Audio Commentary-Audio Commentary with director Michael Katleman and visual e
Featurette-Making Of-Crocumentary: Bringing Gustave to Life
Deleted Scenes-Deleted Scenes
|Year Of Production||2007|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Michael Katleman|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Ukranian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Primeval is pretty awful creature feature fare, directed with a Hollywood shine by Michael Katleman, and featuring a reasonably talented cast, including Dominic Purcell, Orlando Jones and Brooke Langton, none of whom get a chance to do anything with the abysmal script. The beastie, an oversized croc named Gustave, is obsessed with doing idiotic things while looking as unconvincing as possible. Across the running time the croc takes the time to get its head stuck between two trees instead of eating its prey, get its head stuck in a car instead of eating its prey, bash the side of a cage with the prey inside instead of just going inside and eating it, and later demolishing a house Jaws Unleashed style by throwing itself at the stilts holding it up. And yet, at other times, he seems to be super-intelligent, almost psychic, as he outwits and outguesses the main character's attempts to capture or destroy him in the most convoluted ways imaginable. Clearly he can't be that intelligent, since he still ended up in this stinker of a film.
The only thing separating Primeval from truly B-grade excrement like Komodo vs. Cobra is that nice big Hollywood budget, and with that comes along many of the common issues with said fare: awful camera-in-a-blender editing, stereotypes standing in for characters, awful awful CGI, and an astonishing amount of racism. It's the sort of reprehensible garbage to stage dictatorship violence in an airport to rap music, then turn third world violence and suffering into action sequences (see: excruciating trash Blood Diamond). The formulaic plot is lacklustre and predictable while heaping on said racism: you can tell exactly which good-looking privileged white folk are going to be far far away from the disaster when all is said and done, and Primeval goes the extra step to let us know that Gustave is still gloriously maiming those hapless darkies long after our heroes escape his tennis-ball-on-string clutches. Better not to mention the particularly foul decree of being "inspired by a true story," nor the seedy feeling that the film wants us to have learnt a great big moral lesson from the entire mess.
Most of this would be somewhat forgivable if the film was at least passably entertaining, but Primeval really has nothing at all to offer. Although giant "intelligent" shark monster flick Deep Blue Sea was monstrously stupid, it wasn't afraid to deliver some wonderful disgusting surprises; when it comes to the crunch, Primeval is not just formulaic and poorly made, but also offensive. Best just to forget it ever happened, and move on.
As fate would have it, Primeval looks absolutely superb on DVD - the transfer is stunning. I spotted no artefacts or errors across the entire film, and the transfer is consistently bright and sharp.
Dark scenes are appropriately detailed and never suffer from low level noise. Likewise, there are no problems with pixilation or interlacing or anything at all - it's pretty much flawless, making it one of the few DVDs I've come across that I can say that for.
There are subtitles in English, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian, Hebrew, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and English for the Hearing Impaired. The subtitles I sampled were readable and accurate.
Initially, watching this movie sounded to be another glorified Dolby Digital 2.0 track, as first 15 minutes of the film showed little interest in using the bass or rear speakers at all (and, with six different six channel audio tracks on the disc, I am to be forgiven for my lack of faith). But then the rear speakers kick in gloriously to deliver the best scare of the film, and I'm left impressed by the way this soundtrack uses the soundscape to create an exceptional atmosphere - much better than this film deserves, to say the least.
Primeval sounds great, mostly restraining itself to the front speakers but using the rear speakers to create ambience, particularly effective during scenes in the water in which big splashes reverberate around the room, or quieter scenes that build up with the sounds of the night and then clash as the monster attacks. Some sequences are better than others, with the first and last parts of the film failing to utilize the entire range, but for the most, this is a very good example of a thorough and effective audio track.
The dialogue and effects are all perfectly audible and well mixed, meanwhile the soundtrack by John Frizzell is pretty standard monster movie fare, with some occasional African-style chants and offensive gangsta rap to level out the film.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video and audio are excellent, both engaging and atmospheric.
The extras are decent, though there are few of them - of particular note is the nifty commentary track, that is better than watching the film by itself.
|DVD||LG LH-D6230, using Component output|
|Display||Benq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||B&W LCR 600 S3 (Front & Centre); B&W DM 600 (Rears); B&W ASW500 (Sub)|