Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
US DVD Release Date: May 11, 2010
Theatrical Release Year: 2010
Rated: R (for strong bloody violence, and language)
Running Time: 100 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 widescreen
Audio: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (English, French)
Subtitles: English, English (SDH), French
Movie: 2 out of 5
Archangel Michael falls out of the sky and lands in Los Angeles, in preparation for an upcoming apocalyptic battle at a remote desert diner in Scott Stewart's directorial debut, Legion. Michael (Paul Bettany) has left heaven against orders to save Charlie's (Adrianne Palicki) unborn child, as God summons his angels to wipe the earth clean of humankind. That's right, God is the villain of the piece, and Satan is nowhere to be found in this often confusing mash-up of Terminator meets Night of the Living Dead.
Stewart has a good eye for directing, keeping the film visually interesting (his background is in visual effects), and the talented cast, which includes Lucas Black (Jarhead), Tyrese Gibson (Transformers: Rise of the Fallen), Jon Tenney (TNT's The Closer), Willa Holland (Gossip Girl), Kate Walsh (Grey's Anatomy), Charles S. Dutton (Secret Window), and Dennis Quaid (Innerspace), do what they can with the script, trying to elevate the film from its B-movie origins. But the movie has problems. The characters, as well-portrayed as they are, are still cardboard cutouts that are never fully developed. The plot is just a backdrop for some impressive visual effects and action set pieces. The idea of God as the overall villain is not only ridiculous (and insulting), it comes across as a failed attempt to be original. We never really understand why Charlie's baby is mankind's savior, and the film ends with a setup for possible sequels. Another quibble I had with the film is when Dennis Quaid's character is banging on the old television, trying to get a signal from the old rabbit ears, when it is very obvious the reason he can't get a signal is because he does not have a digital converter box.
Video: 4 out of 5
Sony brings Legion to Blu-ray, preserving the film's theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1, in a spiffy 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. Blacks are impressively deep and colors are well-saturated. Detail is exquisite, especially the grains of sand in the desert and the realistic five o'clock shadow of the male leads. Film grain is present, but never distracting. This is yet another terrific transfer of a recent theatrical release by Sony.
Audio: 4.5 out of 5
Legion's DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 track is, in one word, phenomenal. This is a very aggressive mix, with accurately placed and realistic sound effects coming at you from every direction. John Frizzell's score has such dynamic range that it add an extra level of immersion to the soundtrack, making this a good demo disc.
Special Features: 3 out of 5
Although on the surface it may appear that Legion is chock-full of special features, there's not a whole lot here worth watching more than once.
Creating The Apocalypse (23:43): This featurette focuses on many of the practical effects created for the film, including the Ice Cream Man and Gladys sequences, as well as the use of the animatronic baby.
Humanity's Last Line of Defense (11:32): This self-congratulatory featurette focuses on the cast of the film and their characters.
From Pixels to Picture (10:57): Focusing on the visual effects, this featurette has a rushed feeling to it, as the visual effects supervisors and director Scott Stewart try to walk through how most of the effects were used throughout the film were created.
Bringing Angels To Earth: Picture-in-Picture: Mixing on-screen audio commentary by director Scott Stewart, cast and crew interviews, storyboards, and behind the scenes footage, this feature runs in a window throughout the length of the film in the lower right corner. Much of the interview and behind the scenes footage are repurposed from the included featurettes.
MovieIQ+sync: Watch the movie and, through a series of pop-up menus, look up facts and filmographies on cast, crew, etc. on BD-Live connected players.
BD-Live: A connection to Sony's BD-Live portal, featuring trailers of current and upcoming titles.
Digital Copy: Portable versions of Legion are provided for use with iTunes, Windows Media Player, and Sony PSP.
Playstation 3 Themes: Two sets of themes are available (Gabriel and Michael), and can be installed from the Game menu on the XMB.
Overall: 3 out of 5
Legion is an audio-visual stunner, but the plot is full of problems by trying to be too original, while at the same time coming off as a rehash of much better movies that have come before it.