The Final Countdown (1980) Blue Underground Limited Edition 4K + Blu-ray Review is the second release from Blue Underground on Blu-ray, and the second in their Countdown series of movies (which includes movies like Battle Beyond The Stars, The Last Starfighter, and Starcrash). The Countdown series is a line of movies based on the actual countdowns to various space missions (FTL, Apollo 13, The Right Stuff), and Blue Underground includes a two-sided, full-color collector’s booklet with a detailed timeline of all of the movies in the series to date.
For those who don’t know, the movie “The Final Countdown” is a 1980 movie about a group of astronauts that are on a routine mission to the moon when a catastrophic event happens on the way. There are two main plots: One is about the astronauts and their families trying to cope with the tragedy, the other is about the investigation into the event. Both of these plots are intertwined, which make for a rather interesting film.
A sci-fi war thriller with beautiful aerial photography that, in my opinion, can’t match Top Gun and Iron Eagle. The Final Countdown is a stylized time travel film with a very believable plot executed by director Don Taylor (Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Damien: Omen II).
A modern, fully equipped aircraft carrier goes through a time warp and lands at Pearl Harbor on the eve of a Japanese attack, on the eve of World War II.
Captain Matthew Yelland (Kirk Douglas) has no idea that his fully equipped, war-ready aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz is about to drift through a temporary rift in the Pacific, but it’s happening. At first glance, it looks like a big storm, but he and his team have never experienced anything like it. Aboard the Nimitz is a civilian working for the Department of Defense, an arrogant fellow named Warren Lasky (Martin Sheen) who is on board to oversee operations, and even he is baffled by all the anomalies that point to the impossible: The Nimitz, with all its war-ready planes, helicopters, powerful radars and computers, can’t hide the fact that things aren’t as they should be. The radios receive radio broadcasts and boxing matches from the 1940s, and the strangest thing is that their spy planes photograph Pearl Harbor exactly as it was on the day before the fateful Japanese bombing that led the United States to enter World War II. No amount of training or education could have prepared Yelland and his crew for the idea that they could effectively end World War II before it had begun by attacking and destroying the Japanese fleet before it had a chance to bomb Pearl. Yelland and his team use history as a guide to launch an attack, but before they do, they begin to change the future by taking the lives of a U.S. senator (played by Charles Durning) and his aide who were supposed to die, an act that has potentially staggering implications for the future. When the time comes to make a final decision that changes the course of history (the future, whatever), fate or something else leads the way.
A sci-fi war thriller with beautiful aerial photography that, in my opinion, can’t match Top Gun and Iron Eagle. The Final Countdown is a stylized time travel film with a very believable plot executed by director Don Taylor (Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Damien: Omen II). The actors are excellent and the score by composer John Scott is majestic and grandiose. The final moments of the film are also very good, and overall Final Countdown is a real dream movie.
Blue Underground recently released a limited edition boxset of The Final Countdown, which includes a 4K Ultra HD disc, a standard Blu-ray, and a bonus CD with a soundtrack that features the full score from the film. The 4K transfer comes from a new restoration that fully enhances the previous DVD and Blu-ray editions, with an improved soundtrack. Previous special features, including an audio commentary by the director, two interviews (including one with Lloyd Kaufman, who was one of the producers), trailers and a photo gallery, have been carried over. There is also a new booklet with an essay on the film.
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