Miramax // 1997 // 120 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Chief Justice Sean McGinnis (Retired) // April 30th, 1999
Someone has taken their love of sequels one step too far!
In an attempt to extend the "Scream phenomenon," director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson have re-teamed to give us Scream 2. Notwithstanding this combination of talent, the movie simply does not measure up to the original.
The transfer on this disc is about average for Disney -- which means pretty good for a nonanamorphic transfer -- but could have been better by adding the anamorphic enhancement. The video quality rivals that of its earlier sibling in many ways. There was very little to recommend against this transfer, but for the generally softer feeling you get with a letterbox version as compared to those enhanced for 16x9 systems.
The audio was also quite good, with ample use of surrounds and LFE channels. The soundtrack had a nice clean sound and a full dynamic range. Vocals were clear and true (not that this helped the acting any).
Unfortunately for Craven and Williamson, every performer of note (with the exception of Neve Campbell and Jamie Kennedy) was killed off in the original Scream. I say unfortunately because these quality performances have not been replaced in this installment. Which means we are forced to focus more on the performances of David Arquette and Courtney Cox in this film than the last. Moreover, Kennedy's energy has really been toned down in this film, with nary a memorable moment to be found. This leaves only Campbell as a credible performance, which is not enough to carry this film. Sarah Michelle Gellar takes a stab at duplicating Drew Barrymore's turn in the original with less effective results. All in all, the acting here is about half as good as the original Scream. Typical sequel.
Unlike its sibling, Scream 2 is burdened with the usual Disney extras treatment -- meaning there weren't any. I'm sorry, but I just cannot get excited about a theatrical trailer or two. Frankly, I have a hard time including a trailer in a discussion of extras. In my opinion, a theatrical trailer ought to be standard fare on a DVD. I don't think that's asking too much. You will notice that I have given the disc a 50 for extras in my ratings below. I think this is how I will rate discs from here on out. A trailer gets you a 50. Anything above that gets you worse. No extras gets you 0. Maybe that will help the studios to wise up and stop calling trailers extras (doubt it!)
If you like horror, Wes Craven, Kevin Williamson or Neve Campbell, then go ahead and grab this disc. Otherwise there is nothing redeeming about his disc. Not the acting, the story, or the extras.
Guilty of a weak script, weak acting, and weaker extras. Sentenced to 9-12 years hard labor.
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Scales of Justice
* 2.35:1 Non-Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 120 Minutes
Release Year: 1997
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Theatrical Trailer