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Armageddon Blu-ray Review

By Rachel Cericola

The Film

"You and your men are the biggest mistake in the history of NASA."

OK -- that line is probably a bit harsh. Still, we can't see Armageddon being used as a NASA recruitment film. However, it definitely could get a little "U-S-A! U-S-A!" chant out of you.

Aside from showcasing national pride and ingenuity, Armageddon is one special-effects extravaganza. It's actually the type of movie that screams for 3D. There are explosions aplenty, with shrapnel flying every few minutes. Sadly, it missed the 3D boat, but it is now available on Blu-ray.

Let's get one thing straight: Armageddon is not a great movie. However, it's got explosions and Bruce Willis. What else could you possibly need?

The only thing we might suggest is a seatbelt. Within minutes, this action-packed flick treats us to a meteor shower, putting one unlucky city under attack. When all is said and done, NASA nerds figure out that we have 18 days before an enormous asteroid hits Earth. If anyone can save us, it's Willis, who brings a bit of John McClain to oil man Harry Stamper. He's going to need him, as well as his own team, which is a cast of oddball, outlaw types, of course!

This popcorn flick is a non-stop barrage of cheesy lines, explosions, Liv Tyler's pouting lips, and cuts from Aerosmith's greatest hits. As long you check all common sense at the door, it can be enjoyable. Otherwise, you have a better chance of surviving an asteroid attack than Armageddon's lengthy 2.5-hour runtime.

The Picture

Hooray for explosions! Armageddon's 2.35:1 transfer is very in your face, with so many special effects, you probably won't even notice the plot. You should, however, notice all of the pretty colors, as cars flip, sparks fly, and cities implode. There are a few soft shots, but detail is pretty sharp overall. Reds and oranges are especially impressive, as are the black levels.

The Sound

Part action flick, part MTV music video, this soundtrack never disappoints -- and at 2.5 hours, it has a lot of time to do so. Less than 4 minutes in, the DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack sets the tone with loud explosions aplenty.  It's hard to hear street sounds, but they are there. Who cares, though? This movie is all about the carnage and we appreciated not having to wait for any of it. Dramatic effects sweep the soundstage, as do shotguns blasting, jets flipping, drills drilling and spacecraft launching (and crashing). There's a whole lot of bass going on, and it feels very good. Oh -- there's dialogue too, which even when wrapped inside a space helmet, sounds pretty clear.

The Extras

Lame! This release is chock-full of trailers for the movie and upcoming releases. The only other extra is an Aerosmith video. Um, didn't we just watch that for 2.5 hours?

Final Thoughts

No one is using Woody Allen's movies for a demo. Michael Bay is the demo's best friend. It's hard to bash his movie when it makes us feel so good. It could be the lobotomy talking, but if you're looking for a fun film that can show off your Blu-ray setup, Armageddon is a no-brainer in every sense of the word.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Will Patton, Peter Stormare, Keith David, Owen Wilson, Steve Buscemi
  • Director: Michael Bay
  • Audio/Languages: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (Spanish, French)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Region: A
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Disc Release Date: April 27, 2010
  • Run Time: 151 minutes
  • List Price: $29.99
  • Extras:
    • Trailers
    • Aerosmith Music Video: "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
    • Sneak Peeks

What did you think?

View all articles by Rachel Cericola
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