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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
End of Days (1999)

End of Days (1999)

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Released 23-May-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Aurora
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Audio Commentary-Peter Hyams (Director)
Featurette-Spotlight On Location
Featurette-Revelations (End Of Days Visual Effects)
Theatrical Trailer
Music Video-So Long-Everlast
Music Video-Superbeast-Rob Zombie
Easter Egg-TT for The Hurricane
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 117:01
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (83:32) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Peter Hyams

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
Gabriel Byrne
Kevin Pollak
Robin Tunney
Rod Steiger
Case C-Button-Version 1
RPI $34.95 Music John Debney

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    In 1979 many babies were born, but one, Christine York (Robin Tunney) was chosen to be the vessel that bears the child of Satan, which will bring around the End Of Days. Christine must be impregnated by Satan during the last hour of the year 2000.

    End Of Days is set in the latter part of 1999. Jericho Cane (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a man who is past caring if he lives or dies. In fact, I'm sure he would prefer the latter. Why Jericho is like this is revealed during the course of the movie so I won't spoil it for you. Jericho and Chicago (Kevin Pollack) are assigned to protect a New York stockbroker (Gabriel Byrne), who may just turn out to be Satan himself.

    It's not long before the action starts and it doesn't stop till the credits start to roll, so sit back, hang on and enjoy the ride.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture is extremely sharp throughout the entire movie, except for one scene at 52:59 - 53:05, where the background seems to be lacking in some detail. No low-level noise was noted. At first, I thought we were in for another superbly bright transfer with excellent shadow detail, as can be seen in the interior shot of the Vatican, but this was not to be. Apart from a couple of scenes, the entire movie is filled will large expanses of black with absolutely no shadow detail whatsoever. After listening to the director's commentary, I realized that this was a deliberate choice by Peter Hyams, as he repeatedly mentions how he loves to make the picture dark. Personally, I found the lack of shadow detail annoying.

    The colour is excellent. It is beautifully saturated and natural looking. There were a couple of occasions where the skin tones seemed just a little too reddish, but these occurrences were during the darker scenes, so they are probably accurate to the original film's intent.

    This transfer is almost pixelization and grain free, and is truly wonderful in this respect. The grain never gets to a point where it even starts to distract you from the picture. Warners should take a leaf or two out of Roadshow Home Entertainment's book on this point, as their titles almost always suffer from excessive grain. Eyes Wide Shut was yet another example of this problem. Warners please take note - this is how a DVD should look grain-wise.

    No MPEG artefacts were noted. Aliasing and moiré artefacts were also non-existent, with only two trivial occurrences noted at 46:25 and at 66:05. I spotted three film artefacts, of which only one was of any concern. It was a reasonably size artefact in the form of a white ring, at 29:35.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed between Chapters 19 and 20 during a fade-to-black, at 83:32. The layer change is perfectly placed - I did not notice it at all. There is no sound pause either, making this layer change totally seamless.

    After the movie finishes, the Spotlight On Location extra starts playing instead of the disc returning back to the main menu.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are three English audio tracks on this DVD; a 448Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a 320Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack, and an Audio Commentary track, which is also a 320Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. I listened to both the default Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and to the Audio Commentary.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout the entire movie, and that includes Arnold's dialogue! One of Arnold's lines, at 59:03, sounded ever-so-slightly distorted, but on re-listening to this phrase I realized that it was just Arnold's gravely voice.

    No audio sync problems were noted.

    John Debney’s musical score suits the movie well, especially the haunting choral theme music.

    The surround channels are very aggressively used for ambience, music and lots of special effects. This puts you right in the midst of the action. The sound placement within the sound field is also excellent, and with all the directional effects, this is one hell of a great soundtrack. The two stand-out sequences for me were at 1:50 and 104:20. Having said that, there is one thing that I thought was not quite 200% - and this is getting really picky - the big explosion scenes did not seem quite dynamic enough, and consequently I found them a little disappointing.

    The subwoofer gets a solid work-out, but there are only a few scenes where it is really active. When I say 'really active', I mean window-rattling active. The .1 LFE channel is seamlessly integrated into the overall sound stage. Two great subwoofer sequences can be found at 1:42 and 39:45.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There is an excellent selection of extras on this disc, all up totalling 72:19. All are 16x9 enhanced and all have excellent audio and video, bar one. There is also the Dolby Digital Aurora trailer before the movie.


    All the menus are 16x9 enhanced. Most have music underscoring with a couple having both music underscoring and animation. The Main Menu is accompanied by the haunting choral music from the movie. All the menus are superbly presented and are intuitively laid out, which makes navigating the disc a breeze. This disc has the best looking menus I have seen in a long time. Another excellent feature of this disc is the animated chapter selections, which feature a short snippet from each chapter playing with accompanying sound. The Main Menu selections are; Play Movie, Scene Selection (24), Special Features, Biographies and Sound Selection & Subtitles.


    This section contains Filmographies & Biographies for Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gabriel Byrne, Robin Tunney, Kevin Pollack, Rod Steiger and Peter Hyams.

Audio Commentary – Peter Hyams (Director)

    The audio commentary features Peter Hyams in the centre channel speaking over the film's 320Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. The audio commentary is good and is a worthwhile addition to this disc. Peter Hyams talks about the actors, technical aspects of the film and choices that were made during the making of the film, including why it is so dark!  There are a few short gaps, but nothing that drags on particularly long.

Spotlight On Location (25.04 minutes)

    The Spotlight On Location is of excellent quality. It is basically an extended promotional piece for the movie, with some behind-the-scenes details. It is presented in a varying aspect ratio, with the interview material presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and the film footage presented in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This featurette is 16x9 enhanced, and has 320Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded sound.

Revelations – Behind The Scenes Look At The Visual Effects (9 parts, 34.02 minutes)

    The picture and sound quality of these featurettes is excellent, as is the content. It is amazing to see just how much effort and time goes into some of the visual effects. The interview material is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and the film footage is presented in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. All nine parts are 16x9 enhanced, with a 320Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. The revelations are: The Train (6:06), The Church (8:43), Turning LA into NY (2.28), Shattering Albino (1.59), Sex with Satan (4.19), Human Worms (1.55), Jericho's Possession (2.08), Church Fire (3.27) and The Creature (2.57).

Theatrical Trailer – End Of Days (2.21 minutes)

    The Theatrical Trailer is of excellent quality and is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced and has a 448Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

Theatrical Trailer – The Hurricane (2.21 minutes)

    To access this hidden trailer, highlight and select the cross next to the Special Features heading on the Special Features submenu. The picture quality is slightly grainy and has plenty of MPEG artefacts. It is presented in an aspect of 1.85:1, and is 16x9 enhanced, with a 320Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.

Music Video - So Long - Everlast (4.35)

    This is of excellent quality, and is presented at an aspect of 1.96:1 (measured). It is 16x9 enhanced, with a 320Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.

Music Video - Super Beast - Rob Zombie (3.56)

    This is of excellent quality, and is presented at an aspect of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced, with a 320Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     Both versions are equally good quality-wise. The R1 version does have a few more extras, but nothing of any significance. Since picture quality is so important to me, I would pick the R4 version due to PAL's superior picture resolution over NTSC.


    This disc really deserves a reference quality rating, but due to the director's choice of picture brightness, I am going to withhold that rating and give it to a movie where we, the audience, can actually see more than 50% of the picture rather than it just being black.

    Reference quality sums up the sound mix and surround channel usage of this disc - it doesn't come much better than this.

    There is an excellent selection of extras on this disc.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Tuesday, June 06, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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