Eve of Destruction (2013)

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Released 4-Dec-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Trailer-x 6 for other Eagle Entertainment titles
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2013
Running Time 116:42
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Robert Lieberman
Studio
Distributor

Eagle Entertainment
Starring Steven Weber
Christina Cox
Treat Williams
Aleks Paunovic
Jessica McLeod
Michael P. Northey
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Shawn Pierce


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     During the prologue of Eve of Destruction before the disbelieving eyes of electrical linesman Ruslan (Aleks Paunovic) his small town in northern Russia is obliterated by an electronic storm and his wife and two small children killed. Ten years pass, and the scene switches to Denver, Colorado where a team of scientists led by Dr. Karl Dameron (Steven Weber) and Dr. Rachel Reed (Christina Cox) have been developing a particle accelerator for the Proteus Company and its CEO Max Salinger (Treat Williams) that is intended to create a pool of “dark energy” from a sort of black hole to provide cheap and unending power to the world. Proteus is also developing genetically engineered plants, which makes it a target of the environmental terrorist group P53, a group joined by Dameron’s rebellious teenage daughter Ruby (Jessica McLeod).

     During a pre-test of the particle accelerator, electrical fires explode in the suburbs of Denver. Ruslan, who now works in the city, recognises similarities to the electrical storm that destroyed his home and family in Russia and tries to warn the authorities and Dameron. Dameron has already enough concerns about the pre-test to want to shut the project down for further investigation, but Salinger has too much money and reputation at stake to allow that to happen and forces the full test to go ahead. On the night of the test disaster strikes and it becomes a race against time to shut down the particle accelerator before it can destroy the Earth.

     Eve of Destruction was originally a two part TV mini-series running just under 3 hours that aired on Reelz Channel in the US. The Region 1 US DVD of Eve of Destruction has a running time of 173 minutes, which seems to be the complete show, as opposed to the running time of our Region 4 DVD of 117 minutes. That would normally count against our release, but US reviews I have read indicate that for the first 90 minutes of the series not a lot happens.

     That is because Eve of Destruction runs at least four story strands at the same time: the main story about the experiment, Ruslan’s marital troubles with his new American wife and his relationship with his best friend and fellow linesman Dom (Michael P. Northey), the problems between Dameron and his rebellious daughter and her joining the environmental terrorist group and finally the actions of the ambitious Chloe (Leah Gibson), another member of the research team who is sleeping with Salinger. In our cut down version of the series, it is clear that parts of these stories have been cut but I must say that there are no obvious jarring cuts in the narrative, and once the action starts around the 50 minute mark it is all go until the end.

     Obviously, I can only judge Eve of Destruction on the cut of the film on this DVD. It still starts slowly even in this version and tries to fit in too many plot lines, but once the test starts the last half of the film creates some nice tension and is colourful and explosive. The CGI effects, including the destruction of buildings and light emitted by the particle accelerator, are clearly low budget but are not too bad in the circumstances. There may not be anything new here but Eve of Destruction is still a reasonably diverting couple of hours.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Eve of Destruction is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, the original broadcast ratio, and is 16x9 enhanced.

     This is a nice looking print. The film is sharp and detailed, the colours bright and natural in the live sequences, while the CGI of the purple of the CGI electronic pulses or the red of fires is suitably glary! Skin tones are natural, brightness and contrast mostly consistent.

     There was occasional motion blur against mottled surfaces but no other marks or artefacts.

     There are no subtitles, except where burnt in white English subtitles translated the Russian dialogue at the start.

     The layer change at 52:03 resulted in a slight pause but was at a scene change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track at 244 Kbps that is surround encoded.

     Dialogue was always clear and easy to hear. The effects, such as the explosions and electronic pulses, were sharp with some nice depth, and some effects and music was directed to the rears. The subwoofer did add slight bass to explosions.

     The original music by Shawn Pierce was effective.

     I did not notice any lip synchronisation issues.

     This is quite a reasonable audio track for a TV mini-series.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Trailers

     On start-up there were trailers for CAT.8 (1:51), Exploding Sun (1:42), Delete (2:03), Stranded (1:40), Ring of Fire (2:14) and Avalanche Sharks (1:35). These trailers can also be selected from the main menu.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     As noted, Eve of Destruction was originally a two part TV miniseries that ran approximately 3 hours. The Region 1 US release of Eve of Destruction includes the complete version of the series, which would make it the best choice. There is not a Region 2 UK release listed at present.

Summary

     This Region 4 release of Eve of Destruction has lost basically 60 minutes from the miniseries as aired on US TV. Nevertheless, what we have does not seem to have glaring jumps in the narrative and is still a reasonably diverting couple of hours.

     The video is good, the audio fine. Some trailers for other films are the only extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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