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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2013
If a cross between post apocalyptic fiction and John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars sounds good to you then you will love this movie. It was okay to watch, interesting and held my attention but I wouldn't buy the film, nor would I rush to a theater to spend $10 to see it. Not the best but not the worst film in the genre I have ever seen.
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2013
The film opens as a prepper's orgasm. 400 hundred people live underground in a self sufficient colony. The world has been hit by climate change, famine, and disease. Apparently the flu virus survives year round frozen temperatures. People who have a disease, are killed or forced to leave the colony to prevent infection. Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) is in charge of the colony. His antagonist is Mason (Bill Paxton) a man who has his own, less humane set of survival ethics.

When an incident happens at Colony 5 (they are #7) Briggs takes off to investigate along with Sam (Kevin Zegers) plus token landing party victim.

The post apocalyptic scenery was good. The acting was good. The plot didn't really go anywhere that I found interesting. I don't want to give a lot away, but they spent a lot of time building Sam's character for him to be the most boring of the lot. Things do pick up when they get to Colony 5, but it was too late in the film for them to finally introduce the action scenes.

A soft 3 stars.

Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2013
The Colony(released April/13)stars,among others,Laurence Fishburne as Briggs,Kevin Zegers as Sam,Bill Paxton as Mason and Charlotte Sullivan as Kai.This film is yet another Armageddon film,trying to throw the guilts at each and every viewer for its subject matter and totally failing at its attempt to create any kind of excitement.
The story opens with two people getting attacked by an unseen force,down the end of a long corridor filled with huge pipes.Next we are introduced to the movies home base,Colony 7.This is the not too distant future and man's clumsy attempts at altering climate have fouled it completely.It is now a world of endless winters and everyone who survives,lives underground.Briggs is the one in charge of this colony and he has trouble with Mason,who was put in charge of taking care of the sick.Past protocol was to put people who came down with a simple cold,into quarantine then test them after.If they passed they were allowed back amongst the colony.If not they were given the option of "walking"(walking outside and away) or being shot.It seems Mason is shooting first and asking questions well afterwards.
Amidst this turmoil comes a distress call from Colony 5.Three leave to investigate,which includes Sam,Briggs and a young man who volunteers.They arrive the next day to find blood everywhere.We realize the opening of the film took place here.Inside they find one survivor who doesn't want to leave.They glean some important intel however on another colony elsewhere that has managed to turn on some old weather control equipment and has melted the snow and has sunshine.They also stumble upon a large group of colonist still alive who are now living off human flesh,and filing their teeth with bones so they are small and pointed.What follows is a struggle to get out in one piece.Briggs and Sam make it but their young companion doesn't.They flee as fast as they can but are followed.During an attempt to blow up a section of a long bridge,Briggs ends up sacrificing himself to save Sam and the Colony.
Sam barely makes it back alive and is handcuffed by Mason who doesn't believe his story.Soon the group from Colony 5 arrives and starts its bid to take over Colony 7.When all is said and done just a mere handful make it out of the Colony through its vents,and leave to search for the colony with sun.Fade to black.
This is a movie on how not to make one.The superfluous shots and editing are amateurish.For example there is a scene where Briggs and Sam are in a helicopter for the night while fleeing the horde from Colony 5.They say what they have to,they're all set to head out tomorrow and what should have been a cut to next day,turns into yet another shot from outside the helicopter THEN them going to the next day.We know they're in the helicopter,so there was no need to reinforce it with a fading shot.This was as superfluous as it comes.Another example is Sam who battles the Colony 5 leader.Up to now the leader has killed everyone he has come in contact with,yet now Sam somehow manages to defeat him.Anyways,after he does there is a shot of Sam walking towards a fiery background to leave.We cut to the small group of those who managed to escape above,thinking Sam is about to emerge also.No.We then cut to yet another shot of Sam walking towards flames,THEN he soon after emerges from the vent shaft like the others.
Besides excess shots and poor editing,the story is a terribly slow sucker;sucker being the operative word as it sucks any enthusiasm for this film right out of you.Its pace is as slow and relentless as the weather the characters have to endure.The ending totally catches you off guard as you're expecting to follow the colonists to the new one with the sunshine.Truth be told,it wouldn't/couldn't have helped this movie in any way.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r of 2:35:1 and s clear and crisp.There is one featurette....if you care.
All in all a complete waste of a good cast with a sub par script,editor and director.If you're going to try and give us all,yet again,the guilts for how we're supposedly destroying ourselves,you are going to have to do better than this turkey.Total pass on this one.1 1/2- 2 stars.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2013
After seeing that this starred Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton, I thought I was in for at least an "OK" movie. However, this movie fell short in so many ways.

I would have gladly sat through a longer movie if they had included a background scene more clearly explaining how the current world arrived at the condition it is in. However, that scene is missing along with any real character development. I suppose if you just like movies with big explosions and blood and gore then by all means this movie is for you.

If you are looking for an "end of the world" future type movie with a fleshed out story, look elsewhere. It is a shame though as Bill Paxton and Laurence Fishburne have both done excellent movies in the past.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2013
Someone has fiddled with the weather, and mankind has become a few small collections of people fighting to survive against each other and a mutilated flu virus. Then the horror starts. Somehow it does not sound all that original.

The action itself although it tended to drag on, did have some interesting moments.

The filming itself was fairly ordinary. There were no fantastic special effects.

The acting itself was disappointing. You have some really good actors like Laurence Fishburne and they came out quite flat. None of the characters I thought were particularly interesting.

If you have nothing to do one evening, it may be worth a watch.
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48 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2013
The Actors in movie also attracted me to watching this plus the theme of he movie.
It is one of the those instances where I have delayed watching it because of the review and just got bored so I ordered to watch not expecting much.

Even with my expectation not being there much in prior review..I was still surprised how cheap this movie was. It had potential but it is like everyone gave up on it.

If you are like me and can only be satisfied by watching this then keep ordering something else until it comes out on redbox for a $1.00.

Save your money. I really really mean that!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I’ve always believed that ‘End of the World’ flicks will never go out of style. Why is that? Well, there are probably all kinds of reasons. I tend to think that we, as a culture, have some deep-rooted fear for exactly how our world might come to an end. Maybe that’s why so many folks – regular Joes and politicians alike – are fascinated with the idea of Global Warming. Also, I tend to think that we, as a culture, are secretly fascinated by what would happen to us if all or most or our technology was stripped away. How would we react? How could we survive? What would we become? How many of us could make it? That’s the stuff of everyday nightmares – ones we never want to face but are all too happy to take in on the silver screen or behind the glow of a warm TV set only a few feet away.

That’s the stuff at the heart of THE COLONY. For all of its questions and/or maybe its minor moral posturing, this is a tale about survival when survival is only but a dream.

(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)

In the near future, some catastrophe has blanked all of the Earth in a new ice age. The only human who survive are those who’ve taken to these remote underground outposts – scientific establishments that stockpiled seeds in the event of such devastation. Colony 7 – managed by Briggs (played by the reliable Laurence Fishburne) – receives a distress call from a nearby base; when it suddenly goes silent, he tasks Sam (Kevin Zegers) to go with him, out into the cold, to investigate. What they find might indeed spell doom for the remnants of mankind, assuming the maniacal Mason (Bill Paxton) doesn’t kill everyone first.

As is often the case with a one-off flick that’s only one part science fiction and two parts something else, the writing isn’t exactly what one would consider up-to-snuff. In fact, if you strip away the sci-fi elements (i.e. it’s the future, there’s been some man-made weather-related catastrophe, and science is all that can save us), then you’re left with what the film does best: escapism. This is a kinda/sorta race-against-the-elements feature: man’s struggle against extreme cold, man’s struggle against an unnamed virus, man’s struggle to eat & drink & (generally speaking) be merry. On that quotient, I thought THE COLONY worked quite nicely. Sure, you may have to dismiss some of its unanswered questions (i.e. what is this plague they speak of? What is the other plague – which apparently causes men to turn feral – they speak of? What happened to all that ‘global warming’ stuff?) mostly because a script by four people (yes, you read that right) feels a bit so routine it could’ve been penned by a computer program, but, so far as these 94 minutes are concerned, I give it a pass.

What works convincingly and consistently are the visuals provided by director Jeff Renfroe. He’s tapped into this bleak tomorrow and shackled it with all the grim, survival facets one would expect from a seasoned veteran of the big and small screen despite his fairly slim resume, and let me assure you this isn’t a world you’d want to visit much less be forced to survive in. It’s lonely. It’s cold. It’s entirely hopeless. Also with no soil, little sunlight, and a constant snowfall, growing food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner isn’t an easy task; it’s a constant battle, and Renfroe admirably captures it all – even the sprawling, snow-covered landscapes – with an eerie claustrophia sci-fi fans generally embrace. Kudos to him and the production department.

As for the performances? Well, when you’re shackled with a script that feels almost obligatory, then the best some talent can do is phone in the obligatory emotions. Still, the impressive presence of Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton, and even a young Kevin Zegers helps elevate the material a few notches above the predictability of the situations; suffice it to say, I would like to see what the same could’ve done with some material with more meat on its bones … but this is the Apocalypse, after all, so meat was hard to come by.

THE COLONY (2013) is produced by RLJ Entertainment, Sierra Pictures, Alcina Pictures, Item 7, Mad Samurai Productions, and 120dB Films. DVD distribution is being handled by RLJ Entertainment. As for the technical specifications, the picture looks and sounds very impressive, though I’ll admit I had some trouble hearing Mr. Fishburne as he mumbled (coldly) through some of his early speeches. For those inclined to want to know more, there are two special features – some brief behind-the-scenes stuff along with interviews with the cast and crew – that amount to a nice extra but (again) not much of a meal. I would’ve liked to have seen more on the film’s effects, but maybe that’s just me.

RECOMMENDED. I realize that, in some respects, I may be the ‘lone wolf’ ‘round these parts actually giving THE COLONY an endorsement, and, to some degree, that’s quite possibly because in my experience I know you can do far worse than experience these 94 minutes. Sure, the science of this sci-fi may not make much sense, but, at its core, the film is much closer to an apocalyptic suspense film than anything else. In that regard, it kept my interest fine enough for entertainment purposes, and that’s mostly why I’d recommend it especially to folks who enjoy even a respectable dose of admittedly light science fiction.

In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at RLJ Entertainment provided me with a DVD copy of THE COLONY by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon September 8, 2013
We love anything to do with end of the world, apocalypse/survival so let that override our better judgement and we ignored all the reviews that said to wait for this to come out on dvd and not spend money on it. This wasn't a bad movie, but it wasn't that good either and definitely not one that is worth full pre-dvd price. The acting was pretty weak or overdone in parts and the story didn't seem like it was very developed or finished. You are left at the end wondering what happened to the people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Having two well known actors in the lead of "The Colony" doesn't save it from mediocrity. "The Colony" mixes elements from other films into an appealing looking B movie with little ambition or much in the way of character or plot. The film lacks memorable, well developed characters or anything resembling an original plot which puts it in the same category as an original movie you might see on the SyFy channel except lacking the goofiness or outrageous quality of those TV movies.


The most notable thing about "The Colony" are the CG visual effects (quite good), Bill Paxton ("Aliens", "Near Dark") and Laurence Fishburne ("The Matrix", "Man of Steel") play members of a colony isolated and living underground in a world of perpetual winter. When their colony loses contact with another one, Briggs (Fishburne) leads a team to discover what's happened. They find that the other colony has been infiltrated by cannibals.


So why the 2 stars? Although "The Colony" is derivaitive and isn't all that well written, Fishburne, Paxton and the group of supporting actors do a good job with what they are given and the use of CG/make up is impressive.

The single special feature is a 10 minute featurette on the film "The Colony: Behind the Scenes" although you do also get a trio of trailers that play before the film (I don't consider those special features myself. They do include the trailer for the superior "The Numbers Station".

The direction and performances aren't the problem with "The Colony". The cliched script is the problem. Offering nothing fresh and lacking strong character development, "The Colony" comes across as a nice looking b-movie. The image quality (for those interested) is quite good for the DVD and audio is exceptionally good as well but these technical attributes don't save a script that has nothing new to offer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 1, 2013
Quite frankly, I was suckered in by the Fishburn, Patton & Zeggers. This is not worth reviewing but I did spend a few bucks on it and because it didn't pan out - I'm reviewing it.

The good actors weren't enough to turn this project into a great movie. Something was just missing. Filming in the snow in Canada can't be that hard. The special effects were just ok for a TV movie. The story was recycled. I can see that they were going for something different but not totally outlandish but the plot just didn't carry the story. The direction appeared to just be ok. It was almost like some people in Canada said to themselves, "what do we have around here? a few tin sheds, some warehouses, some junk, some old clothes, a few jackets, some chemistry equipment, a vampire makeup set, some ketchup, snow, more snow, some hydroponic equipment, some old rifles.....ok, DONE, let's make a movie!! Can we get Fishburn?"

Basically, this was a B movie all the way around bordering on C.

That said, B movies have come a long way from the garbage sci fi that used to be out there. This is not one of those syfy made for TV movies but it's quite frankly not that much better.

It's quite interesting to see that at least in the realm of sci fi, a great actor does not a great movie make. You need so many things to come together to make a great movie. It's like having a Ferrari stuck on a boat.....Looks pretty but without a track, beautiful mountain road or picturesque city to drive through -- it's not much more than expensive ballast.

My advice, watch it in 10 years at 2am on syfy on a Friday night when you can't sleep.
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