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Blu-ray Reviews

Snowmageddon Blu-Ray Review



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#1 of 1 OFFLINE   mattCR

mattCR

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Posted November 25 2012 - 03:11 PM


Snowmaggedon

Total Run Time: 1:28

AVC 1080P Video AWBR

Audio: Dobly TrueHD 5.1, Dolby AC3 5.1 640kbps (secondary)

Presented in 1.78:1



The Film: 1/5




Christmas comes but once a year, even for the people in constantly cold Normal, Alaska.  Normal, Alaska has a lot going for it.  A hard scrambled community full of decent, hard working people who all enjoy being so close to the North Pole that it's a Helicopter ride to go see most other towns.  That doesn't prevent them of course from having a nice bubbling brook near the town, beautiful forestry, and tons of arts and crafts.  Why, look, there goes an old friend as the local small business owner of a clock repair shop.    But being in such a small town means there isn't that much to do.. so what do young boys do?  They turn to Dungeons and Dragons games.  And girls?  Why, they pine over celebrities who come to town hoping to snowboard the "epic mountains" near them.  Neither of those plots sound interesting?  Don't worry, they don't last more than a few minutes.   There are plenty of hints at the awfulness early when the town puzzles over why has there been no snowfall yet, it's just so strange!


But a town this beautiful, something bad just has to happen you know?   And nothing can ruin a Christmas like a mysterious evil stranger (don't worry, we'll never see them again so we have NO idea who they are or who they did this) leaves a mystical, evil Snow Globe on your door step.  Touch the snowglobe at your own peril, because the moment bad things happen in the snow globe, bad things happen in the town of Normal, Alaska!



It starts out easy enough; a sprocket goes, and then there is an earthquake.  Followed an earthquake.  Another gear shifts and gigantic frozen snowballs that are filled with 3' spears of ice come raining out of the sky like attack darts.   But come on, those have to be great special effects, right?   Nope.  In fact, the blu-ray only enhances how bad the effects are, they stand out as though they've been taped in with scotch tape.   The town members react to them about the same way, moving around randomly to avoid these terrible disasters.  Oh well, we're just going to hang out I suppose.  I did learn a few things, though.. a town with less than 50 people total and no highway access needs a 60 passenger schoolbus.  And more than a pharmacy, clock repair is the kind of business that can make it here.


The movie is bad, REALLY bad.  But I found that about half way through my kids and I were doing a full Mystery Science Theater "Oh, Saul, where are the Cylons to help you now?"  "This is what you get for joining that cult there.." (yes, there are a lot of BSG and Caprica actors in this).  And because of that I can give it a "1" star.  Otherwise it'd be zero.   But if you're prepared to laugh AT a film, this is definitely one to do that with.


Video Quality 2/5


This was obviously shot on digital and looks pretty good.   With a high AWBR around 26.6Mbps (Variable) it should look good.  With all that being true, why is the rating on the video low?   Well, there are some real problems with the video when it comes to the digital insertion of special effects.  I had thought about including more screenshots to illustrate this, but the one above of the "ice comet" it just a start.  Visual effects seem as though they are done at a completely different resolution and as a result they come off looking completely out of step with the rest.  They might fit in on DVD resolution which covers for it but at 1080P they look terrible.  A final sequence involving a snow plow falling into a volcano is so bad it looks as though it could have been framed in Minecraft.




Audio Quality 4/5


I've always judged audio quality by thinking about how the audio works with the film that it comes from.   The audio for Snowmaggedon is hard to judge because frankly, it's pretty good.  Putting aside the TERRIBLE dialog, and the goofball effects, it actually gets them across quite well.  Delivered in Dolby TrueHD, the special effects are far more successful here than they are on the screen; rear channels are effectively used to deliver the effects of the film, and the terrible dialog is crisp and clear and you can cringe all you want to it while being able to hear it.   The soundtrack is full of either public domain hits or semi-muzak that I promise you'll never hear again, and while you grit your teeth as it's played you have the joy of at least hearing it clearly.


Extras: 0/5


There is not a single extra on this disc.  There is a trailer for "The Day" which best I can tell is a SciFi Zombies from Space movie?


Conclusion 1/5



"Damn You, Damn You Snowglobe Straight to Hell!" 


I don't know what else I could really say about Snowmaggedon.  I had thought by the title that there might be a giant snowstorm.  Like a reboot of "The Day After Tomorrow".  That seems reasonable?    What is surprisingly missing from this film is snow.  In fact, it's not until the very end (SPOILERS!) that the town so near the North Pole receives it's first light dusting of snow.  No, Snowmageddon is really Snowglobe-mageddon.  the demonic Snow Globe that has to be destroyed in the fires of Mordor.. er, a conveniently nearby volcano that only appears as a result of the snowglobe's evil plans to destroy the town.   I'm not sure how you can classify a film like Snowmageddon.  Oh, it's definitely bad.   the disc has no extras and the dialog will make you cringe.   But is it so bad that it's really something you'd break out for your own MST3k?   Or, is it the kind of film you could have fun with by torturing your friends as a gag gift?   I'm unsure on that front.   I often wish more outright terrible films would allow for BDLive alternative audio tracks so I could see what others do with their MST'ing of a film as bad as this.


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