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Starship Troopers 3: Marauder(2008)
A Federation starship crash-lands on the distant alien planet OM-1, stranding beloved leader Sky Marshal Anoke and several others, including comely but tough pilot Lola Beck. It's up to Colonel Johnny Rico, reluctant hero of the original Bug Invasion on Planet P, to lead a team of Troopers on a daring rescue mission.
For more about Starship Troopers 3: Marauder and the Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Blu-ray release, see the Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Blu-ray Review
Starring: Casper Van Dien, Jolene Blalock, Amanda Donohoe, Marnette Patterson, Stephen Hogan, Boris Kodjoe
Director: Ed Neumeier
» See full cast & crew
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Blu-ray Review
This skippable, worthless direct-to-video sequel doesn't even feature solid A/V quality.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, July 31, 2008
If you're against the war, you're against us.
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder is a sequel to Paul Verhoeven's classic film Starship Troopers in name, but it completely fails to build on the themes of the first film, choosing instead to stick a familiar face in the lead, surround him with some terrible acting, lesser special effects, dumbed down dialogue that fails to capture the spirit of the satire found in the first film, forego the ultra-violence of the first film, and focus primarily on an idiotic plot. The theme of the movie revolves around the slogan, "it's a good day to die," and I guess it is only fitting that Jolene Blalock (TV's "Enterprise") stars in this movie, since the line is a complete rip-off of the old Klingon proverb from the "Star Trek" universe. If a movie features plenty of guns and violence, I'm generally more than forgiving, but Starship Troopers 3: Marauder was a chore to watch, and after 36 minutes I required a lengthy break from the movie before finishing it. The end couldn't come soon enough, and I fail to recall being quite this disappointed in a movie before.
As the movie begins, we discover the Federation is embroiled in "Bug War 2" and the front line is on a farming planet called Roku San. Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien, Starship Troopers) is back. Now a colonel, he's one of the ranking officers at the military installation that is defended by an electrified perimeter that is effective at controlling the bug problem outside its walls. The Federation's singing Sky Marshall (with whom audiences are encouraged to sing along with karaoke-style at one point on the FedNet -- can this franchise sink any lower?) arrives for a tour of the facility on a shuttle piloted by Captain Lola Beck (Blalock). Soon thereafter, the compound's perimeter goes down and the bugs attack, with the Sky Marshall and Captain Beck barely escaping. Later, Rico is arrested and sentenced to hang for the defeat, but when word comes down that the Sky Marshall has been stranded on a hostile planet deep inside the Arachnid Quarantine Zone, Rico's life is spared and he'll lead a group of troopers armed with a brand new weapon to save the Sky Marshall and perhaps deal a devastating blow to the bugs.
This is such a terrible movie and a major disappointment to a longtime fan of the original Starship Troopers that I don't even know where to begin. The production values are virtually nil. The filmmakers managed to make every cent count in creating the film's sets and special effects. All of the $1.79 they spent was definitely put to good use. Every single set looks like a set. I was more under the impression that the base on Roku San was a guided video tour of a soundstage, not the final product seen in a movie, direct-to-video or not. The special effects might have looked good a decade-and-a-half ago in a sequel to something like The Last Starfighter, but what we see are barely on par with the worst Sci-Fi channel-quality offering. Look at Lola Beck's hair in one of the final shots of the movie against the backdrop of a planet. The green screen effect is plainly visible through her hair, and it's not even one of those ever-so-slight edges around her head. Likewise, every actor is horrendous, with the exception of Starship Troopers veteran Casper Van Dien, who is merely bad. Stiff, uninterested, and lackadaisical doesn't even begin to explain the performances. The story is bogus, the FedNet clips are a joke, the action is boring, the violence and gore are minimal (save for one fun scene where a trooper's severed head is stuck to the leg of a bug), some of the new bugs look like something ripped off from War of the Worlds, and I yearned for one of the "bug grenades" to come through my screen and end the misery.
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Blu-ray, Video Quality
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder arrives on Blu-ray with a workmanlike 1080p, 1.85:1 framed transfer that is neither sparklingly good nor atrociously bad. Fairly heavy grain and a dark image is what you can expect with this one. Detail is solid but sometimes obscured by darkness. Like the original Starship Troopers, detail in the uniforms and close-ups is fantastic. Blacks are solid but crushing is sometimes a problem. The picture features very little in the way of color during its first act on Roku San. Blues, grays, and blacks permeate the picture, with reds only used for blood and gore. On the planet where Beck and the Sky Marshall crash land, the bright, sunlit beach allows for detail to stand out, and the image looks fantastic. It plays in stark contrast to the first third of the film, and it's a nice respite from the dark, drab nature of parts of the movie. These scenes also exhibit some heavy grain and a washed-out appearance that is so prevalent in many of the more recent desert-centric movies these days (think Three Kings). Color banding was present in several shots throughout the movie, as was minor pixelation. All in all, the transfer is not a bad one, but it is fairly average at best. The video quality is the best aspect of the disc, which isn't saying much.
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder features an oddly uninspired Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. Right from the beginning, you'll notice that dialogue, especially on Roku San, is somewhat lower in volume than expected, but discernment is never an issue. The dialogue heard around the 41:00 mark sounds filtered and extremely harsh, almost like it's coming through a telephone, and this anomaly will randomly plague the rest of the soundtrack. The entire track has a subdued presence. Music is low in volume, effects are shoddy, gunfire is muffled and reserved, and bass and surround presence is sporadic. It is not until chapter three when the bugs break the perimeter that the sound kicks in. Explosions, the shrieks of bugs, radio chatter, and gunfire create a nice sound field. Still, the sound lacks punch and vibrancy, coming across as dull and uninspired. A few nice effects are found in the rear, too. Chapter six again features a good start on some exciting audio cues, but the effects feel incomplete. The track does pick up in intensity further into the movie, but on the whole this one is mundane, boring, and suffers from some strange dialogue distortions throughout the second half of the film.
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder arrives directly to Blu-ray with more than its fair share of extra materials. Two commentaries are the highlight, the first featuring writer/director Ed Neumeier, visual effects supervisor Robert Skotak, and producer David Lancaster. This track is as dull as the movie itself. Beginning with a brief introduction of the history of the production, the track delves into the film's special effects, filming in South Africa, the balance between story and special effects, and more. Track number two is an actors track with Casper Van Dien and Jolene Blalock, and they are also accompanied by Neumeier. Two commentary tracks is completely superfluous for a direct to video C-movie, but for anyone interested, we can hear this trio bore us to death with stories from the set, their excitement over the script and starring in the film, and other information. The disc also features Marauder Mode. This in-movie experience features behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with the cast and crew, and facts about the world of Starship Troopers. When activated, the screen is framed with a FedNet-style graphic and a pop-up window appears almost halfway up the right hand side of the screen and provides even more information not found anywhere else on the disc.
Put Yourself in the Film: Join the Fight! is the same feature found on the Starship Troopers Blu-ray disc. Viewers may upload a photo of themselves, build a trooper, and see themselves in the film. Two featurettes are next. Evolution: The Bugs of 'Starship Troopers 3: Marauder' (1080p, 11:32) examines the "bigger and better" bugs found in the film, beginning with concept drawings and models to the final creatures seen in the film. Enlist: Marauder's Mobile Infantry (1080p, 13:55) examines the various characters seen in the film. A music video entitled It's A Good Day to Die performed by Sky Marshall Omar Anoke and 1080p previews for Prom Night, 88 Minutes, 21, Vantage Point, Dragon Wars, Resident Evil: Degeneration, The Fall, Untraceable, and Starship Troopers conclude this supplemental package.
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
It's never any fun to write such a negative review, but I have to be honest and report that I absolutely loathed this movie. With a bad plot, no production values, terrible acting, and lame special effects, the movie's pace drags and its 105 minute runtime feels longer than Lonesome Dove, which clocks in at 372 minutes. The difference, of course, is that one film is a gem, the other an epic dud. With only a decent video presentation, a disappointing audio experience, and a group of uninteresting supplements, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder isn't worth watching. Even if you found a copy on sale for a dime, I'd suggest saving your money, and more importantly, your time. Definitely not recommended.
Blu-ray bundles with Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (1 bundle)
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Lightning Deal: Starship Troopers Trilogy Blu-ray $42.99 (Expired) - August 18, 2010
Amazon has a Blu-ray related lightning deal going on now: up to 2 p.m. PDT, you can order Starship Troopers Trilogy (comprised of Starship Troopers, Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation -unavailable separately- and Starship Troopers 3: Marauder) for only ...
• Starship Troopers Blu-rays Pushed into August - May 27, 2008
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has revealed the specs for the upcoming Blu-ray releases of 'Starship Troopers', 'Starship Troopers: Marauder', and the 'Starship Troopers Box Set' which will include all three "Starship Troopers" films in stunning high definition. ...
• Starship Troopers Coming to Blu-ray - April 18, 2008
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has revealed that they will release both 'Starship Troopers' and 'Starship Troopers: Marauder' for Blu-ray on July 29th, the latter being day-and-date with the DVD release. No specs have been announced at this time, but expect the ...
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