Legion comes to Blu-ray

Monday, 09 August 2010 23:00

At Paradise Falls, a remote Mojave Desert petrol station and cafe, a husband, wife and daughter get stuck with car trouble – but that’s just the start of their woes. The diner’s waitress is heavily pregnant and can’t resist keeping on having a ‘crafty smoke’. Another stranger appears, just as the TV goes on the blink and ominous clouds amass on the horizon. Little do the staff and customers know that this is Archangel Michael, who has defected to the side of good, mainly as he’s not keen on being God’s spearhead for a coming Biblical apocalypse. His mission is not to save the cheerleader, but to save the waitress to save the world!

British actor Paul Bettany (“Master and Commander”, “Wimbledon”, and the voice of Jarvis in the “Iron Man” franchise) plays Michael, who is joined in his quest by the likes of Dennis Quaid (“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”, “The Day After Tomorrow”), Lucas Black (American Gothic), Kate Walsh (Addison in Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice), and Tyrese Gibson (“Transformers”).

Legion available now on Blu-ray and DVDScott Stewart, the visual effects man behind the likes of “Iron Man”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, makes his directorial debut with this alarming and allegory-bound tale of a small band of human survivors struggling to fend off an army of vengeful zombies – driven on by God himself to rid the planet of the pestilence that is mankind itself.

Paul Bettany, as Michael, cuts a fine new niche for himself in the role of action hero thanks to this movie.  Bettany, who has the extreme good luck of being married to Jennifer Connelly, has a plethora of awards nominations to his name, including a BAFTA. The initial scenes showing his character cutting his angel’s wings off and stealing an arsenal of heavy artillery sets the tone (as does the front cover image of him on the Blu-ray and DVD box).

At one level you can see this movie as a horror-splurge take on the Christmas tale – people assembling to witness the birth of what can only be considered as the saviour of mankind; a baby that will grow up to be the capstone of a new spiritual awakening for human beings. The fact that the ‘God-head’ has a problem with this, due to the way man has been such a pariah on Earth, and now the target for mass extermination by those mindless members of the population who have been so easily possessed, may make religious folk a little uncomfortable, but probably not for the reasons it should do.

Lucas Black, who as a teenager played Caleb in the excellent TV series American Gothic, is Jeep Hanson, a simple mechanic who is effectively the substitute for ‘Joseph’. The ‘Mary’ role goes to Adrianne Palicki, who plays Charlie, the Diner’s pregnant waitress (she plays Tyra Collette in Friday Night Lights). Dennis Quaid scene-steals as he plays Jeep’s dad Bob, who reluctantly owns the Diner.

Readings of the Old Testament can easily be interpreted as there being a link between what are considered by the population ‘God-like’ beings and the arrival of extra terrestrials on Earth, through which has been created a hybrid race that sees themselves as the true masters of a global fiefdom. So, is Archangel Michael an Angel or an Alien? Is this work of ‘fiction’ actually just another foundation stone in preparing the human race for disclosure that people from beyond Earth have been here for quite some time?

The fact that mankind will be disposed of by those amongst us who so easily succumb to the forces of evil, mainly as they have not been paying attention, is allegorical of exactly where we are in the reality of today. Those who can look up, see what’s on the horizon, and take action, are going to be the ones who will make the difference, and in the end be our salvation. It will take very few people to get a handle on what is going on in order to be able to turn the fortunes of mankind around.

Whichever way you look at it, the fact the BBFC gave ‘Legion’ a ‘15’ rather than an ‘18’ certificate beggars belief. The expletive-ridden little old lady who kicks off the heart of the movie is enough to garner a tough certification, even before you start to consider the gore-ridden action sequences that pepper this rollercoaster ride of a movie. It veers from slow character-building exposition sequences to completely over-the-top fast-cut noisy blood-and-guts slugfests. For anyone actually paying attention to the plot, and from the evidence of some reviews out there you cannot expect many reviewers to be able to do that, on a psychological terror level alone it really deserves an ’18’. Certainly you will never again assume that ‘Angels’ are necessarily a force for good after seeing this movie!

Small screen fans can look out for some recognisable TV faces in the supporting cast of “Legion”, including Charles S Dutton (JT Baylock in Threshold), Jon Tenney (Agent Fritz Howard in The Closer), Kevin Duran (Martin Keamy in Lost) and Willa Holland (Kaitlin Cooper in The O C).

The extras on the discs allow you to go behind the scenes with the production mini-docs “Creating the Apocalypse: Behind the Physical Effects,” a look at the film’s breakthrough action sequences and special effects; “Humanity's Last Line of Defence: The Cast and Characters,” featuring interviews with the film’s large ensemble cast, and “From Pixels to Picture: A Look at the Visual Effects,” in which the filmmakers reveal how computer generated effects were seamlessly integrated into the finished film.

“Legion” was written by Peter Schink (“Gotham Café”) and Scott Stewart, and produced by David Lancaster (“Bobby”) and Michael Litvak (“Middle of Nowhere”). The Executive Producers were Gary Michael Walters (“The Hole”), Jonathan Rothbart and Scott Stewart. Cinematography was by John Lindley ASC (“Pleasantville”), editing by Steven Kemper ACE (“Mission: Impossible 2”) and the film has an original score by John Frizzell (“Alien: Resurrection”).

Exclusive to the Blu-ray edition of “Legion” are “Bringing Angels to Earth,” an interactive and visual Picture-in-Picture exploring various facets of the film’s production, and the BD-Live enabled movieIQ+sync, which lets you access live trivia information about the movie’s cast, crew, music and production – all while watching the movie.

The Blu-ray Disc version of LEGION is BD-Live enabled, allowing users to get connected and go beyond the disc via an internet-connected Blu-ray player. You can download additional content, give feedback through an exclusive survey, and register for rewards. “Legion” is out now from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, has a ‘15’ certificate and a running time of 96 minutes approx. It is available on Blu-ray (RRP £22.99) and DVD (RRP £15.99) or get it for less at www.culttvstore.com

 

Blu-ray and DVD Special Features:

  • Creating the Apocalypse.
  • Humanity's Last Line of Defense
  • From Pixels to Picture

 

Blu-ray Exclusive Special Features:

  • Bringing Angels To Earth: Picture-in-Picture.
  • movieIQ+sync and BD-Live connect you to real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie.
  • Blueprint of a Scene
  • Designing Paradise Falls

 

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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