Monday, December 20, 2010

Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D Blu-ray Review

Release Date: Dec. 28th, 2010
Disc Size: 43.4 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: ABC
The Video
'Resident Evil: Afterlife' debuts on Blu-ray 3D with a 1080p MVC video presentation, the 2D version of the film is also included on the disc. Please note, to view the 3D version of the film you must have a 3DTV, 3D Blu-ray player and 3D glasses. If you do not have a 3D setup yet however, your regular 2D setup will work just fine in playing the disc in 2D.

I had the chance to see the film theatrically in 3D, and to be honest I found the presentation quite underwhelming as a whole. The trailers made the James Cameron (Avatar) connection, which was smart, but it just didn’t live up to the hype.

Can it be? The Blu-ray 3D release is actually BETTER than my theatrical 3D experience, that is what I think. The 3D effects on the Panasonic 3D Plasma I viewed were great and I especially loved the lack of crosstalk present on the release.

I know many say crosstalk is an issue with the hardware and not the actual disc, which is possible. I have had some incredible 3D experiences with minimal crosstalk and certain experiences with more serious crosstalk/ghosting, and yes the display did affect my viewing experience.

I have had a chance to compare 3D films across LCD/LED, Plasma and DLP and my preference is Plasma. LCD/LED featured far more noticeable ghosting, DLP featured no ghosting and Plasma featured minimal to no ghosting. I do prefer the quality of Plasma in overall clarity and detail however, but regardless of display you will not be disappointed by Resident Evil: Afterlife on Blu-ray 3D.

I viewed the film entirely on my Panasonic 3D plasma television and I did not experience crosstalk/ghosting even once. I also previewed scenes from the film on a Samsung LED display which also featured no crosstalk/ghosting, while other films did feature plenty.

I do think display plays a big part on crosstalk/ghosting effect we see on occasion, but I wouldn’t rule out the transfer completely as the latest presentations are far better than launch releases such as ‘My Bloody Valentine’ or ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ on Blu-ray 3D.

‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’ features a very strong transfer with sharp levels of detail and excellent overall clarity. Colors are strong throughout and were never underwhelming, black levels stayed inky throughout. The film looks great in 3D or 2D so you cannot go wrong with either version.

I will say that certain special effects sequences are a bit softer than the overall presentation, but it isn’t too much to complain about. The 3D pop is excellent and I do feel they incorporated the 3D very nicely in the film, mixing a nice level of depth and gimmicky pop throughout (the pop in this film is very fun, like the film).

Ultimately, if you plan to go 3D in the near future I would easily recommend the Blu-ray 3D release for the presentation alone. As mentioned, you can view the 2D version of the film in your regular Blu-ray player while you wait to upgrade your setup.

‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’ features a high-def presentation that appears to be as accurate as can be, which is only improved with the Blu-ray 3D presentation which adds another level of dimension to an already enjoyable visual experience. The film looks great in 2D and is even better with the 3D effects. I was very pleased to see a total lack of ghosting/crosstalk from beginning to end. 10/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included for both the 3D and 2D versions of the film. An English Audio Descriptive Service, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks are also included. Optional subtitles include English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian and Swedish.

Like the video presentation, the audio presentation is strong and impressive. The mix features a strong level of surround use throughout, I was particularly impressed by the great placement of the audio effects and the impressive direction of everything in general.

Dialogue was fairly front heavy, crystal clear throughout. The surround use moments were aggressive and exciting and help immerse you into the film and the 3D experience. The mix will have your room shaking when a scene calls for it; the film’s score is also incredible, I just love everything about it. 10/10.

The Extras

Undead Vision: Picture-in-Picture
View the film with a very enjoyable picture-in-picture track which provides plenty of behind-the-scenes footage and images throughout the film.

Audio Commentary
With Writer/Director Paul W.S. Anderson, Producer Jeremy Bolt and Producer Robert Kulzer.

Deleted & Extended Scenes (6:48) (HD)
Five deleted scenes and three extended scenes are included.

Outtakes (4:30) (HD)
This is a very fun collection of outtakes from the film.

Back Under the Umbrella: Directing Afterlife (6:43) (HD)
Writer/Director Paul W.S. Anderson talks about coming back for Afterlife since directing the first film and how this has been his favorite moviemaking experience yet.

Band of Survivors: Casting Afterlife (6:39) (HD)
The cast and crew discuss the new cast members and the roles they play.

Undead Dimension: Resident Evil in 3D (7:28) (HD)
The cast and crew talk about making the film in 3D and the challenges and benefits that come along with it. This is very cool to see and fans of the Blu-ray 3D format will enjoy it very much.

Fighting Back: The Action of Afterlife (5:32) (HD)
Actress Milla Jovovich and cast talk about the amazing stunts in the film and preparing for them.

Vision of the Apocalypse: The Design of Afterlife (7:28) (HD)
See the ideas and sketches made to ultimately create the film. Go behind-the-scenes of the sets and learn about their shooting locations.

New Blood: The Undead of Afterlife (7:32) (HD)
The crew talks about the undead evolving in the film. See behind-the-scenes footage of producing the makeup and look for the undead.

Pwning the Undead: Gamers of the Afterlife (6:12) (HD)
The cast and crew talk about incorporating the gaming feel and look more than ever with this latest Resident Evil film.

Sneak Peek of Resident Evil: Damnation (1:11) (HD)
See a sneak peek of the new original CG movie, which is planned for release on Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray.

Previews (HD)
See high-def previews for ‘Takers,’ ‘Salt,’ ‘The Virginity Hit,’ ‘Faster,’ and ‘Ticking Clock’ from Sony Pictures.

BD-Live Portal (Internet Connection Required)
Download the latest trailers and clips from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The extras included are great, but I wish Sony Pictures Home Entertainment packaged this release as a combo pack. A DVD copy while not necessary would have been a nice addition, and certain films (like this one) would be nice to have via Digital Copy. The featurettes included are all great and I loved all of the behind-the-scenes footage included. 8/10.

The Movie
Let me start off by admitting that I am a huge fan of the 'Resident Evil' series, in fact I am a huge fan of the zombie genre in general, whether it be films, TV or video games. 'Resident Evil: Afterlife' always looked disappointing to me since the first trailer for the film released.

I can admit that the ‘Resident Evil’ films aren’t exactly the smartest films, but I do think they are some of the most fun, particularly in the zombie genre. I love Milla Jovovich who has played the lead character Alice since the first film and I am glad she has plans to continue.

As mentioned earlier in the review, I did see the film theatrically in 3D. I was disappointed by the 3D experience in theaters, but the Blu-ray 3D made up for it nicely. I loved the film upon initial viewing despite the less than exciting trailers. While it won’t be winning any awards anytime soon, it still manages to be one of those films having me back for more and more, it’s so incredibly fun.The film continues where ‘Resident Evil: Extinction’ left off and leaves an ending which is an obvious opening for the next film in the series (please be soon). The ‘Resident Evil’ films are not the greatest films, but the films are my ‘Transformers’ (Enjoyed by many, but are special effects spectacles). Personally though, I can’t stand ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ (I couldn’t even finish it upon repeated attempts), but I do love me ‘Resident Evil’ movies.

The film features impressive special effects, likeable new characters and opens up the way for possibly the biggest sequel yet. I love ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’ and while I can admit it has plenty of flaws, I cannot lie and say I didn’t love every second of it. 8/10.

The Blu-news Summary
While not everyone will embrace the film like I did, I loved ‘Resident Evil: Afterlife’ for the fun experience it provides. The Blu-ray 3D release is great, featuring a top notch video and audio presentation. The extras are also very enjoyable. Overall this release is a ‘Must Own’ for those with a Blu-ray 3D setup, and easily ‘Recommended’ to those without.

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