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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (a J!-ENT 4K Ultra HD Review)

May 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

I did enjoy “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” for its action, its visual effects and make-up (for its many mutated zombies) and its storyline is a fitting conclusion to the film series featuring the film’s protagonist Alice. But if you are a “Resident Evil” fan of the video games or film, you may feel that the “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” was lacking and could have been better.  While I doubt this may be the end of the film series, considering how much money the film and video game series makes, there is still potential to explore other storylines of characters that are not featured in “The Final Chapter”.  Still an entertaining popcorn action film that fans of the film series will enjoy.

Images courtesy of © 2016 Constantin Film Production. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 2016

DURATION: 107 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 2160p Ultra High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio), English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), Czech, English – Audio Description Track, French, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish (Castillan and Latin American), Thai, Turkish 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English Audio Description Track 5.1 Dolby Digital, SUBTITLES: English, English SDH, French, Arabic, Cantonese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Italian, Korean, Spanish (Latin American), Swedish, Thai, Turkish

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: R (Sequences of Violence Throughout)

RELEASE DATE: May 16, 2017


Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson

Written by Paul W.S. Anderson

Producer: Paul W.S. Anderson, Jeremy Bolt, Samuel Hadida, Robert Kulzer

Associate Producer: Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Bernhard Thur

Executive Producer: Victor Hadida, Martin Moszkowicz

Music by Paul Haslinger

Cinematography by Glen MacPherson

Edited by Doobie White

Casting by Suzanne Smith

Production Design by Edward Thomas

Art Direction by Guy Potgieter, Lusa Van Velden

Set Decoration by Anneke Botha

Costume Design by Reza Levy


Starring:

Milla Jovovich as Alice/Alicia Marcus

Iain Glen as Dr. Isaacs

Ali Larter as Claire Redfield

Shawn Roberts as Wesker

Eoin Macken as Doc

Fraser James as Razor

Ruby Rose as Abigail

William Levy as Christian

Rola as Cobalt

Ever Anders as Young Alicia/Red Queen

Mark Simpson as James Marcus

Joon-Gi Lee as Commander Chu


Picking up after Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.


In 2002, the sci-fi action horror film “Resident Evil”, which was inspired from the popular Capcom video game series, was released in theaters.

And since then, more films that revolve around the main character Alice were created.

“Resident Evil: Apocalypse” in 2004, “Resident Evil: Extinction” in 2007, “Resident Evil: Afterlife” in 2010, “Resident Evil: Retribution” in 2012 and “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” in 2016.

The latest film which grossed over $312 million worldwide, was the highest grossing film in the franchise, and with the series in whole, the “Resident Evil” film series is the highest-grossing film series to be based on video games , having grossed over $1.233 billion worldwide.

The film marks the return of director/writer Paul W.S. Anderson (“Death Race”, “AVP: Alien vs. Predator”) and the return of the main protagonist of the series, Alice portrayed by Mila Jovovich (“The Fifth Element”, “Zoolander 2”, “The Three Musketeers”).

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” also stars Iain Glen (“Game of Thrones”, “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”), Ali Larter (“Heroes”, “Final Destination” films, “Legends”), Shawn Roberts (“Edge of Darkness”, “X-Men”), Eoin Macken (“The Night Shift”, “The Forest”, “Centurion”), Fraser James (“Sometimes in April”, “Shopping”, “Wing Commander”), Ruby Rose (“Orange is the New Black”, “xXx: Return of Xander Cage”, “John Wick: Chapter 2”), William Levy (“Addicted”, “The Single Moms Club”), Japanese model Rola, young actress Ever Anderson and Joon-Gi Lee (“Virgin Snow”, “The King and the Clown”, “Iljimae”).

And now the “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD in May 2017.

The film begins with a narration from Alice (portrayed by Milla Jovovich) and we see how Dr. James Marcus, the original founder of the Umbrella Corporation had a daughter who was dying of premature aging.

Wanting to save her, he discovered the T-virus but unfortunately, the virus had a side effect and that was sudden and uncontrollable mutation.

The first major incident took place in Raccoon City, as a young boy in a cable car with his family started convulsing and dying but then all of a sudden reawakening.  This led to the mutated boy biting his father and then starting the chain reaction.

Dr. James Marcus tries to have the program shut down but his colleague Dr. Alexander Isaacs (portrayed by Iaian Glen) refuses and he has Albert Wesker (portrayed by Shawn Roberts) kill the Dr. Marcus.

The film then shifts to events that took place after “Resident Evil: Retribution” and showing us that the White House has since been destroyed.  Alice searches for survivors but then is contacted by the Red Queen (portrayed by Ever Anderson) who tells he that she must return to Raccoon City within 48 hours and return to the Hive, as Umbrella Corporation has developed an airborne antivirus, which will kill every organism infected by the T-virus.  Fail to get there and humankind will be wiped out.  The Red Queen also tells Alice that she will answer her question of why she is trying to help Alice.

So, Alice leaves to go to Raccoon City and when she arrives, she is attacked by Isaacs (whom she thought she killed, but learns she killed a clone).  While  Isaacs tires her up to the back of his vehicle with hordes of mutated zombies chase after her, she manages to best Isaacs and his team and escape.

While making it into Raccoon City she encounters a group of survivors which includes her friend Claire Redfield (portrayed by Ali Larter), Abigail (portrayed by Ruby Rose), Doc (portrayed by Eoin Macken), Cobalt (portrayed by Rola), Christian (portrayed by William Levy) and Razor (portrayed by Fraser James).

Alice tells them that she needs to get to the hive as an antidote for the T-Virus is out there in the Hive.  Claire feels it could be a trap since the Red Queen was the one that gave her the information but she is also worried since Alice also has the T-Virus in her and that she could be killed by the antidote.  But for Alice, the opportunity to save the world is too great and so, she and the others are willing to put their lives in hopes to assist Claire in her mission.

But coming their way is Isaacs and thousands of mutated zombies.   With the time running out, can Alice get to the antidote in time?  And what awaits her in the Hive?


VIDEO:

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” is presented in 2160p High Definition (2:40:1). The film is presented in 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray.

Picture quality is fantastic as closeups show amazing detail and makeup and overall CG to show the mass horde of mutated zombies and also huge monsters and flying behemoths were done very well.  If anything, the visual effects were top notch for this film! Black levels are nice and deep and for the most part, the film looks great in 4K Ultra HD!

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: To watch 4K Ultra HD, you will need a 4K UHD TV with HDR and an Ultra HD Blu-ray Player + a high-speed HDMI 2.0A Cable.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” is presented in English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), Czech, English – Audio Description Track, French, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish (Castillan and Latin American), Thai, Turkish 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English Audio Description Track 5.1 Dolby Digital.

I was so pleased with this soundtrack and just hearing constant immersive audio coming from front channels and also the surround channels for the many action scenes throughout the film. The music soundtrack also is utilized for the surround channels as well. Also, great use of LFE.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French, Arabic, Cantonese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Italian, Korean, Spanish (Latin American), Swedish, Thai, Turkish

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter ” comes with the following special features on the Blu-ray disc:

  • Retaliation Mode – Only on the Blu-ray, Retaliation Mode delivers scene specific behind the scenes video and commentary with director/writer Paul W.S. Anderson and actress Milla Jovovich.
  • Stunts & Weaponry – (8:55) A featurette about the variety of weaponry and great action stunts in the film.
  • Explore the Hive – (4:15) A featurette about remaking “The Hive” and showing it in a different way with sets and visual imagery.
  • The Bad Ass Trinity & The Women of Resident Evil – (6:32) A featurette about featuring strong women and how women play a big role in the “Resident Evil” film series especially with “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter”.
  • Sneak Peek: Resident Evil: Vendetta – (4:22) A featurette showcasing scenes from the upcoming “Resident Evil” CG animated film, “Resident Evil: Vendetta”.

EXTRAS:

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” comes with a slipcover, both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray disc and an UltraViolet Digital HD code.


It has been 15-years since the original “Resident Evil” film was released in theaters.  While the original film was much different from the video game and my feelings towards the original film was a bit of a disappointment because it was too different from the original film, I kept an open mind in seeing how the films would progress in terms of storyline and character.

And I can definitely say that despite not canon with the video game series, the film series has managed to hold its own with certain elements from the video game incorporated and giving the character of Alice and actress Milla Jovovich to shine but also to show that this female action character is strong, smart and can be impressive onscreen and can hold up to other male action stars and literally kick a lot of butt.

There is no doubt that for now, the character of Alice is the only female protagonists to star in an action film for 15-years, for multiple films and her character has remained consistent throughout the years.

And here we are with “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” and I despite the “Final” in the film’s title, there is probably a chance that the character of Alice can return in another film, considering how much was made for this film and the entire film series alone.  The “Resident Evil” films have made over a billion dollars worldwide.  And as the video games continue, I can only imagine the films will as well.

Similar to previous “Resident Evil” films, there is a ton of action and if anything, one can see this film as ultimate popcorn action film.  There is a story, a simple one that revolves around Alice needing to head back to where it all began, Raccoon City and make it down into the Hive to get the antidote to kill the T-Virus.  She’s joined by a familiar face, Claire Redfield and her antagonists are also familiar faces, as Dr. Isaacs and Albert Wesker are back.

But while the film remains consistent in that front, it fails to address other issues that I’m sure fans have been wanting to know what happened. One of the biggest question marks is the character Jill Valentine, not only a major character in the video game series but actress Sienna Guillory’s character was seen being captured by umbrella, brainwashed and programmed to go after Alice.

The film also didn’t bring back Kmart, Ada Wong, Leon S. Kennedy, Chris Redfield which was a little disappointment.  But whether this opens things up for other films remains to be seen.  But  wouldn’t it be great if the survivors were this group that would team up with Alice in the end?  Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen that way.  But I’m hoping that we see Leon, Ada and Chris including Jill in another possible “Resident Evil” film?  A side-story/one shot or a new starting point and separate chapter to Alice’s quest.

But “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” does answer a lot of questions and it is a fitting conclusion, if the film proves to be the final live-action “Resident Evil” film.  But as a fan of the video games and also the film series, I see potential in a new RE film but with the other characters.

As for the 4K Ultra HD, this film looks fantastic in 4K HD.  The apocalyptic setting, the monsters and mutated humans to flying behemoths look fantastic.  The lossless soundtrack is equally impressive considering the amount of action throughout the film.  As for special features, you get a few including a sneak peek of “Resident Evil: Vendetta”.  And once you watch the film in 4K Ultra HD, you will want to watch the “Retaliation Mode” on Blu-ray as it reveals moments from the franchise and features director Paul W.S. Anderson and actress Milla Jojovich.

Overall, “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” is straight-up popcorn action from beginning to end.  High adrenaline action that will please fans who have enjoyd the previous films.  While you get answers of how the T-Virus had spread and why?  Supporting characters are like fodder, previous characters aside from Claire Redfield and the antagonists are nowhere to be seen and the storyline is not the best of the film series.

Still, I did enjoy “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” for its action, its visual effects and make-up (for its many mutated zombies) and its storyline is a fitting conclusion to the film series featuring the film’s protagonist Alice. But if you are a “Resident Evil” fan of the video games or film, you may feel that the “Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” was lacking and could have been better.  While I doubt this may be the end of the film series, considering how much money the film and video game series makes, there is still potential to explore other storylines of characters that are not featured in “The Final Chapter”.  Still an entertaining popcorn action film that fans of the film series will enjoy.

 

The Red Tent (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

March 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

theredtent

“The Red Tent” was no doubt a compelling two-episode mini-series that features a heartbreaking but also a courageous tale of Dinah during the times of the Old Testament.   I was impressed by the overall story, its set and costume design but also the performance of Rebecca Ferguson. Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2014 Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved.


DVD TITLE: The Red Tent

DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 2014

DURATION: 2 Episodes (176 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 1:78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French and Spanish

COMPANY: Sony Picture Home Entertainment

RATED: NOT RATED

RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015


Based on the Novels by Anita Diamant

Directed by Roger Young

Written by Elizabeth Chandler, Anita Diamant, Anne Meredith

Exeuctive Producer: Paula Weinstein

Produced by Peter McAleese

Line Producer: Jayson de Rosner, Karim Debbagh

Music by Laurent Eyquem

Cinematography by Michael Snyman

Edited by Sylvain Lebel, Arthur Tarnowski

Casting by Marcia Ross, Jeremy Zimmerman

Production Design by Emilia Roux, Emilia Weavind

Art Direction by Marco Trentini

Set Decoration by Anneke Botha

Costume Design by Diana Cilliers


Starring:

Minnie Driver as Leah

Morena Baccarin as Rachel

Rebecca Ferguson as Dinah

Iain Glen as Jacob

Will Tudor as Joseph

Hiam Abbass as Queen Re-Nefer

Vinette Robinson as Bilhah

Debra Winger as Rebecca

Pedro Lloyd Gardiner as Levi

Saif Al-Warith as Simon

Douglas Rankine as Reuben

Agni Scott as Zilpah


The Red Tent is a sweeping tale that takes place during the times of the Old Testament, told through the eyes of Dinah (Rebecca Ferguson), the daughter of Leah (Minnie Driver) and Jacob (Iain Glen). Dinah happily grows up inside the red tent where the women of her tribe gather and share the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood. The film recounts the story Rachel (Morena Baccarin), Leah, Zilpah and Bilhah, the four wives of Jacob. Dinah matures and experiences an intense love that subsequently leads to a devastating loss, and the fate of her family is forever changed. The all-star cast also includes Debra Winger and Will Tudor.


In 1997, award winning journalist, Anita Diamant would release her novel “The Red Tent”.

The novel went on to become a New York Times best seller and Diamant who would go on to create fictional books such as “Good Harbor”, “The Last Days of Dogtown”, “Day After Night” and also seven non-fiction books on Jewish culture.

“The Red Tent” which was a first-person narrative on the Biblical story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and sister of Joseph.  While a minor character in the Bible, Diamant would broaden the story about Dinah.

In 2014, “The Red Tent” would be receive a television adaptation with a two-part, four-hour American TV miniseries for Lifetime and was produced by Paul Weinstein and is directed by Roger Young.

And in March 2015, “The Red Tent” will be released on DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

For the first episode of “The Red Tent”, the storyline is set during the times of the Old Testament and the character Dinah, daughter of Leah and Jacob, recounts her story from youth to adulthood.  “The Red Tent” is where women of her tribe must be in, during their menstruation or childbirth.

In the beginning, we are introduced how Jacob had married sisters, Leah and Rachel but also the handmaids Bilhah and Zilpah.  And how their tribe was built, as Leah, Bilhah and Zilpah gave birth to several sons, while Rachel who was unable to give birth to a son, would eventually give birth to a baby boy named Joseph.

Joseph would become the favorite son of Jacob, while Dinah would be born and become the favorite daughter.  The women would learn their tribes techniques of childbearing and would soon become known in the land for their success of helping women give birth.

One day, Rachel and Dinah are requested to go to Shechem and help a woman give birth.  This is where Dinah meets Prince Shalem and two flirt with each other and the two get married after receiving the King’s approval.

When the King visit Jacob to tell him the good news, Jacob is angry that he was not consulted and did not go to him to discuss the customs of their Israelite tribe.  This angers brothers Simeon and Levi, who feel that Dinah was probably raped, defiled and now has shamed her tribe.  Meanwhile, Jacob agrees to the marriage only if Prince Shalem undergoes their custom by receiving a circumcision.

Meanwhile, Simeon and Levi take things into their own hands by plotting to murder every man in the city of Shechem, including the King and Prince Shalem as revenge.  They lie to the men of Shechem that all will be forgiven with the marriage if the prince and his men undergo the Jewish rite of brit milah (circumcision).  So, as the men have been circumcised and are incapacitated, Jacob’s sons (except Joseph) and the male servants go to bring Dinah back but slaughter all men of Shechem.

Joseph who has received the gift of visions, can see something in his dreams of his brothers committing an evil act and Dinah covered in blood.  As he goes to find them, it is too late.

This would set the story of Dinah into motion for episode 2 of what will happen the massacre and how much grief she will continue to endure years later.  But also, what happens when the jealous brothers, Shimeon and Levi also take matters into their own hands, driven by jealousy towards their brother Joseph, strip him and sell him off to a slave owner and tell Jacob that his favorite son was murdered by an animal.

A compelling tale of a woman who endured so much but also a tale of a woman with courage and a lot of heart.


VIDEO & AUDIO:

“The Red Tent” is presented in 1:78:1 aspect ratio and in English 5.1 Dolby Digital. As one can expect on DVD, the picture quality and audio are clear and a lot of the outdoor scenes are shot during daylight in Morocco, so picture quality does look good.  I didn’t notice any major artifacts during my viewing of the film.  Audio is clear and understandable.

Unfortunately, there is no HD release of “The Red Tent”, nor is there an UltraViolet code included with the DVD release.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Spanish and French.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“The Red Tent” comes with no special features.


Typically when I come upon a series with a mini-series inspired from the Bible, you expect something banal and typically a story on DVD that tends to be released before Easter time.

But having watched “The Red Tent”, the Lifestyle mini-series was compelling because of how it goes far into showing a tribe and their customs, but showing how the tribe has gone astray when one favors one child over the other.  But also seeing how two jealous brothers would set the tribe onto chaos.

But it’s the story of Dinah, who is the main protagonist towards the end of episode 1 and the majority of episode 2.

Without spoiling the second episode (which is even better than the first), only the first episode and the details can be discussed as it deals with Dinah’s life of her tribe, the tribes customs but her journey of tragedy, emotional and physical pain as she must endure the unthinkable but how things come full circle with forgiveness what of the fate of her and the family of Jacob.

The second episode builds upon this by showing how troubled a life that Dinah had lived but how she became a woman of strength and how she dedicated her life of helping people.

The set design and costume design were well-done for this film.  The acting was also well-done.

Rebecca Ferguson (“Hercules”, “The White Queen”) does a fantastic job of playing the role of Dinah, the main protagonist. She is able to play the feisty character but also a character that must experience amazing loss and brutal treatment.

The film also is aided by a supporting casts which include Minnie Driver (“Good Will Hunting”, “Grosse Point Blank”), Morena Baccarin (“Homeland”, “V”, “Serenity”), Iain Glen (“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”, “Game of Thrones”, “Resident Evil: Extinction”), Will Tudor (“Bonobo”, “Game of Thrones”) and Debra Winger (“Terms of Endearment”, “An Officer and a Gentleman”).

Of course, if one can move past that nearly everyone featured is of darker skin with the exception of the primary talents, which is a common practice of American-produced series and even films based on Biblical stories, then it’s much easier to follow.

It’s important to note that while this is a mini-series based on the bible, “The Red Tent” is much different than other series as we see characters having sex (no full nudity, but you can see the characters having sex in bed or under the blankets), the series also features violence, so one should expect to see blood.

The DVD looks very good thanks to the series being shot outdoors. Picture and audio quality is as best as one can expect on DVD.  I didn’t see major artifacts or blemishes.  There are no special features.

And unfortunately, there is no Blu-ray release for “The Red Tent”, nor is there an UltraViolet code included with the purchase of the DVD.

Overall, “The Red Tent” was no doubt a compelling two-episode mini-series that features a heartbreaking but also a courageous tale of Dinah during the times of the Old Testament.   I was impressed by the overall story, its set and costume design but also the performance of Rebecca Ferguson.

Recommended!

 

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