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The Host - Blu-ray Review

{2jtab: Movie Review}

The Host - Blu-ray Review

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1 star

With a billion dollar franchise like Twilight to her name it was inevitable that Stephanie Meyer’s other works would quickly find their way to the big screen. According to those in the know, Meyer quickly penned this alien invasion story after completing Eclipse, and, like her vampire series, The Host did respectable business.

A change of pace, of setting, this reviewer thought, might present new aspects or facets to this highly successful storyteller. Forgetting my dislike for Twilight, The Host had a new premise, a stellar cast, including Saoirse Ronan, Frances Fisher and William Hurt, good production value: a fresh start, right?

Set in an undetermined time, The Host tells of an Earth where aliens have invaded us; not just our planet but our bodies, e.g. the body snatchers of yore. Most of the planet is overrun, but when Melanie (Ronan) is implanted with her invader she doesn’t succumb like all of the other humans—her consciousness remains. What follows is an introspective struggle between the host and the invader to try and understand each other and find a solution for peace between their peoples.

Sounds like an interesting premise, right? Wrong.

Meyer’s penchant for insipidly clichéd love triangles finds new banality by having a schizophrenic love play between two female consciousness and two handsome lads this time… wow. You’ve got an alien occupation which is seemingly all but done and their agenda explained away in a single sentence; you have the scattered and defeated remainders of our race hiding in remote areas and scavenging like rats, with no real sense of a resistance at all—save for some ham-fisted medical experiments—and the focus of this world is the burgeoning horniness of the invader and its host.

There are so many languid flashback scenes to Melanie’s lovemaking is boggles the mind. The whole film is a slow-burning exercise in torture that finishes as pointlessly as it begins. Characters are robotic, maudlin, uninspiring caricatures; there is little logic to any of their actions and the development—if one is kind enough to call it that—has so many leaps of logic it’s impossible to buy into this world or the people in it.

Saoirse Ronan, even for a young starlet, has already proven an acting force to be reckoned with. It’s her than one can use as a litmus test of the material: she’s boring, flat, lifeless, humourless, infused with what appears to be Meyer’s trademark lovelorn obsession.

Can any of her characters embrace love without become slave to it? Even in a world overrun by aliens, there is more focus on the protagonist’s love life than anything else. Whatever else is there is glossed over with appalling simplicity that robs the story of any depth or dramatic conflict beyond the author’s central focus. Problem is, if you want people to engage with a romance you need to identify with the players. This film asks you to relate to cardboard cut outs, not people. It’s a plodding, sloppy mess; a shiny veneer grandly laid out to let Ronan snog some young bucks for two hours. If you need no story to speak of, and can spend that amount of time with characters duller than a butter knife, then have at it. For Meyer faithfuls only, I suspect.

Atrocious movie.

{2jtab: Film Details}

The Host - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sensuality and violence.
Runtime:
125 mins.
Director
: Andrew Niccol
Writer
: Andrew Niccol
Cast:
Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Max Irons
Genre
: Romance | Sci-Fi | Thriller
Tagline: Choose to believe. Choose to fight. Choose to love. Choose to listen.
Memorable Movie Quote: "If you could hold me... Me, in your hand... you would be disgusted."
Distributor:
Open Road Films
Release Date: March 29, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 9, 2013

Synopsis: When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

The Host - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
1 star

4 stars



Blu-ray Experience
2.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - July 9, 2013
Classification: 12
Screen Formats:
2.40:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; DVD copy; BD-Live; Mobile features
Region Encoding: B/2

This is a modern release with a slick budget thusly the picture is astounding, almost sterile in its crispness. The AVC MPEG-4 picture has amazing clarity, natural flesh tones, solid detailed blacks: doesn’t get much better. Great immersive sound as well from the DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack, particularly with Ronan’s voiceover. Special features are as lacklustre as the movie itself.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Feature-length commentary track with author/producer Stephenie Meyer, screenwriter/director Andrew Niccol and producer Nick Wechsler.

Special Features:

The Special Features are entertaining, light-hearted and simply fun. They are as follows:

  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 3 minutes)
  • Bringing The Host to Life (HD, 8 minutes)
  • Seeker PSA (HD, 1 minute)

{2jtab: Trailer}

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