DVD Review HTF REVIEW: The Guyver

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Elliott, Jul 30, 2004.

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  1. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    The Guyver


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    Studio: New Line
    Year: 1991
    Rated: PG-13
    Film Length: 92 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1)
    Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 Surround, DD 2.0 Surround
    Subtitles: English, Spanish
    Retail Price: $19.95





    The Guyver is a mechanism created by aliens that allows its owner to transform itself into a mechanical being, ala Robocop. The Guyver’s creator, Dr. Segawa is attacked by a group of hoods and killed but The Guyver isn’t in his possession. Attention then falls to his daughter (Vivian Wu) who soon becomes the target of this group of alien thugs being led by Michael Berryman. Her boyfriend Sean Baker (Jack Armstrong) ends up with The Guyver and when he discovers its powers he decides to put it on to defend his girlfriend but soon more and more aliens show up as well as an FBI agent (Mark Hamill) who tries to help them before the alien thugs take over the world with The Guyver.

    The Guyver is based on a cult Japanese comic but whatever charm that comic had certainly didn’t translate to this film, which is without a doubt the worst comic book adaptation I’ve ever seen. The movie starts off rather corny and gets worse with each passing minute and by the half-way point I really didn’t know if I should cry, scream, turn the film off or simply scratch my head and wonder what the hell I was watching. The film tries to be a lot of things but it fails on each level from the action to the incredibly lame comedy.

    I’m not sure what it was but the film never got me captivated and the direction is so all over the place that you can’t take this thing very seriously. For starters, the directors don’t seem to know what they’re trying to do with this film. It’s starts off with a dark feel but soon comedic bits start creeping in so you’re expecting camp but that doesn’t happen either. There are several moments of attempted comedy that fall flat on their faces including a stereotyped black guy who goes through the movie using black slang and rapping at the drop of the hat. Was this supposed to be funny? I guess it was meant to be funny but after the first rap I couldn’t help but get annoyed very quickly.

    Another problem is the action and monsters, which appears to be two separate films badly edited into one. Once again I’m really not sure what the directors were going for because some of the scenes appear like they are trying to be scary yet when the action kicks in you can’t help but feel you’re watching an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The childish acting, like the comedy, is very annoying and goes nowhere. The makeup effect’s of the monsters is the one saving grace but that’s still not enough to carry the film. The monsters seem to have been influenced by The Creature from the Black Lagoon but they certainly don’t have the same personality.

    After reading up on the film I noticed it has a rather nice sized cult following but this is one cult I’ll be staying far away from. Perhaps I missed something but this movie was just downright awful on all levels. Screen Queen Quigley (The Return of the Living Dead) appears in a comedy cameo that once again comes off very annoying. Perhaps the directors should have had her dancing naked on a tombstone. Even Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes) offers none of his usual charm and Re-Animator star Jeffrey Combs does very little. The female lead, Vivian Wu gives the worst performance I’ve seen in quite some time and one only wishes her character was knocked off in the first five minutes. Then there’s Mark Hamill who must really miss his days in Star Wars.


    VIDEO---The film is shown widescreen (1.85:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 TVs. Overall the picture quality is very good, although it’s not amongst the best work from New Line. Colors are very strong and full of detail throughout the film, which is important since various colors are used to show off the creatures. The red-ish tint featured in a few scenes comes off very well and the greenish color of the monsters looks remarkably fresh. The black levels are also very good, although a few scenes come off looking a bit soft. Another minor problem is some noticeable edge enhancement but I doubt anyone with a screen under 50 inches will notice this.

    AUDIO---We get the original Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround track as well as a new DTS 5.1 Surround and Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Once again, the DTS track offers very little difference compared to the DD5.1 track. I compared the more action packed scenes and really didn’t notice anything too different. The only minor difference would be during the opening sequence where the music score is a bit clearer than that of the DD track. Dialogue is clear on both tracks with a good range but the Surrounds aren’t used too often and when they are they don’t pack much of a punch. For a film from 1991 the tracks are nice but don’t expect anything to show off your home theaters.

    EXTRAS---We get trailers for Highwaymen, Critters, The Butterfly Effect and The Mangler.

    OVERALL---I’m sure there’s an audience out there for this movie but I’m not among them. I don’t mind childish films like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but this film here was just downright annoying with horrid performances, bad jokes and a stereotyped character that is downright silly. New Line offers a nice disc for the fans however so if you enjoy the film then you should certainly pick the disc up.


    Release Date: August 17th, 2004
     
  2. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

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    This film has been a favorite ever since I first rented it back in the early 90s. The Zoanoids are nifty creatures, and the effects that bring them to life are wonderful. The Guyver suit itself is very well done, and the film's score is one of the most catchy ones I've heard. Its also great seeing David Gale, Michael Berryman, Peter Spellos, and Jeffrey Combs all in the same film. I really enjoy the fight sequences and some of the character interactions, and the film just really entertains me. The only things I dislike about the film are some of the lame attempts humor, the annoying Vivian Wu, and Jack Armstrong sort of bugs me as well. These are all minor problems for me though, and I'm a definite fan of the film. A trailer for it would be nice.

    Either way though, while I love both, the sequel is much better in my eyes. A much darker, serious tone, an even better score, better fight sequences, a more interesting story ark, a cooler Guyver design, violence that is much more graphic, and the awesome Guyver Zoanoid battle.
     
  3. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    I couldn't agree more! The original comics and the anime are 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 00 times better than this movie.
     
  4. CoreyII

    CoreyII Second Unit

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    Hey Michael and Jeff I must to an extent agree with Justin. While I do not share Justin's love of the first film, the sequel is quite enjoyable.

    As a matter of fact I don't even acknowledge the original. Guyver 2: Dark Hero is a vastly superior movie and stays true to the anime source.

    The fights in Guyver 2 are joyfully violent and very well choreographed. Actually Guyver 2 has some pretty cool martial arts sequences. While the effects in Guyver 2 aren't exactly Lord of the Rings and the creatures are cheesy , the films heart is in the right place.

    Michael and Jeff Im truly sorry your first experience in the world of the Guyver had to be with the crappy orginal movie. If you two can see it in your hearts to give the character a second chance you will find the sequel a far better film. It's Power Rangers for adults.
     
  5. CoreyII

    CoreyII Second Unit

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    Oh by the way the guy who plays the Guyver in the sequel, David Hayter went on to become the writer for the first X-Men movie.
     
  6. Jeff Jacobson

    Jeff Jacobson Cinematographer

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    Actually I don't remember if I saw the movie or the anime first. But I do enjoy the anime an the comics, so the first movie didn't ruin it for me. (I haven't seen the second movie, though.)
     
  7. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

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    Haven't seen this first one, but count me in as another fan of the sequel (Dark Hero). Love all those fights between the Steve Wang-designed creatures!

    Dark Hero has come out as well, correct?
     
  8. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

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    Hasn't come out yet, but it does come out the same day as the first thankfully. While I'm a big fan of the first, it honestly can't touch Dark Hero, and if I only have enough cash for one of the discs that day, it'll be the sequel.
     
  9. CoreyII

    CoreyII Second Unit

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    If anyone who hasn't seen the Guyver films are curious, the difference between the original and its sequel, Guyver 2: Dark Hero, is like the difference between Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
     

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