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post #1 of 35 Old 01-17-2013, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
88





Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13/Unrated
Feature running time: 92/98 minutes
Genre: Action

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Rade Sherbedgia
Directed by: Olivier Megaton
Music by: Nathaniel Mechaly
Written by: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 15, 2013







"I’m going to do what I do best…"


Film Synopsis:

Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, an ex-CIA operative who finds himself "taken" hostage along with his wife. To survive, Bryan must enlist the help of an unlikely ally and use his brutally efficient skills to take out his kidnappers.


My Take:

In Taken he hunted them, he found them, he killed them; now they have come back to settle the score. Taken 2 marks the return of former CIA operative Bryan Mills and his “particular set of skills” in this follow up to the successful 2008 film. In Taken we watched Bryan Mills stop at nothing to save his daughter Kim from disappearing forever at the hands of kidnappers seeking to sell her into sex slavery.

Taken 2 picks up two years later when the father of one of the villains Bryan killed swears revenge, and takes him and his ex-wife “Lenny” hostage in Istanbul. Without his weapons and the assistance of his former CIA support staff Bryan must enlist and rely on the only person he can if they hope to survive, his daughter Kim. Bryan then employs his unique tactics to get his family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers, one by one.

I liked Taken. It’s not profound filmmaking but it drew upon our inherent ruthlessness when faced with the prospect of protecting a loved one. As a father with a teenage daughter I easily identified with Bryan’s raw sense of emotion and unrelenting determination. The script did an nice job of conveying the relationships necessary to the plot and later ramping up the action. It was kick-butt action coupled along with a decent story and strong central character.

Derived as a sequel Taken 2 eschews character building and tosses us a quick setup based upon the events that transpired in the first film. It then proceeds with a thin revenge style plot and several action based encounters that revolve around Bryan’s “skills”. There are some problems the most glaring of which is the inescapable feeling of déjà vu. Additionally the idea of giving Kim any more of a role than as a victim severely waters down credibility. One of the pivotal non-combat action sequences involves an extended car chase through the tight streets of Istanbul. The sequence isn’t bad however Kim is doing the driving. This might not be such an issue had there not been a scene earlier in the movie when her father took her out for a driving lesson (practicing her parallel parking) in preparation of taking the test for her driver’s license.

As far as the hand to hand combat and gunplay goes there is nothing original contained here. There are the requisite physical exchanges both one to one and group, chases, both vehicle/foot and shoot outs. Bryan doles out most of the punishment while receiving little (that has any effect) in return. Not to mention he isn’t shown re-loading his handgun which never runs out of ammo. Nitpicky I know but without the ability to get lost in the action I couldn’t help but notice. Looking at Taken 2 without comparison to the original it has some merit in terms of generating quantifiable suspense and offering action based elements that genre fans can adhere to. In the end it’s unremarkable and for those that enjoyed the first film feels like a sub-par rehashing with a big helping of cheese.

Both the theatrical and unrated cuts are included on this Blu-ray Disc. I watched the unrated cut which adds approximately 6 additional minutes to the theatrical version’s run time.


Parental Guide:

The film contains intense sequences of violence and action and some sensuality.



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.**


Audio: 88

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


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

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

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

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



Video: 88

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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692


Taken 2 comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 Mbps.

This is a solid high definition presentation that features crisp high definition detail and resolute imagery. Close up camera shots of the cast can be exquisite as the fine minutia and subtle lines of their faces are obvious. The weave pattern in clothing and the texture of surfaces within the frame are clearly discernible. There are a handful of instances where sharpness wavers but duration is brief and more than likely attributable to the photography. Colors are natural in appearance without over saturation or blooming. Fleshtones appear naturally differentiated and lifelike in depiction. Blacks are dense in appearance with excellent dynamic range and noticeable gradational stages in low lighting. Contrast is strong but not overpowering which provides plenty of pop to colors and whites which yields a dynamic yet pleasing picture. The end result is a great looking high definition video presentation.

This Lossless DTS-HD MA surround mix accents the video presentation and makes regular use of the entire system to drive the film’s elements. This is a well balanced and fairly active soundtrack that augments the dynamic impact associated with the films action and music score. The surround channels are sporadically engaged with a blend of discretely placed sounds and spatial ambience. Dynamic range is extended and accents the high level of sonic detail present in the recording. I never had any trouble discerning subtle vocal inflections or the presence of low level sounds that were contained in the background. The mix facilitates natural integration of the front and rear channels which creates a stable and well proportioned listening experience that is complimented by rich bass that has excellent palpability and tight extension.

Bonus Features:

  • Theatrical and Unrated version of Taken 2

  • (HD) 5 deleted scenes

  • (HD) 25 minute alternate ending - It’s worth checking out but offers a different take that ultimately changes nothing

  • (HD) Black Ops field manual (unrated version only) – Interactive HUD/pop-up that includes a location tracker, number of kills, character profiles etc.

  • (HD) Sam’s tools of the trade – A breakdown of the contents of Bryan’s weapon/tool cache that can viewed via interactive or play all options

  • FX Channel presents: In Character with Liam Neeson – 5 minutes

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • Bonus DVD

  • Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Taken 2 is the follow up to 2008’s Taken, a top notch action flick that kicked butt and took no prisoners. Unfortunately this film fails to capture the freshness of the original and is a sub-par rehashing that does little to distinguish itself. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition audio/video quality and above average bonus material that includes an extended alternate ending and decent interactive content. If you are a fan of the original Taken 2 is probably worth seeing. Be sure to rent first and keep expectations in check.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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post #2 of 35 Old 01-17-2013, 08:05 AM
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Oh boy, I blind bought this since I liked the first one so much. I haven't opened it yet so I guess I can still rent it first and decide what to do. Thanks for the review Ralph! smile.gif

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post #3 of 35 Old 01-17-2013, 08:26 AM
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I'm looking forward in recieving this tomorrow( hopefully ), thanks Ralph

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post #4 of 35 Old 01-17-2013, 09:29 AM
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This got panned by lots of critics.

I'm still interested in seeing it though. I wish it had gotten higher PQ and AQ scores though so that it might make up for the fact that it might not be all that good.

I'm wondering if they went pretty much the same direction with this movie as had been done with The Hangover 2. And that's why it bombed so bad.

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post #5 of 35 Old 01-17-2013, 11:14 AM
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I bought this blind with my remaining Best Buy gift card. I love Liam. I hope it's not a total stinker.

Kaboom.
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post #6 of 35 Old 01-17-2013, 11:47 AM
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I thought the gun shot sounds in this film were lacking :/ other than that a fun enjoyable action flick.

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 #7 of 35 Old 01-17-2013, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingnut4772 View Post

I bought this blind with my remaining Best Buy gift card. I love Liam. I hope it's not a total stinker.

Greetings,

If you're a big Liam fan you'll find enough to enjoy with Taken 2.


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post #8 of 35 Old 01-17-2013, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

I thought the gun shot sounds in this film were lacking :/ other than that a fun enjoyable action flick.

Greetings,

I found that Liam's handgun hit harder than the automatic weapons carried by the bad guys..eek.gif

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post #9 of 35 Old 01-17-2013, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Unfortunately this film fails to capture the freshness of the original and is a sub-par rehashing that does little to distinguish itself.

Gotta say, Ralph, you may have been a little over-generous with the first "Taken". It wasn't all that "fresh", or "original" for that matter.
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post #10 of 35 Old 01-17-2013, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Gotta say, Ralph, you may have been a little over-generous with the first "Taken". It wasn't all that "fresh", or "original" for that matter.

Greetings,

You might be right although my comments quoted above were more in comparison rather than referring to the "original" film as "fresh". wink.gif


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post #11 of 35 Old 01-17-2013, 02:52 PM
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I somewhat enjoyed the first Taken but this movie is an obvious cash grab. Why do I need to see the same plot play out again?

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post #12 of 35 Old 01-17-2013, 03:13 PM
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I saw this in the theaters since I like'd the first movie so much - and Ralph I agree with your thoughts completely.

This was just a bit too much over the top - and similar to how Ralph noticed the re-loading (or lack thereof), I couldn't help notice during a car scene chase there was a pretty wicked side-swipe with another car. Yet, seconds later they show the car again without a scratch.

If you liked the first one, you'll probably think this one is at least worth a watch.
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post #13 of 35 Old 01-19-2013, 12:15 PM
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Well just finished watching this and was extremely disappointed. Liked Taken but this does not come close. If I had to listen to his daughter screaming "I can't" one more time while she was in the chase scene. I think from now on I will pay 5.99 to DirecTV before I pay 20.00 to Amazon.

Please, Dumb It Down For Me.
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post #14 of 35 Old 01-21-2013, 06:14 PM
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I think I'm the only one who actually loved Taken 2. Action, pacing and choreography are all top notch IMO and the story is not as great as the first since the gritty, dark realism is gone. It's still violent and dark, but less so and less realistic/grounded.
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post #15 of 35 Old 01-21-2013, 06:34 PM
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Definitely will be watching tonight, did not get a chance the other night.

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post #16 of 35 Old 01-22-2013, 08:27 AM
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Just finished watching it I really enjoyed this film. I thought it was quite good. Glad I bought this smile.gif

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post #17 of 35 Old 01-22-2013, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvasko View Post

If I had to listen to his daughter screaming "I can't" one more time while she was in the chase scene.

Lol, that same scene I was groaning about Liam telling his daughter "keep going.....go Kim.....keep going"

ENOUGH ALREADY! SHE'S GOING!biggrin.gif
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post #18 of 35 Old 01-22-2013, 04:09 PM
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Lol, that same scene I was groaning about Liam telling his daughter "keep going.....go Kim.....keep going"

ENOUGH ALREADY! SHE'S GOING!biggrin.gif

Yes indeed then add to the mix that she had flunked the drivers course.

Please, Dumb It Down For Me.
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post #19 of 35 Old 01-22-2013, 08:37 PM
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Maggie Grace may be 30 and taller than most of the bad dudes, but I enjoyed watching her running barefoot in her bikini bottom and teenage pigtails. Nobody can drive in LA anyway. I had low expectations for "Taken 2" and was suprised to like it as much as I did. Good Blu-Ray! Fire me!
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post #20 of 35 Old 01-22-2013, 08:47 PM
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Awesome, glad to hear so many people are liking this movie. Those last few reviews from you guys gave me hope. Can't wait to see this in a few weeks when NF finally gets the damn thing in stock. biggrin.gif

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post #21 of 35 Old 01-23-2013, 12:31 PM
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RedBox is my besest friend. Ludicrous premise for a sequel, but still sorta somewhat like the first one, so worth the $1.58 or so for a one night blue ray rental
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post #22 of 35 Old 01-24-2013, 02:34 PM
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Very good movie
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post #23 of 35 Old 01-24-2013, 10:08 PM
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How does he get away as if nothing had happened after killing so many in foreign lands?
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post #24 of 35 Old 01-25-2013, 11:23 AM
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I hope it's ok to mention this here, but bestbuy.com is offering Taken 2 for $12.99 on 1/25-26.
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post #25 of 35 Old 01-25-2013, 02:41 PM
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I'm surprised the audio doesn't get better marks. Wasn't this film recorded for Dolby Atmos?
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post #26 of 35 Old 01-27-2013, 06:21 AM
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Poor sequel.

The part where he ask her to throw a grenade (several times) and then ask her if she can see the smoke?

C'mon Man!
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post #27 of 35 Old 01-27-2013, 06:46 AM
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Pretty decent movie, certainly one of the more entertaining ones that I saw during 2012. I'd give it 3.5/5.
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post #28 of 35 Old 01-27-2013, 07:51 AM
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Maybe in an alternate universe.
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post #29 of 35 Old 01-30-2013, 04:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLUDGE View Post

Poor sequel.

The part where he ask her to throw a grenade (several times) and then ask her if she can see the smoke?

C'mon Man!
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The purpose of the grenade was to able to asses how far she was and the smoke was from the steam pipe. So when she was close he told her to look out for the pipe with smoke coming out and drop the gun.

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post #30 of 35 Old 01-30-2013, 04:11 AM
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Pretty decent movie, certainly one of the more entertaining ones that I saw during 2012. I'd give it 3.5/5.

I thought it was a fun film.

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