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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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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‘Hell on the Border’ Arriving on Home Video Feb. 11 From Lionsgate

Lionsgate will release the Western Hell on the Border on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and through digital retailers Feb. 11. It is currently available on demand.

Based on a true story, the film follows Bass Reeves (David Gyasi), aided by his trusted journeyman (Ron Perlman), on his quest to bring a deadly outlaw (Frank Grillo) to justice and become the first black U.S. Marshal in the Wild West.

Reeves is often cited as one of the real-life inspirations for the Lone Ranger. The legend of Reeves also plays a role in HBO’s recent “Watchmen” TV series.

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The Hell on the Border cast also includes Chris Mullinax, Jacqueline Fleming, Gianni Capaldi and Zach McClarnon.

The disc includes a commentary with writer-director Wes Miller and camera operator Ronald Bourdeau.

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