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Ring in New Year week with a pair of thrillers that go from one extreme to the other. For extreme violence and bloodshed there's 'Resident Evil: Afterlife,' the third sequel in the popular zombie franchise that stars Milla Jovovich as one of the last humans on Earth fighting off the Undead on her way to finding a safe haven for humanity. At the other extreme is the very slow thriller 'The American,' with George Clooney as a paid assassin who has the tables turned on him and has to go into hiding in the Italian countryside, where he goes through an existential catharsis. Happy New Year.

'Resident Evil: Afterlife'
What It's About: She's a mean Undead killing machine and she's back for more action. Milla Jovovich returns as Alice in this third sequel to 'Resident Evil,' based on one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. In a world ravaged by the T-virus infection, Alice continues on her lonely and dangerous hunt for survivors in a decimated world crawling with the Undead -- while continuing her deadly battle with the Umbrella Corporation. Searching for the alleged safe-haven "Arcadia," she finds survivors Claire (Ali Larter) and Chris Redfield (Wentworth Miller). A new lead takes them to Los Angeles, but when they arrive the city is overrun by the Undead -- and Alice and her comrades are about to step into a deadly trap.

It's Kinda Like: 'Resident Evil' cubed

What We Say: This edition ups the ante with hotter special effects and more gruesome zombie killing action -- this time in 3-D. But you don't need 3-D to enjoy this adventure -- you just have to be a fan of Jovovich and the 'Resident Evil' mythology. Yes, the story line is a bit convoluted and almost predictable, but hey, that's not why we're here. We're here to see Jovovich and friends kick zombie butt and go up against the nasty Umbrella Corp. to wreak revenge for unleashing the T-virus in the first place. What more do we want?
• Extras: The DVD includes filmmaker commentary and a pair of behind-the-scenes featurettes; the Blu-ray adds "Undead Vision," a picture-in-picture video; eight deleted scenes; outtakes and five more featurettes.
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'Resident Evil: Afterlife': Set Visit
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'The American'
What It's About: George Clooney stars as Jack, an assassin constantly on the move and always alone. On vacation in Sweden after one of his jobs, he's suddenly attacked by unknown hit men and goes on the run, finding a safe haven in a small medieval town in the Italian countryside. There he takes an assignment to construct a weapon for a mysterious contact, befriends a local priest and pursues a torrid liaison with a beautiful woman. But Jack's idyll ends when his past catches up with him.

It's Kinda Like: 'Ronin' meets 'The Spy Who Came in From the Cold'

What We Say: This existential thriller has a subdued Clooney moving through gorgeous scenery with beautiful people -- but in the end it's all style and no substance. Clooney's character reverberates with angst and soul-searching pathos -- he's a weary, lonely man finally coming to terms with a life devoid of love and conscience -- but his motivation doesn't resonate with the viewer. Like his life of merciless killings, he's just going through the motions. The filmmakers want us to believe there's something deep and profound going on, but it's all just on the surface. It's slow moving and -- dare we say it -- boring.
• Extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray include commentary, deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes featurette.
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Review: 'The American'
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Other New December 28 DVD Releases:
'And Soon the Darkness': When two American girls on a bike trip in a remote part of Argentina split up and one goes missing, the other must find her before her worst fears are realized.
'Dying God': The search for a brutal serial killer becomes other-worldly: When a series of bizarre and violent killings haunt a dark and decadent city, a corrupt cop must face his own demons to put an end to the brutal string of rape-murders.
'The Haunting of Amelia' (aka The Other Side of the Tracks): Ten years after a tragic train accident killed his girlfriend, a young man finds himself haunted by disturbing visions from somewhere between the world of the living and the dead.
'Twelve': A young Upper east Side Manhattan drug dealer -- who peddles an exotic new designer drug known as "Twelve" -- watches as his high-rolling life is dismantled in the wake of his cousin's murder, which sees his best friend arrested for the crime.


Check out other new December 28 DVD releases at OnVideo.

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