Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid (2004)

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Released 22-Feb-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer
Featurette-Special Effects Toolbox: Creating Anacondas
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Little Black Book, Envy
Trailer-Trois: The Escort, The Forgotten, White Chicks, Steamboy
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 92:45
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (77:33) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Dwight H. Little
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Johnny Messner
Kadee Strickland
Matthew Marsden
Nicholas Gonzalez
Eugene Byrd
Karl Yune
Salli Richardson
Morris Chestnut
Andy Anderson
Nicholas Hope
Peter Curtin
Denis Arndt
Khoa Do
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Nerida Tyson-Chew


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Spanish
Portuguese
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid is the sequel to the truly awful Anaconda. Following the first film, I wasn't expecting much, but Anacondas is a fun B-grade horror flick, with quite a few laughs, and surprisingly (okay I'll admit it), I really enjoyed it. It certainly isn't for everyone, but then again, even without seeing it, you probably already know if you're going to like this film or not by the title alone!

   Okay, let's get this out of the way. Anaconda was a terrible movie, and is considered to be one of the worst Hollywood films of the late 1990s. Fortunately, while Anacondas might look a little similar, it has a very different feel. For a start, unlike the first film, Anacondas doesn't take itself too seriously.

    Secondly, while Anaconda had a lot of star power, with the likes of Eric Stoltz, Jon Voight, Owen Wilson, Ice Cube, and Jennifer Lopez. Anacondas is filled with a buffet of unknown actors. Directed by sequel specialist, Dwight Little (Free Willy 2, Halloween 4), the producers have replaced star power with more (and larger) snakes, and plenty of one-liners.

    As for the plot: The blood orchid is found in a remote jungle deep in Borneo. The orchid contains a chemical which allows cells to reproduce many more times than normal. Naturally, a greedy pharmaceutical corporation sees the opportunity of providing the fountain of youth in a bottle, and sends an team headed by the driven and ambitious scientist, Jack (Matthew Marsden). Once in Borneo, Jack hires rough-as-nails riverboat captain, Bill (Johnny Messner), who looks more like a male stripper, to take the team up-river, and into the jungle. Of course the team has a variety of bickering characters, including babe-scientists wearing singlet tops, but interestingly, the ship's monkey gets more close-ups than anyone else.

    To enjoy this film, one really has to suspend disbelief. Indeed, just completely forget reality! For a start, the anacondas seem to be about the size of the Sydney Monorail, and also seem to bite a lot more than squeeze. In reality, anacondas are quite slow, but these CGI babies move at the speed of a computer programmer's fingertips. Of course anacondas don't exist in Borneo, but then again, neither do a lot of the other critters appearing here, such as the tiger!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a fairly recent film, and the transfer is very good.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    While a few scenes looked a little murky, overall, the sharpness, black level, and shadow detail are all good. For example, consider the candle-lit scene at 24:44 or the shadowy cave scene at 71:07.

    The colour is also excellent, and the skin tones are accurate.

    There are no problems with MPEG or film-to-video artefacts.

    There are also no problems with film artefacts, except for one brief moment at 20:04, where a hair creates a white line across a large part of the screen. Otherwise, the print is pristine.

    English, Spanish, Portuguese, and English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are present, and the English ones are accurate.

    This is a dual-layer disc, with the layer change placed at 77:33.

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

Audio

    The audio is excellent, and there are two options: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s).

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent on the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track.

    The sometimes overly-dramatic musical score is credited to Nerida Tyson-Chew, and it suits the film well.

    The surround presence and activity is fairly constant and enveloping. The rear speakers are used effectively to help carry the score and provide ambience, for example, the NY traffic at 3:22 or the storm at 26:07. There is also some great panning between the rear speakers, and between the front and rear speakers, such as at 69:57.

    The subwoofer is also utilised very effectively throughout, such as the heavy bass of the hip hop music in the nightclub at 7:20, or when the submerged logs are bumping into the boat at 28:52.

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

Extras

    There are a few genuine extras.

Menu

    An animated menu with audio.

Featurette-Special Effects Toolbox: Creating Anacondas (10:39)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio, this extra features Visual Effects Supervisor Dale Duguid and looks at the variety of effects used, ranging from CGI, to puppets, to animatronics.

Deleted Scenes (8:46)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.40:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

Theatrical Trailers

R4 vs R1

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

    Anacondas is available in R1 with both a widescreen and pan/scan transfer.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    I would call it even.

Summary

    Anacondas' story is rather predicable, indeed the only thing about this movie that surprised me was that it was made at all, considering the diaster that was Anaconda. That said, if you don't expect much, you won't be disappointed. It's a fun Friday night, escapist, snake-chomping, jungle romp.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are limited but good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
Nice Review! - Pendergast (Why not take a look at my bio, you might think it stinks.) REPLY POSTED
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