Resident Evil (2002)

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Released 28-Apr-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Paul W. S. Anderson (Dir), Jeremy Bolt (Prod) et al
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-Scoring Resident Evil
Featurette-Costumes
Featurette-Set Design
Featurette-Zombie Make-Up Tests
Music Video-My Plague-Slipknot
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 96:31
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (73:03) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Paul W S Anderson
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Milla Jovovich
Michelle Rodriguez
Eric Mabius
James Purefoy
Martin Crewes
Colin Salmon
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music Marco Beltrami
Marilyn Manson


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Swedish
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish Audio Commentary
Danish Audio Commentary
Finnish Audio Commentary
Norwegian Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, one repeated line of dialogue

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

Resident Evil began as a video game made by Capcom. Although the game is called Resident Evil in the US, it's also known as Biohazard. I think the Australian name is Resident Evil. Actually, it is a series of three games (so far). I haven't played the game/s, so I cannot comment on the faithfulness of the movie to the game, but I gather from the commentary that they have tried very hard to retain key elements of the game, but provide an entirely new plot-line.

Some movies based on video games are truly dreadful Street Fighter comes to mind, as does Mortal Kombat. Some are not Tomb Raider is quite a decent movie, for example. I was a bit surprised to learn that the director of Resident Evil was the guy who directed Mortal Kombat I thought he'd never work again.

This film's genre is a bit difficult to classify. It is a horror movie, mixed with science fiction and plenty of action. Perhaps the easiest is to describe it as a blend of Alien and Aliens the horror of Alien with the action of Aliens, all in a science fiction setting.

The first eight minutes of the film are pure horror, setting up the situation for the remainder of the film. There are no opening credits (which seems to be becoming more common). Then we cut to Alice (Milla Jovovich), who we find waking up on the floor of her shower (how many films has she starred in that begin with her naked or wearing very little clothing?). She dresses fairly quickly in an interesting outfit: a miniskirt with a red dress over it, the red dress having a diagonal hem that runs from waist high over her left hip to well below her right knee. And we mustn't forget the boots they look like high Docs, and come in handy later. This outfit has to have been inspired by some video game I don't imagine a woman wearing it by choice.

She wanders about the mansion a little, and then things get rather exciting as the mansion is invaded by a group of commandos, all in black and armed to the teeth. The leader demands a report from Alice, who can't help him her memory has been wiped. The commando team open a secret door behind a mirror and enter The Hive, taking Alice and a man they found in the mansion with them. The Hive is a hidden top-secret complex, doing research into genetic engineering for military applications. The operation of The Hive is controlled by an artificial intelligence called Red Queen. Something has gone wrong, and the commando team has been sent in to deactivate Red Queen. That's not going to be easy, and that may not be their only problem...

There are some good performances in this film. Milla Jovovich is always good, and Michelle Rodriguez provides another strong female character as the commando Rain. Colin Salmon plays the commando leader (only known as One) in a cool, professional manner. It's entertaining to learn that one of the main producers on the film, Jeremy Bolt, appears a number of times.

If you enjoyed the Alien series of movies, then you may well like this film. If you liked Blade or Blade II, then you should definitely like this film.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

The DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (not 1.85:1, as stated on the cover). It is 16x9 enhanced. The original and intended aspect ratio is 1.85:1.

The image is beautifully sharp. Shadow detail is excellent, and that's important, because a great deal of the film takes place in comparatively low-light conditions. Film grain is noticeable in a number of places, such as 16:52 and 23:03. There's no low level noise.

Colour is excellently rendered. This is not a particularly colourful film, with the commandos in black, the lab workers in white, the surroundings somewhat drab, but what colour there is is rendered well. There are no colour-related artefacts.

There are no film artefacts, save for what looks like a missing frame or bad edit at 9:59. There is no significant aliasing, which is a remarkable achievement. There are a few spots of moire and a moment or two of shimmer, but this transfer is generally free of film-to-video or MPEG artefacts.

There are subtitles in English, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish. There are two sets of subtitles for the non-English languages the second set seem to subtitle the commentary (we don't get commentary subtitles in English, unfortunately). I watched the English subtitles, and I can report that they are fairly accurate (a bit abbreviated, that's all), well-timed, and easy to read.

The disc is single-sided and dual-layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change comes at 73:03, and it's a bad one: noticeable, and somewhat disruptive to the flow of the movie.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

There are three soundtracks on this disc: the film's soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts 5.1, plus the commentary in Dolby Digital 2.0. All three soundtracks are in English. I listened to all of them. There is very little difference between the Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts 5.1 soundtracks; maybe a little more definition in the dts, but the difference is only slight listen to the dts if you have the decoder, though, because there are few enough chances to use it.

The dialogue, what there is of it, is clear and readily comprehended. There are no audio sync issues.

The score is a heavy driving metal effort, well suited to the horror and action. It is a combined effort of Marilyn Manson and Marco Beltrami. Apparently Manson began by developing a series of audio textures, basically some very spooky sounds that greatly enhance the impact of the film. Although I never listen to Manson's music, I have to admit that this is a perfect score for this film.

The soundtrack mix is an impressive surround effort. It's extremely immersive, using occasional directional sound effects, lots of ambience, and a heavy duty score. The subwoofer gets lots to do, and provides lots of low-frequency support to the soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

The menu is animated with music and transitions, all based about the wire-frame model of The Hive. A very nice effort.

Audio Commentary

This commentary involves director Paul W S Anderson (not to be confused with Boogie Nights' Paul Thomas Anderson), producer Jeremy Bolt, and stars Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez. Unfortunately, the actors seem not to know what they are doing, and spend a lot of their time messing around. The director and producer seem more focussed I think we'd have a better commentary without the actors. Still, there are some interesting nuggets of information disclosed in this commentary, including identification of each spot where the producer and other crew (the martial arts trainer, for example) appear in the film. They also make mention of the fact that Milla Jovovich didn't always pull her punches when blocking out combat sequences: at one point both the director and the director of photography were sporting black eyes courtesy of her...

Oh, one interesting point there is mention made at several points of a second commentary by the visual effects supervisor. That commentary is not on this disc. I wondered if this was a case of the R4 missing a commentary that appears on the Region 1. Nope the Region 1 disc doesn't have it either. I wonder if this commentary was recorded and then left off for reasons of space? I suspect I'd have preferred it to this one.

Featurette Making Of (27:22)

A slightly better than usual making of. It shows some of the training the actors went through to prepare for this film. There is some interesting footage of them applying full-body makeup to a Doberman (you would not catch me trying that!).

Featurette Scoring Resident Evil (11:08)

Interviews with the director, producer, and both Marco Beltrami and Marilyn Manson about the music for this film. This is quite interesting.

Featurette Costumes (3:26)

Not a lot of information, although it was interesting to learn that all the commando uniforms were somewhat different.

Featurette Set Design (4:06)

There's some overlap between this and the making of. It basically discusses the inspirations for the various sets, and the reasoning behind much of the design.

Featurette Zombie Make-up Tests (1:01)

A short sequence showing early zombie make-up designs I think the ones in the movie are much more effective.

Music Video My Plague by Slipknot (3:05)

A monotonous metal music video clip splicing together equal amounts of concert footage with material from the film. Nothing special.

Biographies

These are really just one or two page filmographies for:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 1 disc was released a little while back and a SuperBit version was also just recently released. I'm comparing the Region 4 with the non-SuperBit version, because that's what I have. It is quite similar to this one, even down to using the same photo (with different text) on the front cover. The extras are the same, including having just the one commentary.

The Region 1 disc is missing:

The Region 4 disc is missing:

The SuperBit version of the R1 disc has a dts soundtrack, but no extras (that's normal for a SuperBit disc). So you can get the equivalent of the Region 4 disc, but only by buying both the Region 1 offerings that makes the R4 disc look very attractive, wouldn't you say? The only drawback is that bad layer change. The R1 layer change is at 53:21, and near invisible.

Summary

Resident Evil is a good horror / action thriller on an excellent DVD.

The video quality is excellent.

The audio quality is excellent.

The extras are quite good, although I'd really like to hear that second commentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Sunday, January 05, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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Comments (Add)
Irrelvant, but theres actually 5 games, plus remakes :) - grug (there is no bio.)
2 disc Set - Anonymous REPLY POSTED
RE: Irrelvant, but theres actually 5 games, plus remakes :) - MickJT
Code Veronica... - Alex H (My biography...in 500 words or less!)
Re: 2 disc set - Shaun (read my bio) REPLY POSTED
Superbit - Stimpy (da, what's a bio Ren?) REPLY POSTED
Worst Layer Change EVER! - Travers (Travers bio)
kick ass - Johnny Wadd (i am bionic)
Re: MickJT - grug
Eye candy rots your brain teeth - Neil