Media

Movie Renter's Guide Number 154 - January, 2008 - Part II

ARTICLE INDEX

"Resident Evil: Extinction" (Blu-ray)

movie-resident-evil-extinction.jpgSynopsis

Las Vegas means fun in the sun. Well, at least the sun is still there. Except for a few rusting landmarks, it looks pretty much like the rest of the desert - or the whole country, for that matter. The crowds are now flesh-eating zombies: the mass undead, the oozing, terrifying sludge of what remains. Here, the newly upgraded Alice, along with her crew, will make a final stand against evil - with one goal: to turn the undead dead again.

 

Specifications

  • Screen Gems
    2007, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 34 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • English/French Dolby True HD 5.1
  • Portuguese/Spanish DD 5.1
  • Directed by Russell Mulcahy
  • Starring Milla Jovovich, Oded Fehr, Ali Larter, Ashanti, Mike Epps  Starring Gaspard Ulliel, Gong Li, Dominic West, Kevin McKidd, Rhys Ifans
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Strong
  • Sex: Nudity
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

This third installment in the popular video game to screen series is quite a step up from the almost embarrassingly bad sequel. I hated the second one so much that I paid zero attention to this one during its theatrical run and was a bit reluctant to want to watch it for this review. While I don’t think it is quite as entertaining as the first film, it is a nice step up from the second film and loses a lot of the cheese that was spread a bit thick in the sequel. While I don’t think it is in the same league as some other zombie films out there (28 Weeks Later, Day of the Dead) it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

Technical

Sony has delivered a gorgeous HD presentation with this one and continues its track record of solid A/V presentations. Detail is stellar throughout, with some of the best fine object detail I’ve seen. The only time the picture drops the ball a bit is in the beginning when they use some stock footage from the original film. Colors are naturally rendered and contrast is excellent without being too pumped up. One other complaint is Milla’s face, which looks like it was either touched up with CG or completely caked with make-up because it looked like complete plastic compared to everyone else in the film.

Sony delivers a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack for this one, and it’s quite good. My only real complaint is the overall level, which is a bit high. I had to turn the volume down a bit compared to standard playback levels, and I like my movies loud. Dynamic range is excellent, and there is plenty of action in this to get things going. The surround soundstage is wide open, with great discrete effects and nice panning. Bass is deep with some decent infrasonics. Dialogue always sounds natural and is balanced well with the soundtrack, but there was some distracting ADR issues at times.

Extras

This is the first Blu-ray disc to use a secondary video stream for its picture-in-picture feature. This is a feature we’ve seen for quite some time from the HD DVD camp, but unfortunately it has required dual encodes of the film so far with Blu-ray. The only issue is, you need a new Profile 1.1 player to take advantage of the feature. Right now the Playstation 3 and Panasonic DMP-BD30K are the only 1.1 players on the market that I know of. We used the Panasonic for this review and had no issue whatsoever with the PiP functions. Sony includes storyboards, on-set footage, commentary, and interviews for the PiP content. This disc also includes a Blu-Wizard feature similar to what we saw with Black Hawk Down where you can tailor the special features to the film by selecting what you want to see and when. There are also deleted scenes, a feature commentary, a trailer for the upcoming CGI Resident Evil feature, and some production features. Kudos to Sony for delivering the first 1.1 Blu-ray disc!