Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an appealing presentation.
Overall definition looked positive. A sliver of softness crept into some wider shots, but the majority of the movie offered nice delineation and accuracy. No issues with moiré effects or jaggies materialized, and I witnessed no signs of edge haloes or source flaws.
Like the first film, Go opted for a strong mix of teal, amber and orange. Despite the limitations of these choices, they boasted pretty good vivacity and represented the intended hues.
Blacks seemed dark and dense, while low-light shots offered good smoothness and clarity. Ultimately, the image was more than satisfactory.
In addition, the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack suited the material. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, music dominated the proceedings, and the many songs used the various channels in an involving manner.
Effects had less to do, as they focused mainly on ambience. One storm sequence offered some involving information and a firework display added pizzazz, but these moments remained in the minority. Given the emphasis on music, that was fine, and the sides/surrounds provided enough material to succeed.
Audio quality also pleased. Again, music became the most dominant aspect of the mix, and the songs/score boasted fine range and impact.
Speech came across as natural and concise, whereas effects seemed accurate and realistic. Nothing here dazzled, but the track worked for the movie.
Universal packs the Blu-ray full of extras, and we find two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from writer/rirector Ol Parker, as he brings a running, screen-specific discussion of story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music and choreography, visual effects, and aspects of his work as director.
At best, Parker brings a fairly informative and engaging chat, though he tends to focus on praise too much of the time. Still, he doesn’t go too crazy in that regard, so Parker makes this a generally enjoyable piece.
For the second commentary, we hear from producer Judy Craymer. She provides a running, screen-specific view of production design and costumes, cast and performances, music and production numbers, costumes, and other topics.
Inevitably, Craymer touches on some of the same areas as Parker, but she still manages to broaden into new domains as well. Craymer also lays off the heavy layer of happy talk, so this becomes a good discussion.
If so desired, fans can watch Go in Sing-Along Mode. As usual, this simply shows the lyrics at the bottom of the screen and makes them change color to reflect the words that need to be sung. I never understand why regular subtitles don’t suffice, but it’s a painless addition nonetheless.
In a similar vein, Enhanced Sing-Alongs lets you access any of the movie’s 18 songs or view them as one 46-minute, 36-second package. How do these differ from the prior “Sing-Along” mode? They just animate the on-screen lyrics in a moderately more active manner. It’s not a big upgrade.
Under Deleted/Extended Songs and Scenes, we get four snippets. This area includes “I Wonder (Deleted Song Performance)” (3:04), “The Name of the Game (Extended Song Performance)” (3:13), “Knowing Me Knowing You (Extended Song Performance)” (2:41) and “Tahini (Deleted Scene)” (1:38).
Of the four, “Wonder” and “Tahini” are the most significant. “Wonder” lets Donna sing about her future and that of her friends, while “Tahini” shows the development of the young Donna/Sam relationship.
The other two seem less substantial, mainly because they simply add to existing elements. “Wonder” feels like the only one that would’ve easily fit the final cut. “Knowing” does let us hear more “singing” from Pierce Brosnan – this probably isn’t a good thing.
We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Parker. He lets us know about the shots and why they didn’t make the film. He gives some decent notes but don’t expect a lot of discussion, as Parker wraps up his thoughts pretty quickly across all the scenes.
High Jinks offers a one-minute, nine-second collection of outtakes. Set to “Waterloo”, we see some shenanigans on the set. Because it highlights some unusual characters, it seems a little better than usual.
A slew of video programs follow, and we start with The Story. It goes for five minutes, 33 seconds and includes Parker, Craymer, choreographer Anthony Van Laast, songwriter Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, producer Gary Goetzman, storywriter Richard Curtis, and actors Judy Walters, Pierce Brosnan, Christine Baranski, Andy Garcia, and Meryl Streep.
“Story” looks at the origins/development of the stage production and 2008 movie as well as aspects of the sequel’s creation. This becomes a basic, fluff-oriented piece.
With the three-minute, 33-second Mamma Mia! Reunited, we hear from Baranski, Craymer, Streep, Brosnan, Parker, Walters, Goetzman, and actors Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried, Dominic Cooper and Stellan Skarsgard. They talk about how happy they were to reunite in this superficial clip.
Acting comes to the fore with Playing Donna, a two-minute, 28-second reel with Streep, James, and actors Lily James, Jeremy Irvine, and Hugh Skinner. Though ostensibly about challenges related to the role, mainly this one just praises James. Little information emerges.
Next comes Sophie’s Story, a three-minute, 30-second piece with Brosnan, Seyfriend, Streep, Cooper, Parker, Walters, and Baranski. Seyfried reflects on changes in her life/character since 2008. A few minor nuggets emerge, but mostly it’s the usual fluff.
An icon becomes the focus of Meeting Cher, a three-minute, 43-second clip with Streep, Parker, Craymer, Goetzman, Firth, Cooper, James, Ulvaeus, Garcia, Irvine, Walters, and actor Cher. It essentially exists to tout Cher’s greatness, so expect little more.
For a look at clothes, we get Costumes and the Dynamos. It runs four minutes, 59 seconds and features Craymer, James, Streep, Parker, Firth, Skarsgard, costume designer Michele Clapton, and actors Alexa Davies and Jessica Kennan Wynn.
Inevitably, this one discusses various costumes. Also inevitably, it tends toward more happy talk than I’d prefer, but it throws out some useful details along the way.
Next comes Choreographing Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, a seven-minute, 25-second program with Craymer, Van Laast, James, Wynn, Parker, Skinner, Skarsgard, Firth, Cher, associate choreographer Nichola Treherne, assistant choreographer Lucy Bardrick, and actor Josh Dylan.
Unsurprisingly, this one covers the movie’s dance sequences. Like its siblings, it seems too superficial, but it manages a decent number of insights.
Worlds collide in the two clips under Cast Meets Cast. We get “Tanya Meets Tanya” (3:10) and “Rosie Meets Rosie” (3:15).
In the first, Baranski and Wynn chat, while the second pairs Walters and Davies. These offer cute reels but nothing substantial – and why don’t we get Streep/James?
During the three-minute, 59-second Curtain Call, we locate info from Brosnan, Goetzman, Streep, James, Van Laast, Cher, Parker, Seyfried, Cooper, Craymer, Baranski, Ulvaeus, Skarsgard, Firth, Dylan, Irvine, Skinner, and director of photography Robert Yeoman. It tells us a little about the end credits production number. Most of the content remains glib and superficial.
With Anatomy of a Scene, we get a three-minute, 26-second piece with Parker, Craymer, Goetzman, Craymer, Seyfried, Van Laast, Walters, Baranski, Yeoman, Skarsgard, Firth, Brosnan, Bardrick, Treherne, and Curtis. This provides a view of the “Dancing Queen” scene, and it’s far too short to tell us much.
We hear more from the actors via Cast Chats. It breaks into two segments: “Dynamo Chit-Chat” (2:42) and “Dad Chat” (2:19).
“Dynamo” features James, Wynn and Davies, while “Dad” mixes Skinner, Irvine and Dylan. We get some general notes about their experiences but as usual, not much substance emerges.
Performing for Legends occupies two minutes, 46 seconds with comments from Streep, James, Seyfried, Ulvaeus, Davies, Andersson, and Wynn. The actors tell us they felt intimidated to sing ABBA songs in front of two members of ABBA. The end.
For the three-minute, 48-second Class of ‘79, we hear from Irvine, Brosnan, Parker, Goetzman, Craymer, Davies, James, Streep, Wynn, Baranski, Skinner, Firth, Dylan and Skarsgard. This looks at the actors who play the “young” versions. Much praise and a few decent tidbits come along for the ride.
Finally, we get a Today Interview with Cher and Craymer. It goes for four minutes, 35 seconds and shows their chat with Kathie Lee Gifford. It’s praise and promotion.
The disc opens with ads for Adrift, Spirit: Riding Free, Unbroken: Path to Redemption and Pitch Perfect 3. No trailer for Go appears here.
To call Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again an improvement over its predecessor would be a massive understatement. Not that Go turns into a great film, but it's a professional piece of work that becomes sporadically effective. The Blu-ray brings pretty good picture and audio along with a long but often superficial set of supplements. Go is the film Mamma Mia should’ve been.