BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Stranger Things 2 (2018) - Blu-ray Review

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Stranger Things 2 - blu-ray

Welcome back to Hawkins, Indiana. 

This mysterious place is, of course, the home of Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Will (Noah Schnapp), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), and Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) or, as we like to call them: Scooby and the Gang.  But which one is Scooby?  And what members are the gang?  And just where the hell Is Eleven?  Thankfully, as Stranger Things 2 begins, we quickly find out exactly where we stand with all out old friends from the first season.  And then, as all sequels must, we begin to branch out and expand. 

"The dynamic retro-themed handling of the release of Stranger Things 2 might just tide us over until this summer . . . when, fingers crossed, Stranger Things 3 is released"


And it begins with a blight on Bob Merril's pumpkin patch.  Dark days are soon ahead as the Upside Down reveals itself to everyone soon enough.  Even Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler and her new boyfriend, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers, are going to discover some of its secrets . . . just not anything to help them with the grief they both feel over the loss of Barb.

Complete with a whole slew of brand new characters – a tomboy named Max (Sadie Sink), her older step-brother Billy (Dacre Montgomery), a strange girl named Kali (Linnea Berthelsen) with a secret link to the Hawkins Lab, Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser), a Department of Energy doctor, and a conspiracy theorists journalist named Murray Bauman (Brett Gelman).  Now, we can argue until the break of day about whether or not these characters could possibly ever be as loved as the original ones.  For my money, the best new addition is Bauman.  At least he is interesting . . but, hey, such is the rut for a lot of sequels.  The new characters just don’t live up to expectations, you know?

Stranger Things 2 gives us TWO SUPREMELY AWESOME THINGS: Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) as a babysitter and THAT dance.  Seriously.  The unexpected turn of events here that leads Harrington to actually have to be responsible for watching over this motley crew are damn magical.  With this season, The Duffer Brothers leave behind the Spielbergian influences and deliver us straight into Stephen King territory.

While Miles might be a bit neutered thanks to the disappearance of El and Lucas with his crush on Max, Dustin gets his own pet Demogorgon to raise and name; knighting it after d'Artagnan, but the gang just runs around calling “Dart” most of the time.  This season is a give and take affair, that doesn’t truly start giving until the final two episodes.  Sure, we get the Ghostbusters during the Halloween episode and all the scenes in the arcade, but the sequel just loses too much focus when it expands outside of Hawkins.  We don’t need Kali leading a punk gang that feels ripped straight out of a music video based on The Legend of Billie Jean

Stranger Things 2 - blu-ray

But, hey, that’s just me and my weird tastes.  Do I still love the show?  You bet.  Am I eagerly awaiting Season Three?  Of course.  To tide us over; however, Netflix and Target have once again delivered the goods when it comes to getting this show in our hands.  The retro packaging here – designing the entire set to look just like an old school VHS clamshell case that you’d find in video stores is damn glorious.  Of course, the content is solid, too.  All episodes of the Stranger Things 2 are included.  Plus, as a bonus, buyers of the release get promo photos, 6 DVDS, and a lot of oversized goodness.

The dynamic retro-themed handling of the release of Stranger Things 2 might just tide us over until this summer . . . when, fingers crossed, Stranger Things 3 is released. 

4 beers

Stranger Things 2 - blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Target Exclusive / Collector's Edition / Blu-ray + DVD

Home Video Distributor: Netflix
Available on Blu-ray
- November 6, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.00:1
Subtitles
: English SDH; Spanish
Audio:
English: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; six-disc set
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

Netflix partnered with Target on this release. Stranger Things 2 does not disappoint.  With striking visuals and that HD sheen, no fan should be without this show in their collection. Colors – while never bright (by choice) – are fantastically rendered here. Black levels are solid and deep and practically explode with depth and range. This is important. Reds are also deep and skin tones are solid. The BIG city and the town of Hawkins both crackle with a vibrancy that is not usually seen. Stranger Things 2 is presented in 1080p with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None.

Special Features:

Look, Netflix isn’t going to cave on every giving us any bonus material.  But do we need it?  I don’t think so.  Hell, the oversized VHS packaging is a treat in and of itself.  Let’s stop whining, shall we?

Stranger Things 2 - blu-ray

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