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Mutant Chronicles (2-Disc Collector's Edition) (DC)
DVD disk
08.17.2009 By: J.A. Hamilton
Mutant Chronicles (2-Disc Collector's Edition) (DC) order download
Director:
Simon Hunter

Actors:
Thomas Jane
Ron Pearlman
Devon Aoki

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
In the year 2707, with the entire world at war, an ancient machine with the power to mutate all mankind is unearthed and begins our countdown to extinction. But a mysterious priest believes he and a handful of soldiers may be able to destroy the machine and save the world.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I’m a big Sci-Fi fan and as a result was looking forward to MUTANT CHRONICLES since first catching the trailer. I missed it in theaters (it didn’t hit my city), so again, I was happy to see it in my review bundle. I enjoyed the flick (a lot actually) though I wasn’t at all surprised as I was instantly sold once I saw Thomas Jane got the lead. Jane’s a solid actor and quite underrated (and underused) in my opinion. I was happy he passed on the last PUNISHER flick (lets face it, it was awful), and I enjoy his HBO series HUNG about as much as a straight guy CAN enjoy a show about a male escort. Jane fits back into his action shoes extremely well, and scores about as high on the “BAD ASS” meter as any leading man can these days.

The story was cool, but the true glamor was in the details. I loved the idea of a mutant making machine dropping out of space for no other reason than to piss in earth's cornflakes. The religious “knights of the round table” angle was also pretty sweet as was the futuristic gear and weaponry. And to be perfectly honest, those things are what kept me interested because once you peel those layers away, this flick is just another “US vs THEM” battle set in an apocalyptic future with a gang of unlikely heroes who all die gruesome deaths at the hands of crazy monsters. All but one of course. The good news is, the angle writer Philip Eisner (EVENT HORIZON) throws our way is brilliant, considering the “war movie” backdrop.

Thomas Jane may have led the cast, but he was far from the only player worth mentioning. I dig Ron Pearlman as well, and it was cool to see him reunited with his HELLBOY 2 counterpart, Anna Walton, who’s swordplay was a force to be reckoned with! She wasn’t the only killer chick on board either, Devon Aoki also whooped a shitload of ass! I’m both angered and confused at how John Malkovich only seems to show up by way of cheesy cameos lately. Find your damn spine John, you’re better than that! The insane visuals made me wish I was watching this film on Blu Ray. And aside from the blood (which looked like it was added with Photoshop paint), everything from the sets to the makeup was top notch and not only stood out, but gave this flick the exact touch of eeriness needed to get under your skin.

There doesn’t seem to be enough good Sci-Fi stuff hitting the streets these days, and it’s a damn shame. PANDORUM looks awesome and Jim Caviezel’s OUTLANDER was a fantastic breath of fresh air. This film belongs in that neighborhood, but (and I hate to say it) the blood thing DOES hold it back. If there wasn’t so much blood in the film, it wouldn’t be as noticeable and as a result might not be an issue. But there’s LOTS of blood, and when you see it, flashes of GHOSTS OF MARS may or may not come to mind (no, that’s not a good thing). MUTANT CHRONICLES is still a fun as hell way to kill two hours, especially if mindless, gore-filled action is your thing. Sure, it’s completely predictable from start to finish, but if you’re a fan of the genre, the journey should put a big ol smile on your face.
THE EXTRAS
Disc One:

Commentary by Director Simon Hunter and Ron Perlman: The director’s cut ended up with eleven more minutes, which Mr. Hunter was more than happy to point out. He also tells us how he dropped all mention of the date and year, assuming the audience would “get” that it takes place in the future. Pearlman sounds bored as hell with this commentary.

Disc Two:

The Making of Mutant Chronicles: A Documentary: A lengthy look into the pre-production of this flick and all the elements surrounding it. I loved the makeup details the most, the idea behind the staples was a nice touch.

Deleted Scenes: There are six in all, and I’m thinking they could’ve all stayed in (a couple even help shape the plot). What I don’t understand is, if these guys beat the mutants in past with nothing but swords, why can’t they win with high tech weapons?

Green Screen & Storyboard Comparisons: They bring three scenes on paper to life, and in perfect detail I might add. I always love watching these.

Promotional Teaser Short Film: This is what you might call a seven minute prologue, which sheds a bit more light on the situation. There’s an optional commentary, but the film itself is pretty self-explanatory.

Making of Promotional Teaser Short Film: A quick three minute behind the scenes peek at the teaser. I’m loving this promo teaser concept, and hope to see more of this in the future.

Interviews with Cast and Crew: A half hour of interviews that surprisingly cover all the cast, rather than just the leads. I laughed my ass off when the director talked about how he went out of his way to insure the mutants didn’t look like “creatures or zombies”. Ummm, OK.

HDNet: A Look at Mutant Chronicles: This is more of an extended trailer than anything else, with an intro by the director. It’s also spliced with pieces of the cast and crew interviews, which is kinda lame considering it’s under five minutes long.

Storyboards: Nearly a hundred scenes drawn up “comic book” style. Again, I’m always impressed by the realism of these things.

Concept Art: Another fifty pics, though these ones are in color and much more vivid. All I can say is, I don’t know who the director was kidding when he said these things weren’t creature or zombie like.

Visual Effects: A quick two and a half minute look at some of the film’s props and sets. The visuals were arguably one of this film’s strongest qualities.

Comic-Con Panel Q&A: A ten minute Q&A session with cast and crew at Comic-Con. I love Thomas Jane and all, but MAN does he look strung out here. It’s quite hilarious.

Webisodes: There’s twelve in all, each showing a brief two minute taste of the film. I’m all for these internet web-episodes, and if you’re looking for a good one to watch, check out THE BLACK DAWN.

Mutant Chronicles Trailer: It’s the trailer in all it’s “R” rated glory. There’s also two trailers and a commercial that play at the beginning of each discs. Not sure why they doubled up.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Despite being a combination of at least five other movies, MUTANT CHRONICLES does exactly what it sets out to: deliver an action extravaganza of epic proportions! Loved the cast, loved the action, and from where I’m sitting, there’s not much more you can expect from a flick like this. Fans of the genre will get their money’s worth here.

Extra Tidbit: Thomas Jane definitely f*cked shit up and even lived to tell about it. But after receiving that “facial”, I’m pretty sure his HUNG days are over.
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