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Outlander - The Weinstein Company Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
Written by Chris Mayo   
Wednesday, 01 July 2009

Directed by: Howard McCain
Written by: Howard McCain, Dirk Blackman
Produced by: Chris Roberts
Cinematography by: Pierre Gill
Editing by: David Dodson
Music by: Geoff Zanelli
Cast: Jim Caviezel, Ron Perlman, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, John Hurt
Year: 2008
Country: USA, Germany
Language: English, Norse
Color: Color
Runtime: 115 Minutes

Video: Region 1
Aspect Ratio: Cropped 1.78:1 Anamorphic (Original aspect ration 2.35:1)
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital 2.0 (French)
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Distributor: Alliance Films
Official Blog:
Official Website: US
Official Website: UK

A spaceship crash-lands on Earth in Norway, 709 AD.  The only survivor is Jesus himself, Jim Caviezel as a futuristic soldier named Kainan.  By way of some technological apparatus Kainin quickly learns about Earth and its Norse language.  When he looks into the device’s viewfinder, information is uploaded to him (done so in such a fast and ferocious manor that it causes him to be ill).  Once educated of his current surroundings, Kainan explores the area.  He comes across a cool looking carcass of a humpback whale and shortly thereafter is captured by a group of local Viking’s who think he is responsible for attacking their village.  An attempt at an explanation that he was hunting dragons is not believed by the clan so they keep Kainan incarcerated.

One night the village is attacked by a rival Viking clan lead by hammer-fisted Gunnar (Ron Perlman), a savage and barbaric warrior who smashes the heads of anyone in his path.  Following the fallout, however, both clans are attacked by a mysterious dragon-like creature.  Kainan had been right all along.  According to him, these dragon-like creatures, called Moorwen, are a species that inhabited a planet that Kainan’s people attempted to wipe out and make their own.  Whilst away on a mission Kainan got word that one of the Moorwen survived and retaliated, killing everyone including his wife and child.  So in an attempt to kill the remaining Moorwen, Kainan crash-landed on Earth bringing Moorwen and this new Viking quandary.  Now the two feudal Viking clans must merge together in order to defeat these monsters and save Earth as they know it.

Outlander is an absolutely bad ass movie that perfectly juxtaposes a Viking saga with a sci-fi/horror film.  Outlander is middle earth meets Alien.  The creature design for the Moorwen is awesome.  The dinosaur-esque body and giant razor teeth embellished mouth, makes the creature all the more menacing.  What makes it unique is its use of glowing body parts.  The Moorwen can literally be hidden at night but can let their presence be known when their body glows a reddish-pink. This makes it even more terrifying for their prey when stalking them.  They also have a whip-like tail which is used as a grabbing and slashing appendage.  Even though the Moorwen are the backbone of the film, Outlander also demonstrates excellent set-pieces and literally transforms Nova Scotia and Newfoundland (provinces in Canada where the film was shot) into an authentic Iron Age.  Moreover, just about every effect in the film looks great, considering most were created by hit-or-miss CGI.

As mentioned, Outlander does have a great semblance of Viking films and sci-fi/horror, and leads me to point out the violence and gore in the film.  While it isn’t a bloodbath by any stretch, it does contain some choice moments such as a beheading, a sword throat stabbing, sword and arrow battles, a grizzly bear brawl, not to mention all the Moorwen carnage, which is heightened by the filmmakers choice of giving the creatures bright neon green blood.

Outlander is what it is -- a film with Vikings and Monsters.  Obviously viewers know what they’re getting into when checking out this film.  So if you’re into a solid testosterone fueled creature-attacks-big-burly-sword-wielding-men flick, then Outlander delivers the mighty goods!

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- Commentary
- Deleted Scenes
- Visual Effects Tests
- Anamatics
- Production Art Galleries
- Trailer

Outlander crash-lands on DVD in Canada from Alliance Films.  Contrary to internet rumor due to this Canadian release’s aspect ratio being improperly labeled as 1.78:1 on the back of the DVD package, this release is definitely the original 2.35:1.  So everyone can now take note and give a sigh of relief because this Alliance Films Canadian release of Outlander is in fact 2.35:1!  The video presentation here is stellar and couldn’t look better.  There are no complaints to be found with the films transfer.  The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and does the film justice.  There is also an option of a French Dolby Digital 2.0 track.

Moving on to the bonus material, this disc is jam-packed!  First we have a Feature Commentary by writer/director
Howard McCain, writer/executive producer Dirk Blackman and producers Chris Roberts and John Schimmel.  When it comes to commentaries you have to be a major fan to sit and listen to filmmakers ramble on for a film’s duration.  This is a nice option but unless you’re an immense fan of Outlander, you’ll probably find yourself watching the clock.  The other extras on the disc shine by comparison.  Next up is a plethora of deleted scenes -- 27 in total!  It’s crazy that so much was cut out of the film, but these are an awesome addition and a wise choice to include on the disc.  Some scenes included are an alternate opening funeral sequence, a monologue between Kainan and his dying ship captain and much more.  The supplemental features also contain five Visual Effects Tests, ten Anamatics, a ton of Production Art Galleries and the films Trailer.  Fans will have a lot of fun checking out all this release has to offer.


VIDEO: 2.35:1 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema
AUDIO: Dolby Digital 5.1
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DVD: Alliance Films 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema
MOVIE: "Outlander" 1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed Cinema1 Skull - Severed CinemaNo Skull - Severed Cinema


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