Posted in: Disc Reviews by David Annandale on April 7th, 2010
A spaceship crashes. From it emerge a monstrous creature called the Moorwen, and a man, Kainan (Jim Caviezel in Buff Action Mode), who is determined to hunt it down. However, he is promptly captured by vikings and taken to their village, at which point he must convince them of the terrible danger they are in. As it turns out, they don’t take much convincing, once the Moorwen attacks.
Analyzing the zeitgeist is always a tricky business. How, for instance, to explain the fact that over the last several years there have been numerous film versions of Beowulf, almost all of the revisionist variety: Eaters of the Dead, Beowulf and Grendel, and now Outlander, to name but three. The newest take has fun with its mix of vikings and SF, and the monster action is good fun. Is anything here groundbreaking? No. But the film keeps its focus on providing the viewer with an exciting ride.
Very nice stuff here. The image is extremely sharp, and blessed with lush, crisp colours. The night scenes are never murky, the contrasts are excellent, and the blacks deep. Grain is not an issue, nor is edge enhancement. Though the case indicates a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio, in fact, the ratio is 2.35:1, which gives the film a greater sense of epic sweep. So the error, in this case, is welcome.
Also helping with the epic grandeur of things is the score, which is granted a majestic, deep-sounding mix on the 5.1 track. The surround FX are also very strong, creating a properly immersive experience. All in all, a technically slick package, treating the home audience to plenty of candy for the eyes and ears.
Commentary Track: We have a pretty packed round table here. Present are writer/director Howard McCain, writer/exec-producer Dirk Blackman, and producers Chris Roberts and John Schimmel. Keeping the voices straight is a bit of a challenge, but their discussion is actually quite engaging, and interestingly self-critical as they talk about the various compromises they had to make during production.
Deleted Scenes: A whopping 27 of them, though calling them “deleted” might be a bit misleading, as these clips are raw, unfinished footage.
Visual FX Tests (8:46): Four clips, plus a demo compilation.
Animatics: Ten of them.
Production Art Galleries: Subdivided in to “Scenes,” “Locations,” “Creatures,” “Costumes” and “Props.”
A glossy, entertaining adventure, which probably won’t linger in the mind, but provides plenty of fun for an evening.