Lionsgate // 2009 // 87 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // September 25th, 2009
Wallace and Gromit return with their latest misadventure. If you're a fan -- and you should be, of course -- this will hit the spot nicely.
Wallace has taken to baking. With his trusty dog Gromit at his side, he hopes to corner the market on baked goods. With a recent rash of baker-related homicides hitting town, Wallace's dream may in fact be closer to reality than he expects.
Meanwhile, there's a new woman in Wallace's life, Piella Bakewell, a former food model and Wallace's longtime infatuation. Much to his joy, Piella has take a liking to Wallace, even though her motivation appears to be a bit too shady for Gromit's liking.
Aardman and Nick Park have given us another winner. While A Matter of Loaf and Death isn't my favorite Wallace and Gromit short -- that honor belongs to A Close Shave -- this latest production is more than capable of living up to the sterling reputation the series has cultivated.
For fans, don't expect anything drastically different from what you've grown accustomed to. Loaf whole-heartedly embraces the Wallace and Gromit formula: our heroes are trying a new wacky career; Wallace is oblivious to something big and nefarious; Gromit bails him out in a complex, Rube Goldberg-type of final set-piece; and...scene. As a major fan of the series, I wasn't really surprised by anything during Loaf's thirty minute runtime. I guess you could call this familiarity "homey." A more cynical person might use the word "tired."
But come on, we're talking about Wallace and Gromit here! There is a not a cynical frame of film to be found. So let's just stick with "homey." While it may not redefine what the characters do now or in the future, who cares? Just sit back and soak up the joy of Gromit desperately trying to get a bomb out of Wallace's pants.
That's right -- there's a bomb in Wallace's pants.
So, fans, go, buy, and enjoy. If anyone reading this hasn't experienced the sheer pleasure of Wallace and Gromit, be it through their short films or the excellent Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, don't waste anymore time with this review. Seek them out and revel!
Actually, you might want to stick around a little longer, at least for this part: The DVD fails to measure up to the content. The full frame transfer (sent to us for review) is uncalled for. Add to that, the picture quality is generally flat, a shame considering the richness of the characters and animation. The 2.0 stereo audio is adequate but won't blast the doors off your apartment. Extras: a nice making-of documentary, commentary from Nick Park and editor David McCormick, a video game demo for Wallace and Gromit's Grand Adventures, and a brief, manic episode of Shaun the Sheep.
The DVD tech is a disappointment, but the feature presentation is big fun.
Not Guilty. Grommmmmittttt!!!
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (CC)
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Game Demo
* Bonus Episode
* Official Site