BLU-RAY REVIEW: Tombstone & Armageddon
Two new fan-favorite action films hit hi-def home video...
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Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment recently released two fan-favorite action films to hi-def home video: Tombstone and Armageddon. While both films come to life in beautiful 1080p and feature impressive sound, it's worth mentioning these releases could be better...which probably means there's plans for future releases of these same films in the works.
While not everyone likes westerns, there's nothing to not like about Tombstone. Directed by George P. Cosmatos (Rambo First Blood Part II, Cobra) and written by Kevin Jarre (Rambo First Blood Part II, Glory), Tombstone features one of the most impressive casts of any action film I've seen, including Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Michael Biehn, Powers Boothe, Bill Paxton and - one of my favorite actors - Sam Elliot. Likewise, there's even a cameo by the one and only Charlton Heston too!
Acting aside, Jarre's script is simply amazing and some of the most memorable one-liners in all of film history are said right here in Tombstone. With a great production value, an awesome cast, and an amazing script, it's a bit disappointing this hi-def release, which includes a decent 1080p video transfer and extremely impressive DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, it's unfortunate the real attraction of the 2002 DVD Vista Series release of Tombstone, which included a vast array of bonus features, isn't included here on blu-ray. The disc does offer the 3-part "making of" documentary, original storyboards, trailers, and TV spots, but the director's commentary, as well as the extremely informative and interesting interactive time line as well as the historical look at the actual shootout and events which took place at the O.K. Corral are no where to be found.
Overall, for fans who own the 2002 DVD release, the only major bonus in picking up the blu-ray is the solid audio and a slightly better picture quality. Unfortunately, the Vista Series DVD includes more bonus material. I'd guess there's a better version of Tombstone on blu-ray coming in the future, but - until then - this is it.
After he was John McClane but before he was Mr. Goodkat, Bruce Willis was a ragtag oil rigger by the name of Harry Stamper in a little old movie made by a then fairly popular action film director by the name of Michael Bay.
Now Harry was a man's man with a daughter who could date no one but A.J. Frost (played, of course, by Ben Affleck). And Harry, he took to the skies and saved the lives of not only his daughter and her love, but every man, woman and child on the face of the earth.
Now if that - set to an Aerosmith soundtrack - doesn't tug your heart strings, I don't know what will...
12 years ago, Armageddon hit theaters and, while some of it haven't watched it since the 1990s, many of us watched it more than once (or more than 10 times). It was, after all, the "save the world" film of the year, it stared John McClane (I mean Bruce Willis), and featured an awesome soundtrack (who doesn't like Aerosmith?). Likewise, it really was an action film. After all, it featured oil drills, astronauts, spaceships, explosions, and just enough romance to keep the women-folk happy.
Now, fans of this actioner can pick up Armageddon in hi-def. Featuring an impressive 1080p video transfer that'll have you staring into Liv Tyler's bold, beautiful eyes and an impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround audio track that'll ensure your living room rumbles with every explosion, this is truly a solid film worth watching in hi-def.
That said, there aren't a lot of bonus features here. In fact, the only thing this disc includes is the music video for Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" and a theatrical and teaser trailer. Yup, that's it.
While it might not include a commentary, behind-the-scenes documentaries, or even cast interviews, Armageddon does include one heck of a roller coaster ride of a action movie that will blow your socks off...or at least make you remember when, 12 years ago, you felt like your socks were blown off...
Both Tombstone and Armageddon are available now on blu-ray hi-def wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley