Primeval (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

When it comes to “B” movies, I’m usually not that interested. I don’t know why I prefer mainstream films over everything else; it could be several reasons. For some reason, though, I just can’t ever really seem to get into the plots. You have lesser-known actors, lower production values and the films are usually a farce. Now don’t get me wrong, I do like some of the better known “B” movies like “Evil Dead”, “Bad Taste” and “Clerks” but when parsing through DVD’s and deciding what to watch, I’d gladly take “Anaconda” over “Primeval”. This, of course, brings us to the movie in question, “Primeval”. The cast isn’t as “B” as I had first though. Dominic Purcell from TV’s “Prison Break”, Orlando Jones and Brooke Langton head up the cast as they head to Africa for the story of a lifetime.

The plot is about as easy to describe as any I’ve ever done. A news team, led by Tim (Dominic Purcell) heads to Africa to cover the story of a legendary 25 foot crocodile named “Gustave”. I’m not really sure where they got the name “Primeval” so that’s what I called the crocodile whenever I saw it. They’re greeted by locals and all seems going according to plan. But all never goes according to plan and soon people start, well, getting eaten. The news story soon takes a back seat as Steven (Orlando Jones) witnesses an execution and manages to record it. The chase is on and we don’t know who’s the real villain in the movie, the locals or the 25 foot crocodile. I got a real “Jaws” vibe from this in that they were trying to make it like that classic movie. We don’t see the crocodile for a while into the movie and even then, we don’t get a good look at him/her. Nevertheless, he surfaces and we can only imagine what happens next. The movie pretty much delivers what it promises and follows just about every cliche in the book as well. You’ve got the tough, gruff leading man, the sexy brunette who never seems to wear too many clothes (Brooke Langton) and the comic relief with Orlando Jones. If you’re a fan of this sort of movie, then you’ll be right at home here. As for me, I want those 94 minutes of my life back.

Video: How does it look?

What “Primeval” lacked in style and substance, it more than makes up in how it looks. This Blu-ray version looks fantastic and for a movie of this budget, it certainly gives hope to aspiring filmmakers that have a limited budget. The image is very saturated, so much that it looks like everyone has a sunburn and they all have dark circles under their eyes. It’s not the fault of the transfer, which has great attention to detail and I was hard-pressed to find much wrong with it. Granted, the movie is new so we’d expect nothing but the best but I was impressed to say the least. Kudos to Disney for a great transfer of a bad movie.

Audio: How does it sound?

The PCM uncompressed soundtrack also left me pretty impressed. There are some pretty intense fight scenes, plenty of gun shots and when the crocodile attacks, it does indeed activate all of the surround speakers. Dialogue is rich and full as well, no distortion could be heard in the least. The majority of the action is on the front stage but when the surrounds kicked in, I was really satisfied. There’s also a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack which sounds almost as good but if you have the means – then go with the PCM.

Supplements: What are the extras?

As far as supplements go, “Primeval” doesn’t have too many but the feature commentary with Michael Katleman is fairly decent. He talks of the shoot, the special effects (you don’t think they really worked with a 25 foot crocodile now, do you?) and the cast. He seems pretty proud of his work and it’s actually not a bad track. We also get three deleted scenes available with or without commentary and finally we get a “Croc” – u – mentary (yes, you read that right) which is your standard “Making of…” featurette. And that’s it. True fans of the film will enjoy this superb video and audio fest but when it comes to actual plot…you might need to look somewhere else.

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