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(Widescreen Unrated Extended Edition)

While it may not be great cinema, DOOM ($30) is a winner, as far as movie adaptations of video games go. Low on plot and characterizations, but high on action, gore and violence, DOOM proves itself to be a whole lot of fun, especially if you enjoy the first person shooter type of video game, or just enjoy munching popcorn during mindless action movies. Set in the year 2046, after mankind has discover an ancient portal that allows nearly instant transport the planet Mars, DOOM follows Sarge (The Rock) and the Rapid Response Tactical Squad of marine as they are deployed to the red planet, to deal with an unknown threat to a scientific/archeological installation.

Scouting for missing scientists in a remote, sealed off section of the installation, the marines soon find themselves in harms way and slowly being picked off by things that are certainly not quite human. What follows are tons of gunplay, as the marines stalk down poorly lit corridors, hunting for god only knows what, while just trying to save civilians and stay alive. If the plot sounds strangely familiar, itís because youíve played that very same video game countless times before. The cast of DOOM also features Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, Deobia Oparei, Ben Daniels, Razaaq Adoti, Richard Brake, Al Weaver, Dexter Fletcher, Brian Steele, Yao Chin, Robert Russell, Daniel York, Ian Hughes and Sara Houghton.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made DOOM available on DVD in a 2.35:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. DOOM comes with a very solid transfer that holds up very well considering that much of the film is intentionally dark, producing a sharp and well defined image. Colors appear vibrant during well-lit sequences, although they are more subdued in the darkness. Blacks are pure, whites are crisp and stable, plus the picture has smooth contrast and very good shadow detail. The film elements are perfectly clean and display little appreciable grain. Digital compression artifacts are nicely concealed.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack featured on DOOM is an absolute blast. Aggressively mixed in the best action movie mode, DOOM makes excellent use of all the discrete channels. Gunfights during the monster attacks are showcased on the track and are certain to give your speakers a workout. Fidelity is also top of the line, producing convincing sound effects and a strong musical component. The bass channel is potent and certain to Rock your listening room. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. French and Spanish 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the DVD, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice extras. Basic Training is a ten-minute program focused on the military advisor, who whipped the actors into shape to make convincing marines. Rock Formation runs five minutes and looks at makeup that The Rock undergoes for the filmís climax. Master Monster Makers clocks in at ten minutes and examines the design of the filmís creatures. First Person Shooter Sequence is a five-minute program dedicated to the movieís homage to the game play experience. Doom Nation spends fourteen minutes reviewing the history of the game that spawned the movie. Game On! provides six minutes of tips on actually playing the video game.

DOOM is mindless motion picture shoot Ďem up fun for those who enjoy watching video games as much as playing them. Universalís DVD looks and sounds great, so if you are looking for some mindless fun, DOOM is a great little DVD.



Doom (Unrated Widescreen Edition) (2005)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2006 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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