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Hell On Wheels: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray

United States
Entertainment One | 2012 | Season 2 | 430 min | Rated TV-14 | Jul 16, 2013

Hell On Wheels: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.78:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1


50GB Blu-ray Disc
Three-disc set (3 BDs)

Slipcover in original pressing

Region free

List price: $39.98, Price history
Amazon: $19.96 (Save 50%)
New from: $15.89 (Save 60%)
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TV show rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 4.5 of 54.5
Audio 4.5 of 54.5
Extras 2.5 of 52.5
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Movie appeal



Hell On Wheels: The Complete Second Season

 (TV) (2012)

Hell On Wheels: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray delivers stunning video and audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

Set in the 1860s it centers on former confederate soldier Cullen Bohannan, whose quest for vengeance has led him to the Union Pacific Railroad's westward construction of the first Transcontinental Railroad.

For more about Hell On Wheels: The Complete Second Season and the Hell On Wheels: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray release, see Hell On Wheels: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Common, Christopher Heyerdahl, Tom Noonan, Robin McLeavy

» See full cast & crew

Hell On Wheels: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Hell on Wheels: The Complete Second Season is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Entertainment One with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1—well, at least some of the time. Is someone on staff at this show a fan of number games? The reason I ask is it turns out only episodes 1, 7, and 8 are actually in a full 1.78:1 aspect ratio (get it?: 1, 7, 8 and 1.78). The other seven episodes of this season are just ever so slightly windowboxed, as a quick look at the screenshots accompanying this review will clearly show. Now I must admit I frankly did not notice this at all as I was actually watching this season; it was only after I took the screenshots and saw the windowboxing that I was a bit perplexed and investigated further, coming up with which episodes were done various ways. Why this happened is anyone's guess. In the wild and wooly ways of television production (much like the wild and wooly ways of the era this series depicts), things are often done under the gun and perhaps a different camera or aperture was used, either inadvertently or otherwise. The size difference of the image is so small (our resident aspect ratio guru Deciazulado has calculated that it's less than a 2% difference) that it really amounts to a negligible difference, and my hunch is if I hadn't pointed it out here (and we hadn't provided documentary evidence), few would have ever realized it.

As to the actual look of this series on Blu-ray: it continues to be one of the most impressive looking shows currently on television. Though digitally shot, Hell on Wheels is one of the more naturally filmic looking series, with a gritty ambience that helps offset the sometimes antiseptic appearance of high def video. Colors are toyed with rather aggressively at times, with efforts varying from desaturation to slate grays and blues, but fine detail remains commendable almost all of the time. The location photography is often stunning, with incredible depth of field and unusually crisp definition even in relatively far off objects like groves of trees. The tonal range here is often astounding, even given the color grading issue. While the series tends to delight in earth tones, muddy blacks and gritty grays, there are lovely pops of color both in the locations as well as some of the costumes various characters wear. The wild, wild west may indeed never have been quite this pretty (and/or relatively gussied up), but Hell on Wheels pushes those concerns to the sidelines as it offers a really spectacular visual experience.

Hell On Wheels: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.5 of 5

Hell on Wheels' lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix continues to set the same high bar that the series' first season did. Once again, there are a glut of nicely placed foley effects, and not necessarily only gunfire and the sounds of the train tracks being pounded into submission. Some of the best effects are the subtle ones, as in a chilling scene where Eva's early morning routine of hanging her laundry—with the sheets rustling peacefully in the breeze—is suddenly interrupted by the chilling far off sound of a Sioux war cry. Dialogue is cleanly presented, though occasionally the series' music overpowers individual scenes. A lot of people evidently love the quasi-contemporary blues and country songs that dot the soundtrack here; I'm not one of them. I think the series would do much better with a less anachronistic score. Either way, the music is rendered beautifully here, with crispness and precision.

Hell on Wheels: Other Seasons

Season 1
3-disc set

Season 3
3-disc set

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Hell On Wheels: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray, News and Updates

Hell on Wheels: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray - May 29, 2013

Entertainment One has detailed the Blu-ray release of Hell on Wheels: The Complete Second Season. The next ten-episode entry in AMC's post-Civil War series stars Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Dominique McElligott, Common, Ben Esler, Phil Burke, Christopher Heyerdahl, ...

Hell On Wheels: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

Topic Replies Last post
Drag Me To Hell 207 Oct 01, 2012

Hell On Wheels: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray

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