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Blu-ray Review: Huge Collection of Special Features For Sweet ‘We Bought a Zoo’

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CHICAGO – Cameron Crowe’s “We Bought a Zoo” should have made more money. Sure, it’s a cheesy slice of family entertainment but when the cheese is this well-crafted, performed, and delivered, one can’t complain too much about it. “We Bought a Zoo” is too long, not subtle enough, and pretty manipulative, but it the manipulation works. Matt Damon is stellar (as he always seems to be lately) and Crowe tells this old-fashioned tale with enough skill to make it entertaining. “We Bought a Zoo” is one of those rare cross-demographic films — from children to grandparents — that doesn’t insult the intelligence of any of them.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-ray Rating: 3.5/5.0
Blu-ray Rating: 3.5/5.0

Those who did see and love “We Bought a Zoo” will be happy to learn that the Blu-ray release is as packed with special features as nearly any 2011 film. Cameron Crowe is a documentarian at heart, so it’s not surprising that he basically chronicled the entire production. He appears on a commentary and the featurettes, which are typically short on Fox releases, add up to more running time than the actual film. There’s even a lengthy piece on the real Benjamin Mee, the man who inspired the film. If you loved “Zoo,” you couldn’t be happier with this Blu-ray.

We Bought a Zoo
We Bought a Zoo
Photo credit: Fox

Oscar winner Matt Damon gives a heartfelt performance in this film which is based on a true story. When his teenage son gets into trouble, Benjamin Mee (Damon) gives up a lucrative newspaper job to move his family to the most unlikely of places: a zoo! With help from an eclectic staff, and with many misadventures along the way, Benjamin embarks on a fresh beginning to restore the dilapidated zoo to its former glory, while uniting his family. From the director of Jerry Maguire, We Bought A Zoo is a “wonderful, warm and witty” (Bill Bregoli, CBS Radio News) celebration of the human spirit.

Special Features:
o Audio Commentary With Director Cameron Crowe, Actor JB Smoove and Editor Mark Livolsi
o Deleted & Extended Scenes
o Gag Reel
o We Shot A Zoo: Go Behind The Scenes
o Their Happy Is Too Loud
o The Real Mee
o It’s A Zoo: An Insider’s Look At We Bought A Zoo

“We Bought a Zoo” stars Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Maggie Elizabeth Jones, Colin Ford, Elle Fanning, Angus Macfadyen, Patrick Fugit, Carla Gallo, John Michael Higgins, and J. B. Smoove. It was written by Aline Brosh McKenna and Cameron Crowe and directed by Crowe. It was released on Blu-ray on April 3, 2012 and is rated PG.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

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