07/28/2015  
Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4Rookie Blue: Season Five, Volume One on DVD Aug 18The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 28The Blacklist: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray & DVD Aug. 18What We Do in the Shadows on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 21Goodbye to All That on DVD Jul 14My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic: Cutie Mark Quests on DVD Jun 30

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Ted Cruz backs out of scheduled 'Daily Show' appearance...
'Ant-Man' inches past 'Pixels' to take No. 1 spot at bo...
Jake Gyllenhaal's Evolution of Hotness, From Bubble Boy...
Judd Apatow: Bill Cosby "One of the Most Awful People t...
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert Split 10 Years After ...
Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4...
Rookie Blue: Season Five, Volume One on DVD Aug 18...
Marvel reverses scale, elevates comedy with compact her...
The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 2...
California water district OKs Tom Selleck's settlement ...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Xenon Entertainment presents
Penitentiary 2 (1982)

"You want gloves? I'll give you gloves. I'll give you shoes, I'll give you socks, I'll give you bagels, I'll give you lox. I'll even give you jockstraps. More than that, I'll give you the very best to teach you—Mister T!"
- Sam Cunningham (Stan Kamber)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: July 16, 2000

Stars: Leon Isaac Kennedy, Ernie Hudson
Other Stars: Mr. T, Stan Kamber, Eugenia Wright, Glynn Turman
Director: Jamaa Fanaka

Manufacturer: Video Transfer, Inc.
MPAA Rating: R for (violence, language)
Run Time: 01h:43m:37s
Release Date: June 20, 2000
UPC: 000799103623
Genre: action


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B CCC- B-

DVD Review

Penitentiary 2, sequel to the 1979 Penitentiary, continues the saga of "Too Sweet" (Leon Isaac Kennedy), released at the end of the first film to embark on a boxing career. Reluctant to devote himself to the violent sport, he is in danger of violating his parole conditions when his girlfriend Clarisse (Eugenia Wright) is murdered by his escaped mortal enemy, "Half Dead" Johnson (Ernie Hudson.) "Half Dead" on the loose represents a continuing threat to himself, his sister and her family, which for some reason motivates "Too Sweet" to resume his fighting career as a "visitor" on the prison circuit, leaving it to his brother-in-law Charles (Glynn Turman) to deal with "Half Dead."

Released in 1982, Penitentiary 2 is much more entertaining than the original. Writer/director Jamaa Fanaka wisely abandons the overwrought earnestness of his first film, allowing this sequel to be looser, funnier and weirder, a shameless pugilistic sideshow rather than a "serious" commentary on race and violence in America. Fanaka throws in roller disco, a Psycho reference, the A-Team's Mr. T, a toilet bowl drowning attempt, Rocky-esque training montages, a lecherous little person, a rainbow fright wig, a mime, and a couple of out-and-out gags. Penitentiary 2 is also a better film from a technical and directorial standpoint—the camera moves more dramatically, the sound editing is better (aside from several obviously dubbed lines), and the production values are visibly higher with sharper compositions and lighting. There are still a few disconnected reaction shots, but Fanaka clearly learned a lot making Penitentiary and applies those lessons to good effect here.

The acting is generally much improved, which creates an unusual problem for this sequel. Most of the returning supporting characters have been recast to feature performers who can actually interact credibly, but Leon Isaac Kennedy's lead performance as "Too Sweet" remains flat and uncharismatic. His range of emotions is limited—he's either stoic, smiling or in excruciating pain—and he never establishes any genuine connections with his co-stars; even his girlfriend's death fails to register, as he's out scopin' the babes a few nights later. His performance, which was one of the better ones in the first film, now pales against an almost completely upgraded supporting cast. Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters) chews the scenery gleefully as "Half Dead" Johnson, Mr. T does a passable job as an incense-burning version of himself, and Oliver Reed-ish Stan Kamber has a lot of fun as boxing promoter Sam Cunningham. "Blaxploitation" star Rudy Ray Moore turns up in a funny cameo as an irate apartment dweller, with lines that borrow from his trademark Dolemite proto-rap riffs. There aren't any Oscar-winning performances here, but the "community theatre rehearsal" quality of the first film has been eliminated.

Jack Wheaton's bombastic score and a few scene-stealing extras contribute to the circus atmosphere, and Fanaka clues the audience in to his intentions right away with an opening "The Story So Far" Flash Gordon/Star Wars-style crawl that sums up the first movie as it fades off into the distance. The movie rushes forward with a refreshing disregard for continuity and conventional plot development, ending with a cheerful freeze-frame of the victorious "Too Sweet" and his supporters. Is Penitentiary 2 a great film? No—the plot doesn't make much sense, and there's no one you'll really care about, least of all the protagonist. But it's a lot more fun than Penitentiary if you take it on its own kick-back-and-let-it-all-hang-out terms.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Xenon presents Penitentiary 2 in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio with a non-anamorphic transfer. The packaging claims a "remastered" transfer -the source print has some flecking and two scenes have a vertical line running throughout (Movieola damage?), but it's otherwise in decent condition. Color is solid and there are few distracting digital artifacts, but the image is on the soft side and black levels are very light. It's an acceptable transfer, nothing more.

Image Transfer Grade: C

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Penitentiary 2 is presented with its original monophonic soundtrack, in Dolby Digital 2.0 decoded to play through the center speaker. The audio is much cleaner than on Xenon's Penitentiary DVD, but still carries significant hiss. Some dialogue is muddied and/or very hard to hear against background effects, but these flaws are attributable to the source. The digital transfer seems accurate and even manages a bit of subwoofer-level bass, but this is only an average soundtrack with an unavoidably low-budget feel.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring Penitentiary
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Jamaa Fanaka
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Penitentiary 2 contains some substantial extras, though the "original production stills and outtakes" promised on the packaging are nowhere to be found. Nicely-designed full-motion menus provide 12 chapter stops, and special features include:

Original Theatrical Trailer -

The trailer is presented in a 1.85:1 ratio with monophonic audio. The source print has significant flecking and grain, but it's a fairly dynamic trailer, reasonably well transferred.

Jamaa Fanaka Commentary -

Director Fanaka delivers a stream-of-consciousness commentary, jumping from subject to subject as images in the film trigger memories of the production and personnel involved, though there are quite a few long quiet stretches where he has nothing to say. He provides some insight into the film's genesis and financing after the first film became very profitable, and generously credits the actors and technicians involved in the production. The pacing is slow with a fair amount of repetition, but it's an informative commentary overall.

Penitentiary Trailer -

The original film's lengthy 4-minute trailer is presented in its original 1.85:1 ratio—the print is "flecky," worn in spots and quite soft.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

Penitentiary 2 is a loose, dynamic, silly action movie providing honest-to-goodness brainless entertainment. Xenon's DVD features a competent if average transfer and a few worthwhile supplements. A good Saturday night pizza-party rental, and a fine deal for fans of the film.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, late night, jon stewart, ted cruz, david mccullough, movie, ant-man, disney, marvel, pixels, adam sandler, jurassic, inside out, minions, trainwreck, southpaw, jake gyllenhaal, october sky, donnie darko, bubbly boy, brokeback mountain, prisoners, celebrity, jeff apatow, cnn, new day, bill cosby, music, blake shelton miranda lambert, you are the reason god make oklahoma, gunpowder and lead, drama, payton reed, paul rudd, michael douglas, corey stoll, evangeline lily, horror, tom selleck, calleguas municipal water district, movies, star wars, harrison ford, dead pool, ryan reynolds, muppets, batman v superman, ben affleck, westworld, hbo, j.j. abrams, the gallows, cassidy gifford, kathie lee gifford, frank gifford, amy schumer, judd apatow, bill hader, comedy, inside amy schumer, ariana grande, dough-nut licking video, wolfee donuts, netflix, wet hot american summer: first day of camp, michael showalter, david wain, elizabeth banks, michael ian black, bradley cooper, judah friedlander, janeane garofalo, joe lo truglio, ken marino, christopher meloni, marguerite moreau, zak orth, amy poehler, david hyde pierce, molly shannon, sci-fy, star trek, justin lin, star trek beyond, zoe soldana, chris pine, donald trump, republican presidential candidate, nbc, televisa, ora tv, lupita jones, carlos slim, larry king, sex-assault lawsuit, associated press, george m. gowen iii, disneyland, disney california adventure, selfie sticks banned, california screaming, coachella, lollapalooza, jimmy fallon, tonight show, hand injury, x files, david duchovny, gillian anderson, fox, january 24, 2016, apple music, allen kovac, motley crue, taylor swift, elvis costello, calvin harris, animation, kids, the tonight show, colin ferrell, vince vaughn, true detective, nbc nightly news, brian williams, anchor, matt lauer, today, msnbc, lester holt, mark feldstein, pixar, mindy-disgust, amy poehler-joy, phyllis smith-sadness, fear-bill hader, anger-lewis black., nbc evening news, robert barnett

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store