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post #1 of 28 Old 12-10-2018, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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The Equalizer 2 Ultra HD Blu-ray Review



Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed, but how far will he go when that is someone he loves? Check out our review of this sequel starring Denzel Washington, which arrives on Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

98



Details:

Studio and Year: Columbia Pictures - 2018
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 121 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1, English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Denzel Washington, Melissa Leo, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Bill Pullman
Directed by: Antoine Fuqua
Music by: Harry Gregson-Williams
Written by:Richard Wenk based on the TV series by Michael Sloan & Richard Lindheim
Region Code: A


Release Date: December 11, 2018


"There is No Equal"


My Take:

If you have a problem and there is nowhere else to turn, the mysterious and elusive Robert McCall will deliver the vigilante justice you seek. This time, however, McCall's past cuts especially close to home when thugs kill his best friend and former colleague. Now out for revenge, McCall must take on a crew of highly trained assassins who'll stop at nothing to destroy him.

The Equalizer was directed by the very capable Antoine Fuqua and was a re-imagined take on the TV series of the same name by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim. It was an action/thriller that pulled an old school operative out of retirement to face daunting odds. Denzel Washington of course isn’t just anybody and the retooling of the popular TV series in conjunction with him had excellent possibilities and delivered.

When I saw the trailer for The Equalizer 2 I wasn’t especially impressed as it looked like a re-hashing of the first film so, I didn’t bother to check it out when it was in theaters. It arrived for review and I decided to keep expectations in check. The entire filmmaking team from the first film returned for the sequel. Whether that’s a good or bad thing will largely depend on the film’s outcome. I liked the first film. Here are some of my thoughts on it:

As I sat down to watch it I couldn’t help but have elevated expectations, despite the noticeably formulaic premise and potential for eye rolling action. Well I have to say that it all comes together pretty well. I mean don’t get me wrong this isn’t Washington’s best work and there is very little here that is original but The Equalizer is lots of fun. I am most definitely a fan of the vigilante taking on all comers type theme and here Washington plays the quiet cool, simmering dispenser of justice as only he can.

At times it teeters on ostentatious but Fuqua’s direction keeps focus intact by rarely overplaying the action or watering down the details. The screenplay by Richard Wenk does a nice job with developing the characters and correlating them both interpersonally and tonally. The film starts off stronger than it finishes as the closer it gets to the finale the more contrived it feels but luckily it hangs on without completely coming off of the rails.


So, after watching The Equalizer 2 I think it would be fair to say that I enjoyed it but, not as much as the original. It certainly touches upon the right thematic elements, like the first film but, the narrative is too similar and the strength/integration of the characters within the construct of the plot are weaker, so you care less about them. I found myself taken out of the story a few times by overreaching moments that make little sense other than to showcase Robert’s prowess. The one involving his encounter with the drug dealers in their apartment is an example. I also figured out the entire plot, including who the primary villain, within the first 25 minutes of the film.

I did miss the presence of a true adversary (like the one played by Marton Csokas in the first film) to offset Robert’s steely, confident and indomitable stature. I also felt like the character of Miles (a local teen that Robert has decided to “look after”) was unnecessary especially given the primary storyline. Luckily, many of the things I enjoyed about The Equalizer were present here, which helped keep things rolling. So, to sum up, The Equalizer 2, like its predecessor, is solid popcorn entertainment. This time around the development of the characters and story doesn’t prove as compelling so checking one’s brain at the door is a must to get the most from it.

Hey, it’s Denzel Washington kicking some butt and delivering lines as only he can. At the end of the day, it’s all good.



Replay Value:

Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong bloody violence and language throughout, and some drug content.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


UHD Presentation: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:



Dolby Atmos Rating: 96
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Level of immersion:
  • Soundstage integration:
  • Audio object placement:
  • Effectiveness of Atmos platform:
  • Entertainment factor:



The Equalizer 2 comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos/TrueHD 7.1 channel sound.

For its presentation in Ultra HD The Equalizer 2 was derived from a 2.8K source. I wasn’t able to determine if it was rendered from a 2K or 4K DI.

The 1080p transfer of The Equalizer 2 is a good one and this Ultra HD rendering takes it up a notch with a discernible increase in detail and visual depth. This is an action-based film that was shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind and that comes through in this presentation. This isn’t an overtly colorful film. Other than several well-chosen moments where sepia tones and rich chromatic variants are used, the film doesn’t make for especially eye-catching levels of color. Over the course of the film the presentation’s earth toned and primary colors benefited from UHD's wider color gamut but, not to a defining degree.

The added dimension in blacks, and shadows during the low-level scenes is immediately noticeable. The cinematography makes use of shadows, streaming light and a mix of light/dark elements. The blend of shadow detail/depth of field offset by the presence of light at varying levels, looked very natural. The film has a variety of sequences that make use of close up camera angles that show off the superb rendering of detail. At times, the level of minutia is excellent, as even the finest nuance in the physical features, costumes, interior sets and exterior venues is resolvable.

The application of high dynamic range takes on a lesser role in this presentation but, this seems to coincide more with the film’s innate elements rather than the nature of the encode. It wasn’t something that I missed based upon what I was seeing onscreen. I think that The Equalizer 2 most definitely benefitted from the Ultra HD treatment. The improvement over its 1080p counterpart is a discernible one that elevated the experience of watching the film. I thought it looked simply terrific.


Dolby Atmos:

In listening to the Dolby Atmos surround mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of audio objects is a mix atmospherics, discrete effects and music. This is done to very good effect and creates a tangible level of immersion that coincides with the onscreen events nicely. During the first act, there are several instances where the mix generates a noticeable improvement in dimension and depth of field.

Beginning with the opening scene aboard the train in Turkey, there are a host of sounds that utilize the overhead channels, creating an involving listening experience. This continues with the film’s action-based sequences, most notably the finale during chapters 14 and 15, that convey the breadth/expanse of the soundstage as the track bristles with enveloping ambience and discretely placed effects. While these sequences sound very good in the standard mix, they are taken to the next level in the Amos mix.

Overall, I would say that viewing The Equalizer 2 in Ultra HD with the Dolby Atmos mix definitely heightened the experience of watching the film.


For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Blu-ray Video:


Video: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Audio: 100
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element): NA


The Equalizer 2 comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound.

This is an excellent high definition rendering that sports plenty of fine detail and crisp definition that provides discerning dimensional perspective. Colors range from warm and vivid to cool, reserved and almost tonally neutral. This is obviously a creative decision that draws definitive visual boundaries and works quite well. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. I didn’t see any signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise. The Equalizer 2 looks fantastic on Blu-ray.

The DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio soundtrack features crystal clear dialog, robust dynamics and when called upon, an engaging surround sound mix. I was impressed with the implementation of both spacial dimension, and directional effects. This worked hand in hand with a resonating and potent low end that underscored the film’s thematic tone. I found this to be an involving audio presentation that complimented the video resulting in an entertaining viewing experience that enhanced the source material.



Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: The Equalizer 2 Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: The Equalizer 2 Blu-ray
    • “Retribution Mode” with Denzel Washington and Director Antoine Fuqua
    • 11 Deleted & Extended Scenes
    • “Denzel as McCall: Round Two” Featurette
    • The Equalizer 2 Pop Up Trivia Track
    • “Seconds Till Death: Action Breakdown”
    • “Through Antoine’s Lens: The Cast”
    • Two NBA Promos
  • Digital Copy



Final Thoughts:

Based on the TV Series by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim The Equalizer 2 is a solid thriller that, while not quite as good as its predecessor, makes for top notch popcorn entertainment that is fun to watch. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, featuring an excellent Ultra HD video rendering, top notch high definition video, room filling lossless surround sound, including a solid Dolby Atmos immersive sound mix, and a fair supplemental package. If you’re a fan of the first film The Equalizer 2 is worth considering, if for no other reason than to experience it on Ultra HD Blu-ray.














Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 12-15-2018 at 10:24 AM.
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post #2 of 28 Old 12-10-2018, 12:39 PM
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The first one was in DV, is this one not?
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post #3 of 28 Old 12-10-2018, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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The first one was in DV, is this one not?
Greetings,

This one is not and I just double checked the first film which isn't DV either.


Regards,
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post #4 of 28 Old 12-10-2018, 02:08 PM
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it is irritating that the video released on Apple TV of this exact same movie is not presented in dolby Atmos upon release. Dealing with these platforms and studies is so frustrating.

I typically only watch movies like this once, so buying and storing the discs is both too expensive and wasteful for me.

I am guessing that I will just rent it in whatever format I can get.

It is strange what they release with atmos and what they dont.
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post #5 of 28 Old 12-10-2018, 02:38 PM
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Being about protecting the kid is a plot trick so that you know he’s a good guy. They did same in first movie.
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post #6 of 28 Old 12-10-2018, 02:56 PM
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Greetings,

This one is not and I just double checked the first film which isn't DV either.


Regards,
Yup, my mistake.
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post #7 of 28 Old 12-10-2018, 04:17 PM
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Hi Ralph

Once again I could not help but think that you and I have tastes that are very similar! I watched this movie on a plane while on business travel last week and like you felt that the Miles character was completely unnecessary and the movie would have benefited from a strong villain/adversary. It was also easy to figure out who the "bad guy" was going to be very early into the movie. Nevertheless, there were some good scenes in the movie and I'll definitely give it a rent so that I can figure out if this is a movie that I will watch again like I do with the original. Thanks again for a great review.

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post #8 of 28 Old 12-10-2018, 04:46 PM
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Thanks for the excellent review Ralph! Both of the Equalizer movies are a couple of my favorites. I just ordered it on ebay for $21 with free shipping!

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post #9 of 28 Old 12-10-2018, 08:12 PM
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Thanks for the review Ralph. At least this time we got Denzel a car and got him off the bus. All the better for ass kicking.

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post #10 of 28 Old 12-10-2018, 08:19 PM
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Watched this in the theater and can't wait to buy it in 4k.
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post #11 of 28 Old 12-10-2018, 08:52 PM
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Watch this a few weeks ago. The wife commented on how good it looked. I figured it was at least a 97 in picture quality. No complaints about the perfect score because it did look great.
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post #12 of 28 Old 12-11-2018, 08:17 AM
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I've seen neither film... but am picking up the 4k copy for both based on this review.


Thanks Ralph!

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post #13 of 28 Old 12-11-2018, 11:43 AM
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I liked this film a lot. I enjoyed how they showed how he was still "The Equalizer" in the beginning of the film but then they switched gears to a different kind of movie. I have to see it again because I don't remember the bad guy being horrible or easy to pick out when I watched it the first time. Even if that was the case, it's a good charter that Denzel does very well. I enjoyed a lot and I will be buying this one.
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post #14 of 28 Old 12-11-2018, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisPNW View Post
I've seen neither film... but am picking up the 4k copy for both based on this review.


Thanks Ralph!
Good Idea, get both, did you watch the Trailer ? I think the 2nd is better than the first, No Spoilers.
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post #15 of 28 Old 12-12-2018, 08:07 AM
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Good Idea, get both, did you watch the Trailer ? I think the 2nd is better than the first, No Spoilers.
Nope... haven't seen any trailers either. This is one of those cases where I'm buying based on reviews. Both films have solid reviews by many and Ralph's review on the sequel clinched it. I'm a sucker for movies that score 100 in video... 100 audio is just icing on the cake!

I'm picking up both this afternoon.


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Spoliers**

Wow, that was 3/4 luke warm, 1/8th regret and 1/8th is this a COD video game?

I remember more action in the first. I liked the first, this one was just slow. Beginning was good, final fight was ok.

Spoiler!


Picture quality on bluray was awesome, blew fallout away. I can see 100 audio and video on this.

I literally yelled "get on with it" at one point....
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post #17 of 28 Old 12-14-2018, 09:29 AM
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This one was good, but the first was better.
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Ralph,

I really enjoyed the review, but does the Blu-ray only have 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio and not 7.1 like the reviews on blu-ray.com and highdefdigest.com? I was only going to rent it from Redbox anyway, but was just wondering.
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post #19 of 28 Old 12-15-2018, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
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Ralph,

I really enjoyed the review, but does the Blu-ray only have 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio and not 7.1 like the reviews on blu-ray.com and highdefdigest.com? I was only going to rent it from Redbox anyway, but was just wondering.
Watched a blu ray rental last night and it had 7.1 DTS-HD MA

I thought this one was awesome all around! Audio/LFE and picture were fantastic! The entire
Spoiler!
was reference HT material for audio/bass!


@ GPBURNS......couldn't agree more with you on the bass/audio! Great stuff here.

Really enjoyed the film as well. Denzel is right up there with my absolute favorite actors. He is such a bad ass in these Equalizer films! I need to buy both of these movies.

Thanks for the review Ralph and needless to say my experience was very similar to yours.
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post #20 of 28 Old 12-15-2018, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

Quote:
Originally Posted by bases1616 View Post
Ralph,

I really enjoyed the review, but does the Blu-ray only have 5.1 DTS-HD MA audio and not 7.1 like the reviews on blu-ray.com and highdefdigest.com? I was only going to rent it from Redbox anyway, but was just wondering.
Yes! It is indeed DTS-HD MA 7.1. I have corrected that in the review. Sorry about that...

Quote:
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Watched a blu ray rental last night and it had 7.1 DTS-HD MA

I thought this one was awesome all around! Audio/LFE and picture were fantastic! The entire
Spoiler!
was reference HT material for audio/bass!


@ GPBURNS......couldn't agree more with you on the bass/audio! Great stuff here.

Really enjoyed the film as well. Denzel is right up there with my absolute favorite actors. He is such a bad ass in these Equalizer films! I need to buy both of these movies.

Thanks for the review Ralph and needless to say my experience was very similar to yours.
Woo Hoo! Glad to hear it Todd. Thanks for offering your impressions.


Regards,
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post #21 of 28 Old 12-19-2018, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe View Post
Watched a blu ray rental last night and it had 7.1 DTS-HD MA

I thought this one was awesome all around! Audio/LFE and picture were fantastic! The entire
Spoiler!
was reference HT material for audio/bass!


@ GPBURNS......couldn't agree more with you on the bass/audio! Great stuff here.

Really enjoyed the film as well. Denzel is right up there with my absolute favorite actors. He is such a bad ass in these Equalizer films! I need to buy both of these movies.

Thanks for the review Ralph and needless to say my experience was very similar to yours.
Dude you time traveler? just watched this tonight - soundtrack of year for me - last 1/2 hour off the charts.
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post #22 of 28 Old 12-19-2018, 06:37 PM
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Dude you time traveler? just watched this tonight - soundtrack of year for me - last 1/2 hour off the charts.
That's crazy! . Man, I would have SWORN that you were the one who raved about this one on another thread to me recently which convinced me to make it my next watch! You and I have VERY similar audio tastes as we've discussed in the past, so I had to watch this asap when you apparently spoke to me in the past before even watching it, but still knowing how great it was going to be before actually watching it after me !! This is wild stuff! Lol!
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post #23 of 28 Old 12-20-2018, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Dude you time traveler? just watched this tonight - soundtrack of year for me - last 1/2 hour off the charts.
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That's crazy! . Man, I would have SWORN that you were the one who raved about this one on another thread to me recently which convinced me to make it my next watch! You and I have VERY similar audio tastes as we've discussed in the past, so I had to watch this asap when you apparently spoke to me in the past before even watching it, but still knowing how great it was going to be before actually watching it after me !! This is wild stuff! Lol!
Greetings,




This is too funny! Great stuff guys.

Merry Christmas!


Regards,
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post #24 of 28 Old 12-27-2018, 06:12 PM
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Here's my take on this one.

Ralph review is dead on, for his review. And might rebuy the first one on 4K

The sound had some moments where the surrounds and ceiling speakers were subtitle, and others to be aggressive. So was the bass, and very aggressive at time. Very nice sound track overall
My Wife and I, both enjoy this one. Also glad she got me got me this one.


Ray

Last edited by darthray; 12-27-2018 at 06:31 PM.
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post #25 of 28 Old 01-02-2019, 11:43 AM
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I rented this from Netflix on Blu-Ray. I had to check it out since you gave it 100 for video and audio. I was very impressed with the presentation audio was top notch I listened to it using the Neural X up mixer which gave me height channels and it sounded bombastic. The standard Blu-Ray was upscale to 4K by my Sony 65” television and looked impressive. I own the first part on UHD Blu-Ray and plan to purchase the second installment on 4K UHD Blu-Ray as well. I enjoyed the story since it got more personal with the characters.
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post #26 of 28 Old Yesterday, 07:48 PM
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Watched it again. Wish I would just rented it. Its missing parts. Suddenly he's on top of the tower? Suddenly he's some place a zillion miles away? I too said "They better get to doing something pretty soon" out loud.

First one better. This one rental material.
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post #27 of 28 Old Today, 12:52 PM
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Watched it again. Wish I would just rented it. Its missing parts. Suddenly he's on top of the tower? Suddenly he's some place a zillion miles away? I too said "They better get to doing something pretty soon" out loud.

First one better. This one rental material.
It's called a movie. And I've only seen this once but from what I remember he wasn't 'suddenly' anywhere. That scene took the ample time to build up to where you say he 'suddenly' was. Also he knew the place pretty being that is where he lived so your complaints to me are pretty unwarranted. People that get so bent out of shape about stuff like this drive me crazy. It's a damn movie.
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post #28 of 28 Old Today, 07:09 PM
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"ample time to build up to where you say he 'suddenly' was"

Maybe we didn't watch the same movie.
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