Warner Bros. // 2008 // 119 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Dennis Prince (Retired) // November 24th, 2008
"Amazing, remarkable chemistry and better than the original." -- Mark S. Allen, The CW Network/Sacramento
Really, Mark? Well, while I won't exert too much energy investigating the curious fact that Warner Bros. needed to reach deep into Sacramento's tiny Channel 31 studio (still very much a "UHF" endeavor) to find a reviewer willing to prop up this opportunistic sequel, I will echo that this film is nevertheless a success. I speak in regards to the high definition treatment of this particular film, not in reference to the supposed heart-tugging journey of four friends who now find themselves in the collegiate life yet still bonded by a remarkable artifact of attire.
"Traveling pants" don't necessarily warm my heart, but well-done high-def certainly stirs my affections.
Look, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is certainly not my sort of film so I'll redirect you to our own Judge Katie Herrell's glowing review as a better-qualified take on this tale of four female BFFs, forever in blue jeans. But, when it comes to the "blu," then I'm your man. This Blu-ray disc embodies curious similarity to a fraying pair of pants, some parts full of texture an others seeming a little worse for wear.
The opening credits sequence, an extreme close up pan across the titular jeans, is quite remarkable to behold, technically. The texture of the denim is spectacularly detailed, giving crisp view of practically every thread of the well-worn pants plus excellent representation of the various appliques that adorn the two-legged diary shared between the four friends. From there, we meet up with the girls -- Bridget (Blake Lively), Carmen (America Ferrera), Lena (Alexis Bledel), and Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) -- in a meadow setting, the landscape also showing remarkable rendering in the high-definition transfer, brought to us via the AVC-1 codec. The color palette in this film seems to run a bit on the heavily saturated side but, here, it looks good. Vibrant flowers bloom vividly to provide visual punctuation to the proceedings. Locales are practically alive with warmth and regard, the sort that could teach the HD broadcast of the Travel Channel a thing or two. But it's the characters that are supposed to drive this particular drama, right? Well, this high-definition disc doesn't disappoint on that level since the rendering of the characters, flesh tones and skin textures, is deep and realistic from start to finish. For the duration, this disc has an excellent look and "feel" that adds a much-needed quality of realism to the events at hand.
On the audio side, however, the disc seems rather threadbare. Although the on board Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track would fuel anticipation for an aural experience, this particular mix doesn't do much for HD enthusiasts. Granted, bombs don't explode and machine guns don't blare in this particular outing but, given the interesting settings, it's odd that so few ambient noises can be heard around the soundstage. It's a dialog driven film, to be sure, and the soundtrack keeps the spoken information well anchored in the front channels, but that's the extent of the audio material on tap here. That's all right given the framework of the film yet, it's always nice to find a film such as this that is as impressive aurally as it is visually. For this reason, this Blu-ray disc fails to achieve an overall higher score for HD achievement.
Lastly, in regards to extras, this Blu-ray also underachieves since it merely repackages the same few features found on the Standard Definition release (a short featurette plus some throwaway deleted scenes and a brief gag reel). Blu-ray, having been heralded for its envious storage capacity, gets the short shrift in releases like this that fail to include interactive features that help enthusiastic viewers (and, HD ladies, we know you're out there) become absolutely absorbed in a film. A lost opportunity here, and that's a shame. There is the extra "digital copy" of the film for you to upload and access from portable devices, but that doesn't offer much to viewers hoping to dig deeper into the film.
Although The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is certainly not hang off the racks where I make my HD fashion choices, it's still another high-definition offering that warrants a look, especially since the technology should be developing a maturity of its own by this stage of the game. Visually, this one is a hit yet aurally it misses and, in regards to extending the viewing experience by way of engaging extra features, it's left out on the line to dry.
Even so, if this is your kind of drama, definitely give it a look on Blu-ray.
Verdict: It looks good, it sounds soft, and its pockets have only a bit of spare change and lint in them. You could do better in selecting a pair of "blu jeans" but, then again, you certainly could do worse.
Review content copyright © 2008 Dennis Prince; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p Widescreen)
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Portuguese)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
Running Time: 119 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
* "Go Jump Off a Cliff"
* Deleted Scenes
* Gag Reel
* Digital Copy
* Official Site