Thursday, 19 June 2014

“Dante’s Peak” on BLU RAY – A Review

"...Second-Best Place To Live In America..." - Dante's Peak on BLU RAY

Setting aside the ludicrous premise of a magmatic eruption in rural USA - "Dante's Peak" (if you'll forgive the volcanic pun) - is a real blast. And it's a looker on BLU RAY too.

Pierce Brosnan plays Harry Dalton of the United States Geological Survey who is sent to the sleepy town of Dante's Peak - overlooked by a dormant volcano. Four years earlier Harry lost his ladylove Mary Ann to a blast he and his pick-up truck couldn't outrun - so his bosses think him good at his job - but also over-zealous when it comes to predictions.

Harry meets the town Mayor Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton) and her family of two kids (Jamie Renee Smith and Jeremy Foley as Lauren and Graham) and soon forms a bond with them. But Harry also finds that the town has recently been awarded the "...2nd Best Place To Live In The USA..." - and the council is eager to keep the $18 million investment of an incoming conglomerate called Blair Industries. Unfortunately they are also a little too willing to overlook the Geologist's warnings that something is going on with the wizened trees, dead wildlife and rising acidity levels in the lake beneath the waking giant. And on it goes to a jug of water shaking on a table at a town meeting and all Hell then breaking loose...

When the big bang/property destruction finally does arrive - Dante's Peak disintegrates with real special effects style and believability - Director Roger Donaldson delivering on set piece after set piece. Brosnan looks fantastic - as does Hamilton - and there's convincing chemistry between them, the kids and Nanny Ruth (Elizabeth Hoffman). Right up to the end - the tension and drama is poured on - danger coming in lava flows through the kitchen, boat trips across sulphuric acid lakes, clouds of molten ash in rotary blades and finally to a crushed car in a disused mine.

Given a budget in excess of $100 million in 1997 - the BLU RAY picture is excellent - especially when it goes to the picturesque town and surrounding mountains (idyllic). The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 rattles your speakers with explosions that will wake the neighbours. Other Audio includes French, Italian, German, Spanish and Japanese DTS-Surround 5.1 - while Subtitles include English SDH, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Korean, Latin American Spanish, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Traditional Mandarin.

"Dante's Peak" is a properly entertaining movie on BLU RAY with a great cast and effects that impress to this day. Boil your bottom on this little hottie...

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