View Full Version : Staff Review - RESIDENT EVIL (Rental)

13-02-2003, 09:15 PM
<I><B>Buena Vista Home Entertainment.</I>
<h2> RESIDENT EVIL </h2>

Released: Out now
Rating: MA 15+
RRP: Rental Only

<LI>Cast & Filmmakers Commentary
<LI>The Making Of Resident Evil Featurette
<LI>Scoring Resident Evil Featurette
<LI>Costumes Featurette
<LI>Set Design Featurette
<LI>Zombie Makeup Tests
<LI>"My Plague" Music video by Slipknot
<LI>Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 & dts 5.1
<LI>Aspect: 1.78:1 widescreen 16:9 enhanced.
<LI>Subtitles: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Finnish .
<LI>Running Time: 96.31 minutes</UL>

Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius, James Purefoy,
Martin Crewes and Colin Salmon
<b>DIRECTED BY: </b> Paul W.S. Anderson

<center><B>INTRODUCTION: </b></center>
Resident Evil is a series of video games that has been (and still is) available on various formats.
I've been a bit of a fan of the games for a while now (in fact, I still own my Dreamcast console because I still play two of the Resident Evil games from time to time), so with news that this movie was being made I was both excited and skeptical. Excited that an awesome game was being turned into a movie, but skeptical about how much of the game characters, ideas and story would actually influence the movie. Now that I've seen the end result, I'm pretty relieved.
I don't want to say too much as I don't like spoilers, and don't want to be giving any away, but fans of the games should be pleased to see that things such as The Umbrella Corporation, Raccoon City and the T- Virus, amongst other things that are featured in the movie in some way or another.
Anyway, I don't want to say too much more, so if you want to know more about the story, read the From The Back Cover section below and it should fill you in.
On with the review……..

<center><B>FROM THE BACK COVER: </b></center>
<i>Based on the hugely popular video game series, RESIDENT EVIL is an action-packed techno-thriller that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Sexy up-and-coming actress Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element) and Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and the Furious) star as two commandos in a military task force. Their mission is to isolate a deadly virus that has wiped out the entire staff of an ultra-secret underground research centre run by the Umbrella Corporation and controlled by the Red Queen, an all-powerful supercomputer. And they only have three hours! It’s a battle of good versus evil, human against computer and the living against the Undead.</i>

Resident Evil is provided with Dolby Digital 5.1, dts 5.1 and there's also an Audio Commentary that is in Dolby Digital 2.0
The two main audio options have an excellent quality to them, with admirable clarity while giving you a good feeling of envelopment in the movie.
There's no denying that the audio is outstanding but when doing a comparison, I didn't think that the dts 5.1 option was that much different to the Dolby Digital 5.1
Yes, it's still the better option with a tad more oomph and clarity, but those of you who can't use the dts 5.1 audio, you aren't missing out on much and will still be very happy with what you experience.
All of the speakers were put to work during the movie and there was plenty of directional audio, panning audio and sound coming from the rear. The sub certainly makes an impression as there are plenty of opportunities for it to do so.
Dialogue is crystal clear, easy to follow and the sync is spot on.
The music rocks big time! There's plenty of the hard stuff which suits the entire movie.
Marilyn Manson was involved in developing the score and his influence definitely paid off, as it works very well. Overall, the audio kicks arse and is an excellent effort.

Resident Evil has an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen and is 16:9 enhanced.
Well folks, other than a bit of an obvious layer change, the video qualities are pretty much perfect in all areas. The reason I mention the layer change is that it happens mid scene at 73.02 as Milla Jovovich takes off a jacket and the pause does disrupt the flow of the movie, albeit just for a few seconds.
There is a scene at 9.59 that shows Milla Jovovich walking slowly to a window and the picture suddenly skips ahead just one frame. It's nothing dramatic, but I noticed it, as did two other people on subsequent viewings of the movie.
That's about it though folks. That's my nit picking done for this section of the review, as the rest of the movie looks bloody fantastic. It's sharp and clear throughout, with a huge amount of detail on offer. There are numerous dimly lit scenes, but these always look superb.
There are no marks or scratches, and I thought I may have seen a little bit of grain at one point, but it wasn't enough to be worth going back at checking.
There isn't a great deal of colour used in the movie, but what we did see was rendered perfectly and never showed and signs of trouble.
The colours in the flash back scenes looked a little different, but it's explained in the audio commentary that they were deliberately de-saturated.
Overall, Resident Evil looks bloody fantastic on DVD.

<center><B>EXTRA FEATURES:</b></center>
Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0) -
As I've said in other reviews, I'm a big fan of audio commentaries but unfortunately, this won't feature very high on my list of personal favourites.
Paul W.S. Anderson and Producer Jeremy Bolt are there to tell us about the making of the movie, but much to my dismay Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez just wanted to fart arse around and interrupt a lot. There is one part earlier on where one of the guys is trying to tell us about the way that the colours were altered for the flashback scenes in the shower, but he's interrupted by Milla Jovovich who wants to point out that you can see her nipple and basically says, who cares about the colour grading. Michelle Rodriguez waffles on for the first 6 and a half minutes before asking the others if she's there the do a commentary on the whole movie and actually sounds surprised when they say yes. God knows what she thought she was there for.
They guys do get to pass on some good bits of info about production, sets and people who appear in the movie, so things aren't entirely wasted. It's a good commentary, but I personally wish I could have had an option that would leave out the female part of the commentary.

The Making of Resident Evil Featurette (27.22) -
This 27.22 minute Making-of featurette contains all the typical things a making-of featurette does plus some. There are cast & crew interviews, behind the scenes and clips from the movie. Many things are touched on throughout this making-of featurette including the story, the characters, the T virus, the stunts, the makeup, Producer Jeremy Bolt's roles as a Zombie in the movie, the sets and locations and so much more. This is a comprehensive Making-of featurette that covers so much while still remaining very enjoyable to watch. Definitely a highly recommended feature on this DVD.

Scoring Resident Evil Featurette (11.08) -
Scoring Resident Evil contains interviews with Writer/Producer Paul W.S. Anderson talking about his ideas of what he wanted the score to be like and the inspiration behind this, the reasons he chose the composers he did and more. There are also interviews with Resident Evil Composers Marcus Beltrami and Marilyn Manson who talk about many different things including why they composed the score the way they did and their feelings about the finished product.
Running for just over 11 minutes this is a great featurette that gives the viewer some insight into what went into scoring this film.

Costumes Featurette (3.26) -
This is just a quick 3.26 minute look at the various costumes used in the movie.
Production & Costume Designer Richard Bridgland talks about how the costumes worn by the different commandos differed slightly and touches on some of the different gadgets that were included in their suits. Then there are interview snippets of Paul W.S. Anderson talking about the problems Milla Jovovich had because of the dress she wore throughout the film and finally Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez talk about their characters and costumes.
Also included throughout this featurette are clips from the movie and also some costume design drawings.

Set Design Featurette (4.06) -
Another quick featurette here, this one running for just over 4 minutes.
Costume and Production Designer Richard Bridgland talks about the many different elements that went into the set design, what he wanted for the set design and what he wanted to avoid, hoe the movie resembled the game in some ways and why it didn't in others and more.
While only short this featurette remains interesting and enjoyable right to the very end.

Zombie Make-up Tests (1.01) -
This is 1.01 minutes of close-up shots of some of the different Zombies.
Almost all of these shots are filmed in the same room and basically have the "zombie" turn towards the camera to show their wounds to the best effect. This whole segment is set to music and it is interesting to see close-up shots of the make-up effects used to create these "zombies".

Music Video -
Presented in Widescreen with Dolby 2.0 audio the "My Plague" Music video by Slipknot runs for 3.05 minutes and includes clips from the movie along with clips of the band on stage.

Biographies -
This feature provides you with film credits for the 4 main cast members and
Writer/Director Paul W.S. Anderson. You have a background picture of the cast/crew member
and you are able to read one or two screens of text listing their film credits.
The cast & crew members listed are as follows: Paul W.S. Anderson, Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Eric Mabius and James Purefoy.

<center><B>MY MEMORABLE MOMENT FROM THIS DVD:</b></center>
To be honest, it's a death scene that is soooo cool, but telling you before you see the movie would spoil the lead up and lessen the shock of moment of death, so instead, I'd have to say that being a fan of the games, it was good to see how much was taken from them and used in the movie, rather than the name being used, but the movie going in its own direction.

If you haven't seen this movie yet, go and grab a copy, but definitely make sure it's on DVD.
This version kicks arse in many ways. Take your pick…. The movie, the music, audio quality, video quality, extra features…. It's all good folks.
If you are looking for something that you can turn up loud, and has a descent amount of arse kicking, not to mention a couple of very cool death scenes, renting this DVD should be high on your list. Check it out!
Resident Evil is available is a Rental Only at this stage.

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" ALIGN="center" BORDER="1">
<tr><td><B><center>Rating out of 5</b></center> </b> </td>
<tr><td><B>VIDEO QUALITY</b> </td><td><B>4.75</b> </td></tr>
<tr><td><B>AUDIO QUALITY</b> </td><td><B>4.75</b> </td></tr>
<tr><td><B>EXTRAS</b> </td><td><B>4</b> </td></tr>
<tr><td><B>THE MOVIE</b> </td><td><B>4.25 </b></td></tr>
<tr><td><B>OVERALL</B> </td><td><B>4.5</b></td></tr></table>