Bad Santa 2 Unrated (a J!-ENT 4K Ultra HD Review)
February 19, 2017 by Dennis Amith
“Bad Santa 2” is a black comedy Christmas film that is definitely not for the sensitive, politically correct viewers. But “Bad Santa 2 Unrated” will appeal to those who enjoyed the first film and enjoy audacious black comedies with a lot of profanity and sex. And fans of the first film will surely enjoy seeing Willie, Marcus and Thurman together again!
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TITLE: Bad Santa 2 Unrated
DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 2016
DURATION: 113 Minutes
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 2160p Ultra High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio), English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Espanol DTS-HD Mater Audio 5.1, SUBTITLES: English, English SDH, Espanol
COMPANY: Broadgreen Pictures/Miramax
RATED: R (Crude Sexual Content and Language Throughout and Some Graphic Nudity)
RELEASE DATE: February 21, 2017
Based on the Creators Created by Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Directed by Mark Waters
Written by Johnny Rosenthal, Shauna Cross
Producer: Andrew Gunn, Geyer Kosinski
Co-Producer: Jeffrey Lampert
Executive Producer: Zanne Devine, Doug Ellin, Adam Fields, Daniel Hammon, Gabriel Hammond, David Thwaits, Jessica Tuchinsky, Mark Waters
Music by Lyle Workman
Cinematography by Theo van de Sande
Edited by Travis Sittard
Casting by Lisa Beach, Sarah Katzman, Andrea Kenyon, Randi Wells
Production Design by Isabelle Guay
Art Direction by Jean-Pierre Paquet
Set Decoration by Marie-Soleil Denomme
Costume Design by Mario Davignon
Billy Bob Thornton as Willie Stoke
Kathy Bates as Sunny Soke
Tony Cox as Marcus Skidmore
Christina Hendricks as Diane Hastings
Brett Kelly as Thurman Merman
Ryan Hansen as Regent Hastings
Jenny Zigrino as Gina De Luca
Jeff Skowron as Dorfman
Cristina Rosato as Alice
Mike Starr as Jolly Santa
Octavia Spencer as Opal
Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) teams up with his angry little sidekick, Marcus, to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve. Along for the ride is chubby and cheery Thurman Merman, a 250-pound ray of sunshine who brings out Willie’s sliver of humanity. Mommy issues arise when the pair are joined by Willie’s horror story of a mother, Sunny Soke, who raises the bar for the gang’s ambitions, while somehow lowering the standards of criminal behavior.
In 2003, the black comedy “Bad Santa” starring Billy Bob Thornton (“Armageddon”, “Sling Blade”, “The Man Who Wasn’t There”), Tony Cox (“Oz the Great and Powerful”, “Me, Myself & Irene”) and Brett Kelly (“Unaccompanied Minors”, “Trick ‘r Treat”) would become a box office hit.
The film about professional thieves Willie T. Soke (portrayed by Thornton), who always dresses up as Santa Claus and Marcus (portrayed by Tony Cox) who disguises himself as an elf, so they can rob shopping malls at night.
At the mall, as Santa, Willie is visited by Thurman Merman (portrayed by Brett Kelly) who is naive and gullible and thinks Willie is the real Santa. Always bullied, Willie tries to help Thurman but also tricking him to steal for him.
And now, 13-years after the last film, the three return in the film “Bad Santa 2”, directed by Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”, “Freaky Friday”, “The Spiderwick Chronicles”) and is co-written by Johnny Rosenthal and Shauna Cross (“Whip It”, “If I Stay”, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”).
With the sequel, Willie Soke is depressed about his life. Things didn’t go well with Sue and now he feels suicidal. He is often visited by an older Thurman who is now 21-years-old and works at a sandwich shop.
While Willie is trying to hang himself, Thurman comes inside and delivers a package for Willie featuring a lot of money. When Willie goes to meet the person who sent him the money, it happens to be his former partner Marcus who was just released from jail.
Marcus feels remorse for betraying Willie and tells him that there is an opportunity in Chicago that can earn the both of them millions, but he can’t tell Willie who the contact in Chicago is.
Because it’s big money, Willie agrees to partner with Marcus once again.
When Willie arrives in Chicago, he finds out that the opportunity is conning a charity and the person running it is his estranged mother Sunny. A woman who has always treated him like crap. But when she tells him that she is suffering from early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, he agrees to help Sunny. But secretly makes a deal with Marcus that they will cut out Sunny at the right time.
As Willie goes to apply for the charity to don the Santa Claus costume once again and Marcus as an elf, Willie immediately gets the hots for charity co-founder Diane (portrayed by Christina Hendricks) and immediately wants to have sex with her.
As Sunny, Willie and Marcus plan their con out, Willie gets an unexpected visit from Thurman, who has followed Willie to Chicago.
Will Willie still be able to accomplish the con? And will get lucky with Diane?
“Bad Santa 2 Unrated” is presented in 2160p High Definition (1:85:1). The film is presented in 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray.
Picture quality is fantastic as closeups show amazing clarity, the red on Santa Claus and Mrs. Klaus’ clothing are vibrant and outdoor scenes are colorful and looks great in 4K Ultra HD!
IMPORTANT TO KNOW: To watch 4K Ultra HD, you will need a 4K UHD TV with HDR and an Ultra HD Blu-ray Player + a high-speed HDMI 2.0A Cable.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Bad Santa 2 Unrated” is presented in English and Spanish 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.
While the film features crystal clear audio (dialogue) and music, surround channels are well-utilized for crowd atmosphere, outdoor ambiance. May it be when Willie is outside as Santa and getting in fight to Thurman singing a Christmas song. Lossless audio is great!
Subtitles are in English, English SDH and Spanish.
“Bad Santa 2 Unrated” comes with the following special features:
- Thurman Then & Now – (2:27) A featurettte about Brett Kelly reprising his role as Thurman and Billy Bob working with Brett again.
- Just Your Average Red Band Featurette – (2:00) Red Band trailer for “Bad Santa 2”.
- “That’s My Willie” Original Animated Series – (3:51) Featuring a few animated shorts featuring Thurman talking about his Willie memories.
- Jingle Balls – (:33) Jingle Bells music along with plenty of profanity.
- Trailers and Spots – (7:14) Featuring the Red Band Teaser Trailers and spots.
- Gag Reel – (3:57) Outtakes from “Bad Santa 2”.
- Alternate Opening – (1:00) Alternate opening scene.
- Deleted Scenes – (2:41) Deleted scenes from “Bad Santa 2”.
- Alternate Ending Scene – (2:49) Featuring an alternate ending scene for “Bad Santa 2”.
“Bad Santa 2 Unrated” will come with a slipcover, both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray.
Back in 2003, “Bad Santa 2” came out during at time when audacious comedies were popular. Moronic comedy and a plethora of profanity was the norm of comedies in the 2000’s and a character such as Willie Soke and Marcus Skidmore talking badly about women they want to have sex with were ok.
Fastforward to 2013, while moronic comedies still exist, America’s tastes have changed, social media and people vocalizing their displeasure and calling out anything that is deemed inappropriate is commonplace.
And the film came out during a time when a Presidential campaign had a candidate receiving notoriety for his words or actions against women, would lead to a movement of women becoming vocal of not taking it. Vocal when a comedian is accused of raping and sexually harassing dozens of women. And for the most part, political correctness and today’s culture are more vocal against the negative portrayal of women, especially men’s behavior towards women.
And “Bad Santa 2” was a film that was called out by many critics, who gone on to say that the first film was appropriate 13-years ago, as many comedies were similar. But now, Willie Soke’s comments of wanting to do women and doing it, will no doubt infuriate those who are sensitive of this style of comedy.
While those who watched the original film and loved it, will no doubt enjoy the sequel.
The film has its hilarious moments, especially each time Brett Kelly’s naive character Thurman Merman appears on the big screen.
While the exchanges between Willie and Marcus is expected, I think there are people who will be shocked to see Kathy Bates playing a con and a bad mother trying to reconnect with her estranged son. As for Christina Hendricks, she plays a co-owner of a charity (that Willie, Marcus and Sunny are trying to con) but not having sex in a decade, she shows her dirty girl side towards Willie.
But while the film is not better than the original film, the heist is overshadowed by Willie’s dysfunctional relationship with Thurman, who in someways as the annoy child that Willie can’t stand but yet, feels that he needs to take care of him, considering that Thurman is the only person in his life that treats him with true appreciation.
As for the 4K Ultra HD release, picture quality is fantastic and vibrant. Colors are much more bolder and close-ups show great detail. Lossless audio is primarily dialogue and musically driven, but ambiance is well-utilized throughout the film and its surround channels. And there are a good number of special features included.
As for the differences between the unrated and theatrical versions, it’s only three minutes extra and those three minutes are more extended sex scenes.
Overall, “Bad Santa 2” is a black comedy Christmas film that is definitely not for the sensitive, politically correct viewers. But “Bad Santa 2 Unrated” will appeal to those who enjoyed the first film and enjoy audacious black comedies with a lot of profanity and sex. And fans of the first film will surely enjoy seeing Willie, Marcus and Thurman together again!
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