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There probably isnít an original idea to be found anywhere in DOOMSDAY ($40), but that isnít to say that this totally over-the-top, action / sci-fi / medieval mish-mash isnít the most fun a genre fan can have in an evening. Borrowing elements from films like THE ROAD WARRIOR, I AM LEGEND and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (not to mention a hodgepodge of King Arthur movies), DOOMSDAY offers up a quasi-post apocalyptic tale set in a future version of Great Britain. As the film opens Scotland is being ravaged by the Reaper Virus, which kills its victims within twenty-four hours. With no cure in sight, the populace of Scotland is walled off from the rest of Britain to prevent the spread of the contagion.

Decades after Scotland was left to its fate, the Reaper Virus reemerges- this time in England. Satellite reconnaissance over Scotland indicates the there are human survivors and possibly a cure for the Reaper Virus waiting on the other side of the wall. A small insertion team is sent into the wastelands of Scotland to find the scientist, who was left behind the wall searching for a cure. Upon arrival in Glasgow, the team discovers that the last vestiges of society have descended into brutality, anarchy and cannibalism. What follows is a grisly, gorefest of car chases, gun fights and hand to hand combat, as our heroes battle their way wasteland to their ultimate goal. The cast of DOOMSDAY features Rhona Mitra, Bob Hoskins, Alexander Siddig, David O'Hara, Adrian Lester, Rick Warden, Nora-Jane Noone, Leslie Simpson, Chris Robson, Sean Pertwee, Darren Morfitt, Lee-Anne Liebenberg, Craig Conway, MyAnna Buring, Cal Macaninch and Malcolm McDowell.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has made DOOMSDAY available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. For a popcorn movie, the 1080p presentation of DOOMSDAY is nothing short of stunning. The image is wonderfully crisp and brimming with detail. There is fine detail to spare, as every marvelous texture, line in the actorsí faces and bits of gristle are rendered with excellent clarity. In addition, the picture proves to be highly dimensional. Colors are generally vibrant and the image produces true to life flesh tones. Blacks are pitch perfect and the whites are clean and crisp. Contrast and shadow detail are pretty much first rate. The elements from which DOOMSDAY has been mastered are pretty much without flaws. Grain is noticeable, but it is never excessive.

DOOMSDAY is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Like the visual portion, DOOMSDAY delivers the goods sonically, with its a** kicking, exceedingly aggressive sound mix. Sound effects bounce, explode and roar all over the soundstage, with all of the outlying channels being exceedingly well utilized. The bass channel is deep, percussive and ground shaking. For the most part, voices are cleanly reproduced and the filmís dialogue is always completely understandable. No other language tracks have been included on the DVD, but English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some nice supplements. First we have a running Audio Commentary with director Neil Marshall and cast members Sean Pertwee, Darren Morfitt, Rick Warden, and Les Simpson. Universal's U-Control interface is utilized for an interactive version of the movie that provides in context picture-in-picture, pop-up supplements in relation to individual moments or sequences in the film (requires a Profile 1.1 player). For this title, the U-Control interface is divided up into three sections The Reaper Files, Tech Specs, and Picture In Picture, which offer different types information in regards to the production.

With its mish-mash of ideas from other movies, DOOMSDAY may not be original, but it is one hell of a fun ride for genre movie fans. Universalís Blu-ray Disc release looks and sounds awesome. If you like sci-fi action, car chase and gore DOOMSDAY is a must have no brainer on Blu-ray. Recommended.



Doomsday [Blu-ray] (2008)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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