Directed by: Cameron Crowe
Starring: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Colin Ford, Elle Fanning
MPAA Rating: PG
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Running Time: 124 minutes
Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Matt Damon can do just about anything. He ranges from kicking ass as Jason Bourne to father who buys a zoo, and he does it really well. Maggie Elizabeth Jones definitely is the cutest thing ever and easily steals the show though. The film is from writer/director Cameron Crowe (“Jerry Maguire”) who really knows how to take a film and make it booth funny/dramatic and also inspiring. Though not the best movie of the year and easily the worst titled film of 2011, this film still has a lot finds a way to warm up your heart. Too cheesy? Oh well, I don’t care…I enjoyed it.
This inspirational true story is based on the memoir by Benjamin Mee. Matt Damon stars as Ben Mee, a man who’s wife recently passed away decided to take his two kids and move into a new house. Of course it happened that where they move just happens to be a zoo. With the help of the zookeeper (Scarlett Johansson), Mee and her family get the zoo from rundown to operational in order to get a fresh start. Notable performances from Thomas Haden Church, Colin Ford and Elle Fanning as well.
The Blu-ray release of “We Bought a Zoo” is fantastic. The 1080p transfer looks great and really sharp picture. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is subtle but showcases Sigur Ros’ Jonsi score very well. Besides the Blu-ray, this also includes a DVD version of the film and bonus digital copy disc as well. To top it all off this release comes with a free child’s Zoo admission coupon, thanks to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.
The special features are extremely impressive. There are a crap load of deleted & extended scenes, almost running 40 minutes. Crowe is known for his alternate shots, ever see the extended cut of “Almost Famous”? “We Shot a Zoo” is an amazing 75 minute comprehensive five-part making-of documentary. It covers just about ever aspects of the production. There is an audio commentary from director Cameron Crowe, editor Mark Livolsi, and actor JB Smoove (who if you blink you’ll miss in the movie). It is no the most exciting commentary but I enjoyed Crowe’s comments. “Their Happy Is Too Loud” focuses on the score from Sigur Ros frontman, Jonsi. “The Real Mee” talks about the real Benjamin Mee. There is a Gag Reel included which is also set to inspirational music by Jonsi. Lastly, there is Photo Gallery and Theatrical Trailer included.