Them zombies is bustin’ through the screen, ma!
Yesterday evening, Lyris and I ransacked our self-dignity by watching the Blu-ray release of Resident Evil: Extinction. This franchise is probably our joint favourite cinematic guilty pleasure, and, while I can’t respond to criticisms that the scripts are guff, the acting often dreadful and direction somewhere between frenetic and incompetent with anything other than a nod of my head, these films have given me hours of pleasure and haven’t bored me for a second. This third (and, it would seem, final) outing isn’t as good as the first, but is definitely better than the second, and is highly entertaining for its sprightly 95-minute duration. No, Milla Jovovich can’t really act and yes, the characters are dumber than dog-do, but if you’re critiquing these aspects, I suspect you’re not really getting into the spirit of it. The film is unabashedly stupid, loud and bloody, and in all honesty, sometimes there’s nothing wrong with that.
I want to leave the film itself by the wayside now and talk about the transfer, which is a thing of beauty. Certain ill-informed (or just plain vision-impaired) reviewers have predictably been underrating it and complaining about non-existent flaws, but rest assured that this is as close to a flawless transfer as you are going to get with lossy compression, and one of the absolute finest presentations I’ve ever seen of a film. Detail is impeccable, grain is lovingly reproduced and compression is handled expertly. It sticks in my craw that reviewers who don’t seem to know what they’re talking about criticise marvellous efforts like these while lavishing praise over second rate offerings, but I suppose I should be used to it by now.
Don’t take my word for it, though: take a look at the screen captures below.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
(Sony Pictures, USA, AVC)
Posted: Monday, January 07, 2008 at 7:45 PM
| Comments: 5
I love that you can actually see the cameracrew in her eyes!
Posted by: Jon Anders
, January 10, 2008 7:39 PM
Any recommendations for review sites that you feel do the best job at reviewing the quality of audio/visual?
Posted by: Anthony, January 13, 2008 9:59 AM
Ha ha, I didn’t notice that till you pointed it out. :D
Review sites I’d recommend? That’s a tough one, because most review sites are written by several people, so even if you do get one consistently reliable reviewer, there will probably be many others who are not so consistent. I’ve always said that the best reviewer will always be your own eyesight: simply put, there’s no substitute for watching a disc yourself and forming your own impressions. Full resolution screen captures like the ones I post are also a useful way of gauging the strengths and weaknesses of a transfer, but even these don’t show you the nuances of what it looks like in motion on a large screen.
Posted by: Whiggles
, January 13, 2008 2:18 PM
What are some of the particularly noteworthy reviewers that are worth seeking out (and sites their reviews appear on) in order to do research before a purchase?
I wouldn't trust my own eyesight as it comes attached to my judgement and lack of knowledge. Would prefer to learn from someone that has a clue what they are talking about. :o)
Posted by: Anthony, January 13, 2008 9:40 PM
To be honest, I really don’t know. No-one leaps out at me as being reliable on a consistent basis. I don’t often buy a disc based on reviews of its image quality - generally, if it’s a film I like, I’ll pick it up and have a look for myself.
That said, film restorer Robert Harris, who posts at Home Theatre Forum, is a guy who’s really on the ball, although he tends only to post about discs he’s impressed by, not the ones that he considers to be let-downs (presumably because of his industry contacts).
Posted by: Whiggles
, January 13, 2008 10:09 PM
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