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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem(2007)
In the sequel to the hit 2004 film AVP, the Alien-Predator war continues. A Predator scout ship crash lands in a small Colorado town. The Aliens on board escape and kill all the Predators except one. Now this lone warrior must destroy all the Aliens as well as the Predalien that survived from the first AVP, while the people of the town are helplessly caught in the middle of all the mayhem.
For more about Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem and the Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Blu-ray release, see Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on April 4, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis, Ariel Gade, Sam Trammell
Directors: Colin Strause, Greg Strause
» See full cast & crew
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Blu-ray Review
The next installment of this "vs." franchise makes for a reference-quality Blu-ray disc.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, April 4, 2008
People are dying. We need guns.
I'm a huge fan of the Alien and Predator series of films (well, the good ones, anyway) and I received news of the original Alien vs. Predator film with opens arms. Although it failed to live up to its potential, it proved to be a decent enough picture, certainly better than the abysmal Alien: Resurrection. When news spread of and trailers were released for Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, I was once again ecstatic. There's no way they'd make two mediocre films in a row, right? Certainly a movie set in a sleepy Colorado town where Aliens and Predators wreak havoc on the locals should make for a fantastic movie, right? The plot had me thinking of 30 Days of Night, a somewhat similarly-themed film where Vampires lay waste to the locals of a small Alaskan town. So, now that I've seen the film (I tend to avoid theaters and wait for the Blu-ray these days), did the filmmakers fall into the trap of making yet another mediocre AvP film? No way! They made this one worse!
Aliens vs. Predator Requiem features a cast of characters about whom I didn't care in the least, hardly came to know (despite spending way too much time developing them), and enjoyed watching many of them die. The plot is pretty simple. An alien ship crashes on earth and is discovered by a hunter and his son. They both become alien fodder, hosts for little baby aliens. This is one of the best sequences of the film, and set me up to be very excited and engrossed, only to be let down for the next hour of the film. Anyway, the search for these two individuals escalates, as does the violence in the town. A Predator is dispatched from his home planet to contain the situation he's been informed of on Earth. Meanwhile, aliens, and an Alien-Predator hybrid creature, run amok in the town, killing of people one-by-one. Finally, the town is worked up into a frenzy of fear and paranoia. The townsfolk become divided and the National Guard leisurely make their way into the fight. It's the last thirty minutes of the film that made everything that preceded it worth the wait, although we could have hoped for more even here. Which species will rule the day? How will the action play out, and what will the government's response to this crisis be? Find out in the closing minutes of Aliens vs. Predator Requiem.
Some movies just scream "forget plot and character development! Let's just have 95 minutes of aliens and predators ravaging a town!" Unfortunately, Aliens vs. Predator Requiem doesn't figure that out until it's far too late. There is an awful lot of character development, and weak character development at that, for people we know little about and care for even less. There is a pizza boy who everyone picks on except for the attractive girl, the sheriff (who turns out to be a halfway decent character), and the mother who recently returned home from the military whose daughter now shuns her for abandonment. When some of them die, we hardly flinch, just glad that we witnessed another halfway decent kill scene. It all adds up to a yawn-fest of a movie, having me thinking more about squandered potential rather than what was actually happening in the movie.
Alright, so Aliens vs. Predator Requiem has a few good things going for it. The movie hearkens back to its roots, playing recurring theme music and effects sounds as we've all come to know and love them, easily and readily identifiable from either the Alien or Predator films. We also learn more about the technology the Predators have at their disposal. There are a few sequences in the third act that work rather well, namely many of the battle scenes. However, these scenes appeared as though they were ripped right out of Aliens. There were several times where I was hearkened back to the first confrontation between Marine and Alien in that film, you know, the one where Apone, Frost, Drake, etc. buy the farm. Remember the APC scene in Aliens where Ripley, Gorman, and Burke watch and listen to the battle whilst inside the relative safety of that vehicle? We've got that scene replicated here too. We even have a little girl at the end of the film who asks, "mommy, are the monsters gone?" Is it real or is it Rebecca, A.K.A. Newt? I'm not sure if paying such direct homage is a good thing, and maybe the writers weren't necessarily trying to. Perhaps they just watched the film before writing and were influenced/inspired by it, but the parallels are definitely there. Aliens vs. Predator Requiem also gets the gore right. The movie pulls absolutely no punches as we see a chest burster come out of a kid who's probably about 10 years old. We see heads blown off, arms and faces melted off by acid, the works. Of course Alien and Aliens proved we don't need excessive gore to sell a horror story, and I agree with that philosophy, but for the most part it worked in this film. The conclusion of the film was good and unexpected as well. Some of the effects were cool, especially the all-too-brief scenes taking place in spacecraft, but as far as the positives of the film go, that's about all I have.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Blu-ray, Video Quality
I was mostly impressed by what I saw (or should I say, could see?) of this 1080p, 2.35:1 image from Fox. Though definitely not a weakness of the disc but rather a stylistic choice of the filmmakers, Aliens vs. Predator Requiem is a dark movie, a very dark movie in fact, perhaps one of if not the darkest I've ever borne witness to. Even brightly lit outdoor scenes are dark and slightly murky in appearance. That doesn't mean the image looks bad, just a bit obscured. Detail, what we can see of it, is sharp and clear. The nuances seen on the predator's face reveals information I've never noticed before, whether that is a result of the high quality of the disc or a slight updating of the makeup I don't know, I just know it looks great. Black levels are fantastic, but sometimes the movie is so dark that its hard to clearly see what is on screen. Just for kicks, when we think it cannot become any darker, the power goes out all over town at night. When we do see some glimpses of color, be it during select daylight scenes or, say, by the flashing sirens of police cars at night (not to mention the red and blue of the sirens themselves), they look very good. Because the film offers such dark images, it is somewhat difficult to evaluate, but the most impressive aspect of this transfer is definitely the deep, dark, maybe even scary black levels. They never waver, artificially brighten to reveal information, or cause much crushing, if any. This is an impressive transfer, one that every fan of this style of filmmaking will fall in love with.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Blu-ray, Audio Quality
This DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is another "name your superlative" type mix, one where the senses become overwhelmed by the power of the thing. This one starts out with a bang, rattling your eardrums from the second the movie opens, and it also nicely combines some of the popular sounds from the Alien and Predator movies, such as that of the tracking device from Aliens and the sound of the predator as he adjust the sighting of his visor. This is a very loud and aggressive mix. The surrounds and subwoofer are used in full force; even the breathing of the aliens makes the subwoofer quiver. Spaceships zoomed and whizzed around the room (all too briefly, I might add) and all of the action found its way into the back channels. No doubt my sound system wanted to run and hide during this entire movie. It's that powerful and loud, and I still cant wipe the grin from my face. Surrounds are even active for really great ambience as insects chirped and crows cawed in the movie's opening minutes. Almost everything has a surround presence, from the shrieks of the aliens (reminiscent to the sound they made when they died in Aliens) to a blaring claxon that sounds at a refinery. Gunfire during the battle in chapter 18 sounded amazing as it created a war zone in my media room, coming at me from all directions. The sound of the M4 rifle firing on full auto (I want one), especially as heard in chapter 24, is really, really deep, powerful, and realistic. I loved it. Dialogue reproduction caused no issues of note for this ear, an ear (two, actually) that had an absolute blast listening to this soundtrack.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Aliens vs. Predator Requiem comes loaded with special features. Two feature length commentary tracks highlight the proceedings. The first features co-directors Colin and Gregg Strause ("The Brothers Strause") and producer John Davis. An enjoyable track, we learn of the brothers' love for both franchises, the processes involved in creating the numerous visual effects seen in the film, and challenges to the brothers' desires for the film versus what the studio executives wanted (or wanted to pay for, as the case may be). Sequences and themes removed from the final version of the story (such as character traits the "Predalien" acquired from each species) are also discussed, as is how some of the good looking props and vehicles were made on the cheap. The trio also talks about the ideas and thematic elements revolving around the film's unexpected ending, as well as an alternate ending they thought about filming, the ending I frankly expected as the film closed. The second track features Tom Woodruff, Jr. and Alec Gillis, both co-designers of the Alien and Predator effects. This pair discuss their history with the franchise and many of the technical aspects of the filmmaking process. We are informed almost on a scene-by-scene basis what is digital and what is real. It becomes a bit tedious, but this is definitely worth a listen for budding effects artists or those very interested in such matters.
Moving along, Weyland-Yutani Archive is a bonus-view (Blu-ray profile 1.1) accessible-only, text-based feature. Once selected, we are prompted to choose which species we want to learn more about, "Xenomorph" (Alien) or "Yautja" (Predator). This database contains a wealth of information, from the biology of the Xenomorphs, their behavioral patterns, and the history of our encounters with the species. For the Yautja, viewers can study up on Predator arsenals, their culture, and their biology -- most impressive. Five featurettes are next. AVP-R: Preparing For War: Development and Production (480p, 15:52) is your standard feature that showcases a look at the evolution of the script with a detailed look at the Predalien hybrid. AVP-R: Fight to the Finish: Post-Production (480p, 12:3) looks at both the editing process and digital renderings created during post-production. AVP-R: The Nightmare Returns: Creating the Aliens (480p, 7:37) examines the creation of the standard (read: non-digital, "real") effects scattered throughout the film. AVP-R: Crossbreed: Creating the Predalien (480p, 8:21) focuses on this new creature, its evolution, creation, and integration into the story. Finally, AVP-R: Building the Predator Homeworld (480p, 6:37) shows us the vision and creation of this short yet fascinating scene and its origins from what we've seen in previous Alien and Predator films.
Next up is a series of still galleries, broken into seven categories: Designing the Predator, Designing the Alien, Designing the Predalien, On Set: The Rooftop, On Set: The Sewer, On Set: The Hive, and On Set: Cast and Crew. Two theatrical trailers for Aliens vs. Predator Requiem are next (1080p, 4:29). Concluding the supplements we find trailers for 1080p trailers for Alien vs. Predator, Behind Enemy Lines, Planet of the Apes, and The Transporter, all offered in 1080p. This disc is also D-Box enabled and a second disc includes a digital copy of the film, allowing you to install it onto a personal computer or portable video device. For more information on digital copy, please see the supplemental review section in the review for Hitman.
Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Aliens vs. Predator Requiem is a case study in wasted potential. The film has its moments, make no mistake, but those moments are much too far and few between to really matter. The movie drags along from most of the first act and most of the second, and chaos reigns the rainy night in the third, making for at least a good start to what I was hoping to see for the entire length of the film. At least the disc offers Blu-ray quality at its finest. Sporting dual 5-star audio and video ratings, I was thoroughly satisfied with the experience each offered, making this a reference-quality disc. There is also a substantial amount of extra material that is sure to keep the most ardent Aliens vs. Predator Requiem fans busy for hours. I really wanted to be able to recommend this disc, and I can for the high quality of the picture quality and audio quality, as well as the wealth of supplemental material. It is only with the movie itself that I found cause for disappointment, and even then it's one worth watching for fans of either or both of the franchises pitted one against another. Aliens vs. Predator Requiem is a disc I recommend purchasing for Blu-ray fans seeking first-rate picture and audio quality, or for diehard fans of Aliens and Predators.
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Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Both Alien vs Predator Movies See Blu-ray Release - February 14, 2008
Fox Home Entertainment has announced that they will release 'Alien vs Predator: Requiem' for Blu-ray on April 15th, day-and-date with the DVD release. Additionally, Fox will reissue the original 'Alien vs Predator' movie on the same day as a Collector's Edition ...
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