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If it werenít for director Sam Raimi making his long overdue return to horror, I would think that Hollywood had become totally bereft of new ideas for genre films- hence the large number of remakes of established "classics" or should I say franchise reboots. Considering that in the nearly thirty years he has been around, horror movie icon Jason Voorhees has been to hell and back, with stopovers in outer space and in Freddy Krugerís playground, so is it any wonder he is getting a fresh coat of paint and some new aluminum siding to take on a new generation of shrieking amorous "teenagers." For the 2009 version of FRIDAY THE 13TH ($36), the filmmakers pretty much follow the tried and true formula of the original movies and give the audience just what they want and paid countless times to see- hence the rebootís success at the box office.

Wisely, this reboot does compress the major plot points of the original first three movies into its storyline, in addition to offering much improved production values over its predecessors. Unfortunately, FRIDAY THE 13TH is a little too faithful to its source, as the generic "teenagers" are just as annoying as the were nearly thirty years ago, but this makes them perfect fodder for Jasonís slice and dice, machete wielding inclinationsÖ which also leaves the audience looking forward to the next gore infused death scene. Only a couple of the actors in the film are engaging enough to overcome their horribly underwritten characters, so the audience does feel some disappointment when the other, more obnoxious characters arenít dispatched first. The main plot of this FRIDAY THE 13TH finds a group of campers meeting up with Jason in the woods near Camp Crystal Lake, then six weeks later another group of party hardy "teens" encounters the hockey mask-wearing killer, while weekending at lakefront home near his stomping grounds. The cast of FRIDAY THE 13TH includes Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Amanda Righetti, Travis Van Winkle, Aaron Yoo, Derek Mears, Jonathan Sadowski, Julianna Guill, Ben Feldman, Arlen Escarpeta, Ryan Hansen, Willa Ford, Nick Mennell, America Olivo, Kyle Davis, Richard Burgi, Chris Coppola, Rosemary Knower, Bob King, Nana Visitor, Stephanie Rhodes and Caleb Guss.

New Line Home Entertainment has made FRIDAY THE 13TH available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. Both the unrated Killer Cut and Theatrical Version are present on the disc. FRIDAY THE 13TH isnít going to win any awards for cinematography, but the 1080p presentations do deliver a fairly strong looking image. Most of the time the picture appears reasonably crisp, dimensional and well defined; however, there are individual shots that come across as softer than the majority of the footage. Even at its best, the picture isnít stunning, but it does look good for a modestly budgeted horror offering. Colors are rendered at a good level of saturation and are generally attractive, as are the flesh tones. Blacks are deep, whites are crisp and contrast is smooth. Additionally, shadow detail is solid. The elements from which FRIDAY THE 13TH have been transferred appear free from blemishes. There is some modest grain in the image.

FRIDAY THE 13TH is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack. Not a demo track by any stretch of the imagination, FRIDAY THE 13TH comes with a competent sound design that effectively works the more atmospheric components. Lots of talky passages of banal dialogue leads to a track that is primarily front-loaded. Of course, this being a horror movie, the discrete channels are utilized for creepy sound effects placement, which builds up the suspense, plus occasional zingers, which enhance the shocks. Fidelity is solid and delivers convincing sound effects, as well as a respectable musical presence when required. The bottom end of the track is weighty and provides all the necessary impact. Dialogue is crisply rendered and remains totally understandable. English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some extras. First up is a Terror Trivia Track with Picture-in-Picture (requires a Profile 1.1 player). Featurettes include: The Rebirth Of Jason Voorhees (eleven minutes), Hacking Back / Slashing Forward (twelve minutes) and 7 Best Kills (twenty-three minutes). Deleted Scenes close out the standard extras. FRIDAY THE 13TH is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). A Digital Copy of the film is also provided.

Even though it is a reboot, FRIDAY THE 13TH follows the established formula and gives fans of the series exactly what they pay money to see. The Blu-ray presentation is certainly solid and will please Jason fans.


FRIDAY THE 13TH (2009) 

Friday the 13th (Extended Killer Cut and Theatrical Cut) (Amazon Digital Bundle + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (2009)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 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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