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post #1 of 5 Old 04-15-10, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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The Fourth Kind - Blu-ray Review

Title: The Fourth Kind
Starring: Mila Jovovich, Will Patton, Elias Koteas
Directed by: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Written by: Olatunde Osunsanmi
Studio: Maple Pictures
Rated: Rated PG-13 for violent/disturbing images, some terror, thematic elements and brief sexuality
Runtime: 98 min
Release date: March 16 2010




Movie

Before the actual movie begins Jovovich appears standing center screen, introduces herself and informs whoever is watching that she will be portraying one Dr. Abigail Tyler, the person of interest in the movie to follow, and that what you are about to watch is based on true events.

Dr. Abigail is a resident of Nome Alaska who practices psychotherapy from a room in her huge picturesque cabin style home. Lately her patients have been complaining of trouble sleeping and waking up to find an owl starring at them through their bedside window. This owl is referenced many times throughout the movie but unfortunately its presence isn’t explained and eventually becomes a very annoying symbol or something apparently connected to outer worlds and non-human beings.

Regardless, during one of her taped sessions a patient under hypnosis experiences a traumatic recollection of what he insists is more than a sleep disorder. After coming out from the trance he composes himself and Tyler allows him to leave, not at all thinking that what he has just gone through will continue to haunt him in the days to come. This of course is not the result because otherwise there wouldn’t be a movie to be made. The man commits murder suicide and Tyler is blamed for not noticing that the man left imbalanced and a threat to himself and others around him.

At this point in the movie is when I became highly skeptical of these proposed true events. The movie utilizes split screens and even four screens at once; one side would be the reenactment or dramatization and the other side would be the so called actual footage. The actual footage, like nearly all nighttime low resolution footage is a bit unclear, but it’s evident what’s taking place, and when the actual footage showed the man behind the window point a handgun at his family, fire, and then take his own life, I was a bit taken back. Not at what I saw, but in how the writers thought I’d be foolish enough to actually believe that the family of the deceased would allow this footage to be inserted into a movie. Following this entire multi-screen extravaganza, I called “Shenanigans”, but kept watching to see how much more I was expected to believe.

Oops, I guess I got off track there; the movies central theme is alien abductions and how in this little town in Alaska there have been more missing persons reported than any other town in the entire state. Tyler, based on the words of her hypnotized patients and through her own hazy semi-conscious recollections has concluded that the citizens of Nome are being taken while they sleep by non-human intelligences or taken and brought back with lasting memories of having endured unfathomable degrees of personal violation.

The story then proceeds to unravel as Tyler discovers strange noises and screams, ones that she doesn’t remember recording on her small personal recording device. Through a series of meetings with friends and specialists she slowly starts to learn that she may be amongst the people of Nome who have been unknowingly abducted and returned.


Rating

I have to admit there were a few times when I jumped in my seat from seeing the hysterics on screen. Convinced of the authenticity of the actual footage or not, the producers did a somewhat successful job giving me goose bumps.






Video

Why is it that every time alien related subject matter is caught on film, right when you’re getting to the good stuff, the footage that can prove something significant, the picture goes bonkers and everything is skewed to the point of being nearly unrecognizable? Do aliens have control over digital equipment and can use this power at their whim? Such is the case in The Fourth Kind. Tyler has video documented many sessions and just when the hypnosis gets serious and intense, the picture becomes heavily distorted and looses all credibility.

I supposed this is a strategy used to emphasis the fact we’re dealing with beings capable of high levels of control, even in the digital sense, but I found the familiar and convenient loss of picture lame and annoying.


Audio

According to the specialists Tyler talked to, the screeching sounds being emitted from her recording device and the ones heard during the taped sessions were actually someone, or rather something, speaking in the oldest language known to humans, Sumerian. As this is fictional work I really doubt any of that to be true, but I commend the filmmakers for doing some research into ancient languages.


Extras

No commentary, no mini-documentary about all the unsolved missing persons cases, no additional facts to further uphold that what I just watched is true; all you get are deleted scenes. If this movie were truly based on actual facts you’d think there would be more in the extras section pertaining to that. I guess the writers could only stretch the hoax for so long.


Overall

Putting aside the claims that the archival footage is real along with the supposed real testimonies and actual existence of the Dr.’s in the movie, let me just weigh in on other attributes like acting, enjoyment of the movie and final thoughts.

I never found Jovovich to be convincing in any of her roles, the same goes for this role. There’s just nothing special about her performance, and she always seems sweaty, as if she’s trying very hard to abstain from some sort of heavy medication. It’s just a bit creepy.

The supporting cast did a fine job going along with the entire premise, but I found the “actual” Tyler to be extremely distracting. Her eyes were bulbous, nearly to the point where they looked altered with an enlarging agent. Her eyelids were huge! Maybe this alien look was supposed to be intentionally distracting, as if you’d never forget her scenes where she recounted in a still zombie-like manner what happened to her and her theories about other incidences.

As for enjoying the movie; it went by quickly and although I knew it to be fake early on, I can’t say it was terrible. It’s along the lines of Paranormal Activity.


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post #2 of 5 Old 04-15-10, 06:16 PM
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Re: The Fourth Kind - Blu-ray Review

I think adding in the "based on actual events" factor definitely adds a realism to the movie, and makes it kind of freaky. But I think when you make your claims out to be all true, movies like this are quickly outed and hated upon for not being entirely true.

Examples: Texas Chainsaw, Amityville, Paranormal, etc.

I remember when I was in school people swore on their lives that Texas Chainsaw was 100% true because of the "real footage" at the end. Yet, just one google search you find it was a guy in Iowa or Wisconsin, somewhere up there, that did similar things, but definitely wasn't in Texas. Amityville: I obsessed over finding the facts of this movie when I was in high school. What else is a person to do in study hall with nothing to do? lol Won't go into detail, but the house definitely wasn't a lonely house in the woods.

Good review. I like that you put an unbiased opinion in! Great job!

Steffen Harris
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"A photograph is like the recipe - a memory the finished dish"
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-15-10, 06:33 PM
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Re: The Fourth Kind - Blu-ray Review

Great review Peter, definitely looks worth a rental at least. Thanks!

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post #4 of 5 Old 04-16-10, 04:46 AM
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Re: The Fourth Kind - Blu-ray Review

Yes nice review Peter, I have watched this a couple of times now and enjoyed it more 2nd time round, it's a well made movie that gets you thinking
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-17-10, 03:13 PM
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Re: The Fourth Kind - Blu-ray Review

My friend told me about this movie (she's also the friend who gave me 4 RealD glasses - I'll make a thread about them in a minute because I have a project in mind), and she was convinced that it was real, and she thought it had a sad ending... she explained it like this (she only explained the second half of the film):

A psychiatrist thinks that her and her patients are being effected by aliens, so she sets up cameras around her house at night. She's under house arrest because the police think she's crazy, but not so much that she can't still take care of her family. Two or three security guards surround her house to make sure she doesn't sneak out, and the night shift guards hear loud screaming and run inside with their guns loaded, and as it turns out the psychiatrist sees a bright light and she freaks out, and when the lights die down after a few seconds, she tells the police as the break in that they took her baby. The police think that she murdered the baby and they begin looking for her body, and she is immediately sent to the crazy house as she cries and screams that it was the aliens who did it. A few hours later, they set up cameras around her to document her story as they put her under hypnosis. During the hypnosis, she begins having seizures and starts screaming about they took her baby again, and then begins speaking in an ancient language and grabs a gun from the officer, still under hypnosis, and shoots her family that's watching. She is supposedly in the crazy house to this day, and they are still looking for the baby's body. The police believe the bright light was a hoax put on by the psychiatrist, and the movie ends sad and confusing and unsatisfying.

So, I'm not sure if I would want to rent this one... haha.

Last edited by 31Orcas; 04-17-10 at 03:19 PM.
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