Plot: What’s it about?
At Alpine University, a young filmmaker named Amy Mayfield (Jennifer Morrison) is working hard to complete her thesis work. But her thesis is no normal term paper, instead it is a suspense/thriller picture based around urban legends, quite a hot topic as luck has it. Her production is moving along at a nice pace, but soon enough, strange things begin to happen on the set. Some of the accidents turn into pranks and practical jokes, but some are very serious and after some time, people begin turning up dead. It seems that someone has issues with the production, as cast and crew members have been under attack, not always from accidental means either. This means the problems begin to build for both the film and the workers, who now face life threatening situations. Can anyone manage to unravel the mysteries around this killer before everyone ends up dead, or will this become yet another urban legend?
I liked Urban Legend a lot and even though isn’t a true sequel, I was also very taken with this picture. Of course, this is a little heavy on the cliches, but given the satiric nature of the movie, that never hinders the entertainment value in the least. The premise is kinda weak at first, but I like how the details unfold and the I liked the twists also. In a film like this one you need those twists and turns, so this one is packed with them and in the end, most of them work well. Of course, some fall shorter than others, but that is bound to happen in a flick such as this. You couldn’t ask for a much hipper cast either, with such names as Eva Mendes, Joey Lawrence, Jennifer Morrison, and Anthony Anderson on deck. I wouldn’t say the acting is upper level, but when you think about the nature of the film, their performances are good enough. This is a slasher flick and as such, there’s some blood and scares present, but don’t expect a real bloodbath, although some good moments do surface. If you like these kind of movies and want more, then check out Urban Legends: Final Cut, which is a really fun motion picture. As if the film wasn’t enough reason to check out this disc, Columbia/Tristar has issued a wonderful treatment, so even a purchase is money well spent.
Although his role is not one of the leads, I have to commend Anthony Anderson for yet another terrific performance. Anderson might lack some of the classic acting elements, but his screen presence is good and he always brings a charm to his roles, even when he is supposed to be bad. This film has a very satiric tone, so Anderson’s comedic skills are put to good use here, although his role isn’t a large one. I like Anderson a lot and while I think he is best suited for supporting roles, he is a welcome addition to the films he is seen in and could be a lead down the road. You can also see Anderson in such films as Romeo Must Die, Big Momma’s House, Exit Wounds, Life, and Me, Myself & Irene. The cast here also includes Matthew Davis (Tigerland, Pearl Harbor), Loretta Devine (Waiting To Exhale, Urban Legend), Eva Mendes (A Night At The Roxbury), Joey Lawrence (Summer Rental, Radioland Murders), Hart Bochner (Die Hard, Mr. Destiny), Jennifer Morrison (Stir of Echoes), and Anson Mount (Boiler Room).
Video: How does it look?
Urban Legends: Final Cut is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame version included on the disc’s flip side. This is an almost reference level visual transfer, but some small problems keep the score down just a shade. The flaws are very minor here, with some slight pixel breakup present and edge enhancement, but in the end, these aren’t enough to hold back this superb transfer. The colors look rich and bold here, with accurate flesh tones and no signs of bleeds in the least. I found the contrast to be flawless also, as black levels were razor sharp and detail is rich throughout. I have no real problems here and as such, I am giving it very high marks.
Audio: How does it sound?
This film doesn’t just look good either, as it also packs a dynamic Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track. Whether this audio presence is subtle and atmospheric, or powerful and overwhelming, this track handles it all with no problems at all. The surrounds are used a lot in this one throughout, which adds a lot to the fim’s atmosphere and that is vital to a picture like this one. When it needs to, this track can boom and even the bass kicks like a mule, but even the low key scenes pack a solid punch. The music sounds solid here also and the dialogue is sharp, never lost in this mix, even when it reaches a fevered pitch. In the end, this is a superb audio track and I think it helps the film’s effectiveness a lot. This disc also includes 2.0 surround tracks in English and French, as well as subtitles in English and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
So the disc looks and sounds good, but what about some supplements, right? This disc houses some solid ones, including an audio commentary track with director John Ottman. Although frequent extended pauses are present, Ottman still reveals a lot of information and also injects some humor, which is always welcome. This one has some wasted space, but it is still well worth a listen, if you like the flick. You can also view a selection of deleted sequences, which come with optional commentary from Ottman, who discusses why the scenes were axed. This disc also contains a brief behind the scenes featurette, some talent files, a short gag reel, and the film’s theatrical trailer.