Bad Santa 2 UltraHD Blu-ray Review

Summary: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox and Brett Kelly reunite in  Bad Santa 2, the funniest, raunchiest and most inappropriate film of the year, due for release on EST on February 14 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and VOD February 21. Fueled by cheap whiskey and greed, Willie Soke (Academy Award®-winner* Billy Bob Thornton), teams up once again with his angry sidekick, Marcus (Tony Cox), to knock off a Chicago charity run by curvaceous Diane (Christina Hendricks). But the arrival of Willie’s horror story of a mother, Sunny (Academy Award-winner Kathy Bates), and “the kid” – Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) – may upset their plan.

UltraHD Specs
Studio: Miramax
Title: Bad Santa 2
Audio: DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Negative Formats: Panasonic VariCam 35
Digital Intermediate: 4K
MPAA Rating: R
Length: 92 Minutes
Director: Mark Waters
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Tony Cox, Christina Hendricks
Review Date: February 22, 2017
Price: $27
Movie Review: The first Bad Santa movie was both incredibly crude and incredibly funny. Much like Sausage Party, it was using that crassness well and delivered a movie that is funny and you’ll want to come back to every holiday. Despite having over a dozen years between films, the sequel plays out like something they came up with over a weekend and not that was developed over that time.

The language and humor here is used as a 13-year-old boy would use it: something you think is cool and edgy so you just keep saying it instead of using it as a tool. The plot exists just as a reason for our characters to drink, curse, and sleep with anything that moves but not something that ever develops. The ending of the film is completely ridiculous, and the amount of times I laughed can probably be counted on one hand. The original Bad Santa will remain a good holiday film, but the sequel is likely to fade quickly into obscurity.

Note: Bad Santa 2 on UltraHD Blu-ray is a Best Buy exclusive.

Technical Review: Bad Santa 2 was shot on a Panasonic VariCam 35 in native 4K resolution and finished with a 4K digital intermediate. Surprisingly there is no use of HDR here, as the VariCam has 14-15 f-stops of dynamic range that HDR would be able to accentuate. For what we are given, the on-screen image is very sharp and detailed. Colors are rich, with the red santa suits being particularly vibrant on this release. Darker nighttime scenes are loaded with detail, and there isn’t aliasing or edge enhancement to be seen. The VariCam makes a very good impression here with a sharp, clean image I’d love to see on more UHD Blu-ray films.

The soundtrack is a more basic 5.1 channel affair that is suitable but never stands out. Voices are clear and the surrounds are used for ambient effects in some outdoor scenes, but overall the mix is reserved. There isn’t anything to complain about, aside from the lack of Atmos or DTS:X, but also no reason you’ll come back to this for demo material.

Special Features: Theatrical and unrated versions are included, along with a few featurettes, gag reel, deleted scenes, and an alternate opening and ending.

Review System: Vizio P65-C1 display, Oppo UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver.

Review Summary
Title: Bad Santa 2 UltraHD Blu-ray
Reviewer:
Pros: Great 4K image with loads of detail and rich, accurate colors.
Cons: No immersive soundtrack or HDR, not nearly as good as the first film
Summary: A fantastic 4K image is wasted on a film that just can't live up to the original in any way.
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 3.5/5
Movie: 2/5