Ralph Potts reviews season two of AMC’s martial-arts action drama, which finds Sunny and M.K. separated, and scattered to the wind, each imprisoned in unlikely places.
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Lionsgate – 2017
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 428 minutes
Genre: TV Action/Adventure
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 6.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Daniel Wu, Nick Fronst, Marton Csokas, Aramis Knight, Emily Beecham, Ally Ionnides, Stephen Lang
Directed by: Various
Music by: Trevor Yuile
Written by: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Region Code: A
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Season two of the martial arts drama finds Sunny (Daniel Wu) and M.K. (Aramis Knight) separated and scattered to the wind, each imprisoned in unlikely places. While M.K. struggles to control his powers, Sunny is determined to fight his way back into the Badlands to find his family — or die trying.
On their journey, Clipper and Colt are assisted by new allies whose motivations may be anything but pure. Meanwhile, The Widow (Emily Beecham) continues to consolidate power against the other Barons, while a dark and mysterious threat prepares to exact revenge on them all. Alliances are struck, friendships betrayed, and by season’s end, Sunny and M.K.’s lives will be forever altered.
I didn’t see season one of Into the Badlands so when season two arrived for review, I had some homework to do, in order to catch up. Blu-ray reviewer Lee Weber reviewed season one and seemed to enjoy it:
“The show sports really cool fight choreography and a well fleshed out narrative with characters that are rich and captivating. It certainly is violent and bloody with gravity and physics-defying fight scenes that are fun and original. I didn’t hear much fan-fare about the show and am truly surprised it wasn’t more popular. Well written and filmed, fans of martial arts movies will indeed enjoy, and I would think it would have crossed over into the mainstream a bit more. It aired Sunday nights on AMC after The Walking Dead, and for whatever reason a lot of people tuned out after TWD. I strongly suggest anyone who missed it and is interested to give it a viewing before the announced 2017 season 2.“
I generally found Into the Badlands’s second season to be entertaining. Over the course of the season various themes within the show’s context are explored. The integration of drama and action is balanced well enough, as are the interpersonal relationships that support the continuing subplots. Initially, I had a lukewarm reaction to the plot, and characters, finding them to be somewhat elementary, but it wasn’t long before began to care about them. At times, the show is reminiscent of a dystopian, sci-fi, action, soap opera, but, there is ample room for the primary and secondary plots to breath, so that it doesn’t stagnate. The action/fight choreography isn’t anything we haven’t seen before, but, is fun to watch nonetheless. I found myself looking forward to each installment and appreciated the fact that I could move from one to the next without waiting a week.
At the conclusion of episode 10 I felt that the season wrapped things up well, and left things open for the start of the next chapter.
Into the Badlands: The Complete Second Season comes to Blu-ray with its 10 episodes evenly spread over three BD-50 discs, with the bonus material located on disc 3. The keepcase is the amaray type with corresponding slipcover.
The show contains thematic material, strong, gory violence, language and some sensuality.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialog Reproduction:
- DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element):
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
Into the Badlands: The Complete Second Season comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 6.1 channel sound that has an average bitrate of 3.3 Mbps.
This 1.78:1 framed video presentation offers appreciable high definition resolution that has a satisfying glossy aesthetic. Images are stable and sharp with plenty of discernible texture and revealing fine detail during close-ups. Many of the show’s sequences are shot in uneven and low lighting. Shadow delineation and depth is quite good. Blacks are deep while exhibiting appreciable dynamic range with stable yet slightly elevated contrast that never infringes upon fidelity. Colors are snappy and bright and sullen and muted where appropriate. Fleshtones appear descriptive with variable depth that brings out the finest gradations in the differing complexional types among the cast.
The lossless Dolby TrueHD 6.1 channel sound (my A/V processor indicates a rear channel surround), like the video quality is quite good. Dynamics are robust and defining without being strident or edgy. Dialog is rendered with appreciable tonal expression and excellent room penetration through the center channel speaker. The front soundstage is diffused with notable separation and articulated detail. The presentation makes ample use of the surround platform. At times, it opens up quite nicely to create an involving listening environment that contains a mix of directional and ambient sounds. Bass response doesn’t reach subterranean levels however, it appropriately supports the source elements and provides a tight, punchy low end.
- Deleted Scenes
- Digital HD Copy
Into the Badlands: The Complete Second Season picks up where its inaugural season left off, and sustains its continuing plot, character base, and elements of action/drama, in primarily entertaining fashion. It comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate Home Entertainment featuring excellent technical merits that should best its broadcast audio/video. If time permits, I may try and follow season three when it airs on AMC in April. If you’re a fan of the show and enjoy re-watching it, this Blu-ray offering is the way to go.
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen – Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16×9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies – 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton “Ergo” and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) – Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems