Ralph Potts reviews the action-packed third installment in the state-of-the-art CG animated franchise from executive producer Takashi Shimizu, featuring the return of fan favorite characters Chris Redfield, and Leon S. Kennedy, as well as the film debut of Rebecca Chambers, as they aim to stop the spread of a deadly virus that threatens to destroy New York City.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:
Extras:
Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

89
Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2017
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 97 minutes
Genre: Action/Horror

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Cantonese, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, French, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Cantonese, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, French, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Starring: Kevin Dorman, Matthew Mercer, Erin Cahill
Directed by: Takanori Tsujimoto
Music by: Kenji Kawai
Written by: Makoto Fukami
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: July 18, 2017
"An Imminent Danger Spreads, When Evil Seeks Vengeance"

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My Take:

The Resident evil video game franchise from Capcom is very popular and has spawned a series of films that have done quite well in their own right. This is a feature length CG animated film that falls in line with the current game universe. Anyone remotely familiar with Resident Evil (films or games) will be right at home with the events that unfold here.

I found Resident Evil: Vendetta to be more entertaining than its predecessors. As a stand-alone animated action/horror film it works quite thanks to a decently developed narrative and well-drawn characters. As you might expect from a Resident Evil production, things quickly get right down to business while the unfolding storyline adds elements that fill in the answers to earlier questions. There is a little workable melodrama that compliments the proceedings. The action is what propels the film and it is fairly visceral and fun to watch. The hand to hand fight sequence that takes place on the rooftop is probably my favorite. The film uses performance (motion) capture along with its CG animation and the combination works well. The production elements are quite good. The end result is an entertaining CG animated action/horror film with a nicely crafted story that necessarily doesn’t require past experience with either the game or film series.

The 3-Disc 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, 2-disc Blu-ray™ DVD and digital releases of RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA comes with Filmmaker’s Commentary and a Stills Gallery featuring 30 sketches and designs that illustrate the unique look of the film. In addition, the Combo Pack, 2-disc Blu-ray™ and the digital release come with three additional featurettes: In “Motion Capture Set Tour with Dante Carver”, motion capture actor Dante Carver guides fans on an exclusive tour of the set with a detailed look at motion capture creation and cast interviews. The CGI animators are featured in two pieces: in “The Creature”, they walk fans through the process of designing the monsters in the film; and in “CGI to Reality: Designing Vendetta” they discuss how they created a new aesthetic in an evolving franchise.

The 3-Disc 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack and 2-disc Blu-ray™ also comes with an exclusive bonus disc that takes fans behind-the-scenes with “Tokyo Game Show Footage 2016”, as well as two additional featurettes: Fans will assemble with the BSAA Operatives team to receive the intelligence briefing to defeat a deadly threat in “BSAA Mission Briefing: Combat Arias,” while Director Takanori Tsujimoto and his creative team lead fans in a conversation on the film’s design aesthetic and what it took to evolve the story in “Designing The World of Vendetta.”

In addition, Best Buy will offer an exclusive Steelbook packaging for the 3-Disc 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray™ Combo Pack.

Replay Value:
Parental Guide:

The rating is for bloody violence 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.**

UHD Presentation: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color & WCG:
  • Resolution: 
  • Visual Impact: 

 

Dolby Atmos Rating: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • Level of immersion: 
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  • Effectiveness: 
  • Entertainment factor: 

 

Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Resident Evil: Vendetta comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) sound that has an average bitrate of 4.3 Mbps.

Resident Evil: Vendetta in Ultra HD is rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K.

In terms of resolution the differences between this and the 1080p version are appreciable as there is a noticeably finer texture in the minutia, especially in the characteristics/physical makeup of the animated characters. This also applied to the hand-crafted sets/backgrounds which emphasized depth of field and fine detail. This isn’t a boldly colorful film. It makes use of grays, black, blue and crimson, with the occasional interjection of secondary hues. Whites are gradational and bright and the monochromatic grays, blues and blacks are multi-staged and dimensional in appearance.

The use of HDR is spot on, empowering the brilliance of explosions, flashes of light, and emboldening interstitial blacks, and depth of field in low lighting. Overall, I found the Ultra HD rendering superior to the 1080p version, adding another layer to its digitally crafted imagery.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos mix I found it to be of the active variety that made steady use of the platform. Its use of sounds placed above is a mix of atmospherics and discrete effects. This is done well and creates an engaging listening experience. Over the course of the film there are various sequences where environmental sounds, music cues and discrete objects are mixed to differing locations in the sound field, adding a head turning element to the viewing experience.

The large set piece on the roof in the finale, is lots of fun as flying debris, atmospherics, and near field objects rotate around the soundstage from both above and at ear level. I enjoyed this immersive sound mix and think that it complimented the source material.

** It should be noted that this release contains both Dolby Vision and HDR-10 High Dynamic Range. My display isn’t Dolby Vision capable so I was only able to evaluate the HDR-10 version.**

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

 
  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:

 

Audio: 92
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialog Reproduction: 

 

Resident Evil: Vendetta comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.2 Mbps.

The animation used in this film is reminiscent of similar style films from Sony. Images are well detailed with smooth but discernible texture and excellent depth. The small attention to detail such as the fluidity of blowing hair, weathered buildings or small variations in facial features/expression are reproduced with realism. The color palette isn’t diverse and sticks primarily to darker tones with neutral grays and blacks. When primary colors like blue or green are onscreen they pop quite nicely. Blacks are deep and delineated while contrast is elevated enough so that bright scenes are punchy but not at the expense of robbing whites and grays of detail. This presentation is free from compression related anomalies however I did notice minor aliasing here and there. That is a minor quibble in an otherwise solid looking high definition presentation.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is presented in a robust 5.1 channel mix that makes great use of the entire soundstage to create an enveloping atmosphere that is highlighted by the film’s action based elements. The surrounds are actively engaged as sounds whiz around the room in tight, discrete patterns that frequently switch vantage points but never miss a beat. The front and rear channels are neatly integrated which generates a stable soundfield. Aside from the action sequences there is plenty of ambient extension that simulates venue replicating atmospherics. Dialogue is clearly intelligible and suitably proportionate within the front soundstage. Dynamics are excellent and bass reproduction is authoritative with a punchy low end that lends gravity to the action.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Resident Evil: Vendetta Ultra HD Blu-ray
    Disc 2: Resident Evil: Vendetta Blu-ray
    Disc 3: Resident Evil: Vendetta Bonus Disc
    • Three Featurettes:
    o “The Creature”
    o “Motion Capture Set Tour with Dante Carver”
    o “CGI to Reality: Designing Vendetta”
    • Still gallery (30 sketches/designs)
    • Filmmaker Audio Commentary (in Japanese) with Director Takanori Tsujimoto, Executive Producer Takashi Shimizu and Writer Makoto Fukami
    • BONUS DISC with three featurettes:
    o “BSAA Mission Briefing: Combat Arias”
    o “Designing The World of Vendetta”
    o “2016 Tokyo Game Show Footage”
Final Thoughts:

Resident Evil: Vendetta is based on the video game franchise from Capcom, and is the third feature length CG animated film that falls in line with the current game universe. I found it to be an entertaining action/horror film with a nicely crafted story that doesn’t require past experience with either the game or film series. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent Ultra HD and high definition video, gratifying lossless surround sound, including a solid Dolby Atmos mix, and a fan friendly assortment of extras that are worth exploring if you enjoyed the film. If you’re a fan of this film series Resident Evil: Vendetta is worth owning on the highest platform your system is capable of.
 

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews


Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from  Spectracal )
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package