Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mimic: Three Film Set Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Audiences will experience thrills and chills from the franchise that brought the epic battle of man and nature to life as Lionsgate debuts the Mimic: 3-Film Set on Blu-ray Disc this May. Available for the first time as an HD collection, the set includes Mimic: The Director's Cut, along with Mimic 2 and Mimic 3: Sentinel - both on Blu-ray Disc for the first time and available exclusively in the set. Telling the complete story of one deadly genetic engineering experiment, each film includes a host of special features, certain to excite and terrify fans of the sci-fi series. 

Film (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
In Mimic, the children of Manhattan are dying after contracting Strickler's disease - a terrible affliction that comes from the common cockroach.  Entomologist Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino) creates the Judas breed, an insect whose secretions wipe out the cockroach population.  In the lab, the Judas Breed dies out quickly, because it cannot reproduce.  In the real world, the Judas Breed finds a way of surviving.  Together with husband Peter (Jeremy Northam), Susan must wipe out the species she created, only now her bugs are human sized, walking upright and are able to mimic human behavior.  Transit System Officer Charles S. Dutton gets involved when Susan realizes the creatures have been living and hiding in the subways.  Giancarlo Gianini joins the search after his grandson turns up missing.

Mimic 2 begins and the bugs are supposed to have been wiped out.  A few murders occur and the victims’ faces are torn off.  Detective Klaski (Bruno Campos) soon realizes that the thing the victims have in common is entomologist and teacher Remy (Alix Koromzay).  At first Klaski suspects Remy, but quickly realizes that the creature is to blame.  The bugs were not wiped out as previously thought, and now they mimic the face of their last victim.  The bug seems to be killing of its competition for Remy and it traps her and her students in the school.  A covert Special Forces unit tracks the bug and attempts to fumigate it.

Mimic 3: Sentinel centers around Marvin (Karl Geary), a chemically sensitive young man who spends most of his time confined to his bedroom.  Marvin was one of the children afflicted with Strickler's disease and it has many lasting effects.  Marvin photographs and studies everyone he sees outside his window, and is very close to this sister Rosy (Alexis Dziena).  He often watches a neighbor he names the Garbage man and Rosy brings new neighbor Carmen (Rebecca Mader) over for a visit.  Being confined to his bedroom Marvin is clearly lacking some people skills but Carmen continues to come back and even quits smoking so the scent won't bother him.  Through his camera lens, Marvin realizes the bugs are killing drug dealers, neighbors and strangers.  The garbage man turns out to know a lot about the bugs and everyone in the area is a possible victim.

Mimic: The Director's Cut has the only director (of a Mimic movie) I've ever heard of, Guillermo del Toro.  Mimic was very detailed and had creepy realistic bugs.  It went downhill from there.  Mimic 2 was bad and Mimic 3 was worse.  I still enjoyed the original film, but the sequels represent hours of my life that I want back.  Mimic is worth watching, and my suggestion is to just buy that Blu ray unless this set is cheaper.

Mimic 2 and Mimic 3 didn't have any big actors, but Mimic 3 did have Lance Henriksen and aside from him I'd never heard of anyone in the film.  That's not always a bad thing, but in this case I found many of the actors to be irritating.  It didn't make me want them to make it to the end of the film alive.

Video (3 out of 5 stars)
All three movies are presented in 1080p high definition, widescreen 1.85:1 ratio.  These films are extremely dark.  They are almost always at night or in poorly lit structures.   The wet, grimy city scenes are enveloping and the video presentation was better than expected, especially in Mimic 2 and Mimic 3: The Sentinel.

Audio (3 out of 5 stars)
The three Mimic films are presented in 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.  The dialogue is clear and intelligible throughout, and doesn't have to be adjusted down for gunfire and explosions.  Mimic was the most immersive, but they were all sufficient in the audio department.

Special Features (4 out of 5 stars)
There are a significant number of features.  Even though I didn't enjoy the second and third movies, I did find the features interesting.

Mimic Special Features:

  • Video Prologue with director Guillermo del Toro - del Toro explains that what you are about to see is the Director's Cut - his true vision for the film.
  • Audio Commentary with director/co-writer Guillermo del Toro - Guillermo del Toro has some pretty interesting comments about his vision and getting the movie made.  He's one of the more interesting directors to listen to, and his accent was less of a problem for me than I expected.
  • "Reclaiming Mimic" featurette - Guillermo del Toro talks about what he liked about the short story, and how suspense is an art.  He believes the audience should believe the movie, not understand it.  Hearing how bluntly he expresses his opinions I can easily see him butting heads with the studio execs.
  • "A Leap In Evolution" featurette - A discussion of the evolution of the creatures.  Guillermo del Toro discusses his unhappiness with the leap to making the creatures cockroaches.  Others involved talk about how they went to nature to support the bug designs.
  • "Back Into the Tunnels" featurette - Basically a making of featurette with cast and crew.
  • Deleted scenes - Various deleted scenes and alternate ending all of which were rightly edited out in my opinion.
  • Storyboard animatics - storyboards include some of Guillermo del Toro's own artwork.
  • Gag reel 
  • Also from Lionsgate - trailers for other Lionsgate releases.
Mimic 2 Special Features

  • 5 Days of Mimic 2 - A behind the scenes look at five days of shooting.
  • Behind the Sound of Mimic 2 - The sound guy adds atmospheric noises, bug "voices", squishy noises and other sound effects.
  • Deleted Scenes - Five deleted scenes, none of which would have made a better movie in my opinion.
  • Trailers

Mimic 3: Sentinel Special Features

  • Audio Commentary - Writer/Director J.T. Petty provides audio commentary discussing the movie, the actors, and the bugs.
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette - A behind the scenes look at Mimic 3 Sentinel where the filmmakers discuss the origins of the film, trying to make Rear Window with giant cockroaches.
  • Cast Auditions - Very raw footage of Alexis Dziena, Karl Geary, Rebecca Mader, Keith Robinson and John Kapelos.
  • Trailers

Final Thoughts (3 out of 5 stars)
I had hoped that the Mimic trilogy would get better and better with each movie.  In my opinion, the original Mimic is the only one worth watching.  Even though the other two films were direct to video releases, they did include special features.  In both Mimic 2 and Mimic 3 Sentinel, I didn't care for the actors or the script.  Aside from the bug, mimic has almost no continuing story.  I don't like it when they take the scary thing out of a good movie and make a totally random movie.  Most of the actors were annoying enough that I was hoping they'd all get eaten.  

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