Review: 2012 Two-Disc Blu-ray

2012 Two-Disc Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Sony | DIRECTOR: Roland Emmerich | STARS: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Oliver Platt, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover
RELEASE DATE: 2/23/2010 | PRICE: DVD $19.94, Blu-ray $24.95, Two-Disc Blu-ray $39.95
BONUSES: director/writers’ commentary, picture-in-picture feature, alternate ending, deleted scenes, featurettes, music video
SPECS: PG-13 | 158 min. | Action adventure thriller | 2.35:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio Surround | English and French subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

We can understand if you don’t want to see the end of the world as directed by master of disaster Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow), and we get it if the idea of watching such solid performers as John Cusack (Hot Tub Time Machine), Amanda Peet (Gulliver’s Travels) and Danny Glover (Lethel Weapon) go through all the histrionics (heroic and otherwise) associated with uncontrollable international destruction just isn’t appealing. But Blu-ray aficionados with home theaters will surely get a charge out of listening to it.

Buildings tumble, tsumanis roll, fires rage, volcanoes spew—and it’s all sounds spectacular. 2012’s bass-ridden six-channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is the Blu-ray edition’s most outstanding feature and far more immersive and energizing than the fine and virtually seamless CGI effects that detail the planet’s demise.

Even some of the subtler audio moments—a low rumble building into an earthquake, the rustling of leaves as the winds pick up—are just dynamite, adding to the overall atmosphere and sense that man-made noises are insignificant when compared to the mighty roar of nature. Dialog is occasionally lost in the mix (which makes the scenario even more menacing and realistic) but, again, do you really want to hear what Cusack, Peet and Glover are talking about?

Overall, the two disc Blu-ray edition (which is actually a three-disc set if you count the additional digital copy platter) is a solid set, offering such exclusives as Sony’s branded BD Live-enabled MovieIQ trivia access and a picture-in-picture feature that allows the viewers to “follow” Emmerich’s vision as he and other cast/crew members appear in a box on the top of the screen to discuss the film as it rolls.

There’re also a half-dozen featurettes on the production and the mysteries of Mayan calendar (which predict the world will end you-know-when), as well as deleted scenes, an alternate ending, an Adam Lambert music video, and more. Yeah, there’s a helluva lot of material to watch. It’s almost as if Sony knows that the end is indeed coming and we’d better smoke if we’ve got’em. But we’d rather listen

 

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.