Once again, New Line needs its own category to explain just how fine the transfer looks. These guys created the 5.0/A+ video transfer years ago and they show no signs of slowing down with their latest, Final Destination 2. Presented in the film’s theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and anamorphically enhanced, New Line’s widescreen presentation is as good as it gets.
Reference quality from beginning to end, Final Destination 2 is crystal-clear and highly detailed at all times – even with all of the supplemental material included on the single-disc –infinifilm- release. The colors in the film are very much everyday type stuff, but New Line has turned up the hues to the Nth degree, so that everything simply look ravishing. Everything from the clothes on the characters backs to the sanitary and bleached out colors in the hospital, color and saturation were right on the money and looked quite radiant. Fleshtones were accurate and natural, as was all of the blood gushing from the various victims in the film and there was never any sign of bleeding or smearing during the film at any time. All important black levels were as deep and rock solid as they come and there wasn’t any murkiness or breakup to be seen. Shadow detail and delineation were superb and allowed Final Destination 2 to maintain a very three-dimensional and film-like appearance throughout its short running time.
Flaws were all but non-existent – hence the perfect score – and Final Destination 2 was one of those films that needs to be seen rather than read about in a review. Once again, New Line has done an incredible job on the video transfer front and given fans a flawless presentation.
Not only has New Line given viewers the goods on the video front, but they have also given fans something to be excited about on the audio front as well. The studio has graced Final Destination 2 with a Dolby Digital 6.1 EX transfer, as well as a DTS 6.1 ES mix. Both mixes are very aggressive and give your system a workout that not many others can, or have done before.
The film starts out with one of the most spectacular crash sequences ever seen or heard on DVD and it literally lights up your viewing area with discrete, distinctive, and very loud effects from all over the quite expansive soundstage. If you keep track of reference quality scenes to show off your home theater set up with, make sure that you add this one to your list. Final Destination 2 is full of impressive moments and New Line has done a very thorough job in bringing the film to life aurally. The entire experience was a very immersive and ambient one and the studio has made sure that your front and rear surrounds all get a chance to show you just what they’re made of. Effects are grotesquely clear and always start and end from their proper place within the soundstage and your .1 LFE channel adds plenty of emphasis throughout.
The Dolby Digital and DTS mixes are both high cotton and as is usually the case, I found myself gravitating more towards the DTS track, as it seemed to be much more rich and full than its Dolby counterpart. DTS seemed to open up the soundstage a bit more and enhance the score, as well as the effects, with deeper bass and cleaner imaging. That’s not to say that the Dolby EX mix isn’t impressive – because it most definitely is – but I just found the DTS track a bit more enticing. Whatever your poison however, it’s a great sounding film through and through.
New Line has also included an English 2.0 Surround option, as well as English subtitles and closed captions.
New Line presents Final Destination 2 in one of their esteemed –infinifilm- editions and as always, it’s a rewarding experience. There shouldn’t be too many of you left that don’t know about New Line’s –infinifilm- viewing option, but I’ll explain it in a nutshell anyway. With –infinifilm- activated, at certain points during the film, an icon – with a short, text-based explanation - will pop to alert you that there is some supplemental material that can be viewed. By pressing –ENTER- on your DVD remote, you will be taken out of the film and into a short supplement dealing with the scene you were viewing or something closely related to it. After the supplement is over, you are taken right back to where you left off and the film goes on normally until another –infinifilm- feature is available for viewing. My gripe with the implementation is that these video-based supplements can only be accessed through the –infinifilm- interface and not through a separate menu somewhere else on the disc. There are quite a few –infinifilm- moments found in Final Destination 2 and I would imagine that the total running time of these supplements together is well over 30-minutes.
BEYOND THE MOVIE
In this section, we get supplements that are related to the subject matter of the film, but not necessarily the film itself and starting things off is The Terror Gauge (14:00). Here, we get a really interesting extra that is hosted by Neurofeedback Specialist, Dr. Victoria Ibric and she has somehow conned three test subjects into being hooked up to some devices that will monitor their brainwaves and body activity/responses as they view the film Final Destination 2. Kind of interesting, but New Line has done much, much better when it comes to Beyond featurettes.
Cheating Death (18:10) follows and here, we get an interesting piece that has multiple interviewees that all claim to have clinically died and then come back to life. Researchers and doctors attempt to explain the phenomenon and we get some rather interesting stories from the participants who claim to have gone through the experience. While it’s all very high level and generic, there are some fascinating moments related here for sure.
Next up is Choose Your Fate, a stupid and asinine space waster that allows you to pick from one of three cards that will tell you your fate whether it be you didn’t get to the bathroom on time and your bladder will burst or that a sewer alligator will attack you while on a toilet. Some “fates” are nice – like a tax return coming your way – but ultimately, this supplement was a complete waste of time.
Lastly is the always entertaining Fact Track and as usual, we get some rather informative and entertaining factoids that will pop-up throughout the film. We learn about everything from the music used in the film to seatbelt statistics (right before the highway pileup) to background information on the actors to inside jokes from the set. As always, this was an entertaining and quite educational supplement that is worth viewing only after you’ve seen the film uninterrupted.
ALL ACCESS PASS
First and foremost here is the Audio Commentary with director David Elllis, producer Craig Perry and screenwriters Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber. With all of the participants being recorded together and in the same room, it makes for one heck of a good time. The group keeps things lively from beginning to end and it’s quite evident from their demeanor and comments, that the group had a good time making the film. Surprisingly, the comments tend to be more technical and film-oriented more often than not and you actually learn a great deal about the making of the film in the process. It’s a decent enough ride and if you enjoyed the film, this was a breezy enough way to look at it again through the eyes of some of the principals.
Next up is Bits and Pieces: Bringing Death to Life (30:30) and here, we get a rather interesting discussion on “splatter films” and how the principals on Final Destination 2 created their rather gory effects. (SPOILER ALERT! Do not watch this extra of you haven’t yet seen the film. You already know the majority of the participants are going to die, but how they die is shown in this extra and that’s part of the “fun” of the film.) The supplement starts off as a brief of history of gore and via interviews with David del Valle (Film Historian), Drew McWeeny (Ain’t It Cool News), and Herschell Gordon Lewis (Godfather of Gore … Yes, that’s the title the supplement gave him!), we learn that the art form of gore goes all the way back to the 1800’s. We work our way up to current day, covering many films and icons along the way, and we learn how the creators of Final Destination 2 were influenced by the splatter films that have gone before it. Finishing off the extra, we learn how those behind the film at hand created their quite impressive kills. Interviewed in the final portion of the DVD are Eric Bress (Screenwriter), Joe Conmy (Visual FX Coordinator), Craig Perry (Producer), David Ellis (Director), Eric Sears (Editor), Joe Bauer (Visual FX Supervisor), and many others. Definitely a must see for fans of the film or of the genre. Good stuff.
New Line has also included five Deleted/Alternate Scenes (“Post Accident Interview”, “Alternate Crematorium Visit”, “Isabella’s Husband”, “Nora and Eugene”, and “Truck Chase/Eugene at Hospital”) and in total, the scenes run right around 10-minutes or so. The scenes can be viewed with or without commentary from the aforementioned participants (which, like the main commentary, is quite active and funny) and while a nice inclusion to the –infinifilm- DVD, they wouldn’t have really added much to the film itself.
There are also a couple of Music Videos on the disc – Blank Theory’s “Middle of Nowhere” and The Sounds’ “Seven Days A Week” – as well Trailers for Final Destination, Final Destination 2, and Highwaymen.
New Line has also included a healthy amount of DVD-ROM material on the Final Destination 2 DVD and it includes such goodies as weblinks, desktop wallpaper, an in-depth and very thorough script-to-screen viewer, and even a ROM-based game that allows you to cheat death, “Chain Reaction”. While I’ve never been a big fan of DVD-ROM material, New Line has added some really nice stuff here for those of you who enjoy this kind of stuff.
Final Destination 2 may be a silly, run-of-the-mill gore fest, but damn if it doesn’t look and sound incredible. Heck, I could recommend the disc based on the A/V specs alone! It’s reference-quality all the way around.
For fans of the film, New Line’s –infinifilm- release is the mother lode and for everyone else, a rental is definitely in order just to check out New Line’s impressive authoring on the audio/video front. Final Destination 2 is one of the most impressive discs to run through my player in quite some time and comes highly recommended.