The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony - 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 105 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: MPEG-4 (AVC)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Spanish/French/Portuguese/Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Thai
Starring: Casper Van Dien, Jolean Blalock, Amanda Donohue, Marnette Patterson, Stephen Hogan
Written & Directed by: Ed Nuemeier
Music by: Klaus Badelt
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 5, 2008
"It's a good day to die!"
STARSHIP TROOPERS 3: MARAUDER explodes with mind-blowing man-on-bug combat! Col. Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) is back to lead his team on a secret mission to rescue a small crew of troopers stranded on the remote planet of OM-1. Battling bugs, both new and old, the new "Marauder" advanced weapons technology may be their only hope against a treasonous element operating within the Federation itself. As Captain Lola Beck (Jolene Blalock) and the rest of the starship crew fight to survive in the harsh conditions, it begins to dawn on them that something on OM-1 is very, very wrong. This time the bugs have a secret weapon that could destroy humanity. Join the Mobile Infantry in this intergalactic action-packed adventure.
HmmmI often wonder when sequels like this are developed and eventually produced, why? Starship Troopers 3: Marauder is definitively poor in execution and at times a little silly. Personally I don't enjoy panning anyone's creative work but putting something like this out there I have to believe that someone had to see this reaction coming. It totally lacks the fresh, fun, and visceral feeling of the original. The story feels elementary and shallow with poorly developed characters. I am not sure why it was necessary for the Sky Marshall to be a singing pop star (?). The dialogue was corny and the performances lacking in credibility. Johnny Rico returns and has been promoted to colonel in the Mobile Infantry. He is in command of an outpost where he is responsible for the protection of local farmers who reside within its limits. Casper Van Dien had a certain element of youthful charm in the original film that made his inability to act palatable. Unfortunately that is not the case here. He attempts to come off as a seasoned war hero tough guy type and it just does not work. I cringed every time he delivered a line in his raspy and often growling tone. The story branches off into several smaller subplots but in the end the lack of cohesiveness leaves the outcome feeling like several unfinished thoughts. The three main cast members lacked onscreen chemistry and just didn't gel. The special effects and green screen work were indicative of a lower budget production. The CGI didn't blend very well and stood out sometimes to the point of distraction. In the end I found little to like about this film. I didn't see the second one but compared to the original this pales in comparison.
Parental Guide:The rating is for violence/gore, language, and nudity. Not for younger viewers.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Starship Troopers 3 Marauder comes to Blu-ray Disc featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.6 mbps.
The video presentation had a few issues most of which are related to the photography rather the encoding. Detail was quite good at times and revealing of subtle textures, clean lines and three dimensional quality. The problem I saw was the there were many shots that looked poorly delineated and flat which appeared to be as a direct result of the inclusion of CGI within those frames. Certain shots that had computer generated images in one portion of the frame and none in another exhibited softer quality on one side and sharper definition on the other. This didn't occur often but was distracting none the less. Colors were deeply saturated with exaggerated primary colors that didn't always appear naturally rendered. Reds tended to lean toward reddish orange and lighter blues leaned toward aqua. I still found the overall color palette to be vivid and pleasing. Flesh tones were natural with visible variety and lifelike texture. Blacks levels were elevated which made them less dynamic and on the dark gray side. Contrast, brightness, and shadow detail maintained good balance so that the elements present in both dark and light portions of the image was discernible. Grain was visible throughout and appeared well preserved for the most part. On one or two occasions it manifested itself in what looked like noise in the image's background.
The Dolby TrueHD audio sound mix was about what I expected and while not perfect sounded okay. I felt that the dialogue, while intelligible, lacked the clarity and tonal definition of the better lossless soundtracks that I have heard. The mix uses the entire surround platform to deliver the track's elements. Low frequency effects were used frequently and appropriately during the battle and attack sequences. The quality of the bass was not such that it lent itself to tight focus and tactile precision but more toward bloated and rapid decay. Some of the sound effects sounded cheap and less realistic while others sounded fine. Imaging and tonal balance was above average but not on par with the best digital high resolution audio tracks. I think it would be easy to be fooled into thinking that this is a quality audio presentation. It does a good job at throwing a lot of information into the mix but careful listening will reveal that it is more cubic zircon than diamond in the rough.
The quality of the bonus content pretty much falls right in line with the film. To me it was hard to swallow the cast and crew gushing about the work they put into this film and how excited they were for others to see it. It was more fluff than substance in my opinion. The exclusive to Blu-ray Marauder mode is a picture-in-picture option that when enabled pops up during the film with trivia, facts and behind the scenes footage. It uses an interface that is similar to that of the Federal Network system from the movie. A profile 1.1 player is required for playback. The disc is Blu-ray Disc Live enabled however the features have not gone online yet but should be available by release date. BD-Live requires a live internet connection and a Profile 2.0 player.
- (HD) Evolution: The Bugs of ST 3: Marauder featurette
- (HD)Enlist: Marauder's Mobile Infantry: featurette
- (HD) Music Video: It's a good day to die (extended version)
- Filmmakers commentary
- Director and Cast commentary - with Director Ed Neumeier and Actors Casper Van Dien and Jolene Blalock
Exclusive Blu-ray Content:
- Marauder Mode - PiP feature
- BD-Live exclusive content
Unfortunately Starship Troopers 3: Marauder fails to live up to the original film. I found it disappointing on several levels and could not in good conscience recommend it as a rental. If you feel the urge to see it I would say you can catch it on cable television. It's presentation on high definition Blu-ray Disc is fair and certainly a better achievement than the film itself.
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