The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Across the board, the transfer satisfied.
Overall definition worked well. Only a smidgen of softness materialized, so the majority of the film appeared accurate. I saw no shimmering or jagged edges, and the image lacked edge haloes or print flaws.
Like many modern action flicks, Mockingjay 2 opted for a fairly teal palette; it also leaned toward an amber tone at times, but blue/green dominated. These hues seemed appropriate given the design choices. Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows were mostly fine; a few shots seemed slightly thick but those were in the minority. Ultimately, the transfer represented the film well.
I felt even more pleased with the excellent Dolby Atmos soundtrack of Mockingjay 2. Downcoverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 on my system, the soundscape’s emphasis on action used all the channels on a frequent basis. The various speakers provided lots of information that filled out the movie and blended together in a seamless manner. This formed a dynamic soundscape with a lot to offer.
In addition, audio quality seemed strong. Music was bold and full, and even with a lot of looped lines, dialogue remained crisp and natural. Effects appeared lively and vivid, with clear highs and deep lows. I felt pleased with this impressive soundtrack.
Mockingjay 2 comes with a bunch of extras, and these open with an audio commentary from director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at adaptation issues and story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, stunts and action, cinematography, effects, and related domains.
Expect a fairly average commentary. While Lawrence and Jacobson touch on a good array of topics, the results seem less than enthralling. The track offers a mostly positive look at the film but it doesn’t dig deep enough to become especially lively.
Called Pawns No More, an eight-part documentary fills a total of two hours, 21 minutes, and 45 seconds. It offers notes from Lawrence, Jacobson, publisher David Levithan, producer Jon Kilik, production designer Philip Messina, director of photography Jo Willems, set decorator Larry Dias, propmaker foreman Devlin LaRue, foreman Mark Bialuski, casting director Debra Zane, costume designers Kurt Swanson and Bart Mueller, makeup designer Ve Neill, makeup special effects designer Glenn Hetrick, special makeup effects lead designer Michael O’Brien, hair designer Camille Friend, makeup designer Nikoletta Skarlatos, visual effects supervisor/2nd unit director, special effects coordinator Steve Cremins, stunt coordinator Sam Hargraves, stunt double Renae Moneymaker, property master Drew Petrotta, visual effects supervisors Adrian de Wet, David Seagar and Martin Hill, special effects foreman Brandon Keyes McLaughlin, editors Alan Edward Bell, Mark Yoshikawa and Jennifer Vecchiarello, 3D supervisor Jeremy Hardin, visual effects producer Melinka Thompson-Godoy, effects supervisor Rico Dober, digital compositors Travis Porter and Angelica Perez, effects artist Philip McAuliffe, lead sculptor Dorothy Ballarini, lead look developer Marieke Franzen, and sound designer/supervising sound editor Jeremy Peirson.
We also hear from actors Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Sam Claflin, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, Willow Shields, Jena Malone, Stef Dawson, Elizabeth Banks, Natalie Dormer, Wes Chatham, Jeffrey Wright, Mahershala Ali, Elden Henson, Stanley Tucci, Paula Malcomson, Donald Sutherland, Robert Knepper, Sarita Choudhury, Michelle Forbes, Gwendoline Christie, Eugenie Bondurant, Meta Golding, and Patina Miller.
“Pawns” examines story/character/adaptation topics, cast and performances. From there, we learn of visual design, sets and locations, photography, costumes, makeup and hair. The pieces progress through stunts and effects, editing, music and audio, and the conclusion of the movie series.
In other words, “Pawns” covers pretty much everything you’d expect from a 141-minute documentary. It delivers a nice combination of interviews and behind the scenes material and packages it all well. “Pawns” proves to be a highly satisfying take on the production.
A few featurettes follow. A Photographic Journey lasts 10 minutes, 17 seconds and includes comments from set photographer Murray Close. He discusses aspects of his career as well as his work on Hunger Games. Close offers an informative view of a subject not often covered in situations such as this.
For the nine-minute, 22-second Cinna’s Sketchbook, we hear from costume designers Mueller and Swanson. They discuss the perspective of the Cinna character and influences on various Hunger Games outfits. This becomes an engaging view of the topic.
Panem on Display: The Hunger Games: The Exhibition runs a mere one minute, 57 seconds. It takes us on a tour of movie-based display presented in San Francisco. This acts as an advertisement and nothing more.
Finally, Jet to the Set takes up 41 minutes, 58 seconds. Hosts Laurie Feltheimer and Carly Steel visit the movie’s locations and also chat with Nina Jacobson, Larry Dias, Patina Miller, International Park Deputy Administrator Troy Stubbs, makeup artist Tracey Miller, hair stylist Jerome Allen, location scout Trey Neely, and various “Atlanta celebrities”. Aired before the movie’s release, it clearly exists to promote Mockingjay 2. Despite its glossy and superficial feel, “Jet” manages to provide a mostly interesting view of the locations.
The disc opens with ads for Now You See Me 2, The Divergent Series: Allegiant, Gods of Egypt, and The Last Witch Hunter. No trailer for Mockingjay appears here.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Mockingjay 2. It loses the “Pawns” and “Jet” documentaries but includes the other extras.
As much as I hoped Mockingjay Part 2 would end the Hunger Games series with a bang, the film instead delivers the proverbial whimper. A few sequences threaten to show signs of life, but most of the movie seems flat and uninspired. The Blu-ray brings us pretty good picture along with excellent audio and a strong roster of supplements. Mockingjay 2 isn’t the worst of the series, but it’s not a satisfying finale.