Annihilation debuts on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD May 29, 2018 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. From director director Alex Garland’s (Ex Machina) and starring Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and Tuva Novotny – here is my review of the 4K UHD Best Buy Exclusive Blu-ray.
Based on the novel series by Jeff VanderMeer — A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition into a mysterious zone where the laws of nature don’t apply.
Annihilation is one of 2018’s best films and it looks stunning in 4K UHD – though in order to get that enhanced tastiness, you’ll need to seek it out at Best Buy! I know – I know – it’s like nobody wants you to see this movie right? A limited theatrical run, then it was dumped onto international Netflix too fast – whatever. Paramount were over-cautious because they’ve been burned recently, but as long as the fans buy this flick and support it now, everything will work itself out. It’s up to the people to show Annihilation all the love that we can and this is a movie that bears repeated viewings. SCREAM-BEARS repeated viewings actually…
I loved the movie – it was a weird adventure tale about a group of scientists entering a terrifying landscape where DNA is being genetically modified by extra-terrestrial life-forms, usually to either horrifying or beautiful effect. Sometimes both! Natalie Portman delivers some of her finest work ever here and the supporting cast are all tremendously talented and really make you wish for them to not die brutally via scream bear – aka a bear that lulls it’s victims in by making scared human cry-scream noises. Because – holy shit – you could have made a movie solely based around this monster. But Annihilation isn’t a straight up action-horror movie like Aliens – it’s an adventure sci-fi movie loaded with otherworldly concepts and enough bizarre sequences that you’d think it was some scary spiritual successor to the beautiful Arrival.
The movie is exciting, strange and it looks amazing at home. If you saw it in theaters, I applaud you if you managed to catch it in time, but if you didn’t – buy it now in 4K and witness one of 2018’s most profound and original works.
The special features clock in just under 2 hours and there is a TON of fascinating insight provided here with behind-the-scenes interviews and how they filmed some of the movie’s brilliant sequences. If you saw Annihilation and you loved it – you’ll really enjoy the bonus content here because it’s really intriguing and entertaining. Here are some of my favourite revelations from the special features:
- Director Alex Garland is a huge Alan Moore fan, particularly his legendary Swamp Thing comic run, which he says directly inspired the imagery of plants forming human shapes.
- They shot a lot of Annihilation on the same set as Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Oscar Isaac would literally walk from one set to the other to film scenes for both movies simultaneously. He even showed up in his full Poe Dameron gear on occasion.
- Gina Rodriguez did her own stunts. The sequence where the scream bear is tossing her around looked brutal in the special features, just seeing this dude in a mo-cap suit slamming her into a wall and then throwing her onto the staircase… She’s a warrior and seeing how dedicated she was to her character was pretty damn cool.
- The alien mimic sequence at the lighthouse near the end of the film featured a ballet dancer playing the alien opposite Portman’s character. Whatever actions Portman would do – were mimicked by the ballet dancer to perfection, which is why this sequence looked so damn graceful and perfect.
Part 1 – SOUTHERN REACH
- Refractions – See how director Alex Garland created the tone, textures and color palettes for the various film environments on set.
- For Those That Follow – Listen to the cast’s perspective on their roles and learn why they found the story so intriguing.
Part 2 – AREA X
- Shimmer – See how filmmakers transformed real set locations to create the world of Annihilation.
- Vanished into Havoc – Check out all the action as cast and crew walk you through the mind-blowing stunts and special effects.
Part 3 – TO THE LIGHTHOUSE
- Unfathomable Mind – Learn why the visual effects are integral to achieving director Alex Garland’s overall vision for Annihilation.
- The Last Phase – Listen to the cast and crew share their fondest memories from filming Annihilation.