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ANCHOR BAY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Francis Giacobetti, Francis Leroi
Cast:
Sylvia Kristel, Umberto Orsini, Frédéric Lagache, Catherine Rivet, Henry Czarniak, Tom Clark

Writing Credits:
Emmanuelle Arsan (novel), Bob Elia, Francis Giacobetti, Francis Leroi, Jean-Marc Vasseur

Tagline:
Nothing is wrong if it feels good.

Synopsis:
Her name evokes visions of lush sensual discovery and the extremes of forbidden ecstasy. She is Emmanuelle, and these are the films that changed the look and feel of erotic cinema forever. The incomparably beautiful Sylvia Kristel stars in this landmark adult trilogy that begins with the sumptuous Emmanuelle, continues with the explosive Emmanuelle 2, and climaxes in the daring final chapter Goodbye Emmanuelle, which is available only in this collection.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 2.35:1/16x9
Audio:
English Monaural
French Monaural
Subtitles:
English
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 94 min.
Price: $49.98
Release Date: 5/13/2003

Bonus:
• “The Joys of Emmanuelle, Part 2” Featurette
• Radio Spots
• Trailers
• Poster and Still Gallery
• Sylvia Kristel Bio


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Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.


Emmanuelle 2: The Emmanuelle Collection (1975)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 19, 2003)

When 1974’s Emmanuelle turned into a big hit, a sequel became inevitable. Actually, the producers of the original clearly planned on a series of flicks since they initially signed star Sylvia Kristel to a three-film contract. It didn’t take long for the next iteration to appear, as Emmanuelle 2 made it to screens in 1975.

Emmanuelle (Kristel) travels to visit her husband Jean (Umberto Orsini) in Hong Kong. As in the first movie, she meets a series of characters who lust after her, and she has sex with most of them. She develops a slightly more serious relationship with a young pilot named Christopher (Frederic Lagache), a guest at Jean’s house. They have an up and down connection that ends when Emmanuelle finds Christopher at a sex bar and gets disgusted with him. The film concludes with a sex-filled trip to Bali that finds Jean, Emmanuelle and sexy young Anna-Maria (Catherine Rivet) in a three-way.

Does that actually constitute a plot? Not really, and like the first movie, 2 feels like nothing more than a random series of events that act as an excuse to show lots of sex. Actually, the characters and situations of 2 seem a little better developed than those of the original. At least this one sporadically examines the topic of love triangles, though it doesn’t delve into them with any seriousness. The triangles exist more as a reason for three-ways than anything else.

As with the first movie, Emmanuelle 2 mostly just gives us a travelogue with sex. We see some decent skin at times, and I must admit the body shampoo sequence was pretty hot. Otherwise, 2 feels like a remake of the first film. Characters have sex or they talk about sex. Since Emmanuelle seemed dull, this one doesn’t maintain any greater interest.


The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio C/ Bonus D+

Emmanuelle 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. As with the first flick, this one offered a pretty solid picture that held up well over the years.

Sharpness consistently looked solid. 2 eschewed the soft focus on the prior movie, so it remained nicely crisp and detailed. Only a few small instances of distracting softness occurred, mostly during the performance seen on Bali. I saw a few examples of jagged edges, but shimmering seemed absent, and I also noticed no signs of edge enhancement. Print flaws looked delightfully unobtrusive. Virtually no examples of specks, marks, or other issues occurred during this clean presentation.

Colors seemed somewhat subdued and the image demonstrated a slightly ruddy quality much of the time. Skintones took on a pinkish tint, and much of the movie looked a little reddish. However, the colors usually seemed reasonably distinctive and concise, and they showed no significant problems. Black levels were dense and tight, but shadows came across as a bit murky at times. That issue mostly affected interior sequences, as those appeared somewhat flat. Overall, however, the image of Emmanuelle 2 seemed quite positive, especially given the film’s advancing age.

For a movie of its era, the monaural soundtrack of Emmanuelle 2 seemed pretty average. The DVD included both the original French mix and a dubbed English rendition; I only screened the former. (For the record, some English dialogue did appear in 2.) Dialogue caused the majority of the problems with the track, mainly because of some poor dubbing. In particular, Kristel’s lines integrated badly with the action. Most of the other speech fit more cleanly, though additional examples of weak looping occurred. Otherwise the lines appeared intelligible and without many concerns, though a little edginess appeared.

The remainder of the track sounded fairly ordinary. Music lacked much dimensionality. Some parts of the score demonstrated reasonable vivacity, but much of the time it seemed a bit lackluster. Effects played a small role but seemed acceptably distinct and accurate. The track demonstrated mild to moderate hiss parts of the time. Overall, only the dubbing caused genuine distractions, so I felt the audio earned a “C” given the restrictions of its era. After the surprisingly robust mix for the original film, that came as a disappointment.

Emmanuelle 2 comes with a few extras. First up is the most significant, a new nine-minute and 42-second featurette called The Joys of Emmanuelle Part 2. This program combines movie clips and interviews with Emmanuelle director Just Jaeckin, producer Yves Rousset-Rouard, and actor Sylvia Kristel. We learn why Jaeckin didn’t return for the sequel, how neophyte director Francis Giacobetti reacted to the medium, Kristel’s thoughts about the sexual material in the sequel, some issues on the set, her interactions with co-stars, how Kristel came to sing on the soundtrack, censorship problems, and other topics. It’s a very short show but it offers a lot of material for its length and it gives us a reasonably satisfying look at the sequel.

Some smaller bits complete the disc. The trailers domain includes US and international ads as well as a “teaser”. Six 30-second radio spots appear next. We also find a poster and still gallery with 62 images. After a selection of shots from the set, we get many ads and ancillary materials like magazine covers. Lastly, the Sylvia Kristel biography provides a nicely full examination of the actress’s life and career.

The original Emmanuelle offered a dull piece of work, and Emmanuelle 2 provides nothing new. It rehashes the first one and does nothing creative or different to make it stand out from the crowd. The DVD presents quite positive picture with average sound and a small roster of extras. Emmanuelle fans will feel happy with the sequel’s treatment on DVD, but I can’t recommend this dull flick to anyone else.

Note: one can currently only purchase this edition of Emmanuelle 2 as part of a three-DVD set called “The Emmanuelle Collection”. This package also includes Emmanuelle and Goodbye Emmanuelle. Given the release patterns of Anchor Bay, I won’t feel surprised if these eventually come out separately, but as of December 2003, they’re available solely via this set.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.6585 Stars Number of Votes: 41
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