Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem (DVD)



Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem DVD review (click for larger image)Reviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Steven Pasquale, Reiko Aylesworth, John Ortiz, Johnny Lewis, Tom Woodruff Jr., Ian Whyte

Directed by Colin Strause and Greg Strause

Distributed by Fox Home Entertainment


Dallas: "Eddie, you got power on that thing?"

Eddie: "Yeah, I just need some light."

So went an exchange between two of Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem's main characters, and the irony is dumbfounding!

In this second go-around there wasn't much else you could do to fans of this series to depress them further. Paul W(riting) S(ucks) Anderson's lame attempt at a live action Aliens Vs. Predator film left many a black hole in thousands of hearts. There was only one way to go for first-time directors the Strause brothers, and that was up! Surely no one could craft a film as abysmal as Anderson's, right? Once the red band trailer hit and fans saw some actual gore being tossed around, memories of the first PG-13 crap-fest started fading fast. Dare I say it, Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem looked like it was going to be good. The Strauses talked a good game, too. They promised a hard R rating. They promised to use physical effects for the creatures with minimal CGI. They promised the movie would be everything the first one wasn't. While they did at least deliver for the most part on all that, what they didn't promise was that they'd actually light the film so we could see what the hell was going on. Before I get into the dark dreary details, let's take a look at the storyline.

Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem begins right after the events of the first film (couldn't we just have made believe that didn't happen?) with the PredAlien bursting through the chest of the Leno-chinned Predator whom we all came to hate. This gnarly little beast runs rampant on every Pred onboard the ship, thus causing it to crash to Earth in Colorado. From there facehuggers escape into the populace, aliens are hatched, and the shit hits the fan. Good thing another Predator is on its way to clean up this mess. Armed with Blue Shitâ„¢ that makes everything disappear and some cool weaponry, our hero creature quickly dispatches every Xenomorph he sees until its final showdown with the PredAlien. Throw some humans into the mix for gore value, and wham-mo instant sequel. For more on the story and the film, check out our AVPissed edition of Dinner for Fiends!

Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem DVD review (click for larger image) Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem DVD review (click for larger image) Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem DVD review (click for larger image)

All I wanted was this ... Aliens fighting Predators and gore. At this point I didn't even care about a good storyline. That would have been great, but it seemed liked wishful thinking. Just give me some carnage, man! The red band trailer had me pumped until I realized it was also one of the film's undoings. Here's a hint to some industry folks: You may not want to show ninety percent of the good stuff in your movie in the trailer. Whose idea was this? What should have been a tease was more or less the whole enchilada! Things couldn't get worse. Could they?

I have sat through Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem at least five times (this last time with every light in my house out); yet, I feel like I haven't seen it once. Why, you ask? Because for whatever reason the film is so dark you can barely make out what's going on. The great Daniel Pearl worked on this flick! How this happened is beyond me. Words alone can't accurately describe what I'm talking about. You have to see it for yourself. Or, in this case, not see it for yourself. I've included nine screencaps for you that are prime examples of what I mean. These images were not tampered with in any way. It's not even like I went out of my way to find the darkest ones that I could. These stills are from main shots from the film. Scenes in which the camera held on these moments for more than a few seconds. Even parts that take place in the daytime look murkier than a Florida swamp. Given that the Strause brothers come from a visual effects background, why they chose to do this is anyone's guess. It's just plain inexcusable. Click on the teaser images and prepare to stare in disbelief.

Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem DVD review (click for larger image) Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem DVD review (click for larger image) Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem DVD review (click for larger image)

Being that this is the unrated edition, I'm sure you're wondering what was added. Here's what you get -- a lot of cool stuff that you can barely see. Some more violence that you can barely make out. And a bit of exposition that fleshes out the story a fraction. The one saving grace here is that there is an added footage marker option that will appear on-screen when there's new stuff to "see". I wish more DVD's would do this. It really is a nifty little extra.

To add insult to injury, the DVD's special features are sure to infuriate you because in the wealth of supplemental stuff you can actually see all the cool things these guys had to work with. Everything you could imagine is here and covered extensively. Several still galleries, several behind-the-scenes featurettes, several "On the Set" type glimpses, and two commentaries. There's certainly enough material to warrant this two-disc set, and Fox in no way skimped on the goodies. Seeing how the creatures were made, the sets fashioned, and the F/X pulled off is both interesting and ultimately heartbreaking. The Hive set? Badass! The look of the creatures? Spot on! Undeniably cool! If only someone would have brought a few bulbs to the set. Maybe a glow stick? Some matches? We could have actually have had something.

Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem DVD review (click for larger image) Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem DVD review (click for larger image) Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem DVD review (click for larger image)

In the end Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem is without question a better film than its predecessor. Anderson's movie had me leaving the theatre wanting to toss my leftover popcorn into the usher's face for allowing me in. I was physically angry. This one? This one reminded me what a good movie it could have been. During the Strause brothers' commentary track they talk about what they thought the fans would be grilling them for. You know, little inconsistencies here and there. Maybe that's why they kept things so stupidly dark, hoping that if we couldn't see it, then we couldn't complain. Guess you can't win, huh guys? There's no question Colin and Greg had their hearts in the right places. It's just too bad they kept their directing skills floating somewhere in deep space along with the debris of the Nostromo.

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with the Strause brothers and producer John Davis
  • Audio commentary with Tom Woodruff, Jr. and Alec Gillis
  • Added footage marker
  • Digital copy feature
  • Prepare for War: The Making of AVP-R featurette
  • Fight to the Finish: The Making of AVP-R featurette
  • AVP-R: The Nightmare Returns - Creating the Aliens featurette
  • Crossbreed: The PredAlien featurette
  • Building the Predator Homeworld featurette
  • Designing the Predator featurette
  • Designing the Alien featurette
  • Designing the PredAlien featurette
  • On Set: The Rooftop featurette
  • On Set: The Sewer featurette
  • On Set: The Hive featurette
  • On Set: Cast & Crew featurette
  • Still Design Galleries
  • Theatrical trailers (including Restricted Audience trailer)

    Film:

    2 1/2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    4 out of 5

    Discuss Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem in our Dread Central forums!




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    I'm not saying it wasn't un-neccasarily dark, I'm saying it wasn't impossible to follow the action.


    Submitted by bulletcrazy on Mon, 04/21/2008 - 9:15am.
    frank_dracman's picture

    Coming soon:
    AVP:R The Lighted Edition. Now seen the flim like you've never seen it before!


    Submitted by frank_dracman on Mon, 04/21/2008 - 6:40am.
    thedudeabides's picture

    HORROR IS DEAD!


    Submitted by thedudeabides on Mon, 04/21/2008 - 5:32am.
    moderator Dude, no matter how you
    Steve Barton's picture

    Dude, no matter how you slice it, what you watch it on, or whatever you can think of ...

    The fact remains the movie is just unnecessarily dark. I watched it on an HD 40-some-odd inch LCD TV via a top of the line HD-DVD player that utilizes an HDMI output for maximum picture quality with every light in my house out and I could still barely see the action. Sure I knew what was going on, but I would have loved to have actually seen it clearly.

    People can say what they want about the original AVP. Sure it sucks, but at least someone had the decency to light the damned movie correctly.


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Mon, 04/21/2008 - 12:34am.

    Ya, I just rewatched it and I have to disagree on the lighting. Watching it on dvd on a smaller screen, I was actually able to follow all the action scenes and this movie really delivers in that department. The extended scenes are nice too. I'd say it's a solid 3-3.25 stars (Obviously because of some crappy characters and cheesy lines).


    Submitted by bulletcrazy on Mon, 04/21/2008 - 12:12am.

    Honestly, I really liked this movie, I'm never going to understand what was just so wrong with it, and I don't need any explanations, just stating my opinion.


    Submitted by Caine Is Able on Sat, 04/19/2008 - 11:32am.
    DW Bostaph Jr's picture

    Just let it die.

    If you don't, they will begin with direct to DVD shit, and we will lose the icons (what is left of them) forever.


    Submitted by DW Bostaph Jr on Sun, 04/13/2008 - 11:12am.
    Enraged_Otter's picture

    does anyone else think AVP would be better of as an intelligently made animated anthology like matrix did rather than the crap we've been getting so far


    Submitted by Enraged_Otter on Fri, 04/11/2008 - 9:07am.
    Blockbuster's picture

    That video?

    FIERCE.


    Submitted by Blockbuster on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 11:16pm.

    That's a shame. There must be someone out there with fancy computer technology that can fix the lighting a bit. I can't believe they didn't adjust it for the dvd.


    Submitted by bulletcrazy on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 10:45pm.
    moderator Not really man. The higher
    Steve Barton's picture

    Not really man. The higher you turn the contrast and brightness the image just kinda gets greyish murky instead of black murky.


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 6:26pm.

    I know that's what it looks like, I was just curious if there was some way to make it more watchable by turning the brightness up (i doubt it).


    Submitted by bulletcrazy on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 6:13pm.
    moderator Aliens, Predators, and
    Steve Barton's picture

    Aliens, Predators, and PredAlien's are FIERCE!

    WITNESS!


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 12:12pm.
    Sirand's picture

    Coming Soon...

    Aliens vs Predator: Requiem - 4-disc Predalien Edition w/ night vision goggles.


    Submitted by Sirand on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 11:33am.
    Terminal's picture

    "In comparison to the original Alien or Predator films it is shit, but I decided to judge the movie on its own instead."

    I always thought you were supposed to see a movie before reviewing it. With those screencaps I'm shocked you gave it a grade at all. This was probably the darkest movie I've ever seen. I had no fucking clue what was happening most of the time.


    Submitted by Terminal on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 11:14am.
    moderator Bulletcrazy ... it had
    Steve Barton's picture

    Bulletcrazy ... it had nothing to do with the brightness on my TV. These screencaps capture just the picture not the personal settings on my set! LOL


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 10:42am.
    moderator It got a 2 1/2 because I
    Steve Barton's picture

    It got a 2 1/2 because I felt it was just a mediocre little monster movie that didn't make me miserable. In comparison to the original Alien or Predator films it is shit, but I decided to judge the movie on its own instead.


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 10:40am.

    This deserved a score of 1 knife. There's too much wrong with AVP:R that I can't even begin to forgive it even with the few things it managed to do right. This was a glorified Sci-Fi Channel movie with a slightly bigger budget.


    Submitted by Kryten Syxx on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 10:18am.

    I think that's a fair score. There were a lot of really cool badass moments in the movie (Like the awesome predator handgun), and it's just a shame it's so fucking dark. Did you try turning up the brightness on your tv? I might try that when I get the dvd.


    Submitted by bulletcrazy on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 9:51am.
    Johnny Butane's picture

    Fantastic screencaps, though! I felt like I was watching it myself! Or, not watching it... or...

    Good work, Creep.


    Submitted by Johnny Butane on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 9:45am.

    Oh, Creepy. You know how much I love your reviews... however, I think you were far too kind to this movie. ;-)


    Submitted by robg on Thu, 04/10/2008 - 8:34am.
    Sirand's picture

    In no shape, way, or form is "AVP" better than this. Using the word masterpiece in the same sentence as that title should be punishable by death. "AVP-R" was a rancid pile of shit, but it was better the the soul crushing agony I experienced from the kid-safe fanboy anal rape that was Anderson's shit droppings. That said, fuck all these movies.

    Great review, Creepy!


    Submitted by Sirand on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 11:28pm.
    moderator That was my homage to you!
    Steve Barton's picture

    That was my homage to you! LOL


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 8:19pm.

    Hey! The "fetish suit" remark was mine!


    Submitted by Kryten Syxx on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 8:16pm.
    Rorschach's picture

    And it had Bishop/Wyland!


    Submitted by Rorschach on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 8:13pm.
    Terminal's picture

    You were too nice to it, IMO. This movie deserves one knife.

    And I guess DW Bostaph wasn't off, after all. Compared to this, AVP is a masterpiece.


    Submitted by Terminal on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 8:09pm.
    moderator Say what you will about the
    Steve Barton's picture

    Say what you will about the first one ... at least you could see what was going on!


    Submitted by Steve Barton on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 7:47pm.

    After sitting through the first movie once, I don't think I can muster up the energy to watch this one.


    Submitted by What The Cat Dr... on Wed, 04/09/2008 - 7:40pm.

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