Resident Evil - The High-Definition Trilogy: (Resident Evil / Resident Evil: Apocalypse / Resident Evil: Extinction)
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Something rotten is brewing beneath the industrial mecca known as Raccoon City. Unknown to its millions of residents, a huge underground bioengineering facility known as The Hive has accidentally unleashed the deadly and mutating T-virus, killing all of its employees. To contain the leak, the governing supercomputer, Red Queen, has sealed all entrances and exits. Now a team of highly-trained super commandos including Rain (Michelle Rodriguez - The Fast and the Furious, Girlfight), Alice (Milla Jovovich - The Fifth Element) and Matt (Eric Mabius - Cruel Intentions) must race to penetrate The Hive in order to isolate the T-virus before it overwhelms humanity. To do so, they must get past the Red Queen's deadly defenses, face the flesh-eating undead employees, fight killer mutant dogs, and battle The Licker, a genetically mutated savage beast whose strength increases with each of its slain victims.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
After narrowly escaping the horrors of the underground Hive facility, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is quickly thrust back into a war raging above ground between the living and the Undead. As the city is locked down under quarantine, Alice joins a small band of elite soldiers, led by Valentine (Sienna Guillory, Love, Actually) and Carlos (Oded Fehr, The Mummy Returns), enlisted to rescue the missing daughter of Dr. Ashford, the creator of the mutating T-virus. It's a heart-pounding race against time as the group faces off against hordes of blood- thirsty zombies, stealthy Lickers, mutant canines and the most sinister foe yet. Written and produced by the visionary director of Resident Evil, Paul W.S. Anderson (Alien Vs. Predator) and directed by Alexander Witt, Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a superior sci-fi suspense sequel.
Resident Evil: Extinction
Milla Jovovich is back in the third chapter of the hugely successful Resident Evil franchise. This action-packed horror film is set in the Nevada desert and filled with intense special effects and more zombie terror.
Las Vegas means fun in the sun. Well? at least the sun is still there. Except for a few rusting landmarks, it looks pretty much like the rest of the desert - or the whole country, for that matter. The crowds are now flesh-eating zombies: the mass undead, the oozing, terrifying sludge of what remains. Here, the newly upgraded Alice, along with her crew (Oded Fehr, Mike Epps, Ali Larter, Ashanti) will make a final stand against evil - with one goal: to turn the undead dead again.
Marilyn Manson worked on the soundtrack, so it's no surprise that Resident Evil is best enjoyed by headbangers, goth guys, and PlayStation junkies. Like the interactive game it's based on, this horror hybrid pits a small band of SWAT-like commandos (including Milla Jovovich and Girlfight's Michelle Rodriguez) against a ravenous hoard of zombies, resulting in a gorefest that only sociopaths could love. The tenacious heroes are trapped inside the Hive--an underground complex where an evil corporation conducts illegal research with a deadly virus--and the zombies (reanimated corpses of sacrificed employees) are fodder for endless rounds of gunfire. It's utter nonsense (not unlike director Paul W.S. Anderson's previous Event Horizon), so your best defense is to wallow in it or avoid this trash altogether. A few cool sequences are borrowed from better films (that slice-and-dice laser is cribbed from the 1998 Canadian shocker Cube), but if you're in the mood for heavy-metal carnage, this movie's for you. --Jeff Shannon
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
2002's popular video-game-derived hit Resident Evil didn't inspire confidence in a sequel, but Resident Evil: Apocalypse defies odds and surpasses expectations. It's a bigger, better, action-packed zombie thriller, and this time Milla Jovovich (as the first film's no-nonsense heroine) is joined by more characters from the popular Capcom video games, including Jill Valentine (played by British hottie Sienna Guillory) and Carlos Olivera (Oded Fehr, from 1999's The Mummy). They're armed and ready for a high-caliber encounter with devil dogs, mutant "Lickers," lurching zombies, and the leather-clad monster known only as Nemesis, unleashed by the nefarious Umbrella Corporation responsible for creating the cannibalistic undead horde. Having gained valuable experience as a respected second-unit director on high-profile films like Gladiator and The Bourne Identity, director Alexander Witt elevates this junky material to the level of slick, schlocky entertainment. --Jeff Shannon
Resident Evil: Extinction
The third installment in the massively popular film series based on Capcom's zombie horror/science fiction games, Resident Evil: Extinction brings the world to an end, not with a whimper but a bang, as Milla Jovovich's Alice pits her bio-organic superskills against armies of the undead in a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas. Also on hand is a more grown-up version of the games' Claire Redfield (played by Heroes' Ali Larter), who leads a convoy of humans (among them Resident Evil vets Oded Fehr and Mike Epps, who reprise their roles as Carlos and LJ, as well as newcomers Ashanti and Spencer Locke) in search of sanctuary; meanwhile, sinister Umbrella Corporation scientist Dr. Sam Isaacs (Iain Glen) seeks a cure for the zombie virus outbreak via Alice's blood, which he taps via a lab full of clones. Subtlety has never been the Resident Evil series' strong suit, but it's hard to argue against Extinction's breakneck pace and impressive CG special effects; director Russell Mulcahy (the Highlander series) lends a lot of verve to the proceedings, and the script by producer Paul W.S. Anderson pulls in agreeable touches from The Road Warrior and Day of the Dead. A hit during the summer of 2007, Extinction should please series devotees and action-horror fans alike; the DVD includes commentary by Mulcahy, Anderson, and co-producer Jeremy Bolt, as well as several making-of featurettes, and a glimpse at the next entry in the Resident Evil franchise, the CG-only Degeneration. -- Paul Gaita
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Resident Evil really started the resurgence in Zombie movies/TV shows. When the original came out there had not really been anything in the genre for a fairly long while. And while I would not say any of the movies are as good as The Walking Dead, or even IZombie, if you accept them for what they are, and what they are not, they are enjoyable action packed movies.
Of course, the series is based on the video game of the same name. The first movie is actually a prequel to the events of the original game, where we learn exactly how the T-Virus that causes the zombie epidemic is released. The second movie is set shortly after the events of the game and really center on the effort to control the outbreak, and the third movie, Extinction, is set many years after the outbreak when the epidemic has spread.
The main character of the films is Alice, played by Milla Jovovich. The other films have rotated supporting cast and characters, but hers is the constant, and she is essentially superhuman after being exposed to the virus. She is intent on taking down the Umbrella Corporation, which created the virus, and the various levels of bad guys. You really do not need to know much about the plot from there, aside from the fact that it involves evading zombies that are becoming more and more powerful. I have never played the games, so I am not sure how much they differ or how much people who are hardcore fans of the game would be upset by what has been changed, but like I said earlier if you accept that it is an action movie based on killing zombies, and will never win any awards for acting, directing or writing, although for the genre I think all are fine in the movies, you can enjoy them.
The movies look and sound great on Blu-Ray. The special features are very similar for each movie. At least 1 commentary track on the movies, deleted scenes and a lot of behind the scenes and making of features. If you like listening to the commentary tracks, the ones Milla Jovovich does are pretty hilarious. She totally does not take herself seriously, but you can tell she was very into the movies and what she was doing. All in all you get a good hour plus of bonus features for each movie. If you are a fan of action/horror movies they are worth checking out.
As a published horror author myself, one who has little tolerance for zombie stories/films, I have to admit these films are an exception. Much of the credit goes to Milla Jovovich as Alice, the lead in all six films. The zombies are always there, but the acting is excellent and the storyline intriguing. The supporting actors are nearly all great too. Sorry Oded didn't make it to the fourth film as there seemed to be a budding love interest between him and Alice.
As to this trilogy of the first three films, the first is not in the same widescreen as the other two, but I didn't notice any difference, thus I don't regret getting the three as a set. The extras are all included for each film as well. Not to mention it's cheaper to buy the three DVDs together than separately.
This is a good deal and the movies are worth watching again, despite parts being familiar. I enjoy this series and hate to see it end. I'm sure Milla will do more good stuff, however. She is amazing! The only film she starred in that I really disliked was the Joan of Arc "bio"; Milla's acting was great, but the film is depressing, ugly, dark and miserable to sit through (not Milla's fault, however!).
This is one of the few times where the sequels keep evolving with the players. We both felt the stories and performances get better with each film, and although this review is for just the trilogy set, after seeing the fourth one I will be ordering it soon. If you are a Jovovich fan, an action fan or just a fan of the "Resident Evil" movies, I recommend adding this set to your collection. If you like a bunch of special features, however, you may want to order the separate movies with the additional DVD, the special features reels are not included in this collection.