DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Bad Boys II Superbit

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Nestor_Ramos, Oct 26, 2004.

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  1. Nestor_Ramos

    Nestor_Ramos Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG]
    Bad Boys II Superbit


    Studio: Columbia Tri-Star
    Year: 2003
    Rated: R
    Film Length: 147 Minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 Anamorphic
    Audio: DD and dts 5.1
    Color/B&W: color
    Languages: English
    Subtitles: English, French, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Thai
    MSRP: $26.96
    Release date: October 26



    The Feature
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2 (all star ratings out of five)

    The original Bad Boys was a pretty simple affair: a movie based on the annoying song of the same name and the idea that Martin Lawrence and Will Smith would be hilarious in a Buddy/Cop Action/Comedy. It was mostly entertaining, and Tea Leoni gave a good supporting performance, and the film did well.

    In the years between the first film and this one, its sequel, Smith achieved superstardom, Lawrence’s career all but collapsed, and Leoni married Agent Mulder. Though a sequel was probably inevitable, it sure seemed to take a while to get here.

    The results are pretty satisfying. Sure, every plot twist strains credulity: Smith and Lawrence use tactics that would make the Taliban blush, and even though we see police officers getting blown away in shootouts instigated by the Bad Boys, we’re informed that “thank God, no cops were killed.” Uh, right.

    But the logistics of the shootouts are, at best, a distant second to their aesthetics. And in that respect, Bad Boys II is a phenomenal success. An early car chase scene does the impossible: it makes a car chase exciting again. I won’t spoil the fun by describing the action in great depth, but it’s a funny and exhilarating sequence.

    That’s a recipe the film hopes to exploit throughout it’s two-plus hours of running time. If it overstays its welcome a bit – did we really need a sequence in Cuba? – at least it gives good value for the dollar. That’s more than you can say for many mass entertainments, which burn their 84 minutes with boring exposition and half-assed special effects.

    That’s certainly not the case here. The energy stays up throughout, thanks mostly to Smith and Lawrence who again have a good chemistry and timing. The plot is fairly standard issue, but it serves as an adequate clothesline for the action sequences.

    Smith and Lawrence are two Miami cops – agents on the Tactical Narcotics Squad, or something. Inexplicably, they both live like billionaires – Lawrence lives in a palatial house on the water, and Smith drives around in a Ferrari (car guys, please correct me if it’s something else).

    As the film opens, they are staking out an Ecstasy sale at a Klan rally, dressed as Klansmen (good thing they wear hoods). As do all of their busts, this one turns into a fiasco, with bullets flying everywhere. The Logical Mind will expend great energy trying to figure out why these two remain employed – not to mention heavily armed – when the drugs they’re taking off the streets harm far fewer citizens than their tactics.

    In the course of their investigation, they kill what must be scores of pedestrians (though we see none); fling (already) dead bodies around the streets; accidentally take Ecstasy and show up at their boss’s house; molest corpses at the morgue; commandeer cars at gunpoint; and lock suspects in their trunk. On this evidence, the two cops should be arrested and the drug dealers should be commended for their gentle good nature.

    But that’s mostly irrelevant. The point of this movie is nothing more or less than to entertain for two hours, and in that it is effective.


    Video

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2
    Though Superbit series discs are intended to provide the best possible picture quality, I had a problem with the early scenes here, which suffer from a high level of graininess. Whether this was intended on the part of the filmmakers I cannot say for certain, but the first action sequence and for a few scenes thereafter, it’s impossible not to notice. It comes and goes a bit throughout the rest of the film, but it’s mostly contained to the first 20 minutes or so (and yes, my projector was warmed up when I started viewing). Otherwise, the transfer is beautiful, particular in the bright Miami color palette used throughout. The image is extraordinarily punchy, and detail is also above average. When the graininess that I spoke of is not present, the image can be remarkably smooth, as when, during the climactic confrontation, a body collapses into the sand.


    Audio
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] 1/2

    The rip-roaring special effects and hip hop soundtrack that define this film lend themselves to a superb sound presentation, and the dts track here doesn’t disappoint, with strong bass and reserved, effective use of the surrounds for atmosphere and some appropriate effects. No complaints here, except that at one non-crucial point, a line of Smith’s dialogue is clearly re-dubbed and sounds odd. A minor quibble.

    The Dolby Digital track is mixed slightly lower, and, flipping back and forth sounded as though it had slightly less bass. After a few comparisons, I settled happily on the dts.

    Special Features
    N/A
    Superbit titles eliminate special features in favor of allocating as much disc space as possible to picture quality.


    Conclusion
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I wanted to hate this movie. It’s a transparent money grab – an unnecessary sequel to a film of middling quality. But its style won me over. I’m a sucker for a well made action/comedy, and this certainly fits that description. Director Michael Bay has made some pointless, shallow films, and this fits that description as well. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, particularly in this case. Bad Boys II is not a great film, and Bay doesn’t need to clear any space on his mantle for an Oscar, but it’s far better than it had to be, and for that I am grateful.
     
  2. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    So how would you compare the PQ to the current edition? I have the current edition and the PQ is spectacular, so is the audio. Maybe I will pass on this Superbit title.
     
  3. Michael Osadciw

    Michael Osadciw Screenwriter

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    Michael Osadciw
    I hated this film (except for the Causeway chase scene). I thought the image on the original release was great.

    HTF Bad Boys II: SE Review

    Mike
     
  4. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    Well, I loved Bad Boys II(I'm a sucker for non-stop action flicks) and I picked up the Superbit today for the improved PQ and DTS track. Can't wait to watch it! [​IMG]
     
  5. Nestor_Ramos

    Nestor_Ramos Stunt Coordinator

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    I haven't seen the initial release, so I can't comment, but if you're happy with the PQ, why spend the $20?

    Most of the film has really spectacular image quality, but the grain in the first 20 minutes made it impossible for me to give it four or more stars.

    Mike: I can definitely understand your hatred of this film. It's deafening, stupid and too long. Too my everlasting embarrassment, I liked it anyway.

    Nestor
     
  6. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    This is something I’ve always wondered about in reviews, if the grain is intentional does it deserve to be docked a couple of stars? Shouldn’t picture quality be rewarded on how accurately it represents the original film source?

    I’m with Michael on this one, you couldn’t pay me to watch this one again.
     
  7. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    I'm pretty sure the grain in the first few scenes was intentional because it's not there for the rest of the movie. I don't think the PQ rating should be docked any stars because of this, but that's just my opinion.
     
  8. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
    HW Reviewer

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    Was a different transfer done for the SB release? If not it seems the SB edition might suffer in PQ because of more compression. The original release had only the film w/ DD5.1 on Disc 1. The SB edition has the film with DD5.1 and DTS 5.1, so it seems by logic that to fit 2 audio tracks on the SB edition that the picture must be compressed even more than the original edition which only had one audio track, right?
     
  9. david*mt

    david*mt Second Unit

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  10. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    OK, I just got done watching this DVD and I can honestly say it may have the best DTS track I've ever heard. I thought the DD on the 2-disc release was awesome(and in all actuality it was), but the DTS track on the new Superbit blows it away! The surrounds are more active(something I didn't think was possible), the bass is much tighter and the soundtrack seems to be improved in just about every way. I have all the great reference discs(Master and Commander, Star Wars, LOTR EE, U-571, Daredevil, Black Hawk Down Superbit, Gladiator, Jurassic Park DTS, We Were Soldiers, etc.) and in my opinion this one tops them all. The only DVD in my collection that might sound a little better(to my ears) is Saving Private Ryan DTS, but I think Bad Boys II Superbit is right there with it. That's pretty impressive in my book! PQ was a little tougher to judge because the original release was already pretty tough to beat, but I think there are some subtle improvements to be found on the Superbit release(such as less EE and a little sharper image). Overall, I think this purchase was money well spent as I am left almost speechless by the DTS track on this DVD. If there's a better audio track out there I'd love to hear it, but for right now this is my new "demo" disc. [​IMG]
     
  11. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    I never did pick up the first release so I may just get this one. Regardless, it's very helpful to read a comparison between the two releases. Here's to more of that in the future.[​IMG]
     
  12. Harminder

    Harminder Second Unit

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    I just finished watching the Superbit today and my verdict... my goodness... the DTS track is NUTS! I don't agree with the reviews when they say, "I can't hear a difference" or "there's a subtle difference." I totally disagree, there is a noticeable difference.

    The surrounds are much more active, the LFE is super tight and hit with a bigger punch, it has a much wider and dynamic soundtrack, it was worth every dollar.
    My friend noticed a picture quality difference. Personally, I saw a small difference from the original release. The PQ just seemed much more natural if anything.

    If you haven't gotten the original yet or are a DTS nut (like myself) get this, you won't regret it.
     
  13. ClaytonMG

    ClaytonMG Stunt Coordinator

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    My problem with the audio on the original release is that it sounds too restrained. Yet everyone seems to think it was fantastic. Plus a lot of the sound effects were recycled from Pearl Harbor. The picture quality on the first one suffered from compression, in the opening you can look at the red on the boat and see compression blocks clear as day. I loved this film, I thought it was a great popcorn flick that was extremely intense and entertaining. I will be picking up the superbit tomorrow for the DTS track and I hope the picture is a little better than on the original release. I think the only problems i had with the original release were in the main titles actually... Does anyone know if all the subtitles are burned onto the film with this release, or if only some are like the first release.

    Clayton
     
  14. Niko Nykanen

    Niko Nykanen Stunt Coordinator

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    Man! Is the dts really that good?!? (according to Brent and Harminder)
    I have to pick this up asap then. I was gonna wait for it to be repriced as the current edition is a bit expensive double-dipp.
     
  15. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    Niko,

    Trust me, it's one of the most amazing DTS tracks you will ever hear. [​IMG]
     
  16. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Okay, I was on the fences about the double dip but Brent and Harminder convinced me. Plus I just got a $10 gift card from my job so that will help.
    And put me in the group that loved this film. What a novel idea, an action film that actually delivers on it's promises.
     
  17. david*mt

    david*mt Second Unit

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    Are there any reviews on the Underworld or Cliffhanger superbits yet?
     
  18. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    There are a couple of Underworld reviews out there(one is over at DVD Movie Guide), but I'm still looking for reviews of S.W.A.T. and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. If those Superbits are as improved as Bad Boys II, I may have to pick them up as well.
     
  19. Harminder

    Harminder Second Unit

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    Trust me Jeff and Niko, it's worth the cash spent. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. Mike Wadkins

    Mike Wadkins Supporting Actor

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