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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 51:43)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    Hebrew, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Portuguese, English - Hearing Impaired, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Animated menus

Volcano

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 100 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

It seemed there was a period in the 90's where the genre of choice was a disaster movie and Hollywood made it's fair share of disasters. I guess the thought of the new millenium being the end of the world made these catastrophic events a plausible reality. Sure there are more earthquakes and floods being reported on the news but whose to say what is really going on and if there was ever the chance of a Volcano bursting to life in the middle of Melbourne or Sydney, you'd start to get worried. Worried that this might be what the movie is about. Well it is, not Melbourne or Sydney thought, but Los Angeles.

Ok, let's piece together the script being fed to us here. Tommy Lee Jones plays Mike Roark, director of LA's Office of Emergency Management, who goes out to inspect a recent incident involving an abundance of heat radiating from underground tunnel. Cue Dr Amy Reese (Anne Heche), volcanoligist, who determines that this is indeed a dormant Volcano about to let loose.

Act 2, Volcano rises from underground causing chaos in the streets. It's time for Mike and Amy to band together and plot a way to channel the lava into the sea. You're going to need extra doses of valium to increase your suspension of disbelief for this one. While it can work in theory, the execution of the movie left alot to be desired and the dvd didn't improve on the package much.

  Video
Contract

You know that dull and worn look you get with some of those made for television movies that litter our TV stations from time to time? Well this transfer resembled them in a way. It simply lacked alot of the definition that dvd can provide in both sharpness and depth.

The image was pretty ordinary and falls into the category of that 'bad batch' comprising Point Break and Unlawful Entry. It's mainly the look of the print that defines this batch with a lack of sharpness in key scenes and image detail being a minor player in the quality stakes.

Shadow detail is present but in the form of digital noise as the black levels leave alot to be desired at times. Color saturation is fine I suppose but seems to lean toward a rich orange hue throughout most of the movie. One of the better efforts from said batch.

  Audio
Contract

For a 5.1 soundtrack of a recent big budget movie, this left a sour taste in my mouth. Usually Hollywood brings out the big guns for such a disaster but this time around it all felt oddly wrong.

Dialogue was always clear throughout quiet and loud scenes. The soundstage was well rendered with the surrounds used wisely in many explosive scenes but the bass was a problem. Printed on the back of the case is a 5.0 soundtrack so I guess the .1 LFE channel was missing, yet it seemed to be encoded into the rest of the mix which was pretty ordinary at that and not consistent throughout the movie.

The accompanying musical score was very ordinary for a Fox movie which is hard to believe yet totally believable with todays trash, I mean attempts.

  Extras
Contract

Some nicely animated menus with accompanying volcano sounds coupled with a full frame theatrical trailer of the movie. Below average.

  Overall  
Contract

Grab yourself a copy of Dantes Peak and enjoy a better Volcano story. Initially I thought Volcano was a decent movie when I saw it in the theatres but comparing the two tilts the scales the other way.


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      And I quote...
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    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-505 Gold
    • TV:
          Hitachi CMT2979 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS777 THX Select
    • Speakers:
          Peterson Labs 100Watts
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sherwood SC-60E
    • Surrounds:
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    • Audio Cables:
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    • Video Cables:
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      Recent Reviews:
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