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PULSE (UNRATED)
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Reviewed by: Willard

Directed by: Jim Sonzero

Starring:
Kristen Bell
Ian Somerhalder
Christina Milian

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
College students stumble upon a pathway that connects the world of the dead to the world of the living, via wi-fi signals and “appliances”.
Is it good movie?
It’s ironic how this movie is titled Pulse when it clearly demonstrated no signs of life. First off, be warned: this is essentially a teen idol showcase disguised as a horror film. It's aimed at a young audience and is definitely not for mature horror fans. Oh! Did I forget to mention that it’s also a remake of the Asian cult favorite “Kairo”? Well, it is.

The flick offered no surprises, was generic and fairly forgettable. The first twenty minutes showed promise, but the rest quickly embraced the usual run of the mill genre “clichés” and my interest flew right out the window, so much so that I started thinking of my favorite scenes from Alf...oh god I miss Alf. Every plot line felt rushed to me, but the one with Mattie (Bell) and Dexter (Somerhalder) was especially laughable. I would have loved to get more background info on Josh, he was definitely my favorite character, Christina Milian’s fine booty aside of course.

The color filter visual aesthetics, though interesting at first, quickly became overused and tiresome. There were some potentially very creepy scenes that could have been frightening, but by now if you’re familiar with J-horror you'll probably see them coming like I did. While watching Pulse, I could have sworn that I felt death trying to snag me at least 6 times out of my TV screen, so I figured I’d turn off the tube and live another week or so, then realized that it wasn't death calling, I was just bored silly and had to hit the bathroom.

As far as the cast was concerned, Ian Somerhalder (Dexter), Kristen Bell (Mattie), Christina Milian (Isabell), did the best they could with the material they were handed. Unfortunately nothing in this Teen Beat magazine vehicle ranked any higher than average. The only exception would be Jonathan Tucker (Josh), but unfortunately his character was underused and underdeveloped. The overall special effects were pretty good, but when it came to CGI, it was pretty mediocre. As for the score, it was fitting, but it didn't add much to the movie.

Once again a big studio tries to impress us with the “Unrated” mention, when in reality it’s about as unrated as Cheaper by the Dozen. You get a chance to see Kristen Bell in a bra, other then that we get nothing, no blood and no gore. Maybe it would have been a better film if the studio had gone for an R rating from the get-go, but that would've meant casting for adults, losing Ian Somerhalder and losing thousands of teenage female fans. So this is what we got!
Video / Audio
Video: A great looking Widescreen 2.35:1

Audio: Presented in English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1) as well as English & Spanish subtitles.
The Extras
Two commentaries tracks with the filmmakers: The one with Director Jim Sonrezo and Special Makeup Effects Designer Gary Tunnicliffe was pretty standard fare, you get the usual comments on the production.

The other one was with Producers Mike Leahy and Joel Soisson, Actor Samm Levine, Visual Effects Supervisor Kevin O’Neill, Editor Kirk Morri and Line Producer Ron Vecchiarelli. I got a few laughs as well as some compelling insight on the production.

Deleted/Additional scenes: 6 extra cutting room floor scenes that didn't make a difference as to the film itself. The alternate ending was about as bad as the original ending.

“Creating the Fear” Making Pulse (7.02): The typical “Behind the scenes” formula. An uninteresting look at an uninteresting movie.

The Visual Effects of Pulse (5.57): A glimpse at the technical stuff and crew responsible for the film’s visual effect. It was slick to see how some of the effects were done - for those of you who are actually interested in how the magic gets made, you'll get a kick out of this feature.

Pulse and the Paranormal (4.23): A little documentary on some paranormal activities. Nowhere near as interesting as the title would suggest. Ghostly flashes, witness accounts of paranormal activities, nothing you didn’t already see on Unsolved Mysteries.

Theatrical Trailers (2.32): Included here is the trailer you have probably seen online 362 times already.

Last Call
Pulse was not my kind of thing, but I'm sure that it will find its niche with teenage audiences of the world. If I was a 15 years old girl, "I would like totally dig it!”.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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