Seattle Superstorm [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - Germany - Great Movies
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (17th February 2015).
The Film

***This is an A/V and Extras review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

NASA scientist Tom Reynolds thought everything would be fine when he moved to Seattle to be with his fiancÚ, Navy Lieutenant Emma Peterson. But when his gearhead son Wyatt can't stop fighting with her green-minded daughter Chloe, they realize that this new family may not make it.

And things aren't just stormy on the home front; when an unidentified object is shot down by the military and crashes into Puget Sound, it sets off a series of strange weather phenomena: earthquakes, tornados, lightning storms... and they're spreading.

Now, this new family must find a way to work together to save the city, and each other, before it's too late.

Video

Independent German distributor Great Movies have released the made-for-TV disaster movie "Seattle Superstorm" on to Blu-ray in Germany in what I assume is the original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The feature is 1080p and receives an AVC MPEG-4 encode. It's very mediocre.

The transfer here is very much a mixed bag, never excelling or becoming particular troublesome at any point. The first thing I'll talk about is the level of detail. Often uninspiring with long range shots looking clunky and with some close-ups lacking clarity, there are moments where the level of detail can briefly surprise, such as the 3-second shot at 28:43 when Wyatt and Chloe take a short cut through an alley in their 4x4. In this scene, brickwork and the strewn rubbish from winds look superb. The issue however, is consistency, with the skyline shot immediately beforehand suffering from excessive banding and minor crush. As with many city-based disaster movies, the palette here is very drained, with no vivid colours, and lots of muted greys and blacks. Blacks are never quite as deep as they should be, and the muted palette often gives an overly soft look. The special effects are quite poor, and the high definition transfer does unfortunately bring that fact to the forefront, but this isn't an issue with the transfer as such. There are no obvious signs of damage such as scratches or dirt, but occasional compression artifacts can be spotted. There just isn't anything in the transfer that leaps out as consistently half-decent.

The feature is uncut and runs 88:08.

Audio

There are two audio options included here:
- English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

For my viewing, I obviously opted for the original language English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, though it should be noted that the German option plays by default. With this being a disaster movie, I went into it expecting a pretty good immersive experience, even though it is a typical Marvista produced feature for the SyFy Channel. Of course, it wasn't as good as it should have been. Although the surrounds are utilised well for more subtle environmental effects such as light wind and rain, we never feel the true ferociousness of the superstorm, and it instead sounds about as bad as a typical day here in the Scottish Hebrides. Channel separation and direction is basic, and dialogue is always clear, if lacking depth. There are no issues such as pops, crackles or scratches, and there are no signs of background hiss.

No subtitles have been included.

Extras

Nothing of note.

Photo Gallery (1:03, 576i)
Bonus Trailers:
- "2012 Armageddon" (1:16, 576i)
- "2012 Supernova" (1:20, 576i)
- "Titanic 2" (1:54, 576i)
- "Battle LA" (1:08, 1080p)
Theatrical Trailer (1:44, 1080p)

Overall

The Film: D Video: C Audio: C+ Extras: E+ Overall: D

 


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