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Gremlins 2: The New Batch
BLU-RAY disk
Jun 5, 2012 By: Jason Adams
Gremlins 2: The New Batch order
Director:
Joe Dante

Actors:
Zach Galligan
Phoebe Cates
Christopher Lee

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Billy and Kate have moved on after the first movie and are happily working for Clamp Enterprises at a state-of-the-art skyscraper in New York City. Through a twist of fate, Billy finds Gizmo at the office and soon the gremlins have controlled of the whole building.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
My dog’s name is Gizmo (full name: Gizmo Charles Bronson), so obviously I’m a big fan of GREMILINS. While the original film is a classic I hold near and dear to my heart, if I had to pick one to rewatch constantly – GREMLINS 2: THE NEW BATCH might edge it out slightly.

It’s rare that a sequel lives up to its predecessor, but it’s even more unusual when it does so by abandoning the pretense and branching off in a completely new direction. GREMLINS 2 is such a wonderfully weird movie that doesn’t just buck the tone of the first movie, it does a complete and hilarious 180. This is definitely not director Joe Dante resting on his laurels. It’s the definition of a kitchen sink film; a biting satire on corporate America, greed and consumerism, the television and entertainment industry, science and genetic engineering and everything in between. By the time the title creatures are singing and dancing the conga in the big musical number, you realize at its core, GREMLINS 2 is essentially a live action Looney Tunes cartoon. (The extended animated intro with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck should’ve also been a hint.) All in all, its pure, wonderful chaos.

The setup is essentially similar to the original film in the first act, but when the gremlins get into the genetic lab, all hell breaks loose and the fun really starts. The result is all manner of unique gremlins this time out; there’s a vegetable gremlin, an electric gremlin, a spider gremlin, a bat gremlin, a loquacious genius gremlin and even an [ahem] amorous female gremlin. Rick Baker’s creature design and puppetry here is phenomenal, much more diverse, creative and alive—which leads to them having much more personality. (Bet you never thought you’d see a gremlin wax poetic about activist Susan Sontag and the fall of civilization.) And of course there’s Gizmo, who’s adorable as ever, especially when he turns in to mini-Rambo. While I love all the new gremlins introduced, I wish that didn’t mean less screentime for everyone’s favorite Mogqai.

Aside from playing with different genres and movie tropes, GREMLINS 2 should also be beloved by movie lovers simply for how much it also loves movies. There’s plenty of meta-subtext throughout, from Leonard Maltin commenting on how bad the original GREMLINS was to vampire movie host Grandpa Fred and his love for classic cinema. And my favorite—Hulk Hogan himself threatening the gremlins when they interrupt the movie-going experience.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary by director Joe Dante, actor Zach Galligan, writer Charlie Haas and producer Michael Finnell: There’s so much happening in this movie at such a fast pace, but the participants manage to keep up with everything pretty well and in an entertaining way. (Even admitting how unnecessary GREMLINS 2 is in the big scheme of things.) Most of the track is Dante attempting to explain himself, but the other participants have fun stories too.

The Making of GREMLINS 2: This is a really tongue in cheek “making of” that pokes fun at the movie itself, including a foul-mouthed Gizmo. It’s a bit corny, but at least it’s not your usual BTS feature.

Outtakes: This is actually 20 minutes worth of deleted scenes with optional commentary by Dante. There’s some gems here including more with the great Christopher Lee and an extended Looney Tunes intro.

Gag Reel: There’s plenty to go wrong in a movie like this and this 6 minute gag reel captures it all. There’s a poor monkey too scared of the gremlin puppets to actually act, plus plenty of effects and props gone wrong.

Alternate Home Video Sequence: For the sequence where the film breaks, Dante created a more appropriate version for the home video audience where the Gremlins change the channel to watch a little John Wayne.

A Theatrical Trailer is also included.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Both GREMLINS movies are great, but I love and respect this sequel just for how different, funny and self-aware it can be. This Blu-Ray has the same features from previous DVD releases, but it’s all quality across the board.

Extra Tidbit: The scene where the mother scolds the theater manager regarding the movie being inappropriate for children really happened to Joe Dante during a screening of the original GREMLINS.
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