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You gave him what he asked for… I gave him what he needed.

LEGION ($35) is a reasonably fun, albeit mindless, action/horror movie for the popcorn munching set, especially those who would prefer switching their minds to neutral during the film’s one hundred minute running time. The premise of LEGION finds mankind facing the apocalypse… it would seem that God has grown weary of humanity’s sinful ways and has unleashed his angelic foot soldiers to exterminate every last member of the human race. With one exception, the angels dutifully begin raining down the apocalypse on mankind. The Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) rebels against God’s order and falls to Earth. Cutting off his wings, Michael is poised make a last stand with humanity, at the least likely of places- a roadside diner in the middle of the New Mexico desert.

As it turns out, an unwed, pregnant waitress named Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) is about to give birth to the savior of mankind- a birth that the legion of angels will do anything to prevent. Armed with a cache of automatic weapons, Michael is joined by diner owner Bob Hanson (Dennis Quaid), his son Jeep (Lucas Black), short-order cook Percy (Charles S. Dutton) and unlucky passerby Kyle (Tyrese Gibson) in protecting Charlie’s unborn baby from the angelic onslaught. From here LEGION plays out in RIO BRAVO fashion, with siege being laid to the diner… although the levels of gore and graphic mayhem are much greater than the classic western. The cast of LEGION also includes Kevin Durand, Jon Tenney, Willa Holland, Kate Walsh, Jeanette Miller, Cameron Harlow and Doug Jones.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made LEGION available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. LEGION features an impressive 1080p presentation the leaves little room for complaint. Almost all of the time, the image appears very sharp, highly defined and quite dimensional. Texturing is excellent, as is the level of fine detail that one encounters during the brightly lit desert sequences, not to mention inside the darkened diner or at night. Colors are fully saturated, exuding a crispy desert warmth, and are reproduced without flaws. Additionally, flesh tones come across in an attractive manner. Blacks are pure, as are the whites, plus the contrast is very smooth. Shadow detail is pretty terrific. The elements from which LEGION has been mastered demonstrate virtually no imperfections. A fine sheen of grain is noticeable during the presentation.

LEGION is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This track definitely goes onto the demo pile, with LEGION offering the kind of action movie sound that is just about as good as it gets. In keeping with the frenzied apocalyptic battle material, the sound design is highly aggressive and takes full advantage of all the outlying channels to immerse the viewer in the mayhem. Sound effects placement is dead perfect and wholly convincing, plus there are effortless sweeping pans throughout the soundstage. Thanks to the lossless encode fidelity is terrific for both the musical component and sound effects. The bass channel is punchy, percussive and shakes the ground when required. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced and is always easy to understand. A French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is also encoded onto the disc, as are English and French subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the supplements. Starting things off is a Bonus View picture-in-picture Video Commentary entitled Brining Angels To Earth that features comments from co-writer/director Scott Stewart, in addition to cast & crew interviews, plus storyboards and behind the scenes footage (requires a Profile 1.1 player). Featurettes and other programs include: Creating The Apocalypse (twenty four minutes), Humanity's Last Line Of Defense (eleven minutes) and From Pixel To Picture (eleven minutes). LEGION is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player). Sony’s MovieIQ feature is available through BD-Live, which provides the viewer access to a continuously updated database of additional information about the film, its cast, crew and soundtrack, as well as other trivia. On disc two, one will fine a Digital Copy for the PC and ITunes.

LEGION offers up one hundred minutes of mindless, action/horror fun. The Blu-ray presentation is beyond reproach.



Legion [Blu-ray] (2010)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright © 2010 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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