I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

(1998) * R
101 min. Sony Pictures Releasing. Director: Danny Cannon. Cast: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr., Brandy, Mekhi Phifer, Muse Watson.

/content/films/3492/2.jpgAs soon as the horror sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer was announced, the head-scratching commenced. Shouldn't it be "I Still Know What You Did Two Summers Ago," movie watchers wondered? It does of course make a clumsy kind of sense that Ben Willis (Muse Watson), the serial slasher in the rain slicker, armed with a hook, still knows what heroine Julie James did the previous summer (just as one year ago he knew what she did the summer before that). Or, taken another way, the phrase means Ben still hasn't forgotten what took place last summer (why would he?), when Julie spectacularly escaped his murderous clutches. So take that, grammar hounds. He still knows what she she did last summer. Whatever.

That's the long way around to pointing out that it's not so much the title that's the problem with I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. No, the problems are the wearyingly nonsensical plot and the inane script that lays it out. Now a college student, Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is barely hanging on to her long-distance relationship with Ray (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), who still lives where he lived last summer. That'd be in the small fishing town where, two years earlier, their group of friends covered up a hit and run car accident. Julie remains plagued by fear, guilt, nightmares, and paranoid visions, but when her roommate Karla (Brandy Norwood) wins an all-expenses paid trip for four to the Bahamas, she reluctantly agrees to live a little.

In a bizarre showing of pride mixed with apprehension over his big feelings for Julie, Ray begs off the trip, so Karla invites a friend who's been crushing on Julie (Matthew Settle's Will) to come along on the most awkward not-so-blind date ever. Completing the foursome is Karla's horny boyfriend Tyrell (Mekhi Phifer). The Tower Bay Island resort in the Bahamas turns out to be a perfect locale for murder: the youngsters' arrival coincides with the last day of the tourist season and the eve of storm season. The employees are a handy mix of creepy potential suspects and prime butcher-ready meat: unfriendly manager Mr. Brooks (Jeffrey Combs of Re-Animator), porter and resident old-timer Estes (Bill Cobbs of Night at the Museum), sassy bartender Nancy (Jennifer Esposito of Summer of Sam), and dreadlocked pot dealer Titus (a pre-stardom Jack Black).

And so Ben Willis--or whomever is behind all this trouble--begins the arduous task of circuitous killing. Director Danny Cannon (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) can't seem to figure out any way of making I Still Know What You Did Last Summer memorable for anything other than its title. Meanwhile, screenwriter Trey Callaway (um, Timon and Pumbaa?) just seems to throw ideas at the wall to see what'll stick, like Julie singing "I Will Survive" (oh, the irony!) until the karaoke machine spells out "I Still Know..." (gee, what a thoughtful killer); needless to say, logic takes a holiday, just not in the Bahamas. Other than providing material for the actors' reels, this serviceable-at-best slasher cast-off is utterly pointless.

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Aspect ratios: 2.40:1

Number of discs: 1

Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1

Street date: 7/14/2009

Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer gets a solid A/V treatment that improves handily on the previous DVD. The image quality is a bit inconsistent, but that's fairly typical of a movie with wildly variable lighting conditions. Overall, the picture seems to represent Danny Cannon's original cinematographic intentions, excepting perhaps the complete absence of grain in this not-especially film-like image. The The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack is likely to remain the best-ever audio mix for this film, with its strong storm ambience and good balance for dialogue.

The "Making Of Featurette" (5:40, SD) included here is the film's original EPK material, with some behind-the-scenes footage and bland interview clips of Jennifer Love Hewitt, Brandy, Mekhi Phifer, Freddie Prinze, Jr, producer Neal H. Moritz, Matthew Settle, producer Erik Feig, producer Stokely Chaffin, producer William S. Beasley, and director Danny Cannon.

We also get the "Music Video 'How Do I Deal' Performed by Jennifer Love Hewitt" (3:30, SD), the film's "Theatrical Trailer" (2:06, SD), and the requisite BD-Live hook-up.

Review gear:
Panasonic Viera TC-P55VT30 55" Plasma 1080p 3D HDTV
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Network 3D Blu-ray Disc Player
Denon AVR2112CI Integrated Network A/V Surround Receiver
Pioneer SP-BS41-LR Bookshelf Speaker (2)
Pioneer SP-C21 Center Speaker
Pioneer SW-8 Subwoofer

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