Review: Legion Blu-ray

Legion Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Scott Stewart | CAST: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Kate Walsh
RELEASE DATE: 5/11/2010 | PRICE: DVD $28.95, Blu-ray $34.95
BONUSES: picture-in-picture track, three featurettes, MovieIQ
SPECS: R | 100 min. | Horror | 2.35:1 | DTS-HD | English, French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Extras | Overall

Legion movie scene with Paul Bettany and Adrianne PalickiSpecial effects heavy movie Legion looks sharp on Blu-ray, with the bloody teeth suitably wet and sparkly. But as much of the movie is dark, its best aspect is the sound, which makes good use of a subwoofer. The screams, bullet shots and punches all rocket out of the speakers to keep audiences jumping.

Starring Paul Bettany as the Archangel Gabriel, Legion is set in a desert diner during a time when God has given up on humans and wants to wipe them out and start again, beginning with a child who’s believed to bring humans back to good. The unborn child’s mother (Adrianne Palicki) is stuck in that diner, and Gabriel goes there to protect her from the angels turned demons that have been sent to kill her.

God sending angels to punish humans for their wickedness is a great premise — in today’s world, who can’t buy that God might get sick of humans’ bullshit, as the movie says? But, religious beliefs aside, Legion falls down on its promise, becoming just another demon horror movie.

But for horror movie fans, it has enough blood and shooting and weird creatures to satisfy. The standouts are the sweet old lady at the beginning who turns into a ceiling-crawling demon and the long-legged, long-armed, long-jawed ice cream man.

The actors seem to have enjoyed making the movie, however. In the featurette “Humanity’s Last Line of Defense,” Bettany says the action film “truly was a rush, unlike anything legal that I know of.”

There is a certain amount of “so and so’s a genius” in the featurettes, but “Creating the Apocalypse” and “From Pixels to Picture” delve more into the effects, both practical and computer generated. Actor Doug Jones, for example, has fun sharing how his ice cream man got those elongated limbs.

The Blu-ray also includes Sony’s MovieIQ feature, which is a BD-Live technology that connects to the Web and brings up fun facts about the movie. Offered up trivia are things like the music that’s playing in a particular scene, an actor’s resume or even the history of a pay phone and co-star Palicki’s love of comic books.

Outside of Bettany, the movie has a lot of recognizable faces, including Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Lucas Black, Charles S. Dutton, Jon Tenney (TV’s The Closer) and Private Practice‘s Kate Walsh. But only Bettany, Quaid and Gibson make appearances in the behind-the-scenes supplements. But, the featurettes do have lesser-known stars Palicki and Willa Holland.

Filmmaking fans will enjoy the picture-in-picture track “Bringing Angels to Earth,” in which director Scott Stewart talks about each scene while showing storyboards and animatics. MovieIQ and this picture-in-picture track are exclusive to the Blu-ray version of the movie.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.