Anyone "in the know" will tell you there are only a few movie themes and they are constantly reused and recycled in various ways. So if you have ever been watching a film and thought to yourself," I think I've this film before", you probably have. Occasionally, studios would put out films with almost exactly the same plot. No more was this evident than in the late 1980s through the early 2000s. During those dozen or so years there were approximately two dozen doppelgänger movies.
For example, in 1997 Dante's Peak and Volcano were released less than three months apart. In 2004, Mandy Moore and Katie Holmes both played teenage daughters of the President of the United States in Chasing Liberty and First Daughter, respectively, and of course, who could forget 1998 and two films released within 8 weeks of one another about objects from space hitting the Earth and destroying civilization and everything on the planet. While Armageddon and Deep Impact were, for the most part, the exact same plot, the former became a bigger hit though neither received any critical praise. Luckily, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Deep Impact, Paramount Pictures is releasing it on 4K, in stores today.
Washington, D.C. reporter Jenny Lerner (Téa Leoni; Bad Boys) is investigating the resignation of the Secretary of the Treasury amidst rumors he had an affair with a woman named Ellie. However, when she goes to ask him about it, she finds him stacking his boat with canned goods and survival gear. She becomes confused, especially by the words he uses to describe Ellie, which ramps up into high gear when she is stopped by the secret service and brought to speak with the President. When he bargains with her to hold her story for 48 hours, Jenny begins researching and discovers Ellie isn't a woman but E.L.E. or extinction-level event. Two days later, the world discovers a comet is hurdling towards Earth wiping out the entire planet.
Paramount has been upgrading a number of its films; some are classics, and others are not. While Deep Impact falls into the latter category it does get a bump in video quality which is both a blessing and a curse. The picture is sharper and cleaner but that means the CGI graphics look even worse than they did back in 1998.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio was first included on the 2009 Blu-ray release and, I assume, they kept it on this release because it was well done almost 15 years ago. While there is no hard rock ballad performed by a big hair band, the soundtrack sounds great and the mix of James Horner's (Avatar) haunting soundtrack still works to offer the necessary drama.
The previously released extras can be found on the Blu-ray Disc and the digital code can be redeemed with Vudu. The extras run approximately 40 minutes (besides the Commentary) and include: Audio Commentary, Preparing for the End, Making an Impact, Creating the Perfect Traffic Jam, Parting Thoughts, Photo Gallery, Teaser Trailer, and Theatrical Trailer.
It is unfortunate that Deep Impact came out in the same year as Armageddon because obviously comparisons were made and neither film was probably given the opportunity to stand on its own merits. While the latter movie obviously had a bigger budget, as evidenced by the casting and graphics, Deep Impact took a serious subject and made a more serious, dramatic film that was touted by scientists are being more scientifically accurate.
If you like end-of-the-world, disaster movies, Deep Impact in 4K is a solid addition to your home entertainment library.