Packed with extras this DVD will make the sci-fi crowd very happy to have all the supplemental materials they could pack on here.
This movie is just not that good and when you consider it’s predecessor it’s downright sad.
The Fly II picks up where the other one left off in that the baby that Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) gave his girlfriend (Geena Davis) in first movie, is born and is left to reek havoc on the world. Kept separated from the rest of the world in a research facility, Martin Brundle (Eric Stoltz) grows up at a very fast pace. He also starts learning and questioning who he is sooner than most kids, too. Eventually, he realizes that he’s not like everybody else, and he is soon told that he is going to morph into another being very soon. Once this process really starts, this is where this movie just seems to go downhill. Martin eventually turns into a human form of a fly and comes back to the research facility to get some justice against the people who basically made him this way. Yet, they didn’t do anything, it was his father’s experiments in the first movie, but don’t let that get in the way of the explosions and the special FX. The final denouement happens when Martin makes the owner of the research facility experience the teleport machine with him. What results makes almost no scientific sense based on what this movie has given us, but from a purely fun, sci-fi standpoint this movie is okay.
The Fly II isn’t nearly as good as the original but I would recommend to fans of the first movie that they might want to give this one a buzz.
Commentary Track; Alternate Ending and Deleted Scenes
This is a commentary track with Christopher Walas and Film Historian Bob Burns. I really enjoyed this. In fact, I am keeping this DVD in my collection just because I had so much fun hearing Walas and Burns relate experiences from both films. Whether they were talking about the reason for an effect, how it was accomplished or a plot line in the story, I just found them both very engaging. I was excited about the “Alternate Ending” and the “Deleted Scenes” until I saw the movie. Then when I was watching these scenes I realized that there was nothing that was going to happen in them that was going to make this movie any better. I honestly thought I meet see something that could elevate this film, but once the the movie was over, I sort of looked at this part of the “Special Features” as a dry heave.
”The Fly Papers”; Behind the Scenes Documentary; Storyboard to Film Comparisons and Film Production Journal
The only bad point about a DVD like this having so much content is the fact that it starts to get redundant after awhile. Lets start with “The Fly Papers: The Buzz on Hollywood’s Scariest Insect.” This is a very detailed look at the entire “Fly” series. It looks at all the films and really puts them in their cinematic and historical context. After this we have a cool “Behind the Scenes” FX piece titled, “Transformations: Looking Back at The Fly II.” This is another in-depth mini-film that shows us how Eric Stoltz was transformed into having this “fly” look. It is just amazing the level that these people go to to achieve the effects that they are looking for. I would recommend this to anybody who wishes to embark on a career as an FX person. Next up is “Storyboard to Film Comparisons with Optional Commentary by Chris Walas.” This a neat look at what was drawn vs. what actually ended up screen. What I always wonder when I see these pieces is what happened first? Did they design the look and then storyboard the film out? Or, do the storyboard artists start with an idea and then everything gets changed as it goes along? This featurette sort of answers that question. Lastly, we have the “Film Production Journal” which is pretty much just a rehash of everything we have scene, yet it is has a somewhat more personal angle to it.
Composer Featurette; Fly II Featurette and Still Photo Galleries
The “Christopher Young (Composer) Featurette” brings us into the world of the music employed in this film. We see how he gets his ideas for certain pieces of music, and I thought it was really interesting listening to what he tried to do for this movie. The “Original The Fly II urette” was nice to see from a “dated” standpoint, but if I really wanted nostalgia I could have just watched the movie again. Honestly, this featurette pales when compared to the others on here. Lastly, we have the “Still Photo Galleries” which are sort of like a silent recap of everything we have seen. We see life on the set, off the set and all of these photos are easily accessible through one’s DVD player using the remote control.
1.85:1 - Widescreen Anamorphic. You know that you have a problem with a movie when the first one looked better than it’s sequel. I can’t really put my finger on what it is but The Fly II looks no better than the first movie! In fact, I dare say that it seems like they have made even less scientific advances in this movie. There are lot of things working against this movie, the least of which being that 1989 was just bad time for fashion. This is never more evident than in the clothes that Martin Brundle is wearing. Or, maybe it’s just the fact that when you see Eric Stoltz in a movie you know that something might be wrong. That maybe, just maybe, they couldn’t get the guy they really wanted?
Dolby Digital DTS - 5.1. English 5.1 Dolby Surround, Spanish Dolby Surround and French Stereo. Subtitled in English and Spanish. Close Captioned. I liked the sound used in this movie. While it’s obviously not the music of Howard Shore, Christopher Young has definitely acquitted himself well here. The music swells at just the right moment, but I like (especially at the ending “shoot out” scene) that it didn’t play any cat and mouse games. It served the story and didn’t try and tell a separate one of it’s own or steer the emotions during the scenes too much.
The cover of this DVD looks really good. We have what seems to be an x-ray look at a fly as a it goes to work on some object. The only colors on this cover are an eery black, gray and orange. The back features two pictures from the movie (which for some reason seem to be the only stills they had) and a shot of a little kid standing in front of the teleport machine. There is a description of the movie, a very detailed “Special Features” listing, a credits list and some technical specs. This 2 disc set is very economically housed in one amaray case with two trays for each disc. All in all, simple packaging for a DVD that is loaded with features.
Packed with extras and lot of reverence for creature features and sci-fi lore in general, it would be hard to slag this 2 disc set just because the movie itself is below par. There are so many extras and so many insights that maybe that should have been The Fly II? Then they could have made the movie itself a supplemental feature. Okay, I know that this doesn’t make too much sense but I think the general idea for a DVD release like that might be somewhat interesting. At the very least, it would be unique but it would probably bother everyone else that worked on the film.
Eric Stoltz is a very good actor who, somewhere along the lines, got relegated to second class status as a performer. His movies only seem to come out on DVD and he gets leftover roles like that of Martin Brundle here. However, with DVDs currently driving the home entertainment business, Eric “Straight To Video” Stoltz may just end up having the last laugh.