New Universal Reviewer.... =)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Sam Posten, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Thanks to Ron and Parker and the rest of the HTF gang, I have been selected as the latest addition to the official review crew here at HTF. I dont know that any kind of announcement has been made, but they stuck the tag over on my banner there to the left, so I guess the cat is out of the bag!

    I start with much trepidation, the reviewers here are top notch and I have some ENORMOUS shoes to fill, as this post was last held by Steve Tannehill, who was almost singlehandedly responsible for my enthusiasm for the DVD format since the moment I first found his web site via HTF oh so many years ago.

    So, while I'd like to ask you to go easy on me I will do no such thing, the HTF deserves better! But I will be both scouring this forum reading over the last few months of reviews to try to capture the flavor the others have established here and look forward to all of your comments in this thread about what you would like to see in our upcoming coverage of Universal product.

    Uni is definitly among my favorite studios, both with exciting new releases and an awe inspiring back catalog, so I cant wait to begin!

    Sam
     
  2. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Congratulations, but I hope this isn't fallout from the Doom review. It might have been a mistake, but not one that couldn't be recovered from. Well, that's the past. I look forward to your first review.
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I'm not aware of controversy over the Doom review, will have to search on that. Got a link while I look?
     
  4. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    NM, found it, reading it now. Interesting that I missed it =)
     
  6. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    No, thats quite alright from my perspective, I'm thankful for the heads up. What is really fascinating is two things, one is that the review I submitted (which led to me being selected) is.... Doom. The other is that, well lets just say that I have a very different final analysis of the disk, tho to be fair I had a retail box and not a screener (and I AM thankful that the HTF management are sticking to their guns and asking that no screeners be reviewed in the future!)

    I will ask Ron if I can release that review. On one hand I dont want to torture SteveH any further, cause he has always been a sort of inspiration to me where HT/DVD is concerned. On the other, our reviews are very different and yet both of us take (IMO opinion) very valid approaches to them. While I liked Doom, I noted that for a lot of people it is not going to be a satisfying experience, especially if you are viewing it on a screener. =)

    Anyway, its way too late right now but I will follow through on that tomorrow.

    Sam
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Also, I dont know the specifics on Steve's choice to no longer be the Universal reviewer, but I can say that even if I did, I would not comment on them out of respect for him and HTF.
     
  8. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I understand. Good luck with your new responsibility, and I'm also glad to hear that proper discs are now a must from the studios.
     
  9. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    Welcome Sam.

    Re the Doom review, I can't believe that people would take reviews so seriously. At least those who aren't making money dependent on how a review goes. I sure don't take them seriously, especially for a popcorn flick, it's just an opinion after all and if you don't like one go to somebody who has an opinion you like. Anyway, this section is not really for movie reviews (I thought), it's for DVD reviews, and that was impossible in that circumstance. The new HTF policy should prevent those circumstances from being an issue again.
     
  10. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Welcome, Sam! I look forward to your review of Doom, but mostly I'm jealous that you are (hopefully) going to have King Kong before anyone else. [​IMG]

    I guess my last review here did not make a big splash, but I did comment on my departure in that thread.

    I don't want to derail Sam's introduction, so I'll just pass on my best wishes and fade away...

    - Steve
     
  11. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Thanks for the reviews and best of luck, Steve. Also, best of luck to Posten on his future reviews! [​IMG]
     
  12. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    I look forward to your review of peter jackson's king kong on DVD!

    JACOB
     
  13. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Thanks everyone, especially Steve! I REALLY REALLY am looking forward to doing an early review of KK 2005, as the recently released box set for the original was a huge hit at my home theater.

    Sam
     
  14. David_Blackwell

    David_Blackwell Screenwriter

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    Goof luck. I will read you reviews and I hope they are as good as Steve's.
     
  15. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Glad to have you on the crew, Sam!
     
  16. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Welcome, Sam. I look forward to your reviews. You're joining a great group.

    Steve wrote:

    I missed the bulletin, Steve. Don't feel bad. I still get an occasional e-mail asking about my reviews... and my last one was written early in December. Welcome to the world of the retired HTF reviewers... Your old site (sorry, can't remember the name of it...) is what led me to HTF many years ago. Don't be a stranger.

    -Scott
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Well, here it is. Keep in mind this is not an official HTF review!

    DOOM: Unrated Extended Edition DVD
    Universal Pictures, 2005, 1:53
    Andrzej Bartkowiak Director
    Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, Raz Adoti, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
    Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, Spanish, French)
    Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
    Review by Sam Posten, for www.hometheaterforum.com

    The name Doom is nearly synonymous with hard core computer action gaming, and for good reason. Id Software, or id as they prefer to write it, defined the first generation of first person shooter (FPS) with Castle Wolfenstein 3D, brought it to hell and back in Doom, and then brought it into true 3D with Quake and beyond. The 'plot' of the original Doom was purposefully sparse and that did not change much as the series has progressed.

    First the good news. The acting isn't horrible. While it was originally rumored that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would be featured in a small role or even just a cameo, he is a big part of this movie and overplays the role of Sarge with typical action hero gusto. Karl Urban's moody, haunted Reaper gets a bit more to chew on and you can see his growth from earlier role as Eomer in The Lord of the Rings series. Rosamund Pike features as Reapers semi-estranged sister Dr. Samantha Grimm, a convenient focus for the rest of the ensemble cast's affections.

    Additionally, for a movie about a game with a plotline thinner than string cheese, Doom's rendering of a plotline could have been far worse. Scientists on Mars muck with genetics, monster zombies emerge, infest mars and turn their sights on earth, good guys head to mars to investigate and kick ass. Yadda yadda, when does stuff blow up?

    Fortunately the blowing stuff up factor is in high gear. A mix of zombies, genetically altered animals, demons, hell knights and other well known Doom creepy crawlies will each get their turn to inflict havoc on the station crew and the marine rescue squad, and then meet their own grisly end at the business end of chainsaws, high powered weaponry, and even the granddaddy of them all, the legendary BFG, or Big F^$#ing Gun.

    Effects shots range from the solid but subtle Arc (which allows interplanetary travel) to the over the top action sequence in which we the audience take on the perspective of Reaper in a First Person Shooter role. This memorable sequence is perhaps the best reason to see Doom, and will be remembered not only by fans of the gaming genre but is likely to be imitated in computer gaming related features in the future. While not a splatterfest of gore, there are satisfying amounts of carnage caused to and by marines and zombies alike.

    If there is one major fault in Doom, it is that they didn't quit while they were ahead. A drawn out head to head battle better left to the likes of Blade is intended as the ultimate showdown, and yet feels flat and contrived after the excellent FPS sequence. Nonetheless, Doom is a solid outing when viewed in the 'movies based on a video game' genre, and holds up well in the action sci-fi genre it rightly falls in regardless of original license. Viewed from a cynical gamer's expectations, Doom comes out having broken new ground and put on a good show doing so.

    Unrated Extended Edition DVD notes: Having seen the theatrical release of Doom in a well geared theater, it was gratifying to see how well the DVD holds up on my home system. Featuring deep fields of black within industrial/scientific interiors Doom asks every bit of contrast your system is capable of. While I'm not certain I would use this as a color reference disk due to the naturally muted palette, I can see myself showing off the FPS sequence to quite a few friends, as it is humorous, gripping and unique. Likewise the sound effects from the many firefights are well produced and memorable. The techno/guitar rifts from the soundtrack are perhaps the surprise find of this movie, as they complement the action nicely and echo back to the classic but technically limited tracks the accompanied the original game. Nice touch.

    Also a nice touch are the scenes edited back in to this extended cut. Those that I could pick out as having been different from the original release added to the limited character development, specifically to the Marine grunts interaction with Dr. Grimm (Pike). A number of special segments are on the disks that go into detail on how scenes were developed and the combat training the cast received. Not a true collectors edition by any means, but enough to please the casual fan. My copy of the DVD noted that when inserted into an Xbox it included a playable Xbox demo level, but I did not try this on either my Xbox or Xbox360 due to time constraints.

    Final analysis:

    Movies based on computer games do not have a positive history, as anyone who has seen www.uweboll.com would tell you. Early hype for Doom caused the FPS shooter community to hope that this would be the movie to break that curse, and while Doom will take no Oscars or other major accolades away, it is a fun action movie that does not feel too derivative or tired, despite mimicking the feel and flow of such classics as Alien, Aliens and Total Recall.

    Plot: 2.5/5
    Action 4/5
    Sound/music 4/5
    Visuals/Effects 4/5
    Acting 3.5/5
    Extra Features: 4/5

    Sam
    /Flame_Retardant_Suit=on
     
  18. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Nice writeup, Sam! You're off to a great start.
     
  19. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Why thank you =) Was not sure anyone saw it as it was buried in this thred, will have to ping Steve on it.

    I didnt read any other forums reviews before submitting my review, but having looked at a few since then, Doom definitly seems to be a movie that divides people into two camps, one that really really trash it, and the other who are somewhat impressed that it wasnt as bad as it could have been. After reading a few different perspectives, mine hasnt changed. I still feel I gave it an honest look and feel its solid (but not exceptional) popcorn action flick.

    Sam
     
  20. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    That Steve guy should be shot with a BFG 9000. [​IMG]

    Good review. Did Kong show up yet?

    - Steve
     

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