Sunday, October 20, 2013

Adam Chaplin: Violent Avenger (DVD Review) - Autonomy Pictures

Directed By:
Written By:
Color/90 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1

The Film
Adam Chaplin is on a mission of revenge as a cloud of mystery and suspicion surrounds his wife's death. Adam summons a demon who gives him the ability to see his wife again if he's willing to carry out the demon's wishes, which is to kill the people responsible for her death. In order to help Adam with his mission he grants him super human strength and abilities. The town of Heaven Valley is about to have its streets run red with the blood of corruption.

If someone told me that this was originally conceived to be a video game or anime (or some mashup of both) I wouldn't be at all surprised. The film plays out much like a video game, from the storyline itself to film essentially being 90 minutes of super stylized fight scene, cut scene, stylized fight scene, cut scene, and so on. It plays out as a video game would, even leading up to a "boss battle" at the end. ADAM CHAPLIN would probably be more successful if we had the satisfaction of button mashing our way through levels and being responsible for the gallons of blood and guts flying across the screen, instead of just sitting on our ass watching it happen. The film is filled with slow motion action shots, ridiculous amounts of gore and cheap costumes. Is it violent? Hell yes it is. Is it entertaining? Not really, it just sort of happens in front of us with no real sense of danger or urgency. Again, having our lifebar flashing because we're almost dead would make this video game, err... movie better. 

I don't want to harp on the fact that it feels and plays out like a video game but that is my main feeling. The writing is thin, the direction is generic as far as action scenes go and the violence is so far beyond realistic that it doesn't really work. Although, the whole movie is that far beyond realisitic, and super-stylized, I don't think ADAM CHAPLIN: VIOLENT AVENGER is a failure, I just think it was made in the wrong medium. Hell, even that title screams video game! I'm sure there are people who will appreciate this movie for what it is more than I do and it deserves that audience. As for me, I don't dig it.  

The Audio & Video
Autonomy Pictures brings ADAM CHAPLIN to DVD with a solid anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1  transfer. Colors are vibrant and play a big role in the look of the film. It seems some sort of blue filter was used in the photography as almost all of the shots have a blueish hue to them. The red blood that flies so freely in this film pop out against a dull grey setting and the blue hues. The digital photography used is sometimes a bit soft but overall this is disc does a nice job bringing the film's color palette to life. Audio is fine, sometimes a bit muddled but those instances are few and far between and they stem from the production of the film and not with the authoring of this disc. 

The Extras
The disc features several featurettes including "H.A.B.S." on the methods used to create the blood and gore for the film. Also included are "Mechanisms Of Gore", "From Idea To Screen", "Building Up Adam". These featurettes give a nice look at the overview of the production. Also included is Scene Autopsy and a trailer.

The Bottom Line
While ADAM CHAPLIN isn't a film for me, it should have no trouble finding its audience. I'd suggest anime fans check this one out as the editing techniques and photography style definitely takes inspiration from Japanese Animation. They even mention that they were going for that style in the extras.  


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