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.