True Justice - Season 2: Soldier of Vengeance Blu-ray Review
If you followed the first season of True Justice, then you know what to expect from the video quality. It’s decent enough presentation – particularly for a TV show – but it doesn’t stand up when promoted as a feature film. Hitting UK Region B-locked Blu-ray, complete with a 1080p video presentation in the original broadcast format of widescreen 1.78:1, the first two episodes of Season 2 of True Justice look reasonably good, boasting the same kind of production values that fans have come to expect from the low-budget-but-hides-it-well TV show.
Detail is generally fairly good, and quite pleasantly this season premiere boasts a fair few quality exterior sequences, which occasionally even look a tiny bit impressive. There is some fine object detail and there’s also no overt signs of softness, edge enhancement or digital defects. The snowy Vancouver exteriors look suitably cold, and the cemetery scenes follow suit, with very little vibrancy to the greens, which feels perfectly in-line with the production. Black levels are strong and deep, allowing for decent enough shadow detail. Whilst it’s far from demo quality reference material, it is perfectly acceptable for a halfway decent TV series.
Having settled into a good run midway through the first year, the season premiere of the second series comes to Region B-locked UK Blu-ray complete with a solid, occasionally impressive, aural accompaniment which does a good job at doing justice (true or otherwise) to the show. Dialogue comes across clearly and coherently throughout – yes, even Seagal’s mumbling undertones seem to make it through clearly, although unfortunately this first double-episode has slightly more ADR dubbing (from someone other than Seagal) than we’ve come to expect from this series – and is largely apportioned to the frontal array. Effects are more prolific in this opening salvo, with recap flashbacks of all the most explosive bits from the action-packed finale (the one which has never been released in the UK) peppered across the first half, and plenty of new moments of destruction to further enhance the experience. There’s automatic gunfire, a couple of fairly big explosions, and a good whack of painful Seagal body-blows-and-breaks thrown into the mix, and, whilst it’s neither particularly dynamic, nor an amazing showcase of surround separation, it does still give the surrounds a good workout, even throwing a little bit of bass into the mix to keep the LFE happy. The score is slightly darker this time around, although just as unmemorable as on the first year, but it does give the speakers yet more meat for the table. Overall it’s a reasonably good offering, a long way off demo quality, but certainly better than just average, and arguably as good as this TV show deserves.
It’s quite funny because they’ve actually given up on even providing the ‘film’ trailer as an extra on the disc – itself an insult since this is not a film, it’s a double-episode from the TV series. What they should have done was provide an overview trailer for the TV show, a recap of season 1 and maybe even a few trailers for the other episodes (maybe even a trailer for the upcoming episode, although, by all accounts, it looks like episode 4 from season 2, rather than episode 2... I guess the second season is going to be as badly marketed as the first!). Of course what we do get is absolutely nothing.
Not that anybody would even notice, but Seagal’s surprisingly competent True Justice TV series has completed filming on its second season and looks like it may have even been green-lit for a third year. Although I suspect that the show has made some money during its original broadcast airing, I think the real profits come from the peddling of its episodes on home formats, where the Studios – prudently for their wallets, but insultingly for us – have decided to release each two episodes from the series under the pretence that they are new Seagal ‘movies’, splicing them together and hoping nobody will notice.
They did it for the entire first season (and never even released the cliffhanger season finale) and now they’ve started doing it for the second season. Even the release order is botched, with the first episode from season 2 being released before the penultimate episode from season 1 (Death Riders, which I reviewed first). Worse still, whilst the show isn’t exactly amazing viewing, it’s considerably more enjoyable when watched in order; the season-long story arcs and ongoing character development feeling far more natural and comprehensible when the chronology hasn’t been ruined beyond belief.
If you somehow managed to pick up Season 1 of True Justice in its entirety (i.e. imported it) or at least watched it in order on TV – and if you enjoyed it – then I’d recommend this release because it’s a solid start to the second season, which promises to have an even more dominating overall story arc (which, I can already tell, is going to be blown to smithereens by poorly ordered releases – Episode 4 is due next!) following Seagal as he and his new team do whatever it takes to catch the bad guys who put a hit out on his old team at the end of season 1.
This Region B-locked UK release has decent enough video and audio, absolutely no extras – but that’s little surprise – and should only be considered by those who have already completed their first season collection (impossible to do in the UK – look overseas). Once you’re up to date, you can’t go too badly wrong picking up this, the season premiere of the second series of True Justice.
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