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Armageddon (The Criterion Collection)

3.8 out of 5 stars 1,853 customer reviews

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(Jan 01, 2008)
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The Criterion Collection
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

An asteroid the size of Texas is heading directly toward the Earth at 22,000 MPH. NASA's executive director, Dan Truman (Thornton), has only one option, to send up a crew to destroy the asteroid. He enlists the help of Harry S. Stamper (Willis), the world's foremost deep core oil driller and Stamper's roughneck team of drillers to land on the asteroid, drill into its surface, and drop a nuclear device into the core. On this heroic journey, they face the most physically and emotionally challenging conditions ever encountered to save the world and prevent Armageddon.

Amazon.com

The latest testosterone-saturated blow-'em-up from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay (The Rock, Bad Boys) continues Hollywood's millennium-fueled fascination with the destruction of our planet. There's no arguing that the successful duo understands what mainstream American audiences want in their blockbuster movies--loads of loud, eye-popping special effects, rapid-fire pacing, and patriotic flag waving. Bay's protagonists--the eight crude, lewd, oversexed (but lovable, of course) oil drillers summoned to save the world from a Texas-sized meteor hurling toward the earth--are not flawless heroes, but common men with whom all can relate. In this huge Western-in-space soap opera, they're American cowboys turned astronauts. Sci-fi buffs will appreciate Bay's fetishizing of technology, even though it's apparent he doesn't understand it as anything more than flashing lights and shiny gadgets. Smartly, the duo also tries to lure the art-house crowd, raiding the local indie acting stable and populating the film with guys like Steve Buscemi, Billy Bob Thornton, Owen Wilson, and Michael Duncan, all adding needed touches of humor and charisma. When Bay applies his sledgehammer aesthetics to the action portions of the film, it's mindless fun; it's only when Armageddon tackles humanity that it becomes truly offensive. Not since Mississippi Burning have racial and cultural stereotypes been substituted for characters so blatantly--African Americans, Japanese, Chinese, Scottish, Samoans, Muslims, French ... if it's not white and American, Bay simplifies it. Or, make that white male America; the film features only three notable females--four if you count the meteor, who's constantly referred to as a "bitch that needs drillin'," but she's a hell of a lot more developed and unpredictable than the other women characters combined. Sure, Bay's film creates some tension and contains some visceral moments, but if he can't create any redeemable characters outside of those in space, what's the point of saving the planet? --Dave McCoy

Special Features

  • Michael Bay's gag reel
  • Deleted scenes, compiled by Michael Bay
  • Storyboards and production design drawings
  • Analysis of the special effects by visual effects supervisors 'Richard Hoover' , Pat McClung and Hoyt Yeatman
  • Music video "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith, plus interviews with the band

Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Will Patton
  • Directors: Michael Bay
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 151 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,853 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305311463
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,872 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Armageddon (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
There are as many summaries of the plot, opinions on the acting, music, portents as there are reviews here so I will only focus on the quality of the actual Blu Ray transfer and my rating is based upon that. Often with technical reviews much depends upon the T.V. and home theater system the reviewer is using and how they see and hear things. My own 7.1 system if quite esoterically high end and the monitor I am using is a Panasonic ZT 65" plasma.
While I have watched the Standard Def DVD many times which was not badly produced at all, the Blu Ray is a significant upgrade. This review, however, is not a side by side comparison, that said, I wish Amazon would please separate the Standard Def, Instant Downloads and Blu Ray reviews from each other. It would make it that much easier to find a review that fits your needs and interests.

VIDEO….
Extraordinarily clean transfer with no artifacts that I could see anywhere. Grain did not seem to be present nor was there any haloing saw during CGI scenes. Blacks were extremely deep without sacrificing details in even the darkest of shots. Contrast is excellent throughout the film. Color grading appeared to be very normal, warm actually until they get to the asteroid where the color grading becomes decidedly cool with a very slight bluish tinge. This is one of the better transfers to Blu Ray I have seen with Mbps rates generally averaging in the low to mid 30's.

AUDIO….
The audio is a lossless 5.1 DTS MA HD which I wish also came with a 7.1 option. Dialogue was clean and transparent throughout and there was no need to reset your remotes volume control due to audio roller coasting; it stayed consistently set. Armageddon, in its own way, comes with one of the very best audios to be found.
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Format: DVD
The Criterion Collection release of Armageddon is a treat. It offers 2 commentary tracks, one featuring the director Michael Bay, actors Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer has comments on several interesting things. Affleck's commentary is sometimes very funny. The other commentary track features the Director of Photography and special effects people.
The commentary includes interesting details, including background information on the characters and filming locations. Note: The commentary is raw and sometimes laced with profanity, although the movie itself is rated PG-13, for reasons explained in the commentary.
Although it's not much, this collection is also a Director's Cut and has a couple scenes added, notable of which is Harry Stamper's character visiting his father before launch. Some other scenes are cut slightly differently, adding some depth to the story.
The Gag reel on the second disk is extremely funny, raw, and not your typical "behind-the-scenes" documentary.
The second disk also features a tremendous amount of information on the special effects and includes many different trailers and promo material. The Aerosmith song video is also included.
While the story can be nit-picked, it's still very exciting and enjoyable.
Overall, if you liked the movie, the Criterion Collection release is the DVD to have.
Comment 103 of 126 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I don't belong to the apparent elitists who despise Michael Bay's filmmaking because he's entertaining for it's own sake. Michael Bay is what he is the same as Hitchcock directed psychological thrillers or George Lucas directs science fiction. He makes films that are loud, fast, action-packed and quite frankly, fun to watch. Isn't that what movies are supposed to be about?

Armageddon was probably the most (other than maybe Saving Private Ryan) anticipated movie of 1998. I'd rank it in my top two or three of 1998 (The others being Saving Private Ryan and American History X). It's not the next Schindler's List and it doesn't strive to be. It stars Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler in the main roles. The supporting cast is underrated, well-balanced and fun to watch, from Michael Clarke Duncan and Steve Buscemi down to lesser know actors Marshall R. Teague and Jessica Steen.

Yes, the plot and premise may not be the most believable. But neither is King Kong, Lord of The Rings, Star Wars or whatever. These pseudo-critics on Amazon.com whine about "poor science" behind the movie, or the poor plot or the stereotypical cast. You know what? Who friggin' cares? It's a movie that's made for sheer fun, for entertainment, for bringing your family to enjoy a couple of hours of action, thundering explosions, fast vehicles and a little romance. Armageddon, despite what the Ebert and Roeper apprentices in here think, is entertainment at its best. Stop whining and enjoy yourself.

We are all familiar with the story by now. An asteroid the size of Texas is on path to impact with Earth, which would destroy all forms of life on it. The world only has 18 days until impact. The only way to stop it is to blow it up from the inside by drilling to its core.
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4 Comments 44 of 55 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I believe this movie to be well directed and scripted. It had the right amount of humor, drama, and "feel good" ending. They knew when to be funny and when to be serious. It had a great cast and overall it was a very enjoyable movie. From what I've read, this was one of those "hate it or love it" movies and I really liked the movie.

As for realism, yeah most of that stuff probably wouldn't fly realistically but if the only way to save our planet was to drill a hole in the sucker, would I prefer astronauts be given last minute instructions on how to drill or would I prefer some guy who has done it for years? I guess it sounds kinda funny/stupid at first but...I would prefer the experienced driller.

In any case, if realism is what you wanted, this isn't for you. If you want a to watch an entertaining movie, this is one of the best I've seen.
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Topic From this Discussion
Difference between the Criterion version and regular one?
While I haven't seen this movie at all and can't speak specifically about it, I do have a substantial number of Criterion Collection movies. Generally, you can't go wrong with a Criterion edition because they have more extras and special features as well as always presenting the movie in its... Read More
Nov 26, 2007 by TC Williamson |  See all 4 posts
Is there a version of this movie with Anamorphic format"
The Blu ray is 2:35 aspect ratio and this is the first time it has been anamorphic. All US dvd's have been non before this.
Apr 28, 2010 by Damon |  See all 4 posts
Definately not worth 20 bucks please
agreed. I'm in for $15.
Apr 27, 2010 by Michael J. Russo |  See all 4 posts
Blu-Ray Special Features?
Nothing much in the way of Special Features, just the following:

Aerosmith's music video "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing", Theatrical Trailer, Teaser Trailer
Jun 22, 2010 by Joen |  See all 2 posts
Why this movie don't have Subtitles or Audio in Spanish?
The Blu ray has them both.
Apr 28, 2010 by Damon |  See all 2 posts
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