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Dead Space: Downfall(2008)
A feature-length prequel to the Electronic Arts' video game, this animated sci-fi horror adventure follows a group of space miners who uncover evidence of humankind's creators then unwittingly release a violent alien race from within a faraway planet. Now it's up to a special team of miners and space crew to stop the most ruthless, evil alien beings from wreaking havoc on the human race.
For more about Dead Space: Downfall and the Dead Space: Downfall Blu-ray release, see Dead Space: Downfall Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on December 12, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Nika Futterman, Bruce Boxleitner, Keith Szarabajka, Kevin Michael Richardson, Jim Cummings
Director: Chuck Patton
» See full cast & crew
Dead Space: Downfall Blu-ray Review
'Dead Space' doesn't amount to dead weight on Blu-ray.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, December 12, 2008
The video game is quickly becoming the new novel, a source Hollywood regularly turns to for ideas on what to commit to celluloid next. The pattern goes something like this: a new game is released to tremendous critical and fan acclaim, selling hundreds of thousands of copies, sometimes across multiple platforms. A few years go by; the game sometimes remains as popular as ever, perhaps due in part to sequels, or perhaps it looses favor to the latest and greatest graphics buster. Rights are sold, a script is penned, a cast and crew assembled, and the movie shot and released to generally high curiosity and mediocre to poor (or in the case of Uwe Boll, horrific) reviews. Super Mario Bros., Doom, and Resident Evil are but a few of the most popular titles in gaming history to see a translation to the silver screen, each with mixed results. Dead Space: Downfall bucks the trend. Released around the same time that the video game hit store shelves, this animated features serves as a prequel to the events leading up to the beginning of the video game, now available for the Playstation 3.
In the dark, cavernous depths of space, the Ishimura and her crew take aboard a religious artifact from an otherwise dead world. In the week following, acts of violence aboard the ship have skyrocketed, leading to speculation that the artifact itself is somehow responsible. Crew members turn on one another and themselves with superhuman strength. When a two-man vessel is sent to the surface of the planet to further investigate, the men find a blood-soaked compound littered with corpses. The vessel returns, unwittingly bringing with it an alien life form that continues the mayhem, killing the crew who in turn mutate into deadly, savage creatures with an appetite for flesh and a thirst for blood.
Dead Space: Downfall is definitely not a Saturday morning cartoon for young audiences. Awash in blood and spewing foul language in every scene, the movie is an extension of a mature-rated game that doesn't shy away from blood-soaked action, particularly in scenes featuring a weapon that is a cross between a lightsaber and a chainsaw. Though the violence is plenty palpable and brought to life through the steady hands of the animators, gore hounds will nevertheless watch the film wishing it were live action; there is some inventive and grotesque imagery scattered about the movie that just doesn't have the same stomach-churning effect in an animated state. Nevertheless, after a slow start, the incessant violence makes for a mostly fun watch, even if the film slowly becomes repetitive, even in its subcompact 70+ minute runtime, not to mention almost completely lacking in substance. The film pulls no punches, features no morality tale or message underneath the violence, though there is a religious undertone to the main crux of the story, one that feels more tacked on to try and add some kind of significance to an otherwise meaningless action story. As "leave your brain at the door" (literally, in the case of the content of the movie) style entertainment, Dead Space: Downfall works well enough as easy adult entertainment, or as an extension to the video game for serious gamers.
Dead Space: Downfall Blu-ray, Video Quality
Dead Space: Downfall tears into Blu-ray with a nice looking 1080p transfer framed in a 1.78:1 window. The transfer features great colors and mesmerizing blacks. The dead of space looks dark and void, a true black that punctuates the stars and other objects in exterior space shots. The animation offers nice looking detail around the ship and planet, and the Blu-ray brings out all of the finer nuances. Lines are smooth and sharp, though many background images become hazy and soft. An appreciable sense of depth accompanies most shots. The bread and butter of the film, blood and guts, look great; various shots of shredded and otherwise mutilated bodies bring out all the details and hard work the animators poured into the movie. All in all, this is a solid visual experience that won't disappoint viewers.
Dead Space: Downfall Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Dead Space: Downfall's Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless track is the highlight of the show. One of the film's opening shots on the planet features an incessant, chilling presence that permeates the soundstage and adds a nice and creepy atmosphere to the sequence. Dialogue is focused up the middle, clear and precise. Interior shots of the ship feature a fantastic yet subtle rumble in the background as the engine works to keep the ship moving. There is a fine sense of space about the track; the mix spreads out and never feels cramped or focused in one tiny part of the listening area. Bass rattles in accompaniment of several scenes, and sound effects come through with hard-hitting yet precise clarity. Some discrete effects find their way around the soundstage, an example being a chorus of voices complaining that they cannot get up close and personal with the relic in chapter five. Gun shots ring out with a more-than-adequate thud, reverberating and pounding nicely throughout the listening area. An action sequence in chapter 8 is perhaps the most robust in the film, featuring plenty of splattering blood and body parts and prodigious use of the lightsaber-chainsaw hybrid doodads that shred the creatures to messy pieces. Dead Space: Downfall's Blu-ray soundtrack is juicy, yucky, and gory horror fun.
Dead Space: Downfall Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Dead Space: Downfall fails to provide fans with the supplements they crave. This brief package begins with an isolated soundtrack presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. It plays over a series of conceptual art. Next up is a deleted scene entitled Graverobber (480p, 4:13), presented as a series of sketches with the occasional voiceover and musical accompaniment. The Art of 'Dead Space' Photo Gallery allows viewers to select from a list of thumbnail artwork atop the screen and view them in a full-screen window. Also included are trailers for the movie (1080p, 2:01) and the video game (480p, 1:25). This disc is also BD-Live (Blu-ray profile 2.0) enabled. At time of writing, Starz's BD-Live page offered six animatics, an exclusive Dead Space: Downfall trailer, and trailers for several other Starz titles. Disc two of this set contains a digital copy of the film, though it is unfortunately not Mac compatible.
Dead Space: Downfall Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Dead Space: Downfall makes for an entertaining watch for both hardcore fans of the video game of the same name or for more causal observers simply looking for something to watch on a lazy Saturday night. Though the film offers virtually no substance outside of the gory visuals and decent action sequences, it makes for passable entertainment that shouldn't terribly offend horror aficionados. Starz presents Dead Space: Downfall on Blu-ray in a neat and tidy package. Featuring above average video and audio qualities but a minimal supplemental section, the disc is best enjoyed as a rental, and is worthy of a purchase for those in love with the video game.
Dead Space: Downfall Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Dead Space Gets Detailed - August 22, 2008
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment has revealed the technical specs and special features for the upcoming Blu-ray release of 'Dead Space: Downfall', due to hit store shelves on October 28th, day-and-date with the DVD release. The title will come on a BD-25 featuring ...
• Dead Space Coming to Blu-ray - July 22, 2008
Anchor Bay Home Entertainment has announced that they will bring the animated film 'Dead Space: Downfall' to Blu-ray on October 28th, day-and-date with the DVD release. No technical specs have been announced at this time, but special features will include two exclusive ...
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