DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
4K UHD
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Species IV - The Awakening
Species IV - The Awakening
MGM // Unrated // October 2, 2007
List Price: $26.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted October 17, 2007 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Skip It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly

The Movie:

The first Species film was a fun, gory, sexy monster movie with an interesting premise and a pretty cool creature. When it met with modest success it wasn't surprising to see the film turned into a franchise, sadly each sequel less impressive than the last. The fourth film in the series, Species IV - The Awakening, brings nothing new to the table, instead it just sticks to the same formula that the franchise has been mining for years now and as such, it's predictable, and surprisingly boring.

A foxy young woman named Miranda (Helena Mattson) makes her living as a university instructor. All her life she's lived with her uncle, Tom (Ben Cross), he's raised her since she was a child and she never knew her parents. She heads out on a hot date one night and before you know it, Tom's gotten a call from the hospital. Miranda was found naked and dazed out in the woods with no recollection of what happened to her. Complicating matters further, people have wound up dead in the hospital, victims of some crazy looking alien with a penchant for murder.

Tom decides to take Miranda to Mexico, and he explains the truth about her history along the way. You see, Tom is actually a brilliant biologist and one day long ago he and his pal, Forbes McGuire (Dominic Keating), decided it would be a good idea to build a hot chick out of human and alien DNA. Well, that's come back to bite them in the ass now that Miranda has gotten older and mating season has arrived. Her alien DNA is starting to take over and the only hope they have of saving her from becoming a Giger-esque killing machine is to find McGuire and enlist his aid in stopping the transformation before it's too late. Sadly, there are other alien hybrid killing machines on the loose who hope to stop Tom before he can prevent Miranda's alien side from completely taking over.

Species IV - The Awakening is not a good movie. It takes about an hour to really get going, it's poorly scripted and full of bad dialogue, the characters don't act rationally (Miranda seems pretty much okay with the fact that she's genetically engineered from alien DNA and not an actual human after about two minutes of crying!) and the performances are bad. Yes, there are a couple of nifty CGI kill scenes in the film, but they're obviously CGI and as creative as a couple of them are, they look like video game graphics and are obviously very, very fake. Helena Mattson looks decent enough in the lead and she's certainly easy on the eyes, but her performance is as flat as a board and the supporting players don't do enough to off set that.

Once the first hour is over with the plot does pick up the pace and we finally get around to some alien action rather than the contrived and poorly written melodrama that makes up the first two thirds of the film. But is it enough? No, not even close. There's no rhyme or reason to what happens, and by the time we get to this point we're so far away from actually giving a damn that we really don't care what happens to any of the one dimensional cardboard characters who make pepper the picture. If the quality of this film and the two sequels that came before it is anything to go by, it's time for MGM to let this Species become extinct.

The DVD:

Video:

Species IV - The Awakening arrives in a murky 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. Now, granted, this review is based on a test disc that Fox sent for review and the final product could potentially look better but the transfer on the disc viewed stinks. It's way too dark, there are ugly compression artifacts everywhere, and the colors are muddy and way off base. The picture lacks detail and is soft from start to finish. There isn't a lot of edge enhancement but the compression artifacts are through the roof here - the movie looks pretty bad.

Sound:

The film hits DVD in a decent English language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix with optional subtitles provided in English, French and Spanish. There are a few decent moments in the mix where the rears kick in but for the most part the sound mix comes at us primarily from the front of the stage. Dialogue is a little muffled sounding in spots but thankfully this is the exception and not the rule. Sound effects are fine, the score is well balanced, and there are no major issues in the audio department.

Extras:

The only thing on this disc, aside from the feature, is a static menu and a chapter selection sub-menu.

Final Thoughts:

You're going to have to be a die-hard fan of the franchise to want to bother with Species IV - The Awakening. By this point in time, the franchise is pretty much set on 'repeat' and this entry brings nothing new to the table whatsoever. Add to that the fact that the barebones disc looks pretty bad and it's easy to slap this turkey with the 'skip it' stamp.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

Popular Reviews
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2. The Adventures of Hajji Baba
3. Andrei Rublev: Criterion Collection
4. Creepshow
5. Superman: The Movie
6. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
7. I Married Joan: Classic TV Collection Vol 4
8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Ultimate Edition
9. Fire Birds
10. Starchaser: The Legend of Orin


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use