Monster Hunter

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Sony Pictures;
Action Fantasy;
Box Office $15.1 million;
$30.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray, $40.99 UHD BD;

Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of creature action and violence throughout.
Stars Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung, Ron Perlman.

Seeing how Monster Hunter is based on a video game and stars Milla Jovovich, it’s not hard to guess the director would likely be Paul W.S. Anderson. And like most of his films (Resident Evil, Alien vs. Predator), Monster Hunter is a slick-looking production light on story and heavy on action. Think of it as Stargate mixed with Tremors.

Jovovich (who is married to Anderson in real life) plays the captain of a United Nations unit searching for a lost patrol in the desert. They get hit by a sandstorm that sends them through a portal to another world where they encounter the missing patrol, wiped out. They soon discover this new world is populated by deadly giant monsters that start attacking them, but they find help in the form of a hunter (Tony Jaa) who knows how to fight the creatures. He survived an attack on his vessel, essentially a clipper ship that sails the sand dunes as if they were water, that left him not knowing if anyone else from his crew survived.

And the movie doesn’t get much more complicated than that. They fight a variety of monsters and come to the conclusion that the realm to Earth has to be protected lest any number of dragon-type monsters cross over.

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Anderson, a self-professed fan of the video game who has apparently been trying to make this movie for 10 years, says in the bonus materials that his primary goal was to include as many familiar elements from the game as possible. Most of the featurettes are geared toward how the production went about doing that, with the intent of making a movie that fans of the game franchise will enjoy.

The eight-minute “The Monster Hunters” showcases the film’s cast; the seven-minute “For the Players: Game to Screen,” provides a look at how closely the visual effects and design elements of the movie match the costumes, characters and creatures of the video games; and “Monstrous Arsenal” is a five-minute look at the weapons used in the film.

The Blu-ray also includes two deleted scenes running a total of three minutes. Both are one of the military officers trying to tell a bad joke.

The 4K disc includes all the same bonus materials as the regular Blu-ray disc contained in the combo pack.

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‘Monster Hunter’ Tops Vudu, FandangoNow Charts

Sony Pictures’ action-adventure Monster Hunter led the Vudu and FandangoNow charts for the week ended Feb. 21.

Both are transactional VOD services owned by Fandango.

Monster Hunter, based on the video game franchise, stars Milla Jovovich as Capt. Artemis, whose unit is caught in a sandstorm that transports them to a world ruled by dangerous and powerful monsters. As they fight to survive, they encounter the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures. Also in the cast are Tip “T.I.” Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung and Ron Perlman. The film became available for early digital purchase Feb. 16.

The Universal/DreamWorks animated sequel The Croods: A New Age, newly available to own Feb. 9, took the silver on the Vudu chart and the bronze on the FandangoNow chart. It’s a followup to 2013’s The Croods that finds the prehistoric family facing a new challenge when they encounter a walled-in paradise created by the sophisticated Betterman family. As they try to coexist, the differences between the two families escalate into a full-blown feud, until a new threat forces them to work together. The voice cast includes Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie Tran and Leslie Mann.

Warner Bros.’ Wonder Woman 1984, which was released Feb. 12 as a 48-hour PVOD rental after debuting on WarnerMedia’s SVOD service HBO Max, took the No. 2 spot on the FandangoNow chart (No. 3 on Vudu). A sequel to 2017’s Wonder Woman, the follow-up reunites director Patty Jenkins with star Gal Gadot and moves the setting from World War I to 1980s America, where the DC Comics heroine confronts the challenges of the Cold War.

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The dystopian disaster film Greenland, which recently became available for digital purchase after a stint as a PVOD rental, fell to No. 4 on both charts. It’s an action thriller that follows a family fighting for survival as a planet-killing comet races to Earth. John Garrity (Gerard Butler), his estranged wife Allison (Morena Baccarin) and young son Nathan make a perilous journey to their only hope for sanctuary.

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Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 21, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Monster Hunter
  2. The Croods: A New Age
  3. Wonder Woman 1984
  4. Greenland
  5. Willy’s Wonderland
  6. Shadow in the Cloud
  7. Let Him Go
  8. Tenet
  9. Freaky
  10. Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

 

FandangoNow’s top 10 titles for the week ended Feb. 21, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Monster Hunter
  2. Wonder Woman 1984
  3. The Croods: A New Age   
  4. Greenland
  5. Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar
  6. Willy’s Wonderland
  7. News of the World
  8. Let Him Go 
  9. Tenet
  10. Promising Young Woman

Video Game Adaptation ‘Monster Hunter’ Available Digitally Feb. 16, on Disc March 2

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release Monster Hunter via digital sellthrough Feb. 16, and on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray March 2.

Based on the popular video game series, the film stars Milla Jovovich as Capt. Artemis, whose unit is caught in a sandstorm that transports them to a world ruled by dangerous and powerful monsters. As they fight to survive, they encounter the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa) whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures.

The cast also includes Tip “T.I.” Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung and Ron Perlman.

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Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, Monster Hunter earned $11.1 million at the domestic box office.

Home video extras include deleted scenes and the featurettes “The Monster Hunters: Cast and Characters,” “Monstrous Arsenal: Weaponry in the Film” and “For the Players: From Game to Screen.”

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‘Resident Evil’ 4K Release Moved Back to Nov. 17

The live-action video game film franchise “Resident Evil” will come out in a 4K Ultra HD collection Nov. 17 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

It was originally scheduled for Nov. 3.

The limited-edition gift set marks the first time all six films are on 4K Ultra HD disc with HDR and Dolby Atmos audio. The films will also be available digitally in 4K with HDR.

The “Resident Evil 4K Ultra HD Collection” includes Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse (both the original theatrical version and an extended cut), Resident Evil: ExtinctionResident Evil: AfterlifeResident Evil: Retribution and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter as well as hours of bonus content across all six films, including archival featurettes that have been previously unavailable on disc.

Based on the popular video game series by Capcom, the “Resident Evil” franchise stars Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element) as Alice, a superhuman security expert pitted against the sinister Umbrella Corporation as the world’s population is transformed into flesh-eating creatures by one of its most dangerous biological weapons.

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‘Hellboy’ Reboot Blazing to Home Video in July

Lionsgate will release the Hellboy reboot digitally July 9, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc July 23.

Based on the Dark Horse comic book created by Mike Mignola, the film finds the half-demon superhero Hellboy (David Harbour) called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants and finds himself confronting an ancient sorceress (Milla Jovovich). The film also stars Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim and Thomas Haden Church.

The film earned $21.9 million at the domestic box office.

The home video editions will include deleted scenes and previsualizations. The Blu-ray and digital versions will also include the three-part making-of documentary “Tales of the Wild Hunt: Hellboy Reborn.”

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray will include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.

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