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Armageddon: The Criterion Collection

The guiltiest of pleasures, this deeply flawed, often moronic action epic about a meteor the size of Texas bearing down on Earth is riveting nonetheless, mostly due to excellent performances by Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck as the leaders of a team of deep-core drillers sent into space to plant a nuclear bomb in the behemoth's core. Director Michael Bay shows a great skill for planning action sequences and creating iconic visuals, but absolutely no talent whatsoever for harvesting a comprehensible story out of them. Still, the actors, along with uncredited writers Paul Attanasio, Ann Biderman, Scott Michael Rosenberg, and Robert Towne, mine enough human potential out of the concept to keep you watching — and caring — for a full two-and-half hours. This director's cut features two extra minutes. Also with Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Will Patton, Steve Buscemi, Owen Wilson, and Peter Stormare. Disc one of this awesome two-disc set features a terrific dual-layer 2.35 widescreen director-supervised transfer, with both 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby. This disc is supplemented with two audio commentaries; the first with director Michael Bay, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and actors Willis and Affleck (who is very funny); the second with cinematographer John Schwartzman, NASA consultant Dr. Joe Allen, and asteroid consultant Ivan Bekey. Disc two is reserved for plentiful extras, including Bay's gag reel, deleted scenes, storyboards and production-design drawings, analysis of the special effects by visual effects supervisors Richard Hoover, Pat McClung and, Hoyt Yeatman, plus the music video "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith, along with interviews with the band.
—Gregory P. Dorr

Click here to read the Quick Review of Buena Vista's Armageddon DVD.



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