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Resident Evil: Afterlife Blu-ray 3D Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4 (2D); MVC Full HD 3D (3D)
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Audio Descriptive Service, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Danish, French, Finnish, Hindi, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish
  • Rating: R
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Sony
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 28, 2010
  • List Price: $39.95

[amazon-product align=”right”]B002ZG98UK[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Resident Evil: Afterlife -

Purchase Resident Evil: Afterlife on Blu-ray 3D at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
HD:[Rating:5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

The live action franchise based on Capcom’s console game Resident Evil is now onto its fourth iteration with Resident Evil: Afterlife. The series of films has never been completely successful at capturing the fun and essence of the game and certainly it has always been more about mindless special effects and action than anything else. Each successive film has only served to make the live-action world of Resident Evil evermore convoluted as well, yet the franchise aways returns, somehow always successful enough to warrant another film.

This fourth stop on the road for Resident Evil resuscitates the franchise by bringing back original writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson and taking the film into the third dimension with an original 3D production handled by the same crew that worked on James Cameron’s titanic Avatar 3D.

Milla Jovovich is back as the heroine Alice taking on the evil Umbrella Corporation and the world is still overrun by zombies their manufactured virus has unleashed. Her constant search for other survivors finally leads her to a group that includes one such she’s encountered before (Ali Larter). Together the two heroines help lead the group of survivors through the onslaught of the undead to find the mythical place, Arcadia, which has been broadcasting that they have shelter, food, and are uninfected.

By stripping Alice of the superpowers she has acquired over the course of several films and turning up the action to a feverish pitch with a keen eye on what works well in the 3D relm, Anderson has rescued Resident Evil from the quagmire and made this fourth journey through the undead reasonably worth sitting through – a sleek, adrenalin-filled time full of mindless fun.

Video Quality

HD:[Rating:5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:5/5]

You’re going to see an excellent presentation of Resident Evil: Afterlife, more than capable of showing off your HD display, whether you choose to watch the 2D AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encoding or the MVC encoded Full HD 3D version. Captured in high definition, the film looks clean and detailed, free from artifacts, with deep blacks, strong, bright contrast levels with whites that don’t clip and natural flesh tones.

In 3D, none of this detail is lost and only some very slight and rare ghosting is added to the image. Director Paul W.S. Anderson employed the services of PACE, the same folks responsible for the 3D production work in James Cameron’s “new 3D” paragon Avatar, and it shows. Also like Avatar, much of the production equipment had to be custom built to accommodate the electronics and filming styles.

The 3D effect of Resident Evil: Afterlife is similar to that of Avatar in that is doesn’t rely on gimmicky effects flying out of the screen at you, but rather adds a sense of front-to-back depth, and a sense of “looking through a window” at the action like no other film since Avatar. It’s a beautifully captured production, rendered wonderfully on Blu-ray, showing perhaps, even, that Sony’s full end-to-end solution when it comes to 3D has its advantages – Sony’s cameras were used in the filming as well. This is one of the best looking, cleanest, most artifact-free Blu-ray 3D titles I have seen to date, going toe-to-toe with Avatar and perhaps surpassing it in the area of ghosting.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack is appropriately aggressive and lively for a film of this nature, but it never becomes overwhelming. The high frequencies are thankfully smooth and laid back, something that becomes very important with all the gunplay in a film such as this. There’s much back-to-front panning with a good balance of ambience and discrete information, some directionality of sounds across the front channels, and clean dialogue balanced well into the mix.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4/5]

They haven’t skimped on the supplements for this release, offering up a pretty cool picture-in-picture viewing mode, a heavy dose of HD featurettes and an audio commentary, in addition to some other extras that are worth taking a look at.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Undead Vision: Picture-in-Picture
  • Commentary with Writer/Director Paul W.S. Anderson, Producer Jeremy Bolt, and Producer Robert Kulzer.
  • Deleted & Extended Scenes (2.35:1; 1080p/24; 2D)
  • Outtakes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 2D 0:04.30) – Blooper reel.
  • Featurettes:
    • Back Under the Umbrella: Directing Afterlife (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 2D; 0:06.43) – Paul Anderson offers up his experience on directing Afterlife.
    • Band of Survivors: Casting Afterlife (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 2D; 0:06.39)
    • Undead Dimension: Resident Evil in 3D (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 2D; 0:07.27)
    • Fighting Back: The Action of Afterlife (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 2D; 0:05.31)
    • Vision of the Apocalypse: The Design of Afterlife (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 2D; 0:07.28)
    • New Blood: The Undead of Afterlife (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 2D; 0:07.31)
    • Pwning [sic] the Undead: Gamers of the Afterlife (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 2D; 0:06.11)
  • Sneak Peek of Resident Evil: Damnation (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 2D; 0:01.10)
  • BD-Live

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

I don’t know how much afterlife this franchise has left in it, but the 3D production certainly helped liven it up and bringing Paul W.S. Anderson back certainly revived its flagging storyline. This Blu-ray 3D release should move instantly near the top of the list for 3DTV owners looking for an excellent 3D home theatre experience.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right”]B002ZG98UK[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Resident Evil: Afterlife -

Purchase Resident Evil: Afterlife on Blu-ray 3D at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3/5]
Video Quality
HD:[Rating:5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:4/5]

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