Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)

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Released 14-Mar-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer
Audio Commentary-Filmmakers
Audio Commentary-Cast
Audio Commentary-Writer And Producer
Featurette-Game Over: Resident Evil Reanimated
Featurette-Game Babes
Featurette-Symphony Of Evil
Featurette-Corporate Malfeasance
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Theatrical Trailer
Teaser Trailer
Gallery-Poster
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 89:57
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Alexander Witt
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Milla Jovovich
Sienna Guillory
Oded Fehr
Thomas Kretschmann
Sophie Vavasseur
Razaaq Adoti
Jared Harris
Mike Epps
Sandrine Holt
Matthew G. Taylor
Zack Ward
Iain Glen
Dave Nichols
Case ?
RPI ? Music Elia Cmiral
Jeff Danna
Him


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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
Danish
Finnish
Hindi
Norwegian
Portuguese
Swedish
English Audio Commentary
Spanish Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
Spanish Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
Spanish Audio Commentary
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    In an era in which the zombie movie has been re-animated, with the likes of Resident Evil, 28 Days Later, and Dawn of the Dead, Alice returns to Zombie-Land in Resident Evil: Apocalypse. As with any movie based on a video game, don't expect any subtlety. That said, this movie has some of the coolest scenes I've seen since the first Matrix movie.

   "My name is Alice, and I remember everything".

    Apocalypse opens with a quick recap of the first film, and then picks up the story where that one ended. As a sequel, the producers seem to have decided that character development was not required in a movie aimed squarely at a target market of young men, who (like me) have spent their adult life happily blasting away on first-person-shooter video games.

    As for the story: Alice (Milla Jovovich) wakes up from heavy sedation in the underground Umbrella labs to find that she has been genetically modified to gain superhuman abilities. Meanwhile, above ground, Raccoon City has been quarantined and closed off, as it has been overrun by flesh-eating zombies (I wonder if there are any vegetarian zombies?) BTW: Is it my imagination, or wasn't Raccoon City destroyed in the first film?

    Anyway, Alice quickly arms herself in a military surplus store and teams up with a few human survivors, including the very Lara Croft-like Jill Valentine. Along the way, they pick up a stereotyped ghetto-wise-cracker for some comic relief, and begin their search for a little girl who could be their ticket out of the city. There's a lot of posing, posturing, and cocking of shotguns. It's a bit like Escape From NY meets Dawn Of The Dead.

    Paul W.S. Anderson has made a career bringing computer games to the big screen. Anderson directed Mortal Kombat, and wrote and directed Resident Evil and Alien v Predator. He is currently producing the third instalment of Resident Evil, titled Resident Evil: Afterlife (to be released next year), and Driver (yet another video game adaptation). For Apocalypse, he has vacated the director's chair for Alexander Witt.

    Witt is known as the king of Hollywood's second-unit directors, and he has directed action sequences for many films, including Speed, Twister, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, The Bourne Identity, xXx, The Italian Job, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Witt is no stranger to the action movie, and he expertly provides a series of highly stylised, blood-spattered set pieces that all come at a breakneck pace. Indeed, this movie has some of the coolest scenes I've seen since the Matrix.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    Apocalypse is distributed by Columbia Tristar, and once again they've provided us with an expertly authored DVD.

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

    The sharpness, black level, and shadow detail are all excellent. For example, consider the crisp images on the computer screens at 78:07, or the detail in the shadowy scenes in the church at 19:20, or in the school at 50:48.

    The colour is also excellent, and the film uses coloured lens extensively to help create the various moods. The skin tones are accurate.

    There are no problems with MPEG or film artefacts, but some film-to-video artefacts appear in the form of a slight shimmer on objects at times. Some edge enhancement is also noticeable occasionally, but I never found either of these issues distracting.

    English, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish, English Audio Commentary, Spanish Audio Commentary, and English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are present. The English ones are accurate.

    This is a dual-layer disc, but the entire film (all 28 chapters) happily fits on the first layer. The second layer is used exclusively for the many extras.

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

Audio

    As with the first film, the audio is excellent, but sadly, unlike the first film, there is no dts audio. There are the following options: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), and three English Audio Commentaries, all Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

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

    The musical score is credited to Jeff Danna, with additional music by Elia Cmiral. The heavy, techno-flavoured music really suits the film and grungy mood.

    Prepare yourself for one of the most aggressive surround sound experiences that you will enjoy in 2005! The surround activity is as unrelenting as the action, and the rear speakers are used effectively to help carry the score, such as at 58:15, and to provide ambience, such as the fire-fight at 14:41, or the circling helicopters at 70:20. There is also a great deal of panning between the speakers, which helps create a very immersive listening experience.

    The subwoofer is also hammered throughout, such as during the deep, rumbling thunder at 18:59.

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

Extras

    There are plenty of genuine extras.

Menu

    There are a series of themed, animated menus with audio.

Audio Commentary-Filmmakers

    A screen-specific commentary provided by Director Alexander Witt, Producer Jeremy Bolt, and Executive Producer Robert Kulzer.

Audio Commentary-Cast

    A screen-specific commentary provided by actors Milla Jovovich, Oded Hehr, and Sienna Guillory. Jovovich becomes a bit annoying, as do Hehr's continued attempts to be funny.

Audio Commentary-Writer And Producer

    A screen-specific commentary provided by writer/producer Paul WS Anderson, and Producer Jeremy Bolt.

Featurette-Game Over: Resident Evil Reanimated (49:42)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio, the cast and crew provide an overview to the production of the sequel.

Featurettes

Deleted Scenes (11:57)

    There are 19 deleted scenes, and one alternative ending.

Outtakes (2:53)

    A short gag reel

Apocalypse Trailers

Poster Gallery

    The five winning submissions in their online poster design contest.

R4 vs R1

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

    Apocalypse was released on DVD in R1 in December 2004, as a two-disc Special Edition.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    As a package, I would say the R1 nudges ahead by a nose. However, in terms of the feature itself, I would favour our PAL version.

Summary

    Okay, so there are plot holes an entire Zombie army could march through, but Apocalypse has plenty of action, hot chicks with guns, hungry flesh-eaters, and enough action scenes to please its target audience.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is also excellent.

    The extras are plentiful.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Thursday, January 27, 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

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Chris H

Comments (Add)
This Movie Blows and Sux at the same time - Anonymous
Re: Vaccuum Cleaner... - Dark Lord (Bio? We don't need no stinkin' bio!)
Putting down video games - Neil
Oded Fehr - Anonymous
A terrible movie - Daria Nicolodi's Fringe
Average video transfer - Sean Brady
Re: Putting down video games - throatsprockets