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- English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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Collision Earth (Blu-ray)
Starz/Anchor Bay / 2011 / 90 Minutes / Unrated
Street Date: December 11, 2012
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Reviewed by Aaron Peck
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
I watched an episode of the Disney Channel cartoon 'Phineas and Ferb' right after I watched 'Collision Earth,' it was the one where the two genius inventor brothers traveled to the moon; set up a farm; grew grass in an artificial atmosphere; raised cattle; and produced the universe's best ice cream due to the effect low gravity has on cow milk. This ended up being a much more believable space adventure than 'Collision Earth'.
I was skeptical when the back of the case acted like I should know this movie was indeed directed by the same guy who directed such SyFy masterpieces as 'Ice Quake,' 'Stonehenge Apocalypse,' and 'Polar Storm.' Yeah, this is the big leagues for micro-budget end-of-the-world movies. I hope you have a seatbelt on your couch because it's the only thing that's going to keep you in front of the TV. If left untethered you'll most likely get up and find something better to do with your life. Like change the channel to Phineas and Ferb's space cows.
As in all SyFy movies, the world is coming to an end. The SyFy Channel has some kind of world ending fetish that I just don't understand. Why do they hate our planet so much? Why do they want to destroy it with god-awful CGI and terrible acting?
This time around earth is being threatened by… wait for it… another planet! We've had comets, we've had asteroids, hell, SyFy even gave us ice spiders at one point. However, they all pale in comparison to the planet Mercury charging straight for us.
See the sun was angry one day and decided, "Hey, I'm going to blast Mercury with a huge magnetically powered solar flare." So it did, which knocked Mercury out of its orbit and sent it on a crash course with Earth.
With a heavenly body flying toward Earth at alarming speed a group of about five scientists (give or take a couple lab coats) gathers together in a room and argues about what should be done. Six billion people on the planet and the only ones who apparently care about the impending doom of creation are a few extras furiously typing on keyboards, listening to accomplished "Hey I Know That Guy" character actor Andrew Airlie drone on about missile strikes that are totally not going to work. We know that they aren't going to work because James (Kirk Acevedo) says they aren't going to work. He essentially takes on the Jeff Golblum role from 'Independence Day': a science community outcast with wacky ideas who angered his higher ups and now remains unemployed, yet smarter than everyone. His wife (Diane Farr) just happened to be in the vicinity of Mercury, on a coincidental space mission, when the event happened (Sidenote: We can apparently travel to Mercury with manned space flights in this reality).
So, just so you're not lost. We have a rogue scientist (Acevedo), an astronaut floating in space in her damaged spacecraft (Farr), and a thoughtless bureaucrat who sneers at anyone who gives him advice (Airline). There are also a couple kids with the world's most powerful HAM radio. These are the only people in the world who are actively invested in this cataclysmic event. I assume the other countries in the world either don't know that Mercury is on a collision course with Earth, or don't care, because the budget couldn't fit them in. Either way it looks like Earth is going down!
I'm always intrigued when I get these obviously terrible movies from SyFy. At some point one of them is not going to end up being an awful waste of time, right? Well, I'll continue trudging through them as they come in because 'Collision Earth' certainly isn't the exception to the rule.
Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Collision Earth' is packed in a standard keepcase, pressed on a 25GB Blu-ray Disc, and is a Region A release.
The video here, surprisingly, isn't half bad. It's presented in 1080p and does show some decent detail up close. The clarity of some of the shots is betrayed by its overall made-for-television flatness and its horrendous CG work.
The close up detail, on faces and textures, actually impressed me somewhat. Sure, it shed light on some subpar makeup jobs, but it did show an amount of clarity in the picture that I wasn't expecting. Colors were also pretty solid. Blacks were flat and shadows were crushing. This is the flatness that comes from the made-for-TV look that the whole movie had. It felt devoid of depth the entire time.
The computer animation is horrendously bad for the entire movie. Like really, really bad. The high definition calls much more unwanted attention to CG that wouldn't look good if someone was watching it with an over-the-air transmission on a static-filled TV set.
The audio is pretty underwhelming. About the only thing the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix gets right is that the dialogue is pretty clear for much of the movie. Everything else feels just as shallow as the movie's shadow delineation..
Rear channels might as well not be encoded on this mix. There are some really forced surround effects that make their way back there but they would've been better off not trying to force it so hard. Panning effects are strained and jumpy. LFE is hit and miss. Sometimes it's loud and roaring, other times it's merely a whimper. I didn't expect much from 'Collision Earth' in the audio department and I was right.
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'Collision Earth' might be considered marginal fun if one were surrounded by a group of inebriated friends who were in the mood for making fun of crappy SyFy Original Movies. Other than that, I can't see a situation where you could possibly want or need to see this. Just avoid this one and save a few bucks.
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