Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. From start to finish, the movie looked terrific.
Sharpness worked well. Few if any signs of softness occurred, so I thought the film consistently displayed tight, precise visuals. No moiré effects or jagged edges appeared, and I witnessed no print flaws.
To the surprise of no one, the film emphasized the usual orange and teal palette. That said, the movie came with a good array of other hues – such as gold for the Sovereign – so the orange/teal wasn’t oppressive. We got a nice blend of hues, all of which looked strong.
Blacks were deep and firm, while shadows offered smooth, clear visuals. I felt wholly impressed by this stellar presentation.
Just as good as the picture, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack added a lot of pizzazz to the package. With so much action and havoc, the soundscape enjoyed a slew of chances to come to life, and it did so well.
Space battles and related elements filled the room and zoomed around the spectrum in a vivid, well-integrated manner. Everything connected together in a fluid manner that formed an engrossing circumstance.
Audio quality also succeeded. Music was bold and full, while speech seemed concise and well-rendered. Effects appeared accurate and dynamic, with terrific low-end. I felt pleased with this exciting soundtrack.
This package includes both 2D and 3D versions of V2. The picture comments above address the 2D edition, but I also want to talk about the 3D image.
In terms of visual quality, the 3D picture seemed as strong as its 2D Blu-ray counterpart. It gave us a no obvious decline in sharpness and brightness, so the 3D image looked very good.
When it came to 3D impact, the movie excelled. With all the action and space-based material, the film boasted plenty of moments that allowed the footage to leap out of the screen, and these instances added a lot of fun and pep to the proceedings.
The movie occasionally used the “dead space” outside of the 2.40:1 image to let various effects jump out of the frame. This only happened a handful of times, but it gave the 2.40:1 image a bit more of an immersive flair.
A more significant change, the 3D presentation went with varying aspect ratios. Much of the film stayed with “standard” 2.40:1, but quite a lot of footage opened to the digital IMAX ratio of 1.90:1.
That choice gave those scenes much greater punch. As good as the rest looked, the 1.90:1 moments – which nearly filled the 1.78:1 screen – broadened the image in a vivid manner.
Note that this package also includes a 4K UHD version of V2. Without question, that one offers the tightest picture quality among the various discs, and it also becomes the only way to watch the film with Dolby Atmos sound.
Even so, I’ll go with the 3D in the future. The high quality of the 3D and the way the material broadens to the 1.90:1 aspect ratio makes the difference to me. The 4K is a great way to view the movie, too, but 3D works best for me.
As we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from writer/director James Gunn. He presents a running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, cast and performances, sets, locations and production design, various effects, music, cinematography, and related areas.
In other words, Gunn touches on pretty much all the subjects one wants/expects from a commentary, and he does so with gusto. Even when he indulges in some of the usual “happy talk”, he does so with such verve that I don’t mind. This becomes a lively and informative chat.
We can watch the movie with or without an introduction from James Gunn. In this one-minute, 39-second clip, he gives us a quick preview for the film. It’s not especially informative but it’s also painless.
Bonus Round: The Making of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 runs 37 minutes, 39 seconds and features Gunn, producer Kevin Feige, visual effects supervisor Christopher Townsend, executive producers Nikolas Korda, Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito and Jonathan Schwartz, production designer Scott Chambliss, visual development supervisor Andy Park, visual development concept illustrator Anthony Francisco, property master Russell Bobbitt, and actors Bradley Cooper, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Sean Gunn, Kurt Russell, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debecki, Vin Diesel and Chris Sullivan.
A collection of four featurettes, these cover Gunn’s approach to the material, music, various effects and visual design, and cast/performances. The clips vary in quality – with the music and effects parts best of the bunch – but they all add useful info.
We also find a music video for “Guardians Inferno”. This three-minute, 35-second clip goes for a disco-era look and feel. It seems a little too self-conscious for its own good, but it provides some amusement.
A Gag Reel fills three minutes, 41 seconds. It presents a pretty standard reel of silliness and accidents on the set. A few laughs result – mainly due to Sylvester Stallone’s inability to say “ravager” - but this becomes mostly forgettable fare.
Four Deleted Scenes occupy a total of five minutes, four seconds. “Adolescent Groot Extended” (1:01), “Memorial to the War on Xandar” (1:19), “Kraglin and Quill Talk Tunes” (0:41) and “Mantis and Drax Feel the Sadness Extended” (2:03).
Of these, “Groot” and “Tunes” are pure fun – they’re inconsequential but entertaining. “Memorial” largely fits the same category, as it offers a witty bit, but it also throws in some character material as well. “Sadness” becomes the most useful of the bunch – though not crucial, it brings out a little more depth to the Mantis/Drax relationship.
The disc opens with an ad for Thor: Ragnarok. Sneak Peeks adds promos for the Guardians of the Galaxy; The Telltale Series and Marvel Vs; Capcom Infinite videogames.. No trailer for Vol. 2 appears here.
Like its predecessor, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 offers a good but not great superhero tale. Though this one loses focus more often than I’d like, it comes with enough humor and action to make it enjoyable. The Blu-ray offers strong picture and audio as well as a mix of supplements. V2 continues the franchise on a positive note, and the 3D version becomes a terrific way to watch it.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2