Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a pretty good representation of an 80s movie.
Sharpness usually satisfied. At times the movie could be a bit soft and ill-defined, but most of the flick seemed reasonably concise. I noticed no signs of jagged edges or shimmering, and edge enhancement stayed absent. Grain looked appropriate, and no print flaws marred the presentation.
The movie depicted a natural palette with fairly good clarity and vivacity. Even colored lighting was smooth, as the movie consistently presented acceptably lively tones. Blacks also came across as deep and firm, while shadows were nicely concise and not too opaque. The occasional instances of softness kept this from greatness but it still became a solid “B” image.
The remixed DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundfield opened things up to a decent degree. Environmental material dominated, though a few scenes brought greater breadth to the proceedings. The standard rainstorm used the various channels well, and some minor movement across channels appeared. Music also demonstrated nice stereo delineation. The surrounds remained pretty passive, but they contributed decent reinforcement and popped to life when necessary.
Speech betrayed no edginess and sounded reasonably natural, with tones that were a little tinny but not badly so. Effects stayed clear and acceptably accurate, and louder elements showed reasonable heft. Music offered decent dynamics and was relatively warm and full. Though not great, this was probably the best soundtrack from the first five films.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the 2009 Special Edition DVD? Audio sounded a bit broader and warmer, while visuals showed improved accuracy, vivacity and cleanliness. This became a solid version of the film.
With a mix of extras from prior DVDs, first comes an audio commentary with director Danny Steinman, filmmaker/fan Michael Felsher, and actors John Shepherd and Shavar Ross. All four sit together – with Felsher connected via phone – for this running, screen-specific piece. They discuss cast and performances, some character/story issues, controversies and fan reaction, sets and locations, gore and effects, MPAA concerns, music, and a few other production areas.
On paper, the commentary covers a good array of subjects. However, most of the time the participants just joke around, and Steinman acts as the worst offender. He thinks the track is an opportunity for him to crack wise and only occasionally throw out an actual film fact. We do learn a little here, but the lame attempts at comedy make this a tedious listen.
Excerpted from a long documentary on a 2004 bonus disc, The Friday the 13th Chronicles, Part V runs five minutes, 51 seconds and includes remarks from Final Chapter director Joseph Zito and actor Corey Feldman. When we look at Part V, we learn about its concept, filming the opening, and Feldman’s wishes for a sequel. The show includes a few decent notes but is too short to tell us much – and it’s weird that none of the main participants in New Beginning appear.
Yet another edition of Lost Tales from Camp Blood appears here. In this seven-minute and 10-second short film, we get another tedious chapter in this poorly developed series. The first four segments were boring, and clip five isn’t any better.
Continuing a series started on Final Chapter, The Crystal Lake Massacres Revisited Part II runs 10 minutes, 11 seconds. Just like “Part I”, this piece examines the Friday flicks from a faux documentary viewpoint. That premise has the potential to be lame, but “Massacres” is actually a fun dissection of movie events.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we find New Beginnings: The Making of Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning. It goes for 11 minutes, four seconds and features Steinman, Felsher, Ross, stuntman Tom Morga, compose Harry Manfredini, and actors Tiffany Helm and Dick Wieand. We get some thoughts about characters and story, cast and performances, costume choices, music, MPAA issues, gore and effects, and the movie’s reputation.
“Beginnings” repeats some info from the commentary, but it also lacks that tracks annoying elements – well, some of them at least, as Steinman’s lame jokes still crop up on a couple of occasions. The program’s too short to be very valuable, but it offers a decent synopsis of some topics.
Anyone who wants a radical departure from the standard Friday the 13th epic won’t get it in The New Beginning. However, the movie manages to broaden its horizons somewhat, as we finally get a Friday that feels like more than just a remake of the others. The Blu-ray offers pretty good picture and audio along with a decent set of supplements. I find a fair amount to like about the film, and the Blu-ray reproduces it in a satisfying way.
Note that as of September 2013, this Blu-ray version of A New Beginning appears only as part of a 12-film set called “Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection”. This includes films 1 through 8 as well as Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X, Freddy Vs. Jason and the 2009 reboot. It also throws in a bonus DVD and some other non-disc-based materials.
To rate this film, visit the Ultimate Edition DVD Collection review of FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART 5: A NEW BEGINNING