Resident Evil: Apocalypse appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. A release from the format’s early days, this Blu-ray showed its age.
Sharpness became one of these issues, as the movie could look moderately ill-defined. While it exhibited good accuracy at times and never seemed genuinely soft, the film nonetheless came across as less crisp and detailed than expected from Blu-ray.
No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, but light edge haloes cropped up during the movie. Digital noise became a distraction, but no print flaws cropped up here.
In terms of palette, Apocalypse opted for a heavily blue tone, with some amber/orange as well. The colors felt messier than expected.
Blacks came across as inky and flat, while shadows tended to appear murky. This wasn’t a terrible image, but it seemed bland and outdated.
On the other hand, the Uncompressed PCM 5.1 soundtrack of Resident Evil: Apocalypse really cranked to action to another level. The soundfield presented a very lively and involving affair that really helped make the movie creepier and more effective.
All five channels worked actively through the whole film. The elements blended together well and panned efficiently across the speakers, and the surrounds contributed lots of unique audio.
Not many quiet moments occurred, but the ones that did offered a good sense of ambience. The myriad of action scenes created a lively setting that accentuated the action.
Audio quality seemed positive as well. Speech sounded natural and warm, and I noticed no signs of edginess or problems related to intelligibility.
Music seemed clear and lively, as the score presented the right levels of brightness and depth. Effects appeared distinct and accurate and packed a solid punch as well.
The movie presented solid dynamics, with clean highs and some powerful but tight bass. The soundtrack of Resident Evil: Apocalypse provided a fine complement for the action that accentuated the material.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The lossless audio offered warmer, richer material.
Visuals showed mild improvements, as the Blu-ray appeared somewhat better defined and resolved. However, it didn’t surpass the DVD in a dynamic manner, so don’t expect much from it.
As we shift to extras, we find three separate audio commentaries. The first presents director Alexander Witt, producer Jeremy Bolt, and executive producer Robert Kulzer, all three of whom sit together for this running, screen-specific chat.
They go over a mix of general subjects. We hear about the film’s videogame connections, its cast, locations, effects and stunts, and music.
Things mostly remain general, which makes this a pretty lackluster chat. The participants give us a decent overview of things but they never get up a head of steam.
Occasional dead air occurs, and the pace seems a little draggy at times. I can’t find conjure many significant complaints about the commentary, but it just comes across as decidedly average.
Next we hear from actors Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory and Oded Fehr. Jovovich and Fehr watch the movie together for their running, screen-specific chat, while Guillory’s remarks come from a separate session.
Guillory appears infrequently but she presents the best level of concrete information. She talks about her research and her take on the role.
On the other hand, Jovovich and Fehr go with a looser approach. They occasionally toss out some notes from the set and a few decent details, but mostly they joke around and have fun. This makes the commentary moderately entertaining but not very informative.
For the final track, we find writer/producer Paul WS Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt. They sit together for a running, screen-specific piece.
Not surprisingly, story issues become the main focus here, as we learn elements of the flick’s emphasis. A lot of references to the videogames pops up during this track.
We hear about how the story reflected those games and how the elements tie together. We also discover general production issues as well as an overview of Anderson’s work.
He definitely takes the lead in this track, as Bolt chimes in with reasonable frequency but lets Anderson do the hard work. The commentary drags at times, but it usually proves involving and useful.
Split into six parts, Game Over: Resident Evil Reanimated spans a total of 49 minutes and 42 seconds. It brings comments from Witt, Bolt, Jovovich, Guillory, Fehr, Kulzer, producer Don Carmody, stunt coordinator Steve Lucescu, assistant choreographer Derek Aasland, undead choreographer Sharon Moore, gun wrangler Charles Taylor, visual effects supervisor Alison O’Brien, Core’s Kyle Menzes, Mr. X’s Eric Robertson, production designer Paul Austerberry, and actors Raz Adoti, Sophie Vavasseur, Matt Taylor, Sandrine Holt, Zack Ward and Mike Epps.
The first segment offers little more than a glossy overview of the production. It rushes through a number of topics related the basic story and the cast and doesn’t give us much detail.
The tone remains fizzy for parts of the remaining components, but they provide a lot more substantial information. They cover stunts, training, the Nemesis suit, zombie choreography, sets, locations and visual design, weapons, visual effects and creating the creatures.
All of these pieces present useful elements, but the one that deals with the zombie movement easily stands out as the strongest. It delves into the subject with zest and delivers a great take on the topic. Except for the first chapter, the others work well too, and this becomes a good overview of the production.
Inside the “Featurettes” domain we find three pieces. Game Babes runs 11 minutes, five seconds as it focuses on the female combatants. We get notes from Jovovich, Epps, Guillory, Witt, Fehr, Ward, Bolt, Adoti, Lucescu, and Taylor.
The show goes over the nature of the characters and the ways that Jovovich and Guillory take on the parts. Some of their stories about their experiences add to our appreciation of the flick, but mostly this is a puffy piece that just tells us how bitchin’ the women are.
For Symphony of Evil, we get a weird form of music video. The featurette fills seven minutes, 42 seconds. It pairs score elements with a collection of rough effects shots, test footage, storyboards, conceptual art, and other behind the scenes elements. We’ve already seen some of these elsewhere, but this is still a fairly cool gathering of images and pieces.
Lastly, Corporate Malfeasance takes two minutes, 54 seconds to discuss the company behind the movie’s story. We get notes from Carmody, Witt, Bolt, Fehr, and Jovovich. Not much substance appears here, as it’s just a glossy piece of background you’ll already comprehend if you’ve seen the film.
20 deleted scenes last a total of 11 minutes, 57 seconds. As you can surmise from the running time, most of these are short snippets, so don’t expect much from them. There’s a lot more background with Terri Morales, as she’s easily the character who benefits most from the added material. Mostly we see small extensions to existing scenes. None of this is revelatory, but it’s fun to see.
Under Previews, we get promos for Stealth, SWAT and Underworld: Evolution.
Note that the Blu-ray drops some outtakes, a still gallery and two Apocalypse trailers.
If you want to see a movie with a strong plot and a lot of thought-provoking material, stay far away from Resident Evil: Apocalypse. If you want to see a movie with flashy, visceral action and a lively videogame feel, Apocalypse should be up your alley. The Blu-ray presents stellar audio and a broad set of supplements but picture seems blah. Give Apocalypse a look if you want to see some mindless videogame-oriented fun.
To rate this film, visit the DVD review of RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE