Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Super Hybrid (DVD Review)

DVD Review the killer car/monster movie Super Hybrid

Dir: Eric Valette (One Missed Call, State Affairs)
Cast: Shannon Beckner, Oded Fehr, Ryan Kennedy, Melanie Papalia, John Reardon, Adrien Dorval
USA/Germany, 2011 (DVD)

Reason to see: Killer Car & Oded Fehr was enough to get me interested!

Killer car, here it comes! The premise alone got me interested and I'm actually quite of fan on Oded Fehr and really wish we saw him of more and I was surprized that although he's the first name to appear, he's not the protagonist of the film. Although I do really enjoy Oded Fehr (who is in the film a lot), this was a happy surprized as this killer car movie actual follows Shannon Beckner and she is our protangonist Tilda, who with a get it done attitude and no-muss, no-fuss take on life who is easy connect to and empathize with at her not-so-glam lifestyle of working on cars with a bunch of guys included a quietly connected family member.

Given that this is an monster movie, we should chat about the car itself and this film has an interesting take on killer car idea and creatively blends in ideas that allow for the opportunity to showcase several cars and bring in a creature feel into the mix There is a fair amount of action via car chases and lots of destruction and mayhem. Although you might be thinking Christine, Super Hybrid actually takes inspiration from films like Aliens 3 and Pitch Black focusing on characters and moral dilemmas under pressure of being faced with a monster. It has classic monster movie elements of denial, disbelief and of course dismemberment. I actually quite enjoyed our female protagonist grease monkey Tilda (Shannon Beckner), she's reluctant to try out the hero role of the crazy situation but steps closer in that direction each time our antagonist (or at least non-vehicular antagonist) the brutish Ray (Oded Fehr). Ray & Tilda play off each other really well, giving both tension to the crazy situation and an uneven opportunity for the remaining cast members to feel the need to choose sides. And with survivalist films, you know side-taking is likely going to crop up and ramp up everything.

I enjoyed the action sequences and chases, both of which are pretty fun and we get lots of different cars and vehicles in action. This makes up for the non-car special effects which aren't as snazzy but pretty on par with a lot of monster movies out there. I also really enjoyed the rag tag group of characters we follow through the mayhem, whom I actually connected to more that expected. If you watch a lot of monster movie you can usually see where they are going, but with this kind of film that’s where I find half the fun – how crazy will they take it? How far will they go? Who will survive (if anyone) versus the monster? Even if you figure out each and every moment, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun to watch the mayhem in action.

DVD Extras:
  • Under the Hood of Super Hybrid (34 minutes) substantial featurertte that includes film clips, behind the scenes, interviews with director Eric Valette, producers Oliver Hengst, Elizabeth Wang-Lee & Kevin Dewalt, writer Neal Marshall Stevens, production designer Tom Valentine, cinematographer John Leonetti, special effects artist Emersen Z., 2nd unit director Richie Burden, actors Shannon Beckner, Oded Fehr, Melanie Papalia, Ryan Kennedy on the premise of the film, the stigma of the genre, the stunts & the huge number of cars destroyed in the process of filming (100+!), selection of and working with director Eric Valette and Shannon Beckner as Tilda, that the film is centred on the story & character journeys over CGI & effects and the characters their roles in the film; plus sections on The Look, The Cars, The Special Effects & .... that go through the locations of the film including the creation of the parking garage and the inspiration behind the look & feel of it and the challenge of the confined location, working with the red camera, the car as a character and film and the changes it goes through during the film, the effects in and touches on their creation and placement in the film and behind the scenes on some set up and shooting of car action scene plus challenges of all stunt working being mostly interiors and the importance of putting the stunt team together. This featurette has a voice over to guide you through, but it refers to the film as Hybrid, as opposed to the DVD title Super Hybrid.
Super Hybrid is available on DVD as of August 23, 2011. Check it out over at Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it as fans of car films and monster film

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© Shannon Ridler, 2011

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