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The Marine 2 (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

January 1, 2010 by  



Beautiful cinematography and all-out action! Definitely one of the better WWE films that I have seen!

Images courtesy of © 2009 Twentieth Century Fox. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: The Marine 2

DURATION: 95 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Widescreen 1:85:1, AVC @ 33 MBPS, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish, French and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin and Thai

RATED: R (Violence)

COMPANY: Twentieth Century Fox

RELEASE DATE: December 29, 2009

Directed by Roel Reine

Written by Christopher Borrelli, John Chapin Morgan

Executive Producers: Steve Barnett, Matt Carroll, Chris Cowles, Chris Fenton, Chirs Lowenstein, Vince McMahon

Music by Trevor Morris

Edited by Michael Trent

Art Direction by Suchartanun “Kai” Kuladee

Starring:

Ted DiBiase Jr. as Joe Linwood

Lara Cox as Robin

Temuera Morrison as Damo

Michael Rooker as Church

Ponomareve Marina as Lexi

WWE Superstar Ted Dibiase joins “the few and the proud” in this explosive tale of white-knuckle action, stunning effects and true heroism fit for the Marines.  This fully loaded Blu-ray brings the action home with six featurettes, Muay Thai fight outtakes and much more!

On a well-deserved vacation to an exotic resort, Marine sergeant Joe Linwood (DiBiase) and his wife Robin are attending a VIP party when disaster strikes.  Ruthless terrorists crash the event and claim a number of hostages – including Robin! Alone in a foreign country with no backup, Linwood must rely on his Marine training to single-handedly strike back at the terrorists, save the hostages and prevent international war!

As WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) tries to find it’s latest star and face that can propel the company on the big screen, the company has had success with stars such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena and Stone Cold Steve Austin but also a few that hardly registered on the radar.

The latest wrestler to go on the big screen is one of their newer wrestler’s Ted DiBiase, Jr., son of Ted DiBiase (The Million Dollar Man).  With the film originally planned for WWE wrestler Randy Orton, due to a collarbone injury, DiBiase Jr. took on the role for  “The Marine 2” and is his first major theatrical debut.

“The Marine 2” is directed by Roel Reine (“The Lost Tribe”, “Adrenaline”) and features a screenplay by Christopher Borrelli (“Whisper”) and John Chapin Morgan.  Cinematography is by Joost Van Starrenburg (“Holy Water”, “Bodega”, “George and the Dragon”) and music composed by Trevor Morris (“Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2”, “The Tudors”, “Kings”).

The film receives a direct-to-video release (Blu-ray and DVD) and hoping to achieve the same results as the first film which made over $30 million in home sales and rental.

“The Marine 2” begins with marine Joe Linwood (DiBiase) and his partner on a mission to do recon on a weapons cartel.  Although, Linwood succeeds in taking down an weapons supplier, a child dies in the process.

With Linwood still reeling from his latest mission, his wife Robin (played by Lara Cox, “The Lost World”, “Heartbreak High”, “All Saints”)  invites him to one of her PR events held at a tropical island in Southeast Asia.  The event is being held at a beautiful resort with high security and state-of-the-art technology for author Darren Connor and the chairman of Connor Industries (the company that built the resort).

The two have a romantic day together on the island and go snorkeling courtesy of a former US soldier Church (played by Michael Rooker, “Jumper”, “Thief”).

Things don’t go quite as well as Joe sees his wife being hassled by her boss Darren Connor and tries to defend her but his wife Robin apologizes for his behavior.  As Joe leaves the festivities and spends time with Church who is manning the fireworks display, the resort is attacked by a terrorists.

A few people manage to escape, including Joe who tried to fight to save Robin but was knocked out unconscious.  When Joe wakes up, he and the survivors are at a military camp where the military are not sure how to handle the situation.

A news feed is then broadcast to the world as the the terrorist group led by Damo (played by Temuera Morrison, from the first three “Star Wars” films) who explains that they are not thrilled that their island has been tampered by the West and so they have hostages.  And to make their point that they mean business, they behead one of the them.  Damo waits for Darren Connor (played by Robert Coleby) to have his people bring in the ransom money as quickly as possible or more people will die.

As plans to free the hostages are not going well, Joe decides to take matters into his own hands by freeing them himself.

Will Joe be able save Robin and the hostages?

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“The Marine 2” is featured in 1080p High Definition and in widescreen (1:85:1) with AVC@33MBPS.  Let me just say that I was amazed about the cinematography of this film.  I really thought this would be a low budget affair and what we see in the film are beautiful overhead shots of the island and also some underwater cinematography as well.

There is nice detail from the beginning with Joe and his partner on the rooftop of the buildings and you can see the detail in the concrete and sweat dripping through his skin.  Skin tones are natural, pores can be seen and the film is absolutely vibrant with the shots of the island resort looking quite beautiful and also showcasing the Southeast Asian villages and the detail of the older homes seaside.  Overall, I was impressed by the cinematography by Joost Van Starrenburg and also director Roel Reine who did a lot of the film’s camera work and “The Marine 2” actually looks very good on Blu-ray.

As for the audio, lossless audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.  Also, in Spanish, French and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital.

“The Marine 2” is an action-driven film.  Plenty of explosions, broken glass, crashing wood, vehicles, concrete breaking apart, you name it…this film has plenty of action and you hear it.

Dialogue is clean and understandable through the front and center channels,  front and surround channels showcase a lot of the special effects and LFE fans who love that bass, are going to love hearing their subwoofer put to work.

Overall, I was quite impressed with the picture and audio quality of this Blu-ray release.  I thought it was going to be a low-budget affair but very good cinematography and good use of audio through the action segments.

As for the subtitles, subtitles are presented in Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese and Mandarin.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Marine 2” comes with the following special features:

  • Village Virtuoso: The Final Fight – (5:15) Interviews with the cast and crew in regards to the village of where the final scenes were shot and shooting in Bang Pat, Thailand.
  • The Last Resort: Inside the Terrorists’ Siege – (3:03) Director Roel Reine talks about the planning the shots of the resort by using a miniature and storyboards.
  • East Meets West: Muay Thai Fight – (4:44) The preparation that went on in making and filming the Muay Thai fight scene with interviews with the cast, crew and Seng, the fighting choreographer.
  • Building a Legacy: Ted’s Story – (5:04) The story about Ted DiBiase Jr. and being a third generation wrestler in the WWE and now shooting his first film.  Featuring Ted DiBiase Sr. and showing Ted growing up to become a wrestler, playing in sports and more.
  • Muay Thai Fight Outtakes – (6:50) Featuring an introduction by director Roel Reine and showing the actual full steadycam scenes of the Muay Thai fighting scene.
  • Production Paradise: Filming in Thailand – (4:15) Shooting the movie in Puket, Thailand and using the Adamas resort to shoot the film.  The crew talks about the beautiful scenery and the hotelgoers being shocked about a film being shot while they were on vacation at an expensive resort.
  • Play by the Roels: Inside the Production – (3:20) DiBiase Jr. talks about working with director Roel Reine and Reine talks about working on the film and also being the camera operator.
  • Deleted Scenes – (2:43) Featuring two deleted scenes: Joe and Robin at the Party, Joe and Robin at their Room.
  • Extended Scenes – (9:20) Four extended scenes: Hotel Tour, Church’s Scuba Shack, Joe and Church before the Siege and Blondie sets bombs in the laundry room.
  • Making the Cut: Deleted Shots Montage – (5:47) Deleted shots with an intro by director Roel Reine.

Wow! I have to admit that I literally came in with low expectations with this film because a)  Ted DiBiase Jr. is one of the newer and younger WWE Superstars who has played a villain since emerging in WWE  b) It’s a WWE sequel to a film that starred John Cena and is direct-to-video and c) “The Marine” was not exactly a great film (although it did well in DVD sales and rental).

So, I came into this film not expecting much and after watching this Blu-ray release… Wow!  It was pretty good.  And I’ll say it right now, it was much better than some of the WWE films that came out in theaters.  Really good cinematography (picture quality was solid on Blu-ray), good use of lossless audio showcasing the action throughout your home theater surround channels and nice LFE coming from the subwoofer(s).  And in addition to the Blu-ray’s PQ and AQ, the release features a good number of special features.

I actually was impressed with DiBiase Jr.’s performance.  It helps that he’s a newer wrestler because he has not suffered career threatening injuries just yet, he’s very mobile, quick on his feet and not as rigid when it comes to the fight scenes.   I know this film was originally planned for Randy Orton before his injury but for his first acting role, DiBiase, Jr. did a wonderful job.

Overall, for a WWE film, I must admit that the film is one of the better WWE films that I’ve seen.  I was expecting for a low budget crapfest but “The Marine 2” was a pretty damn good action film and the Blu-ray release is pretty solid!

If you are a WWE or DiBiase fan or looking for a straight-up action popcorn flick, “The Marine 2” is worth checking out!

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