Five years after the events of Mamma Mia! (2008), Sophie prepares for the grand reopening of the Hotel Bella Donna as she learns more about her mother's past in  Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again .

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

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

90
Details:

Studio and Year: Universal - 2018
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 116 minutes
Genre: Musical

Disc Format: BD-100
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, Spanish/French Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Andy Garcia, Lily James, Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Walters, Cher, Meryl Streep
Written & Directed by: Ol Parker
Music & Lyrics by: Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: October 23, 2018
"Here We Go Again!"
My Take:

In 1979 young Donna, Tanya and Rosie graduate from Oxford University -- leaving Donna free to embark on a series of adventures throughout Europe. On her journeys, she makes the acquaintances of Harry, Bill and Sam -- the latter whom she falls in love with, but he's also the man who breaks her heart. In the present day, Donna's pregnant daughter, Sophie, dreams of renovating a taverna while reuniting with her mother's old friends and boyfriends on the Greek island of Kalokairi.

I must admit to not particularly being a fan of Mamma Mia! but, my wife loves it. So, when Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was released in theaters earlier this year she talked me into seeing it. Both a prequel and a sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again interweaves two stories, past and present, while capturing the spirit of the first film’s music, dance, and light spirited narrative. This time around though, I found the storyline to be wonderfully spun and, on a few occasions, moving, as it brought back the original characters/cast and managed to reignite the toe tapping music of Abba in a very meaningful way.

I will say that those with a low tolerance for camp and a bit of bad dancing by veteran male actors may want to have a glass of wine or two before watching but, truth be told, it’s all good. I really enjoyed the performances by Lily James (I’ll watch anything she’s in), Amanda Seyfried and in general thought that everyone contributed to the proceedings. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is an entertaining follow-up that I found to be better than expected. Perhaps I need to give its predecessor another chance..

Replay Value: 4 Stars

Parental Guide:

The rating is for some suggestive material.

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): 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
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UHD Presentation (Dolby Vision): 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
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Dolby Atmos Rating: 86
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
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Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was rendered from a 3.4K source and finished on a 2K DI. This musical film is essentially boldly colorful throughout, and this Ultra HD rendering makes the most of its elements. With a discernible increase in detail and emboldened chromatic highlights the image appears sharper and vibrant when compared to the 1080p version. Primary colors are pleasingly rich while whites appear gradational and punchy. The spectrum of secondary colors literally pop off of the screen. The opening sequence provides a glimpse of what it to come, but it’s the first flashback to 1979 that offers the bonus that the presentation’s wide color gamut has to offer. The combination of rich color, sepia, and gradational whites look stunning.

I also enjoyed the implementation of HDR. The added dimension in blacks, and shadows during the low-level scenes, such as the one where Donna and Sam rescue the horse from the barn during the storm, is immediately noticeable. There are a few sequences (like Cher’s rendition of “Fernando”) where the cinematography makes use of shadows, streaming light and a mix of light/dark elements. It’s application here is used very well, drawing upon HDR’s ability to create stark contrast between the two. The blend of shadow detail/depth of field offset by the presence of light at varying levels, looked very natural.

The film has a variety of sequences that make use of close up camera angles that show off the superb rendering of detail. The exterior sequences and CGI featured in the film have appreciable depth which has an enriching, and eye-catching aesthetic. The difference between viewing Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again in high definition and Ultra HD isn't vast but, there is no question that it benefitted from the increase in resolution, emboldened color and high dynamic range treatment.

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.*

In comparing the DV and HDR-10 renderings I ran the same scenes using my reference Oppo UHD player (both in DV and forced HDR-10 and Samsung UHD player (HDR-10 only). The title looked outstanding on both formats with respect to the reproduction of color/HDR. I did feel that the DV presentation offered slightly richer color rendition and handling of the finest details in shadows. Neither was enough of a variation to warrant a rating difference. As I said, you can’t go wrong with either.

Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be a fairly entertaining listening experience that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects placed above is a mix of atmospherics and music. This is done quite well, and where applied, creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. I noticed that the front overhead channels were used for adding depth to the soundstage while the rear overhead channels contained more discrete sound objects/effects. In addition to things like overhead pans where sounds move through the soundstage, there are several scenes, such as the aforementioned rainstorm sequence, that bring everything together. I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable this Dolby Atmos presentation was, adding a complimentary element that elevated the experience of watching the film.

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)

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

 
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  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA
 

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Pictures 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 based upon the mood of the scene. The chroma range is broad and hues can vary from being sullen and inanimate to warm and inviting. Skin tones are beautifully rendered with natural highlights and descriptive variation. Images onscreen are 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 7.1 Dolby TrueHD (Atmos core) makes effective use of the surround platform and offers detail rich sonic clarity, and crystalline dialog reproduction. As you’d expect this mix doesn’t bombard you with aggressive surround sound. It applies it when appropriate and combines directional cues with supporting ambience that fills the listening area nicely. The front and rear sound field never collide but work in unison to render the soundtrack’s elements. Dynamic range and bass response are appropriate, adding thematic emphasis and resonating punch when called upon. This is a solid audio presentation that mates well with the source material.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Blu-ray
    • Deleted/Extended Songs and Scenes with Commentary by Director/Screenplay Writer Ol Parker
    o Extended Song Performance - The Name Of The Game
    o Extended Song Performance - Knowing Me, Knowing You
    • Enhanced Sing-Alongs
    o One Of Us
    o S.O.S.
    o Why Did It Have To Be Me?
    o I Have A Dream
    o Kisses Of Fire
    o Knowing Me, Knowing You
    o Angel Eyes
    o My Love, My Life
    • Cast Meets Cast
    o Tanya Meets Tanya - Jessica Keenan Wynn interviews Christine Baranski about playing the sassiest Dynamo – Tanya.
    o Rosie Meets Rosie - Alexa Davies interviews Julie Walters as the two actresses share their experiences playing Rosie.
    • Cast Chats
    o Dynamo Chit-Chat - A conversation between the three Young Dynamos reflecting on their favorite song, costumes, scenes to shoot, and funniest moments.
    o Dad Chat - The young dads come together to share some of their favorite memories from set.
    • High Jinks
    • Sophie's Story - Of all the characters, Amanda Seyfried’s Sophie has developed the most since the first movie. Here we will chart how Sophie has gone from a vulnerable young girl to a confident young woman following life-changing events.
    • Choreographing MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN - Choreographer Anthony Van Laast and his team will reveal some of the secrets behind the highly original dance routines.
    • Dancing Queen: Anatomy of a Scene - The most famous piano roll in musical history opens one of ABBA’S biggest hits, “Dancing Queen.” The number is the biggest and most complex sequence. Ol Parker will discuss where and how he wanted to use the song in the story.
    • Performing for Legends - Here the Young Dynamos will discuss the daunting prospect of stepping into the recording booth at Air Studios to sing ABBA to ABBA.
    • Class of '79 - The story of the Young Dads and Dynamos is told against the backdrop of Oxford, Paris and the Greek Islands of 1979, when hairstyles were wackier and the fashions were bolder. This featurette will focus on the Young Dads and Dynamos and their experience bringing these characters to life.
  • Digital Copy
Final Thoughts:

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again takes fans to familiar territory while adding a complimentary and enriching element that elevates it to an entertaining and feel good sequel that I rather enjoyed. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Combo Pack from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring top notch Ultra HD video, engaging lossless surround sound, including a solid Dolby Atmos immersive listening experience and a fan friendly supplemental package. If you’re a fan this is a must have for your Blu-ray collection.
 
Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-11 Gen 3 Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems