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Carrie/The Rage: Carrie 2 Blu-ray

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    mandymanslaughter
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  • Carrie/The Rage: Carrie 2 Blu-ray



    Released by: Shout Factory
    Released on: April 14th, 2015
    Directors: Katt Shea, David Carson
    Cast: Amy Irving, Anglea Bettis, Emily Bergl, Patricia Clarkson, Jason London, Kandyse McClure, Rena Sofer
    Year: 1999/2002
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movies:

    The 2002 made for television remake of Carrie and the earlier "sequel" to the original Brian DePalma filmed are teamed up in this Shout Factory release on Blu-ray. The two are aptly paired and make for a fun viewing party together.

    Carrie (2002):

    The original Carrie is an unforgettable representation of Stephen King's first novel, which he infamously threw into the trash before his wife rescued it. This remake does a decent job of paying homage to both legacy-building pieces. Directed by David Carson, the film tells the story of Carrie White (Angela Bettis) who is mercilessly tormented, at school for being different and at home by her crazy religious mother (Patricia Clarkson). We see pretty quickly just how vicious the girls at school can be when Carrie gets her first period, a fact of life her mom did not prepare her for. Thinking she is dying, she curls up on the floor of the showers after gym class, surrounded by the other girls shouting and teasing her. They carry on the torture when they fill her locker with tampons, writing "Plug it up" in red on the door. But Carrie is more different than anyone had in mind, and the girls' quests for repentance and revenge land everyone in a heap of trouble as the pranks continue. The only one who seems to truly have her back is her gym teacher Ms. Desjarden (Rena Sofer), who launches into battle against the mean girls and against the politics of school administration.

    Bettis does a great of filling the role precedented by Sissy Spacek, giving a convincing performance as the strange girl who can't even begin fitting in. Sue Snell (Kandyse McClure) is not quite as sympathetic and believable as played in the original DePalma adaptation, but still translates effectively. In a lot of ways, however, the film stays truer to the King novel than the 1976 classic. Patricia Clarkson plays the role of psychotic super smotherer without the over the top comical quality of the DePalma that has spurred parody after parody. The ending is much more flushed out and leaves out the abrupt shock value of the older ending.

    Comparing this film to the 1976 film falls very short, however, when taking into account that this version was made for TV, a fact which is glaringly obvious in a number of ways. First, the content is very mild with nothing approaching rated R material. Also the commercial transitions are built into the film and creates awkward stops and mild repetition at times. Lastly it is painfully longer than need be to extend it over several nights in its original broadcast. All that in mind, the presentation of the story works pretty week in the teleplay format and works on a lot of levels as its own movie now (plus: no commercials!)

    The Rage: Carrie 2:

    Faring less well on this release is the loose sequel to the DePalma adaptation, predating the remake by three years. Directed by Katt Shea, the film is an attempt to modernize the story while still tying it to the 1976 film with flashbacks and minor plot twists. At the least it is super entertaining and a great piece to fit in with the nostalgia trend.

    In the film, we again enter the high school world with Rachel Lang (Emily Bergl), an outcast in her own right. Unlike Carrie White, Rachel at least has one friend in Lisa (Mena Suvari). Don't be too excited about an actress you've heard of, however, as her role in the film is limited to the first 15 minutes. From her exit we learn of the vicious games going on behind the scenes of the school via the popular jocks, and of the disturbing point system applied to hookups.

    Reprising her role as the "savior" Sue Snell, Amy Irving returns as a school counselor who takes a special interest in Rachel. Rachel, who is in foster care after her mom is institutionalized when she is very young, seems relatively well rounded despite all the challenges in her life, even finding time to find love with Jesse (Jason London). Yet everything isn't quite as it seems with Jesse's friends, all part of the football scene and very aware of the damage they're causing people. Rachel isn't as innocent as they all assume, possessing powers that only Sue Snell seems to be onto, much to their demise.

    The film does a nice job of creating a believable space where the jocks rule and the rest of the school become their pawns. However it seems to go pretty heavy into the football work unnecessarily, dragging the plot down with scenes that could easily be in "She's All That". In fact the whole film exists on the outskirts of the horror genre, with negligible nods to the original Carrie story and little else until the end. Bergl's performance works well enough, but we're not convinced she merits the same scrutiny as Carrie White. The story gets a bit pointless and directionless at times, and there are a few head scratching moments of why?

    That being said, you can't fault The Rage: Carrie 2 too much. It is simply what it wants to be: a silly nod to the horror classic while commentating on and participating with the high school films of the 90s.

    Audio/Video/Extras:

    Carrie and The Rage: Carrie 2 are presented in AVC encoded 1080p HD 1.78:1 and 1.85:1 widescreen on separate Blu-ray discs. Carrie translates decent enough for a made for TV movie, but there is nothing special about the picture quality. There's some minor damage that pops up, surprisingly enough, but nothing too distracting. But the high definition release definitely ramps up the colors and the detail that would have been void from its original release on the small screen. There isn't too much differentiation between outdoor and indoor scenes, and no real vividness to the colors, although a lot of that stems from stylistic choices to start. The Rage: Carrie 2 looks better seeing as it was shot on film for being seen on the big screen. Detail is good and there are very few noticeable flaws. Colors are strong and there is a good reproduction of both outdoor scenes and indoor scenes. Neither film has much to complain about as far as noise reduction issues.

    Both films are presented in DTS-HD 5.1 and 2.0 Master Audio mixes, subtitles and language in English only. The 5.1 mixes on both films are sufficient with no noticeable issue to discern. Music is panned well throughout the mix in both presentations, and levels are also well balanced throughout. Dialogue has no troubles with clarity. All in all, there is not much in the way of dynamics to get picky about anything—the audio mix supports the films in their respective purposes.

    As far as extras, Carrie only has a director's commentary, which is interesting enough with some insights on the filmmaking process and working with Angela Bettis, and a trailer. The Rage: Carrie 2 offers a similar spread with the addition of an alternate ending and deleted scenes, both narrated by director Katt Shea. The alternate ending is very silly and over the top, and hearing Shea defend it is amusing on its own. Not at all amusing are the deleted scenes, which add little to the story and are in a raw state with no editing. Shea again defends the scenes as being so good on their own that she had trouble getting rid of them. However, there should be no trouble for anyone else to rid themselves of the burden of watching all 8 painful minutes of this feature.

    Bottom Line:

    Carrie and The Rage: Carrie 2 on Blu-ray is a fun release, and it's worth checking out. Sure, both films aren't doing anything revolutionary storywise or for the art of filmmaking, but they are both entertaining and presented well in their respective limitations. If you're a hardcore fan of the DePalma version, with an open mind you can still get a kick out of these films as well. To boot, the films (especially the sequel) provide a sense of nostalgia that adds to the amusement. I vote worth checking out.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!





















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