I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is releasing the hilarious and heartfelt sequel to 2013’s THE CROODS, titled THE CROODS: A NEW AGE, on Digital February 9, followed by a physical disc release (on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD) February 23.
Fresh Fiction has some Digital copies to give away! Information on how to get yours is below, along with information on the release.
The rules are simple:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS that you’d like the code to be sent
- Title your email subject: “CROODS Movie Giveaway.”
- In the body of email, tell us about the greatest lesson you learned from someone in your family.
- The giveaway is active now until next Friday, February 12 @ 12 PM CT.
Preston Barta’s Synopsis/Review:
Directed with pizzazz by Joel Crawford, who makes his feature directorial debut after years working as a story artist on various animation projects, THE CROODS: A NEW AGE grabs you as early as the action-packed opening sequence. Audiences are quickly reintroduced to the Croods (voiced by Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, and the late Cloris Leachman), the last known family of cavemen — due to all their neighbors getting killed by illnesses, environmental hazards and predators.
They’re in search of a safer place to call home and are continually dodging wacky-looking prehistoric creatures that could only spill from someone’s imagination. The koala bat with red coconuts for a bum is a sight gag that’ll make you giggle for minutes. The sheer absurdity of these animals is comedic brilliance at its finest, especially considering Crawford serenades these moments with tunes from The Partridge Family and Spandau Ballet.
The central love story between characters Epp (Stone) and Guy (Reynolds) is nothing new from its view on paper. Dad, a.k.a. Grug (an exceptional Cage), wants to keep his family together forever. He doesn’t quite understand the meaning of privacy, which causes Guy to dream of a future that involves him and Epp having their own space in Tomorrow, a place in the world equivalent to The Land Before Time’s Great Valley. The clashes between Guy and Grug carry over from the first film, but it’s challenged even further when the Croods meet the Bettermans (emphasis on the “better”) on the other side of a walled-in paradise. The wonderland is covered in fresh fruits, waterfalls, and scenic images fit for your desktop’s wallpaper.
The Bettermans (voiced perfectly by Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann, and Kelly Marie Tran) run this secret garden of sorts with astonishing inventions — such as toilets, showers and an irrigation system. They are a few steps above the Croods on the evolutionary ladder, living in an elaborate treehouse that feels borrowed from the Ewoks on the Forest Moon of Endor. The Crood family are the first house guests that the Bettermans have ever had, so it’s not long before they clash like classic neighbors.
The film borders on genius in the way it reworks the original characters, relationships, and themes as well as from a purely visual standpoint. The lighting and skin tones alone are gorgeous and lifelike. You’ll especially get a kick out of how it pokes fun at parenting and the modern world at large. Those needle drops will give you something to snap your finger about, too.
BONUS FEATURES ON 4K Ultra HD, BLU-RAYTM, DVD and Digital:
- DEAR DIARY: WORLD’S FIRST PRANKS – In this exclusive original short film, Eep reveals how a comical accident led her and Dawn to discover the joys of tricking their families and set about performing “the world’s first pranks”
- FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT: LITTLE RED BRONANA BREAD – In another exclusive original short, join the Croods as they settle down for a very prehistoric family movie night experience. With shadowy figures around every corner, Eep must keep Gran and her delicious Bronana Bread safe from punch monkeys.
- GAG REEL
- TO: GERARD – In this original DreamWorks animated short, an elderly man brightens the day of a little girl through magic.
- DELETED SCENES
- THE CROODS’ FAMILY ALBUM – Meet the actors who portray the Croods and their new cast members, the Bettermans. What makes them tick, how do they resemble their characters and what lessons have they learned from making the film.
- THE EVOLUTION OF… – In this fun making of, we hear from the filmmakers and stars of THE CROODS: A NEW AGE about the evolution of the Croods franchise.
- HOW TO DRAW: CAVEMAN STYLE – Join one of DreamWorks talented illustrators inside the cave as they demonstrate how to draw our favorite characters.
- FAMILEAF ALBUM – Inspired by the prehistoric family album given to guy by the Betterman’s, we create a fun video showing you how to make your own using real leaves or green construction paper for pages and string (or even dental floss!) to hold it all together.
- STONE AGE SNACK ATTACK – A three-part featurette highlighting fun, easy to make recipes that kids and parents can make together.
- FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR JOEL CRAWFORD, PRODUCER MARK SWIFT, HEAD OF STORY JANUEL MERCADO AND EDITOR JIM RYAN
THE CROODS: A NEW AGE will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM, DVD and Digital.
- 4K Ultra HD is the ultimate movie watching experience. 4K Ultra HD features the combination of 4K resolution for four times sharper picture than HD, the color brilliance of High Dynamic Range (HDR) with immersive audio delivering a multidimensional sound experience.
- Blu-rayTM unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
- Digital lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.
- MOVIES ANYWHERE is the digital app thatsimplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place when purchased or redeemed through participating digital retailers. Consumers can also redeem digital copy codes found in eligible Blu-rayTM and DVD disc packages from participating studios and stream or download them through Movies Anywhere. MOVIES ANYWHERE is only available in the United States. For more information, visit https://moviesanywhere.com.