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The Hangover II Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Archived Reviews' started by Cameron Yee, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    The “wolf pack” returns in “The Hangover II,” but doesn’t do much more than retrace its steps from the first film. The Blu-ray release features a solid audio and video presentation but its collection of special features is as weak as the movie's script.

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    The Hangover Part II
    Release Date: December 6, 2011
    Studio: Warner Home Video
    Packaging/Materials: Two-disc Blu-ray “Eco-box” with slipcover
    Year: 2011
    Rating: R
    Running Time: 1:41:48
    MSRP: $35.99












    THE FEATURE

    SPECIAL FEATURES



    Video

    1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1

    High definition



    Audio

    DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: French 5.1, Spanish 5.1, Portuguese 5.1

    Various



    Subtitles

    English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

    Various







    The Feature: 2.5/5



    Director Todd Phillips’s follow-up to the wildly popular - but somewhat over-hyped - film, “The Hangover,” suffers from a major case of sequelitis. Ironically a film that tries so hard to push comedic boundaries plays it safe by regurgitating the fundamental plot points of its predecessor, down to the cause of the fiasco itself - yet another accidental drugging by the certifiably sociopathic man-boy Alan (Zach Galifianakis).

    A few of the details get changed out in an attempt at variety - Stu (Ed Helms) is getting married this time; Bangkok takes the place of Las Vegas; and Teddy (Mason Lee), Stu’s 16-year old, soon-to-be brother-in-law, is the one who goes missing. But yet again, it’s Stu, Alan and Phil (Bradley Cooper) traipsing around the city in an attempt to piece together their debaucherous night, that is - yet again - somehow connected to the criminal dealings of Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong). Even Doug (Justin Bartha) - the first film’s missing groom - gets sidelined again, but now for really no good reason. Mixing him into the “wolf pack’s” urban misadventures would have at least changed up the character dynamics, but instead we get a repeat performance of Stu freaking out over a sexual indiscretion, Alan being creepy and Phil being kind of a d***.

    But, in one respect the movie’s failings are rather intriguing. Where most sequels fail because they go too far to outdo, “The Hangover II” doesn’t go far enough, and seems content to just redo. In the end though, it all amounts to the same thing - a sequel that doesn’t live up to its predecessor and that isn’t worth going out of your way to see.




    Video Quality: 4/5
    The film is accurately framed at 2.40:1 and presented in 1080p with the AVC codec. The transfer features strong colors, contrast and black levels, giving the image a highly saturated, constrasty quality that is perfectly suited to the high heat and humidity of the Southeast Asian setting. The somewhat stylized treatment also seems to intensify the grain structure, giving some scenes a noticeable - but still appropriate - grittiness. Fine object detail is decent as well, and appears uncompromised by excessive digital sharpening or noise reduction tools.

    Audio Quality: 4/5
    Dialogue in the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is reasonably clear and intelligible, though early scenes have an inexplicable hollow timbre to them. Surround channels perk up mostly for music cues in the pop music soundtrack, though some scenes also have a nicely balanced mix of urban, environmental effects. LFE flares up for some of the more bass heavy soundtrack selections, but also the occasional crash and thump, and generally sounds clean and robust.

    Special Features: 1.5/5
    The extras are neither in-depth nor particularly funny, and the jury is still out on the efficacy of the UltraViolet digital copy format (though having the DVD makes for a reasonable backup). In the end it makes for a pretty weak collection of special features.

    The accompanying press release details additional featurettes available only through video-on-demand. I suspect that a “deluxe edition,” integrating these additional items, will probably be in the title’s future.

    Unauthorized Documentary (25:26, HD): The mockumentary, directed by “Miles Davis Davison,” tries to get the scoop on what happened behind the scenes and includes interviews with Morgan Spurlock, J.J. Abrams, and various members of the cast and crew. Not surprisingly, the piece has a few funny moments, but really doesn’t go anywhere in particular. Most will find it a waste of time.

    The Comedy Rhythm of Todd Phillips (6:59, HD): Describes the director’s working style and directorial philosophy.

    Not Your Everyday Monkey (2:41, HD): Cast and crew talk about working with Crystal the capuchin monkey, who has been in other films like “Night at the Museum” and on NBC’s “Community.”

    Bangkok Tour with Chow (3:03, HD): Ken Jeong, improv-ing as the character Chow, shows viewers his favorite places in the city. Again, it’s more hit and miss laughs.

    Gag Reel (4:53, HD)

    Action Mashup (:46, HD): A quick montage of all the movie’s action moments.

    BD-Live

    DVD: Contains the feature, presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic video and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio at 384 kbps. Additional audio tracks are in Spanish and French and subtitle options are in English SDH, Spanish and French.

    UltraViolet Digital Copy: Store, stream, and download the film up to three times via Flixster. Redeem by December 6, 2013. Note: The UltraViolet feature was not yet active at time of review.

    Recap
    The Feature: 2.5/5
    Video Quality: 4/5
    Audio Quality: 4/5
    Special Features: 1.5/5
    Overall Score (not an average): 2.5/5

    Warner Home Video delivers a solid presentation for “The Hangover II,” a sequel that doesn’t go far enough to distinguish itself from its more entertaining predecessor. A weak collection of special features does the Blu-ray release no favors, however, making it best suited for a rental for those who remain curious about the movie.
     

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