trio of characters -- Lightning McQueen (0:39), Cruz Ramirez (0:41), and Jackson Storm (0:39) -- in close-up.


While this may or may not be the end of the Cars franchise, it returns to the core values of the first film. A wonderful young vs. old and change vs. heritage racing story. Add Disney's high level video and audio transfer and a wealth of great bonus features make this a highly recommended addition to your blu-ray library. 

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