The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 Blu-Ray Review

Listen To The After The Show Podcast Here

The Movie: 7.5/10
I won’t beat around the bush here, this is the final Hunger Games movie and if you are reading this you most likely have seen them all already, this means I won’t be rehashing a bunch of stuff. First, but not least, the cast. We have all been getting to know our victors, rebels, and a bad guy with bloody handkerchiefs. There are no surprises with any of the characters, except for one. For me Peeta finally came into his own in this part of the story. The actor seems to dig deeper and found a way for me to actually care about this poor dude. He’s been through it, after being ditched, then used by our leading lady, then kidnapped and brainwashed, his family destroyed and now he is finding his way back from being one of Snow’s maniacal weapons. I was impressed the first time I saw it, and the second time he held up. For me he’s the best thing of this installment.

The action is different, but its really just another hunger game on a bigger scale. We are infiltrating the capital with a crack team of soldiers (who don’t really do much to make me feel very secure). The stage is set with pods of danger, cameras to make it a big show, and lots of weird ways for people to die. Let’s go back to that camera part. We have been used to having the whole death game spectacle being part of the fiber of this big story, but this time around we don’t get any of that. We are not on the side of the viewer who is watching this dastardly game show take place from the comfort of their homes, cheering on the underdogs, watching the blood lust. I guess as the country falls into chaos there isn’t much of an elite populace to be enjoying the violence this time around. It does change the dynamic of the whole thing, but I’m still not sure for better or worse.

We meet a few interesting characters and see more of the handy work of just how terrible the leaders who orchestrate all this really are. A Tigress woman was apparently forced into being transformed into a cat-like creature after Snow decided she was not attractive enough. Yike. We also see the viciousness of this new battle field. The whole city is booby-trapped so even lights in the subway can turn you into an 8-bit video game character. There is oil that freezes, or turns to glass, or something else twisted. It’s rough out there for a rebellion.

I enjoyed the adventure of it, once again. The idea of a totalitarian leader sucking the life from most of the population to serve the few. The need to break the cycle of oppression. The drive of people to live more free, it all makes sense. The only complaint I really have of this final installment is that it doesn’t do a good job of giving me that OH CRAP moment that should really hit when we progress from Snow to the new folks in charge. I won’t spoil anything, but it was a bit of a fizzle for me.

Overall I look forward to having a Hunger Games marathon in a few months. I’ll watch it all the way through, and enjoy the whole contained trials and tribulations of Pannem, Paneem, Pennem? I still do not know what the hell the name of this country is or have any knowledge of the world, galaxy, universe it is situated in, but hey, maybe there will be more books at some point in our future:)

Features: 10/10

  • Pawns No More Making The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 (2 Hours 20 Minutes) – A very impressive documentary look at the making of the film, clocking in longer than the movie it’s a must for fans and is very detailed.
  • The Hunger Games A Photographic Journey (10 Minutes) – Photographer Murray Close takes us through the official still images for the movie.
  • Cinna’s Sketchbook: Secrets Of The Mockingjay Armor (9 Minutes) – Cinna who does not appear in this movie for obvious reasons, takes us through his sketchbook which includes designs for the final Katniss armor.
  • Panem On Display The Hunger Games Exhibition (2 Minutes) – A promotional film that shows the a new travelling attraction for Hunger Games fans to experience. There is also a ticket in the box for money off a ticket to the exhibition.
  • Jet To The Set (41 Minutes) – A bunch of promotional interviews and press junket clips.
  • Audio Commentary With Director Francis Lawrence & Producer Nina Jacobson – A very interesting wrap up of the whole franchise by the director and producer. lot’s of closure here and a hint of things to come. It seems we have not seen the last of The Hunger Games if you read between the lines.
  • DVD & UV Digital Copy

Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
I do like this cover, it’s bold and interesting. I would even have it as a mini poster in my house, but then I’d have to have all of them and that seems a bit much.

Audio & Video: 9/10
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 is presented on Blu-Ray courtesy of a 1080P transfer that is quite impressive. The film has a very color graded look with most of the real life color sucked out of it to create that dystopian look (dystopian futures are free from natural color, it’s the law.) Black levels are great and fleshtones are as natural as they can be given the color correction used. Some of the CGI in the movie comes across as very soft looking, it’s not a fault of the Blu-Ray it must have been rendered at a lower resolution than some AAA films use. I saw no signs of banding, ringing or blocking during our viewing on a 105 inch projector screen.

Audio has always been cutting edge with The Hunger Games franchise and this film is no exception, using the newest Dolby Atmos codec the sound can literally be heard all around and above you. There are some really big LFE moments when the booby traps start to go off in the capital but aside from that this is a much quieter film than the rest of them. Dialog is centered, clear and surround effects are often used to heighten tension.

Mockingjay Part 2 is a great example of how Home Video has caught up to theatre levels of detail, clarity and immersion. Recommended!!!

Overall Score 7/10