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post #1 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=230054&d=1323353568
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

94






Studio and Year: DreamWorks - 2011
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 90 minutes
Genre: Animation/Family

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC/MVC
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Voice talents: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Gary Oldman, James Hong, Seth Rogan, Jackie Chan, David Cross, Dennis Haysbert, Michelle Yeoh, Danny McBride, Jean-Claude VanDamme
Directed by: Jennifer Yuh
Music by: Hans Zimmer and John Powell
Written by: Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: December 13 ,2011







"Prepare for the return of awesomeness"



Film Synopsis:

Jack Black is back as Po in DreamWorks Animation's KUNG FU PANDA 2, the sequel to the Academy Award® nominated original film. On his first big challenge since becoming the Dragon Warrior, Po must lead his friends and fellow kung fu masters The Furious Five on a mission of epic proportions to defeat his most threatening rival yet.



My Take:

Kung Fu Panda 2 finds Po and the Furious Five vigilantly at work using kung fu to protect their land against evil under the tutelage of elder Master Shifu. A new threat enters the nearby village and Po, along with Tigress, Viper, Monkey, Crane and Mantis spring into action. During their encounter with the intruders Po sees a symbol on one of them that inspires a vision of him as a cub which includes glimpses of what appear to be his parents. This raises questions for Po regarding who he really is and where he came from. Upon learning that Kung Fu Masters Rhino, Ox, and Croc were recently defeated by the evil Peacock, Shen, using a powerful new weapon, Master Shifu sends Po and the Furious Five on a mission to seek out and destroy the weapon before Shen can use it to conquer all of China and wipeout Kung Fu. It's when Po comes face to face with Shen that he learns that their pasts and fates are linked. The only way for Po to defeat Shen is to find inner peace but first he must learn the truth about his past and where he came from.

I love the original Kung Fu Panda and looked forward to seeing Kung Fu Panda 2 when it was released earlier this year. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance although my daughter and wife did and loved it. As I said in my review of KFP when the subject of Jack Black comes up folks are divided into two camps, either you like him or you don't. There is usually no gray area in this regard. Personally I find him to be a hoot and generally enjoy his films. In my opinion Po is a perfect physical characterization of Jack Black, if he were a Panda bear. Sequels to successful films can be a delicate matter and it is rare to achieve the same level of entertainment. In spite of my wife/daughter's praise I went into this viewing with reserved expectations. I am happy to report that I enjoyed Kung Fu Panda 2 just as much as the original. In addition to Jack Black the original cast reprises their roles along with newcomers Gary Oldman, Michelle Yeoh, Dennis Haysbert, Danny McBride and Jean-Claude VanDamme. Like the first film, this a well crafted animated feature containing plenty of family friendly humor, light martial arts action and heartwarming charm. The subplot involving Po's search for his past adds a wonderfully integrated dramatic element that compliments the story. If you enjoyed Kung Fu Panda you're sure to appreciate this charming sequel that builds upon it in an endearing, funny, and heartwarming fashion that makes for excellent family entertainment. Kung Fu Panda 2 comes to 3D Blu-ray as part of a Best Buy Exclusive. It is also available in a standard 2 Disc Blu-ray Edition that includes a bonus DVD/Digital Copy.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for sequences of martial arts action.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 94



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


3D Quality: 94


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Depth (Onscreen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Realism: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Kung Fu Panda 2 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from DreamWorks/Paramount featuring 1080p MVC video and Dolby 7.1 TrueHD sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps..

Being familiar with Dreamworks Animation I had high hopes for this 3D presentation and of course I wasn't disappointed. Having just received and setup my brand new JVC DLA-RS55 3D projector I figured this would be a great way to put it through the paces. I much prefer to view 3D that takes advantage of the depth and dimension that can bring images onscreen to life in a visually involving and natural way. Kung Fu Panda 2 incorporates its share of fun pop out of the screen 3D however its implementation isn't excessively over the top. This is a stellar 3D presentation that features superlative onscreen dimensional correlation. Textures abound as the richness of the beautifully crafted animated images are incredibly nuanced regardless of their placement within the frame. Fidelity is intact as the film's gorgeous color, rich contrast and inky blacks are beautifully rendered and natural. Comparing this to the 2D version in terms of the rendering of detail, color reproduction and contrast I found them to be identical. I notice some minor aliasing but distracting ghosting/crosstalk wasn't an issue. This isn't an effects laden spectacle however there are enough floating, flying and screen popping objects to keep 3D zealots interested. As for me, this is 3D entertainment that brought a smile to my face.

The 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD audio is in a word, awesome (pun intended). Lossless audio's higher resolution brings out the superbly crafted and sometimes delicate nature of the soundtrack. Subtle nuance in both the sound effects and music is readily apparent. Excellent dynamic range and crystal clarity enable the shifts from moments of quiet to visceral action to shine equally. This is an active surround mix that features superb directional correlation/imaging which expertly combines the events onscreen with the integration of the front/rear soundstages. The two rear channels aren't consistently engaged but effectively provide discretely placed effects and ambient detail on cue. Where applicable there is an enriching and solid feel to low frequencies. This isn't the deepest bass response that I have experienced but it has palpably rich presence that occasionally energizes the room. The voices of the cast are reproduced with good tonal delineation and crystal clarity even during more active sequences. This is an entertaining home theater presentation that compliments this wonderful family film.



2D Video Quality:



Video: 100


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Kung Fu Panda 2 comes to Blu-ray Disc from DreamWorks featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps.

This is a beautifully designed animated film that looks marvelous in high definition. From start to finish this presentation is nothing short of mesmerizing in its depiction of the film's animated imagery. The video is exquisitely detailed, incredibly three dimensional and never left me wanting for fine degrees of subtle delineation and texture. The attention to detail in the construction of the characters physical features as well as objects within each frame is superb. The chromatic palette is an extensive one and colors appear vivid and bold with an enriching level of saturation that exhibits subtle degrees of separation and eye pleasing depth. Contrast is exemplary and blacks are inky with extended dynamic range and deep gradational highlights. The film's low level sequences look stunning as the dark and shadow filled backgrounds exhibit a near infinite level of dimension, with superb contrast and visible shading that draws out lots of detail. The nighttime/dark sequences that take place in Shen's palace and along the river in the city in the third act are good examples. Those with high contrast displays can fully appreciate how superlative these scenes look. DreamWorks continues to prove that Pixar isn't the only pristine high definition animation game in town. Bravo!







Bonus Features:


  • Disc 1:


  • 3D Blu-ray

  • Disc 2:


  • 2D Blu-ray (including the following bonus features)

  • (HD) Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the masters - 23 minute short film (AVC video/Dolby TrueHD 7.1 sound)

  • (HD) Blu-ray exclusives:

    1. Animation inspiration - Interactive map
    2. The animator's corner - Picture in picture in movie feature with video commentary, storyboards etc.
    3. Trivia track - In movie feature

  • (HD) Kung Fu Panda: Legends of awesomeness - 23 minute short film

  • (HD) Kickin' it with the cast - 12 minute behind the scenes look

  • (HD) 3 deleted scenes with introduction by director Jennifer Yuh Nelson

  • (HD) Panda stories - 7 minute documentary on panda bears

  • Kung Fu Shuffle - Interactive game with two options: Barrels of bunnies or Baby Po's great crate challenge

  • Ni Hao - Interactive Mandarin writing/language feature

  • Filmmaker audio commentary

  • Bonus DVD of Kung Fu Panda 2

  • Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Like the original film, Kung Fu Panda 2 is a well crafted animated feature that successfully blends family friendly humor, light martial arts action and a heartwarming story. It comes to 3D Blu-ray in this Best Buy Exclusive offering that features reference quality high definition video, stimulating 3D visuals and top notch Dolby TrueHD lossless surround sound. Add to that a strong supplemental package that includes Blu-ray exclusives, Kung Fu Panda animated shorts as well as interactive content and you have a worthwhile and highly recommended addition to your Blu-ray library. Enjoy!









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 10:55 AM
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Thank you very much Ralph for posting this informative review! KFP was one of my favorite movies and I love to watch it with my boys and KFP2 was always on the plans to buy, but after your review, I'm just more excited to watch it.

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post #3 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh's HT View Post

Thank you very much Ralph for posting this informative review! KFP was one of my favorite movies and I love to watch it with my boys and KFP2 was always on the plans to buy, but after your review, I'm just more excited to watch it.

Josh

Greetings,

You're more than welcome Josh. Enjoy it!

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post #4 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 11:10 AM
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My daughter wasnt that keen on kung fu pnada 1, or at least never acted as she was, when kfp2 came out, she insisted we go see it, so i took her to it and she loved it more than the 1st, we saw it at the theater in 2D, as i wasnt sure if her being so young if 3D would be ok for her, or if she would even keep her glasses on, since then we have gone and seen sevreal movies in 3D and she loves it, i just made the jump to 3D at home, so i will be getting her this in the best buy exclusive 3D, the only sad part is we will have to wait until christmas to see it as it is going tobe on her presents.
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post #5 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 11:26 AM
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Is the 3D version only in BestBuy?
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post #6 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fight4yu View Post

Is the 3D version only in BestBuy?

I think so, but be sure to check your local ad (or online)...they may have a coupon and a free bonus "Po" Plush with 3D purchase. I'm going there to pick it up tomorrow and I think it's going to be one of my Christmas presents, but believe you me...there's not going to be any waiting for 12 days to watch it!

Josh
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post #7 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 11:38 AM
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There's also a $5 in-store coupon you can print at bestbuy.com.
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post #8 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 11:39 AM
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Wow!
This one scores a home run out of the park.
Mine is in transit, can't wait.
Thanks for reviewing it.

Gen Coupe 3.8 Track w/ bolts-on tune: SRI , CBE

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post #9 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 12:45 PM
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Ralph thanks for your very helpful reviews.
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post #10 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 12:46 PM
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Is the 3D version only in BestBuy?

yup
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post #11 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Ralph thanks for your very helpful reviews.

Greetings,

You're very welcome domingos38.


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post #12 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 02:00 PM
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Sounds like the toned down the LFE compared to the first one which is a shame.

Ralph, did you notice any LFE content below 20hz?

Still love the movie and will be adding it to my collection!

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post #13 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 04:15 PM
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Ralph You reviewed into buying the 3D.
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post #14 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 05:27 PM
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i love this movie!!!!
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post #15 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 07:48 PM
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2 purchases for me.. Panda 2 and Planet of the Apes...that's it this week !

Great review King P ...as always !
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post #16 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 08:24 PM
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There is no way I would rate this movie a 4. Three at best. Loved the first one. Second one was lacking in story and emotion.

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post #17 of 82 Old 12-12-2011, 08:34 PM
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the film looked great but the story was kind of lacking. Well more like they tried to hard on the humor but overall still entertaining

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #18 of 82 Old 12-13-2011, 06:45 AM
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Fine review, but I'm trying to understand how these eye-candy cartoon movies are weighed against typical human films.

I mean I guess, what's the benchmark?

There has to be at least a dozen Pixar/cartoon movies with 97+ video scores, a shockingly large number considering the genre.

What's that tally for traditional films, I wonder?

Don't get me wrong, I think many of these kid movies (and yes, they ARE kid movies that are just barely pedestrian to decent viewing for adults, in my opinion. But you could argue that's the dilemma with a family movie I suppose ) look exceptional, but at the same time I think there are plenty of "real" films that look just as superb- both within their genre, AND when leveled against the toons.

I would imagine since the identical scale is used for either there's not really a distinction between the two, but if that's the case how is say the Dark Knight a 93-95 (don't recall exactly, but I know it's in that range) and this is a "perfect" 100? Cannot either reach the plateau where you can say: this is the best we can do, circa 2011?

Just an honest question. And who knows, perhaps I've missed the 97+ video scores for the trads?

thanks,

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post #19 of 82 Old 12-13-2011, 07:12 AM
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Buy, buy, buy!!!

The story on this one is on par with the first one and thought it was great. Gotta have this for my collection no doubt.
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post #20 of 82 Old 12-13-2011, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

There's also a $5 in-store coupon you can print at bestbuy.com.

Where ? Can't find it

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post #21 of 82 Old 12-13-2011, 09:52 AM
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Where ? Can't find it

http://images.bestbuy.com/BestBuy_US...ungfupanda.pdf

Current price is also discounted to $27.99, so I got mine for $22.99 this morning.
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post #22 of 82 Old 12-13-2011, 10:00 AM
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Where ? Can't find it

Well, I just posted the same link as rdjrimes, but he posted first, so I've edited my post.

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post #23 of 82 Old 12-13-2011, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

Fine review, but I'm trying to understand how these eye-candy cartoon movies are weighed against typical human films.

I mean I guess, what's the benchmark?

There has to be at least a dozen Pixar/cartoon movies with 97+ video scores, a shockingly large number considering the genre.

What's that tally for traditional films, I wonder?

Don't get me wrong, I think many of these kid movies (and yes, they ARE kid movies that are just barely pedestrian to decent viewing for adults, in my opinion. But you could argue that's the dilemma with a family movie I suppose ) look exceptional, but at the same time I think there are plenty of "real" films that look just as superb- both within their genre, AND when leveled against the toons.

I would imagine since the identical scale is used for either there's not really a distinction between the two, but if that's the case how is say the Dark Knight a 93-95 (don't recall exactly, but I know it's in that range) and this is a "perfect" 100? Cannot either reach the plateau where you can say: this is the best we can do, circa 2011?

Just an honest question. And who knows, perhaps I've missed the 97+ video scores for the trads?

thanks,

James

Greetings,

Rating movies that are captured on film and presented on video leaves more room for inconsistencies than animated movies created in the digital domain. This is one of the reasons that my rating system for reference quality begins at 92 rather than limiting reference quality to only 100. This allows room for minor inconsistencies that don't necessarily disqualify a presentation that looks great otherwise.

In that light I have rated many titles reference (92 and above) quality. To answer your question, I have given only a handful (5 to be exact) of 100 ratings for non-animated titles.

This is the criteria that I use. Other writers may have their own. Most who read my reviews understand the thought process behind it but some may not.

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post #24 of 82 Old 12-13-2011, 11:27 AM
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I love KFP, can't wait to rent KFP2.
Thanks for the review, Ralph.
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post #25 of 82 Old 12-13-2011, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcserg View Post

There is no way I would rate this movie a 4. Three at best. Loved the first one. Second one was lacking in story and emotion.

Wow, no offense, but you must have a pretty high threshold for what affects you emotionally. I expected KFP2 to be a fun ride (and it was) but I wasn't prepared to be blindsided by the heartbreaking reveal of Po's childhood. Yes, tears were shed. But what really amazed me was the way KFP2 was able to balance out the pathos with the comedy and action, of which there is plenty. Safe to say that KFP2 is one of the best franchise follow-ups that I've ever seen, and I welcome the coming installments eagerly. To each their own I suppose.

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post #26 of 82 Old 12-13-2011, 02:43 PM
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I've just reserved the blu ray at my local redbox. Looking forward to enjoying this one.
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post #27 of 82 Old 12-13-2011, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by gridbug View Post

Wow, no offense, but you must have a pretty high threshold for what affects you emotionally. I expected KFP2 to be a fun ride (and it was) but I wasn't prepared to be blindsided by the heartbreaking reveal of Po's childhood. Yes, tears were shed. But what really amazed me was the way KFP2 was able to balance out the pathos with the comedy and action, of which there is plenty. Safe to say that KFP2 is one of the best franchise follow-ups that I've ever seen, and I welcome the coming installments eagerly. To each their own I suppose.


+1 on your assessment of the film. I also went in expecting more of the same as I loved the first movie. This sequel blew me away. I took my daughter and there were a couple times I had to fight back the tears. I think it's this year's best summer movie.
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post #28 of 82 Old 12-13-2011, 08:49 PM
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Watched the 3D disc today. I just checked a few scenes against the 2D disc, but as expected the detail and color are hugely better on the 2D version.

The most remarkable thing is the general lack of LFE in this movie. Both compared to the 1st movie and considering the number of big explosions, it's really just absent. Otherwise, the 7.1 DTHD audio is quite good.
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post #29 of 82 Old 12-13-2011, 09:30 PM
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KFP 2 is a great movie, better than the first IMO. Picked it up on BD today and can't wait to see it at home, my favorite place to see movies.
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post #30 of 82 Old 12-14-2011, 06:10 AM
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I picked this up yesterday with Rise of the Apes. I can't help but remember Ralph's perfect score for the 1st movie. I guess the sound has dropped slightly going into the 2nd. Still, very excited to view with my 4 year old this evening!
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