Highlander II - The Quickening

Highlander II - The Quickening

2.8 7
Director: Russell Mulcahy

Cast: Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery, Virginia Madsen

     
 

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Highlander II is one film that will not die. It seems that every five years or so, a new version of this sucker is released, and while improvements have definitely been made, the film is still regarded as a turkey. Now audiences have Lion's Gate's two-disc Special Edition, complete with enhanced and "re-imagined" visual effects that not only bring the film intoSee more details below

Overview

Highlander II is one film that will not die. It seems that every five years or so, a new version of this sucker is released, and while improvements have definitely been made, the film is still regarded as a turkey. Now audiences have Lion's Gate's two-disc Special Edition, complete with enhanced and "re-imagined" visual effects that not only bring the film into the digital age, but far closer to what the filmmakers had originally envisioned. So what does this sour sequel look like this time around? Well, gone are the ridiculous blood-red skies, replaced with a cool-blue color that the cinematographer had initially planned on with his lighting, which along with a few enhanced CG shots, does make the film a much more pleasant visual experience. Pair that with an anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen picture that's been given a newly remastered high-definition transfer from the original film negative, and you have a quite a remarkable presentation on this puppy. The audio has been given a major overhaul as well, with 5.1 Dolby Digital EX and 6.1 DTS ES tracks that are covered with newly created sound effects made especially for this DVD. So, basically, you have the director Russell Mulcahy's Renegade version of the film with a massive cosmetic makeover, a fine and much needed improvement over what was once there -- it's just too bad they couldn't do anything to redo the story, performances, and heavily crippled dialogue. Disc one is devoid of the commentary that was included on the film's prior DVD release, but includes a special branching feature that points the viewer to behind-the-scenes footage on the making of certain scenes. The supplemental disc continues to delve into the production, this time through various documentaries that paint a picture of a film with high aspirations that was sorely crippled by its investors, filming locations, and laborious schedule. The 50-minute mega-documentary "Highlander 2: Seduced by Argentina" starts the fun off right with a detailed look at the history of the film and the ups and downs of filming in a gorgeous city on the brink of its own economic disaster. The rest of the disc is split into four smaller featurettes that cover the music, costuming, cinematography, and the technical redemption that this enhanced version of the film now presents. Interviews with composer and rock group the Police alumni Stewart Copeland, costume designer Deborah Everton, along with cinematographer Phil Meheux and visual effects designer Sam Nicholson are included and very well handled, though combined with the additional thoughts from producers Peter S. Davis and William Panzer, one underlying question pops up -- where's Russell Mulcahy? Either way, the featurettes do a wonderful job of making even the most diehard opponent of the film respect the hard work and craftsmanship that was put into the film, whether it be the gorgeous cinematography or the sweeping, operatic score. A ten-minute presentation that was originally presented at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival can also be found on the disc, as well as the original theatrical trailer and five minutes of deleted scenes (including the so-bad-it's-good "fairy tale" ending -- Yikes!). So while the filmmakers can't exactly change time and undo most of the sequel's major mistakes, they can at least make sure to preserve the original vision and pay respect to the talented crew that helped bring that vision to life -- something that this DVD does fantastically well.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/20/2004
UPC:
0017153148275
Original Release:
1991
Rating:
R
Source:
Republic Pictures
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:49:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Newly remastered high-definition video transfer: State-of-the-art 24P HD master made from the original film negative; Enhanced and reimagined visual effects: Over 100 new and improved special effects produced by the film's original visual effects designer using the latest in digital technology; New 5.1 Dolby Digital EX and 6.1 DTS ES Digital Audio: New soundtracks created from the original 24-track masters and enhanced with entirely new sound effects; 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround; "The Deconstruction of Highlander 2": When prompted by an onscreen icon, the viewer can choose to be taken to an alternative video stream that reveals the making of that scene. Once finished, the viewer will be taken back to the point in the film from which he left. This feature utilizes never-before-seen b-roll footage; "Highlander 2: Seduced by Argentina" -- A collection of new documentaries: Original documentaries featuring interviews from director Russell Mulcahy, star Christopher Lambert, the producers, editor, special effects designer, production designer, costume designer, screenwriter, stunt coordinator, visual effects designer, and more; "The Redemption of Highlander 2": An in-depth look at the creation of the original and new digital visual effects of Highlander 2 (hosted by visual effects designer Sam Nicholson); "The Music of Highlander 2": A look at the music of Highlander 2 (hosted by the film's music composer Stewart Copeland); "The Fabric of Highlander 2": Insight into the design of the costumes for Highlander 2 (hosted by costume designer Deborah Everton); "Shadow & Darkness: The Cinematography of Highlander 2": A look at the cinematography of Highlander 2 (hosted by director of photography Phil Meheux); Original Cannes Film Festival promotional reel: Ten-minute presentation reel not seen since 1991 (new HD transfer); Deleted scenes, featuring the alternate "fairytale" ending; Original theatrical trailer (new HD transfer)

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Christopher Lambert Connor MacLeod
Sean Connery Juan Villa-Lobos Ramirez
Virginia Madsen Louise Marcus
Michael Ironside General Katana
John C. McGinley David Blake
Allan Rich Alan Neyman
Stephen Grives Hamlet
Max Berlinger Usher
Richard Moll Actor
Adrian Paul Actor
Eddie Trucco Bartender
Vanity Actor
Phil Brock Cabbie
Rusty Schwimmer Drunk in Cafe
Pete Antico Corda
Peter Bucossi Reno
Peter Bromilow Joe
Jeff Altman Doctor
Max Berliner Charlie
Eduardo Sapac Holt
Ted McNabney TV Newsperson 1
Nora Zinsky Cabin Attendant
Jacques Arndt Scientist 1
Matt Johnston Cobalt Man

Technical Credits
Russell Mulcahy Director
Raymond Austin Asst. Director
Peter Bellwood Screenwriter
Joe Camp Production Manager
Robin S. Clarke Co-producer
Brian Clemens Original Story,Screenwriter
George S. Clinton Score Composer
Guy Collins Executive Producer
Stewart Copeland Score Composer
Jack Cummins Producer
Peter S. Davis Producer
Hubert de la Bouillerie Editor
Deborah Everton Costumes/Costume Designer
Roger Hall Production Designer
Stephen Kay Associate Producer
John King Art Director
Phil Meheux Cinematographer
William N. Panzer Original Story,Producer
Mari Provenzano Associate Producer
Anthony Redman Editor
Alex Sessa Co-producer
Mario Sotela Executive Producer
Jamie Thompson Cinematographer
Peter Turner Camera Operator
Marisa Urruti Costumes/Costume Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Aron Warner Production Manager
Thomas J. Wright Asst. Director

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