‘We Bought a Zoo’ Blu-ray Review
The widely acclaimed movie adaptation of the real life memoir of Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo, is now available on Blu-ray + DVD combo. We Bought a Zoo stars Matt Damon as Benjamin Mee, Scarlett Johansson as Kelly, the zookeeper, Colin Ford as Dylan, Elle Fanning as Lily, Maggie Elizabeth Jones as Rosie, the scene stealer. It was seriously a toss up between the enchanting Rosie and the animals in the zoo as to who was my favorite. Also popping in is Thomas Hayden Church as Benjamin’s somewhat skirt-chasing level headed brother and Patrick Fugit as Robin Jones, another zoo employee.
We Bought a Zoo tells the story of Benjamin Mee who finds himself, and his family, floundering after the loss of his wife. When his 14 year old son starts acting out and becoming more aloof, Benajmin decides a change of scenery is in order. Of course the perfect place is not without a cost. The place that Benjamin has found, that he hopes will bring his family around, just happens to also have a zoo. A live, formerly running, and still very much in existence zoo that cannot be separated or sold without the home and land. Desperate for change, the Mees take on this new adventure.
We Bought a Zoo has been said to be a heart warming and family movie. It is both of those and more. Matt Damon is the perfect actor to play the sad, yet hopeful, Benjamin Mee. It is easy to believe that he has no idea what he is doing, yet wants to keep trying all the same. Yet beyond the fixer upper nature of the movie, seen in both the zoo and the Mee family, is a stronger love story. No, I do not mean with Scarlett Johansson’s character. I mean the love story between Benjamin and his wife, Katherine (played by Stephanie Szostak). In fact, one of my favorite parts of the films is the very last scene which has little do with the zoo itself. Between the zoo animals, Matt Damon’s performance, the lovely little Rosie and the heart found in this movie, We Bought a Zoo is a must see movie in my book!
The Blu-ray of We Bought a Zoo also includes a regular DVD version and a digital copy version. The Blu-ray is in English 5.1DTS-HD Master Audio, English Descriptive Audio 5.1 Dolby Digital, English-Family Friendly Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, AVC @ 22 MPS, 50GB Dual Layer, and Widescreen 1.85:1.
The Blu-ray also has over 2 hours worth of bonus material! It is almost like a second movie. The extras include:
Deleted and Extended Scenes – There were a total of 20 deleted and extended scenes. Most were only a few minutes long. My favorites include: Elevator Empathy (which gives the viewer more insight into the grieving process), Rosie Names Her Peacocks (because anything that girl did was amazing), and Opening Day (the longest extended scene and one that gave that much more screen time to the zoo in its prime).
Gag Reel – Some funny moments, a lot with animals. Also noticed that Scarlett Johansson did not seem that amused in most of the scenes. At one point, I wondered if she even liked Matt Damon.
We Shot a Zoo – Go Behind the Scenes! – There are four subparts including Intro/Benjamin, We Build a Zoo, Rehearsal/Filming, It’s a Zoo! and Inspiration/That’s a Wrap. These take you through the movie making process including everything from the real Benjamin Mee as inspiration, through building the zoo from scratch for the movie, through the selection of cast and making of the movie. I found this extra almost as much fun as the movie.
Their Happy Is Too Loud – a behind the scenes look at the audio and, even more important, the score and soundtrack for We Bought a Zoo. Just over 17 minutes long.
The Real Mee – This extra goes more in depth into Benjamin Mee’s real story, the difference between his real life and the movie and gives you more insight into him and his character in the movie. Just under 30 minutes long.
Photo Gallery – still phoots by Still Photographer Neal Preston.
Audio Commentary with Diretor Cameron Crowe, Actor JB Smoove and Editor Mark Livolsi who take you through the whole movie frame by frame.
Once again, I was pleasantly surprised with We Bought a Zoo. The only flaw I could find is that, personally, I would like to see more of the love story between Benjamin in his wife as the little I did see sure seemed special. My recommendation is to watch this movie. If you have children with you, you may want to use the Family Audio although the movies itself is not too heavy with adult words or scenes
We Bought a Zoo is available on Blu-ray + DVD Combo at Amazon.com