AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem (2007) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray A - America - Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Jari Kovalainen (4th May 2008).
The Film

I was thinking long and hard about how to approach this review, since this type of film is an instant “hot potato” for many fans. First of all, it’s a horror “sequel”, secondly, it's part of a big “franchise” and thirdly, it’s a “crossover” of the two most loved movie monsters of all time. With these premises in the air, many things can go wrong. In this film you won’t see names like Scott or Cameron (synonymous with these series’), not even Fincher or McTiernan. Instead, it’s directed by “The Brothers Strause” (Colin Strause and Greg Strause), also serving as visual effects supervisors. Background? Music videos and commercials (plenty of samples can be found from their web site HERE), along with visual effects work for the big Hollywood movies (often through their company “Hydraulx”). “AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem (2007)” is their first feature film and many would’ve asked for another film for these two to helm.

Alarming signs already emerge during the introduction of the film, which picks up right from the ending of “AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)”; Predator mother ship in space. The Alien chestbuster erupts from the dead Predator. Since the chestbuster is born from the Predator, it’s soon lethal “Predalien” - a hybrid of two species (2/3 of “Alien” and 1/3 of “Predator”). The ship is crash landing to earth, in the small town in Colorado. Predalien and Alien facehuggers escape from the crashed ship. The first victims? A man and his son in the woods. Back on the Predator home world, a Predator warrior (Ian Whyte) receives a SOS-signal from the ship and heads quickly to earth. The more the merrier. All this takes roughly seven minutes (in the “Unrated”-version). I have nothing against tightly phased sequences and effective openings, but this is not the way to build suspense or an intriguing story. Just getting the film in as quickly as possible to earth seems to have been the main goal. Without seeing (or remembering) the earlier “AVP”-film, let alone knowing the basic guidelines of these two movie monsters, the opening can be confusing. The person next to me was silent for a while and then asked ‘What´s going on?’ ‘Why not take some time with all this?’

Soon enough the main (human) characters are introduced; Dallas Howard (Steven Pasquale - e.g. “Rescue Me (2004-)” TV-series) returns to his hometown Gunnison after three years (serving some time in prison, it seems) and is greeted by his old friend - now the Sheriff Eddie Morales (John Ortiz - e.g. “American Gangster (2007)”). Dallas' younger brother Ricky (Johnny Lewis - e.g. “One Missed Call (2008)”) is also in town, as well as his love interest Jesse (Kristen Hager - e.g. “Wanted (2008)”). Kelly O'Brien (Reiko Aylesworth - e.g. “24 (2002-2006)” TV-series), returns home from the Iraq war and along with husband, her daughter Molly (Ariel Gade - e.g. “Dark Water (2005)”) is waiting for her. What happens next is quite obvious for everyone; Alien facehuggers spawn several full-grown Aliens, which together with “tough SOB” Predalien starts rapidly taking over the town. No prisoners are taken. For the town inhabitants, the things are about get even more nightmarish; when a skinned human body is found hanging upside down in the woods. This means only one thing; the Predator warrior has arrived to earth.

First the good news; Creature effects designers/special effects supervisors Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. (also playing Alien) are back and they know monsters, especially the Alien one (Stan Winston, we still love you, though). I don’t have major complains about the look of the monsters, since they’re often done “live” on the set and shown in a subtle way. Scenes are often dark, filled with steam, fog, rain, haze, etc, so the monsters tend to be quite believable. It was a right decision to use less CGI and more “monsters in the dark”-approach, with lighting and proper make-up effects. Like the earlier Alien variants “Dog alien” (so-so) and “Newborn” (mistake!), “Predalien” will probably divide the fans again and its role is a bit too dominant in the film for my taste. The power of “Aliens (1986)” was the sheer determination and the bloodthirsty “team work” by the monsters, but in “AvPR” it feels that the other Aliens are more like “extras”, “Predalien” being the main star (why is it that in every modern horror-film, the monsters have to have one “leader” anyway?). Like the filmmakers admit, the main purpose for “Predalien” was to be that nemesis for the Predator warrior. Was it necessary? I’m not fully convinced, but I guess that “vs” in the title demands it.

While the director of photography Daniel C. Pearl (e.g. “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)”) has done a decent job, it can be argued that are some of the scenes just look too damn dark, making the action confusing or just too “vague”. Scenes can be visually moody, but that doesn’t always evolve into tension or horror. There are many “missed opportunities” horror-wise (e.g. the “National Guard”-scene with mayhem). The “sewer fight” is still probably the best scene in the film, since it at least has an air of originality. While there were eventually too many of them, I liked some of the references to the earlier movies. At least the Predator’s “thermal vision”, stealth, and the gadgets like plasma cannons (with the old-fashion “triangle” aiming) felt “old school” in a good way. The filmmakers have also used the familiar “monster sound effects” from the earlier movies (basically re-used them), which was quite a cleaver choice (although the beeping “motion detector” sound at the start of the film just feels like cheating).

The story is razor thin and quite clichéd (Monsters. Loose. Small town. Group of survivors.), however it provides a decent sequence here, a mediocre one there, and a very confusing somewhere else, but hardly does it ever feel like the film works as a “whole”. Focus is on the effects and monsters and the rest is mainly let to their own devices. It’s quite futile to even discuss the actors. “The Brothers Strause” wanted to bring the series back to its “R-rated” horror-roots after earlier “AVP” and that was of course a wise move. Indeed, the film is quite bloody (especially in the “Unrated”-form) and there are a few scenes stretching the envelope (the boy and the chestbuster at the start of the film, and the grim “impregnating” scene in the dark hospital). I can’t still complain, however the “blood and guts” (together with the monsters) is what saves at least some parts of the film. If you take them out from the film, you might as well press “stop” and go to sleep. Nothing there after that, at least with this film. Note, that while the “original producers” of the Alien-franchise David Giler and Walter Hill are still on-board, Gordon Carroll is absent. There’s that old saying about the rats leaving the sinking ship, but who knows…

Now, back to that “approach” that I was referring at the start of this review. I don’t really believe in “rants” when it comes to reviews and for the films like “AVPR”, that would be quite useless. These films are being made and I can’t do much about that. And yes, they’re also watched. And yes, there are reasons why people keep watching them. And no, I don’t really “hate them”. For me, the “real” Alien-saga faded away after “Alien 3 (1992)” (the film, which has actually proven to be somewhat underrated over the years) and Predator-saga after the first film (although the sequel is not all bad). “Predator (1987)” was a highly entertaining action-horror hybrid, where “Alien (1979)” and “Aliens (1986)” are the undisputed masterpieces of cinema, just in different ways. I tend to agree with the co-director Colin Strause, who says that “Aliens” is probably his all-time favorite film. So, after a few genuine classics and couple of decent films, where does the film like “AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem (2007)” leave us?

These films are made to keep the “franchise” alive and the steady money coming into the Fox coffers, that’s mainly all there is to it. Like with e.g. “Batman”, after two quality films came the mediocre ones (and the saga took a serious nosedive), until the series was finally “re-started” with “Batman Begins” (2005). Most of these films still gained pretty hefty box office results, so it’s not that studio was that disappointed. It’s too early to predict, that what will eventually happen with “Alien” and “Predator”, but I doubt that we’ll see radically new and fresh ideas any time soon. That would require some serious rewinding with the mythology of both the monsters and completely abandon the “vs”-concept. The name of the game now is, that if these films can create some horror, action and visual effects, giving at least the opportunity to see these monsters on the screen (of course with some “duels” between them), they’ve probably justified their existence to the studio. “AVPR” is not a “good film” by any means, but I seriously doubt it was ever meant to be more than just what you see on the screen now. Comments about “expanding the mythology” with this film is just another way to say that “well, we tried adding at least something for you silly fan boys”. Gore, action and monsters are what “AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem” is offering and for some it just might be rewarding. That’s fine in my book.

Video

“AVPR” is presented in 2.40:1 widescreen (1080p 24fps) and uses AVC MPEG-4 compression. The daylight scenes really “pop” in your face, since the colors are saturated and vivid, with very deep black levels. It seems that the blacks are somewhat “crushed”, since they’re actually deeper than normally (which I assume is pure artistic choice). Some details are lost because of this and some of the night scenes can be really dark (I can already see the complains). I recommend watching the film in a completely dark room, since especially the scenes with the rampaging monsters suffer if even a glimpse of light can reach to the room (and in any case, prepare for some dark action). The daylight scenes are very stylish and crisp, sometimes a bit commercial-like (skin tones can also lean on the red in some scenes). There’s still minor grain to add some grittiness to the look, but I would call this a quality transfer (from the potentially problematic cinematography). The transfer is generally quite sharp, but there are scenes where you can spot minor softness.

Disc is confirmed to be "Region A" only and it’s using 50gb disc. It also includes two versions of the film via “seamless branching:
*R-rated ”Theatrical version” (93:49 minutes), with 28 chapters.
*”Unrated version” (101:05 minutes), with 28 chapters. You can also activate the Added Footage Marker, where the on-screen prompt will appear throughout the film to identify the footage added to the “Theatrical version”. Not all the footage is “gore”.

The scenes with “Added Footage Marker” (“Unrated version”) are roughly as follows. ! This doesn’t mean, that nothing from these scenes are included in the “Theatrical version”, just that these scenes should include some additional/extended bits and pieces (*SPOILER ALERT BEGINS*);
1 - New, extended opening, where we see the Predator mothership and the smaller ship that engages from it. Additional footage from the inside (Predators breeding facehuggers, etc) is probably also included.
2 - Dallas and Sheriff Morales in the car talking after Morales picks him up at the bus station. This is before Ricky is first introduced.
3 - The father and son (Buddy and Sam) waking up in the woods after the facehugger-attack. This won’t last long, since chestbusters erupt from the chest of both of them.
4 - Predator warrior searching for the crashed ship on earth. It’ll use the helmet of the fallen comrade to see the video replay of the events that cause the ship to crash. Some footage of Predator picking new equipments etc is also included.
5 - Scene between Kelly O'Brien and her husband, who is watching TV after their daughter Molly has gone to bed. Kelly hugs her husband and they’ve a tender moment.
6 - After Buddy and Sam has gone missing in the woods, upset Buddy ´s wife Darcy arrives to the scene in the late at night. Sheriff Morales is trying to get her and other town folks to go home, but they decide to form a search party anyway.
7 - Dallas in the diner before Sheriff Morales joins him. Kelly O'Brien is also there with her family, and she and Dallas will briefly look each other (at least to me implying, that they might have some romantic history).
8 - Predator warrior entering to the sewers for the first time, following the trails of the facehuggers. It’ll dissolve the cocooned bodies of the homeless people. This scene is followed by…
9 - …Ricky in his van (with his shirt off at the start of the scene), when Jesse surprises him. They’ll talk briefly (how Ricky has looked Jesse at school), until Ricky comes out of the car and Jesse invites her to a late night swim at the same day.
10 - Extended scene with Dallas and Sheriff Morales at the bar. They talk about the skinned body found from the woods, until Morales is getting a call for the sudden gas explosion in the streets. Dallas joins to the Sheriff and they leave.
11 - Scene in the nuclear power plant, involving the worker named Karl and the Predator warrior watching him. After seeing some bodies and “Predator stealth”, scared Karl runs away. Predator won’t kill him (yet) since he’s unarmed. At the beginning of the scene, Predator also stumbles to one body.
12 - Dallas and Sheriff Morales again in the car, when they receive the urgent message about the explosion at the nuclear power plant.
13 - Dallas and Sheriff Morales arrive to the scene in the school’s swimming pool. In the dark they’ll found some traces of blood.
14 - Darcy Benson arrives to the diner just in time to witness the death of Carrie Adams (with multiple chestbusters making their appearance). The scene moves to…
15 - …the cemetery near by, where Kelly and Molly are on the run. They’ll meet Karl (from the nuclear power plant), who’s now aggressive and waiving his gun - and ends up with his head blown of by the Predator warrior (from the near tree). Kelly and Molly run away.
16 - Extended scene with the National Guard, with more mayhem. Around four soldiers (or so, not all the kills are that visible) end up dead by the Alien warriors and a few Aliens also die in the firefight. Group of people are hiding at the store during the melee.
17 - Extended scene at the store with the survivors and a couple of “stoners”. They briefly talk and Dallas urges also them to take some rifles. At the same time Kelly and Molly also runs to the store.
18 - Quite horrifying scene at the hospital, where “Predalien” first kills the nurse and is then “impregnating” the already pregnant woman (!).
19 - Aftermath of the earlier scene. Doctor is going to see the pregnant woman and sees how several Alien chestbusters erupts from her stomach.
20 - Group of survivors going through the morgue of some kind (on their way to the rooftop of the hospital), with dead bodies.
(21 - Slightly alternate dead scene of one certain character, getting her/his (I won’t tell) body nailed to the wall with predator weapon. This is not marked with “Added Footage Marker”, but based on the extras it has some visual tweaks. Perhaps some other similar scenes are also included (where you only have some CGI-additions and such), I can’t be sure.)
22 - At the rooftop near the end. Dallas is urging people to get in the chopper (homage to “Arnie”), while providing shelter with the Predator’s plasma hand gun (until he has to wait for the gun to “re-charge”). At the same time Kelly and Molly are on their way to the helicopter. (*SPOILER ALERT ENDS*)

Review equipment: Sony Bravia KDL-40W2000 LCD (1080p) + Playstation 3, via HDMI cable.

Audio

The disc includes three audio tracks, English DTS-HD Master 5.1 (variable bitrate), French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps). Optional English HoH, Spanish, Cantonese Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, and Korean subtitles are included. These specs apply to both versions.

Although some new Blu-ray-player models will arrive in this year, not many players at the moment fully support DTS-HD Master-track. “Playstation 3” added the support for both “DTS-HD Master” and “DTS-HD High Resolution” quite recently (firmware v. 2.30), but doesn’t support “bitstream” for HD-audio. This means, that PS3 will internally decode “DTS-HD Master”-track to PCM first, before passing it on to the receiver. Good news is, that there’s no loss of quality. With the Blu-ray-players decoding the audio internally (like e.g. PS3), HDMI 1.1/1.2 receiver is enough to handle the upcoming PCM-track. If the Blu-ray-player is using only “bitstream” (receiver decodes the audio), you’ll also need a proper HDMI 1.3 receiver. Confused yet? I hope not, since the new HD-audio tracks are here to stay. You can find more info e.g. from the official DTS-site HERE and HERE.

You might not like the actual film and perhaps the ultra-dark cinematography annoys you to some degree, but you should like the offered DTS-HD Master-track (at the moment I still “only” get the 1.5 Mbps “core” from the track). This type of film is taylor made for the powerful surround-audio, since the monsters can make some totally unique noises; hissing, roaring, guttural croaking, rattling, growling… The Predator equipments and guns alone create all kinds of distinctive sound. In many scenes the monsters seem to be just all over the place (e.g. in the woods) and there are isolated scenes (Predator ships whooshing at space, water dripping in the sewers, explosions, National Guards shooting everything that moves, etc) where the audio can be very punchy and dynamic. Add the subtle directional sounds with e.g. dialogue and you’ve a great surround-track. Still, how good this modern surround-mix might be, it still has some ways to go to the mood and atmosphere of “Alien (1979)” and “Aliens (1986)”. “Big” audio might help, but it can’t save the film.

Extras

The Blu-ray-release ports all the extras from the SD DVD-release, while adding one “HD exclusive”. Extras doesn’t have any subtitles. Blu-ray also includes both versions (“Theatrical” and “Unrated”) of the film, when R1 SD DVD includes either the “Theatrical” OR “Unrated”, depending which release you’ll buy. Note, that although e.g. UK Blu-ray-release includes only “Theatrical version”, it includes two additional featurettes (not found from the US-release): "AVP-R: The Science Of The Xenomorph" and "AVP-R: The Science Of The Hunter”. Audio commentaries are listened with the “Unrated”-version.

-Audio commentary with director-visual effects supervisor duo “The Brothers Strause” (Colin and Greg Strause) and producer John Davis kicks of the extras. This is very laid back and chatty track, where the brothers provide some info about the general story, visual look and the effects, actors, locations and shooting conditions. Davis is there to give the producers' point of view, but he also tries to feed some questions to both directors from time to time (too bad, that he doesn’t do that very often). One basic thing becomes clear when listening the commentary; the film was shot quickly (in 52 days) and with a relatively tight budget, so compromises had to be made on a daily basis. The shooting conditions were also hard, since most of the film was shot at the location, often at night, and during the last 40 minutes or so there are in almost constant rain (the decision by the “brothers”, so they can partly blame themselves). Only a few sets were actually built. It was also the 2nd unit (which had 35 shooting days) that shot many of the fight and action scenes, so the brothers often had to concentrate to the real actors and dialogue rather than monsters (they also give credits to Gillis and Woodruff Jr. for bringing the monsters to life). There was no real “time off” from the film during those 52 days for the “brothers”, since every day they had to consult the 2nd unit first thing in the morning, then do the scheduled scenes with the 1st unit, watch dailies at the end of the day and many times scout the locations over the weekend, just to prepare for next week’s shoot. During the film they mention some sequences or scene extensions that they were planning to shoot, but for one reason or another (mainly “time and money”) couldn’t (few scenes were also eventually cut and not included even to the “Unrated”-version). They also point out many of the added “Unrated”-scenes throughout the commentary (not all of the though, so use “Added Footage Marker” if you want to be sure). You could draw a conclusion, that not enough time and care was given to the some of the scenes, which shows on the screen. You don’t go over budget and schedule with your first film, which meant that they needed to keep the fast pace.

It’s perhaps a bit surprising, that the “brothers” are so humorous in the commentary (being a bit unprepared also?), since it tends to give that feeling, that they were just to make a fast, loud and bloody action-monster film, without giving that much thought how it’ll effect the “fans” or the earlier films of the series (although the film follows “AVP (2004)” and gives some rather confusing “bridge” to the “Alien (1979)” at the end - watch out for that). It feels like their goal wasn’t set very high, to be frank. The directors mention “fans” a few times, but usually in the context that if you show some gore, monsters and some “homage’s” to the earlier films, it’s “enough” to keep them happy. Brothers do state, that they wanted to expand the mythology of the monsters and keep certain aspects “mystified” (and deliver “R-rated” film), but fail to admit that some of those ideas were rather quickly passed in the film (e.g. the home planet of the Predator) or were just too minor to make a real difference (it’s not that you want to see constant references to the earlier film anyway). Perhaps there just wasn’t enough time to actually “build” that tension and horror, but the tight schedule was just one of the reasons. The best moments in the commentary are probably the anecdotes the directors share about the production (some funnier ones are the stories of the house where the “brothers Howard” lived in the film and the “butt shots”-remarks of actress Kristen Hager) and the general “we’re also fans”-attitude that they don’t even try to hide.

-Second Audio commentary is with creature effects designers/special effects supervisors Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. They have been involved with all “Alien”-related films from “Aliens (1986)” (where they already worked as “creature effects coordinators”) and Woodruff Jr. also got (shared) Oscar for “Best Visual Effects” on “Death Becomes Her (1992)”. So they’ve been around. Their focus is on the monsters of course, with the rest of the commentary often filled with silence or extremely dry jokes by Gillis (who’s the main talker anyway). They speak about the origins of the project (the film was shot between October-December, 2006 mainly at the location, which is rather cold time in Vancouver, British Columbia), the tough conditions (couple of weeks of day shoots and then mainly nights from there, with cold weather, fake rain, and Woodruff Jr. in the Alien-suit shivering in near hypothermia and fearing heights at the “power plant”) and also points out the various techniques creating the monster-effects (plenty is shot with practical effects, but there are digital effects throughout the film - I was actually surprised how much they give credits to the CGI-effects). Since Strause-brothers are the fans of “Aliens (1986)”, they wanted somewhat similar look with the alien-creatures also in “AVPR”, along with some “old school”-effects/visuals from that film (reverse shot of the facehugger leaping, running facehuggers, alien comes around the corner, different hand/mechanical puppets, etc). Predator was designed with more sleeker, clean-up look in mind, which was almost solely played by Ian Whyte and the stuntman (Predator was now more older and cunning “cleaner” - it has to make the alien-traces to disappear). Alien-films are traditionally shot in the various sound stages, so in that sense “AVPR” was a different production (even when some sets were created).

Generally Gillis and Woodruff Jr. do a pretty good job of explaining the ideas, goals and concepts behind the various scenes, including the “new” Predator gadgets (dissolve fluid, claymore mines, laser grids, “power bunch”, hand held plasma cannon, DNA sample from alien facehuggers, etc). For those people wondering how the alien lifecycle is so fast in the AVP-films, Gillis provides the answer; Since Predators have been breading alien-creatures for sports and hunting, their lifecycle from chestbuster to Alien warrior is quicker. Some history of creating the “Predalien” is also shared. It’s interesting to learn, that in the scene where the Predator warrior is searching the crashed ship, it originally included images of the two skinned Predators (hinting, that “Predalien” has picked up the skinning-habit from Predator-species). Eventually those shots were omitted (they’re not included in the “Unrated”-version, either). They also admit, that the “pregnant woman & Predalien”-scene sounded quite rough already in the screenplay (women are generally like “birthing chambers” for this hybrid-creature). Echoing the director-brothers, Gillis and Woodruff Jr. worked mainly with the “2nd unit”, where they usually had a huge list of shots to make. Oh, and I almost forgot; Buy the “Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem - Inside the Monster Shop” book from HERE. Gillis - the king of shameless self-advertising.

-High Definition Exclusive Bonus feature (Profile 1.1): “Weyland-Yutani Archives” interactive Picture-In-Picture reference guide supports the “Bonus View”, which is more commonly known as “Profile 1.1”. This means, that if your Blu-ray-player is only “Profile 1.0”, it won’t play this extra. While this graphic interface doesn’t play during the film, it allows you to read information about the mythology of “Xenomorph” (Alien) and “Yautja” (Predator) via several topics (archives). Majority is text based, but some video clips from all “Alien” and “Predator”-films are also included (you can view them inside the interface in a smaller window). When choosing “Access Database” (by choosing “View Credits”, you’ll only get some copyright info), you can select one of the species and get the following sub-topics (which then has loads of topics of their own - some including video-material):

-“Xenomorph”: Exit / Help / Yautja (you can switch the species here) / Biology / Behavior / Encounters / Alphabetical
-“Yautja”: Exit / Help / Xenomorph (you can switch the species here) / Arsenal / Culture / Biology / Alphabetical

While the casual movie buffs might get scared of the sheer amount of information that you can dig up from these different files (after all, it’s mainly text based), the fans should appreciate this extra-feature. This is like interactive dictionary of Alien and Predator monsters.

-5 Featurettes are next, all in 480p standard definition:

*”AVP-R - Preparing For War: Development & Production” (15:52 minutes) includes similar type of info that’s heard also in the Audio commentaries, but featurette also support them quite well. We learn about the script (in the original draft, “Predalien” died quite early, but during the rewriting it became the “nemesis” for the Predator warrior), the chemistry between the director-brothers (often like kids, but always consulting each other), shooting style (majority shot on camera, CGI-effects used only if necessary), tone (“R-rated”, grittiness, more “real”), monsters (suits and the “less is more”-attitude when it comes to showing them on the screen) and sets (very few sets were build during the production, mainly Molly’s bedroom, the sewer complex and “the hive”). You can also see the snippet of the casting tape from the actress Reiko Aylesworth.

*”AVP-R - Fight To The Finish: Post-Production” (12:13 minutes) focus on the two different versions (“Theatrical” and “Unrated”) and the visual effects of the film. The key approach was “no visual effects, unless they don’t have to”, but some are obviously included (spaceships, plasma blasters, visual monsters and there are also some “green screen” work). The featurette shows “pre-visualizations” and “virtual 3D-sets”, which are quite interesting tools. The filmmakers also talk about the sound effects and music and they actually used the digitally remastered sound effects from the older “Alien” and “Predator”-movies, incorporated to the film. One certain Predator-voice was re-done by the voice actor (since they couldn’t separate it from the original master).

*”AVP-R - The Nightmare Returns: Creating The Aliens” (7:34 minutes) focus on the aliens, along with some history. Only subtle changes were made and mainly the differences benefited Woodruff Jr., who played the Alien in most of the scenes (his suit was now lighter and allowed better movement). Facehuggers were slightly different this time.

*”AVP-R - Crossbreed: Creating The Predalien” (8:21 minutes) focus on the main nemesis for the Predator warrior. It gives some info about its characteristics, creating process (when everybody agreed the final concept, full-scale sculpted model was made first) and you’ll also see Woodruff Jr. getting into his spandex bodysuit.

*”AVP-R - Building The Predator Homeworld” (6:37 minutes) focus on the short sequence at the beginning of the film, where we see the glimpse of the Predator home world planet somewhere in space. It was not included in the original script, but “The Brothers Strause” managed to convince the studio and it was eventually included. The visual look of the planet (along the ship interiors) was based on the references from the earlier films (e.g. “AVP (2004)” and “Predator 2 (1990)”). They gave some direction to the style (ancient, tropical) and color palette. You’ll see some great looking concept art and learn, that the planet sequence was the mixture of live action and CGI. The filmmakers mention “next movie”, so I guess this was one of their “contribution” to expanding the mythology of the Predator-series. Perhaps the next director will use those aspects that the brothers incorporated to the film.

-7 Photo galleries consist the following;
*Designing The Predator
*Designing The Alien
*Designing The Predalien
*On Set - The Rooftop
*On Set - The Sewer
*On Set - The Hive
*On Set - Cast & Crew

-“Theatrical trailers”-section includes the following for the film (with “Play All”, they run 4:29 minutes);
*Trailer E (2:21 min)
*Trailer K (2:08 min)
In the DVD, these are apparently listed as “Green Band” and “Red Band” trailers.

-Added Footage Marker is included in the “Unrated”-version, as mentioned earlier.

-Bonus trailers include (7:03 minutes with “Play all”):
*”AVP: Alien Vs. Predator (2004)” (2:17 min)
*”Behind Enemy Lines (2001)” (2:26 min)
*”Planet Of The Apes (2001)” (0:55 sec, probably Teaser)
*”The Transporter (2002)” (1:26 min)
Also trailers for “Jumper (2008)” and “Hitman (2007)” (running 4:15 minutes together) run before the “main menu” (they can be skipped).

While not really considered as “extras”, the disc has one additional option;

-D-Box Motion Code: You can watch the movie using your “D-Box” integrated motion system. For more info, visit their homepage HERE. This includes the following info-sections: “Feel The Film”, “System Overview”, and “Loading D-Box Motion Code”.


DISC 2:


-Digital Copy is downloadable version of the film (I believe using H.264 video codec). It won’t play in the normal DVD-players (so this is not Blu-ray & DVD “combo”), but you can transfer it to your…
*Mac (to iTunes, and from there to your video-enabled iPod, iPhone or Apple TV) or to your…
*PC (to Windows Media Player, and from there to your Windows PlaysForSure-compatible portable device - OR to iTunes, and from there to your video-enabled iPod, iPhone or Apple TV).
You’ll also need the serial number provided in the case (doesn’t work in multiple devises to my knowledge). Note, that this “digital copy” is not currently compatible with Sony PSP or Microsoft Zune. For more info, visit their homepage HERE.

The disc is packaged in a standard Blu-ray case.

Overall

Let’s think back one more time; If “Aliens (1986)” would’ve been like “AVPR (2007)”, the whole franchise probably would’ve ended right there and then. “AVPR” is like the first film of two enthusiastic horror-fans, with a few exceptions; video camera is replaced by the multiple 35 mm-cameras and instead of “The Brothers Strause” being the 15-year old kids shooting in their back yard, they’ve dealing with the multi-million Hollywood production and huge expectations (well, after the earlier film - maybe not). There are monsters, blood and gore, few butt-shots and plenty of homage’s to the earlier Alien and Predator-films. Sure, all this just might be “cool” for some people out there, but it’s certainly not enough for the “real fans”. “AVPR” is just “another quick horror-flick”, that’s all. Not the worse out there, but enough to add the Strause brothers to the same list with Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Paul W.S. Anderson. You all know what the topic of that list says…

Also available in the 3-disc “AVP - Aliens Vs. Predator: Unrated 2-Pack” box set, with “AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)”.

For more info, please visit the homepage of Fox Blu-ray.

The Film: Video: Audio: Extras: Overall:

 


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