Sunday, October 17, 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife

RESIDENT EVIL AFTERLIFE is a film that does what no one would expect of a fourth installment: it actually improves the quality of the series. When I saw the original RESIDENT EVIL, I totally fell in love with the film's ability to mix creepy horror with pure shoot-'em-up-style action. While I thoroughly enjoyed the second and third installments' quality as pure action movies, I was frustrated by the loss of the creepiness that I had enjoyed so much in the first one. REA actually manages to bring back the spooky feeling of the first film, while upping the ante on the action. After having seen this movie in normal 2D and also in 3D, I have to admit that while it holds up well as a "normal" movie, it is undeniable that the 3D version adds a whole new dimension to the series (sorry I couldn't resist that one). Using the James Cameron / Vincent Pace Fusion Camera System, REA has a quality of 3D not seen in any other film except AVATAR. I have to admit that I had been slow to adopt 3D before seeing REA, but now I am a believer. Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil, Stone) is excellent as usual as Alice, and continues to build a rich history for the character. Ali Larter (Resident Evil: Extinction, Heroes) does an admirable job as Claire Redfield, as does Wentworth Miller as Claire's brother Chris. Shawn Roberts gives a great performance as Albert Wesker, and Paul W.S. Anderson's (Resident Evil, Death Race) writing and direction are flawless.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Ghost Writer

When I saw THE GHOST WRITER, it was more of a random choice than anything else. I was in the mood for a movie that night, and it just happened to be one of only two that were showing at or around the time I arrived at my local cinema. The other one was DATE NIGHT, which I wasn't really in the mood for. I like comedies, but that night I felt like something more sobering. I was not disappointed. TGW is a subtle, atmospheric film. It is the kind of picture that draws you in, and gives a feeling of being in another place and time. Ewan McGregor (Black Hawk Down, Moulin Rouge!) plays a ghost writer hired to finish the memoirs of former British prime minister Adam Lang, portrayed by Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye, The Thomas Crown Affair). And in a scene-stealing performance is Olivia Williams (Rushmore, The Sixth Sense) as Ruth, Lang's wife. I found the movie to be intense, suspenseful, and highly entertaining, with an ending that stayed with me long after I left the auditorium. Directed with great care by Roman Polanski, I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark DVD

Finally, after a long wait, DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK is available on DVD from Warner's Archive Collection. The WB Archive Collection is a series of made-on-demand (MOD) discs, featuring films that may not have wide enough appeal to warrant the full DVD manufacturing process, but still have a loyal following. The transfer on this title is full screen 1.37:1 (it was made for television back in the 70's after all), but it looked good on my Sony HDTV with some minor adjustments. If you have always wanted to own this title, now is your chance!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles Blu Ray

Since the last time I posted, I picked up TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES Season One on Blu-ray, and also Season 2. The picture and sound quality on the Blu-ray editions is great, and the p.q. in particular is a noticeable improvement over the DVD. In terms of content, I was both impressed and saddened by the second set, as it is the final season. I felt the show was hitting its stride, and had enough substance to continue for a third year. However it was not to be, and so the show's producers did their best to wrap things up in the final episode. While T:TSCC was short it was also sweet, and I felt it was an excellent farewell to the series mythology.