|Dante's Peak |
Actors: Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton, Charles Hallahan, Jamie Renée Smith, Jeremy Foley
Director: Roger Donaldson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror
Without warning, day becomes night, air turns to fire, and solid ground melts beneath white-hot lava. From director Roger Donaldson comes an adrenaline-pumping adventure starring Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton. Welcome ... more »
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Enjoy the fireworks
Inspector Gadget | On the trail of Doctor Claw | 07/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 'old-fashioned' disaster movie scenario enjoyed a brief resurgence in the latter half of the 90s. After the success of Twister and ID4, films like Hard Rain, Titanic, Armageddon and Deep Impact followed in its wake. Like the two competing asteroid movies, Dante's Peak was in competition with the imaginatively named Volcano as THE Lava flow of 1997. Which one is better? Well, comparing the two is like comparing an atomic blast to a popping pimple.
Pierce Brosnan is Harry Dalton, a Vulcanologist (or James Bond in disguise if you want) who predicts a major eruption in the quaint Pacific-Northwestern town of Dante's Peak. No one wants to listen to him since the town has just been named the 2nd most desirable place to live in America and is in the early stages of a thriving economy. It's the politics from Jaws all over again. Despite being shouted down by his superiors, Harry sticks around to keep his eye on the imposing mountain and woo Mayor Wando (Linda Hamilton), who is the only one who believes the 4000-year dormant volcano might blow its top.
If you've seen one disaster movie, you've seen 'em all in terms of character importance. Yes, it's bloody obvious who is going to die, some of these people might as well have a death clock counting down stuck on their foreheads. And the panicking idiot mobs don't deserve anything less firey. When will nameless extras learn that following the crowd isn't the best way? I guess this is the weakest part of Dante's Peak, it never really distances itself from that single, eternal cliché of disaster films.
But the film is really nothing but a showcase for special effects and it does them surprisingly well. Made before the extreme popularity of CGI, Dante's Peak has a lot of real-life destruction, in-camera effects and stunt-work. Yes, there is a fair bit of CGI and for a 10-year-old film they still hold up really well. All Volano (Zzzz...) had to offer was a very, very slight lava flow and an unintentionally hilarious scene with a melting man but with Dante's Peak we get earthquakes, boiled skinny dippers, lakes of acid, ash blizzards that create a unique atmosphere, thunder and lightning, red hot boulders raining down from the sky, mudslides, lava (of course), a massive pyroclastic cloud and lots of deep, deep bass sound effects.
It's not a life-changing film by any means, but as disaster movies go it's one of the best, has an occasionally spooky score and entertains really well despite Brosnan taking it all so seriously. I would have given it a higher rating if they killed the dog (more original) and deleted the annoying Grant Heslov's utterly pointless character.
The HD-DVD presents the film is gorgeous 1080p 2.35:1 with a brilliant Dolby Digital+ sound design. The best of the extras from the SD-DVD are ported over, but why the horrible new cover.
A definite must-have for HD-DVD fans."
An explosive treat!
D. Litton | Wilmington, NC | 04/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dante's Peak seems like the ideal place to live... the serenity of the mountainous landscape and the friendly atmosphere seems to wipe out the fact that the town is nestled at the base of a dormant volcano. However, when the U.S.G.S. begins to pick up signals from the volcano that indicate a possible eruption, they send Harry Dalton (Pierce Brosnan) to investigate. While there, he befriends town mayor Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton) and informs her of the risks. When he begins to get the city council into an uproar, his advisor shows up to cool things down and wards off any ideas of an eruption. But the symptoms begin to grow, and soon, ash and rock are flying in the sky as the mountain explodes upon the small township. It's a race for survival for Dalton and Wando, as they must search for Wando's children and get them out before the impending final showdown with the volcano. Digital Domain's special effects contribute so much to the story, making it real and placing its characters in real peril. Suspense, action, romance and a terrific cast make this disaster movie a winner. The DTS version is remarkable, and it is recommended that this be the version you buy."
My new HD-DVD video reference title
P. Svensen | Alice Springs, Australia | 08/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WOW!!! This video transfer is the best HD-DVD video transfer I think I have had the pleasure of viewing. It is absolutely brilliant, it may not be everyones "cup of tea" as far as storylines go but you cannot fault the transfers they are fantastic.
Gary A. Henderson | Ocoee, FL USA | 11/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed this movie, lots of action in the last part of the movie. Good acting and good plot. A movie you would want for your library of DVDs."