'IT Chapter Two' (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital)
(Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, et al / 2-Disc + Digital / R / 2019 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Because every 27 years evil revisits the town of Derry, Maine, 'IT Chapter Two' brings the characters back together as adults, nearly three decades after the events of the first film.
Blu-ray Verdict: Warner Bros. is expanding their 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray catalog offerings this month with the release of the stellar follow-up to 2018's 'IT Chapter One,' the brilliant 'IT Chapter Two’ in the expansive 4K Ultra HD video format this December 10th, 2019.
For my money, this 'IT Chapter Two: 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital' combo pack's sharpness takes a fairly large step forward from others in their 4K Ultra HD catalog and even comes with HDR (High Dynamic Range) for the complete 4K Ultra HD experience, of course.
So, what we have is 'IT Chapter Two' presented to us as a two-disc combo pack with a sheet for a Digital HD Copy. Other stand out points you should know are: Codec: HEVC / H.265, Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p), HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10+ and Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1.
Featuring Dolby Vision and HDR10 for brighter, deeper, and way more lifelike colors, as with most all 4K UHD's, everything that we watch features these qualities - but somehow, this film gloriously shines within them all.
Noticeably crisper with the overall clarity receiving an obvious boost here on this release, what's more is that it's enjoyably noticeable. For as well as some new nuances to the somewhat drab palette courtesy of Dolby Vision we also get to witness sudden bright pops of color; like the magnificent, and cinematic widescreen shots of their town, especially when they are mobile, with all the changing leaves and their colors blending magnificently into the skyline. It just all comes more vividly to life, which is amazing to see, in truth.
Indeed, the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out the aforementioned extremely fine facial and some of the yellow graded material (notably the scenes where James McAvoy is in the fun house, and the camera focuses directly on his pained, every changing expressions; and when Bill Hader is comically wisecracking with nervousness abounding, his eyes belittling the supposedly calm persona) now have a kind of honeyed amber appearance. Which is interesting, and at least a little different from the 1080p Blu-ray accounting.
As for the audio, well we have: English: Dolby Atmos and English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit).
Overall, this is a very strong 4K HDR Blu-ray presentation, and, for the most part, the audio track remains fairly similar to its DTS-HD counterpart; with much of the action occupying the surrounds with outstanding directionality and placement where effects flawlessly pan between the sides and rears.
Phew! OK, so, as for the movie itself, luckily for all us fans, Director Andy Muschietti has retained all the ingredients that made 'IT Chapter One' an absolute delight to watch.
That said, and in total truth, if you're immature, have zero patience, haven't read the book, or have a very short attention span, you'll not only dislike this film, you'll probably hate it!
Starring Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Isaiah Mustafa, and Bill Skarsgård, 'IT Chapter Two' is a solid follow-up to the original that continues the streak of excellent adaptations of King's work.
Twenty-seven years after the events of 'Chapter One,' the Loser's Club have all grown up and left the town of Derry, Maine, with the sole exception of Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), who chose to remain as the town librarian.
One night, Mike realizes to his horror that IT has returned and has resumed feeding on scared children. Before IT can claim more victims, Mike calls up his childhood friends one by one to reunite them and fulfill the vow they took when they were younger to destroy IT permanently.
Much like its predecessor, 'IT Chapter Two' relies on scaring the audience through building up a creepy atmosphere of uncertainty and inner torment within the main characters, rather than with typical jump scares.
In spite of that, this film was considerably more drama heavy with less horror elements, likely due to the previous film featuring children a great deal more and the protagonists now being mature adults.
The grown-up Loser's Club cast in this film each do a fantastic job mirroring their child counterparts. All of them bring their own uniqueness to their characters, with Bill Hader standing out the most as the grown up Richie; who injects some much needed comic relief into some of the film's more dramatic moments.
However, once again, it is Bill Skarsgård as IT, in particularly his clown form Pennywise, who is truly terrifying as a supernatural force to be reckoned with.
Indeed, the film itself is a little bigger than the last movie. It's longer and a lot more happens with the plot and we get nice back stories of the origins of IT and how they are supposed to stop it. Some past bullies also come back to haunt the Losers Club, but I'm not too sure that needed to happen.
Despite the 170 minute runtime, the film is never boring and is brilliantly paced and edited thanks to the creative direction of Andy Muschietti.
There is also one suspenseful scene with Bill going into a haunted walk through house ride at a fair. Trying to save a kid with mirror maze hallway. Which is thrilling.
The climax of the movie is epic. There fight against Pennywise is insane. Characters are separated and faced with their own fears. The ending is satisfying with a conclusion to the characters and the story itself.
I mean, this really does feels like the conclusion to what could be considered the ultimate Stephen King adaptation, complete with all of the usual tropes and even some surprising references to his other work.
With that said, 'IT Chapter Two' is certainly worth watching, provided 'Chapter One' has already been viewed first, of course.
As for the Special Features included, the stand out for me is the just-under 4 minutes Pennywise Lives Again! (Behind-The-Scenes) where Director Andy Muschietti reintroduces us to the return of Pennywise.
Plus there's insight from Jessica Chastain and others from the cast explaining that their characters collective "super power" was that what they believed they could do, what they could accomplish as children, as adults they needed that very same force free flowing through them to fight Pennywise.
Another good one is the actual Commentary with Director Andy Muschietti who not only calmly guides us through the movie scene by scenes, but includes nice easter egg tidbits for those playing along at home (and also, for the record, makes us aware of easter eggs we might have missed from Chapter One!).
So, with an entire Bonus Disc with the IT Documentary included, this brand new 'IT Chapter Two' (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital) is, by far, one of the best to have come out of Warner Bros. for a long time. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs via 1080p and comes with the Special Features of:
Documentary: The Summers of IT: Chapter One, You’ll Float Too
Documentary: The Summers of IT: Chapter Two, IT Ends
This Meeting of the Losers Club Has Officially Begun
Pennywise Lives Again!
Finding the Deadlights
Commentary with Director Andy Muschietti
Official 'IT Chapter Two' Trailer
'IT Chapter Two: 4K Ultra HD' Amazon Purchase Link