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HTF Blu Ray Review: ExTerminators

Discussion in 'Archived Reviews' started by Leo Kerr, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

    May 10, 1999
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    An Image Entertainment release of a UTV Motion Picture feature. The feature stars Heather Graham, Jennifer Coolidge, Matthew Settle, and Joey Lauren Adams, and was written by Suzanne Weinert and directed by John Inwood.

    The BluRay disc is letterboxed to 1.85:1 aspect ratio in the 1.77:1 HD frame, and is delivered with a DTS-HD 5.1 English sound track. There are no captions or subtitles. The feature runs about 92 minutes. The disc starts with previews for The Lightkeepers and Fade To Black, followed by an FBI warning, an Image Entertainment splash, and then the simple menu. The packaging is a standard Bluray case, with only the disc inside.

    Retail price for this Bluray title is $29.97, and was released in the United States on November 2, 2010. The program itself is rated R for ‘some language and sexual material.’

    The Feature — •••
    After the loss of a job, the loss of a husband, and the approaching loss of a blouse from the sale table, Alex (Graham) finds herself sentenced to Anger Management Therapy. There she meets Stella (Coolidge) who runs an extermination business, and Nikki (Heard,) a dental technician. One of their fellow members of group-therapy is beaten by her husband, and while our threesome investigate, said wife-beater— comes to a sticky end. And what begins as something of an accident, soon turns into a profitable side-line of the extermination business. Except for the persistent stalking by the IRS in the form of Agent Hutt (Sam Lloyd.)

    As a film or a story, it is not terribly new, and is fairly predictable — at least in the general. Some of the specifics get kind of... strange. And fairly amusing. It is not likely to win any awards or great accolades — apart from a very limited release to some shows and other limited screenings, this is a direct-to-disc release. On the whole, it moved fast enough, and had enough things going on to make up for the few places that dragged. Enjoyable, but not in the need of much deep thought.

    The Picture — ••••
    Detailed, sharp and clean. The picture is generally quite good. This film was produced through a digital intermediary, but was not ‘digitally abused’ much. Grain is present, no significant noise reduction or edge enhancement. Actually, there were a couple of film-flaws present that could have been removed, but were not. The only problems I saw were in the tonal range; blacks seemed a little heavy and blocky.

    The Sound — ••½
    The sound was— unexciting. Very front-and-center, with very little ambience or surround activity. The soundtrack was also rather limited and unexciting. Dialog, however, was clean, clear, and completely intelligible. And again, there appear to be no captions available.

    The Extra
    Also on the disc is a self-described ‘Gag Reel.’ Perhaps in the interest of trying to have some ‘extra content,’ they put some twenty-one minutes of out-takes, goofs, and the occasional prat-fall in, rather than perhaps just selecting a few good ones.

    In The End — •••
    Before I go into my wrap-up, I would like to take a moment to comment on two things observed on this disc. First, a glitch in the menu authoring. The menu is a very simple still with two ‘buttons.’ No sound, no nothing else going on. But it has a ‘duration’ of about a second before it repeats. And as the player ‘repeats,’ the player will not accept button inputs. Oops. Second, probably because of where I work, and the rules we have to follow (full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act,) I feel that pretty much any disc should have at least some form of captioning for the deaf. It seems unlikely to be an expensive ‘feature’ to add, but this disc, like several others I have reviewed, has nothing. Moving on...

    It is not rocket science. And it is not going to win any awards. But it is kind of a fun film. The release lives up to most of the possibilities of an HD picture, and it is a good, clean picture — with little in the way of special effects. Most of the ‘R’ rating comes from the language, both suggestive and otherwise.

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