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PHOTOGRAPHY

SPECIES Collector's Edition
DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 105 minutes, two disc set, two audio commentaries, featurettes, alternate ending, original theatrical trailer, photo gallery, sneak peek at Species IV
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Surround, 5.1 DTS, French DS, SPanish DS
Subtitles: English, Spanish

STUDIO: MGM, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: 10-2-2007

SPECIES is sci-fi monster film infused with sex and great actors in addition to a good script. SPECIES is most notable for the introduction of Natasha Henstridge and the design work of H.R. Giger (who designed the alien in ALIEN). It spawned a sequel and two really bad direct to DVD sequels after that. A great cast (Michael Madsen, Ben Kingsley, Marg Helgenberger, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, and a young Michelle Williams as young Sil) drive this sexually charge action sci-fi thriller. SPECIES was a great start to a franchise. SPECIES II stumbled a little bit with still some great concepts while the the two DTVs dragged SPECIES through the mud.

The plot begins simple with scientists receiving a message from outer space with how to modify human DNA. Their result is Sil. They decide to destroy her because they can't control the end results. Sil escapes and changes into an adult. Her mission is to breed. The scientist in charge (Ben Kingsley) assembles a team to find Sil and destroy her.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Disc 1 has two audio commentaries- the first is with Natasha Henstridge, Michael Madsen, and director Roger Donaldson and the second track features Donaldson along with the producer and the visual and special effects people.

Disc 2 has some pretty good extras. The alternate ending is something found in the dalies and would have offered a good counterpoint to the film. A photo gallery and the film's original theatrical trailer are also here.

The best extras are the featurettes on SPECIES:
ENGINEERING LIFE- scientists talk about genetic engeering and teh ethics of it in addition to how food is genetically engineered
H.R. GIGER AT WORK- a meeting with Giger as you see how he designs Sil and alien looking model trains.
DESIGNING A HYBRID- The various visual and special effects (including CGI and motion capture) used to create Sil for SPECIES.

THE MAKING OF SPECIES can be played all together or as individual featurettes:
THE ORIGIN- how the producer came up with the concept of SPECIES and sold it after writing a spec script.
THE CONCEPT- Production design of SPECIES.

Also included is a trailer for SPECIES: THE AWAKENING .

FINAL ANALYSIS: Grat extras to a great film make this one a must-own for SPECIES fans. skip SPECIES: THE AWAKENING.

this DVD review is (c)10-17-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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