Final Destination 5 – DVD Review

When I first saw this film it brought me nothing but joy, the deaths were sublime and the 3D cheesy enough to please. On second viewing, the film only lost a little of its sheen. The deaths were still amazing but less surprising, for obvious reasons, and without the 3D moments where objects are thrown at the screen have much less impact (pun intended). Watching with a group of friends it was easy to recreate the cinema experience of mass gasps and grimaces, and THAT final scene again served to be the moment that brought the film up a notch.

For a fun horror to watch on a night in with a group of friends you can’t go wrong with Final Destination 5, though it may be worth watching the predecessors it pays tribute to first.

The extras here are a little hit miss, but I suppose it depends on exactly what you are looking for in your bonus features, if you’re looking for anything at all. On the disappointing side are two alternative death scenes for the acupuncture and laser eye surgery related deaths. In the former the actual method of death is changed, but you are forced to sit through a repeat of ten minutes of the film first, and with the latter the death remains almost unchanged, but she suffers a lot more in the eye-popping build up. Alternatives deaths are (arguably) fun, but sitting through ten minutes of seemingly identical build up is not.

The Circle of Death featurette is your typical five-minute making-of documentary made up of talking head and behind the scenes footage that you can’t help but feel would have made a great extended version. Rather than race through all the stunts in a few minutes they could have taken the times to show us film nerds how it was all done. Though a lot of that is taken up in the final two extras…

The enormous bridge collapse scene at the film’s opening and the other accident which closes it are both treated to a side by side comparison of the raw footage alongside the finished film. These are a very nerd-friendly addition to the DVD allowing you to see precisely what was done with a practical effect, exactly how much of that bridge really existed, and how much jumping the cast had to actually do. These are the two extras you’re looking for so when you’re done with the film itself, and your non-nerd friends have left, jump right to these two features, an example of which is below:

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Final Destination 5 is released on DVD, Blu-ray Triple Play and 3D Blu-ray on December 26th and for a 3D horror film you could do much, much worse.

Final Destination 5 – Review

Since the first Final Destination way back in 2000, the various sequels have varied in quality, each trying to replicate a winning formula without being a mere imitation. Final Destination 5 knows where it is coming from and gives knowing nods to all previous films while forging on ahead as a film better than all previous sequels.

In many ways FD5 follows the usual path, a group of young attractive people escape death due to the plucky lead’s premonition, only to get horrifically killed one by one as Death restores his plan. As with any film in this franchise the characters themselves take the situation very seriously and have their own internal dramas which are pretty inconsequential to the audience. There is also the obligatory new rule to Death’s plan: this time that killing someone else allows you to inherit their remaining years on this Earth. This idea is used to fill the gap between the elaborate death sequences, and as such is pretty unimportant.

The deaths are what Final Destination is all about. Watching as a series of random events culminate in an elaborate, and often bloody, death is what made Final Destination popular and why we return every few years to watch it all unfold again. When it comes to elaborate deaths FD5 is a real joy and contains plenty of surprises. None of the deaths I detailed in my trailer dissection happened exactly as expected, there are plenty of red herrings along the way. Most deaths left the audience laughing, murmurs of delight, and occasionally a ripple of applause.

It feels odd to say but the 3D is some of the best I’ve ever seen and there really is no better way to see a fun horror film. When they make the effort to utilise the 3D to the full in a gimmicky fashion then, and only then, will I bother to lower chunky plastic glasses over my own.

The ending of the film is fantastic and the opening credits are sublime. The film as a whole is ridiculous fun and had me giggling and grimacing, often at the same time. Final Destination 5 is out on 26th August and I cannot recommend it enough.

There’s a special joy in knowing that director Steven Quale cut his teeth working as second unit director on Avatar, therefore learning all about 3D from James Cameron before utilising it in a way which would horrify Cameron himself.

Final Destination 5 – Trailer Dissection

Final Destination 5

With the Saw franchise (probably) over we’re left with only one horror franchise to guiltily enjoy long after it remained fresh and relevant. Final Destination 5 has a new trailer this week and below the video we’ve dissected the trailer, focussing mostly on the elaborate deaths… because that’s what this franchise is all about.

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On to the dissection… Continue reading

The Best is Yet to Come: 2011

Today we’re looking ahead at out most anticipated releases of 2011… and there’s a lot. A few glaring omissions perhaps but we have no interest in giant robots fighting.

So what can top 127 Hours and The King’s Speech?

Friday 14 January 2011
Blue Valentine
Made the headlines by getting its rating reduced in America as they claimed the sex scene wasn’t obscene just realistic. If that doesn’t tempt you how about a realistic portrayal of a marriage and career best performances?

Friday 21 January 2011
Black Swan
It’s great, powerful stuff and yet is another with more coverage of a single sex scene that the rest of the film. Portman is at her prime and Kunis ain’t too shabby either.

Friday 11 February 2011
Never Let Me Go
True Grit

A small British sci-fi with a beautifully subtle plot and the Coen brothers’ latest acclaimed production. Good Friday.

Monday 14 February 2011
For some reason sneaking out on a Monday, Pegg and Frost’s latest is funny if not up to the standard of an Edgar Wright collaboration. We saw it, reviewed it and got asked to take it down.

Friday 18 February 2011
Chalet Girl
A hopefully above average romantic comedy starring our own Felicity Jones and the slimy one from Gossip Girl.

Friday 25 February 2011
No Strings Attached
Waste Land

Natalie Portman tries her hand at a comedy about two friends trying out casual sex before Mila Kunis gets the chance. And on the same day we have one of our favourites from the London Film Festival, though most likely only at three cinemas.

Friday 4 March 2011
The Tempest

Animated comedy starring Johnny Depp as a lizard that is set to offer something better than the average animated film accompanied by the apparently less than perfect Shakespeare film featuring… Felicity Jones!

Friday 18 March 2011
A film everyone should see as Richard Ayoade makes a strong directorial debut with a near perfect tale of young love and awkwardness.

Friday 1 April 2011
Sucker Punch
Zack Snyder kicks you in the face with amazing visuals, sexy crazy girls and general madness.

Friday 8 April 2011
Attack The Block
Joe Cornish made a film with a slightly bad sounding premise. Can Cornballs make a bad synopsis into a great film?

Friday 15 April 2011
Scream 4
Winnie the Pooh
Your Highness

A triple whammy in mid-April. First the fourth in the Scream series starring the cast of the entire TV alongside the usual faces. Then we have a hand animated Disney film about everyone’s favourite bear and a medieval comedy starring future Mrs Mild Concern, Zooey Deschanel and with her third film in four months, Natalie Portman.

Friday 22 April 2011
Source Code
Duncan Jones tries to top Moon with sci-fi action thriller involving confusing time travel in which Jake Gyllenhaal consistently fails to find the bomber on a train.

Friday 29 April 2011
Michael Gambon directing a comic book movie? Surely worth a look. Oh, hello Natalie Portman.

Wednesday 18 May 2011
Pirates Of The Caribbean 4
They’ve promised to keep it simple this time and have lost the less interesting characters, we’re excited.

Friday 15 July 2011
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part II
Because Part I was so good this can only be the peak of the Potter series.

Friday 29 July 2011
Captain America: The First Avenger
It might be terrible but is the lead-in to The Avengers which might also be terrible. Wait, it could be good too!

Friday 5 August 2011
Rise Of The Apes
John Lithgow and James Franco! And monkeys!

Friday 19 August 2011
The Inbetweeners
Super 8

The spin-off from E4’s best output and J.J. Abrams top secret new film. Funny and surprising… and deeply shameful.

Friday 26 August 2011
Final Destination 5
Guilty pleasure alert… I like to see people die in ridiculous ways…

Friday 2 September 2011
Friends With Benefits
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Mila Kunis gets to do the friends having sex comedy to see if she can top Portman. Portman doesn’t care after having so many other films out.

Friday 7 October 2011
Johnny English 2
“It’s only a bit of poo.” Heh.

Friday 14 October 2011
The Thing

A musical remake of a personal favourite and a prequel starring Ramona Flowers. It could be a glorious pair or a double disaster.

Friday 21 October 2011
Paranormal Activity 3
With no new Saw film this is all we have for Halloween. Boo!

Wednesday 26 October 2011
The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn
Because the best British writers all seem to have had a hand in the writing of this particular film. Wright, Moffat and Cornish? Wow.

Fifth Final Destination Will Be 3D

ShoWest has delivered yet more movie scoop as it is revealed that there will be a fifth Final Destination and it was also announced at that it will be in 3D.

The Final Destination series is a big guilty pleasure of mine as they are knowingly over the top with too actually becoming a parody. There’s nothing better than watching the chain reactions that lead to a death while you try and guess just how it’s going to happen. It’s like Casualty gone mad.

Also, while I find 3D a bit pointless sometimes, I think horror is the perfect genre for 3D as it isn’t afraid to go full on and throw things in your face. If all you do with 3D is make the background seem a bit further back than the foreground then you might as well not bother, filmmakers should focus on adding depth to their characters not the scenery.

I look forward to ducking blood, guts and shrapnel in a few years when the next Final Destination is released.