BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Mimic: The Director’s Cut (1997) - Blu-ray Review

Mimic: The Director’s Cut

There are few genre fans in the world that don’t know the name Guillermo del Toro, but in 1997 he was still a relatively unknown entity to the western world. The Spanish director was hired by the Weinsteins to helm what was originally conceived as a three part short film project, quickly morphed into a standard feature. But for anyone that knows del Toro’s work, nothing the man does is standard.

"as monster movies go, this is up there with the best"


On the face of it, and ultimately to del Toro’s chagrin, Mimic was marketed and reedited in his absence to be a monster movie. But all along he had a more complex vision, as he always does, for the tale he wanted to tell. A lifelong fan of Frankenstein and ancient fairy tales, he saw this film as an opportunity to explore humanity through misanthropic eyes; to make the assertion that humanity’s arrogance to play god and indifference to the carnage it creates may seal its own destruction. A dark and imaginative cautionary tale was his agenda. The Weinsteins disagreed.

Skip a decade and a bit and the world now knows how brilliant del Toro is; he has proven himself again and again, and is now a brand name in Hollywood. With that influence, a seldom opportunity for the man to revisit his earlier work surfaced, and we now have Mimic: The Director’s Cut; a version as close to his original vision as was possible. He has added some scenes to better highlight his original intention, and excised a few of the producer’s choices to remove that gimmicky monster scare element he loathed when the film was released theatrically.Mimic: The Director’s Cut

Mimic: The Director’s Cut tells the story of an entomologist (Mira Sorvino) who becomes the hero of New York City after she eradicates a dangerous plague of cockroaches that have spread disease and caused the death of thousands. Her seemingly genius plan, a biological experiment using a new insect called the Judas Bug, does their job and is assumed to die off. A few years later, she discovers that the Judas has in fact not only survived, but evolved rapidly, and into something far more deadly than the disease they were designed to destroy. It is up to her to answer how this happened and find a way to stop it before the Judas turns on humanity.

There are del Toro hallmarks all over this, one of his earliest western offerings, and it is head and shoulders above its contemporaries for it. Visually, the film belies its monster movie tendencies with the director’s considered perfectionism for shadow and light, as always, registering as painterly. While the story is not what he wanted, even with the new version, it does satisfy with better character development than your average monster mash up. The creatures are also another instantly recognizable del Toro hallmark, and are unique and terrifying to boot. Nothing about this film is average, so I can understand his frustration at not being able to tell the story the way he wanted it. But as far as monster movies go, this is up there with the best. It may not he Cronenberg’s The Fly, but it’s a worthy addition to the genre. Unlike Richard Donner’s Superman II, there was not enough material for del Toro to completely reshape his film. It’s subtly different and does adequately highlight the things he wanted, but it’s not a major revision by any stretch.

If you like del Toro, and want to see something that is closer to what he originally wanted, give it a go. He may have been disappointed, but I doubt you will be. Mimic-The Director's Cut will make your skin crawl.

4/5 beers

Mimic: The Director’s Cut

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- July 27, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English; English SDH; Spanish
Audio:
DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

A disease carried by common cockroaches is killing children in Manhattan. In an effort to stop the epidemic, entomologist Susan Tyler (Sorvino) creates a mutant breed of insect that secretes a fluid to kill the roaches. This mutant breed was engineered to die after one generation, but three years later Susan finds out that the species has survived and evolved into a large, gruesome monster that can mimic human form.

Video:

Presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, this new transfer of Mimic: The Director's Cut looks stunning.  Still dark (and that’s by design), this is a 1080p transfer that presents its monsters in glorious detail against strong shadows and good contrast. Really, that’s one of the highs of owning the film on blu-ray.  This is a spectacularly good picture, handling film grain subtly and color masterfully. Details aren’t really that much more impressive than the original release, but the depth of color and blacks are what really highlights this transfer’s merits, really punching the warmer colors that sparkle in the predominantly darker hued production throughout. There is depth and dimension in every scene, and a credit to all who made the film from set designers and effects artists, their work—now 23 years old—still amazes at this resolution. 

Audio:

A well-thought out sound design highlights the lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track which accompanies this new release.  It puts every speaker through its paces constantly, surrounding you with scene specific noises at every turn. Environmental effects, shifting through the channels, render the film real. It’s definitely one to use to show off your sound capabilities.

Supplements:

Commentary:

Special Features:

Extras, as with most of del Toro’s films, are copious, generous, and enjoyable. The director does not mince his words about the process and disappointments of this movie. Well worth looking at.  As a plus, this release includes a digital copy of the movie.

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars


Film Details

Mimic: The Director’s Cut

MPAA Rating: R for terror/violence and language.
Runtime:
94 mins
Director
: Guillermo del Toro
Writer:
Matthew Robbins; Guillermo del Toro
Cast:
Mira Sorvino; Jeremy Northam; Alexander Goodwin
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
For thousands of years, man has been evolution's greatest creation...
Memorable Movie Quote: "Can I eat it or will it eat me?"
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 22, 1997
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 27, 2021.
Synopsis: In this extended cut of the chilling creature feature, Oscar winning director Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) brings a new vision to the terrifying modern cult classic. Starring Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino (Hollywood), Charles S. Dutton (Legion), and Josh Brolin (Sicario), this electrifying thriller brings the epic battle between man and nature to life when a team of scientists discover a glitch in their miracle cure. With the power to mimic and destroy its every predator and the threat of an entire city's destruction, their creation has taken on a horrifying life of its own. The ever growing weight of extinction on their shoulders forces the team to take matters into their own hands in this stylish hit that delivers heart pounding thrills from beginning to end.

Art

Mimic: The Director’s Cut

 

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