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Cherry Pop

'Anatomy & Anatomy 2 - Double Feature' [Blu-ray]
(Franka Potente, Barnaby Metschurat, et al / Blu ray / NR / 2013 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: 'Anatomy' - When Paula (Franka Potente, The Bourne Identity), a brilliant, ambitious medical student, is accepted into a prestigious anatomy class taught by a legendary professor, it seems like a dream come true. But her school days soon turn to nightmares when several of her fellow classmates turn up dead in the university's morgue. 'Anatomy 2' - In the research department of Berlin's most prestigious hospital, a centuries-old secret society is once again operating outside the rules of medical science - and the laws of nature.

Blu ray Verdict: Paula Henning (Franka Potente, 'X-Men') is the star pupil in Munich. She wins a coveted position at Heidelberg University. Which, unfortunately for her, is also the home to the Anti-Hippocratic Society, a group of doctors who believe they are God, and the human body needs some updating.

Initially, Paula is overjoyed to be in Heidelberg, eating up the professor's talk of modern medicine, fascinated by the anatomical museum and believing that doctors can do anything. The only problem is the pop-music soundtrack that accompanies such festive occasions as cadaver slicing. Anyway, then the body of a young man whose life she saved on the train to Heidelberg winds up on the table in the anatomy lab.

Paula is suddenly disgusted by the talk of plasticizing his rare mutant heart, put off by the male posturing at her shock, and puzzled by the fact that his cardiovascular system doesn't seem sufficiently damaged to cause death. That and her intense desire to save lives pushes her to understand what happened to him.

'Anatomy' is not only a good horror film, it's one of a very few with a strong female lead, a woman in a role that could have been played by a man, and yet is made unique by being cast as a woman. Highly recommended.

In 'Anatomy 2,' the Anti-Hippocratic cult from the first film are still active and are always looking for a few good men. In this case, they're after the brilliant newcomer Jo Hauser (L'Auberge Espagnole's Barnaby Metschurat), who both chafes under the school's strict adherence to procedure and has a brother with a degenerative nerve disease.

Indeed Jo will do anything to cure his brother, and that's where the Anti-Hippocratics come in - they've been working on artificial muscles. Of course, there's this problem of a lack of willing guinea pigs.

There's nothing new here, but Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters) is a very good director, and he's a pretty good writer, too. You may have seen it all before, but it's done here with style, and the whole artificial-muscle thing is incredibly neat. Oh, and if you're waiting and waiting to see the return of Franka Potente keep waiting - she's there somewhere, I promise! These are both Widescreen Presentations (2.35:1 / 2.40:1) and enhanced for 16x9 TVs.