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Resident Evil: Vendetta (a J!-ENT 4K Ultra HD Review)

July 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

If you are a fan of the “Resident Evil” series and loved the video games and the previous two animated films, I can easily say that “Resident Evil: Vendetta” is the best animated film of the three so far, storywise and also awesome CG to go along with the story.  Definitely an animated film that I recommend for RE fans!

Images courtesy of © 2017 Capcom Co., Ltd. and Resident Evil CG2 Film Partners. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Resident Evil: Vendetta

DATE OF FILM RELEASE: 2017

DURATION: 97 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 2160p Ultra High Definition (1:78:1 aspect ratio), English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Compatible), Arabic, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish VO, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish 5.1 Dolby Digital, SUBTITLES: English, English SDH, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin America), Swedish, Thai, Turkish

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: R (Bloody Violence)

RELEASE DATE: July 18, 2017


Directed by Takanori Tsujimoto

Screenplay by Makoto Fukami

Adaptation/Dialogue: Joe McClean

Producer: Hiroyasu Shinohara

Co-Producer: Kei Miyamoto

Executive Producer: Takashi Shimizu

Supervising Producer: Hiroyuki Kobayashi 

Associate Producer: Kosei Sugimoto

Music by Kenji Kawai

Art Direction by Hiroaki Ueno


Featuring the Voices of:

Kevin Dorman as Chris Redfield

Matthew Mercer as Leon S. Kennedy

Erin Cahill as Rebecca Chambers

John DeMita as Glenn Arias

Fred Tatasciore as Diego Gomez

Cristina Valenzuela as Maria Gomez

Arif S. Kinchen as D.C.

Arnie Pantoja as Damian

Kari Wahlgren as Nadia

Alexander Polinsky as Patricio

Jason Faunt as Arron

Karen Strassman as Kathy White

Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Zack White


BSAA Chris Redfield enlists the help of government agent Leon S. Kennedy and Professor Rebecca Chambers from Alexander Institute of Biotechnology to stop a death merchant with a vengeance from spreading a deadly virus in New York.

Directed by Takanori Tsujimoto with a screenplay by Makoto Fukami (Psycho Pass), RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA was produced by Hiroyasu Shinohara and executive produced by Takashi Shimizu, with music by Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell).


In 1996, Japanese video game developer and publisher, CAPCOM released its survival horror video game for the Sony Playstation.  Since then, the video game has become one of the best selling titles from the company and many games have been released since then including  six live-action films (with a reboot being developed) and a three animated films.

“Resident Evil: Vendetta” was released in 2017 and is directed by Takanori Tsujimoto and a screenplay by Makoto Fukami.  Taking place between the “Resident Evil 6” and “Resident Evil 7: Biohazard” video games, this latest animated film features Chris Redfield, Leon S. Kennedy and Rebecca Chambers.

And now the film will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD.

The film begins with BSAA agent Chris Redfield and his fellow BSAA agents traveling to Mexico to infiltrate a mansion after their undercover source, Cathy White and her son Zack had vanished.

When the group arrives, they are ambushed by zombies and Chris discovers that both Cathy and her son have been infected and have turned to zombies.  Unfortunately, with deadly traps all over the mansion, the agents are killed with Chris being the exception.

Chris comes into contact with the person responsible, Glenn Arias, a death merchant who wants revenge against the U.S. government for killing his family and wife on the day of their wedding.

As the two fight, Glenn defeats Chris and leaves with Cathy (zombie) and his select crew, while Chris vows to get his revenge on Glenn.

The film then shifts to Rebecca Chambers, a former officer in the Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S.) who worked with Chris as a member of Bravo Team.

Rebecca has since traded her badge and gun to become a scientist working in a university laboratory, using her knowledge of medicine to develop cures for viruses.  But not long after she creates an antidote, zombies have invaded the laboratory and her fellow scientists are killed.

As the zombies go after Rebecca, she is rescued by Chris and Rebecca reveals to him that there are three components to the virus, which is the base virus, the trigger virus and the vaccine.  And because Rebecca administered the antidote on herself, she was not affected when Arias’ assassin, Maria releases the virus in to the laboratory.

Wanting to get back at Glenn, Rebecca joins Chris and team but Chris needs Leon S. Kennedy’s help.  But when they come to visit him, Leon has been drinking a lot, since his team was killed during the incident involving the BSAA source.

Can these three work together in hopes to track down Arias?


VIDEO:

“Resident Evil: Vendetta” is presented in 2160p (1:78:1 aspect ratio) and the visuals show great detail especially when compared to the last animated film “Resident Evil: Damnation”.  The motion capture is fantastic as the expressions and mannerisms of a character are well-captured. But the detail of facial characteristics is remarkable and with the realistic movements, show how far motion-capture has come in a few years. There is a lot of detail that can be seen with the characters, as well as the monstrous beasts. Overall, the CG for “Resident Evil: Vendetta” looks fantastic 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:

Audio quality is equally impressive. Presented in English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Compatible), Arabic, Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish VO, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Turkish 5.1 Dolby Digital.  Considering that this animated film has a solid number of action sequences, the lossless audio utilizes the surround channels. Dialogue and music are crystal clear, while action sequences sound magnificent through the surround channels.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish (Castilian), Spanish (Latin America), Swedish, Thai, Turkish

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Resident Evil Vendetta” on 4K Ultra HD comes with the following special featured on two discs:

  • CGI to Reality: The Creature & Designing Vendetta – (24:05) Featuring two featurettes on how the CGI was created .
  • Still Gallery  – Featuring 30 sketches/designs
  • Filmmaker Audio Commentary – Japanese audio commentary with Director Takanor Tsujimoto, Executive Producer Takashi Shimizu and writer Makoto Fukami (English Subtitled)
  • Walk-Around on Set (Motion Picture) with Dante Carver – (11:01) Dante Carver gives a tour to the set in Japan where motion captures and production are taking place.
  • BSAA Mission Briefing: Combat Arias – (5:05) Introduction to the antagonist, Arias and his operatives.
  • Designing the World of Vendetta – (3:31) A featurette on the evolution of “Resident Evil” and designing the world of this latest animated film.
  • 2016 Tokyo Game Show Footage – (13:04) The screening of “Resident Evil: Vendetta” at the Tokyo Game Show.

EXTRAS:

“Resident Evil: Vendetta” comes with a slipcover, both the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray disc and a bonus disc.


Since the release of the first “Resident Evil” game for the Sony Playstation back in 1996, I have been a fan of the series purchasing the many games that have been released on various consoles, portable consoles and have also enjoyed the live-action films, despite the differences with the video game series. As well, as enjoying the first two CG films, “Resident Evil: Degeneration” and “Resident Evil: Damnation”, as a fan, you can’t help but feel giddy that Chris Redfield is reuniting with Rebecca Chambers and also joining the two is popular character Leon S. Kennedy.

The storyline continues the terrorizing details of how the virus is being utilized and now, you have the virus in the hands of Glenn Arias, a death merchant who wants nothing but revenge against the US Government for slaughtering his wife-to-be and his entire family during his wedding day.

This time around, we see a Leon S. Kennedy who is distraught and getting drunk after the slaughter of his fellow agents and we see Rebecca Chambers, last seen as a member of S.T.A.R.S. in the first video game and now a scientist developing a cure for the virus.  Having created an antidote which she has used on herself and seems to have worked.  Chris Redfield is always your heroic gung-ho character wanting to kick butt, so his character remains consistent.

But as Arias is getting his revenge, he also wants Rebecca because she is the spitting image of his deceased beloved.

In the last film, there were times where I felt this film was more “visual eye-candy” and for the most part, this is an all-action film that is no doubt looks awesome in 4K Ultra HD.  But I feel there is a much better storyline this time around and you get a good balance of storyline and visual eye-candy.

The 4K Ultra HD release looks magnificent and the lossless soundtrack is also immersive.  You get special features on the Blu-ray disc as well on the bonus disc provided.  Unfortunately, no UltraViolet HD code was provided, which was surprising but still, you do get three discs included.

Overall, if you are a fan of the “Resident Evil” series and loved the video games and the previous two animated films, I can easily say that “Resident Evil: Vendetta” is the best animated film of the three so far, storywise and also awesome CG to go along with the story.  Definitely an animated film that I recommend for RE fans!

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (A J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

“Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” is a gorgeous, exciting and well-performed CG animated film that serves as a small introduction to the upcoming “Final Fantasy XV” videogame. Some may find it complex with the many characters introduced and the problems existing within kingdoms, and I do recommend watching this film more than once for a better understanding of its storyline.  But this film made me even more excited about the upcoming video game release and if you are a fan of “Final Fantasy” and are planning to purchase “Final Fantasy XV”, I definitely recommend watching this film!

Image courtesy of © 2016 Square Enix Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

YEAR: 2016

DURATION: 115 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 aspect ratio), English, Portuguese, French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Japanese, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, Cantonese, Chinese (Simplified), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: PG-13 (Fantasy Violence and Action Throughout)

Release Date: October 4, 2016


Directed by Takeshi Nozue

Written by Takashi Hasegawa

Produced by Hajime Tabata

Associate Producer: Robert A. Dobbins

Production Executive as Juck Somsaman

Music by John R. Graham

Casting by Rui Kawada, Gabriel Moszkowski


Featuring the following voice talent:

Aaron Paul as Nyx Ulric

Sean Bean as Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII

Lena Headey as Lunafreya Nox Fleuret

David Gant as Emperor Iedolas Aldercapt

Darin De Paul as Ardyn Izunia

Trevor Devall as Ravus Nox Fleuret

Adrian Bouchet as Titus Drautos

Liam Mulvey as Libertus Ostium

John DeMita as clarus Amicitia

Andrea Tivadar as Crowe Altius

Todd Haberkorn as Luche Lazarus

Max Mittelman as Tredd Furia

Ray Chase as Noctis Lucis Caelum

Adam Croasdell as Ignis Scientia

Christopher L. Parson as Gladiolus Amicitia

Robbie Daymond as Prompto Argentum

Bo Bragason as Young Luna

David Chun Cheung as Sonitus Belum


The magical kingdom of Lucis is home to the sacred Crystal, and the menacing empire of Niflheim is determined to steal it. King Regis of Lucis (Sean Bean) commands an elite force of soldiers called the Kingsglaive. Wielding their king’s magic, Nyx (Aaron Paul) and his fellow soldiers fight to protect Lucis. As the overwhelming military might of the empire bears down, King Regis is faced with an impossible ultimatum – to marry his son, Prince Noctis to Princess Lunafreya of Tenebrae (Lena Headey), captive of Niflheim, and surrender his lands to the empire’s rule. Although the king concedes, it becomes clear that the empire will stop at nothing to achieve their devious goals, with only the Kingsglaive standing between them and world domination.


On November 26th, many gamers are highly anticipating the release of the Square Enix PS4/XBOX Onevideo game “Final Fantasy XV”.

But before the release of the video game, the animated film “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” was released theatrically in Japan in July 2016 and had a limited theatrical run in North America in August.

The film takes place in parallel to the events that are presented in the “Final Fantasy XV” video game and revolves around Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII, the father of the game’s protagonist, Noctis.  The film focsues on the Kingsglaive, an elite guard sharing Regis’ magical powers that defend the kingdom of Lucis and its crystal from the invading empire of Niflheim.

The film is directed by Takeshi Nozue and written by Takashi Hasegawa.  The talented voice cast includes Sean Bean (“Lord of the Rings” films, “The Martian”), Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”, “Need for Speed”, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”), Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones” “300” films), David Gant (“Braveheart”, “Gandhi”), Darin De Paul (“Julie & Julia”, “Overwatch”, “Doom”), Trevor Devall (“Johnny Test”, “Kid vs. Kat”, “Batman vs. Robin”), Adrian Bouchet (“Clash of the Titans”, “The Monuments Men”, “Predator Dark Ages”), Lian Mulvey (“The Box”, “616”), John DeMita (“Princess Mononoke”, “Castle in the Sky”), Andrea Tivadar (“Inside”), Todd Haberkorn (“Soul Eater”, “D. Grayman”, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood”), Max Mittelman (“One Punch Man”, “Fallout 4”), Ray Chase (“Final Fantasy XV”, “Xenoblade Chronicles X”, “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided”), David Chun Cheung (“The Real Target”, “Out of Control”) and Amanda Piery (“The Underwater Realm”, “City of Dreamers”).

And now, the Blu-ray and DVD release of “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” will be available in October 2016.

The setting is in the planet Eos, where each nation once were in possession of magical crystals.  Now only one kingdom, Lucis, it the only nation to possess a crystal and how the ruling Caelum dynasty has used it to create a magical barrier to prevent invaders from destroying their city. Because the magic barrier is huge, it accelerates the age of King Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII (voiced by Sean Bean).

And the Royal Citadel has possession of it and only accessible through the  Ring of the Lucci, a ring passed down from the line of Lucis kings.

But the nations that no longer possess a magical crystal were all conquered by the Niflheim, a military and technologically advanced empire that is now wanting to take control of Lucis.

Niflheim is ran by the emperor, Iedolas Aldercapt (voiced by David Gant).  But most of the duties are ran by Niflheim chancellor, Ardyn Izunia (voiced by Darin De Paul), who is responsible for the empires use of Magitek technology.

To also protect Lucis, an elite unit known as Kingslaive that wields the royal family’s magical power in order to fight against the powerful monsters that try to get into the city, including attacks from Niflheim and Tenebrae.

The film focuses on Kingslaive soldier, Nyx Ulric (voiced by Aaron Paul).  When Nyx was younger, he was saved by King Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII and indebted for saving him, he is tasked to protect Lunafreya Nox Fleuret (voiced by Lena Headey).

Lunafreya was the former princess of Tenebrae, but when her land was attacked by Niflheim, she was captured by the Niflheim empire.  Her older brother, Ravus Nox Fleuret (voiced by Trevor Devall) is a man full of hatred.

His mother was killed by Niflheim’s imperial general, Glauca and during the invasion, while trying to plea for help, King Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII could only rescue so many people.  He tried grabbed his young son Noctis Lucis Caelum (the heir of Lucis) and Lunafreya, but as they tried to escape, Lunafreya decides to stay back for her older brother and was captured.  But in the process, knew he was unable to help Ravus’ mother and Ravus.

Fastforward 12 years later, as the land of Tenebrae becomes a province of Niflheim, Ravus has grown up to become a commanding officer of the Niflheim army and wants nothing more than to destroy Lucis and its king.

As Niflheim chancellor threatens Kings Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII, he offers him a peace treaty, that Regis must cede the territories around Lucis, including the crown city of Insomnia to Niflheim and allow his son Prince Noctics to marry Luna Fraey Nox Fleuret.  King Regis accepts the terms to the peace treaty.

But at the night of the treaty-singing ceremony, the Niflheim delegation begins a surprise attack inside Lucis in order to kill the ruling council and destroy the magical barrier that King Regis had put up.

Can Kingslaive soldier Nyx Ulric protect Lunafreya and the King?


VIDEO:

“Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 aspect ratio). An all CG film, the animation is absolutely gorgeous and the technology has come a long way since “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” and the realistic details have come much farther along since “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children”.

The characters look quite realistic (especially at the beginning of the film with female character Crowe and how close she looks to model Andrea Tivadar, who voiced the character).

The detail on the characters, the monsters, the cities, the vehicles and everything about the film looks magnificent in HD!  If anything, the gorgeous CG made me even more excited for the video game release of “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy VI”.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV” is presented in English, Portuguese, French DTS-HD MA 5.1 and Japanese, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital.  The lossless soundtrack for this film is absolutely immersive.  With the number of action sequences, my surround channels and use of LFE through my subwoofer was used quite frequently.  Great use of ambiance when it comes to the monsters, destruction of cities, the revving of a car and more.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Malay, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV” comes with the following special features:

  • A Way with Words: Epic and Intimate Vocals – (4:51) Featuring the talent who voiced the characters in “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV”.
  • To Capture the Kingslaive: The Process – (6:01) Featuring the crew and mocap actors at audiomotion studios creating the movement and the challenges of 3D scanning and more.
  • Fit for the Kingslaive: Building the World – (5:29) Featuring the concept art and the imaginative and creative world featured in “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” and interviews with the cast and crew.
  • Emotive Music: Scoring the Kingslaive – (6:04) A behind-the-scenes look at the music of “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” with composer John Graham and his musicians.

EXTRAS:

“Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” comes with a slipcover and Ultraviolet HD code.


Before I get into my review for “”Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV”, I must first say how much I love the “Final Fantasy” series.

I have purchased nearly every game that has been available for the consoles, including portable consoles and PC versions and while I’m not a hardcore gamer, I always try to fit in time for me to play a “Final Fantasy” game, most often right before I go to bed.

So, I admit that I am biased to the series, but also have been critical as I have been more of a fan from “Final Fantasy X-2” and games released before.  While newer games, I have been more critical of how there is more dedication to visuals than gameplay and story.

But with the upcoming worldwide release of “Final Fantasy XV” and the sneak peeks that have been released in the past few years of this highly anticipated video game, I was quite pleased that Square Enix has chosen to release a film that runs parallel to the video game.  Call it a taste before delving into the video game but establishing the world and some of its characters.

What the film does focus on is how the kingdom of Lucis is the last nation to possess a magical crystal and currently, it’s king, Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII has protected it using the royal family’s magical power to erect a magical barrier around the city for over a decade.

The big bad military/advanced technology empire of Niflheim has been wanting in and wanting to control this nation and its cities.  And Niflheim is offering a peace/treaty, which is like having Darth Vader’s Empire offering the rebels a peace treaty and you know how well that is going to work.  It’s not going to happen.  If anything, it’s a way to introduce a trojan horse into the city that will leave the king and his kingdom vulnerable to attacks.

But everything hinges on the marriage of the king Regis’s son Prince Noctis to Princess Lunafreya Nox Fleuret of Tenebrae, who had been captured by Niflheim.

But to make sure they are not being deceived, the king has his trustworthy Kingslaive soldier, Nyx UIric to retrieve and protect the princess and making sure that Niflheim does not have possession of her.

While Nix Ulric is the primary protagonist of the film, if anything, the film is primarily a primer to the kingdom of Lucis and how it’s the last kingdom with a magical crystal and how Niflheim are the protagonist country led by an emperor and his ruthless chancellor, Ardyn Izunia.

The film introduces us to the spunky princess who takes far too many risks and can easily end up dead for her rash decisions and while the video game’s protagonist, Noctis is shown as a young child, he does show up at the end of the credits, so remember to keep watching after the ending credits are completed.

The voice acting by Aaron Paul, Sean Bean and Lena Headey are fantastic!  Actually, the entire film features wonderful voice acting but there is no doubt that the gorgeous visual effects are what captivates viewers of the film.  From its characters, the smoothness of the characters in a fighting sequence, the amazing detail of costumes, detail of character closeups and its vast scenery which are visually impressive.

The film looks absolute incredible in HD and there is no doubt that videophiles and fans of the “Final Fantasy” series will by in awe of how wonderful this film looks, but audiophiles will no doubt love the immersiveness of the film’s lossless soundtrack.  If you have a 7.1 setup, you can expect to see your surround channels and subwoofer being well-utilized throughout the film.  And you also get a few special features as well, that go into the motion capture and the voice acting of the film and more!

With that being said, I discussed the many positives of “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” but are there any negatives?  Quite frankly, with the complex story of the cities and the many characters introduced, I can see some viewers being lost. To be truthful, everything started to kick-in for me by the second viewing of the film, learning about character motivations but most importantly, King Regis, his kingdom and of course, the big bad empire, Niflheim.  So, with this release on Blu-ray and DVD, one may need to watch this film several times in order to understand things thoroughly and how it correlates to the upcoming video game, is something I look forward to.

Last, one hoping to get a glimpse of some closure or finality with the characters or storyline are probably going to be disappointed as the film is more of a primer to the world of Eos and the political struggles between nations and a few characters leading up to the video game release.  And will no doubt add fuel to the fire for those who dislike films that are based on a popular video game series.

But I love “Final Fantasy” games and perhaps my bias to the series has led me to enjoy the film than most people.  Because I absolutely enjoyed the visuals of the film and its acting.

Overall, “Kingslaive: Final Fantasy XV” is a gorgeous, exciting and well-performed CG animated film that serves as a small introduction to the upcoming “Final Fantasy XV” videogame. Some may find it complex with the many characters introduced and the problems existing within kingdoms, and I do recommend watching this film more than once for a better understanding of its storyline.  But this film made me even more excited about the upcoming video game release and if you are a fan of “Final Fantasy” and are planning to purchase “Final Fantasy XV”, I definitely recommend watching this film!

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