Doomsday (2008) - Unrated [Blu-Ray]

Genre(s): Action / Drama / Science Fiction / Thriller
Universal || Unrated - 113 minutes - $39.98 || July 29, 2008
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2008-07-04


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Neil Marshall
Writer(s): Neil Marshall (written by)
Cast: Rhona Mitra, Bob Hoskins, Adrian Lester, Alexander Siddig, Malcolm McDowell


Theatrical Release Date: March 14, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • U-Control: Bonus View (BD Exclusive)


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (DTS-MA 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Do you like 28 Weeks Later, Resident Evil, Mad Max or Escape from L.A.? Then Doomsday is for you!

In the very near future, a virus that is dubbed "Reaper" slowly starts to infect the city of Scotland causing people to get festering boils on their face and slowly start to die. Not being able to find a cure for the virus, the government quarantines the city and hopes everyone forgets about the epidemic. Years pass and the virus turns up in the clean society, so a team is setup to go into the old, dead world to find the man who apparently came close to finding a cure. Why would they be doing this? Because the government has spotted some people alive inside! There must be a cure... right?

Inside the old society, the team quickly runs into hundreds of people dressed like they just finished shooting an MTV video from the 80's, armed to the teeth (literally) with barbaric weapons. The team must fight their way through these people, as well as anyone else that comes their way in an attempt to find a cure.

The film changes so much during its 113 minute run time that if you were not paying that much attention, you would think someone swapped the disc out for another film. What starts out feeling so much like 28 Weeks Later soon turns into Resident Evil and then quickly turns into Mad Max with a splash of Escape from L.A. Is it a bad thing? No, not at all.

** Minor Spoilers **
Everything in the film runs very smooth as it jumps from 'film' to 'film'. While Rhona Mitra (Eden Sinclair) constantly has that Alice (Milla Jovovich from Resident Evil) vibe to her, she quickly becomes the only character you will care about. Half of her team are killed within a few minutes of entering the city, and the rest slowly die over the course of the film. Even though we are introduced to all the characters, after all is said and done, I could only remember her name. It's a shame because the other characters had the potential to have more meaningful parts.
** END Minor Spoilers **

The UNRATED cut serves up an additional 4 minutes over the Theatrical version (and sadly the Blu-ray does not include that cut so I cannot compare), but if they just included additional gore then they did a great job. Nearly everything in the film explodes including human heads, rabbits and of course, vehicles. If you're looking for blood and gore, this is the film for you.

During the films run in theaters, Doomsday took in a little less than $11 Million... with a budget of $30 Million, it's safe to say a sequel is not going to happen. Regardless, itís a very enjoyable film that I found to be better than 28 Weeks Later and all the Resident Evil films.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Universal has included a very nice slip cover as a way to say "Hello, Blu-ray". Hopefully Universal continues this trend as I am a fan of slip covers. Itís worth noting that Universal is using a different style Blu-ray case. They appear to be very square around the corners and a little bit thicker.

Feature Commentary (Director Neil Marshall and Actors Sean Pertwee, Darren Morfitt, Rick Warden and Les Simpson) - One of the better commentaries I've listened to recently. Everyone seems to have a great rapport with one another and the track runs along at a great pace. However it would have been nice to have Rhona participate as she is the star of the film.

U-Control (BonusView / Profile 1.1/2.0 Players Only) - As much as I enjoy U-Control, itís kind of a pain here. It took a bit of time to figure out how to activate things, and when I did, it was nothing that great. For some chapters of the film you have options to access some personnel files, information on the reaper virus, some behind the scenes footage, PiP, Interviews with the cast etc. While some people may get a kick out of this stuff, I'd much rather have all the interviews and such contained in separate features (as would those with Profile 1.0 players who can't even access U-Control). Itís a good first shot for Universal, but it needs to be improved.

Menu Design:
Letís get a few things out of the way first since this is Universal's first Day and Date Blu-ray release. Universal loved the old menu display from their HD DVD days and they decided to bring it back for Blu-ray. This time, however, they made things a little bit smoother as selecting options doesn't feel as clunky as before (may be due to the super-fast PS3 though). This title also has no previews and loads directly to the main menu (with a short loading screen; at least on the PS3). Pop-Up works some of the time. After the movie concluded I could not access the Pop-up menu (during the credits) and had to turn my PS3 off as there was no way to navigate back to the main menu and clicking the chapter button on my remote went to a black screen. Hopefully Universal will work these kinks out in future titles.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

Doomsday is presented in its Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 on a 25GB disc. During their HD DVD days, Universal pumped out hundreds of titles with questionable picture quality. While some catalog titles were very poor, Universal typically treated day and date releases with high marks. Doomsday is clearly no exception. While the film has a thin layer of grain to it, it simply looks great. Colors are rarely present, but when you see the blood hit the camera... wow.

Universal presents Doomsday with a glorious DTS MA 5.1 Track. Everything here sounds perfect. The film tends to borrow its songs from many different films as several times I was reminded of the Goblin soundtrack from Dawn of the Dead. Gun shots are very loud and the car chase at the end of the film will have your windows rattling.<



.::OVERALL::.

Universal did a fine job with their very first day and date Blu-ray. While I enjoyed the film, itís definitely not for everyone. The Picture and Audio quality is top notch while the extras leave a lot to be desired. Itís a shame Universal did not include some way of watching the special features for those left with Profile 1.0 players.

Note: Images do not represent the true picture quality of the film. Also, picture and audio ratings are on a high-def scale.