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Despite less than flattering theatrical reviews, THE HANGOVER PART II ($36) managed a worldwide box office take of over half a billion dollars, proving the film to be completely critic proof. While I certainly found THE HANGOVER PART II to be funny, I didn’t find it as funny as the first installment, thus proving that second helpings aren’t as satisfying as firsts. Returning to the same comic buffet of misadventures, THE HANGOVER PART II gives off a "been there, done that" vibe… of course, this doesn’t mean one should sample the entrees from Column A and Column B this second installment has to offer.

For THE HANGOVER PART II, Stu (Ed Helms) is the groom-to-be. He marrying his soul mate, whose family lives in Thailand; hence a wedding in the bride’s native land. Considering what went down in Las Vegas, Stu flat out refuses to a bachelor party, much to the disappointment of buddies Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Doug (Justin Bartha). And because of what went down in Las Vegas, Stu has to be coerced into inviting Doug’s oddball brother-in-law Alan (Zach Galifianakis) to said nuptials. Things start off normally in Thailand; however when Stu, his groomsmen, Alan and Stu’s future brother-in-law Teddy (Mason Lee) hoist some brewskies to share a toast on the beach… its Las Vegas all over again.

Phil, Stu and Alan wake up in a dirty Bangkok hotel room, along with gangster Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong), with no recollection of how they got there, or what happened to them the night before. And while their buddy Doug made it back to the resort without an incident, it appears that "the wolfpack" took sixteen year old Teddy along for the ride… and the bride’s brother is now missing. As you might expect, the rest of THE HANGOVER PART II is spent piecing together the previous night’s events, in the hope it will lead them to the missing Teddy. The cast of THE HANGOVER PART II also features Paul Giamatti, Mike Tyson, Jeffrey Tambor, Jamie Chung, Sasha Barrese, Gillian Vigman, Aroon Seeboonruang, Nirut Sirichanya and Yasmin Lee.

Warner Home Video has made THE HANGOVER PART II available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. THE HANGOVER PART II is provided with a remarkably good 1080p presentation, which speaks volumes for the care, that cinematographer Lawrence Sher went into capturing the overripe Thai locations. Image sharpness, depth and fine detail are really quite impressive for a comedy. Colors are pretty vibrant, with the hues generally coming across in a nicely saturated manner. Blacks are deep and pure, while the whites are crisp. Contrast sometimes shows a stylized push, which heightens the film’s visuals. Shadow detail is a strong performer most of the time, but there are some darker shots that appear less resolved. Grain/noise is noticeable in places, adding a desirable grit to certain moments.

THE HANGOVER PART II is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This is a slightly better than average comedy mix, which take advantage of occasional opportunities for directional effects. However, much of THE HANGOVER PART II plays as pure talky comedy, leaving the majority of sonic activity localized to the forward hemisphere. As expected, the surrounds supply the usual complement of ambient sounds and musical fill, as well as some active effects. Thanks to the lossless encode, the soundtrack demonstrates solid fidelity for music and sound effects. The bass channel keeps the effects fully grounded and enhances the beat of the music. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as, as well as the extras. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Unauthorized Documentary (twenty five minutes), Behind The Story (thirteen minutes) and Action Mashup (one minute). A Gag Reel closes out the standard extras. THE HANGOVER PART II is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray. An authorization code is provided for an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film, which is just a stream away.

THE HANGOVER PART II was and is completely critic proof- its funny, but not as funny as the first installment. Still, the Blu-ray presentation delivers the good.


The Hangover Part II (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy) (2011)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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