Happytime Murders, The

Featured In Issue 243, September 2019

WSR Score2.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Strong crude and sexual content and language throughout, and some drug material
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Brian Henson
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DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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"The Happytime Murders" is a raunchy buddy cop murder mystery comedy set in the underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist. Two clashing detectives with a shared secret, one human (McCarthy) and one puppet, are forced to work together again to solve the brutal murders of the former cast of a bloved classic puppet television show. (Gary Reber)

Special features include commentary with Director Brian Henson and voice actor Bill Barretta; six deleted scenes (HD 14:24); a gag reel (HD 02:47); Line-O-Rama; the featurettes "Virtual Environments" (HD 02:15), "Avatars Demo" (HD 02:45), and "VFX Breakdown" (HD 04:08), theatrical trailers; upfront previews; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy code.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, upconverted to 2160p with greater resolution and luminance, was photographed digitally using the Panavision Millennium DXL camera system and sourced from a 2K master Digital Intermediate format. The picture is generally above mediocre and tends to vary in image quality. When good, it is very good, with fine detail exhibited in puppet texture and human features. The sleazy puppet world is filled with excellent nuanced details. Color fidelity is not exemplar, though, closeups of puppets often are nicely saturated. Contrast can often be excellent with deep black levels, revealing shadow delineation, and lighting highlights. Overall, this is a satisfying picture experience, though, the quality reference image could be more consistent. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack provides good envelopment throughout the soundfield, though, no particular sonics are panned or directionalized. Dialogue is constant, with lots of ADR capture, so spatial integration is often wanting. Narration by Phil is nicely focused.The music score delivers good dynamics and fidelity, as well as a wide soundstage that extends to the four surrounds. Sound effects, such as gunshots, are enhanced with deep bass but still focused frontal. Overall, this is a satisfying soundtrack. (Gary Reber)