• Emmanuelle 2 (Kino Lorber) Blu-ray Review



    Emmanuelle 2
    Released by: Kino Lorber
    Released on: April 9th, 2019.
    Director: Francis Giacobetti
    Cast: Sylvia Kristel, Umberto Orsini, Frédéric Lagache
    Year: 1975
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    The Movie:

    This sequel (known in its native France as Emmanuelle: L'antivierge and elsewhere as Emmanuelle, The Joys Of A Woman), made a year later by director Francis Giacobetti (who would go on to produce Emmanuelle IV in 1984).

    When the film beings, Emmanuelle (Kirstel again) is on a boat to meet up with her husband (Umberto Orsini of The Antichrist), Jean, in the thriving Hong Kong of the mid-seventies. This being the sex film that it is, of course there are no available cabins and so she winds up bunking in a room full of other women. While fast asleep, her slumber is disturbed when the woman in the bed beside her tells her that in the past she was raped by a trio of Filipino men and, that she enjoyed it. As such, she can’t sleep. What happens next? Shockingly, Emmanuelle and this woman have rad lesbian sex.

    Once she lands in Hong Kong, Emmanuelle connects with Jean and they have the long awaited sex that they’ve both been wanting for ages now. Emmanuelle gets comfortable in Hong Kong, befriending Anna Marie (Catherine Rivet), who just so happens to be the sexy stepdaughter of one of the women that Jean has been entertaining in her absence. When Emmanuelle finds out that Anna Marie has yet to be deflowered, she makes it a bit of a personal mission to see that this is taken care of and quickly remedied.

    From there, Emmanuelle has sex with a lot of people. She gets it on with Anna Maria's dance teacher, screws a guy in the locker room of the polo club she attends (he’s got some amazing fake tattoos), and has a super sexy acupuncture session before then pretending to be a hooker in a brothel where she teaches a group of sailors all that she knows about the carnal arts. Eventually she and Jean take Anna Maria to a bathhouse, where three Thai women help them out. After that, the three of them escape to Bali where Emmanuelle and Anna Marie decide to give Jean a steamy surprise.

    This second film is just as lushly photographed and beautiful to look at as the original picture is but it benefits from stronger pacing and a bit more of a story. Granted, like the first film, this second picture isn’t exactly deep in terms of its narrative structure (it’s only slightly less superficial than the original film) but the friendship and obvious attraction that develops between Emmanuelle and Anna Marie helps to flesh things out and hold our interest and not just because we know that eventually they’re going to screw. The character development is stronger here, and the performances, while not exactly Oscar-worthy, handle this without any trouble at all. In fact, everyone that appears in front of the camera does a more than acceptable job not just with the sex scenes, but with the occasional dramatic interludes that are tossed into the mix as well. On top of that, the acupuncture scenes are just plain weird, so the movie gets bonus points for that, and there’s a strange subplot of sorts involving a young hunky man who enjoys airplane propellers and a weird animated scene that actually kind of goes into hardcore territory on a technical level, some oiled-up flexing Asian guys. Interestingly enough, one of the masseuses in the film is played by none other than the ‘Black Emanuelle’ herself, Laura Gemser.

    All in all, a more than worthy sequel to the original film. Yeah, fine, it might not break a whole lot of new ground, but it gives those who enjoyed the first film more of what made it work – sexy ladies in sexy situations, lush photography, exotic locations, swanky music and an enjoyable, free-spirited attitude towards sex.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Emmanuelle 2 is presented on a 25GB Blu-ray in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 2.35.1 widescreen. This transfer does appear to have some noise reduction applied to it, giving things a somewhat waxy look, but it still trumps the old DVD release. Colors have a slightly yellow tinge to them but otherwise are reproduced well enough. Black levels are good. There are no problems at all with print damage, you’d be hard pressed to find a single white speck. The soft cinematography results in, well, a soft looking film and the DNR is a shame but this transfer is okay, if leaving room for improvement. The Studio Canal logo that plays at the beginning of the feature is a pretty good indicator that this transfer, or at least the source for it, mirrors the European Blu-ray and it does seem to match the Australian release as well.

    Audio options for the film are supplied in 16-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono in your choice of English or French with optional subtitles provided in English only. No problems to report here. The movie plays better in French but both the French and English language options for the feature sound just fine. Levels are properly balanced and the tracks are free of any hiss or distortion. The film’s score also sounds very good here, though the French track does sound just a tad stronger and fuller than the English counterpart.

    The main extra on the disc is The Joys Of Emmanuelle Part 2, with Sylvia Kristel, Just Jaeckin and Yves Rousset-Rouard. This picks up where the featurette on the Kino release of the first movie left of. Here, over the span of ten-minutes, they discuss the importance of rushing a second film into production, giving Kirstel more money to reprise the role she made famous, other films that came out around the same time geared to a similar audience like The Story Of O, the locations, the photography and marketing that helped promote the film, how Francis Giacobetti came to direct the picture, Kristel’s thoughts on the misogyny in the film and how she got an eye infection on the shoot, working with Umberto Orsini, Laura Gemser’s appearance in the film, censorship issues, the score and quite a bit more.

    Rounding out the extra on the disc are six radio spots, a teaser for the feature, two trailers for the feature and bonus trailers for Emmanuelle and Goodbye Emmanuelle as well as menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    This sequel is a considerably better film than the original. It’s more effective not just in its depiction of stirring eroticism but also in its narrative structure. The film, like its predecessor, is beautifully shot and impressive on a visual level. The Blu-ray release from Kino presents the film in an imperfect transfer that still bests the older DVD release, with an interesting featurette as its primary extra feature.

    Click on the images below for full sized Emmanuelle & Emmanuelle 2 Blu-ray screen caps!