Dog Soldiers DVD Review
PictureThis is a low budget movie and as you'd expect, the production qualities suffer as a result. The initial helicopter drop off is shot well, but the whole frame is filled with dirt and grain and just about every other artefact you can shake a remote control at. Things marginally improve when darkness hides a lot of these problems, but there is still a certain lack of definition in those black areas. The house improves things further, presumably because it is easier to shoot there. Still, the picture is no better than the recent release of Evil Dead, with perhaps slightly better colour definition in favour of Dog soldiers. The direction, especially the establishing shots at the front end of the move are very well done, mind.
SoundA full on Dolby 5.1 track offers a credible sound field. Music is a little forced, but sounds fine - certainly better than you would expect and really does add to the action scenes. Vocals are clear, locked to the centre and free from hiss. What explosions there are, are done well showing off some bass effects and rear speaker action. Otherwise the sound is functional and accomplished what it is supposed to do, albeit locked to the front three speakers. There are some nice touches, though, like when you hear the sound of a squeaky windscreen wiper in the midst of a very bloody scene indeed or the sound of a blade sliding along someone's teeth.
ExtrasMaking of Dog Soldiers, strangely, has slightly better picture quality than the actual movie. Sean Pertwee, Niel Marshal and others all provide feedback, sometimes on set others at a press junket. One thing that surprised me was Liam Cunningham is actually Irish, but his English accent fooled me completely. Anyway, the design of the werewolves why CGI was not (thankfully) used and the pain the actors had to go through who were in the werewolf costumes are all discussed. I was glad to see Marshal's preoccupation that there hasn't been a decent werewolf movie crop up. He says some blunt, things about Howling and American Werewolf that kind of indicates he is a fan of the horror niche - something I think is apparent from Dog Soldiers.
The actor commentary is truly superb. Absolutely no airs and graces and utterly friendly to the last, there are more laughs and amiable mickey taking in the first ten minutes than most entire movies. While an establishing shot on the Scottish highlands flies by Liam says “look, there's Braveheart beating the hell out of Liam Neeson!”. Really I can't do justice to this commentary; you'll just have to listen to it yourselves.
VerdictThe best werewolf movie I have seen for years. It has none of the pretensions (or PVC) of Underworld and has more action than American Werewolf. The “group of lads” feel of the whole thing really does add something different to the movie.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £17.99
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