Blu-ray Review “The Divide”

Directed by: Xavier Gens
Starring: Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Milo Ventimiglia, Rosanna Arquette, Courtney B. Vance
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Distributed by: Anchor Bay
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Running Time: 122 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

I had a hard time watching this film, it was extremely graphic and shocking. I think that was the angle they were going for but it just wasn’t for me personally. You had to expect this film to be intense though since Xavier Gens was directing. He is known for directing “Frontier(s)”, the hard to watch NC-17 horror movie and if you have seen that film, this one could have been made by Disney. The film drags major clocking in at over two hours and could have been trimmed down to 90 minutes easily. If you are looking for a effects driven end-of-the-world film, this definitely not it. The only real effects (beside some amazing makeup transformations) are in the opening scene and then this turns into a dark character drama. Overall, it definitely delivers real raw human and brutal reality post-apocalyptic feel but it just takes too long to get there.

The film has one hell of a cast though and everyone gave some really gritty and tough performances. Lauren German (Hostel: Part II) kicks-ass as the female heroine, Michael Biehn (“Aliens”, “The Terminator”) does what he does best, plays a bad-ass, Milo Ventimiglia (“Heroes”) get to shine in this role, playing one crazy son bitch, Courtney B. Vance (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent”) gives a real and very raw performance, Michael Eklund (“Hunt To Kill”) is one creepy bastard and Rosanna Arquette (“Pulp Fiction”) gives her 10/10 performance and then tops that. If this film had to be rated based on its performances alone it would be much higher.

The film follows nine strangers, tenants of a New York apartment complex, they all escape a nuclear attack escaping to the bunker-like basement. As time goes by, the group realizes that they are stuck and start to loose their grip with reality and begin to turn on each other. Everyone is out for themselves very quickly as treachery, madness, sexual torment and savage violence start to kick in. Like I said the film is very intense and hard to watch.

The Blu-ray presentation on the other hand is very impressive. The 1080p Blu-ray transfer looks fantastic even though the film is very dark and deary. The audio also contains a very surprising Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track. I really enjoyed the score to the film as well as I felt it channeled Jon Hopkins’ “Monsters” score. Then we get to the special features, which takes this release down the shitter again. The only real extra is an audio commentary track with director Xavier Gens and actors Michael Biehn, Michael Eklund, and Milo Ventimiglia. It is an overall fun track and does add some insight into the film, even though I was not a fan. Lastly, there is the trailer and a DVD copy included.

 

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