Species III / Species: The Awakening (Blu-ray Review)

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Species III / Species: The Awakening (Blu-ray Review)
Rated: UR/Region A/1:78/1080p/Number of Discs 2 (Each on Their Own Disc)
Available from Scream Factory

Species III (2014)
Directed By: Brad Turner
Starring: Robin Dunne, Robert Knepper, Sunny Mabrey

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In the ongoing fight for supremacy between mankind and human-alien hybrids, a fatal weakness among the hybrids has given humans the advantage… until now. When Sara (Sunny Mabrey, Snakes On A Plane), the daughter of Eve (Natasha Henstridge, Species), is born, she develops into the most genetically perfect alien form yet! Seeking to repopulate Earth with her kind, this dangerously beautiful femme fatale heeds an overwhelming drive to mate… while a crack military team trails her in an attempt to end the war between the two species forever!

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Species III takes place right after the events of part II and to help us smooth out the process, we at least have Natasha Henstridge playing Eve for a very short period of time out of the gate. Despite being a movie made years after part 2, she at least still looks the part and I think it is too bad she isn’t here in the movie more (and I don’t like how she’s written out), but the role of our hot alien is now being played by Sunny Mabrey, who is playing the love child of Eve and the other alien from part 2. The plot starts off well enough, even if the movie drags on a bit too long in parts. The children from the last movie are also sprinkled around here and growing up as well, with some coming and going very randomly and important people not showing up until late in the movie. Some of it really feels tossed together and while hot, I’m sad to say that Sunny Mabrey is a lot better to look at in this role than her acting. She isn’t counted on for holding it together and that may be a good thing, but the other stuff we cut to doesn’t always keep you too interested either.

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But the movie does pack the nudity the other two had and it also has some very good gore effects here and there as well. I’m not sure this has a plot that makes very much sense, but you probably will never be found guilty of going into a Species movie looking for a good plot. There is some action, maybe a surprise death here or there, but all in all things are just about average and you can see why this movie didn’t go into theaters like the rest, even if we do see Natasha Henstridge for a cup of coffee in it. This movie first came to us by way of the SyFy channel in 2004, but at least here you get it without the limitations of TV if you didn’t get the DVD later. It looks good, packs some good extras, but it is a big step back from the first two and really does feel like a cheap sequel. If you rented a lot of movies in 2004, then I’m sure it won’t take long into seeing this for you to catch just the vibe I’m talking about.

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Extras

– Audio Commentary With Director Brad Turner, Writer Ben Ripley And Actor Robin Dunne
– Alien Odyssey: Evolution Featurette
– Alien Odyssey: Species DNA – Production Design Featurette
– Alien Odyssey: Alien Technology Featurette
– Alien Odyssey: Intelligent Lifeforms – Creature Design Featurette
– Species III: Genesis Featurette
– Trailer

Quality of Transfer: 94%

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Species: The Awakening (2007)
Directed By: Nick Lyon
Starring: Edy Arellano, Marco Bacuzzi, Jan Bouda

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When brilliant college professor Miranda Hollander (Helena Mattsson, American Horror Story) suffers a mysterious blackout and awakens amid the bloody aftermath of a mass slaughter, she turns to her uncle for answers. But when he reveals the shocking truth… that she’s only half human, a clone from a hybrid of human and alien DNA, they must flee to Mexico to locate the scientist who created her. Soon they find themselves locked in battle with a horde of rampaging, unstoppable hybrids… and time is running out before Miranda will inevitably surrender to the killer instinct that lurks inside her own body!

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Like the movie before, Species: The Awakening came to us by way of the SyFy channel in 2007 and soon hit DVD right after. Unlike the last movie, it doesn’t try very hard to tie into the other films and is a stand-alone entry, having a hot girl who has had her DNA mixed with alien DNA have to deal with very similar things as the half-aliens in the other movies. Helena Mattsson is our alien hottie now and she does a fine job, but the rest of the movie is far from what I’d call a good thing. As a matter of fact, it kind of seems like a real mess from right out the gate. A lot of things seem to be tossed against the wall here and nothing seems to stick. The steam seems to run out of this one pretty quick and even the effects we see this time around tend to depend way too much on CGI and this is the very bad and almost bad video game level CGI as well. If you want to see a reason as to why I don’t like CGI in horror films, then by all means take a look at Species: The Awakening.

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They at least try to be a little different in the fourth Species movie, but I’m afraid it just doesn’t work. It is a frontrunner to the type of bad and so bad it is at least funny films we often see today on SyFy. Actually, it shocks me they’ve not tried to go back to the Species franchise in the current craze of wacky made for TV horror and Sci-fi movies being released. I guess a movie like this loses the luster once on TV because the best part of it, the nudity which isn’t bad for guys to look at or teens hitting puberty, is blurred on the air and defeats the point. The bottom line with Species: The Awakening is it isn’t the best movie of the series, not even close. It makes part III look like a five-star movie and even it isn’t much better than just watchable. The transfer here looks solid and the women in it are hot, but that is about the best that can be said when dealing with a movie that doesn’t leave much room for positive comments regarding it.

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Extras

– NEW Alien Awakenings – An Interview With Director Nick Lyon
– NEW Miranda’s Memories – Interview With Actress Helena Mattsson

Quality of Transfer: 94%

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