Urban Legends-Final Cut: Collector's Edition (2000)

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Released 21-Mar-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Audio Commentary-John Ottman (Director)
Outtakes
Featurette-Making Of
Deleted Scenes-7 +/- Director's Commentary
Theatrical Trailer
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 94:22
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (67:08) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By John Ottman
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Jennifer Morrison
Matthew Davis
Hart Bochner
Joseph Lawrence
Anthony Anderson
Loretta Devine
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $36.95 Music John Ottman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
German
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Swedish
Turkish
German Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Urban Legends: Final Cut is the sequel to the 1998 horror movie Urban Legend. This film, along with its predecessor, is one of the numerous horror films that were made after the phenomenal success of Wes Craven's Scream in 1996. While the film does nothing to extend the range of this genre, it still provides an enjoyable experience.

    Even though this movie is a sequel, it is able to be considered separately - having seen the previous film is not a pre-requisite. There are a few in-jokes that link both movies, but only one character from the first film, the security guard (Loretta Devine), returns for the sequel and her role is quickly laid out for the audience.

    Urban Legends: Final Cut is set around a number of students who are entering their final year in film school, during which time they must complete a feature film as their major project. One student, Amy Mayfield (Jennifer Morrison), decides to produce a horror film based upon urban legends. As filming progresses, members of her cast and crew are involved in a series of fatal accidents.

    Urban Legends: Final Cut does not contain any real surprises, and follows the standard formula for this type of movie, but the performances are strong enough to make this film watchable, if somewhat forgettable.

    This was the directorial debut for John Ottman who also composed the score, mixed the score and edited the film. John has previously composed scores for films such as The Usual Suspects, The Cable Guy, Halloween H2O and Lake Placid. He was also nominated for an Emmy Award for his television score for 1998's Fantasy Island. In addition to composing, John has also previously edited Apt Pupil, Public Access and The Usual Suspects for which he won a BAFTA Award.

   During his Director's Commentary John makes it clear that he wishes to direct films with more substance, aimed at a more mature audience, so it will be interesting to see what his next project will be.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Columbia Tristar has given us another of their excellent transfers, something which we have now come to expect from them.

    The feature is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The film remains consistently sharp except for a couple of very brief shots, such as the University at night at 8:44, filmed by the second unit. Shadow detail is excellent throughout, with the many dark scenes providing a high level of information. The transfer shows no low level noise at any stage.

    Colours are accurately portrayed throughout the film and at no stage appear oversaturated.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen at any time during the film.

    Aliasing is only seen on a small number of occasions throughout the film, such as the blinds at 12:40 and the mask at 50:03. The small amount of aliasing present in this transfer is remarkable considering the fact that many of the shots presented would traditionally have posed many problems with aliasing, such as the large amount of latticework and meshed metal panels seen at 8:40.

    Film artefacts are also very rare in this transfer. Some of the few examples are a scratch appearing on a single frame at 25:50 and a small mark on the killer's mask at 50:34. These artefacts are not disruptive at any time during the transfer.

    There are 17 different subtitles presented for the feature. I viewed the English titles and they seemed to constantly omit some spoken words. These omissions at no time reduced the meanings conveyed but there did not seem to be any reason for the small omissions. I was unable to check the accuracy of the other subtitle tracks.

    The layer change occurs at 67:08 during a scene and is slightly disruptive.

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

Audio

    The audio tracks presented for the movie provide an enveloping soundstage and suit the film well.

    There are two Dolby Digital 5.1 448Kb/s audio tracks provided for the feature in both English and German. I listened to primarily to the English track but also sampled the German.

    At no stage were there any problems with audio sync on the English track. The German track had the usual sync issues but appeared to be a reasonable quality dub.

    The surround channels were used throughout the movie to provide an enveloping soundfield but this is not a highly aggressive mix. Surrounds were used for the score and environmental effects with few highly directional effects apparent. The sub channel is used effectively throughout for effects and to provide support for the score.

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

Extras

    There initially appears to be a reasonable number of extras included on this DVD, but further inspection reveals that the only extra of value is the Director's Commentary.

Menu

    The static menu is presented at 1.33:1 and has no supporting sound.

Dolby Digital Trailer - City

    Presented at 1.33:1, it would be nice to see one of the other newer trailers instead of this.

Audio Commentary

    This scene-specific commentary by director John Ottman is quite informative and covers a range of topics. It is presented as a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded track at 192Kb/s. Both German and Dutch subtitles are also present for the commentary which is a welcome inclusion but an English subtitle option would also have been appreciated by hearing-impaired English speakers.

    As John was responsible for directing and editing the movie and also composing the score he was able to comment on many aspects of the film. At numerous points in the film he points out the many ways in which they were able to save money and stretch their small budget. During his commentary it becomes quite obvious that he is not a real fan of the horror genre so his decision to make this his directorial debut is quite surprising.

Gag Reel

    This collection of outtakes is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. It has a running time of 4:58 and comprises a large number of outtakes ranging in length from five to ten seconds.

Featurette - Making Of

    The interview snippets are presented full frame (1.33:1) and clips from the movie are presented at 1.85:1 without 16x9 enhancement. As you can guess from the short running time of 3:33 this provides no useful information and contains mostly clips from the film.

Deleted Scenes

    There are seven deleted scenes that were removed for plot pacing and to reduce running time. Each deleted scene is presented here with both the original audio and a Director's Commentary. The quality of these scenes is quite low as they have been taken directly from the Avid editing console. They are presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and are not 16x9 enhanced. The scenes and running times are as follows.
 
1. Amy's movie - 2:35 
2. Writer's block - 0:33 
3. Guilty moment - 0:58
4. After the Shoot - 0:51
5. Shower scene - 1:51
6. "He Let Me Go" - 1:08
7. Amy and Trevor - 0:47

Theatrical Trailer

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 with both English and German Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks, this also has Dutch subtitles. This preview shows few film artefacts or aliasing and is of high quality for an included trailer.

Biographies

    Cast & Crew Biographies are presented for director John Ottman and actors Jennifer Morrison, Joseph Lawrence, Anthony Anderson and Hart Bochner. Each of these contain only one or two pages of information and only selected filmographies.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     As the R1 version reportedly has RCE protection and the additional supplements do not seem to be of high value I would recommend the R4 version.

Summary

    Urban Legends: Final Cut is an average teen horror film on a well-presented disc. The extras presented turn out to be quite slim, but the Director's Commentary is mildly interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Friday, March 16, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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