Urban Legends: Final Cut Collector's Edition - Blu-ray Review

Discussion in 'Blu-ray / Media Reviews' started by Michael Scott, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Michael Scott

    Michael Scott Moderator / Reviewer
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    Urban Legends: Final Cut Collector's Edition


    [​IMG]
    Movie: :2.5stars:
    Video: :4stars:
    Audio: :3.5stars:
    Extras: :3stars:
    Final Score: :3.5stars:



    [​IMG] Movie


    While Urban Legend was not a CLASSIC horror movie, it was a solid success for the studios involved and 2 years later they decided to do the inevitable. Follow up with a sequel that would underwhelm, underperform, and just be your typical mediocre sequel. HOWEVER (there’s always a however with horror films), Urban Legends: Final Cut is not that bad. It’s a trashy film for sure, but so were so many other great horror movies, and that trashiness and fun factor highlight it as one of the better movies from the 1990-2000 era (which tell you just how badly we were in a horror drought if this is a shining highlight). I won’t say that Final Cut is worthy of an 80s slasher comparison, but it is one of the few films of the 1990-2000 lineup that actually FEELS like it comes from the 1980s, and that’s actually a compliment.

    The legends have moved on, and a few years after the horrific instances of the first movie, it seems that history is going to repeat itself once more. Alpine University is home to some of the best film students in the country, and this year it’s an all out war to achieve the fabled “Hitchcock Award”, which goes to the film student who proves themselves the most capable. Amy (Jennifer Morrison before Once Upon a Time), Graham (Joey Lawrence) and Travis (Matthew Davis) are three aspiring film students, all who want the award, but the competition between them is killer (quite literally). Travis ends up supposedly taking his own life after a mediocre grad that is sure to cost him the trophy, but Amy is not so sure that he ended his life himself. Travis’s brother Trevor (also played by Matthew Davis) is convinced that foul play is going on, and their suspicions only get deeper as more bodies start to pile up, all killed after different urban legends.
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    Urban Legends is a bit of a different film than the first one. Urban Legend focused on the old classic urban legends of suburbia, while the sequel is much more focused on urban legends surrounding films and film studies. Not to mention the fact that they go into a lot of exposition about the industry itself and the pitfalls that it faced. Maybe that comes from the fact that director John Ottman had never directed a feature film before (or since), and that this was more of a raw feeling on his industry opinions more than anything. That being said, Urban Legends is a cut below the first film and mostly due to the shoddy direction of Ottman. There’s some really nifty film work going on with the movie (he does some great shots), and his attention to detail on the CREATION of the film within the film is incredible, but the kills themselves and the sense of purpose and direction of the killer seem to play second fiddle to him creating a love story ABOUT films.

    Everyone involved is pretty much B-level all around, and the pedigree for the actors is much diminished from the previous film. There’s no horror icons like Robert Englund, or Brad Dourif, and a young Jennifer Morrison is about all we have (although she hadn’t achieved her big popularity boost from Once Upon a Time just yet) for decent actors. Still, that’s part of the charm of film. It’s pure and utter trash, from the directing, to the acting, to the actual plot. However, the gore is quite decent, and we get some solid kills in as well, not to mention the ambiance feels very much like the classic slashers that it’s trying to emulate so desperately. The film itself is a guilty pleasure, but it makes a solid addition to the first movie, and actually one of the better slasher sequels of the 1990-2000 generation of horror films.




    Rating:

    Rated R for violence/gore, language and some sexuality




    Video: :4stars:
    [​IMG]
    Like Urban Legend, the sequel is touting no new 2K or 4K remaster from Scream Factory, but the master used for this Blu-ray encode is leaps and bounds better than the old DVD from way back in the day. Details are crisp and clean, and the overall clarity is pretty stinking good. It’s not going to be a transfer that wows anyone, or is going to stand as demo material, but it is a very capable transfer that does the job quite well. If I’m being comparative, I’d say it’s easily on par with how the first film looks on Blu-ray. The colors are a bit on the ruddy side, with that golden earthy tinge that is so indicative of late 90s and early 2000’s films, with solid black levels that only show a moderate amount of crush. Contrast is a bit on the dark side, but the film looks really good, with accurate skin tones and plenty of detail to go around.






    Audio: :3.5stars:
    [​IMG]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track for
    Urban Legends: Final Cut is a bit more pedestrian than the first film, content to be a more front heavy experience with only moderate use of the surround channels. The dialog is recorded a bit lower than average, requiring one boost the center track or the general volume, which tends to put the ambient score and surrounding activity a bit higher than I’d like. The surrounds get a few background noises here and there, plus the standard use of the score, but overall this is one of those tracks that really lives in the front of the room. LFE is pretty impressive though, putting out some good wallops for the jump scares, and accenting the score as well. It’s not going to win any awards for best sound design, but is more than capable of getting the job done.







    Extras: :3stars:
    [​IMG]

    • NEW The Legend Continues: Urban Legends: Final Cut including interviews with producers Gina Matthews, Michael McDonnell, executive producers Nick Osborne, Brad Luff, chairman and CEO of Phoenix Pictures Mike Medavoy, writer Silvio Horta, actors Loretta Devine and Rebecca Gayheart
    • NEW interview with actress Jessica Cauffiel
    • Audio Commentary with director John Ottman
    • Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by director John Ottman
    • Vintage Making of Featurette
    • Gag Reel
    • Theatrical Trailer







    Final Score: :3.5stars:


    While not nearly as good as it’s predecessor, Urban Legends: Final Cut revels in what it is. Pure sleazy horror trash, but fun trash nonetheless. The motivations of the serial killer is beyond ludicrous, the actions of the dumb college students mind blowingly stupid, and the kills mixed up and sloppy. But it’s gooey, gory, and just plain creepy fun, as Urban Legends: Final Cut actually FEELS like an 80s slasher. Even though it’s probably on the lower rung of the 80s slasher ladder. Scream Factory has done a very solid job with porting over all the DVD extras, plus some new ones to make this a very nice collector’s edition for fans. My only gripe with both this and the first movie are the lack of a slipcover for a collector’s edition film. Other than that, enjoy the trashy fun. Recommended for a goofy fun watch.



    Technical Specifications:

    Starring: Jennifer Morrison, Matthew Davis, Hart Bochner, Loretta Devine, Joey Lawrence, Eva Mendes, Anthony Anderson, Michael Bacall
    Directed by: John Ottman
    Written by: Paul Harris Boardman, Scott Derrickson, Silvio Horta (characters)
    Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
    Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, English DTS-HD MA 2.0
    Subtitles: English SDH
    Studio: Scream Factory
    Rated: R
    Runtime: 97 Minutes
    Blu-ray Release Date: November 20th, 2018







    Recommendation: Recommended

     
    #1 Michael Scott, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
    tripplej likes this.
  2. tripplej

    tripplej AV Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the review. Will check it out.
     
  3. Asere

    Asere AV Addict

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    Thanks for the review. I remember this one but did not really enjoy it like the first one.
     
  4. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    I think this is a straight pass for me... thanks for the review, as always, Mike!
     

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