Pulse 2 (2008)

Genre(s): Drama / Horror
Dimension Extreme || R - 89 minutes - $19.98 || September 30, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-10-05


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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

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Joel Soisson
Writer(s): Joel Soisson (written by)
Cast: Jamie Bamber, Georgina Rylance, Karley Scott Collins, Boti Bliss, Todd Giebenhain, William Prael, Lee Garlington


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Feature Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Sneak Peek at Pulse 3


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

The back cover for Pulse 2 claims ďThe Infection Has Spread.Ē Indeed it has.

Pulse 2 (or Pulse 2: Afterlife as it was known) is the sequel of the 2006 box office flop starring Kristen Bell and Ian Solmerhalder. The movie takes place immediately after the events in Pulse this time delving more into the Phantoms themselves and a little of their world trying to comprehend what happened to them.

In this story, Stephen (Barber; TVís ďBattlestar GalacticaĒ) goes on the run with his daughter after his ex-wife, Michelle (Rylance; 7 Seconds) has apparently become a phantom and now only desires to get her daughter back and punish her ex-hubby for all he did to her (not only did they divorce but he got custody of their daughter).

Even though this isnít nearly as awful as Pulse, a movie I consider being one of the worst I have ever seen Ė and I donít make those statement very often Ė it still had plenty of problems, mostly with the visual style writer/director Joel Soisson (director of The Prophesy: Uprising / Forsaken and producer of Pulse).

For Pulse 2, Soisson chose to use the 300 method of filmmaking, meaning using green screen for the majority of shots. While this works to 300ís advantage, itís only a distraction for a movie that already has a low direct-to-DVD budget. At first I thought it was an interesting aspect to show that something was off in the Phantom world, but it was used numerous times more in other scenes. It makes the majority of the movie look either phony and/or cheap, not a good combination especially when you already have a weak script.

Another issue I had with this film was its characters. I liked the father-daughter relationship, but itís the inclusion of this red-hooded-avenger-dude-whatever who pulls a gun to get a ride so he can get some computer chip (its usage I assume will become known in *gulp* Pulse III). My problem with this guy is he opens up the film like Batman suiting up for a night of battle. Itís so laughable and the wrong way to start a movie that already has so much to prove...

Unlike Pulse, I came away from this edition with nothing more than a shrug. This is a movie that is 85-minutes of unmemorable and oft ridiculous scenes, but nothing I can call terrible or anything like that. This is a quintessential below average movie that I will forget tomorrow and never think about again.

Pulse 2 features a cast of C-listers, but unless youíre familiar with certain TV shows, you might not know any of them. Jamie Barber takes the headliner and does a good job as a father doing what he can to protect his daughter. Georgina Rylance plays the mother-turned-phantom and is effective enough, but at the same time the performance isnít something that rises above the script.

Interestingly, a good number of those involved with the original are back for more. Ella Cmiral serves as the composer once again, Kirk Morri as editor and a couple others serving as producers (including the Weinsteinís as exec producer).

So, even though Pulse 2 is nowhere as god-awful as its predecessor, this is still not a very good movie. There are so many script problems and the overall venture is just so forgettable and more suited for the Sci-Fi Channel than anything. For those who utterly hate this fledging franchise, be warned that Pulse III is set to come out on DVD in December. Canít wait.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The disc comes with an audio commentary featuring writer/director Joel Soisson, producer Michael Leahy, co-producer Christian Agypt, line producer Ron Vecchiarelli, editor Kirk Morri, Makeup Effects Supervisor Gary Tunnicliffe & Visual Effects Supervisor Kevin OíNeill. The track is both fun and informative, but they are a little too in love with the green screen process that looks like crap.

Thereís also two deleted scenes (3:38) and a Sneak Peek at Pulse 3, which is just a trailer.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Dimension Extreme presents Pulse 2 in anamorphic widescreen with a 1.78 AR. I was fairly impressed with the video as the black levels looked great (good since this is a darker movie) and overall I didnít notice any sort of pixilation, dust, scratches or other imperfections.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 is rather subdued on the whole. Dialogue is clear coming via the center channel and the side speakers were used throughout, but I never heard much coming from the back speakers and it just never seemed right from beginning to end.



.::OVERALL::.

Pulse 2 actually is a sequel that is 2 stars better than the original, of course you must factor in I gave the original a big fat zero... The biggest drawback for the movie is the green screen process that absolutely looks hideous and worse yet, cheap. Obviously a direct-to-DVD sequel to a flop wonít have a large budget, but here it was just too distracting. And according to the commentary, Pulse 3 is going to have even more of it!