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Birdemic: Shock And Terror Blu-ray And Devolved Blu-ray Reviews

 

“Birdemic: Shock And Terror” is a new bad movie classic.

“Devolved” has an interesting premise, but the humor falls flat.

Birdemic: Shock And Terror

Make no mistake about it, “Birdemic: Shock And Terror” is a terrible movie. The acting is atrocious, the environmental messages are preachy and laughable, the cinematography is dreadful, and the movie has possibly the worst special f/x you will ever see. With that said, I have to say I loved every minute of it.

In an age where soulless Hollywood dreck hits the multiplexes on a weekly basis, it’s refreshing to see a so-bad-it’s-good movie like “Birdemic” because it’s infinitely more entertaining than virtually everything hitting theaters. It’s so entertaining, in fact, that it made my best of 2010 list. What makes it so fun you ask? The answer is eveything. From the goofy forced romance between the lead characters and the random musical number in the first half to the hilarious bird attacks and death scenes in the second half, you will find yourself laughing from start to finish. This is the kind of animal attack movie SyFy Channel wishes it could make.

Summary: If you love bad movies, “Birdemic” is a must see as it easily ranks alongside bad movie classics such as “Troll 2” and “The Room.”

Video/Audio:

Not even Blu-ray can make this grainy low quality digital film look better in 1080p. With that said, the picture quality is pretty irrelevant for a film like this.

The DTS-HD 5.1 audio track is better than the picture quality, but that’s not saying much. There’s a lot of background noise here and it sounds as if the audio from the camera was used in the film. Once again though, the quality is irrelevant as it adds to the fun. 

Extras:
* “Birdemic” theatrical, teaser, and the “Birdemic Experience” trailers.
* Trailers for “BMX Bandits,” “Inglorious Bastards,” “Screwballs,” “Psychomania,” and “Gwendoline”.
* 2 deleted scenes (one with optional commentary)
* “Electronic Press Kit”- A video press release that explains the film.

* “James Nguyen On Movie Close-Up”- Writer/director James Nguyen’s appearance on what appears to be a public access show. This is a basic Q&A with movie clips.
* “MOVIEHEAD: The James Nguyen Story Teaser”- A teaser trailer for what appears to be a documentary.
* “Birdemic Experience Tour Featurette”- A fun behind-the-scenes look at the screening events that James Nguyen (and other cast members) attended.
* Commentary by writer/director James Nguyen. If you want to get a full breakdown of Nguyen’s vision and experiences in making this movie, this is the track for you.
* Commentary by moderator Bobby Hacker, actor Alan Bagh and actress Whitney Moore. Hacker does a good job asking questions here so that viewers get a sense of what it was like making the movie from the actor’s point of view.

Devolved

The plot: After a group of high school students are stranded on an island, there becomes a power struggle for dominance amongst the popular and unpopular students. Will the jocks and cheerleaders walk around like they own the island or will the unpopular student’s smarts give them the advantage? These are the questions this satirical comedy presents.

When I saw that Chris Kattan had a role in this, I knew that was a bad omen for “Devolved.” It turns out that that omen was (for the most part) correct. While the film boasts a clever premise and a solid cast, the forced humor and strange plot structure hampers the overall film. One would think that with a solid premise the movie would at least be humorous, but unfortunately, the humor relies far too much on tired high school clichés, drugs, booze, and sex jokes. There’s really nothing here that we haven’t seen before in some fashion which is a shame. It doesn’t help that there are relatively few jokes that are even funny.

As for the script, the movie has some strange structure issues as it jumps around quite a bit (especially in the first half). There’s flashbacks, random unnecessary narration, and of course, the story of the students on the island. Speaking of the “students,” I have to say I was definitely taken out of the film as no one remotely resembles a high school student here. Everyone looks college age at the very least.

The highlight of the film definitely has to be The Rog character played by Roger Adamson. His character had the most to do here and he clearly stole the show from every other character (of which there is far too many).

Summary: There’s a good film somewhere “Devolved,” but as is, it’s merely mediocre.

Video/Audio:

The widescreen picture quality looks sharp on Blu-ray. The colors are noticeably crisp and clear. Unfortunately, the DTS-HD 5.1 audio track is pretty terrible as the dialogue is very faint. In fact, some of the background noise is actually louder than the dialogue. You will definitely have to crank up the sound to hear the dialogue in certain spots.

Extras:
* Commentary by actors Gary Entin, Lindsey Shaw, Roman Marshanski, John Cregan, and Robert Adamson. A talkative and lively commentary that is worth a listen if you like the film.
* Trailers for “Birdemic,” “BMX Bandits,” “Gwendoline,” and “Devolved”.
* 3 music videos.
* 11 deleted scenes.

* 9 minutes of audition footage of various cast members.
* 2 short films by John Cregan titled “Live Tomorrow Today!” and “Restive Planet”. I actually enjoyed these shorts more than “Devolved”. They also have better sound quality.
* “Devolved: Behind The Scenes” includes the usual set footage, interviews, etc.
* An intelligent and thoughtful solo commentary by John Cregan. It’s clear that Cregan is a passionate filmmaker. I just wish that passion went to a better project. I will be intrigued to see what he does next.

March 22, 2011 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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