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Category 7: The End of the World(TV) (2005)
Category 7: The End of the World picks up where Category 6: Day of Destruction left off. The city of Chicago has been destroyed by a monstrous storm and as the storm gathers strength, it threatens to ravage the rest of the world. A television evangelist and his wife prey on the nation’s fears by broadcasting warnings of biblical plagues. As his predictions come true, the mega-storm culminates in a record Category 7 superstorm over Washington, D.C.
For more about Category 7: The End of the World and the Category 7: The End of the World Blu-ray release, see Category 7: The End of the World Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 18, 2009 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.0 out of 5.
Starring: Randy Quaid, Gina Gershon, Cameron Daddo, Shannen Doherty, James Brolin, Swoosie Kurtz
Director: Dick Lowry
» See full cast & crew
Category 7: The End of the World Blu-ray Review
Will this Blu-ray whip up a storm in your home theater?
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 18, 2009
The entire planet could be doomed sooner than we think.
There may be no better way to sell audiences on a miniseries than to gather a collection of name actors and actresses to toss into the cauldron. Category 7 takes full advantage of this method, bringing in a plethora of has-beens and clingers to make for a jam-packed, star-studded list to play over the opening credits, not to mention adorn the front and back covers of home video releases. Gina Gershon (Face/Off), James Brolin (The Amityville Horror), Robert Wagner (Delirious), Shannen Doherty ("Beverly Hills, 90210"), Tom Skerritt (Top Gun), Nicholas Lea ("The X-Files"), and Randy Quaid (Independence Day) are among the headliners here, coming together to save the world from super storms, unscrupulous politicians, and religious zealots, and all in under three hours! Category 7 features a fun concept, but like many made-for-television movies and miniseries, the concept has been done far better before, in this case both in Twister and The Day After Tomorrow. Category 7 is too long, too involved, too self-important, and not quite as much fun as it should have been, due not necessarily to shoddy special effects, poor acting, or lazy direction. The film features too many characters and side stories that take attention away from the primary draw, watching the world's largest cities fall apart under the power of nature's fury (and with a little help from man, of course).
Following the events from Category 6, several U.S. cities lie in ruin. As the film opens, Paris is destroyed, from a storm thought superior even to those that ravaged the United States. Judith Carr (Gershon) is the newly-appointed director of FEMA, and in a desperate search for answers, she turns to the controversial Duffy Report and its author, Ross Duffy (Cameron Daddo), for answers. His report predicted the devastation, though neither he nor his findings were taken seriously. Carr convinces him that he may be the only hope the world has in predicting, and possibly lessening, the impact of these destructive forces of nature. Duffy will need to further study the storms, and he enlists Colonel Mike Davis (Skerritt) to study them from above, and Faith Clavell (Doherty) and "Tornado" Tommy Dixon (Quaid), a storm chaser and survivor of the first film, to help from ground level. As they desperately search for answers before two super storms collide directly over Washington, D.C., a religious zealot named Monty (Lea), working for television preachers Donny and Penny Hall (Brolin and Swoosie Kurtz, respectively), conjures up a plan to convince the flock -- and the world -- that these are the end times.
Take Twister and multiply the intensity, scale, scope, and destructive force of the storms many times over, sacrifice the production values, and double the runtime, and Category 7 is the result. To the movie's credit, it's not a disaster, just superfluous, giving it a "been there, done that" feel. Aside from terrible special effects, a bloated runtime, and unnecessary side plots, there are no glaring weaknesses. The shoddy special effects often take audiences right out of the film's most exciting sequences. These effects are disastrous, a cataclysmic failure, even for made for television, that will certainly not blow anyone away with their attention to detail and realism. It's still fun to watch the Eiffel Tower or the White House crumble under the force of the storm, even if it does look like late 90's computer-generated video game graphics. When the movie isn't wasting time with filler side stories, like the romantic interconnections of all the characters or a subplot involving a religious fanatic, it makes for a decent watch. If audiences can get past the explanation for the film's climax -- a bunch of scientific mumbo-jumbo that may or may not have any basis in reality, Category 7 should make for an overall entertaining -- if not mind- and body-numbing -- three hour cataclysmic marathon.
Category 7: The End of the World Blu-ray, Video Quality
Echo Bridge brings Category 7 to Blu-ray with an average 1080p, 1.78:1-framed transfer. The film uses all sorts of different looks, including a slick, "normal" appearance, a grainy, harsh, and over-saturated look, much like some of the scenes in Man on Fire, vintage stock footage, and several zoomed-in-on-a-television screen shots. As such, it makes any sort of critical observation difficult at best, but all things considered, the movie looks sufficiently good, particularly in the more stand-looking sequences. In the shots that allow for it, detail is acceptably high. Facial detail -- hair, pits, and lines -- hold up nicely in appropriately tight shots. On the whole, detail is as expected of a made for television movie. Blacks are solid, but flesh tones appear on the red side of the spectrum. Grain is present over the presentation. Some digital artifacts are to be seen, though with the numerous looks the film employs, it is hard to know exactly what is inherent to the image and what is a weakness of the transfer. As far as quality high definition transfers go, this is one of the weaker ones, even removing from the equation the deliberately poor-quality looks the film often employs.
Category 7: The End of the World Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Although the back of the box states otherwise, Category 7 does indeed feature two 5.1 soundtracks, one each of the Dolby Digital and DTS variety. Neither is audibly superior to the other. This presentation is robust and satisfying for a made for television movie (Category 7 was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special"). Dialogue presentation is sharp and clear. Bass is surprisingly active, sometimes rumbling with the sound of a soaring SR-71 Blackbird, and sometimes just sort of making its presence known. Rear-channel activity is sparse. Directional effects are moderately impressive across the front, though there is never a really natural feel and flow to the effects. The disaster sequences are appropriately loud, though never all that convincing. As lossy tracks go, these are decent, but pale next to the best Blu-ray has to offer.
Category 7: The End of the World Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
A standard definition TV trailer (1:59) is the only supplement available on this disc.
Category 7: The End of the World Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
For end-of-days entertainment on a made-for-television scale, Category 7 is good enough. It's far from the best of the disaster movies out there, a genre that has enjoyed tremendous success over the years, particularly since its explosion in the 1970s with films like The Towering Inferno, Airport, and The Poseidon Adventure. Nevertheless, as simple entertainment, it works, even taking into account its several glaring weaknesses. It's disaster on a budget, much like this Blu-ray is high definition entertainment for a fraction of the cost. Echo Bridge's Blu-ray release of Category 7 is, like the movie, acceptable, but not stellar. With average video quality, a decent lossy soundtrack, and one measly supplement, the disc would normally not earn a recommendation, but for $10, why not add it to the collection?
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Category 7: The End of the World Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Echo Bridge Plan Blu-ray Releases for April - February 7, 2008
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment has announced they are releasing six films from their catalog on April 1st. Included in the slate are '10.5 Apocalypse', 'Blackbeard', 'Category 7: The End of the World', 'The Curse of King Tut's Tomb', 'The Last Sentinel' and 'Artie ...
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