Plot: What’s it about?
I am a big fan of Alec Baldwin. Whether stealing a whole movie in one scene (Glengarry Glen Ross,) stealing a whole series in his scenes (30 Rock,) or stealing a whole season of Saturday Night Live this year, it is pretty much impossible to deny Alec Baldwin’s talent. With that in mind, I sat down to watch The Boss Baby with my seven year old and two year old sons.
The plot of the film revolves around seven-year-old Tim (Miles Bakshi) who has a great relationship with his parents (Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow) and a large imagination. His relationship with his parents feels strained when his little brother, Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin,) arrives. The Boss Baby seems to take all of the love and time of the parents while Tim feels neglected. Tim begins to notice that his little brother is really a suit-wearing briefcase-carrying agent for Babycorp. Basically, babies are sent to families or into management. Boss Baby was put directly into management. His reason for joining Tim’s family is that there is a finite amount of love in the world, and puppies are starting to cut in on the love typically held for babies. Even worse, Puppy Co. is planning to release a new puppy that may threaten Babycorp even more. Tim and Boss Baby make a deal:
If Tim helps Boss Baby to stop Puppy Co., Boss Baby will go back and Tim will have all of the love and attention of his parents to himself again.
The Boss Baby is pretty good, but not great. Tom McGrath has directed the excellent Megamind and the not-so-great Madagascar. The Boss Baby is somewhere in between those two films. As can be expected, Alec Baldwin’s voice work is great. Steve Buscemi also does great work as the villainous Francis Francis. The problem lies in some of the plot mechanics. First off, because the film uses so many of Tim’s imaginative scenarios, when the film goes into the actual plot (which is fittingly ridiculous) it is hard at first to tell if these things are happening or just being imagined by Tim. This distracted me during the film. The other thing that takes away from the film is its reliance on butt jokes. The baby’s naked butt is seen a lot and there just seemed to be a couple too many of these jokes. It is hard to describe, but when you see it, you will get what I mean.
Video: How’s it look?
It’s a slippery slope when watching an animated film on Ultra HD/4K. On one hand, Blu-ray’s or even DVD’s for that matter, really don’t look that bad at all with this particular genre. And with the image quality looking so good, what (if any) motivation is there to “upgrade” to a higher resolution picture? Bear in mind that the human eye can only see so much detail, so even though on paper the image might be “4x that of Blu-ray”, in all practicality – does it really matter if we can’t tell? That, folks, is the one downside of Ultra HD. That said, the 2.40:1 HEVC image does deliver and there is a bit of difference in a few scenes that do benefit from HDR, but again, in all honesty, it’s could have been the same picture as the Blu-ray and the placebo effect got the best of me. Suffice it to say that it’s good, damn good, but so is the Blu-ray which is also included.
Audio: How’s it sound?
Truthfully the only real reason to grab this 4K version is the addition of a Dolby Atmos track. The Blu-ray contains a pretty hearty DTS HD Master Audio track that’s sure to please, but there really isn’t any substitute for an atmospheric mix, is there? Then again, consider the genre – will the little ones really appreciate the sounds coming from above or behind them or will their eyes be fixated on what’s happening on the screen? I’m guessing the latter. Still, this does offer a modest upgrade over the Blu-ray track and if you simply must have the “best”, this is it.
Supplements: What are the extras?
All of the supplements are on the Blu-ray, none appear on the 4K version.
- Mini Adventure: The Boss Baby and Tim’s Treasure Hunt Through Time – Narrated by Wizzie, the magical wizard, join Boss Baby and Tim on their adventure!
- The Forever Puppy Infomercial – Always playful, always snuggly, and everlastingly cute; The Forever Puppy is destined to win the cuteness competition with babies once and for all.
- BabyCorp and You – Helpful advice and more for new infants on the job at BabyCorp.
- Babies vs. Puppies: Who Do YOU Love? – Who has won the hearts of familes once and for all? This “scientific” experiment compares and contrasts factors such as “cuddliness,” “adorability,” and “attention grabbing techniques” used by both demanding competitors.
- The Boss Baby’s Undercover Team – From Staci, the note taker who can’t read, to Jimbo the huge baby who’ll take a suction cup arrow for the Boss, to the triple-threat of the Triplets, Boss Baby dives deeper into this team of cute corporate board members.
- Cookies are for Closers: Inside BabyCorp – Go behind the scenes with Director Tom McGrath as he introduces us to BabyCorp, a secret organization of infants united for a common goal in THE BOSS BABY.
- The Great Sibling Competition – A fun, kid-friendly and humorous look at the competition among siblings to win the affection of their parents. Explore conversations with the cast and crew on their competitive sibling relationships and get very special insights from Boss Baby himself: Alec Baldwin.
- Theatrical Trailer
The Bottom Line
All in all, while enjoyable, this film is probably more of a rental than a purchase. That said, my two boys both enjoyed it, so it did what it was supposed to do overall.