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The Core DVD Review

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I’m not usually one to use other people’s descriptions in my reviews, but this is one time I can’t help myself. This is “Armageddon going in the opposite direction.” Not sure where I read that, but I can’t think of a better way to describe “The Core.” It’s your typical summer sci-fier, lacking just a bit in a few key areas. The DVD though is one of the best sounding movies of the year.

Look, this is sci-fi. Your either going to buy this films premise or your not. If you can accept the fact that the Earth’s core has suddenly stopped rotating and in a matter of months the governments of the world combine to create a massive hulk of a ship to drill down and get it going again with nukes, then welcome home. Otherwise, your going to be groaning and rolling your eyes for the entire 2 hour running time.

Unlike most movies in this genre, almost everything has an explanation, regardless of how absurd it may be. Your never out of the loop and the director (Jon Amiel) keeps things believable. The few scenes of mass destruction this film contains are far too brief and you just don’t see enough to make this worthwhile to action fans. Worse yet, the special effects range from spectacular to abysmal, in no particular order. Things get pretty heavy at the end, but this is a disaster movie and it plows along expectedly. The actors (including Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart, and Stanley Tucci among others) chime in with solid performances but there’s nothing the Academy will recognize.

The DVD presents the film in a widescreen print (as it should be) and with the exception of the black levels not being very black, it’s flawless. There’s a gratuitous amount of red and orange in this film and it’s all held together with no color bleeding at all. What really brings this movie alive is the sound. Presented in a basic 5.1 track, this one ousts most DTS tracks. The usage of the 2 rear channels is simply spectacular and the destruction sequences (no matter how brief they are) really put you in the middle of the action. The bird sequence early in the film really shows this off well. Just imagine Hitchcockís “The Birds” with a true 5.1 mix and you get the idea.

The remainder of the disc is solid for a standard edition with the director’s commentary, deleted scenes (with or without commentary), a brief 11 minute making-of, and a few trailers. Jon Amiel remains surprisingly quiet for his solo commentary, but you’ll still learn more here than you will with the documentary. The deleted scenes are a perfect example of why things like this happen. Their inclusion would’ve slowed this one down to a crawl. One nicer note is the option to select right from the start if you’d like to view the included trailers instead of them being forced on you.

There are only two different views for this movie: Either your going to buy into it or your not. If your with me, you’ll find this to be an entertaining summer popcorn flick with the usual 70’s disaster film clichÈís. If your a fan of the DVD experience however, this is definitely a great flick to have on your shelf regardless of what you may think of the movie. The features aren’t spectacular, but the sound is mesmerizing. This is a movie that HAS to be re-released with a DTS track.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • Chris Wilson

    I enjoyed “The Core,” but found it to be a prime example of just how mediocre films of this type seem to be today. While watching this film, I was reminded of an excellent 1960s sci-fi “The Fantastic Voyage.” This film also had a ragtag crew sent on an important government mission to places never before explored in a high-tech vessel. Ironically, the special effects of “The Fantastic Voyage” are extraordinary and breathtaking even to this day! In “The Core,” there appears to be a lack of imagination in all aspects. It is a film drenched in derivative ho-hum, with mediocre FX, cardboard characters and talented actors. Don Simpson would be proud…..