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Missing? He's not missing! It's the weekend.
He's most likely shacked up in some motel with a girl.
Or a guy... farm animal... whatever!
Weren't you ever eighteen?

With a title like URBAN LEGEND ($29), do you really think the plot of this movie is going to be particularly difficult to figure out? The premise of URBAN LEGEND finds that there is a killer is on the loose on the campus of North Eastern University, and lo and behold, all the crimes are recreations of you guessed it… well-known urban legends. Personally, I wasn't expecting too much from another derivative slasher movie, but URBAN LEGEND is actually just enough fun to stand up on repeat viewings.

Alicia Witt plays Natalie Simon; the only person on campus that is able to put two and two together and come up with the only logical answer- a serial killer is stalking the student body… that is when the actual bodies start piling up. Rebecca Gayheart is her friend Brenda and Jared Leto is Paul, the obnoxious reporter wannabe from the college newspaper. Joshua Jackson and Loretta Devine interject the film's only real humorous moments, while John Neville lends a touch of class to the proceedings. Robert Englund uses his horror film notoriety to good effect as the sociology professor teaching a course in- you guessed it- urban legends. Michael Rosenbaum, Tara Reid, Danielle Harris, Julian Richings, Natasha Wagner and Brad Dourif supply a number of entertaining moments. Sure, the plot has holes in it big enough to drive a city bus through, but director Jamie Blanks manages to cover his tracks by keeping the suspense high, and utilizing a few well-placed scares.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made URBAN LEGEND available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation is surprisingly good for a decade old low budget horror offering. Image sharpness and detail are strong, even fine details like individual hairs and minor flaws in the actors skin are rendered with more than respectable clarity. Dimensionality is very nice, but not outstanding. URBAN LEGEND is attractively lit and photographed, so the colors and contrast come across very well. Hues are generally warm and have good saturation, while the flesh tones are pretty appealing. Blacks appear accurate, as do the whites. The elements from which URBAN LEGEND have been transferred do not display many flaws. Grain has not been overly processed out of the image, thus the presentation maintains a seemingly organic quality.

URBAN LEGEND is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. The soundtrack isn’t a demo quality, but it comes across well enough. URBAN LEGEND is strong on atmospherics, plus the discrete channels do well with active sound effects, as well as the requisite zingers. Fidelity is reasonably strong, but does not show off the lossless encoding to any great advantage. Bass is solid, but unremarkable. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the film’s dialogue is always completely understandable. French and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby TrueHD are also encoded onto the disc, as are Thai and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Dutch, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian and Thai.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc’s interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a couple of extras. Director Jamie Blanks, writer Silvio Horta and actor Michael Rosenbaum are on hand to provide a running Audio Commentary. The only other movie related extra is a Making-Of Featurette that originally appeared on the DVD release. Bonus Trailers for other Sony titles close out the extras.

URBAN LEGEND is a fun horror out that looks really sweet on Blu-ray. If you are a fan, you’ll want to check it out.



Urban Legend [Blu-ray] (1998)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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