Written review by John Delia, Sr.
Now on 4k for its 25th anniversary, the sci-fi thriller Deep Impact splashes down on May 5th at local stores that carry home entertainment. The eye popping cinematic adventure has a very good cast that includes Morgan Freeman, Robert Duvall, Tia Leoni and a teenage Elijah Wood. The film tries to solve the problem of “what could anyone do to avoid a comet that was about to strike the Earth?”
Star gazing one evening young Leo Biederman (Elijah Wood) spots an object that does not belong in the star sector. Taking a picture of the object, he passes it along to Astrologist Dr. Marcus Wolf (Charles Martin Smith). When it finally gets into government heads, President Beck (Morgan Freeman) rousts the military to make a decision on how to divert or blow-up the huge 7 mile wide space rock before it destroys the Earth. Preparing for the inevitable, Beck tries the obvious of sending Astronauts up in space to plant a bomb.
The film takes several turns as the Earthlings create a chaos of their own as they travel for cover. Director Mimi Leder (The Peacemaker) does a pretty good job of putting all the pieces together, but the film drags in part and stumbles a few times before any real excitement takes over. A shorter, more intense film could have worked much better here, but after an hour plus build-up, it’s still worth watching the explosive ending.
1998 was the year of the Sci-fi disaster movies battling for the most revenue at local theaters. Deep Impact and the movie Armageddon were released in the same year and only two months apart. Both involved a rogue comet that was headed for Earth and the USA needed to stop it by sending a team up to the huge rock to blow it up. The cast for Armageddon however, was loaded with A-list actors so even though it was released after Deep Impact, it fared better at the box-office with some $60 million more revenue. It was the same year that another catastrophe movie, Titanic, was released and gathered nearly $500 million.
The 4K quality is stunning, Dolby Real HD 5.1 uses all speakers available on your home entertainment center, and the colors are dynamic. If you have the system, the special effects jump off the screen and startle most sci-fi fans.
The DEEP IMPACT 4K Ultra HD release includes the film on both 4K Ultra HD and on Blu-ray™, access to a Digital copy of the film, and legacy bonus content including commentary and fascinating featurettes delving into the making of this 90s classic. Bonus content is detailed below:
“Commentary by director Mimi Leder” and visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar
“Preparing For The End” featurette
“Making An Impact”
“Creating The Perfect Traffic Jam”
Specifications and additional video information:
Cast: Robert Duvall, Téa Leoni, Elijah Wood, Vanessa Redgrave, Leelee Sobieski, Blair Underwood, Maximilian Schell, and Morgan Freeman
Directed by: Mimi Leder
Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense disaster related elements and brief language
Running Time: 2 hr.
Video Release Date: May 5, 2023
Original Theatrical Release Date: May 8, 1998
Reviewed Format: 4K
Audio: Dolby real HD 5.1
Video: Widescreen HD
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Distributed by: Dreamworks/Paramount Home Entertainment
Released on: 4K, Blu-ray, Digital code pack