Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985)

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Released 10-Nov-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Accidental Heroes: The Best Of
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 83:29
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Jerry Paris
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Steve Guttenberg
Bubba Smith
David Graf
Michael Winslow
Bruce Mahler
Marion Ramsey
Colleen Camp
Howard Hesseman
Art Metrano
George Gaynes
Bob Goldthwait
Julie Brown
Peter Van Norden
Case ?
RPI Box Music Robert Folk


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
German
Spanish
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Romanian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Those wacky police officers are back for the sequel to 1984's big hit (cough) in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment.

    It is one year after the events in the first Police Academy movie. Commandant Lassard's brother Pete, a captain at a nearby precinct, is in trouble. Crime has escalated to out-of-control proportions, with the police unable to do anything about it. The mayor gives Lassard one month to clean up the streets, or find himself unemployed. What is needed is new blood on the beat. Pete calls his brother Eric, asking for the assistance of Eric's new recruits. What he receives is six officers, who will all be quite familiar to viewers.

    Mahoney leads Hightower, Tackleberry, Jones, Facklar and Hooks on their first assignment outside of training. Also along for the ride are Lt. Mauser and Proctor. A reinvention of the Lt. Harris character, Mauser seeks to end the careers of the cadets, while trying to further his career as the successor to Captain Lassard if the streets are not cleaned of crime within the allocated timeframe. Two butt-kissing sidekicks have been compressed into one in Proctor, probably my favourite character of the series (and one of the very few new characters with future career possibilities). No matter what Mauser tries to do, Proctor is there to screw things up. He is an ideal physical comedian for the job.

    The second movie is the odd one out of the series (although I have yet to view Mission to Moscow). Almost none of the movie is based at the Police Academy. The team has graduated, been given proper jobs on the police force, yet the movie is still named Police Academy, while I know for a fact that in subsequent sequels they will return to the Academy. What possible reason is there to leave the force and return to school? This question and more will be answered soon.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.75:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. This is close to the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    It is unfortunate that the rest of the Police Academy series did not undergo the same restoration effort as the original. A bit more effort could have been made cleaning up this movie. The sharpness of this transfer is very impressive, although years of watching this movie on bad VHS tapes may have unduly influenced me here. When zoomed in, there is evidence of edge enhancement in this transfer, just as there was in the original, but this was not distracting during normal viewing.

    The colours are reproduced sufficiently. While none of the colours are vibrant, they do the job.

    There are no MPEG compression errors to be seen. While the disc does not exceed the 4Gb mark in size including the extra features, the video quality does not give any indication that the bitrate should have been increased.

    Film artefacts can be seen, mainly during the introductory credits, which can be a bit distracting. They are less of a worry through the rest of the film, and are barely noticeable unless looking out for them.

    Subtitles are available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, Bulgarian, Romanian, English for the Hearing Impaired and Italian for the Hearing Impaired.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is almost a letdown once again with the audio, with it being offered in the form of Dolby Digital 1.0 soundtracks in English, French and Italian. Yet again there has been no remastering, but there is no real need to worry about the lack of a 5.1 soundtrack. There is nothing exciting about these soundtracks, limiting the appeal of using this as a demo disc at your next home theatre gathering.

    What we have is centre channel action. There is nothing much else to say, except for noting that the dialogue is very clear, well synced and free of pops, clicks or any other annoying and unwanted sounds. The theme music comes across clearly. No subwoofer information is present. The explosions are heard amply, but not felt.

    There is no surround usage at all.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Featurette - Accidental Heroes: The Best Of 6:28

    I was not expecting this extra feature to be on the second disc. In fact, I was not expecting any extra features past the original. At this point, I have not seen if the remaining 5 movies have anything beyond the movie and trailer. If there is, hopefully they will explain why the series diminished in quality. These do have in-depth interviews with the cast, this time 19 years on. How time has allowed them to age gracefully. Slapstick, like spoof, is a genre that is notorious for producing bad movies, yet I am glad to see that the cast and crew are not putting down their movies in the same way that some critics have. 1.33:1, Dolby 2.0 192kbps.

Theatrical Trailer 1:20

    The trailer awakened my subwoofer from its deep slumber. The trailer is 16x9 enhanced, presented in its original aspect ratio and presented with Dolby Digital 2.0 192kbps audio.


    It is a pity that a commentary was not produced for this movie. The cast were all interviewed - surely some of them could have banded together for a commentary track?

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Apart from the NTSC/PAL differences, this appears to be the same as the Region 1 release.

Summary

    I am more than impressed with the presentations of these movies so far. Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment has always been the favourite amongst the series for me. A superb video transfer and satisfactory audio allowed me to enjoy the movie as I did 15 years ago on my first viewing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Aiden O'Brien (Here are the results from my biopsy.)
Monday, March 14, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDSONY DVP-NS575P, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX-76PW60. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR500E
SpeakersJensen SPX-9 Front, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 Rear, Jensen SPX-17 Sub

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