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Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (3D/2D Combo) (2012) Print E-mail
Friday, 01 June 2012
ImageI don’t know exactly why, but it seems lately the films I enjoy most get the worst critic ratings and sometimes worst fan ratings as well.  This is a case of both.  “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” was actually a lot of good fun.  Even without kids I enjoyed the sequel more than the first I dare say.

The sequel has faults, sure, most ever sequel does.  However, the adventure seems more unified this time around.  There is a change of cast members, basically just Josh Hutcherson is the only remaining original cast member.  Dwayne Johnson joins the party as does Luis Guzman, Vanessa Hudgens and Michael Caine.

What does the sequel lack?  Well, particularly, it is the lack of explanations.  The disappearance of Josh’s uncle as well as their Icelandic tour guide from the first film.  Not even a mention.  Also, the film’s pacing is off.  At times it isn’t elaborate enough and at other times it moves way too slowly.  However, that doesn’t stop a fun ride through a tropical, sinking island.

Sean somehow intercepts a code that takes him and his step-father (Johnson) on a bonding journey.  So the film moves right through the breaking of the code by an ex Navy Seal and right into that no one else could have sent this code but Sean’s grandfather.  Alas, a journey is taken.  Along the way the duo make allies with a helicopter tour pilot and his daughter.  The four become stranded on the mysterious island.

ON the island the team run into mythical creatures and traps of all sorts.  They are on a race against time.  I won’t spoil the unfolding pattern of the film as that is kind of the fun part.  But, if there is anything that can make this film better, it is the 3D presentation. “Journey 2” comes to Blu-ray in a variety of combo packs.  The first sent to me was the normal Blu-ray plus DVD copy of the film package.  I sat and watched the film and enjoyed the video presentation without a doubt.  The lushness of the colors and natural depth is awe-inspiring.  The very next day I received the 3D combo pack, adding a 3D Blu-ray disc to the pack.  Having enjoyed the film the first time around I thought, what the heck, let’s watch it again right away in 3D.  Boy was I thankful I did.

The 3D version of this film, which was originally shot in 3D is even more awe-inspiring than the 2D counterpart.  The 3D nature of the film makes watching the film far, far more enjoyable than the 2D version, which still looks amazing.  The 3D version has all the depth and 3D-pop that you can enjoy.  Compared to the recently release “John Carter 3D,” “Journey 2 3D” blows it out of the blow.  The 3D extension is terrific.  Unlike the aforementioned title, this title actually has 3D extension from the screen, allowing for wildlife to fly into the room as well as underwater vehicles.  Meanwhile, the colors remain lush and vibrant.  The black levels are near perfect.  Picture cohesion is only as good as your screen 3D settings.  But I can tell you on a 9-foot screen this film looks pretty darn amazing.  NOTE: Despite package description this film, both 3D and 2D is presented in 1.78:1 not 1.85:1.

The audio quality is nearly as amazing as the video quality.  The lossless audio track is night and day different from the Dolby lossy version.  I accidently changed the audio setting and the system started playing the lossy audio track.  I was immediately discouraged until I realized what happened.  Anybody struggling to hear the difference by lossless and lossy should check this feature out.  It is incredibly different and bad.  The lossless audio track has nice dialogue prioritization.  The LFE channel gets a nice work out during the island sequences.  The dynamics are fairly good.  The surround envelopment is better than I expected.  I would have loved a native 7.1 audio mix of this film but as it stands the THX Ultra2 setting of most receivers does a great job once again of taking 5.1 into 7.1.

There isn’t much in the way of special features.  The 3D disc doesn’t contain any.  The 2D Blu-ray disc contains three.  There is a gag reel, some deleted scenes and an interactive map.  The latter is an exploration of the island.

“Journey 2” is better than the first in my opinion.  I like both films because of the native 3D.  Without a doubt the 3D version of this film is a must.  The best I have seen in a while.  I recommend the 3D Blu-ray combo pack of this title.

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