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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2010

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"Nanny McPhee Returns" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Jim Milton

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Synopsis

Make way for more fun and hilarious mayhem as Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson reprises her role as the magical Nanny McPhee, who arrives when she’s needed the most and wanted the least. When Nanny McPhee appears at the farmhouse door of a busy young mother, Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal), she discovers that Mrs. Green’s children are in an all-out household war with their two spoiled city cousins. Relying on everything from a flying motorcycle and a statue that comes to life, to a tree-climbing piglet and an elephant that turns up in the oddest places, Nanny McPhee uses her magic to show the children five valuable lessons, the most important of which is learning how to get along.

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 2010, Color, Rated PG, 1 Hr 39 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Codec: MPEG-4
  • 1080p
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Directed by Susanna White
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
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  • Extras:
  • Violence: None
  • Sex: None
  • Language: None

Commentary

Having not seen the first installment, I can say that this installment was quite enjoyable with a mix of of interesting and often peculiar characters. With five precocious kids and an exhausted mother, Nanny McPhee sets out to teach the family five "special" lessons with good, solid life principles to live by. At the completion of each lesson, McPhee transforms from a homely figure into a beautiful women while the unruly kids transform into well behaved and thoughtful children. Sounds contrived, but the movie had plenty of charm, magic and pigs that do synchronized swimming! This is a great story for kids from 5-10 years old that will both entertain and provide a positive message.

Technical

Color presentation and details were very strong.Of special note, the details in the hand knit sweaters and wood grains throughout the farmhouse and barn. Blacks were strong without crush and the overall picture quality had a strikingly good  field of depth. Skin tones were natural and night scenes were still full of detail. CGI effects were very well done and enhanced, rather than stole the story. Sound was very clear for dialog and the surrounds were used liberally. A few places had the bass booming, such as when Nanny McPhee raps her stick on the ground.

Extras

"Making Of" and mutiple featurettes, The Mud, The Pigs and others.