• A Quiet Place Part II (Paramount Pictures) UHD Review

    Released by: Paramount Pictures
    Released on: July 27th, 2021.
    Director: John Krasinski
    Cast: Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Djimon Honsou, John Krasinski
    Year: 2020
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    A Quiet Place Part II – Movie Review:

    When director and co-writer John Krasinski's A Quiet Place Part II opens, Lee Abbott (Krasinski) is on his way to meet wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and their deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) to watch son Marcus (Noah Jupe) play in a softball game. As Lee talks to his friend, Emmet (Cillian Murphy), they spot what looks like a fireball of some sort in the sky. A short time later, all Hell breaks loose and some large, fast-moving creatures are laying waste to the town.

    This opening scene precedes the events that took place in the first movie. From there, we catch up with Evelyn, Regan and Marcus who, along with Evelyn’s infant child, are forced to leave the farm house they’d been living in because of how that first movie ended. They still hold out hope that Lee might be out there somewhere, but he’s nowhere to be seen. As they hike, as quietly as possible, across the landscape, they encounter some of the creatures and decide to try to make it to an old abandoned steel planet. As the creatures get closer, we learn that Regan’s hearing aid, when amplified through a microphone and into a speaker, produces a sound that confuses the creatures long enough that they can be killed.

    When they make it into the plant, they meet up with Emmet as Regan comes up with a way to possibly save the world…

    We’ll leave the synopsis at that. This one starts off with a bang, that prologue scene hitting pretty hard and doing a great job of pulling you into the film and setting you on edge while, at the same time, giving us some welcome background information on what’s left of the Abbott family. The story pulls us in, the family dynamic understandably making aspects of what happens more tense than it might be had it not been an integral part of the script and characterization. At the same time, the movie is careful not to overdo it in this department. Sad things happen and it’s clear that these people care about one another but this is used to build tension and suspense and the movie never feels overly melodramatic.

    Performances are good across the board, everyone in the film is believable and well-suited to their role. Production values are also strong. The locations used for the factory where so much of the film takes place are perfect, and they add a lot to the overall look of the film as they’re believably destitute in appearance. As it was with the first film, some of the CGI used to bring the monsters to life looks a little more digital than it should, and like with almost any horror movie, there are a few logic gaps and questionable choices made by the characters during the movie. Overall though, this is a solid sequel that succeeds in crafting some really strong scenes of tension.

    A Quiet Place Part II – UHD Review:

    Paramount Pictures brings A Quiet Place Part II to UHD in an HEVC encoded 2160p high definition transfer with HDR framed at 2.39.1 widescreen. Shot digitally, the image is pristine, obviously there’s no print damage, dirt or grain to note. Much of the film takes place inside some dimly lit, grubby looking interiors but detail stays impressive even when much of the frame is bathed in shadow (the many scenes that take place inside the rusted out old steel mill being prime examples of this in action). Skin tones look spot on and black levels are reference quality. Detail is noticeably stronger than the included Blu-ray disc in the set, there’s stronger texture and more depth to the image. The HDR10 really makes the colors look fantastic here as well, and it’s hard to find anything to complain about here. This is pretty much reference quality from start to finish.

    English language tracks are offered in Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound options provided in Czech, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Hungarian, Polish and Thai. Subtitle options are provided in English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Korean, Malay, Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Swedish and Thai.

    As to the quality of the audio, that Atmos track is phenomenal. You’ll notice subtleties in the background of the opening prequel scene, like the baseball game, and then when it all hits the fan, the mix explodes and pulls you right in. This happens frequently throughout the movie, but even when the jump scares are used, the levels aren’t boosted so high that it seems wrong. There’s some seriously impressive directional effects used throughout the movie and it all comes through with crystal clear clarity. As you’d expect for a brand new feature film from a major studio, there are no problems with any hiss or distortion to note at all. Again, reference quality.

    There are no extras at all on the UHD disc but the Blu-ray does contain a few featurettes, starting with Director's Diary: Filming With John Krasinski. Here, over the span of ten minutes, we learn what went into writing the story, some of the themes that were worked into the movie, choosing the right locations for the film, staging some of the stunts, post-production work and a fair bit more. The four-minute Pulling Back The Curtain examines the storyline a bit and then goes over the creatures featured in the film, with this six-minute Regan’s Journey looks at the character of Regan and the arc that her character goes on in this second film. The five-minute Surviving The Marina look at what went into staging the attack sequence that happens at the marina and the eight minute Detectable Disturbance: Visual Effects And Sound Design, as you could probably have guessed from the title, looks into some of the CGI work and sound design work that went into crafting a few of the more memorable sequences in the picture.

    Paramount Pictures bundles the UHD disc with a Blu-ray disc and an insert for a digital HD download version of the movie and a slipcover.

    A Quiet Place Part II – The Final Word:

    A Quiet Place Part II is a surprisingly strong sequel that proves to be both tense and involving. Paramount’s UHD/Blu-ray combo pack release is a little light on extras but it does offer up a reference quality presentation. Recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized A Quiet Place Part II Blu-ray screen caps that don’t look as good as the UHD reviewed above (but reviews without screen caps are boring)!