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OUTLANDER
DVD Review by David Blackwell
 
DETAILS:   115 minutes, audio commentary, 27 deleted scenes, visual effect tests and naimatic, production design galleries, and trailer
VIDEO:   2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO:   English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles:  English SDH, Spanish
 
STUDIO:   The Weinstein Company/ Genius Products/ Virtual Films/ Ascendant Pictures/ VIP 4/ Rising Star
RELEASE DATE:   5-19-2009

OUTLANDER is THE 13TH WARRIOR meets BEOWULF with an alien as the main character.  Jim Caviezel is Kainan, an alien warrior who crash lands on earth during Viking times in 707 AD Norway.   He isn't alone.  A creature called the Morween has followed him and caused the ship to crash.   He ends up being captured by a local Viking warrior, Wulfric, after seeing seeing the aftermath of a destroyed village (of Viking leader Gunnar (Ron Perlman)).   Local Viking king Rothgar (John Hurt) knows Gunnar will blame him for the destruction of the village.   His daughter Freya (Sophia Myles) is headstrong and knows how to fight with a sword.   First, Rothgar and Wulfric don't believe Kainan's story, but soon they will after the Morween attacks the village and Gunnar's returning band of warriors.   They accept Kainan and plan to kill the Morween even if it takes stronger metal from Kainan's crashed ship.
 
OUTLANDER is the type of film that harkens back to the high quality big budget B movies that came out in the 1980s.   It if full of action and it's fun mixed with tension and horror.   You get a bear, Vikings in battle, the lovely Sophia Myles, a look at Viking culture, and a creature that is a glimpse of light in teh darkness (it's usually too late if you see what the thing looks like).
 
SPECIAL FEATURES:
The audio commentary with Writer/ Director Howard McCain, Writer/ Executive Producer Dirk Blackman, and Producers Chris Roberts and John Schimmel tell teh story of making OUTLANDER.  Worth a listen.  The visual effects tests show how look the CGI effects are and how much CGI was added to enhance the backgrounds or place characters againsta  background (when they were actually in the studio against a blue screen).   The animatics for several scenes animate the storyboards against the film's audio track.   Then you have the original theatrical trailer.  The real treat are the 40 minutes of deleted scenes that sometime sslow down the film while others would have enhanced Kainan's character if left in the final film.
 
FINAL ANALYSIS:   OUTLANDER is this years' Cult Classic waiting to be discovered on DVD.  Too bad it's a blockbuster exclusive for rental.  So go buy the DVD instead.
 
this DVD review is (c)5-21-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com