Friday, January 24, 2014
The Faculty (1998)
"Another Robert Rodriguez Classic."
The Faculty starts off with Robert Patrick (T2, From Dusk Till Dawn 2) as Willis who is the stereotypical brute football coach hounding his players as he vents his rage on a water sprinkler, an unseen person approaches him and we fade out. After a faculty meeting regarding budgeting classes comes to a close, the coach appears and begins to assult one of the school heads. We then introduce our leads Zeke (Josh Hartnett; H20, 30 Days of Night), Casey (Elijah Wood; Lord of the Rings, Maniac), Stokely (Clea DuVall; Identity), Stan (Shawn Hatosy), Delilah (Jordana Brewster; The Fast and the Furious), and Marybeth (Laura Harris). Each student represents all the basic cliques that you would probably encounter in most, if not all, high schools.
While Casey, who is the nerd/reject, is eating alone out on the football field finds a strange fish-like animal. They all gather in the science class, which is taught by Jon Stewart! Remember when he used to act in movies? Once this happens, they realize that this is possibly an alien life form and Casey suspects the coach as being one of them. The six realize that they may be the only humans left in the school as one by one students are being called into the principal's office for testing. Will they be able to kill the aliens or die trying?
Written by Kevin Williamson of the Scream series, he basically recycles the whole "teens in peril at high school" routine. However, what saves the movie is Robert Rodriguez's direction and the special effects of Robert Kurtzman, Greg Nicotero, and Howard Berger who have worked on a lot of other Rodriguez's films. Most of the casting seemed to fit as I can kind of see these actors playing these types of characters. Personally, I thought the alien looked amazing and live action version of it looked a lot better than the CGI variations that we see throughout the film. I give the film a 4/5.
Presented in it's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio in 1080p, Filmyard Holdings has given Echo Bridge another problematic transfer. I will gladly assume, like with initial release of The Crow: City of Angels and some of the previous Miramax/Dimension films that I have reviewed, that this is the original high definition transfer that Disney created back in the day. Detail and clarity comes and goes and leaves the image with more to be desired. Grain levels are also weak as well and most times it feels like it's been scrubbed away with DNR. While, it's not a complete disaster, I give the video presentation for The Faculty a 3/5.
Here's a problem that I have with this disc, we have three audio presentations. All are English; we have a 5.1 DTS-HD MA, 5.1 Dolby Digital, and LPCM 2.0. The default audio track that plays is the DTS-HD MA track and it sounds fantastic. The LPCM 2.0 track sounds exactly the same as the DTS-HD MA. And finally, a horrifying and dull 5.1 Dolby Digital track. Why is there a need for this many audio tracks for the film? We would be substantially fine with just the 5.1 DTS-HD MA track. Do not mistake this rant, the audio is fantastic, and I give it a 5/5.
Despite the rough video, this is one of Echo Bridge's better Miramax releases. I was able to get this for around six dollars when it came out. For the price, I can gladly recommend it. And considering it was written by Kevin Williamson, it is better than all of those Scream sequels. And it also shows me what I miss about what made Robert Rodriguez a great director in the day. Now it feels like broken promises about sequels we'll never get or are delayed and all this other nonsense we get from him. I give this Blu-ray of The Faculty a 3/5.