Friday, October 29, 2010

Sex and the City 2 Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 32.0 GB
Film Size: 25.3 GB
Film Rating: R
Release Date: October 26th, 2010.
Region: ABC
The Video
‘Sex and the City 2’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation. Like ‘Sex and the City: The Movie’ this film is also very visual. Director Michael Patrick King certainly adds plenty of eye candy when it comes to colors and angles, at times quite randomly.

The film features plenty of fashion which looks absolutely incredible on Blu-ray. The colors are appealing, rich and vibrant and really leap off the screen. The film also features a strong level of detail like the first film and an improvement over DVD that cannot be denied.

Detail is simply incredible at times; there are some scenes particularly in Abu Dhabi which reveal perhaps a bit too much behind the makeup. I have always found Kristin Davis particularly attractive, but even she was looking very rough during certain scenes. At times though, the makeup was perfect and they still looked quite good considering their ages.

The Blu-ray release improves upon the DVD release in every possible way, the overall clarity is just fantastic. The movie does feature some softer scenes throughout, but still manage to be a notable improvement from DVD.

The film is one which should be seen on Blu-ray if you are going to see the movie at all. The level of improvement between the Blu-ray and DVD is absolutely clear and fans of the film will love the visual experience even more on Blu-ray. 8.5/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included as the lossless option. Also included are French, Spanish, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks. Optional subtitles include English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is just as I had expected. The film being a comedy I expected a nice level of clarity, but perhaps a little surround use. The mix is very good, featuring dialogue priority which comes through clearly through the center speaker.

The film has surround use moments throughout, but at times they do leave a bit to be desired. The film’s music and few significant audio effects did sound great however. I really don’t have anything to complain about. The mix works well with the material in the film and I don’t think anyone will be disappointed. 8/10.

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc):

Audio Commentary
With Director Michael Patrick King

So Much Can Happen In Two Years (26:03) (HD)
A conversation with Sarah Jessica Parker and Director Michael Patrick King.

Styling Sex and the City 2 (15:52) (HD)
Designer Patricia Field takes on a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion in the film.

Marry Me, Liza! (7:53) (HD)
This is a behind-the-scenes featurette about the ‘gayest wedding ever’, so of course Liza Minnelli would be there.

Revisiting The 80’s (4:00) (HD)
This is a short featurette about the 80’s opening featured in the film.

The Men of Sex and the City 2 (28:47) (HD)
Director Michael Patrick King and actor Mario Cantone talk about the men in Sex and the City 2, featuring plenty of footage from the television series.

Behind The Scenes with Alicia Keys (3:04) (SD)
For the Sex and the City 2 Soundtrack.

BD-Live Portal
View the latest trailers from Warner Home Video.

Disc 2 (DVD):

DVD copy of the film
Includes select extras found on the Blu-ray disc.

Digital Copy of the film
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media. Digital Copy offer expires October 30th, 2011.

The extras included on this release are quite good, clearly better than the extras included on the first film. The behind-the-scenes featurettes are entertaining and included in high-definition. For at least a limited time, a DVD and Digital Copy version of the film is also included. 7.5/10.

The Movie
Sex and the City 2’ is a sequel which I have been excited to see. Although I did feel that the first film was a good ‘end’ to the series, the idea of continuation definitely sounded like a good idea when it was announced. Upon seeing the film’s trailer, I have to admit that the movie did look quite fun, but I also had a feeling that things were going where they should not be going.

The sequel takes place two years after the first film, the girls have all continued in their different relationships. The film’s main storyline takes place in Abu Dhabi, but before they get there we have a gay wedding between two long time characters of the series and a premiere party which makes an ‘excuse’ for the trip.

The film is certainly different in tone to the first. Both are comedies, but the first film featured much more drama than their adventure this time around. The film is a fun comedy, but it certainly has plenty of things which don’t feel very ‘Sex and the City.’

I have read many reviews of this film and the general consensus is that the film is ‘offensive,’ ‘disgusting,’ and features hateful ‘gold-diggers.’ While the girls certainly aren’t very sensitive to the situations they encounter in Abu Dhabi, I didn’t find it out of place for these women.

The gold-digging comment also didn’t make much sense; perhaps they haven’t seen the series. These women live far above average lives when it comes to financial situations, but they didn’t just marry into money. If they want to spend $400 on shoes, go at it. If you want to see gold-diggers, watch ‘The Real Housewives’ on Bravo.

What I didn’t like about the film however had nothing to do with the offensiveness or sense of entitlement these women live. I hated the fact that they went to Abu Dhabi and for a film titled ‘Sex and the City,’ there just wasn’t enough sex or city.

There was one particular scene though in the film that actually made me cringe, and I think you can guess which if you have seen the film. The karaoke scene! The karaoke scene in which the girls perform ‘I Am Woman’ was excruciating and an obvious sign that they weren’t very inspired when coming up with ideas for the sequel.

The film as a whole is still funny; I loved how offensive these women were in a country that really is behind-the-times when it comes to sexuality. The film does suffer with some bad scenes and mediocre storylines, ultimately making me wish for a third film to tie everything up nicely again. Unfortunately I don’t think a third film will happen, but anything is possible.

If you enjoyed the first film, chances are you will find entertainment from the sequel. Not everyone will love the sequel; in fact I didn’t love it. However, I did enjoy it for what it is. I definitely think the film could have been far better had they given it more time in pre-production, but the final product is now here and it is far from perfect.

I do think that this film relies a lot on the series for support, especially when we see the surprise return of Aiden of Carrie’s former relationship. Those who haven’t seen the show definitely miss out on the back-story and lose the impact on why certain things happened the way they did rather than just saying no.

Overall I found ‘Sex and the City 2’ to be enjoyable, but ultimately lacks substance to even compare to the first film. I didn’t find it awful like others did, but I do admit that this sequel does disappoint. If you are a fan of the series however, I definitely would give it a chance (if you are one of the few who hasn’t seen it already) as it still manages to be quite funny. 6.5/10.

The Blu-news Summary
‘Sex and the City 2’ is a sequel which does not live up to the original, but still enjoyable for fans of the series. The Blu-ray release is terrific, featuring an impressive video presentation and good audio mix. There aren’t many extras, but the combo pack treatment is nice. Overall the Blu-ray release is ‘Recommended’ to fans.

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