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Earth's Final Hours(TV) (2012)
When bizarre radiation storms suddenly erupt, defense systems are wiped out, polar outposts are incinerated and space debris blasts holes clear through our planet. Now a tough federal, a cool government scientist and his rebel genius son have uncovered a magnetospheric nightmare that could stop the Earth’s rotation. Do a disgraced inventor and an archaic satellite hold the sole keys to our survival, or is the clock ticking towards the annihilation of mankind?
For more about Earth's Final Hours and the Earth's Final Hours Blu-ray release, see Earth's Final Hours Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 31, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Robert Knepper, Bruce Davison, Julia Benson, Cameron Bright
» See full cast & crew
Earth's Final Hours Blu-ray Review
The 'Final Hours' drag on in this uninspired SyFy film.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 31, 2013
It was like fire from the sky. It nearly killed us!
If this movie feels familiar, well, that's because it follows the same basic budget Disaster movie formula as all of the others. Bad-to-medicore special effects? They're here. Scientific mumbo jumbo that's present only to advance the story to the next bad special effect scene? Check. Bland character development and relationships that only slow the movie down in-between bad special effects moments? Yup. A predictable plot that serves only to advance to the next bad special effect? Definitely. Earth's Final Hours is so formula that even diehard fans of SyFy Disaster movies would be hard pressed to call it anything but absolutely stock. The film blandly and with zero imagination goes through the routine and fails to break free from genre convention even for a millisecond. The movie satisfies as background noise but doesn't require one's full attention to fully appreciate. But for anyone who just lives for these sorts of movies, Anchor Bay's Blu-ray does offer it with the best picture and sound quality the format and budget filmmaking can provide.
A rogue scientist installing pricey equipment in a quiet, empty field has his work interrupted when two government suits, John Streich (Robert Knepper) and Agent Massey (Alex Zahara), approach him with questions. Before the confrontation can get overly heated, disaster strikes. An atmospheric phenomenon shakes the earth to its core and incoming objects, hurtling towards the ground at high speed, strike the area. The scientist is killed when one such object tears through his chest, but before he dies he implores Streich to care for his "circles." As Streich digs for answers to the riddle, he teams up with a scientist named Chloe Edwards (Julia Benson) and, along with the help of Streich's juvenile delinquent son Andy (Cameron Bright), piece together the story: the Earth's rotation has been disturbed, its magnetic shield is collapsing, and disaster is only hours away. They are forced to team up with a disgraced scientist named Rothman (Bruce Davison) and gain access to a decrepit stellite if they have any hope of saving the planet before it's too late.
Really, these sorts of movies don't lend themselves very well to the review process. These are classic cases of movies made on the cheap and for precious little in the way of artistic value or even dramatic effect. It's truly the cinema equivalent of paint-by-numbers, a movie made, it seems, from a kit rather than the imagination of the end user, in this case the film's cast and crew. It's all made from prefabricated parts, each one certainly a little different -- primarily in the form of the type of disaster that's the focus of the film, be it celestial, atmospheric, or deep from within the Earth's core -- but basically they all make the same movie when it comes right down to it. Earth's Final Hours follows the formula well enough. The filmmakers and cast commendably followed instructions and made a basically competent genre film that never fails to deliver the general, meaty goods required of the typical SyFY Disaster film. Fans of formula cinema will approve, those who have yet to catch one of these sorts of movies might be intrigued, and anyone in search of a high quality film should look elsewhere.
More specific to the exact ingredients in Earth's Final Hours comes the observation that it feels sort of like, well, not any major, good movie, that's for sure. Deep Impact might be its closest big movie relative, but even that's a stretch. The movie wastes no time showing its budget effects, but it does manage a few rather nifty visuals, too, atmospheric special effects that look like a cross between a lightwhip and the "Nexus" energy ribbon from Star Trek: Generations, except that it doesn't just travel through space but instead conveniently attacks bad guys when the good guys run out of ammo. It's all very much cheesy and lacking much creativity. The plot doesn't always add up 100% but then again these movies are more about the special effects than they are dramatic value. This is certainly a step up from The Asylum -- there are no truly egregious digital fires or major mistakes -- but Earth's Final Hours is certainly nothing worth writing home about, or just writing about, period.
Earth's Final Hours Blu-ray, Video Quality
Earth's Final Hours does manage to feature a pretty solid high definition transfer. Anchor Bay's latest SyFY Blu-ray offers a clear, stable image sourced from an HD video shoot. It can get a touch noisy and a hair too sharp, but generally there's no real room for complaint. It's crisp and well detailed, offering a clean, accurate presentation that reveals facial nuance, clothing textures, natural outdoor elements, and location specific details nicely. Some of the special effects -- namely digitally created satellites -- can shimmer and shake a bit, but otherwise the transfer proves highly proficient. Colors are balanced and never too bright or in any way dull. Crisp natural greens and clothing hues both look great. Black levels and skin tones are never problematic. The transfer shows no issues such as banding or excess blockiness. This is a strong all-around presentation.
Earth's Final Hours Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Earth's Final Hours features a very aggressive and action-packed Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. For a made for television movie, this one really fires on all cylinders, delivering a dynamic, balanced, and entertaining Action-styled soundtrack. Music delivery is crisp and naturally spaced about the stage, with the heaviest information up front. Included is a high yield but not excessive surround support element. Additionally, clarity is rock solid. The track also presents listeners with balanced and natural ambient effects. Rustling grasses, light winds, and cawing birds gently and effortlessly fill the soundstage with pinpoint placement and natural cadence. On the other end is aggressive gunplay and some potent "atmospheric" sound effects. Gunfire zips through the stage and hits very hard, from the time the round explodes from the barrel to the split second later when it impacts a surface elsewhere in the listening area. The environmental action elements -- the energy "ribbons" that swoop around killing people -- sweep all over the stage to good, quality effect. Deep, rumbly bass is a regular. It's tight and potent but never sloppy. Dialogue is center-focused and smooth. This is a fun track that almost makes the movie worth a watch.
Earth's Final Hours Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
This Blu-ray release of Earth's Final Hours contains no supplemental content.
Earth's Final Hours Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Earth's Final Hours is a top-to-bottom SyFy movie in every regard, one with no redeeming qualities other than that it's not so bad as to be completely unwatchable. It's sometimes slow and boring -- particularly through its middle stretch -- and only finds a few spurts of interest when the wonky light ribbons attack. The special effects are bad but maybe a tick above the average SyFY production. The story is standard stuff, the acting ranges between acceptable and poor, and the the entire experience is a zero-sum one. Anchor Bay's Blu-ray contains no extras, but higher end video and audio are included. Skip it.
Earth's Final Hours Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Earth's Final Hours Blu-ray - January 17, 2013
Anchor Bay Entertainment has officially announced the Blu-ray release of apocalyptic thriller Earth's Final Hours, starring Hamza Adam, Julia Benson, Cameron Bright, Sage Brocklebank and Bruce Davison. The world edges toward destruction on April 2, 2013.
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