Now You See Me 2 Ultra HD Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-30-2016, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Now You See Me 2 Ultra HD Blu-ray Review



The Four Horsemen resurface and are forcibly recruited by a tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist yet.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

84



Details:

Studio and Year: Lionsgate - 2016
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 129 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Daniel Radcliff, Jay Chou, Sanaa Lathan
Directed by: Jon M. Chu
Music by: Brian Tyler
Written by: Ed Solomon
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: September 6, 2016


"You Haven't Seen Anything Yet"


My Take:

The Four Horsemen (Eisenberg, Harrelson, Franco, Caplan) return for a second mind-bending adventure, elevating the limits of stage illusion to new heights and taking them around the globe. One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, the illusionists resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate. The man behind their vanishing act is none other than Walter Mabry (Radcliffe), a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all.

I liked, but didn't love, 2013's Now You See Me, finding it to be an entertaining style over substance affair that worked when it mattered. It's sequel Now You See Me 2 brings back the primary cast, adds a new director, a few new faces, and falls exactly into the same category. At its heart Now You See Me 2 is designed to be a slick, stylish crime thriller, that not only uses magic in the plot but magic on the audience. Like its predecessor, it borrows heavily from better films with its group based scenario, slight of hand elements, and series of thematic twists. The narrative is frenetically paced with an over the top series of improbable situations that do turn out to be pretty entertaining to watch. The characters are especially deep but I didn’t find that to be detrimental especially given the storyline’s context. The script is on the shallow side, but the light action, mystery, and interlaced humor keep things moving toward the probable conclusion. I will say that what it lacks in substance it makes up for in style as there are a variety of slippery turns, silly thrills, and abracadabra moments that provide an entertaining bit of escapism (pun intended). I liked the choices for the primary cast (save for Daniel Radcliff) and found the mix of actors to be quite complimentary.

As with Now You See Me, Now You See Me 2 is more popcorn flick fodder than anything else, but depending on your point of view, that isn’t a bad thing. For me it was an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, mild action and some language.


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.**


UHD Presentation: 74
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color & WCG:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:




Dolby Atmos Rating: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Level of immersion:
  • Soundstage integration:
  • Audio object placement:
  • Effectiveness of Atmos platform:
  • Entertainment factor:



Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

For those not willing to refer to the article linked above, I have included some comments here. The implementation of high dynamic range as it stands currently, doesn't appear to have exacting standards and no calibration tools to allow for a foundational threshold for setting up a visual system. This leaves us to do the best we can to determine what appears to be accurate, at least for the time being. With that in mind, my approach to reviewing Ultra HD Blu-ray will be to assess the elements observed which I find to generate the most significant visual impact when compared to standard high definition Blu-ray.

For me, high dynamic range, with its broader spectrum of colors and emboldened highlights in the areas of contrast and brightness, is where the potential lies in the format. The increase in resolution, while an important component, isn't going to be definitive in every case, especially given that currently many of the Ultra HD Blu-ray releases are derived from 2K Digital Intermediates that are up-converted to 4K. This shouldn't be strictly construed to mean that such up-converted images won't look noticeably better than their 1080p counterparts. Conversely, a release finished on a 4K Digital Intermediate isn't a guarantee that it will be heads and shoulders above the rest. So, what can you expect to hear from me when discussing what I observed from Ultra HD Blu-ray? I will hit upon the things that struck me, the impact, or lack of impact, of HDR and the improvement, if any, in resolution when compared to 1080p Blu-ray. The outcome will be a rating as seen above.

Front projection for home theater is just stepping through the door with respect to the reproduction of HDR. My goal is to present readers with a reasonable expectation of what they can expect when viewing the same content that I have. There may be variables that differ slightly however I believe that in general the outcome will be close. As we are exposed to more and more content and calibration tools come onboard we will have better perspectives from which to gauge. Thanks for reading!


Now You See Me 2 comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 2160p HEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 6.6 Mbps.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Now You See Me 2 was rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K. With the limited exposure to Ultra HD either sourced from 2K or 4K Digital Intermediates we are left to judge based upon what we have seen thus far.

Now You See Me 2 represents the second new release Ultra HD title I have reviewed from Lionsgate Home Entertainment (Gods of Egypt being the other). In looking at the opening moments the first thing that struck me was that there wasn't an appreciable uptick in sharpness and detail compared to the Blu-ray. Upon closer inspection I could make out finer details in facial features and clothing but this predominantly came during close ups. On occasion discernible improvements in depth could be seen in wide angle shots such as those taking place in the various interior venues in Macau, or in the streets of London, but in most respects I saw little difference in apparent resolution when checking select scenes from the UHD and Blu-ray. The rendering of color, especially primaries, was slightly more vibrant, and fleshtones a bit more tonal warmth, over the 1080p presentation.

I also found the presentation to be very tame in terms of its use of dynamic highlights, both bright and dark. With the exception of the nighttime London sequence, the image didn't make any visually compelling use of interstitial black levels offset by vivid bright elements. In general the image appeared flat when compared to the better Ultra HD presentations I have seen. I wouldn't describe it as poor quality but there is little about this Ultra HD presentation that left an impression on me.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of sounds placed above is a mix of atmospherics and discrete effects. This is done to very good effect and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. During a sequence where Atlas speaks to "The Eye" in the underground room, as the camera pans, shifting back and forth the sound of its voice rotates around the soundstage depending on the vantage point. The effect is quite good. Over the course of the film there are various environmental sounds and music cues that are mixed to differing locations in the sound field. Some are more pronounced than others but the overall effect is excellent.

Everything really comes together during the London street demonstration sequence in the finale as falling rain, atmospherics and near field objects rotate, and revolve around the soundstage from both above and at ear level. I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere and the integration of discrete sound placement. I think that it complimented the source material and made for an entertaining listening experience.




Blu-ray Video:


Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:


Audio: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): [img] [/img]


Now You See Me 2 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 6.6 Mbps.

This is a solid high definition transfer that looks excellent. Images are transparent with exquisite detail and a near infinite sense of depth. Fidelity is never in question regardless of perspective. At times I found the visual style to be engaging. The chromatic range varies depending on the mood of a particular scene and can be underscored with sepia tones, cool bluish green or natural light. That combined with the use of shading, thematic lighting schemes, and eclectic cinematography imparts an inordinate and interesting quality. Skin tones among the cast don’t vary much and fall in line with the look of the film. Blacks are inky, dynamic and stable and contrast is boldly applied without overdriving whites/grays and washing out detail. This is a noticeably stylized and generally pleasing high definition video presentation that looked great on my big screen.

The is an excellent Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel soundtrack that features crystal clear dialog, powerful dynamics and a subtly aggressive and involving surround sound mix. I was impressed with the implementation of both spacial dimension, and discrete directional sounds that created an occasionally immersive listening environment. This worked hand in hand with film’s music, and thematic elements to build tension and help drive the story. Evidence of this can be heard in scenes like the restaurant fight sequence, Atlas' London street magic presentation, and the Thames plane sequence which fill the room with punchy bass, coupled with a variety of room traversing effects. Be sure to turn this one up when things get busy.


Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Now You See Me 2 Ultra HD Blu-ray
    Disc 2: Now You See Me 2 Blu-ray
  • (HD) The Art of the Ensemble – 21 minute featurette
  • (HD) You Can't Look Away – 17 minute featurette
  • (HD) Bringing Magic to Life – 16 minute featurette
  • Digital HD Copy



Final Thoughts:

Like its predecessor, Now You See Me 2 is a slick crime thriller that favors style over substance, but has enough merit to engage genre fans that have no problem checking their brains at the door. It comes to Blu-ray in this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo pack from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring unremarkable Ultra HD image quality, excellent Dolby Atmos surround sound and a decent supplemental package that looks behind the scenes. If you’re already a fan, Now You See Me 2 is worth picking up on Blu-ray/Ultra HD Blu-ray, otherwise it easily qualifies as a solid pick on movie rental night.










Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:

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post #2 of 17 Old 08-30-2016, 12:24 PM
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So disappointed by that UHD video score, but I am not that surprised. I have Now You See Me on UHD and it is nothing impressive from a PQ standpoint.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-30-2016, 05:52 PM
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Thanks for review Ralph. Will be picking this up.


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post #4 of 17 Old 08-30-2016, 10:28 PM
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I'm definitely picking this up... Loved NYSM and didn't see it in theatres because it was only regular presentation, plus the negative reviews didn't thrill me (but the regular non-IMAX/etc (DBOX/Atmos/3D) showings was the real turn off - I don't want to see glorified home theatre!).

Incidentally, I didn't know NYSM was on UHD as well.

But definitely picking this up.

Thanks.

(Yes I love magic)
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-31-2016, 04:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worf View Post
I'm definitely picking this up... Loved NYSM and didn't see it in theatres because it was only regular presentation, plus the negative reviews didn't thrill me (but the regular non-IMAX/etc (DBOX/Atmos/3D) showings was the real turn off - I don't want to see glorified home theatre!).

Incidentally, I didn't know NYSM was on UHD as well.

But definitely picking this up.

Thanks.

(Yes I love magic)
That is actually one of the cheapest 4K titles you can get. I got it for $16.99 at bestbuy. I think it currently sells for $19.99
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-31-2016, 06:48 AM
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I hope that Oppo comes out with their 4K UHD player soon because I might get one just so that I can avail myself of the Atmos soundtracks that seem to only show up on the UHD versions of movies. I am not ready to upgrade my trusty old JVC projector to 4K yet, but at least with the UHD Oppo I will be able to benefit from the Atmos soundtracks. Too bad that the BluRay versions rarely come with the Atmos tracks anymore.

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post #7 of 17 Old 08-31-2016, 09:18 AM
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I really enjoyed the first one. If this falls in the same category, I will like it also.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-02-2016, 10:11 AM
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I loved the first one and was excited for this one. It wasnt bad, but it deff was not as dynamic as the first one. It just didnt have that "pizzaz" the first one had.
Audio really nothing stuck out to me. Video not much stuck out to me. At the end where the one dude was doing the trick with the rain was pretty rad, but that is one of the only things that even sticks out with me.
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-02-2016, 10:16 AM
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Bought it digitally and enjoyed it; didn't love it, but was worth the price. If it's that cheap on UHD, may pick it up during the holidays.
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-05-2016, 09:12 PM
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Great review as per usual. Thinking about giving this a rent. I enjoyed the first one but not quite enough to buy it. Looking forward to renting.
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-06-2016, 09:45 PM
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I enjoyed it in theater, thought it was more entertaining than the first one although they're both a bit logically stupid. Watching it again right now on Blu-ray.
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post #12 of 17 Old 09-07-2016, 06:05 AM
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Of course the problem here is that everyone agrees that it isn't "great" and a lot are suggesting a rental, but with Lionsgate rentals, you get Dolby Digital 5.1, not Atmos, and not even Dolby TrueHD... Bummer. I guess I will have to upmix because it isn't worth buying to get the better soundtrack.
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post #13 of 17 Old 09-10-2016, 06:20 PM
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Good Job Ralph! The review is spot on.
UHD presentation is not that great. On the other hand, audio is quite good.
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I was very impressed with this chapter. I thought the audio and video were very good. I really liked the Dolby Atmos logo in the beginning. The sound was very precise and filled the room. I will have to watch this again to pick up on all the little tells.
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-16-2016, 01:05 PM
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I finally got around to this one now that I have the OPPO 203. The Atmos track was great, Ralph nailed the review, right on.
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-18-2016, 04:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thxman View Post
I finally got around to this one now that I have the OPPO 203. The Atmos track was great, Ralph nailed the review, right on.
Greetings,

Sweet! Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

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post #17 of 17 Old 02-01-2017, 06:43 PM
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This movie sounded good even though I watched a Netflix rental with only Dolby Digital 5.1
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