Sonic The Hedgehog Ultra HD Blu-ray Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 05-17-2020, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Sonic The Hedgehog Ultra HD Blu-ray Review



After discovering a small, blue, fast hedgehog, a small-town police officer must help him defeat an evil government scientist who wants to do experiments on him. Ralph Potts reviews the Ultra HD Blu-ray release of Sonic the Hedgehog from Paramount Home Entertainment.



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

Film:

Extras:

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

96



Details:

Studio and Year: Paramount - 2019
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Genre: Family

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.39:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Ben Schwartz, Tika Sumpter
Directed by: Jeff Fowler
Music by: Tom Holkenburg
Written by: Pat Casey, John Miller
Region Code: A


Release Date: May 19, 2020


"Try to Keep Up"


Synopsis:

“After discovering a small, blue, fast hedgehog, a small-town police officer must help him defeat an evil government scientist who wants to do experiments on him.” – Paramount Home Entertainment


My Take:

Powered with incredible speed, Sonic the Hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz), aka The Blue Blur, embraces his new home on Earth. That is, until he accidentally knocks out the power grid and sparks the attention of super-uncool evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). Now it’s super-villain vs. super-sonic in an all-out race across the globe to stop Robotnik from using his unique power for world domination. Sonic teams up with The Donut Lord, aka Sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden), to save the planet.

Sonic the Hedgehog is a film adaptation based on the video game character by Sega. The film combines a mix of live-action, and computer-generated special effects to create the characters/world featured in the story. I remember Sonic the Hedgehog’s video game, not so much for me but, from when my kids were little. To be honest seeing the trailer for this film didn’t leave me hankering to see it.

After sitting down with it I was pleasantly surprised. It seems to remains faithful to the character while adding a sort of contemporary flavor that rarely feels overtly campy. The fish out of water plot works quite well and the storyline is spirited and appropriately deferent. I found it had just the right amount of heartwarming charm while adding the type of adventure and humor that makes for pitch perfect family entertainment. I rather enjoyed the cast, including the voice performance of Ben Schwartz. Jim Carrey really taps into his inner crazy, in a good way. I wouldn’t say that Sonic the Hedgehog is destined to be the next animated film classic but, it’s good natured family fun that makes for an entertaining evening with the kids.


Replay Value: 3.5 Stars


Parental Guide:

The rating is for action, some violence, rude humor and brief mild 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(HDR-10): 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


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



UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


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




Dolby Atmos Rating: 96
(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:



Sonic The Hedgehog comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Sonic The Hedgehog was rendered from a 3.4K source and finished on a 4K DI.

Sonic The Hedgehog is a fantasy film that is boldly colorful, relying on stylized visuals that employ stark contrast, vivid color and lots of CGI. I found that this Ultra HD rendering makes the most of its elements. The 1080p transfer looks terrific but, this rendering takes it up a notch with a discernible increase in detail, and emboldened highlights, both light and dark. This is readily apparent in the opening sequence where Sonic makes his escape from his home world and comes to Earth. Close ups reveal oodles of fine detail and abounding textures. Wide angle shots and the contrasting cinematography, going from brightly lit exteriors to dark, shadowy sequences look great in Ultra HD.

I found the application of high dynamic range to be spot on and quite complimentary. Some of the best examples of the presentation's effective use of HDR comes in the finale act during the standoff with Dr. Robotic, beginning in San Francisco and moving to Green Hills. The brilliant color and specular highlights look terrific. The scenes shot at night, or in the low light of dawn or dusk, are equally rewarding, delivering a noticeably dimensional image, with excellent delineation.

While Sonic The Hedgehog looks great on either platform, seeing it in Ultra HD makes for a more involving viewing experience.


Dolby Vision vs HDR-10:

I utilize the TCL 55P607 UHD Dolby Vision HDR flat panel in my review system to enable me to compare the visual quality of titles that contained the Dolby Vision metadata versus its HDR-10 counterpart on the same disc. All titles are first watched via my JVC front projector. I then select specific scenes which are watched on the TCL, first via HDR-10 then via Dolby Vision. The TCL isn’t among the top tier flat panels with DV, however it came recommended by AVS Senior Editor Mark Henninger, and calibrates/performs extremely well for a set at its price point.

* The cumulative A/V score will still be based upon the HDR-10 rating, with the DV rating serving as informational only for now.*

Comparing the DV and HDR10 presentations for Sonic The Hedgehog, I found the HDR renderings to be similar. The title looked solid on both formats with respect to the reproduction of HDR. I felt that the each handled of the finest details in shadows, delineation in specular highlights and, gradations in variants of color equally. You can’t go wrong with either.


Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that makes effective use of the platform. The blend of audio objects placed in the height channels is a mix atmospherics and discrete effects. At times this creates a tangible level of 3D immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. The sequence in chapter 4 where Sonic unleashes his energy on the baseball field features the sounds of swirling objects and, airborne debris that utilizes the entire soundstage, making for a great impression of what the soundtrack has to offer. There are both large set pieces and smaller/brief sequences/moments, such as the highway chase and Dr. Robotics arrival at Tom’s house (in chapter 6 – BIG bass moment!), that show off this well-crafted mix.

Everything comes together during the final act’s encounter with Dr. Robotic as sounds rotate and revolve around the soundstage from both above and at ear level. The music score is mixed over the platform so as to add natural depth to its orchestrated elements without drawing attention away from the thematic details of what is transpiring onscreen. I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere, discrete object placement and room energizing bass. I think that it complimented the source material, and made for an entertaining and invigorating listening experience.


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

Blu-ray Video:


Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


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



Audio: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA


Sonic The Hedgehog comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

Colors are effectively used in this film to help set the tone/period setting based upon the mood of the scene. The chroma range isn’t broad and hues can vary from being sullen and inanimate to warm and inviting. Skin tones are appropriately bland with natural highlights and descriptive variation. Images onscreen were exquisitely detailed and sharp with superb depth of field and visible texture during wide angle shots. Contrast is spot on and blacks are deep with revealing delineation that provides excellent perceptibility during scenes shot at night or in lower lighting. The video has a pristine quality that is free of video related artifacts.

The lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (Atmos core) soundtrack has excellent dynamic range, detail rich clarity, and makes ample use of the entire surround platform to drive the film’s elements. The detection of subtle background sounds, off camera cues and spatial dimension within the room’s acoustic environment is noteworthy. The low frequency effects channel is active as the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to convey the palpably rich bass associated with the action-based sequences. There are two excellent bass “moments” in the film. The first occurs in chapter 4 during the release of the energy surge by Sonic on the baseball field. The second and most powerful occurs during chapter 6 when Dr. Robotic’s tractor trailer rolls up outside of Tom’s house. That one shook the walls in my theater room! Dialog is firmly planted in the center channel and renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction. I enjoyed this audio presentation and thought that it mated well with the source material.


Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Sonic the Hedgehog Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Sonic the Hedgehog Blu-ray
    • Commentary by director Jeff Fowler and the voice of Sonic, Ben Schwartz
    • Around the World in 80 Seconds—See Sonic’s next adventure!
    • Deleted Scenes—Director Jeff Fowler introduces deleted scenes
    • Bloopers—Laugh along with Jim Carrey and the cast
    • “Speed Me Up” Music Video
    • For the Love of Sonic—Jim Carrey and the cast discuss what Sonic the Hedgehog means to them
    • Building Robotnik with Jim Carrey—See Jim Carrey bring supervillain Dr. Robotnik to life
    • The Blue Blur: Origins of Sonic—Explore the origins of the legendary Blue Blur
    • Sonic On Set—Visit the set with the voice of Sonic, Ben Schwartz
  • Digital Code



Final Thoughts:

Sonic the Hedgehog is a film adaptation based on the video game character by Sega. While it isn’t destined for classic film status, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed its fish out of water adventure and well played humor. It comes to Blu-ray from Paramount Home Entertainment in the Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack featuring top notch video, engaging lossless surround sound, including a terrific Dolby Atmos listening track and, a fan friendly assortment of extras. Sonic The Hedgehog is loid family entertainment that looks and sounds great on Blu-ray.











Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Reference Review System:

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post #2 of 28 Old 05-17-2020, 02:27 PM
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High praises on this review. Always a relief to see you rate the picture and audio quality so highly on this one. Thank you. Best video game movie so far so I very excited to watch this at home! Already pre-ordered and waiting for Tuesday.
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post #3 of 28 Old 05-17-2020, 03:32 PM
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Pleasantly surprised at how much FUN this movie was! Daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed this movie through out. Best video game adaptation ever. The director was awesome for listening to the fans and delaying this to get Sonic's look right. And boy did he! Spot on. Pre-ordered also, can't wait to bring it home.
In a quarantined time as such, this is a really fun movie to lose yourself to and enjoy with family.
Thanks for your review, glad to see you enjoyed it too.

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post #4 of 28 Old 05-18-2020, 11:10 AM
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Pleasantly surprised at how much FUN this movie was!
In a quarantined time as such, this is a really fun movie to lose yourself to and enjoy with family.
We rented it on Vudu and everyone enjoyed watching it. I wasn't expecting much but I just ordered the Steel Book version from Best Buy.
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post #5 of 28 Old 05-18-2020, 11:13 AM
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I truly enjoyed it, too, Ralph.

And there's a big treat at 26:44 min. where everything in my house went nuts like it was about to throw up an earthquake!

This is a good salve for those who have been wronged by the ULF kidnap of War of the Worlds.
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post #6 of 28 Old 05-18-2020, 03:34 PM
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Your review sold me on this one Ralph! Will give this a rent. Looking forward to checking out the audio.
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post #7 of 28 Old 05-18-2020, 03:50 PM
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I totally agree with Ralph (although I gave the audio a 10/10 ). I expected this movie to blow chunks, like most video game adaptations do, but was pleasantly surprised at how much fun the movie was. Throw in a reference presentation and you have a great experience. I lent the Blu-ray to my neighbor so his grand-kids could watch it (5 and 2.5) and they loved it so much they wanted to watch it again!
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post #8 of 28 Old 05-18-2020, 06:03 PM
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My son and I thoroughly enjoyed this movie! Had a similar feel to "Detective Pikachu"
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I rented the UHD stream from VUDU. Yes, it was a stream but I wasn't all that impressed by the tech. The Dolby HDR seemed a bit subdued and the black levels were inconsistent, especially during the solo night baseball game. Also, I didn't detect too much overhead Atmos activity throughout but the LFE was pretty good.

As for the movie, it was decent and watchable but it wasn't anywhere near as good as the Super Mario Bros. movie which was the best video game movie ever. Anyone who doesn't agree with me on this or any other topic should be drug tested.

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post #10 of 28 Old 05-18-2020, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by GalvatronType_R View Post
I rented the UHD stream from VUDU. Yes, it was a stream but I wasn't all that impressed by the tech. The Dolby HDR seemed a bit subdued and the black levels were inconsistent, especially during the solo night baseball game. Also, I didn't detect too much overhead Atmos activity throughout but the LFE was pretty good.

As for the movie, it was decent and watchable but it wasn't anywhere near as good as the Super Mario Bros. movie which was the best video game movie ever. Anyone who doesn't agree with me on this or any other topic should be drug tested.
Seriously? https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/super_mario_bros

I hope you post is tongue and cheek

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/son..._hedgehog_2020

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post #11 of 28 Old 05-19-2020, 01:01 AM
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post #12 of 28 Old 05-19-2020, 08:21 AM
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post #13 of 28 Old 05-19-2020, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperFist View Post
I truly enjoyed it, too, Ralph.

And there's a big treat at 26:44 min. where everything in my house went nuts like it was about to throw up an earthquake!

This is a good salve for those who have been wronged by the ULF kidnap of War of the Worlds.
no kidding, that was a heck of a drop, I was like "oh cool another oblivion bass drop...wait...whoooaaaa".

I got 2 laughs out of it. One was when he said "yes its a kid in a bag, but no its not my kid" Or something, the other was after that, who knows when.

I liked seeing Jim Carrey do his thing. As much as he wants to say Jim Carrey is a character of Jim Carrey...thats the only character he can play as far as I am concerned and its him at his best doing his best work. Unfortunately he can only do that crap in kids movies because if he busts that out in a normal movie its just odd lol.
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I rented this on UHD Blu-ray from Redbox. There is currently a bug with this disc and the Panasonic UB820 with firmware 1.60 and Samsung 85” Q7DR with 1356 firmware that does not trigger the TV going into HDR mode if you go into the menus before starting the movie. Before starting the movie I had went into audio options to make sure the Dolby Atmos track was enabled. When the movie started the colors looked off did not think nothing too much until after Chapter 4 when I checked the TV and noticed HDR was not engaged. I stopped the disc and started playing again from the beginning and HDR was engaged this time. At the end of the movie I wanted to see Chapter 4 again so I went into the Scenes menu and once again HDR did not enable on the TV.

Overall I enjoyed the movie and enjoyed the sound especially the bass. Once I got HDR engaged the spectral highlights were incredible in several scenes.
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post #15 of 28 Old 05-19-2020, 08:59 PM
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I rented this on UHD Blu-ray from Redbox. There is currently a bug with this disc and the Panasonic UB820 with firmware 1.60 and Samsung 85” Q7DR with 1356 firmware that does not trigger the TV going into HDR mode if you go into the menus before starting the movie. Before starting the movie I had went into audio options to make sure the Dolby Atmos track was enabled. When the movie started the colors looked off did not think nothing too much until after Chapter 4 when I checked the TV and noticed HDR was not engaged. I stopped the disc and started playing again from the beginning and HDR was engaged this time. At the end of the movie I wanted to see Chapter 4 again so I went into the Scenes menu and once again HDR did not enable on the TV.

Overall I enjoyed the movie and enjoyed the sound especially the bass. Once I got HDR engaged the spectral highlights were incredible in several scenes.
I had the same problem with the Panasonic, but luckily, I can engage it manually with my projector. Unfortunately, this has been happening too much with Paramount discs and I think Panasonic needs to come out with a firmware update. I really miss my Oppo.
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post #16 of 28 Old 05-20-2020, 01:00 AM
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Saw this in the theater (last movie before the shut down) and watched at home via Vudu. Whilst I quite enjoy the movie, the HDR/DV fairies seem to be social distancing and rather tame. Which result in a lot of missed DV opportunities.

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The kid saw this in the theater... and I preordered it for him for his coming birthday.


Thanks for the review Ralph!
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post #18 of 28 Old 05-20-2020, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisPNW View Post
The kid saw this in the theater... and I preordered it for him for his coming birthday.


Thanks for the review Ralph!

Greetings,

Great! Sure thing Travis..


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post #19 of 28 Old 05-21-2020, 05:26 PM
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Hey Ralph...just finished watching the "rental" blu-ray! The PQ was excellent but it was the Dolby Atmos mix that blew me away!! My "9 channels" came alive many times and "dual subs" had a great workout.

I'm not exactly in the "Jim Carrey is back" camp, but the movie was fun and I'm sure my grandchildren would absolutely love it.
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post #20 of 28 Old 05-21-2020, 05:57 PM
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I liked this movie. Weird portions of the plot where I scratched my head, but whatever. This was good, and I'd like to see a sequel.

I'm a little glum that the director's commentary completely avoided the topic of the character redesign, though.
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post #21 of 28 Old 05-21-2020, 05:59 PM
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I rented it on the Apple TV to make the 3 kids happy in my HT on the weekend and was blown away.

Not only is PQ and sound outstanding, the entire movie was a delight to watch for this 50yo. Naive
yet well directed, had a great time.

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post #22 of 28 Old 05-21-2020, 10:28 PM
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Ralph's review inspired me to order it.

Even so, I watched it this evening with a little apprehension. Video game based movies have a long tradition of being lousy.

Not this one. It may not be the Citizen Kane of video game based movies, but it was pretty enjoyable. There was only one flatulence joke.

The larger flying drones reminded me of the drones in Oblivion. Their glowing red eyes, HAL 9000. Pure coincidence?
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post #23 of 28 Old 05-22-2020, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Hey Ralph...just finished watching the "rental" blu-ray! The PQ was excellent but it was the Dolby Atmos mix that blew me away!! My "9 channels" came alive many times and "dual subs" had a great workout.

I'm not exactly in the "Jim Carrey is back" camp, but the movie was fun and I'm sure my grandchildren would absolutely love it.

Greetings,

Great to hear Denny!


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post #24 of 28 Old 05-23-2020, 03:55 PM
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This was a solid home release on both sides. I enjoyed it. Glad I have it in the collection.
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Spoiler!
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post #25 of 28 Old 05-24-2020, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknavs View Post
Ralph's review inspired me to order it.

Even so, I watched it this evening with a little apprehension. Video game based movies have a long tradition of being lousy.

Not this one. It may not be the Citizen Kane of video game based movies, but it was pretty enjoyable. There was only one flatulence joke.

The larger flying drones reminded me of the drones in Oblivion. Their glowing red eyes, HAL 9000. Pure coincidence?
Spoiler!
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post #26 of 28 Old 05-24-2020, 09:41 PM
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Spoiler!
Maybe there were two. I may have missed one. The one I was thinking of was in reference to a chili dog, after the cowboy bar scene.
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post #27 of 28 Old 05-24-2020, 11:37 PM
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Maybe there were two. I may have missed one. The one I was thinking of was in reference to a chili dog, after the cowboy bar scene.
Hmm.
I'll be watching it again in the near future, I'll be looking out for that one.
I remember the one I mentioned quite well, my Dad laughed out loud !

They were on the roof of the building in San Francisco when they let Sonic out of the gym bag.
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post #28 of 28 Old 05-25-2020, 03:04 AM
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Sonic made an armpit fart sound when delivering signs as the third base coach. Not the same thing, but the funniest of all of them to me.
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