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Cherry Pop

(Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chaneac, et al / 2-Disc Blu Ray+DVD / R / 2010 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Superstar genetic engineers Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) specialize in splicing DNA from different animals to create incredible new hybrids. Now they want to use human DNA in a hybrid that could revolutionize science and medicine. But when the pharmaceutical company that funds their research forbids it, they secretly take their experiment underground – risking their careers to push the boundaries of science and serve their own curiosity and ambition. The result is Dren!

Blu ray Verdict: I'm still reeling from this movie. What started out as an interesting plot and wonderful characters, took a deranged turn in the last 1/3 of the movie that I just couldn't stomach. In fact, I think my first word to describe it was "brutal"!

Two scientists, Elsa (Sarah Polley) and Clive (Adrien Brody) have done a great job splicing together different animal DNAs to create a creature that gives off healing proteins. Inspired by their work, they want to take it to the next level and splice human DNA in as well. The problem is the pharmaceutical company they work for would rather them synthesize the healing protein instead of continuing with their work. In secret, they decide to continue on their own.

What they create is like no other creature. She forms at a rapid pace and develops to be very humanoid. But she is not all human, she also has a stinger, wings, and can breathe underwater. Despite all these dangerous attributes, the two scientists begin to treat her as a child and care for her as she matures rapidly. They name her Dren (Delphine Chaneac) = the name of their company, NERD backwards.

As Dren matures, several things start to go wrong. They have to move her from the lab to a safer place, Elsa's deceased mother's farm. Here Dren seems to turn a bit feral, eventually seducing and turning on the scientists as they try to figure out what to do with her. However, they may just be too late as Dren proves to be very dangerous.

The characters in this film were interesting for the most part. Clive is somewhat boring but considering he does some pretty wild stuff in this film at other times, I'll forgive him that. Elsa I would have liked a little more background on. It was clear the director wanted us to know her childhood was not very great, but he didn't really explain why it was important or what exactly happened. The clues he gave were vague at best.

And the most important character of all, Dren was vastly complex and most of the time, pretty creepy. It was amazing to see her develop and change and have her own unique personality. The movie did a good job of making her seem human like, but still have different feelings and emotions that don't compare to a humans. There are other side characters in the movie of course, but none play so big a role as to really take interest in.

The concept of the whole movie was great. I'm sure the die hard scientist type people will find numerous flaws with the way the science was done, but not knowing much on that myself, it seemed believable to me. They did a great job of showing these characters and the CGI was very well done. There was a little bit of music in the movie but not enough to really make you notice it.

Now on to the stuff that I just did not care for. This movie was rated R, which surprised me as there was some pretty deranged stuff in this film. There are a couple sex scenes (no parts showing but you definitely know what they're doing), a rape scene and some graphic killings. Aside from the squeamish factor, this isn't a movie for kids at all. Normally stuff like this doesn't bother me, but for some reason, this movie just upped the highly disturbing level of these scenes and I didn't care for it at all.

An interesting movie and very well made. Because its more my own hangups on some of the scenes that made me dislike the movie I'm rating it higher than I normally would with something that disturbed me so much. I think that's the interesting aspect of the film though, its not often something I know to be fake gives me the ick factor. This is a very unique take on sci-fi and most fans of the genre should love it, just be warned it is not for the squeamish. [MR] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

A Director's Playground: Vicenzo Natali on the set of 'Splice'