Mutant Chronicles (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 22 Old 08-01-2009, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=149180&d=1249153017
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

90






Studio and Year: Magnolia Home Entertainment - 2008
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 101 Minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Thomas Jane, Ron Perlman, Devon Aoki, Sean Pertwee, Anna Walton, Tom Wu, John Malkovich
Directed by: Simon Hunter
Music by: Richard Wells
Written by: Philip Eisner
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 4, 2009







"The darkest age has yet to come. Have faith"



Film Synopsis:

In the year 2707, war rages between Earth's four giant corporations as they battle over the planet's dwindling resources. Amid heavy combat, an ancient buried seal shatters, releasing a horrific mutant army from its eternal prison deep within the Earth. As the mutant plague threatens human extinction, a single squad of soldiers descends into the Earth to save mankind.




My Take:

attachment.php?attachmentid=149181&d=1249153135

In the year 2707, Earth's natural resources have been exhausted by mankind and battle rages between the soldiers of the world's four leading corporations: Capitol, Bauhaus, Mishima and Imperial. Mitch Hunter (Thomas Jane) and Nathan Rooker (Sean Pertwee), battle-hardened Capitol soldiers and best mates, fight a desperate battle against a Bauhaus advance. Unbeknownst to both Capitol and Bauhaus, their battle wages above an ancient, buried seal. The seal was placed beneath the earth's surface centuries ago to protect the planet from an enemy far greater than any corporation. When an errant shell destroys the hidden seal, the men find themselves face to face with a new enemy--the enemy of man--horrific necromutants whose weapons are deadly bone blades which mutate from their hideous arms. The mutant army strikes relentlessly. Mitch Hunter barely manages to escape their violent attack. Nathan does not. The mutants multiply by millions, destroying all before them. The Corporations must ban together against the mutants if they are to have any chance of survival. The Corporations' chosen leader, Constantine (John Malkovich), is preparing to abandon the planet and mankind, leaving countless innocents to a hopeless, violent fate, when he is approached with news from Brother Samuel (Ron Perlman), leader of the Brotherhood, an ancient monastic order. Brother Samuel is keeper of the Chronicles, a book that prophesies both the rise of the mutants, and the coming of a Deliverer' destined to destroy them. Samuel believes he is that Deliverer--the lone human being meant to journey deep into the earth to obliterate the source of the mutant scourge for good. Desperate to convince Constantine to help change the course of the future, he implores the leader to provide him with a ship and crew to pursue the prophesy of the Chronicles. Samuel manages to recruit fiercely independent Mitch Hunter to lead the perilous mission, along with a disparate band of brave soldiers to complete their crew--honor bound Bauhaus officer Steiner (Benno Fürmann); sword-wielding Severian (Anna Walton), the only female member of the Brotherhood and bound to silence; volatile street fighter El Jesus (Luis Echegaray); fearless beauty Duval (Devon Aoki); and stoic warrior Juba (Tom Wu). Mutant Chronicles follows Mitch and Samuel's mission into the very heart of the darkness in an attempt to save human kind and the planet from the marauding hordes of undying mutants.

After seeing the trailer for this film I honesty had very low expectations going into this review. I have to admit that I really enjoyed the first two acts. I loved the dark visual design and futuristic alternative universe that it takes place in. In the year 2707 four mega-corporations have pillaged the planet's resources and are waging a battle for supremacy. The opening battle sequence is intriguing as it appears reminiscent of a World War I battlefield. The weapons are fairly advanced but the machinery and large scale weaponry is powered by coal. Once the decision is made to organize a group to go deep within the mutant underground in order to destroy the alien machine things become interesting. The characters that make up the team are introduced. Among them is Sgt. Mitch Hunter who was one of a few that survived the film's opening battle which released the mutants. They come from various backgrounds with several of them having fought against one another for competing corporations during the war. As they prepare to go in we are given snippets of background on them through discussions. I found that I liked the variety of personalities and skills among the group members. Severian (Anna Walton) really peaked my interest. She was a member of the order and personally guarded the chronicle. Apparently she was Brother Samuel's protégé and had some serious skills with a sword. I think she only spoke ten words the whole movie but I found her to be intriguing and sort of enigmatic. Unfortunately others were poorly integrated which never provided an opportunity to connect with them which was too bad. They fly to the city which has been overrun by mutants but are forced to crash land in an escape pod after their flying machine is attacked. It is apparent that Mitch is the central character and that the other members of the team sense his internal fortitude, toughness and leadership quality. It has been established that this is a suicide mission and each of them understands their role. To this point I was pretty heavily involved in the story and liked the base elements that had been presented for each of the characters. The plot was simple from a conceptual standpoint but I thought the futuristic but somewhat regressed aspects was a clever and unspoken of element that made it a bit more interesting. The action, special effects and visual style had won me over. Once they made their way through the city to the entrance of the underground labyrinth things began to weaken. The mission takes a backseat to Mitch's need to help a friend who really can't be helped (so he becomes separated from them). The very capable members of the team become sloppy and begin getting picked off and taken to the machine. The machine's purpose is clear but ultimately makes little sense from a broad perspective and there is never any further explanation. At this point it becomes predicable and we are left with a less than satisfying, formulaic and abrupt ending that left me disappointed. Regardless I still found myself thinking about this film several hours after I watched it. I didn't care for the ending but its interesting conceptual design, well paced action, core characters and special effects had me pretty well absorbed for the first three quarters of the movie. I will probably give it another spin in the future to see if I still feel the same way.




Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong bloody violence and language throughout.






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)

Audio: 94



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 86


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692
attachment.php?attachmentid=149183&d=1249153135

Mutant chronicles comes ot Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 35 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 mbps.

This film utilizes a stylized visual design that has a limited color scheme that works aesthetically well for the subject matter. The color range is limited to shades of dark blue, gray and black with splashes of crimson red, and muted sepia tones. Warm golden accents are used to break up the film's monochromatic essence. Uneven light and shading are prevalent. Contrast is spot on which empowers whites and grays with washing away detail. Whites are snappy and crisp and grays are multi-staged and layered. The film was largely shot against green screens which softened some of the background elements during wide angle pans but I never found it to be excessive or distracting. Overall I found the quality of the video to be high. It wasn't always razor sharp but it was cleanly rendered with plenty of subtle refinement that increased the perception of fine detail. Blacks were dynamic and gradationally revealing and shadow detail was just as strong. I was enamored by the film's deep grays, rich contrast and intriguing use of color. Framed at 1.85:1 its images had incredible depth and a stimulating visual aura that reminded me a bit of Sky Captain and world of tomorrow (but better). I couldn't say for certain but it appeared as though it may have been shot digitally and on film. I didn't see any signs of video degrading artifacts or extraneous compression related noise. It looked great.

It is hard not to be impressed with the potential and innate quality of lossless surround sound. Magnolia HE utilizes DTS-HD Master Audio sound on their Blu-ray Disc releases and this is the type of film that can truly benefit from its inherent attributes. This is an aggressive and active surround mix that has extended dynamic range that definitively renders the bombastic nature of the elements in this recording. The action based sequences, such as the escape pod release and crash, simply rock as the room is transformed into a three dimensional sound field filled with immersive 360 degree surround activity that engages the aural senses from seemingly every direction. Low frequency effects frequently produces deep, demonstrative bass that pressurizes the room and occasionally reaches skin tingling infrasonic levels. Even small weapon fire was underscored by palpably rich bass transients that resonated through the furniture in the room. Dialogue is reproduced with lucid expression and exacting clarity that produced just the slightest hint of sibilance in the upper registers. This is an wonderfully involving and dynamically energized sound design that features high level sonic detail, superb directional correlation, seamless integration, and rhythmically charged bass extension that is guaranteed to stimulate the senses. My advice is to crank this one up, sit back and enjoy.



Bonus Features:


  • The making of Mutant chronicles - A documentary 107 Minutes

  • 6 deleted scenes

  • Green screen and storyboard comparisons

  • Promotional teaser short film with commentary by director Simon Hunter - 7 minutes

  • Making of the Promotional Teaser short film - 3 minutes

  • Interviews with cast and crew - 13 segments

  • (HD) HDNet: A look at Mutant chronicles - 4 minutes

  • Storyboards

  • Concept art

  • Visual effects - 2 minutes

  • Comic-con panel Q&A - 11 minutes

  • 12 Webisodes - featuring cast/crew

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • (HD) BD Previews from Magnolia HE

  • BD-Live enabled
attachment.php?attachmentid=149182&d=1249153135



Final Thoughts:

Mutant chronicles isn't a perfect film but I appreciated its spin on the sci-fi horror genre. This mainly stemmed from its interesting futuristic elements, visual style, and well paced action. I liked its characters but felt that some of them were poorly integrated. The last act didn't play out as smoothly as the first two and became predictable and formulaic with a rather abrupt ending. It left the film feeling unbalanced which I found frustrating. I do feel that it has enough going for it that it warrants another look so I will revisit it soon. Its presentation on Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment features reference quality DTS-HD Master Audio lossless sound and a high quality high definition video that captures the essence of the film's stylized visual design. There is a nice assortment of Bonus features that includes storyboards, concept art, webisodes, cast/crew interviews and a full length making of documentary and Comic-con Q&A that fans will appreciate. If genre films like this are to your liking I would recommend that you check this one out. Its audio quality alone is probably worth the price of admission.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 22 Old 08-01-2009, 12:29 PM
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Set in a "STEAMPUNK" world. Reto looking futuristic stuff powered by steam. I enjoyed it on HD pay TV. I will get it when its out on BD.

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post #3 of 22 Old 08-01-2009, 03:29 PM
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Is this the same cut that saw limited Theater Release or the supposed new improved cut?
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post #4 of 22 Old 08-01-2009, 05:00 PM
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Thanks for the review, looking forward to watching it for myself.
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post #5 of 22 Old 08-01-2009, 05:58 PM
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I saw this using Amazon VOD on my Tivo S3 and watched it twice.
I have preordered the BD. I liked it.
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post #6 of 22 Old 08-01-2009, 06:31 PM
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I will check this out as well. Hard to find SiFi Horror movies with good production values. I watched transmorphers a week ago and it might have been the worst, stupidest movie I have ever seen. Anything will be better than that.

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post #7 of 22 Old 08-02-2009, 02:35 AM
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I was holding back in ordering this but will order know.

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post #8 of 22 Old 08-02-2009, 10:49 AM
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Saw this I think on HD net, worth watching innovative unlike the sy fy made for tv movies.
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post #9 of 22 Old 08-02-2009, 08:38 PM
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I was holding back in ordering this but will order know.

Nice,review but no nothing to talk about this BD except for sound,my apology,Ralph.
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post #10 of 22 Old 08-02-2009, 08:52 PM
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Nice,review but no nothing to talk about this BD except for sound,my apology,Ralph.

Its in my cart, best to rent first I guess.

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post #11 of 22 Old 08-03-2009, 08:48 AM
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Saw this I think on HD net, worth watching innovative unlike the sy fy made for tv movies.

It was shown on Sy Fy
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post #12 of 22 Old 08-03-2009, 09:01 AM
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At this point it becomes predicable and we are left with a less than satisfying, formulaic and abrupt ending that left me disappointed. Regardless I still found myself thinking about this film several hours after I watched it. I didn't care for the ending but its interesting conceptual design, well paced action, core characters and special effects had me pretty well absorbed for the first three quarters of the movie. I will probably give it another spin in the future to see if I still feel the same way.

Ralph, I also found myself thinking about why this film didn't work for me. I saw it when it debuted on HDTV this past spring and thought with a cast including Jane, Perlman and Malkovich it had to have some potential. Unfortunately the lack of a decent budget and a somewhat inexperienced director didn't help this project. I can understand now why a movie filmed in the summer of 2006 took so long to surface in the USA. I usually like sci-fi/fantasy films made in the UK but I couldn't get past the production values even as I tried hard to like what I was viewing. I think it's watchable but this one is a rental at best.

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post #13 of 22 Old 08-03-2009, 09:52 AM
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Ralph, I also found myself thinking about why this film didn't work for me. I saw it when it debuted on HDTV this past spring and thought with a cast including Jane, Perlman and Malkovich it had to have some potential. Unfortunately the lack of a decent budget and a somewhat inexperienced director didn't help this project. I can understand now why a movie filmed in the summer of 2006 took so long to surface in the USA. I usually like sci-fi/fantasy films made in the UK but I couldn't get past the production values even as I tried hard to like what I was viewing. I think it's watchable but this one is a rental at best.

Im glad I decided not buy this.

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post #14 of 22 Old 08-03-2009, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Ralph, I also found myself thinking about why this film didn't work for me. I saw it when it debuted on HDTV this past spring and thought with a cast including Jane, Perlman and Malkovich it had to have some potential. Unfortunately the lack of a decent budget and a somewhat inexperienced director didn't help this project. I can understand now why a movie filmed in the summer of 2006 took so long to surface in the USA. I usually like sci-fi/fantasy films made in the UK but I couldn't get past the production values even as I tried hard to like what I was viewing. I think it's watchable but this one is a rental at best.


Greetings,

Thanks for sharing your impressions of the film Mr. G.

Frank, as indicated in my review this probably isn't one to run out and pick up on a blind buy. A rental would be the way to approach it the first time.

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post #15 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 03:18 AM
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Greetings,

Thanks for sharing your impressions of the film Mr. G.

Frank, as indicated in my review this probably isn't one to run out and pick up on a blind buy. A rental would be the way to approach it the first time.

Regards,

Thanks Ralph

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post #16 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 04:43 AM
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Is this the same cut that saw limited Theater Release or the supposed new improved cut?

This is the improved Director´s Cut that is about 10 minutes shorter, giving it a tighter pace
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post #17 of 22 Old 08-05-2009, 11:52 AM
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I watched the first two thirds thinking that any quest would have to have more character development, didn't happen. I see this one will be re worked with a bigger budget. Also why did Jane shoot Sean Pertwee was he becoming a mutant? Also a better plot line explanation as to how sending commando's into a den of millions.
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post #18 of 22 Old 08-08-2009, 04:44 PM
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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0490181/

This bluray will "ROCK" your system. System needed a workout!!!
But it's not a good movie. So just rent, don't buy!!!!!!!

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post #19 of 22 Old 08-24-2009, 08:15 AM
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I had to buy it to see how it was like. Will watch tonight.

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post #20 of 22 Old 08-24-2009, 04:31 PM
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I had to buy it to see how it was like. Will watch tonight.

You're going to love the audio presentation. So in that regard you won't regret having purchased this. You might even like the PQ. Like Batman I thought the PQ was pretty good. I might have even given it a 90. The film itself however.. well that may give rise to a different opinion.

Personally, like Batman, I found this to be decent entertainment until the final act. The ending not only dropped the ball, but when the ball landed, it was kicked hard IMHO.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
So what was thought to be an explosive device and its detonator was really just a very large ignition key?! I kept waiting for the ship to explode but it never did. So it was basically E.T go home. What the heck?


Hey Batman (and Robin if you're reading this):

Did you try the resume feature? Did it work?

For those that aren't aware this disc is the first BD-Java disc to offer a resume feature. After stopping the disc, upon reaching the main menu (which can be accessed directly by pressing Top Menu to bypass trailers) a window appears with the following text:

"You have previously viewed this movie but did not finish. Would you like to continue from where you were last watching? Yes. No."

That window does not appear on the '83 with FW 805. It works properly on the PS3.

I sent an e-mail heads up to Oppo.

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post #21 of 22 Old 08-24-2009, 07:14 PM
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I watched it last night and PQ and Aq was good but movie is terrible. Had to see for myself, could of been much better.Mate once to borrow it so hopefully he likes it alot that he wants to buy it off me.

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post #22 of 22 Old 10-10-2009, 09:17 PM
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Hey!

The Magnolia Blu-Ray would not play (I tried 2 copys) on My Pioneer BDP-09, so I exchanged it for the SD version. I did like the movie for it's distinct look, offbeat story and good actors. I then got the Canadian Blu-Ray on eBay and enoyed it in HD. The picture and sound quality are not as good as Ralph described on the Magnolia American release, but the Canadian Blu-Ray contains the original version. I thought the extra scenes added to the texture, characters, and particularly to Thomas Jane's excellent acting. So try eBay for the Canadian "Mutant Choronicles" if you have freezing problems with the American version or if you want to see the whole movie
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