HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Crocodile Dundee/Crocodile Dundee II
HTS Overall Score:59
WARNING: THE SCORES ABOVE ARE A COMBINED SCORE FROM BOTH FILMS, THE INDIVIDUAL SCORES ARE CONTAINED BELOW IN THE INDIVIDUAL SECTIONS OF THE REVIEW
The 1980’s was the days of manly men with manly adventures. With the popularity of things like “Indiana Jones”, “Jewel of the Nile” and the like, the genre was ripe for the picking and the audiences were eating them up. Up until that time no one had really exploited the Australian clichés and story tropes in American cinema, so Paul Hogan struck pay dirt when he decided to adapt the real life tales of Rodney Ansell, bushman extraordinaire, to the film in the form of Mick “Crocodile” Dundee. Paul Hogan took on a rather roguish trapping and did his best imitation of an Australian Jack Colton in the big city.
Crocodile Dundee :3.5stars:
“Crocodile Dundee” is a trip down memory lane for sure. I remember growing up as a child and watching the 1st movie over and over again on Saturdays. Growing up, the film has aged just a bit more than I expected it to have. I love old fashioned, rough tumble stories, but Dundee is more of a curiosity of the 80’s rather than a bona fide classic. The cliché’s are laid on thick and heavy here, as we have the old “fish out of water” scenario. Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski), is a newspaper journalist on her way to Australia to check out a local legend, one Mick “Crocodile” Dundee (Paul Hogan). A man who supposedly wrestles crocodiles and even survived getting his leg bit off. Upon arriving she finds out that the legend sometimes surpasses the man as all she can see in Mick is a rowdy country boy who’s more rogue than man. Taking her out in the outback for a bit of a Safari, Mick shows her his side of life. Fascinated by the man, Sue takes the reticent Crocodile hunter back to the big life in New York to show around to her editor and give him a taste of how the other side lives. Now we got the classic switcheroo. Instead of Sue being out of water we have Crocodile Dundee on the more nervous side of things, blundering his way through New York with his old swagger and getting into plenty of trouble along the ways.
“Crocodile Dundee” spends a lot more time playing around with the old “man out of his element” trope and less time on the actual relationship between Sue and Mick. We all know the ending, girl is with a guy she shouldn’t be with, Man can see this clearly but woman is torn. After a torturous few days of mulling it over she gives up on the rich debonair creep and goes with the charming renegade hero. Nothing new there. The real charm of the movie was because of the different culture being explored. The Ozzie character hadn’t been portrayed as the hero before (before the days of Quigley Down under) and it was Paul Hogan’s little play date to have with the experience. He brings ALL the cliché’s to the table too, from the classic “That’s not a knife, now THIS is a knife” line, to the country boy being shocked and horrified at pimp on the street corner “speaking poorly to a lady”. We got tribal dances, Alligator wrestling, punching out rich jerks, the whole nine yards. Only problem is that it’s a bit TOO cliché at times. We’ve seen it one too many times and Paul Hogan spends a bit too much time having fun with the CHARACTER, rather than trying to push the story forward. It’s fun, a bit of a nostalgic blast from the past, but nothing that I’m going to want to see again for a while.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=18082[/img]Crocodile Dundee II :2.5stars:
“Crocodile Dundee” wasn’t a fantastic piece of work, but it was a fun little romp for its time. “Crocodile Dundee II” did what most sequels end up doing. Instead of being content with more of the same, it tries to top the sequel in every way. This time instead of a fish out of water story we have Mick and Sue battling Columbian drug Lords. When Sue’s (Linda Kozlowski) ex-boyfriend Bob (Dennis Boutsikaris) witnesses a Columbian Drug lord’s execution of an innocent civilian, things get out of control. Sending her the film negatives of his encounter he puts Mick (Paul Hogan) and Sue on a path straight for disaster. This drug lord isn’t about to let a pesky journalist get him down, so he kidnaps Sue and uses her as leverage to get Mick to hand over the negatives. Of course this isn’t going to fly well with Crocodile Dundee who decides to enlist the help of a fake crime kingpin, Leroy Brown (Charles Dutton), a group of street punks and good old fashioned muscle power, to break Sue out. Now with Sue out and free, our Columbian friends are in danger, so with a hit put out on the couple, Mick and Sue come full circle and head on back to Australia. Home ground for Mick, giving him the advantage.
The sequel amps up the corniness and adds a thick layer of Velveeta cheese to the mix. If the first movie wasn’t ridiculous enough, we have jive talking wanna be gangsters (well, fake gangsters at least), street punks who spout lines out of Nickelodeon and Drug lords who can’t hit the broad side of a barn down. It’s got a cheesy charm to it, but the film just isn’t that great. What was fun back when I was a 13 year old boy just doesn’t hold water today. I ended up face palming myself wondering who wrote the dialogue for the majority of the movie. I can live with cheese. I actually LOVE cheese, but not poorly done cheese. At least we’re spared having to watch “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” in this double feature.
Rated PG-13 / PG Parental Guidance recommended
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=18074[/img]Crocodile Dundee :3.5stars:
The 2.35:1 AVC encode is kind of a mixed bag. In some ways it's very "meh" and in other ways it's rather good. The good of the matter is that both films are actually on their own BD-50's and have a decent bitrate to go along with. I was honestly expecting a double feature with both features on one disc instead of giving them room to breathe. As a result we have no digital artifacting or any such digital compression anomalies that we can blame on the encoders. The bad comes with them using an old master. There is no digital tampering, but there hasn't been much to make this release look it's best either. Sometimes we have great detail, especailly in the Australian bush, but there are other times where it's a bit worn and faded. The print is in ok shape, but there is some minor flickering and scratches that could have been cleaned up a bit. Contrasts and color tones are a bit dull, especially for such beautiful countryside. It looks like the print was a bit faded as well, and the black levels are nothing to write home about. They aren't awful, but I'm not putting them up on a pedestal for a good reason. Basically a very middle of the road, "meh" transfer.
Crocodile Dundee II :2.5stars:
Surprisingly, "Crocodile Dundee II" is the poorer of the two transfers. Usually the 1st film in a series is the one that shoes the worse for wear due to being older and less taken care of, but the sequel looks distinctly worse. Like the first one, it has it's own disc and I don't see any problems with digital artifacting, but the picture itself looks rather poor. The blacks are a mixed back, with some scenes being nice and inky, while others looking washed out and grey. Colors are ok, decently saturated, but somewhat faded in certain scenes. The real issue is the mixture of grain and digital noise. the grain is overly jagged and really really rough, most of the time. This tends to make the picture look really soft and devoid of detail. Unfortunately I'd have to say that it doesn't look that much better than the DVD itself. There is some print damage and it's just plain clear that the source was NOT in good shape when they took this print.
Crocodile Dundee :3stars:
The 2.0 DTS-HD MA track for the first film isn't a show stopper, but it's more than capable of getting the job done. The audio is clear as a bell and dialogue can be heard quite well (as long as you can get used to the thick accents). Sound separation is decent and the ambient noises come through the mains quite nicely. The crackling of the fire, or the snap of a branch underfoot is instantly audible and well placed ambiently. There's some midbass to a few of the scenes, especially during the crocodile attack, but nothing to blow your socks off. In reality it's a 2.0 track that does the job, it would have been nice to have a 5.1 track for a film that's got so much going on around it, but that wasn't the way it was recorded so we have to live with what we've got.
Crocodile Dundee II :4stars:
The highlight of the 2nd film happens to be it's 5.1 DTS-HD MA track. Compared to the first movie's track it's a sizable difference. Channel separation is much better, and the vocals are a teensy bit better with a dedicated center channel. The surrounds aren't enormously enveloping, but it's nice to hear the chirping of birds or buzzing of crickets in the background. The score is really where the surrounds get their main boost from, filling in the sound stage and giving it a more lively feel. LFE gets a significant boost as well, and while it's not some Transformers type track the gunshots carry a decent wallop and the score's low end throbs pretty nicely. I'm impressed, after hearing the mediocre 2.0 track from the first movie, I was prepared for more of the same, just mixed into a fake 5.1 track, but this one was actually surprisingly good.
• Theatrical Trailers
• Behind the Scenes Featurette
The "Crocodile Dundee" series has it's charms. Hogan is witty, charming, and a gentleman to boot. The only thing is that they come across as overly cheesy and more of an exploitation of the Australian culture more than time honored classics. I still enjoyed taking them out for a nostalgic spin, but they're nothing I'm going to revisit any time soon. Had they done any more work on the restoration I might have given it a bit more of a thumbs up, but with the mediocre to poor video and audio it really is worth it only for the true fan. If you're a fan, it IS an improvement over the DVDs, although not a wild one with the second film. Best I can give is to see if you can rent it, or find it on the cheap some day.
Starring: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowskin, John Meillon
Directed by: Peter Faiman : John Cornell
Written by: John Cornell, Paul Hogan : Paul Hogan
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 AVC / 2.35:1 AVC
Audio: ENGLISH: DTS-HD MA 2.0, French, Spanish, Portuguese DD Mono/ English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French DD 2.0, Spanish, Portuguese DD Mono
Rated: PG-13 / PG
Runtime: 97 minutes : 111 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: May 13th, 2014
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