Bugs
R2 - United Kingdom - Universal Pictures
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (10th May 2013).
The Film

***This is a technical review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

A cop on the track of a criminal finds himself in the midst of an unfinished subway tunnel, when his flashlight reveals a startling discovery: a three metre long scorpion-like BUG. With one slice of its massive tail the bug fells the man and devours him.

FBI agent Matt Pollack is brought in to investigate, and when forensics reveal the source of the problem, he turns to his friend and entomologist Emily Foster for help. Her studies have chilling results.

Matt and a team of crack SWAT commandos must go down and rid the underground of its evil predators. Once in the tunnel, the team is attacked by an army of the creatures. They retaliate with massive firepower, causing the collapse of the tunnel entrance.

Their only way out is ten miles ahead through an emergency exit. Matt and his team must get there and exterminate the bugs before they escape into the city causing chaos and destruction.

Video

Universal Pictures release SyFy Channel's TV movie "Bugs" slightly cropped from the original 1.85:1, at a ratio of 1.78:1. As should be expected for a low budget made-for-tv creature feature, the transfer is adequate but nothing great.

95% of the time, the movie take place in a subway system, meaning there are a lot of dark colours, shadows and backgrounds. The uniforms of the SWAT team are a very dark navy blue which also contributes to a distinct lack of detail with many of the blacks lacking sharpness and shade differential.

Surprisingly, skintones look fairly accurate, though often the shadows on the faces cause detail on faces to be of poorer quality during the darker scenes, compared to those in better lighted situations. Despite the transfer feeling a little soft at times, contrast levels appears to be consistent.

There is some edge enhancement at various times during the movie, but no worse than the majority of dvd releases. A fine grain runs throughout, and there were no signs of artifacting, scratches are dust on the print which is to be expected of any post-2000 movie, no matter what the budget. The transfer is in line with similar SyFy budget creature features released by various studios.

This transfer does the job, but nothing more.

Audio

There is only one audio track included on this disc:
- English Dolby Digital 5.1

The track does well to replicate the damp, drab echoing atmosphere of the subway tunnels and although the mix is quite front heavy, there is some good use of the surrounds and LFE at times. The scurrying of the bugs and William T. Stromberg's soundtrack make the best use of the surrounds and although the atmospheric composed music adds the right amount of tension, the sound effects felt as though they lacked a little directionality - though not to the point where it is particularly noticeable. There were no signs of any damage such as dropouts or scratches and background hiss was kept to an absolute minimum.

English subtitles are included for the hard of hearing. White in colour, they are accurate and easy to read. When someone not in the frame is speaking, the subtitles turn italic - a nice little touch.

Extras

None whatsoever.

Although the CGI isn't great, a VFX featurette would've been a welcome addition.

Overall

The Film: D+ Video: C+ Audio: B- Extras: F Overall: C-

 


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