Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
I like this cover. I would have it as a poster. That’s not something you find in my little write ups very often. The image is pretty striking and represents the movie very well, maybe better than the movie itself.
- A Directors Playground – Eventhough this is just one semi-small extra, it is good quality. It’s a behind the scenes documentary type thing with interviews and lots of “how we made this movie” details.
- DVD & Digital Copy – Other formats thrown in as a nice bonus.
The Movie: 6/10
Adrian Brody doesn’t do much for me. That is a bold statement to start with, but it’s like an itch I have to scratch. I try sooooo hard to like him, however I come up pretty flat through most of the scenes. Sarah Polley, on the other hand, is awesome. She’s the star of the show, even outshines the gene spliced creature all the way through the story. The creature, played by Delphine Chaneac and she won me over right away. Between Sarah Polley’s bold emotional openness and Chaneac’s often subtle but hypnotic was that place where I was wishing the movie was as good as they were.
The story is the telling of the potential negatives of gene splicing. It’s not a totally modern tale, but this is a pretty current point of view. They mix in the big company money driven evil mixed with the scientific desire to find the cures to humankind’s diseases and other advances. The two bio-chemists at the heart of it are a couple who might seem to be the rock stars of their scientific world. They are riding high as they have developed a whole new life form by mixing the genes of various other animals. Things might not go very well, and they go down the path of mixing human DNA.
The lifeform develops along with the exposer of character flaws in everyone involved. There are relationship issues addressed, past childhood pain that’s unresolved, choices of right and wrong, and then there’s the horrific stuff. Our scientists make some unexpected decisions. They partake of some very sharply uncomfortable, questionably evil behavior and not much good comes of it. All the while this new life form relfects many human qualities we all are familiar with along with some animal, insect and other DNA. There is enough human about ‘her’ that makes me a little endeared to ‘her’, and then there are things that are distinctly animalistic and that’s more creepy than you can imagine.
I classify this as a horror tale of caution more than a straight of horror flick. It’s got some serious flaws! Adrian Brody really doesn’t pull through this character dude with any credibility for me. He’s quality, yes, however it doesn’t work for him though. The action is freaky sometimes and the special effects work out to be quite good for the extent of how a human can be mixed with animals and be believable on screen. I have mixed emotions as I think about it. It was interested throughout the whole movie, and then at the same time it was just loosely unsettling enough to not have a strong impact in a good big way. It did make think a bit about the concept of the human DNA splicing. More than that I thought about how it’s such a good idea and I wish the movie had given me that indefinable magic that a Sci-Fi movies sometimes do. That OH MY GOD that’s so awesome or powerful or exciting or whatever it is that leaves an imprint on my movie loving brain (imprinting is an “in movie” reference).
Audio & Video: 6/10
Splice does not look bad on Blu-Ray. Then again, it will not blow you away either. I was convinced this was a digitally shot movie (it looks like a lot of HD Television shows) but according to IMDB it’s actually shot on film. As we know film has infinite depth and clairity but the DP (Tetsuo Nagata) chose a soft subdued image that really doesn’t impress. Like I said earlier it’s not bad but it’s certainly not a disc you will be pulling out to impress your friends.
Audio fairs much better than the video with a 5.1 DTS-HD master audio track that will make you jump out of your seat on more than one ocassion. The opening sequence is a perfect way to show off your surround system, audio comes from every direction in this scene and they use a superb reverb effect that makes you feel like your head is underwater. Overall the movie is worth a watch and the Blu-Ray presentation is adequate just do not expect to be blown away.
Rent it. That’s what I would say to me if I was asking for my opinion. So, take that for what it’s worth. I don’t need, nor want, this particular movie on my shelf for all time, but I will say this, I would watch it again if it comes on late night cable TV. You get one darn good special documentary, and that makes the movie better, therefore you do get a good solid value for the rental price:)
Overall Score 6/10