Plot: What’s it about?
When a meteor smashes into South America causing massive damage and fatalities, things seem like they just can’t get much worse. But of course, they do get worse, much worse. Soon after that crash, we discover that an even larger meteor is streaming toward our little dustball, this one so large it will leave nothing behind as it destroys our planet. We have a system to destroy such objects, but it sucks and was only implemented because a friend of the president designed it. But a system that does work has been designed as well, and the government gets on the ball to call its creator and have him get to work. But before Dr. Corbett (Linden Ashby) can be brought in, he is kidnapped by a militant cult leader, Brother Payne (Mario Van Peebles) who thinks we’ve rightfully been placed in the path of the meteor. So with the clock ticking down and Corbett being our only hope, the government sends out a female FBI agent (Suzy Amis) and a convict (Ice-T), both of whom have personal reasons to thwart Brother Payne. But can they work together long enough to recover Corbett, or will the entire world come to an end first?
While some might call this a poor man’s Armageddon, I chose to judge the film by its own merits, and not by comparing it with other films. When I saw that Ice-T was on the cast list, I had my doubts, but since the concept seemed interesting, I decided to give the movie a whirl. After the end credits had rolled, I found myself surprised by both how much I enjoyed the film and the directions the movie veered off into. I expected the storyline to focus on the meteor and potential damage, but instead it balances that with another storyline, of a search for the man who stop the giant rock from destroying us. The religious cult angle was very cool, and I feel the movie is much better for having chose to run with that subplot. Now I am not saying by any means that this is a great film, because it has many drawbacks, but this does make for a good way to spend ninety minutes. The writing is actually good, and the acting isn’t nearly as bad as I was prepared for, and I think I will watch the film a few times in the future. If the storyline grabs your attention, give this title a rent and see what you think. The disc is a good one, though lacking much bonus material, so a purchase would be money well spent also.
This film was directed by John Terlesky, who also directed another low profile film that rocks, Supreme Sanction, which is worth checking out. Terlesky also has some acting experience under his belt, in such films as The ALLnighter, Chopping Mall, and The Naked Cage. For a direct to video project, this film boasts an impressive cast, one that manages to make this film rise above its made for home video label. Three actors share the leads, and all do their fair share to make the movie work well. While I’m not a big fan of Ice-T’s acting ability, I do like to hear him rant and rave, but he doesn’t do that much here. This is one of his better performances, but Ice-T (Urban Menace, Surviving The Game) still has a ways to go with his acting. The other two leads are played by Mario Van Peebles (Solo, Posse) and Suzy Amis (The Usual Suspects, Titanic), both of whom supply fine turns. The supporting cast includes Linden Ashby (Mortal Kombat, 8 Seconds), Coolio (Batman & Robin, Leprechaun in the Hood), “Tiny” Lister, Jr. (No Holds Barred, Friday), and Max Gail (Pontiac Moon, The Perfect Wife).
Video: How does it look?
Judgement Day is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a wonderful image, especially for such a low profile title, with a near pristine print and no traces of compression errors to be found. The colors are vivid with no visible errors, and flesh tones are normal and consistent. The contrast is in top form also, with well defined shadows and no visible detail loss to speak of. For a direct to video project, this movie looks good!
Audio: How does it sound?
I didn’t expect much audio power from this title, but it does pack quite a punch. The 2.0 surround track is well mixed and arranged, and all the speakers see their chance to shine here. Even the bass kicks in from time to time with a thunderous wallop. The effects sound very good, and this track sets a good atmosphere for the film. The dialogue isn’t lost in the woods though, and you can hear each word just fine.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release contains the film’s trailer, talent files, and some information on asteroids. Not bad at all, especially for a low profile title like this.