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One either loves or hates the films that comprise the RESIDENT EVIL movie franchise that re-imagines the popular video games in cinematic terms. If you are reading this review, I'll assume you are one of those who love these movies. Personally, I love all the great action sequences... mixed in with the mindless videogame plotting, which offers just enough story to drive the films from one action sequence to the next. RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION ($36) is really no different from its predecessors, although I do think the action is grander and wonderfully stylized in this outing. Once again, our protagonist is Alice (Milla Jovovich), who starts this outing in the hands of the Umbrella Corporation and again in fully human form... having been robbed of her superhuman abilities in the previous film. After a quick escape from her cell, Alice is forced to battle her way through a number of zombie simulations at the Umbrella Corporation's underwater testing installation. Along the way, Alice encounters a number of familiar faces... all of whom turn out to be clones of Alice's former associates- representing the fresh meat that Umbrella has created to test the T-Virus, and its subsequent horrors upon.

While trying to escape the testing installation, Alice also has to contend with her former ally, Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory), who is now under direct control of Umbrella, thanks to a red scarab device attached to her chest. During her search for the exit, Alice also encounters Ada Wong (Li Bingbing), an associate of the villainous Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts), who informs her that they have both severed their ties with the Umbrella Corporation, now that the mad computer system known as the Red Queen is now controlling what remains of Umbrella- in its quest to exterminate the remainder of mankind. As Alice and Ada fight their way out of the Umbrella facility, an extraction team fights its way in... in an effort to rendezvous with our beleaguered heroines. The cast of RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION also features Michelle Rodriguez, Aryana Engineer, Boris Kodjoe, Johann Urb, Robin Kasyanov, Kevin Durand, Ofilio Portillo and Oded Fehr.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION comes with an absolutely demonstration quality presentation 1080p presentation. Shot digitally with Red Epic cameras, the image is astonishingly crisp, magnificently detailed and extremely dimensional. Fine details, like the texture of fabrics and objects, plus the imperfections in the actor’s skin, plus individual hairs are all clearly visible. Colors are fully saturated and reproduced without flaws, while flesh tones come across in an attractive manner (for the living characters... that is). Blacks are pure, as are the whites, plus the contrast is very smooth. The elements from which RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION has been mastered demonstrate virtually no imperfections. Being an all-digital production, there is no actual film grain, but there is a very tiny bit of noise in the image.

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Like the visual element, the audio is pure demonstration quality. No surprises here, the sound design is highly aggressive and takes full advantage of all the outlying channels, which are well utilized for sound effects placement, as well as allowing for effortless pans throughout the soundstage. Gunfire and explosions almost have a giddy quality, as they are so well orchestrated into the enveloping sound mix. Fidelity is terrific for both the music and sound effects, which come across in a lively, engaging manner. The bass channel packs a wallop and shakes the ground when required. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand. A French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, plus a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel is also encoded onto the disc, as is an English Descriptive track. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

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 some supplements. Starting things off are two running Audio Commentaries; the first is with writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson, plus actors Mila Jovovich and Boris Kodjoe, the second track is with writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Maestro Of Evil: Directing Resident Evil: Retribution (eight minutes), Evolving Alice (seven minutes), Resident Evil: Reunion (ten minutes), Design & Build: The World Of Resident Evil: Retribution (nine minutes), Drop (Un Minutes) Dead: The Creatures Of Retribution (seven minutes), Resident Stuntman (six minutes), Code: Mika (six minutes) and Resident Evil: Retribution- Face Of The Fan (three minutes). Deleted & Extended Scenes, plus Outtakes and Capcom Game Trailers close out the supplements. An authorization code is provided for an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film, which is just a stream away.

If you love mindless video game plots and beautifully choreographed action sequences featuring zombies (amongst other nasties), then RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION is for you. The Blu-ray presentation is flawless, so you can't go wrong on that front.


Resident Evil: Retribution (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (2012)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2013 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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