04/29/2016  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

On 'Formation' World Tour, Beyonce Through 'Lemonade'-...
Nyle DiMarco's attitude on DWTS is annoying everyone ex...
Ripa's return to 'Live!' is all smiles following Straha...
10 Juicy Lyrics From Beyonce's New Lemonade Album That ...
Prince's last days: What we know ...
Jason Bourne Trailer and Poster Released!...
Why I quit 'Game of Thrones'...
Stephen Colbert teaches Hillary Clinton the proper way ...
'Jungle Book' ensures it: Parade of Disney-classic rema...
Captain America: Civil War reactions ...





Microsoft Store

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

Lions Gate presents
Highlander 2 (Special Edition) (1991)

Louise: OK, now let me see if I can get this straight. You're mortal there but you're immortal here, until you kill all the guys from there who've come here, and then you're mortal here. Unless guys from there come here, in which case you become immortal here...again.
MacLeod: Something like that.

- Virginia Madsen, Christopher Lambert

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: July 19, 2004

Stars: Christopher Lambert, Virginia Madsen, Michael Ironside, Sean Connery
Other Stars: John C. McGinley, Allan Rich, Rusty Schwimmer
Director: Russel Mulcahy

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, some sexuality, language
Run Time: 01h:49m:37s
Release Date: July 20, 2004
UPC: 017153148275
Genre: sci-fi


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A C-B-A B+

DVD Review

It's tough enough making a sequel to a popular motion picture that has an ending that doesn't seem to allow for the story to continue. That's made doubly if not triply difficult when there's interference with the production from the completion bond company and the creative people behind the picture aren't allowed to finish their work. Such was the case with the notorious Highlander II: The Quickening (the surtitle unceremoniously dumped from video releases years ago), which has undergone several different edits in order to make the incomplete picture hang together a bit better. This version pretty much retains the "Renegade Version" that was released on DVD and laserdisc some years ago as the "Director's Cut," but adds state-of-the-art special effects and a revamped soundtrack.

In this version, the origin of the Immortals, who can be killed only by lopping off their heads, is revealed to be the distant past. Immortal Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert), leader of a revolt in the desert against the evil warlord General Katana (Michael Ironside), is captured with his friend Ramirez (Sean Connery) and propelled into the future, where they are condemned to single combat against each other until there is only one left. Intercut with that tale is the story of MacLeod in 2024. Having saved the world in 1999 by building an electromagnetic shield to take the place of the vanished ozone layer, he is now mortal and aged. Terrorists led by Louise Marcus (Virginia Madsen) get in contact with MacLeod and tell him that the ozone layer has repaired itself but the Shield Corporation (TSC) is keeping the fact secret lest it lose its monopoly on world protection. Before MacLeod can investigate, he is attacked by Katana and his underlings, who have come from the past to eliminate his enemy, so MacLeod, his immortality restored, calls upon the spirit of Ramirez to come to his aid.

Originally, the Immortals were revealed to be from the planet Zeist, rather than Earth's past, and pretty much all traces of that story have been eradicated here. Although the interplanetary answer to the riddle of the Immortals was widely derided by the Highlander fanbase, the solution adopted isn't significantly better. More questions are raised than answered, frankly (first among them, why does going into the future make one Immortal?), and there are huge inconsistencies both with the first film and the subsequent series that don't allow for ready reconciliation. Foremost among them is the return of Ramirez, which is nakedly a deus ex machina move just to get Connery's marquee value on the screen. There are plenty of other issues with the script as well, such as the utterly unmotivated romance between MacLeod and Louise Marcus, which comes out of nowhere as they meet and immediately begin humping in an alleyway.

On the positive side, the film is beautifully designed, with a 1940s sensibility to the clothes and automobiles and deco architecture despite the futuristic setting. There's a heavy noir sensibility straight out of Blade Runner that works very well for the dark thematic material. The production values are excellent, and the pyrotechnic effects are often breathtaking, with one sword fight that explodes an entire city block on the screen. Connery is reliably wry and entertaining and Madsen is an attractive female lead, though she doesn't have much charisma paired with the wooden Lambert. Why exactly the casting of a guy with a heavy French accent as a Scotsman, and another with a Scottish accent as a Spaniard, struck someone as a good idea is beyond me. Michael Ironside's villian is so over the top that he makes Jack Nicholson's Joker look like Miss Manners. It's a screwball scenery-chewing performance, but it's entertaining in its sheer operatic bravado. Taken to a similar extreme is John C. McGinley's portrayal of the CEO of TSC as a complete sociopath. There are some gems of comedy scattered about as well, such as a particularly terrifying air safety film and a commercial for "The Psychic Cook." The action sequences are extremely well done, with plenty of swordplay to gratify the action fans.

The picture is certainly ambitious in its scope and photography. There's a parallel of Wagner's Götterdammerung from the opening scene that reflects the stride of the Immortals as giants amongst mortals. The camera work is often spectacular, with a big crane shot through a large hospital that mimics the famous shot from Gone with the Wind. The big scope is leavened with some clever humor, most notably Ramirez' efforts to get a suit made at a Scottish tailor shop. But despite the ambitions and the admittedly improved effects work, the end result still doesn't quite hang together to form a satisfying whole. The picture has the feel of a sci-fi script about the shield that was arbitrarily pulled into service as a Highlander vehicle, though the principals deny that in the accompanying documentaries. In any event, it's better than it has been, but that doesn't mean that it's good.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: C-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The anamorphic widescreen picture generally looks decent for the most part. Aliasing is frequently visible, and artifacting with pixelation can be seen at times despite the relatively high 7 Mbps bit rate. The color, almost entirely blue, is vivid, and shadow detail is relatively good for such a dark film. I didn't notice any added edge enhancement.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes
DTSEnglish 6.1yes


Audio Transfer Review: Three different English language soundtracks are provided: a pedestrian Dolby Surround track, plus house-shaking DTS ES 6.1 and DD EX 5.1 versions. All are relatively clean, but the DD and DTS tracks put the DS version to shame with their directionality and impact. Bass extension is very low throughout, while the frequent crackle of lightning is highly immersive. Absolutely nothing to complain about with these effective mixes.

Audio Transfer Grade: A

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 36 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
5 Deleted Scenes
1 Alternate Endings
1 Documentaries
4 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Gladiator style 2-pack
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 01h:49m:37s

Extra Extras:
  1. Cannes promo reel
  2. Behind the scenes footage
Extras Review: Although there's a good deal of material here, the commentary found on the Renegade Version disc is gone, so fans will want to hold onto that version as well. But quite satisfactorily taking its place are a 50m:02s documentary about the making of the film, with modern interviews with the producers, director Russel Mulcahy, Lambert and others. This extensive documentary, which doesn't shy away from discussing the severe and numerous problems with the production, is supplemented by four featurettes ranging from five to ten minutes in length, respectively devoted to the new special effects, the music by Stewart Copeland, the costuming and the cinematography. All of these appear to be new supplements, though some of the interview material (most notably with cinematographer Phil Meheux) appears to be from 1990 or 1991. I would also have liked to have seen a comparison between the various versions of the film, but that's pretty much left to the viewer to try to piece together. Six deleted scenes, totaling 5m:48s (not all finished) give a taste of the planet Zeist material as well as unfinished footage from the "fairy tale" ending where Louise and MacLeod simply flew away, which was wisely discarded as looking ridiculous.

These goodies are further supplemented by the promotional reel shown at Cannes in 1990 while filming was still going on in Argentina, an anamorphic widescreen trailer and a "deconstruction" feature on the first disc. The latter feature allows one to see 11 behind-the-scenes segments, either through an onscreen icon during the film, or through a separate menu that permits direct access. This is good DVD design and quite welcome. Some more of the Zeist footage can be seen here, including Connery's toast "To Zeist", now eliminated from the picture. Although the chapter listing in the keepcase and on the menus lists 24 chapter stops, there are actually 36 stops on the disc itself, making navigation a little confusing if you're looking for a particular sequence.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

Revamped special effects help make this a bit more palatable, but Highlander fans will probably still be frustrated with this oddity that really doesn't fit in with the rest of the mythos. A disc full of interesting extras help put the troubled production into perspective.

 


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

music, beyonce, crazy in love, lemonade, sorry, donÕt hurt yourself, daddy lessons, television, dancing with the stars, nyle dimarco, bruno tonioli, carrie ann inaba, len goodman, live! with kelly and michael, kelly ripa michael strahan, beyoncˇ, jay z, rachel roy, cheating, prince, little red corvette, purple rain, linus and lucy, movie, the bourne supremacy, the bourne ultimatum, matt damon, alicia vikander, vincent cassel, tommy lee jones, julia stiles, paul greengrass, hbo, game of thrones, sansa, ramsay bolton, theron greyjoy, reek, petyr baelish, cersei, jaime, stephen colbert, hillary clinton, carnegie deli, the late show with stepen colbert, jungle book, disney, neel sethi, bill murray, rudyard kipling, captain america: civil war, captain america, iron man, black panther, scarlet witch, the jungle book, virtual productions, avatar, gravity, jon favreau, fantasy, james cameron, avatar sequels, avatar 2, christmas 2018, movies, tribeca film festival, the first monday in may, andrew rossi, justin bieber, anna wintour, met gala, 38 interactive and virtual-reality exhibits, the bomb, the meddler, j.j. abrams, chris rock, tom hanks, john oliver, elvis & nixon, mtv movie awards, dwayne johnson, kevin hart, warner bros. studios, will smith, suicide squad, jared leto, margot robbie, cara delevingne, kiss, freedom to rock, 35 date tour, july 7, caleb johnson, dead daisies, kiss online, merle haggard, died, okie from muskogee, sing me back, mama tried, the bakersfield sound, country music. willie nelson, waylon jennings, gram parsons, eric church, hungry eyes, jimmy fallon, melissa mccarthy, the boss, brand new key, x gonna give it to ya, miles ahead, don cheadle, miles davis, rock and roll hall of fame, ewan mcgregor, michael stuhbarg, lakeith lee stanfield, house of lies, finding dory, ellen degeneres, finding nemo, albert brooks, hayden rolence, animation, celebrity, robert de niro, vaxxed, dr. william schaffner, vanderbilt university medical school, autism, cannes film festival, woody allen, cafe society, kristen stewart, blake lively, reality, the voice, alicia keys, miley cyrus, blake shelton, adam levine, marvel, georgia, gov. nathan deal, anti-gay, chad griffin, lollapalooza, chicago, red hot chili peppers, radiohead, lana del rey, ellie goulding, major lazer, dance competion, jodie sweetin, kim fields, sasha farber, paige van zandt, erin andrews, ariana grande, dangerous woman, a cappella, sxsw, drake, fader fort, know yourself, legend, energy, jumpman, hulk hogan, gawker, sex tape, florida jury, $15 million, melissa rauch, the big bang theory, the bronze, captain america: winter soldier star sebastian stan

On Facebook!
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