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Steve Pink
Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Chevy Chase, Clark Duke, Adam Scott
Writing Credits:
Josh Heald

Soak Harder.

When Lou finds himself in trouble, Nick and Jacob fire up the hot tub time machine in an attempt to get back to the past. But they inadvertently land in the future with Adam Jr. Now they have to alter the future in order to save the past - which is really the present.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$5,963,324 on 2,880 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R/NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Description
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 93 min. (Theatrical Version)
99 min. (Unrated Cut)
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 5/19/15

• Both Theatrical and Unrated Cuts
• Audio Commentary with Director Steve Pink and Writer Josh Heald
• “The Making of Hot Tub Time Machine 2” Featurette
• “The Future as Seen from the Tub!” Featurettes
• “You’re in The Hot Tub Now!” Featurettes
• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• Bloopers
• DVD Copy


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Hot Tub Time Machine 2 [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 24, 2015)

Based on box office returns, 2010’s Hot Tub Time Machine looked like an odd choice to spawn a sequel. With a budget of $36 million, the movie earned a mere $50 million in the US and added a marginal $14 million in the rest of the world. It did well enough to avoid “flop” status but it didn’t seem like something that’d launch a franchise.

Nonetheless, someone figured a sequel made sense, which led to 2015’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2 - and that one did flop. It mustered a poor $12 million, a total low enough that I seriously doubt we’ll ever see a third flick.

In the last film, pals Lou Dorchen (Rob Corddry), Nick Webber (Craig Robinson) and Adam Yates (John Cusack) as well as Lou’s son Jacob (Clark Duke) used the titular time-travel device to go to 1986 and alter their futures. Now in 2015, we see how the guys used the knowledge they took into the past to change their lives.

Lou became a billionaire as the inventor of the Internet, while Nick gained fame as a musician, albeit one who took all his songs from post-1986 hits that didn’t exist yet. After he wrote a best-selling novel, Adam went off on a spiritual quest, while Jacob lives with his parents as he tries to figure out what else to do with his life.

Lou’s obnoxious personality grates many around him, and at a party, someone shoots and kills him – but not before Jacob and Nick drag him into a recreated hot tub time machine. While they plan to go to the past and stop Lou’s murderer, instead the device takes them to the future. In 2025, they work with Yates’ son Adam (Adam Scott) to save Lou’s life.

Sometimes I see consistently negative reviews for a movie and cast them aside. “It can’t be that bad, can it?” I ask myself – before I usually find out the critics were correct.

Tub 2 got a miserable 15 percent on Rotten Tomatoes – did it deserve that rating? Probably not, as I don’t think the film seems as worthless as the 15 percent tally would indicate. However, that doesn’t mean I think it’s good, either.

Bad sign #1: the lead actor from the original fails to reappear here. It remains unclear why Cusack didn’t star in this one. Granted, the nature of the story doesn’t need him, and Scott becomes his substitute as his son, but the choice remains semi-perplexing.

Ala Nicolas Cage, Cusack tends to make questionable cinematic choices these days and those have dimmed his star-power, but he still maintains a bigger “name” than anyone else here. His presence would’ve added some credibility to the project.

Bad sign #2: the movie’s producers didn’t really replace Cusack. Sure, Scott sort of takes over his part, but the movie could’ve used another semi-“name” actor to give it a bit of star power.

No disrespect to the cast of Tub 2, as it boasts a lot of talent, but virtually all involved have served as supporting characters in most of their other films. Of course, plenty of lead actors started in smaller parts, but as I watch the folks found here, I think they’re best suited to supporting roles.

When they serve in that capacity, guys like Robinson, Corddry, Duke and Scott do fine work. When asked to carry a movie, though, they seem somewhat out of their element. Again, this is no crime – some performers simply fit the “character actor” mold better than others, and I think that’s the case here. The casting leaves a bit of a void at the top, though, as we never really latch onto any of the main participants.

The loose, meandering narrative doesn’t help. At its heart, the first film offered a riff on Back to the Future, so it comes as little surprise that Tub 2 owes a major debt to Back to the Future Part II. While I wouldn’t call it a clear rip-off, it does skew in the same direction as BTTF II, as both look to the future and also tend to be darker than their predecessors.

Unfortunately, Tub 2 lacks the narrative thrust of BTTF II and shows little interest in much more than a random series of crude gags. Tub 2 abandons its plot for long stretches of time just to shoehorn attempts at comedy, with the most egregious example being a long, protracted game show sequence. This bit goes on forever and boasts no connection to the plot – it just exists for some attempts at anal sex-related laughs.

Like the first movie, Tub 2 comes across as a real missed opportunity. Does it produce occasional chuckles? Sure – I can cite a few mild laughs that emerge across its running time.

However, the film really does tend to squander its chances at comedy. It seems bizarrely unambitious, as it likes to repeat the same gags and bits over and over, without any semblance of coherence or creativity. Laziness abounds.

Viewers who expect the time travel shenanigans implied by the trailer will find disappointment as well. After the opening in 2015, virtually the entire story takes place in 2025, and Tub 2 leaves the trips to the past depicted in trailers for the end credits.

Seriously? While many promos could be accused of false advertising, the promos for Tub 2 take it to an extreme, as they strongly hint at a movie narrative that doesn’t exist.

Despite all these flaws, Tub 2 still manages to maintain a viewer’s attention. The talent involved try their best to create some amusement, and they occasionally succeed. Nonetheless, the end result suffers from way too many defects, and the sporadic laughs don’t compensate for all the weaknesses.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not stellar, this was a mostly positive presentation.

For the most part, sharpness looked good. Occasionally slightly soft shots popped up, but those failed to occur with any frequency, so the majority of the flick demonstrated appropriate delineation. No shimmering or jaggies occurred, and I saw no edge haloes or print flaws.

Colors tended to be a little muted and slightly stylized, but not to the extreme one often gets from modern movies. The future occasionally went with light blue tints, and party shots offered strong colored lighting, all of which looked fine. Blacks appeared firm and deep, while low-light shots demonstrated nice clarity. The image seemed satisfactory.

Similar thoughts came with the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack. Though this often felt like a pretty traditional “comedy mix”, it opened up pretty well at times. Parties and time machine scenes offered the most dynamic uses of the five speakers, as they created lively situations. Music also came from the various speakers and added punch to the proceedings.

Audio quality worked well. Effects appeared accurate and lively, with good clarity and punch. Music seemed dynamic and peppy, while speech was natural and distinctive. I felt pleased with this better than expected soundtrack.

The Blu-ray includes two editions of the film. In addition to the theatrical version (1:33:17), we find a ”Hotter and Wetter” Unrated Cut (1:39:15). While many extended cuts add lots of little bits and pieces, Tub 2 instead contibutes seven new sequences.

Only one of these brings anything genuinely interesting and this quick piece shows up right at the movie’s end. To avoid spoilers, I’ll not discuss the content, but the scene should’ve been in the final cut; for the life of me, I can’t figure out why it didn’t make the theatrical version.

The other scenes seem moderately interesting but no better. We get some additional laughs and a little exposition, but nothing terribly memorable occurs.

The disc provides an audio commentary from director Steve Pink and writer Josh Heald. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story/character areas, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and related topics.

Don’t expect a ton of hard-hitting filmmaking facts in this chat. Pink and Heald get into a mix of appropriate domains, but they tend to joke around and have fun more than anything else.

Commentaries like that can be hit or miss, but this one usually falls under “hit”. Pink and Heald combine in a lively manner and they provide a lot of entertaining material. I’d still like a bit more about the movie’s creation – especially if they discussed John Cusack’s absence - but the track moves well enough to make me like it.

By the way, though the commentary can be played alongside both the theatrical and unrated cuts, it only matches up with the shorter version. Rather than simply leave gaps for the new footage, if you listen to the commentary along the unrated cut, it repeats the remarks. This creates an odd déjà vu circumstance, so just play the commentary with the theatrical version to avoid confusion.

The Making of Hot Tub Time Machine 2 lasts five minutes, six seconds and features Heald, producer Andrew Panay, production designer Ryan Berg, costume designer Carol Cutshall, and actors Gillian Jacobs, Christian Slater, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Kellee Stewart, Kumail Nanjiani, Bianca Haase, Jason D. Jones, Adam Scott and Clark Duke. “Making” offers some filmmaking basics but mostly acts as a mix of jokes and hype to promote the movie.

With The Future as Seen from the Tub, we get five clips that fill a total of 13 minutes, 32 seconds. We find more comments from Heald, Panay, Robinson, Duke, Haase, Slater, Nanjiani, Corddry, Scott, and Cutshall. These pieces look at story/characters and aspects of the movie’s future world. A few of these bits offer good info – especially about costumes – but most remain fairly fluffy.

You’re In the Hot Tub Now! presents another 10 segments with a total running time of 31 minutes, 11 seconds. In these, we get notes from Robinson, Heald, Corddry, Duke, Panay, Cutshall, Jones, Jacobs, Scott, Nanjiani, Stewart, stunt double Stanton Barrett, and actor Lisa Loeb. We learn about Loeb’s cameo, more cast/character notes, “The Webber Strut”, and connected topics. “Now!” works the same as “Future”, so these clips come with the same ups and downs. They’re decent but they don’t tell us a ton.

Four Deleted/Extended Scenes occupy a total of four minutes, 55 seconds. We see “Dorchen at Work” (0:46), “More Mirror, Mirror” (2:40), “Fooling Jacob” (0:56) and “Choozy Doozy Taping” (0:33). These offer little comedic tidbits but nothing new in terms of narrative content.

Finally, we locate a Blooper Reel. It runs eight minutes, 33 seconds and gives us a pretty typical assortment of goofs and giggles. A few alternate lines/gags enliven the proceedings, though.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Tub 2. It offers the theatrical version and lacks any of the Blu-ray’s extras.

While not as bad as its brutal reviews might indicate, no one will mistake Hot Tub Time Machine 2 for an actual good movie. It produces a handful of laughs but mostly just grinds its gears with an unambitious, uninspiring collection of puerile gags. The Blu-ray offers positive picture and audio along with an erratic set of supplements. We get a few fun moments here but not enough to turn Tub 2 into a winning experience.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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