Freddy vs. Jason: 2 Disc Limited Collector's Edition (2003)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
Featurette-Jump To A Death - Film Clip Sequences
Deleted Scenes-And Alternate Scenes, With Optional Commentary
Notes-Fangoria Article: Freddy & Jason Go To Development Hell,Pt1
Notes-Fangoria Article: Slicing Towards Completion, Part 2
Featurette-Genesis: Development Hell
Featurette-On Location: Springwood Revisited
Featurette-Art Direction: Jason's Decorating Tips
Featurette-Stunts: When Push Comes To Shove
Featurette-Make-Up Effects: Freddy's Beauty Secrets
Featurette-Pre-fight Press Conference
More…-TV Spots, Music Video, My Summer Vacation, Easter Eggs
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Ronny Yu|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Well, well, well. It seems we need to doff our hats to Roadshow Entertainment. They took a lot of flack from fans of Freddy vs. Jason when they released a bare-bones single-disc version back in January and I was pretty critical myself if you remember my review...which can be found here. It may be a case of "better late than never" or a case of "too little too late" depending on your perspective, but at last Roadshow has given us the full Monty.
For those unfamiliar with the plot, I have reproduced the important parts below. This review will focus on the differences between the single disc release and this Limited Collector's Edition.
Freddy Krueger is not happy with his lot in life - or indeed, in death. He has largely been forgotten by the teens of America and without them fearing him, he has no power to appear in their nightmares and use them as fodder for his maniacal blood-lust. What's a serial killer to do? Well, how about searching the bowels of Hell for another serial killer, resurrecting him and have him slaughter a few kids in Freddy's name. Surely if a few teens were slaughtered on Elm Street, then it wouldn't be long before everyone suspected Freddy was to blame...and the fear and subsequent teen nightmares would allow Freddy to continue the killings himself. Hey - it's worth a try right? Now, who would be a suitable killer set up as the fall guy...hmmm...what about that lumbering dumbass Jason Voorhees?
By pretending to be Jason's mum in a nightmare, and convincing him that his slaughtering work has not yet been completed, Freddy (somewhat inexplicably) manages to revive Jason and sends him out to stalk the streets of Springwood. When Jason stumbles across a party at none other than 1428 Elm Street, the blood soon starts to flow. The local police unfortunately suspect that the murder is the work of the long forgotten Freddy Krueger. Before too long Freddy's name is on every teen's lips and they are being slaughtered faster than you can say "irrational plot device". Unfortunately for Freddy, old Jason turns out to be rather self-centred and quite enjoys his killing spree - so much so that there is likely to be a shortage of teens available for Freddy to kill during their sleep. It seems that Freddy is now going to have to kill Jason (as ever, if you want someone killed, you just have to do it yourself) if he wants access to all those nubile young American teens!
What follows is a seemingly endless killing spree, with teens dying like flies. Various American teens try not to fall asleep and risk being killed by Freddy, but struggle to avoid being killed by Jason whilst awake. Jason tries to kill all the kids. Freddy tries to kill all the kids - and Jason. To add to the excessive gore and interminable screaming there is the bonus of the inevitable showdown (well, a couple of showdowns actually) between Jason and Freddy. This provides a (sometimes confusing) twist to the typical slasher premise, but does successfully increase the innovation evident in this instalment.
As I said before...I'm not going to pretend that this stuff is art. For fans of Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees however, this is actually a worthwhile addition to their respective sagas (and this one too leaves itself, worryingly, wide open for a sequel). Silly, pointless, gory fun - whilst never truly scary, it does manage a modicum of suspense, some self-referential humour and a lot of action-oriented killing. This is worth a purchase for fans (and now, thanks to Roadshow, even in its Region 4 incarnation), and is certainly a cut above several of the dire sequels in either the Nightmare or Friday series.
The video quality of this transfer remains extremely good and is approaching reference quality. It is interesting to note that this version has a higher bit rate transfer (average 6.97 Mbps) versus the previous DVD5 release (average 5.67 Mbps).
The video is still presented 16x9 enhanced at 2.35:1 which remains close to the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.39:1. On re-viewing the film, I would say that it is generally very sharp in the foreground - although there is still a little softness due to some mild pixelisation in the backgrounds.
As in the previous release, the dark scenes show deep, inky blacks with no low level noise. There is some pixelisation evident on occasion in the backgrounds but this never detracts significantly from what is still a very nice transfer indeed. The colour palette tends towards blue and grey given that much of the action takes place at night. Where other colours are used however, they are very nicely rendered and remain solid throughout with no signs of colour bleeding. As might be expected there is plenty of "blood" in the film and it always comes across vividly and forms a stark contrast to the otherwise cool palette. Skins tones are natural at all times.
The transfer to DVD has resulted in no other significant MPEG artefacts. There was some minor edge enhancement present very sporadically in the earlier release, and this is still evident at the same points - for instance as a halo around the buildings at 51:15. It is not significant enough to be a real distraction though. Aliasing remains completely unnoticed on my (progressive scan) system. Telecine wobble is not evident, even in the title sequences.
Film artefacts are inconsequential and this is overall a very clean transfer.
The English for the Hard of Hearing subtitles remain well timed and easy to read, providing very detailed audio cues including song lyrics. They follow the dialogue very closely, dropping only a few words for the sake of brevity.
The previous release was on a single layered DVD 5 disc so there was no layer change to detect. This time around the film is presented on a dual layered (RSDL) disc, with the layer change present at 55:25. It is essentially unnoticeable as it takes place at a scene change (just as the kids are entering the psychiatric hospital). The second, extras, disc is also in dual layered (DVD 9) format.
The overall audio transfer is superb. The dynamic range, localised sounds, sound effects and unrelenting surround activity deliver an audio experience that is enveloping from the opening scene to the final confrontation. Since the track has now been properly mixed, I feel this is now a reference quality soundtrack.
There are now three English audio tracks on offer. Despite the lack of a mention on the case, the primary choice for most people will be the dts track encoded at 768 kbps. For those without the capability to decode dts, there is still the option of a Dolby Digital 5.1 EX track encoded at 448 kbps. This track has now been correctly mastered (there was a fault with all channels being mixed with all sounds in the previous release) and is to all intents and purposes just as good as its dts cousin. The final option is a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track encoded at 224 kbps. This is obviously the least preferred option, but is nonetheless a decent stereo affair, showing good separation across the front soundstage. My receiver has the EX flag set to "Auto", and it was not triggered by this DVD.
There are no issues with audio defects such as hiss, clicks or pops. Dialogue is almost always clear although I found I had to resort to subtitles on occasion to make out some of the lines - this is not a fault of the transfer however, more a limitation in the delivery. Audio sync was never problematic.
The main score is credited to Kiwi Graeme Revell (Daredevil, Pitch Black) and does a good job throughout. Whilst a little predictable (stabbing strings and thumping drums) it does manage to sustain the tension through the film and makes full use of the dynamic range available. Much of the soundtrack is filled with thumping heavy metal type pop tunes and these too fit quite well with this action-oriented film.
The front speakers get a good old workout, delivering the dialogue and with some very nice spread of music and effects across the front soundstage. The front soundstage is highly active at all times, and despite the rousing musical score and numerous audio effects, the dialogue is never drowned out. In addition the use of front soundstage panning is commendable, with precise location of sounds (for example the movement in the location of the shower noise around 12:08).
The surround channels are used continually to deliver an ongoing barrage of sound. This is a very full soundtrack indeed, and your viewing environment will barely see a quiet moment. The surrounds carry ambient effects and provide a lot of support for the musical score to give a very lively and enveloping soundstage. Previously I had stated that I was a little disappointed in the extent of the directional or localised effects and thought that there were some obvious missed opportunities with the audio effects. This time, there can be no disappointment at the use of front to rear pans, for instance the truck at 64:58 or the cylinders at 78:20. The glowing reports from Region 1 regarding the reference quality of the audio track now fully apply to this Region 4 release. Quite simply - it rocks!
As before, the subwoofer is used almost constantly to carry bass from both the musical score and the aural effects. There is some sustained deep bass and lots of true LFE rumblings present. This audio track will certainly give your subwoofer plenty to keep it gainfully employed. Obviously a metal-inspired musical track lends itself to some deep bass activity, and the sub really comes to the fore when the rock kicks in (for instance at the party around 32:00). It is also noteworthy in the all-important Freddy vs Jason fights around 62:50, 74:20 and of course 80:00.
|Surround Channel Use|
Region 4 fans get ready to rejoice - the extras have come home to daddy!
The main menu is altered from the previous release. It now has a very lively and loud animated vibe with loops of sound and video inserts. It allows the choices of setting up sound and screen options, playing the movie, choosing one of seventeen chapter stops (versus twenty-one on the previous release), or selecting from the numerous extra features.
This is quite an enlightening track, albeit a bit too cheesy at times with the self-important Englund making far too much of himself. It is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 224 kbps. It features director Ronny Yu, Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) and the rather more self-effacing Jason Voorhees (Ken Kirzinger). For Region 4 fans, this is a very worthwhile extra.
An extra for those with a really busy diary. This allows you to "cut to the chase" and just watch the killings. It even has a thoughtful "Kill All" option which edits the movie down to just the death scenes, played in sequence. Naughty but nice...and the movie now runs for only 4:10, so you can watch numerous teens bite the big one every day, just before you go to sleep, without any of that boring talking and stuff.
This is a big body of material, all presented 16x9 enhanced and with a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track encoded at 448 kbps. It is also possible to play each scene with an audio commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 224 kbps) with Ronny Yu. You can also opt to play all of the scenes in sequence with the "Play All" option. The available scenes are as follows:
This is an enveloping stash, containing the following:
Seventy-eight pages of text reproduced from a Fangoria article on the movie. Divided into two sections, this is well worth a read for fans.
The following featurettes are provided, presented in varying 16x9 enhanced aspect ratios with an audio track encoded at 224 kbps in Dolby Digital 2.0. A thoughtful Play All function is provided:
An intriguing series of featurettes, dealing with the visual effects in considerable depth and presented in varying 16x9 enhanced aspect ratios with an audio track encoded at 224 kbps in Dolby Digital 2.0. A Play All function is available:
A collection of still (and silent) images, divided into two broad categories:
Pre-Fight Press Conference - running for 3:48 and presented 16x9 enhanced with a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio transfer encoded at 224 kbps.
Original Theatrical Trailer (1:01) - presented 16x9 enhanced with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 kbps.
TV Spots - an impressive 8 spots presented at 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital soundtracks encoded at 224 kbps:
Ill Nino's How can I Live? presented letterboxed and running for 3:05 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 224 kbps.
My Summer Vacation: A visit to Camp Hackenslash - running for 3:54 this shows the press launch shindig at a Seventies style summer camp.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
I had previously written...Oh give me a break! Surely I must have the Region 4 rental release to hand here? This cannot possibly be considered a fair contest. The Region 1 version of this movie is presented as a two-disc set - part of the New Line Platinum collection, distributed by Warner Home Video. It has so many extras that it leaves the Region 4 release looking pathetic by comparison. Well guys, Roadshow have done the right thing at last and almost all the missing extras are now here!
The Region 1 release misses out on:
The Region 4 release now only misses out on:
Huzzah for Roadshow Entertainment in finally correcting the previous paltry Region 4 release. Unfortunately, I suspect that most fans will have already purchased from Region 1. Perhaps Roadshow will have learned something here?
As I said previously - Freddy vs. Jason is a bit of lightweight slasher fun. It is not scary per se, but does undo some of the damage done by endless inferior sequels in the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday The 13th series of films. More action oriented than any of the previous entries in the series, it manages to entertain throughout - albeit with a plot line which requires the total suspension of disbelief, and which doesn't stand up well to close scrutiny. Popcorn schlock horror with some decent effects, a pumping soundtrack, a very nice video transfer and now I can say that it has a refreshingly large volume of quality extras. Fans of either series of films - especially those who must own the entire collection - will not be disappointed with a purchase of this title.
The video quality is very good indeed.
The audio transfer is of reference quality.
A superb extras package, finally provided at the same level as the Region 1 release.
|DVD||Momitsu V880 upconverting DVI player, using DVI output|
|Display||Sanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES|
|Speakers||JensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer|