Deep Impact 4K review
May 07, 2023- Permalink
In 1998, two movies were released that dealt with impending doom for the planet we call home. The first, released in May of that year, was Deep Impact, while Armageddon hit cinemas in July. Deep Impact’s villain was a comet, while the astronomical baddie in Armageddon was an asteroid. I’d say that Deep Impact was the more thoughtful of the two films. In the movie, Elijah Wood plays an amateur astronomer who thinks he has found a new star. It turns out to be a comet on a collision course with the Earth. Pressed by a reporter (Téa Leoni) who has access to classified info, the American President (Morgan Freeman) reveals that the Earth is facing possible extinction and the survival of the planet rests on a dangerous US/Russian mission led by a veteran astronaut (Robert Duvall). While Armageddon had Aerosmith, Deep Impact focused more on what it’s like for an entire civilization to face its own fragile mortality.
The 2160p HEVC / H.265 encoded native 4K digital transfer with Dolby Vision and HDR10 is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The image is crisp, with excellent detail in clothing, environments and facial features. The colour palette is muted and natural and black levels are good with some loss of detail in the shadows. There’s a light grain structure and thankfully no signs of egregious digital smoothing. Like many 4K transfers with older CG effects shots, some of the special effects do look a little soft due to their lower resolution. It’s a pleasing video presentation.
On the audio side of things, you have the choice of an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack as well as French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Subtitles are available for English, English SDH, French, and Spanish. In the smaller, more human moments of the film, the soundscape leans heavily on the front speakers, but when action scenes call for it, the mix expands to the surrounds to place you into the action, with the subwoofer adding some boom to the impending doom. The score (by James Horner) sounds great and dialogue is clear and centred.
The Deep Impact 4K also comes with a Blu-ray copy and a digital code. All the bonus materials are on the Blu-ray and include audio commentary by director Mimi Leder and visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar, some production featurettes, trailers and a photo gallery.
Deep Impact packs more of an emotional wallop then Armageddon and deals more with the human condition. Combining that with an excellent video presentation and a very solid soundtrack, the Deep Impact 4K is highly recommended.