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December 25th, 2016 Movie – Resident Evil: Retribution

resident-evil-retribution

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Festivus, or whatever holiday you happen to celebrate. Hopefully everyone is having or did have a great day with family or friends. Well, today I will be finishing up the Resident Evil series with the latest movie available on DVD, with the newest one in the series due in theaters next month. Down the road, the only question there will be is whether or not I will see the last movie in theaters but for now, the question is how well do I like today’s movie, Resident Evil: Retribution.

The plot: Picking up where the last movie ended, the Arcadia is attacked by a fleet of aircraft, led by a mind controlled Jill Valentine, with the survivors either being killed or captured and Alice is flung from the deck of the ship by an explosion, while Claire, Chris, and K-Mart’s fates are left unknown. When Alice regains consciousness, she finds herself married to a man named Todd (who looks like Carlos Olivera) and they have a daughter named Becky. Choosing to believe that everything had been a dream, Alice quickly accepts the new reality and her family when suddenly, zombies attack and kill Todd. Alice grabs Becky and they escape the house, where they find the entire neighborhood in chaos. As they start to run, they are almost run over by a woman, who tells them to get in and they drive off but when the car is struck by a bus, Alice and Becky leave the car and continue running. Taking shelter inside a house, Alice hides Becky and manages to kill a zombie that followed them but when she turns around, she sees a zombie Todd standing there and he suddenly attacks her. Alice suddenly wakes up inside an Umbrella testing facility, where Jill Valentine repeatedly questions and tortures her. Some time later, the main computer is shut down, allowing Alice to escape her cell and make it outside before the system reboots and she is killed by the laser grid. Outside, she is shocked to find herself in Tokyo and uses a bike chain lock to smash a police cars window and grab the gun from inside. Suddenly, she hears a voice saying to begin Tokyo simulation and people suddenly appear as Alice witnesses the zombie infection hitting Tokyo. When the zombies start chasing after her, Alice runs into a new corridor and kills some of the zombies but finding herself about to be overwhelmed, she rushes to a door at the back of the corridor and makes it inside before it closes. Alice finds herself inside a control room, where everyone inside has been killed. As a weapons panel opens up, Alice starts to arm herself when a woman approaches her. The two briefly fight before they end up at a standoff and the woman starts to introduce herself but Alice stops her, saying she knows that she is Ada Wong, an Umbrella Corp agent from Tokyo who works for Albert Wesker. Wesker suddenly appears on a communication screen and starts talking to Alice, saying that humanity faces extinction and that they have to work together to save it. Wesker tells Alice that she is in Umbrella Prime, the testing facility where they used clones to show simulated zombie outbreaks to countries in order to sell the weapon. The base is located in an old Russian naval yard and Wesker says he has hired a team to help them escape to the surface. On the surface, the team is led by Leon S. Kennedy and contains Luther West, Alice’s ally that survived the prison in Los Angeles. Wesker explains that the Red Queen has taken control of Umbrella and is sending Jill Valentine and her team after her and says she has to escape before he is kicked out of the computer system and the Red Queen appears on the screen, telling Alice and Ada to stay where they are but when they choose to leave, says they will all die there. Alice and Ada enter the New York testing room, where the Red Queen sends two of the giant Axemen to kill them but they manage to evade the monsters then kill them by blowing up a taxi that their axes got stuck in. The two make their way to the Suburbia test site and enter one of the houses, where Alice sees a clone of herself that was used in the simulation. After killing a zombie cop, Alice encounters Becky, who believes Alice is her mom from the simulation. Ada explains about the clones and how they are essentially grown to be used for simulations but Alice decides to take Becky with them. As they go to leave the house, they encounter Jill and her security team, which also includes clones of Rain Ocampo, James “One” Shade, and Carlos Olivera, which forces Alice to tell Becky that it is not her father. Alice and Ada begin shooting at the security team and before they are overwhelmed, Ada gives Alice a pair of glasses that will help them find the exit, telling her to escape while she holds the team off before making her own escape. As they head into the subway tunnels connecting to the Moscow area, and encounter the clone of Rain, who was driving the car that Becky and her mom was in. Becky tells Alice that she is a friend and, as they hear explosions nearby, Alice gives the clone one of her guns and has her watch Becky while she goes to investigate. Meanwhile, the extraction team is making their way through the Moscow simulation area when they come under attack by zombie soldiers, who begin shooting at them. One of the team is killed with a chainsaw but the others manage to escape only to encounter a giant Licker, which kills the team’s computer expert. As the Licker moves to attack the rest of the team, Alice hits it with a car and rescues the surviving members; Leon, Luther, and Barry. As they make their escape, they are forced to deal with more of the zombies as well as the Licker but Alice manages to drive the car back into the subway tunnel, knocking out several support columns during the crash which buries the Licker in a cave in. Reconnecting with Becky and Rain, Alice uses her glasses to lead the group to the submarine pens but when they reach the elevator, the Red Queen cuts the power to the area. As Leon, Luther, and Alice work on getting the power restored, the giant Licker shows up, injuring Barry and killing the Rain clone while grabbing Becky and dragging her up the elevator shaft. Alice moves to go after it and Leon argues against it but decides to stand aside and let her go. Suddenly, they are attacked by Jill and the security team and Luther is shot in the arm but tells Alice to keep going while he, Leon, and Barry hold off the security team. Alice climbs up the shaft to the level the Licker took Beck and after finding them, manages to kill the Licker, then frees Becky from the pod she was trapped in, as well as grabbing the explosives from Leon’s team member that the Licker had killed earlier. As they make their way back to the others, the pass through a room filled with various clones and when she sees all of the clones of Alice, Becky asks if Alice is her real mommy and Alice says she is now, then sets the explosives just as the Licker returns, then uses Ada’s grappling gun to escape the explosion, which kills the Licker and destroys the clones. Back in the sub pen, Barry tells Leon and Luther to head for the elevator while he holds off the security team and manages to kill the clone of Shade before he is killed. When the explosives the team planted earlier explode, water comes flooding into killing the security team, including the clone of Carlos, while Luther and Leon make it out on the elevator, meeting up with Alice and Becky as they head up the shaft. Reaching the surface, they get into the snowmobile and head for their rendezvous when they are knocked over by a surfacing sub, containing Jill, a captive Ada, and the evil Rain clone, who injects herself with the Las Plagas parasite which gives her super strength and renders her practically immortal. As Alice and Jill begin to fight, Leon and Luther take on Rain but she easily overpowers them and manages to kill Luther by punching him in the chest hard enough to stop his heart. Jill manages to overpower Alice and receives orders from the Red Queen to kill her but Alice manages to rip of the spider robot and destroy it, freeing Jill from the Red Queen’s control. As Rain goes to kill Leon, Alice shoots her and starts to fight her but realizing she is outmatched, she shoots the ice under Rain’s feet, sending her plunging into the water, where the zombies escaping from the lab are seen swimming up and the quickly grab Rain and kill her. Alice passes out as the helicopter arrives but comes too while on board to find Becky sitting next to her and Jill approaching and the two friends are glad to see each other. Reaching the White House, Alice is lead into the Oval Office where she finds Wesker sitting behind the desk. Wesker quickly injects her with the T-virus, explaining that he needed her full powers to help the last remaining humans survive, then takes Alice, Leon, Jill, and Ada outside, where they see a heavily fortified wall around the White House, with Umbrella Corp and military troops working together to guard it as a horde of infected and mutated creatures come bearing down on the stronghold.

While Resident Evil: Retribution did meet with negative reviews from the critics, it did have the highest rating out of all of the sequels, with it’s 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes being just 3% off from the original movie. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Resident Evil: Retribution offers everything one might reasonably expect from the fifth installment in a heavily action-dependent franchise — which means very little beyond stylishly hollow CGI-enhanced set pieces.” Aside from using several influences from the 4th and 5th video games in the series, such as the Las Pargas parasite and Alice and Ada’s first meeting, the film was also influenced by several science fiction movies, while the fight scenes were influenced with Asian martial arts films, especially Thai movies. The movie would be a box office hit, earning $240.2 million off of a $65 million budget.

As far as an open ended finale, this would have been pretty good but as yet another in a series, it’s only decent. The acting was ok, with Milla Jovovich doing a good job as the serious Alice but also as the suburban clone version of herself, but, with the exception of Boris Kodjoe (Luther), I was honestly disappointed with most of the people that had come back to reprise roles in this movie, especially Michelle Rodriguez. The story was interesting, mixing elements of a prison break into the typical zombie movie. The special effects were actually pretty good in this movie, a lot better than some of the previous entries and even the times that they slowed things down to help exaggerate the 3D elements really weren’t that bad. A fun movie to watch that actually makes you interested in what they will do for a finale.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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December 24th, 2016 Movie – Resident Evil: Afterlife

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My apologies for the lateness of this post but some priorities came up today. First off, some of my friends and I decided to continue a trend of watching the newest Star Wars movie on an early showing Christmas Eve morning. Then, since I got out in time, I went and watched the Falcon’s game with my friends Charles and Paula, which Atlanta won. So now, almost 9 hours after I finished watching it, I am able to finish writing the review for today’s movie, Resident Evil: Afterlife.

The plot: 4 years after Tokyo fell to the zombie biohazard, Umbrella Corporation’s underground Tokyo facility comes under attack by Alice and her clones. The army makes it’s way through Umbrella’s security forces and heads towards the command room, where Alice confront’s Albert Wesker, the head of Umbrella, who manages to shoot her but when he turns her over, she releases the grenade she was holding. Managing to survive the explosion and seeing more clones coming towards him, Wesker heads for a tiltrotor plane and escapes, then activates a bomb which destroys the lab, and all of the clones, leaving a massive sinkhole behind. As he flies away, the real Alice had managed to board the plane beforehand and confronts him, only for Wesker to jab a syringe into her neck. The injection removed the T-virus from Alice’s body, taking away her powers and rendering her human again. Wesker then proceeds to beat down Alice but before he kills her, the plane crashes and Alice manages to survive and walk away. 6 months later, Alice heads up to Alaska in search of Arcadia, the supposed safe haven that Claire and the other survivors had gone to. Landing the small plane she flew at the coordinates, Alice finds a field full of abandoned aircraft and heads towards the nearby shore, where the Umbrella helicopter is sitting. Exploring the helicopter, she finds the journal that she gave K-Mart before the survivors flew off but no sign of any life. As Alice begins making an entry in her video journal, someone runs off behind her and she chases the figure back to the airfield. The figure attacks Alice but she manages to knock the person out and discovers that it is Claire Redfield with some sort of robotic spider-like device on her chest. Alice removes the device but though it pacifies her, it also gives Claire amnesia. Taking Claire with her, Alice decides to fly down along the coast until they reach Los Angeles. Seeing signs of survivors on the roof of a prison, Alice flies in for a closer look to find the place completely surrounded by zombies. As the survivors look on, Alice buzzes the roof, indicating she is attempting to land on it, and the survivors clear the roof so she can land, then keep the plane from tilting off of the roof’s edge. When Alice and Claire exit the plane, Luther West, the leader of the survivors, and the others ask if she is there to take them to Arcadia and when Alice asks what they know about Arcadia, she learns that it isn’t a town in Alaska, but a ship that sails along the coast. When Alice mentions this to Claire, Claire says she remembers people coming to the beach from Arcadia to help them but doesn’t remember much else. Alice is introduced to the rest of the survivors (Crystal, Bennett, Angel, Kim Yong) as well as Wendell, who is in the basement guarding a man locked in a special cell. As Luther and Wendell investigate some noises coming from the walls, the prisoner introduces himself to Alice, saying his name is Chris and that he is not a prisoner. He tells Claire that he knows a way out of the prison so they can get to Arcadia but Luther returns and says not to trust him. Later, Claire is going to take a shower but hears a noise and finds Wendell attempting to watch her. As she forces him to leave, some strange zombies attack, having dug a tunnel up through the sewers, and Alice manages to kill two of them but Wendell is dragged back down the tunnel by a third one. When the others come down to investigate, Bennett says they should take Alice’s plane and fly people one at a time to Arcadia but Alice refuse to leave unless they all leave at once. With no choice left, they decide to free Chris and uses his way out of the prison. When he sees Claire, Chris approaches her, saying he is her brother but Claire has no memory of him and Alice explains about her amnesia. Heading outside, Chris directs them to a large door, where he says an Urban Pacification Vehicle is stored and says that they can use it to ride out over the zombies. Realizing that they will need more weapons once they get outside, Chris suggests raiding the armory when suddenly, there is a pounding at the gate and they see a massive zombie carrying an axe/sledgehammer attacking the gate. Chris, Alice, and Crystal head to the armory while Luther and Claire try to reinforce the gate and Angel cuts the lock off the door for the UPV. With the lower levels flooded, Claire and the others are forced to swim down to the armory but when they get there, Crystal is attacked and killed by some zombies and Alice and Chris are forced to hide inside the armory. Angel manages to open the door but when they see the engine for the UPV has been disassembled, Bennett shoots Angel and decides to fly off in Alice’s plane. Claire and Luther do their best to brace the gate and Luther tries shooting the giant in the head but it doesn’t die and continues attacking until it eventually knocks the gate down. Alice and Chris escape the armory through the airducts and hear the plane starting up so they quickly head for the roof. The see Bennett aboard the plane but he shoots at them as they try to stop him and takes off, nearly crashing before he pulls the plane up and heads for Arcadia. As the zombies swarm the rooftop, Alice has the others get into the cargo elevator and head to the shower room, setting off an explosive to send the elevator to the lower levels, then she rapells down after them while leaving another charge to kill the zombies. Heading for the shower room, Alice plans to use the tunnel the zombies made to reach the sewers, and then the sea. Chris and Luther go first to make sure the tunnel is safe and Alice and Claire try to get Kim Yong to go next but he is too scared to go. Suddenly, the giant appears and chops Kim Yong in half, then attacks Alice and Claire. Alice attacks the creature but is knocked unconscious and Claire attacks the creature to keep it away from Alice, seemingly killing it but when it gets back on it’s feet and throws it’s axe at the two women, they duck and Alice blows it’s head off with a shotgun. They head down the tunnel and reach the sewer but before Luther can jump down, he is attacked by some zombies and dragged back up the tunnel. Unable to help him, Alice, Claire, and Chris make their way through the sewer towards the coast and grab a boat to head to Arcadia. On board, they find the wreckage of the plane, indicating that Bennett made it there but find no signs of life. On the bridge, the log indicates the crew abandoned ship 3 days ago but that there are over 2000 survivors on board and Claire regains her memory of what happened on the beach. Heading into the cargo hold, they locate the survivors, who are held in stasis pods for experimentation, and free K-Mart. Alice keeps looking around and finds another cargo hold, where she discovers Wesker has managed to survive. She goes to shoot him when Bennett appears, now working for Wesker, and he has her drop her guns. Wesker explains that the T-virus kept him alive but it is too strong and fighting him for control. He thought that if he ate fresh human DNA it would balance things out but it failed. Since Alice is the only person that successfully bonded with the T-virus, he figures eating her will cure him. However, Claire and Chris show up and begin fighting with Wesker, while Alice deals with two infected dogs and Bennett. Bennett manages to stab Alice but K-mart appears and knocks him out, then throws Alice her shotgun, which she uses to shoot Wesker, then Claire and Chris empty their clips into him in order to keep him down. Alice and the others lock Bennett in the hold with Wesker’s body while they free the others but Wesker revives and eats Bennett, then escapes in another tiltrotor plane. As he leaves, he triggers a purge bomb aboard the ship but Alice had placed the bomb on board the plane beforehand so the plane explodes instead but Wesker manages to parachute to safety. Seeing all the survivors on board, Alice decides to make Arcadia a true safe haven, broadcasting a new message over the radio. Luther, makes it out of the sewers, having survived the zombies that attacked him but as he stares at Arcadia, he sees a fleet of Umbrella planes heading towards the ship, with a mind-controlled Jill Valentine leading an armed Umbrella team and telling them to shoot to kill.

Much like it’s predecessors, Resident Evil: Afterlife met with poor results from the critics, holding a 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “As dim-witted and lifeless as its undead antagonists, Resident Evil: Afterlife is a wholly unnecessary addition to the franchise.” While initially announced to open in August of 2010, the release date would be changed several times before it was finally released in September of 2010. IT was released on 4700 theaters, over 2000 of which were 3D capable, making it one of the biggest 3D releases at the time. The movie was a hit at the box office, earning $296.2 million off of a $60 million budget, which made this the highest grossing movie in the franchise, but most of this is attributed to the higher cost of 3D tickets as it would actually have the lowest opening weekend attendance of the series at the time.

I know that in late 2009/early 2010, 3D movies were the new big thing, but this is a movie that didn’t really need to go that route. Actually, I kind of wished that they had not made this movie because this was one of the worst of the bunch. The acting was really decent from some characters, but incredibly bad from others. Milla Jovovich (Alice) and Ali Larter (Claire) did a good job in their roles and actually pulled off better performances than they did in the previous movie. I also liked Wentworth Miller (Chris), Boris Kodjoe (Luther), and Kim Coates (Bennett) in their roles but I thought Shawn Roberts (Wesker) was absolutely terrible, especially because he came across as a poor man’s Agent Smith from The Matrix. The story was interesting, especially the idea of the safe haven being a ship, as well as it being a setup for Umbrella to capture people for experimenting. The special effects were pretty good as far as the zombies go, but the thing that I honestly hated was the majority of the 3D effects. Now some of the subtle scenes were actually really good, especially the scene of the burnt out Los Angeles, with the ash drifting up on the screen making for a really haunting visual. But all of the action scenes that the used them on were slowed down so you could REALLY see the 3D effect, which completely killed the flow of the movie almost every time. I like the new 3D technology in movies but this is definitely a case where less would have been better. So kudos to the movie making a lot of money, but it would have been better if the movie had been a lot better.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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December 23rd, 2016 Movie – Resident Evil: Extinction

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I have noticed a slight pattern with this series of movies. Even though I enjoy watching the movies, I ave yet to see one in the theaters. I can honestly attribute this to a number of factors. Monetary reasons are one, as going to the movies tends to be more and more expensive and for a while, money was kind of tight. The other reason is that there have been a lot of movies coming out and I would probably go see something else that I was more interested in seeing. Regardless, the movies get their money from me so it is all good in the end. So let’s get right into today’s movie, Resident Evil: Extinction.

The plot: A naked Alice wakes up in the shower in the mansion above the Hive in Raccoon City. After getting dressed, she starts to explore and suddenly finds herself in the corridor in front of the Red Queen’s chamber. When the laser defense activates, Alice manages to avoid it by climbing up into the air ducts, where she keeps moving forward to the next grate. Dropping down, she finds herself in a white, hospital like hallway and, grabbing a gurney, she begins running towards a nearby window when a hidden guillotine cuts the gurney in two. Alice continues exploring but triggers another booby trap, which activates a “Bouncing Betty” style device that fires a circular volley of bullets, catching her in the stomach. As Alice lies dying, Dr. Sam Isaacs, the head of Program Alice, orders the two men with him to take a sample of her blood, then dump the body so they can start again. Later, the two men carry the body up to the surface, with the entrance hidden inside a shack, and dump her in a ditch with dozens of other Alice’s, revealing that the body was a clone, as a large fence keeps the horde of zombies from entering the area. In a voice-over, Alice explains that the infection was not contained in Raccoon City and within a month, the infection spread across the world and the Earth ended up becoming a barren wasteland. What few survivors that remain tend to keep moving and stay out of large cities. Alice (the real one) shows up at a abandoned radio station outside of Salt Lake City, responding to a distress call from someone trapped inside. When she enters the building, she discovers that it was a trap set up by a group of bandits that issue the fake distress call to kill and steal from people. Alice kills one of the men that attempts to rape her but she is knocked unconscious and dropped down a hole into the basement. Regaining consciousness, she sees the rest of the bandits mocking her as they release infected dogs to attack her. Alice kills some of the dogs, then uses the others to take out a support beam, dropping part of the ceiling which allows her to make her escape, as well as letting the dogs attack the bandits. Back at the underground Umbrella lab, Isaacs attends a meeting with holographic images of the various leaders of Umbrella facilities as well as Albert Wesker, the head of the Umbrella Corporation. Isaacs explains that he believes he can “domesticate and train” the zombies but they would need the real Alice to be able to develop a cure but Wesker tells him that until the know exactly where Alice is, they can’t waste the resources to find her and to keep using the clones instead. Meanwhile, Carlos Olivera and LJ have managed to hook up with a group of survivors led by Claire Redfield and are in the region close to Alice. Seeing a hotel nearby where they can make camp and look for supplies, Carlos and LJ go check it out but while they are there, LJ is attacked by some zombies and kills one of them while Carlos kills the other. Signaling the others that it is all clear, the rest of the convoy comes down to look for supplies. Nurse Betty, who is romantically linked with LJ, tends to a cut on his head but after she leaves, LJ lifts his shirt to reveal that he was bit when he was attacked. After the group sets up a perimeter with motion sensors, they settle in for the night, broadcasting their location on the radio, which Alice overhears. As Alice settles down for the night, she has dreams/images of herself being experimented on and accidentally uses her telekinetic powers in her sleep, destroying her bike. The signals are picked up by Umbrella’s AI, the White Queen, who alerts Isaacs to them. The next morning, Claire and her group notice a large murder of crows surrounding them and realize the crows are infected from feeding on the zombie’s bodies. Claire decides to try and leave but when the crows cause the bus to wreck, they head back to rescue the people inside. One of the men uses a flamethrower mounted on a truck to try and fight off the crows while they people are loaded into the other vehicles but the man is killed, as are Nurse Betty, Otto (the bus driver) and some other people. When Carlos tries to save a girl from the flamethrower, the flames suddenly stop and he sees Alice telekinetically controlling them to kill the crows. When the White Queen notices the signal again, Isaacs reprograms a satellite and uses it to locate Alice. He tells Wesker, who refuses to authorize an attempt to recapture him unless there is 100% proof, but Isaacs disobeys his orders and heads to Las Vegas to set a trap for Alice. Alice tells Carlos and Claire about her belief that there is a safe haven in Alaska and Claire puts it to a vote for the rest of the convoy, who choose to take the chance. The group heads to Las Vegas to get gas for the trip and find the city is practically deserted and half buried in sand. As they find a place to get gas, Alice investigates a steel container when it suddenly opens to reveal a horde of zombies that Isaacs had infused with Alice’s blood in order to create a super zombie. As the group attempt to fight off or run from the zombies, several of them are killed and LJ finally turns into and is killed by Carlos, but not before LJ bites him. During the fight, Isaac manages to take control of Alice and cause her to stop moving but Alice manages to fight back against the program and regain movement. As Isaac tries to get control again, Alice races to where Isaacs was observing and kills the security team inside the tent. Isaacs escapes and heads for the helicopter but is bit by one of the super zombies and tells the pilot to head back to the lab so he can get the anti-virus. When he gets to the lab, he begins dosing himself with massive amounts of the anti-virus, claiming he needs it, but Wesker’s second in command, Slater, shoots Isaacs but instead of killing him, it triggers the mutation and Wesker quickly kills Slater and the two guards with him. Alice uses the computers to find where the helicopter went, the surviving members of the convoy head towards the lab, intending to steal the helicopter to make the trip to Alaska. Carlos chooses to sacrifice himself to allow the other to make it past the zombie horde by driving the gas tank at the gate and blowing it up. Heading inside, Alice helps Claire and K-Mart get the survivors inside, then tells them to leave as she chooses to stay behind. After they leave, Alice discovers the grave filled with clones and heads inside the shack and down to the lab. In the lab, Alice meets the White Queen, who tells Alice that her blood holds the key to stopping the biohazard, which is why she is choosing to help Alice but tells her that Isaacs is trapped in the lower levels and must be stopped first. Heading down to kill Isaacs, Alice discovers another clone of herself when Isaacs attacks. Alice manages to chase him off but the clones is set free from her containment and as Alice holds it, the clone appears to die. Alice chases after Isaacs and the two begin fighting, even using telekinesis on each other. The eventually end up in the Red Queen’s corridor and Isaacs moves to kill Alice but the clone recovered and uses the laser grid to kill Isaacs and save Alice. Some time later, Wesker is holding a meeting with the other heads of Umbrella facilities when Alice appears via hologram and tells them that she is coming for them and bringing some friends. Alice then closes the connection and stands next to the clone as she looks out at the containers filled with more clones of Alice.

Resident Evil: Extinction met with poor reviews from the critics, as shown by the 22% rating it shows on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Resident Evil: Extinction is more of the same; its few impressive action sequences unable to compensate for the pedestrian plot.” The movie was originally titled Resident Evil: Afterlife but for some reason, the movie’s title was changed to Extinction and Afterlife would be used for the fourth movie. The movie was a box office success, earning $147.7 million off of a $45 million budget.

I will be honest, this movie felt a little flat to me. The acting was ok but you don’t really get much character development and even Milla Jovovich (Alice), Oded Fehr (Carlos), and Mike Epps (LJ) seemed somewhat disinterested in their performances. The story had some good elements, although I personally had to laugh at the theme of taking blood samples from the dead clones to make new ones, thereby making a slightly better clone each time. The reason I laughed is because, while I am sure this idea was possibly used in other stories, I just remember that this was how Doomsday, the creature that killed Superman, was created in the comics. The special effects were pretty good, with the scene involving the crows being one of my favorites. It’s a decent movie but could have been a lot better.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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December 22nd, 2016 Movie – Resident Evil: Apocalpse

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Back in the day, I used to get the movie novelizations for certain movies as they would usually come out before the movie did and I could read what happens in the movie. Usually, I would still go watch the movie but sometimes, I would buy the books and then not see the movie. Regarding today’s movie, this is one that I didn’t see in theaters, for the same reason as the original movie, but I wound up renting both of them one night when I was bored. Needless to say, I decided to go ahead and pick it up on DVD, which is how I come to be watching today’s movie, Resident Evil: Apocalypse.

The plot: After the incident at the Hive, and Alice and Matt’s capture, a team of Umbrella scientists open the Hive’s blast doors to find out what happened but are overrun by the zombie staff inside. A fleet of cars are sent to Raccoon City to evacuate some key personnel, including Dr. Charles Ashford and his daughter Angie but the car carrying Angie gets in a wreck. 13 hours later, Jill Valentine, a disgraced member of Raccoon City’s S.T.A.R.S. police squad, is watching the news at her home and after hearing a call come in on the police scanner for all available officers to come in, she heads to her precinct and proceeds to shoot all of the infected inside, freeing a man named LJ in the process, before telling her captain she is leaving town and suggesting he do the same. All of the ways out of the city are sealed off except for the bridge, which Umbrella security forces are in control of and screening anyone that tries to leave. Jill gets there and tries talking to her friend, Sgt. Peyton Wells, when a man collapses from a heart attack, then reanimates and bites Peyton. Major Timothy Cain, the man in charge of Raccoon City’s contamination operation, orders the bridge sealed and authorizes his men to fire on anyone trying to escape. He then argues with Dr. Ashford, who refuses to leave without his daughter, and after he walks off, Ashford hacks into the computer system to locate Angie, then begins looking through the CCTV feeds to find someone to rescue her and sees Alice walking around the deserted city. Alice, still in her hospital gown, makes her way into an Army Surplus store but collapses in pain, and begins to remember what happened after Matt was taken away and realizes that she was experimented on. Meanwhile, Jill, Peyton, and a reporter named Terri Morales make their way to a church, where they find a scared man hiding inside. Jill goes to investigate a noise and finds a priest has been feeding people to his infected sister but when she escapes her bonds and attacks the priest, Jill shoots them both. Meanwhile, Peyton, Terri, and the man see a Licker running across the ceiling but when the man runs, he is killed by another Licker. Jill rejoins the others and learns that there are three Lickers stalking them in the church but when they try to attack them, Jill and Peyton quickly run out of ammo. As a Licker approaches them, Alice suddenly rides a motorcycle through a stained glass window and proceeds to kill the three creatures. Elsewhere, Umbrella security team members Carlos Olivera, Yuri, and Nicholai are helping the Raccoon City police deal with the zombies but when their position is overrun, the three make their escape, though Yuri is bit before they leave. Cain, learning that the infection has reached critical stage, activates the Nemesis Program to kill all of the remaining people in the city and a helicopter drops off some weapons crates in the hospital for it to use. Carlos, Nicholai, and Yuri see the helicopter but when they enter the hospital, they find the crates empty, just as Yuri turns and bites Carlos before he is shot. Elsewhere, LJ heads to a building that is being held by several members of the S.T.A.R.S. unit when Nemesis, a gigantic mutated creature, arrives and attacks the building and kills all of the S.T.A.R.S. but lets LJ live when LJ drops his weapons. Alice, Jill, Peyton, and Terri are making their way through a cemetery when they are attacked by some reanimated corpses and are forced to run. As they walk down the street, payphones near them start ringing and Alice eventually picks one up and Ashford, who is watching them on the CCTV, makes a deal with them to get them out of the city in exchange for their finding Angie. Peyton thinks that they should simply find a building and barricade themselves inside until help comes but Alice tells him that a nuclear missile will be fired into the city to destroy all signs of the infection, with a cover up in place to blame a nearby nuclear power plant. As they head for the school, Nemesis attacks them, killing Peyton, and Alice yells at Jill and Terri to find Angie while she deals with Nemesis. Alice begins fighting with Nemesis but it easily overpowers her and forces her to run before it eventually disengages. Jill and Terri hotwire a car, killing a reanimated Peyton after it starts, then head to the school to pick up Angie. Inside, the three split up and LJ runs into Carlos, who had also been contacted by Ashford and given the deal. Terri enters a classroom and sees a girl huddled in the corner and approaches her only to realize that she is an infected child and as more infected children surround her, she is attacked and killed, with her camera catching the entire thing on film. Jill enters the classroom and finds Terri’s camera, and Angie, and they start to leave through the cafeteria when they are attacked by an infected dog. Nicholai saves them but when he is attacked and killed, Jill heads into the kitchen and turns on all the gas to create an explosion. As Jill and Angie run, the matches Jill threw go out before they reach the gas but Alice shows up and tosses a lit cigarette into the room, then shields Angie with a fireproof blanket as the gas ignites and kills the zombie dogs. Alice and Angie stare at each other and realize they are both infected with the T-Virus and Angie explains that her father created the virus to help her walk, but she has to have regulas shots of the anti-virus to keep her from mutating. They meet up with LJ and Carlos and leave the building, with Ashford making contact with them to tell them where their escape route is. As they head to City Hall, Alice gives Carlos an injection of the anti-virus and Jill hands her Terri’s camera, telling her to film her story so they can make sure the truth gets out there, and Alice begins telling what happened to the camera. Reaching City Hall, they take out the Umbrella security guards but when they reach the helicopter, Alice realizes that it is there to evacuate Nemesis. She tells the pilot to take off but Cain shows up, holding Angie hostage. Restraining Carlos, Jill, and LJ, Cain orders Alice to fight Nemesis, killing Ashford when she refuses. When he threatens to kill the others, Alice reluctantly agrees and begins fighting with Nemesis, eventually managing to impale it on a piece of metal. As she looks in it’s eyes, she realizes that Nemesis is Matt and starts crying and begs his forgiveness. Cain orders her to kill Nemesis but she refuses so Cain orders Nemesis to kill her but, regaining his own memories after Alice spared him, Nemesis begins attacking the Umbrella soldiers and Alice helps him. Carlos, Jill, and LJ manage to free themselves and join the fight, preventing Cain from leaving in the helicopter. When two more helicopters show up and start firing at Alice, Nemesis uses it’s rocket launcher to take them out but is killed by the falling debris. Alice and the others get to the helicopter, where Alice grabs Cain and shoves him out as they start to take off, where he injures his leg in the fall. As zombies make their way towards him, he starts shooting them but runs out of bullets when he tries to shoot himself and ends up being attacked by several zombies, including Ashford. The helicopter manages to get out of the city just as the nuke explodes, and the shockwave causes the helicopter to crash and a piece of metal is sent flying towards Angie but Alice shields her and is impaled instead. When an Umbrella search team finds the wreckage, the only thing they find inside is Alice’s charred corpse. Terri’s tape was released showing what happened in Raccoon City but Umbrella’s cover-up works and the tape is blasted as being a fake, with Jill and Carlos being wanted for questioning by the police. 3 weeks later, a group of scientists are examining a fully healed and revived Alice and she says that she remembers everything and proceeds to attack the scientist and escape. As she walks down a hallway, a security guard spots her on the monitors and alerts some more agents but suddenly every monitor shows Alice’s face and as she stares into the camera, the guard starts bleeding from his eyes and nose before he collapses. As she walks outside, she is surrounded by soldiers but a car pulls up and Carlos, Jill, and LJ, disguised as Umbrella officials show up and convince the soldiers to let them leave with her. As they get in the car, Angie pops up from the back and asks if Alice is ok, and Jill asks Alice what they did to her. As they approach a gate, the lead scientist, who was the one experimenting on Alice, calls the gate and orders them to let them go, then says “Alice Program Activated”, and unseen by the others, Alice’s eyes briefly flash with the Umbrella logo, then her view is transmitted back to the scientist’s computers.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse met with poor reviews from the critics, holding a 21% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Resident Evil: Apocalypse has lots of action, but not much in terms of plot or creativity.” The film borrowed elements from the 2nd and 3rd games, especially the characters of Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield, Carlos Olivera, and Nemesis but when the actresses playing Claire Redfield dropped out of the picture, the character would be scrapped and brought back for the third movie. The movie was a hit at the box office, earning $129.3 million off of a $45 million budget.

Personally, I like this movie because it’s mixture of rather over-the-top scenarios made it feel like a video game. The acting was pretty decent, with Milla Jovovich (Alice), Sienna Guillory (Jill), and Thomas Kretschmann (Cain) doing good jobs in their roles, and Mike Epps (LJ) made for some funny comedic relief but Oded Fehr (Carlos) was pretty boring. The story was good in the sense of it’s taking over from right when the first movie ended but the plot in general felt a little weak. The special effects regarding the zombie make-up were really good and I liked what they did in creating Nemesis, choosing to use an actor in a suit to make it more lifelike and limit the special effects used. A lot of the over-the-top scenes, such as Alice’s running down the side of the building, made this especially entertaining. A fun movie to watch, even if you didn’t play the games.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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movie, movie review

December 21st, 2016 Movie – Resident Evil

resident-evil

So when today’s movie was first announced, I honestly didn’t have much motivation in seeing it. See, I never owned a Playstation so I never played any of the Resident Evil games before this movie came out, therefore I didn’t know much about the story. Still, this was a zombie movie so I was somewhat intrigued about it on that merit alone. I didn’t go to see it in theaters but when it finally came out on DVD, I did eventually rent it, and later on bought both it and the sequel when it was released. So let’s see if today’s movie is able to break the trend of the typical video game movie as I watch Resident Evil.

The plot: At the beginning of the 21st century, the Umbrella Corporation is the world’s largest company; providing most of the world’s computer and pharmaceutical needs while secretly generating profits through weapons technology, genetic experimentation, and viral weaponry. In a secret lab called the Hive deep underneath Raccoon City, somebody steals samples of a genetically engineered virus called the T-virus, then tosses one of the samples into the room behind him, where it breaks open and begins leaking out into the air. When the computer system detects the biohazard in the air, it immediately seals off the lab, then begins killing off everyone inside. Elsewhere, A naked Alice wakes up in the shower with no memory of who she is or what happened to her. Putting on a robe, she starts looking around a sees a note on the table and realizes that she did not write it, then finds a drawer full of gun as she goes to get dressed. Alice begins walking around the house to see if she can find anyone but when she opens a door leading outside, she is grabbed by someone just as a masked team of commandos enter the house. The man is restrained while the team’s leader asks Alice for a report but she doesn’t know what the man is talking about, and another soldier says the house’s security system was activated so she is suffering a side effect. Taking Alice and the man, who identifies himself as a recently transferred cop named Matt Addison, with them, the soldiers enter a doorway leading to the Hive. After starting the power to the underground train that leads to the lab, they find a man, Spence, unconscious in a locked door, suffering from the same effects as Alice. Reaching the Hive, some of the soldiers work on opening the door while Alice approaches the team’s leader, James “One” Shade, and asks him what is going on. James explains that Alice and Spence, just like his team, work for the Umbrella Corporation and that their marriage was a cover for their job of protecting the entrance to the hive. He tells them about the computer, an AI called the Red Queen, went rogue and killed everyone so they are there to take it offline and figure out what happened. After entering the hive, they head for the Red Queen’s chamber but find their way blocked by the flooded labs and are forced to go another way. Entering what is supposed to be a dining hall, they find the room filled with strange containers and James has Rain and JD stay behind and guard Matt and the exit while the rest of the team go on ahead. Entering the outer area of the Red Queen’s chamber, the teams computer expert, Chad Kaplan, begins deactivating her defenses so that the team can bring an EMP device inside to force a reboot of the Red Queen. As James leads the other three team members inside the chamber, the chamber doors seal and a laser defense system activates, killing all of them before Kaplan can get it deactivated. Kaplan and Alice take the device inside and begin setting it up when a hologram of the Red Queen’s persona, based on the designer’s daughter, warns them to leave and not to do it. When Kaplan hits the button, the Red Queen tells them that they are all going to die, just before the power goes out and all of the doors are unlocked. Back in the dining hall, Rain and JD hear a noise so Rain goes to investigate. When she finds someone, she calls out to JD that she found a survivor but the woman bites her and they are forced to shoot her. As Alice, Kaplan, and Spence show up, Matt notices that the woman’s blood has coagulated and says that is impossible as it would mean she was already dead. Suddenly, the see more people showing up and, given the wounds the people have, realize that they are all zombies. JD, Rain, and Kaplan begin shooting the zombies while trying to get the exit open but when they do, JD is grabbed by the swarm of zombies that are behind the door and Rain, Kaplan, and Spence are forced to retreat to the Red Queen’s chamber. Meanwhile, Matt manages to get out of his restraints and is saved by Alice when the creature in one of the tanks, called a Licker, escapes, but as they wander through the tanks, they become separated. Alice finds herself in the animal testing lab but is confronted by a zombiefied dog and escapes into a sealed lab, only to be attacked by a guard. She manages to kill the guard and grab his gun but the breaks through the glass window, forcing her to leave the lab. Outside the lab, she is confronted by several more zombie dogs and she shoots them all, then kills the dog in the lab. Meanwhile, Matt makes it to the desks and finds the one for his sister, Lisa, and begins looking through her files when he sees Lisa walking towards him. Lisa attacks him and tries to bite him but Alice rescues him and Matt explains that he and his sister were trying to get proof of Umbrella’s activities. Seeing Lisa, Alice remembers meeting with her about stealing the virus but doesn’t reveal to Matt that she was Lisa’s contact. Regrouping with the others in the Red Queen’s chamber, Kaplan and Rain explain that the Hive will automatically seal itself in an hour, trapping them down there as a last resort to keep the situation contained. Alice reactivates the Red Queen, but has Kaplan bypass the circuit breaker so they can shut her down if she doesn’t help them escape. The Red Queen explains about the T-virus and how it was released into the air so she killed everyone in order to keep the virus from spreading out of the Hive. The group makes their way down into some service tunnels but when they get attacked by some zombies, they are forced to climb up onto some pipes but Kaplan is bit in the process while Rain is forced to kill a reanimated JD after he bites her. Making their way across the pipes, they make their way to an exit but the pipes break, dumping Kaplan into the zombie hoard and though he is able to climb out, he tells the others to leave him as he doesn’t see a way out for him. Making their way through the lab, Alice remembers that an anti-virus was created and they head into the lab only to find that the anti-virus is gone. Spence regains his memory and remembers that he is the one that stole the virus and quickly grabs the gun that Alice put down. Holding them at gunpoint, he offers to take Alice with him but after he is bitten by a zombie and she tries to get the gun back, he leaves, locking them in the lab. Spence heads to the train and grabs the case with the anti-virus, which he had hidden on board before he was rendered unconscious, but after he injects himself, he is attacked and killed by the Licker, which begins to mutate. The Red Queen speaks to Alice and the others, saying that it will let them leave if they kill Rain, but when Alice refuses, it sends the Licker after them. Suddenly, the power goes out and the door opens, revealing Kaplan there, having fried the Red Queen to get them out. Sealing the door, they head to the train and Alice gets the case with the anti-virus, after killing a reanimated Spence when it tries to attack her. Leaving the Hive, Alice injects Rain and Kaplan with the anti-virus when they are suddenly attacked by the Licker, which scratches Matt and kills Kaplan. As Alice and Matt try to fend it off, Alice manages to impale it’s tongue and trap it, then yells at Matt to open the trapdoor. Matt goes to do that only to find a zombie Rain in front of him and after fending off her attack, he shoots her. Rain’s body falls back onto the button and the trap door opens, causing the Licker to fall onto the electrified third rail, where it ends up catching on fire. Alice and Matt make it back to the mansion but Matt’s wound starts to mutate and Alice goes to inject him with the anti-virus. Before she can, men in hazmat suits show up and restrain both of them, with Matt being strapped to a gurney and told to be placed in the Nemesis Program. Some time later, Alice comes to in a hospital room and after removing the needles and wires that were attached to her, she makes her way out of the room and heads outside, where she finds the Raccoon City is deserted and in ruins so she grabs a shotgun from an abandoned police cruiser and turns to face what happens next.

Resident Evil met with mostly criticism from the critics, holding a 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Like other video game adapations, Resident Evil is loud, violent, formulaic, and cheesy.” The movie was initially scheduled for a 2001 release but Capcom, the makers of the video game, decided to push it back until 2002, while a novelization of the movie didn’t come out until 2004, over two years after the movie was released and only two months before the novelization for the second movie came out. Despite the reviews, the movie was a box office hit, earning $102.4 million off of a $35 million budget.

I can’t say much about this as a video game movie, but I will admit that this is a pretty decent zombie movie. The acting was pretty good, with Milla Jovovich (Alice), Eric Mabius (Matt), and Michelle Rodriguez (Rain) doing a really good job in their roles. I also liked Colin Salmon (James), Martin Crewes (Kaplan), and James Purefoy (Spence) but Michaela Dicker was pretty creepy as the Red Queen. The story was pretty interesting for the most part but there were some minor problems I couldn’t quite get over, primarily why a military team would take some 3 relatively unknown quantities (Matt and the amnesic Alice and Spence) with them into the Hive instead of simply leaving them up at the mansion. The special effects were pretty good, especially some of the make-up and CGI for the zombies wounds and the dogs but while the Licker was interesting, there were some aspects of it I didn’t care for. All in all, a good zombie movie, but from what I understand, doesn’t do as well as a video game movie.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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