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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: I Know What You Did Last Summer

Blu-ray Reviews

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#1 of 2 Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

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Posted July 20 2008 - 04:33 PM

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Release Date: July 22, 2008
Studio: Sony
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-Ray case
Year: 1997
Rating: R
Running Time: 1h41m
Video: 1080p high definition 2.40:1 / special features in standard definition
Audio: Dolby TrueHD: English, French, Portuguese / special features in stereo
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Dutch, Chinese, Korean, Thai / special features French and Dutch only
MSRP: $28.95

The Feature: 2.5/5
Four friends, fresh out of high school, accidentally hit a man on their drive home from an Independence Day celebration on the beach. Rather than do the right thing and report the accident, they dump the body in the ocean and vow to never speak of it again. One year later everyone seems the worse for wear. Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is back from college, but has not done well in school and is clearly depressed. Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) moved to New York to become an actress, but came home with her tail between her legs and is now working the perfume counter in the family department store. Barry (Ryan Phillipe), the one to instigate the body dumping, is also back from college but seems to be struggling with anger issues and is more of a jerk than ever. Ray (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) seems the least affected by their secret - he's just been earning an honest living working on a fishing boat. So when the ominous messages, mind games and physical attacks begin, Barry immediately suspects Ray. But as the four dig deeper it starts to look like their hit-and-run victim is actually still alive and keen on making them pay for what they did to him.

Loosely based on a young adult novel of the same name, "I Know What You Did Last Summer" comes from Kevin Williamson, the writer who gave us the clever, horror film deconstruction "Scream." "I Know..." hews closer to irony-free convention however, providing all the usual horror film clichés but then a villain that isn't really that horrible. True, no one wants to get impaled by a giant hook, but the threat of physical harm is a lot different than the more primal fear of a monster, and its the absence of the latter that ultimately makes the film a disappointment. The effect of a ho-hum villain also tends to make other issues (like a character's illogical behavior) more vulnerable to criticism, things we tend to forgive or overlook because we're getting the crap scared out of us. With over a decade having passed since the film's production, the movie is entertaining as a snapshot of popular actors' careers, but if you're looking for more than a sentimental journey it's best to look elsewhere.


Video Quality: 4/5
Accurately framed at 2.40:1 the picture is free of physical defects and edge enhancement. Black levels and contrast can be a little inconsistent. In night scenes blacks are nicely deep and inky with pleasing contrast, but then daytime interiors tend to look murky and dull. Since this is a consistent quality throughout the film, it's likely the original cinematography rather than any fault of the transfer. Detail is overall very good - the clarity of smoke, steam and specular highlights imparting a greath depth to the image. Noise does crop up in areas like tree branches and stretches of roadside grass and gravel though. Overall it's a good transfer with only a few minor issues.


Audio Quality: 3.5/5
Overall the Dolby TrueHD track has a decent fullness and dynamic quality, with some subtle but powerful LFE at times and mostly soundtrack support in the surrounds. The balance of the channels is a bit problematic though, the dialogue sometimes getting drowned out by the environmental sound effects or the film score.


Special Features: 4/5

Audio Commentary with Director Jim Gillespie and Editor Steve Mirkovich: Gillespie takes the lead and delivers a thorough track filled with production anecdotes and technical information. Mirkovich speaks less frequently but provides good supplemental information.

Director's Short Film: Joyride (10m00s): Gillespie's effective short film about a man taken hostage by some thugs made the rounds at film festivals and brought him enough attention to lead to a feature film job. The short includes an optional commentary by Gillespie that is as detailed and thorough as his feature commentary.

"Now I Know What You Did Last Summer" Featurette (27m05s): Retrospective piece includes information on how the film was pitched, casting and production. Includes interviews with Hewitt, Anne Heche, Williamson and Gillespie.

Music Video "Hush" by Kula Shaker (2m56)

Theatrical Trailer (2m19s)

BD-Live: My player is not BD-Live capable, so I was not able to view the content of this feature. From other reports, however, there is nothing in it specific to the film, just a few links and trailers.


Recap

The Feature: 2.5/5
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 3.5/5
Special Features: 4/5
Overall Score (not an average): 3/5

Horror film lacking in necessary horror levels gets decent audio and video transfers and special features.
One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#2 of 2 Travis Brashear

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Posted July 21 2008 - 03:35 AM

Holy shit--no way! Sony is actually including the trailer for the movie proper on a Blu-ray? I think I've died and gone to heaven!
Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part...
--Det. William Somerset, SE7EN

http://www.dvdanthol...-movielist.html), http://LDDb.com/coll....user=Filmmaker





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