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Blu-ray Reviews

HTF Blu-ray Review: Friday the 13th Part 2



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#1 of 3 PatWahlquist

PatWahlquist

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Posted June 12 2009 - 05:47 AM


Friday the 13th Part 2 (Blu-ray)

Studio: Paramount Home Video
Rated: R
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
HD Encoding: 1080p
HD Video Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1; English, Spanish, French Mono Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese; English SDH+
Time: 86 minutes
Disc Format: 1 SS/DL BD
Case Style: Keep case
Theatrical Release Date: 1981
Blu-ray Release Date: June 16, 2009

Sequels, at their best, recapture the spirit of the original work and take the story and characters in a new and exciting direction. They remind you of what was great and special in the original work and introduce an air of nostalgia, almost, to the original. That is why, at the end of Friday the 13th Part 2 I was left still wanting more. The picture starts a couple years after the original events at Crystal Lake, and Jason Vorhees has crept out of the lake, now older and angrier, and started to put business right by means of machete or whatever implement he can find to kill someone. When a group of, yet again, camp counselors set up camp at the infamous lake, Jason, now inexplicably older and fitter, begins his murder spree again, all in the sake of revenge.

I thought about doing a scene by scene comparison of Part 1 and Part 2 since there were so many similarities between them. Both have randy camp counselors, both have a feisty blonde being the last victim standing in front of Jason’s onslaught, both movies have gory kills. I was disappointed in the fact that director Steve Miner, obviously given a bigger budget than the first picture, wastes our time with a rehash of the original when he is given such an interesting antagonist who is ripe for pathos and Oedipal angst. Did Miner and writer Ron Kurz really think this little of the burgeoning franchise that they thought the audience really only wanted blood and guts? Apparently so and unfortunate for us.

If you were a fan of the first movie, you will like this one on a completely visceral level, as it doesn’t ask too much of the viewer or the characters. It delivers some good thrills, ably assisted by the shrieking chorus of strings and stuttering “ka-ka-ka’s” as Jason approaches forewarning us of the blood to come. It still does well when looking at it in the historical context of this being in the early days of the horror or slasher genre, which, as it progressed, owes a lot to Jason and his revenge.

Movie: **/*****


Video:
Note: I am watching this title using a Marantz VP 11-S1 DLP projector, which has a native resolution of 1080p. I am using a Sony Playstation 3 Blu-Ray player while a Denon 3808CI does the switching and pass through of the video signal. I am utilizing the HDMI capabilities of each piece of equipment.

The Blu-Ray disc is encoded in the MPEG-4 AVC codec at 1080p with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. Black levels are improved on this disc staying nice and deep with some detail. Grain is evident in these numerous scenes, reminding you that this is film and I didn’t find it as distracting as it was in the first movie. Dirt and other print damage is seen occasionally and there is a mild amount of edge enhancement. The increased production values help here with better color fidelity and a richer palate. Flesh tones are accurate as well. Detail and sharpness are fair and the picture looks like it was shot slightly soft as the edges of objects within the image become fuzzy.

Video: ***/*****


Audio:
The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack was attained by the HDMI connection of the PS3 to the Denon 3808CI.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is far more active than the first disc with much more surround information and a better soundstage. The surrounds convey some very nice discreet effects but also serve to place us more firmly in the center of the action. The soundtrack remains firmly planted in the highs and mids and the LFE’s engaging slightly when the music comes up at the bar scene or during a kill scene. The overall fidelity of the soundtrack is improved as the strings during Jason’s killing spree don’t make my ears hurt like they did on the first disc. Panning effects are heard and used to good effect. ADR is noticed at times, but it is not obtrusive. The soundtrack is free of any debris or other distortions.

Audio: ***.5/*****



Bonus Material: all items are in HD unless otherwise noted.

Inside “Crystal Lake Memories” (11:15): Peter Bracke, author of the book, “Crystal Lake Memories” discusses the production history of the series and its impact.

Friday’s Legacy: Horror Conventions (6:50): this small piece features the organizers of “Scarefest”, a convention devoted to horror movies, as well as some of the talent that shows up.

Jason Forever (29:27) (SD): in January, 2004, four of the actors who played Jason gathered for a panel at the Fangoria Convention in New Jersey. Bracke moderates the panel as they talk about their experiences in the movies and this is intercut with video interviews and shots from the convention itself.

Lost Tales from Camp Blood - Part II (8:54): a continuation of the segment on the first Friday the 13th disc. Production values have improved, but it’s still only a modern day retake on the formula of a slasher story.

Original Theatrical Trailer.

Bonus Material: ***/*****


Conclusions:
A rehash of an original winds up being fine on the surface, but fails to add much to the mythos of the Vorhees family. The disc provides a pleasing picture and a nice soundtrack, while the mediocre extras finish off a similar release.
ISO "Lost" ARG prints from Kevin Tong, Olly Moss, Eric Tan and Methane Studios.  PM me if you want to sell!

All reviews done on a Marantz VP11S1 1080p DLP projector.

Displays professionally calibrated by Gregg Loewen of Lion AV.

#2 of 3 TravisR

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Posted June 12 2009 - 07:21 AM

Thanks for the review, Pat! I'm looking forward to picking this up.

Anyone who cares probably already knows this but the Jason Forever featurette was originally a Best Buy exclusive on the 2004 Friday The 13th box set (and it went for crazy amounts of money back then).

#3 of 3 MattFini

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Posted June 12 2009 - 12:54 PM

I love this sequel, so while I don't share your sentiments on the movie, Pat, I thank you for an informative review of the A/V quality.

VERY excited to watch this a few times during the balmy summer months.
Universal, please release Streets of Fire on Blu-ray.





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