Directors: Allen Hughes and Albert Hughes

Starring: Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane

The Hughes Brother’s over-baked Jack The Ripper movie, which uses the same theory as the superior 1979 Sherlock Holmes film Murder by Decree, took great pains to recreate period detail with astonishing accuracy, but then completely spoilt things by mixing in two leading actors that wouldn’t know the Arsenal from old Bow. Despite that, it’s a lot of fun, so much so that you can almost forgive the jarring stylistic flourishes, and the dodgy accents.

Fox’s two-disc Region 2 retail version pares away at many of the features offered by the Region 1 Director’s Limited Edition: the elaborate, mood-setting moving menus are gone; and the DTS soundtrack has been dropped. Both discs are presented in 2.35:1 ratio, with anamorphic enhancement, but the bitrate on the 5.1 audio has been reduced from 448kbps to 384kbps. The UK bonus disc also loses the ‘follow the White Rabbit’-type branching feature that threads a separate, parallel documentary into the thirty-minute Jack the Ripper: Six Degrees of Separation featurette (which, on the UK disc, has been renamed Victim / Suspect Files in the process) and the film’s trailer. As a result it’s been possible to squeeze the UK bonus material onto a single-layer, whereas the Region One version benefits from the use of two layers, and twice as much space. 

UK customers have every right to feel outraged by this, and so probably won’t feel much consolation being told that there’s still much to be enjoyed: a commentary track, twenty-one deleted scenes (with optional commentary) and five other mini-documentaries, lasting about ten minutes each, including a Tour of the Murder Sites (the film sets, not the Whitechapel originals) and A View From Hell, a promotional puff piece hosted by Heather Graham.











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