HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Full Frame
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • French: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    French, Dutch, English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Audio commentary - Innocence - Creator, writer and director Joss Whedon
  • 11 Cast/crew biographies
  • 3 Featurette - Designing Buffy, A Buffy Bestiary, Beauty and the Beasts
  • 4 Photo gallery - Stills, Monsters, Set Designs, Set Design Blueprints
  • Animated menus
  • 10 TV spot
  • Original screenplay - Innocence

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 2 - Volume 2

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 430 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Ooh, we're getting to the (Mr) Pointy end of season two now - ten more episodes of the fabbest TV show around to curl up with, what more could a girl ask for? (Well, perhaps my very own Spike to play with, but anyway...)

I'll spare you another summary of what it's all about, however if you would like one I'd suggest simply clicking here to bring up my review of the first part of the season. Aren't I a helpful little thing?!

So what do we have in store for us this time? Well, read on!

SURPRISE: Well that's not a perky birthday puppy... How is Buffy supposed to have a funky 17th birthday when cursed with David Lynchian dreams? Who drops the 'L' word this time, and who are getting very hot and (very wet)? And just who's the sneaky gypsy then? Drusilla and Spike took a licking yet kept on ticking, but isn’t Dru a bit old to be playing with Transformer robots? You be the judge. Angel is broody, and ouchy...

INNOCENCE: Things are about to get very interesting. After all that's happened is Angel just going to do THAT guy thing? Still, Buffy can get him where it hurts. Curse those meddling gypsies, and whatever happened to the 'I Hate Cordelia' club? The judge is up for a spot of shopping mall action, and gets all broken up over the latest season's rocket launcher. Giles is a sweetie, Willow is hurt, Angel is nasty...

PHASES: It's the werewooluf! It's the werewooluf!, Willow's well and truly good to go for smoochies, but finds that dealing with boys can sometimes get a bit hairy, and does Oz have a bondage fetish? Buffy gets some rather apt Keith Moon action, and just why is she hanging in Lover's Lane with Giles? Xander helps uber-jock Larry come to terms with his deep, dark secret and Angel (who is nasty) pops by briefly for a bite...

BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEWILDERED It's Valentine's Day, and what the Hecate? Cordelia's a bitch, Willow's a cat, Amy's a witch and Buffy's a rat - oh and Harmony's a sheep! Xander discovers that Amy is following in her Mum's footsteps, and sees a chance to use her abilities for revenge on Cordelia. You can’t always trust the ol' black magic though, why's he suddenly bigger than The Beatles? Yes, it's Xandermonium! And just why is Buff in the buff? Angel is nasty.

PASSION: So how do you un-invite a vampire? If Bookman Giles can't help then maybe - just maybe - Ms Calendar can? Willow learns the advantages of goldfish over puppies, whilst Spike gets his own dose of puppy love. Willow gets a teaching gig, but has she renounced her faith? Buffy's Mum gets a shock, Angel shows a hitherto unexposed arty side, and is the most horrid, icky epitome of evil ever to darken a screen. Oh, and are there enough tissues in the world?

KILLED BY DEATH: Uh-oh, this does not look good for our heroine... Buffy's got a serious case of the flu, and is in the scariest place in town - the hospital. Who's that girl? Who's that boy? Just what is that Doctor Backer up to, and where have all the children gone? What's the deal with Willow and frogs, and why is Buffy beating herself up? And SURELY Freddy Kruger knows the way to Elm Street by now? Angel is still nasty.

I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU: Something weird is going on. What DOES Xander have in his locker, what's with the cafeteria full of snakes (EWW!) and why is everybody going all Streetcar on us? It's Happy Days at Sunnydale High with a poltergeist along for the ride - but hey, at least he wasn't born in a tent. Willow gets pagan, Spike, Dru and Angel (he of the nastiness) find new digs, and Spike has a bit of a secret. Is Principal Snyder a bit more clued up than he's actually letting on?

GO FISH: Dare I say it? OK, there's something fishy about Sunnydale's suddenly non-loser swimming team. Dude. They're bound for the state championships, and enjoying all the privileges of being winners - a dedicated coach, a principal prepared to turn a blind eye to academic non-achievement and all the saunas they can sweat out. But what's with the creatures from the black lagoon? Will Xander get in touch with his inner halibut? Will Buffy become fish food? Willow plays bad cop and Angel is spitting blood...

BECOMING part one: It'll all be over soon (sniff). It's school finals time, and Buffy really wants somebody to send her an Angel - a girl needs closure don't you know. Aah, but what's in the box? What's on the diskette? Why has spare slayer Kendra dropped by? Will all hell break loose (quite literally), do vamps have NO idea of library etiquette, and why is Giles getting carried away? What will happen with Willow's latest crush? Just who wants Buffy to freeze? Oh, and we even get more flashbacks than Timothy Leary has ever experienced (an Angelic history lesson).

BECOMING part two: Poor Buffy's having a REALLY bad day. She's on the run from police, she's wearing a tragic beanie, she's been expelled from school, after giving her mom one almighty WTF moment she's been kicked out of home, she has vampire's playing Let's Make A Deal with her and NOW thanks to Angel she has to save the world - again. Worse, how can it get any worse? Well… Willow's in a coma - could her brain be mooshed? Giles is missing, and what's this about Angel and a tutu? Oh, and I almost forgot - the Mutant Enemy needs a hug!

  Video
Contract

Well, these are the last of the low-budget Buffys. Still shot on 16mm film, and displaying that certain graininess that tends to accompany as much, the vision does tend to be either quite dark or very bright (by design, to show the juxtaposition between the underworld of the vamps and the, well, sunniness of Sunnydale) and does have quite a few artefacts to display - and sadly I'm not talking about museum pieces here.

However, this isn't to say that it's not pretty darned good still. Face it, Buffy's journey onto DVD beats the stuffing out of cruddy old VHS, looks better than it ever did on broadcast television - and as an added bonus you don’t get zillions of ad breaks, overlaid titles or those confoundedly annoying watermarks splattered all over the place either. What more could you want? Remastered video you say? Please get serious, do you really think they're going to lavish hundreds of hours and heaven knows how much moolah on such work for six discs of a TV show that doesn’t have the mass-market appeal of most infinitely shorter movies? Be thankful we have had these discs released at all - well, I certainly am at any rate.

  Audio
Contract

Not surprisingly the second part of series two is still in Dolby Stereo - as I think you'll find all ensuing seasons will be too. Whilst it would be lovely to have our sound systems matching Buffy's punches and flying kicks blow for blow in glorious super-surround, it's just not going to happen. Sonically it is still pretty fab though, and much of the soundtrack wends its way through the back speakers anyway, rounding out the sound quite nicely. As with previous Buffy releases the audio levels are all wonderfully balanced, and the only flaw I noticed in the sound at all was where it dropped out for a nanosecond near the beginning of the first part of Becoming.

The soundtrack for the second part of the season brings us much the same eclectic joys as the first - everything from creepy orchestral score to full on grunge assaults. The Bronze doesn’t appear as much as it has in the past, however what a treat when it does in I Only Have Eyes For You and the absolute goddess Angie Hart graces us with her presence along with her post-Frente outfit Splendid.

I was rather remiss in my last review as I neglected to mention the theme to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I have little idea as to who on earth Nerf Herder are, and I have even less of a clue how you go about corralling toys made from foam rubber, but these boys sure did come up with a suitably kick-butt theme for the show that never gets tiresome and always inspires a fun couch-bound bop.

  Extras
Contract

Oh goody! After the inclusion of a few commentaries and not much else with the first half of the season, now we get to the seriously meaty special feature stuff. MMMmmm, pass the tomato sauce please...

Animated Menus: The same as included with the first part of season 2, and still as lovely as ever.

Commentary - Innocence: While the three commentaries within the first half of season 2 were OK, this is by far the highlight. Done by Buffy overlord Joss Whedon himself, who classes this as the most important Buffy episode ever, it is incredibly entertaining and seems to pass in an absolute flash. He speaks a mile a minute in "obsessively minute detail" about all manner of Buffy trivia, divulging much history behind his aims for the character and series, the importance to him of emotional resonance (oh, and rocket launchers), the glories of cheese, how much fun it is to kill off extras and about Anthony Stewart Head (Giles) and his apparent disdain for wearing pants. Be warned though, it does contain spoilers for future seasons.

Script - Innocence: As with the first disc, the entire script reproduced in a not altogether clear typewriter-style font, which you plod through using the skip button.

Featurette - Designing Buffy: A brief (sub-14 minute) look into the production design of the series. Featuring interviews with most cast members (although noticeable absentees in this and the other featurettes are Buffy, Willow and Angel), some guest stars (notably Jon Ritter), Joss Whedon and production types, we get a guided tour of Buffy's house, and learn of the importance to the producers of avoiding a goth look to Buffy's world. Heehee, that one will upset a few fans...

Featurette - A Buffy Bestiary: Pick a beastie, any beastie - they're probably featured somewhere in this fabulous half hour long special. Featuring interviews with those from Designing Buffy, plus a whole extra parade of actors and behind the scenes folk, this divulges their purposeful "borrowing" of classic monsters such as Frankenstein and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, how Spike and Drusilla actually were intended to be the vamp equivalent of Sid (Vicious) and Nancy (Spungen), and how Spike was actually going to be killed off at one point - until they realised how utterly cool he was. It's also notable to see that actor Brian Thompson, who played The Judge ("What does that thing do?") actually looked much more appealing in blue, and utterly heartbreaking in that I discovered that Spike is a bloody Yank (as is that scrag he hangs out with Dru)! He's just nowhere near as gorgeous without the accent. Sob!

Featurette - Beauty and the Beasts: A twenty-minute (and a bit) long presentation concentrating on the Emmy award winning makeup artistry of the series. Featuring chats with many cast members, but concentrating more on interviews with makeup guru Todd McIntosh and gremmie-specialist John Vulich, there is much to be learned about the processes behind both the beauty makeup and the ugly makeup used on the show.

Art Gallery - Still Gallery: 57 promotional photos and stills from the series.

Art Gallery - Monster Sketches: 10 charcoal proto-renderings of evil dudes from season two.

Art Gallery - Set Designs: 10 set design pictures. Duh!

Art Gallery - Set Design Blueprints: 36 stills of actual blueprints for Buffy sets. Wanna build your own model of Buffy's house? Here's your source material...

Biographies: Featuring 10 key performers and Joss Whedon, these are fairly through (yet readable) summations of both their characters and the actors behind them. There are one or two minor spoilers included, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Trailer - Angel Season One Video: About 50-seconds long the best thing about this ad for the spin-off series is the video quality, which hopefully bodes well for future Buffys as it does look rather scrummy.

Trailer - Buffy Season Two DVD: Umm, a 50-second ad for what it actually comes to us on, it is interesting in that it shows the British packaging. I still don’t know why so many are up in arms about us not getting it, as although it does have a fair funky-factor, it looks incredibly easily-degradable. I for one still applaud the local choice of Amarays in slipcases - they give better shelf-appeal.

UK TV Spots: Two 22-second ads that are just more plugs for the sell-through videos. They are also in one lump, so can’t be watched separately by whatever nerds would actually want to look at these more than once.

US TV Spots: More fun simply due to the ridiculously over-the-top voiceovers, this features four 32-second TV adverts for key episodes, plus two of blipvert length. Definitely worth a quick spin for the fun hype-factor alone. These aren't separated either.

  Overall  
Contract

MMMmmm... more Buffy on DVD - need I say more? If you're a fan this is a must have, any minor quibbles video-wise fade into oblivion if you compare it to the VHS equivalents or those tapes that you've lovingly collected from riding the VCR pause button week in and week out.

If you haven't been seduced by Buffy by now then believe me, it's an utterly joyous experience. Don’t start here though, as it is the type of series that begs for you to have been there from the start. Luckily for you though the first season (12 episodes) has been available in a neat little 3-DVD box set for some months now.

Poop, now I'm suffering post-Buffy depression. November, and the season three sets, just can’t come quickly enough...


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=551
  • Send to a friend.

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
  •   
      And I quote...
    "MMMmmm... more Buffy on DVD - need I say more?"
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Speakers:
          Home Built
    • Surrounds:
          No Name
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
      Recent Reviews:
    by Amy Flower

    The Simpsons - Gone Wild
    "Fox get the dartboard out again to compile another haphazard four-episode release of Simpsons episodes… "

    The Commitments: SE
    "A rollicking good flick that manages to be musical without being naff..."

    Placebo - Soulmates Never Die: Live in Paris
    "One for all Nancy Boys and Ashtray Girls to treasure."

    Amazon Women on the Moon
    "...worth a look if you’ve never before had the pleasure. Bullshit, or not?"

    Jack & Sarah
    "Proving that simplicity is no obstruction to brilliance, this is an ultimately sweet (but not sickeningly so) tale that gives all those bigger English films out there a more than respectable run for their money... "

      Related Links

     

    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5   
    rss