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Monday, 8 October 2012

AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem - DVD Audio Commentary Review

Audio commentary by director/visual effects supervisor duo "The Brothers Strause" (Colin and Greg Strause) and producer John Davis

This really should be a 90 min apology. It should be the so called 'directors' on their knees, begging for forgiveness from Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher and even Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Paul W. S. Anderson while been beaten with sticks.

Instead, we mostly get painful and feeble attempts at humor. "This is what happens if you eat Alien tacos" Ho ho ho... The producer mostly rubbing his grubby mitts as he points out all his cost cutting efforts. And all involved remaining blissfully unaware that they have taken an already faltering franchise to an all time low.

In all fairness the commentary is passable, there is good camaraderie between the brothers and their producer. Theres no gaps and it's very trivia and info packed.
It's just a damn shame the film itself is so mind explodingly poor. Theres a few films that many people consider worthless that I end up having a soft spot for, this is one of the only films I know of that appears to be universally hated. And deservedly so.

Audio commentary by creature effects designers/special effects supervisors Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr.

A fascinating commentary and not just from an FX standpoint - both Gillis and Woodruff have a lot to say about the production of the film itself. But obviously their main focus is their practical FX work.
Gillis is the main speaker here and he's always very interesting to listen too and a legitimately funny guy as well. Woodruff is a good bit more sarcastic, but here he does speak way more than I have heard him speak on previous commentaries.
Im not sure if it's his sense of humor, but I always get the feeling Woodruff doesn't really want to be doing commentary tracks and it's Gillis who drags him in.

The big gag throughout is the plugging of their book Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem - Inside the Monster Shop, which is actually a good companion piece to this commentary and the documentaries on the DVD.

One of my major gripes with AVP-R is the ridiculous darkening they performed in the (I assume) digital intermediate process. (The trailer scenes and EPK stuff certainly are not half as dark as what's on the DVD) I don't know what the source is that the ADI guys are watching for their track, but I wish I had it instead of this pitch black DVD picture. Where they see FX work I see blackness.
It's a huge shame, because unless you blast you TV contrast right up, it's pretty damn hard to see most of what they point out.

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