Brad's Briefs: The Final Countdown (1980) Blu-ray

Kyrsten Brad

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Brad's Briefs: The Final Countdown (1980) Blu-ray


Fresh off the heels of viewing Pollyanna with my lovely wife Kyrsten, I switched gears a bit and eagerly put in my as-yet unopened Blu for The Final Countdown (1980). The basic plot of this nifty genre combination of U.S. military and temporal sci-fi was a big hit on base when I first saw it on the outdoor theater at the U.S. Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Conversely The Final Countdown was a moderate hit at the box office in August 1980 but it was greatly overshadowed by another sci-fi box office smash, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back.


TheFinalCountdown_Blu.jpg



The Movie:

Five years before BTTF's invention of the flux capacitor, this film one of my all-time favorite temporal displacement films gave the moviegoing public another example of what amazing things can happen when Hollywood and the U.S. Military work together, a la Top Gun. (as opposed to Hollywood doing another military big-shots as bad guys film). I would not be too surprised if Top Gun drew some inspiration and ideas from this film.

As to the overall plot, one could go absolutely bonkers studying and debating the temporal effects if a modern-day U.S. aircraft carrier did actually go back to Dec 6th, 1941 and destroy the Japanese attack force. The entire Japanese fleet of 1941 would have been no match for the USS Nimitz as demonstrated in the F-14 vs Zero dogfights.


Loved Kirk Douglas in his role as Captain Yelland but as Movie Mistakes had pointed out, in a emergency situation as they were, the Captain and staff would not be taking time off to go have tea as happened in the film. In fairness Movie Mistakes pointed out that this scene may have been mean't for a earlier part of the movie.


And in my experience as a U.S. Marine, that Japanese pilot was not being properly guarded, especially as a potential enemy combatant. Real Marine guards would have never let that pilot get a weapon in the first place but you know Hollywood, throwing that sub-plot in there for effect sake.


And don't forget the (somewhat muted) temporal romantic subplot with Commander Owens from 1980 (played by James Farentino) and Senator Chapman's secretary from 1941, Laurel (played nicely by Katharine Ross, I always liked her since The Graduate).


This movie makes for some nice comparisons with other military-themed movies of the era (Top Gun, 1986) and other temporal sci-fi films (Timerider 1982, The Philadelphia Experiment 1984, Back To The Future Trilogy 1985-1989)



The Techncial Aspects:


PQ Rating: 4.75: Very impressed with this Blu-ray. You can clearly see the lines in Kirk Douglas' face (sorry Mr. Douglas) and if you look closely you can see a movie mistake, the mooring lines on Senator Chapman's yacht (which was supposed to be out at sea). Very nice ocean scenery as well.


AQ Rating: 4.8: This was remixed in 7.1 DTS-HD and 7.1 Dolby TrueHD for a very excellent sound experience


Color me impressed again by a well done Blu-ray, especially considering this was one of the earlier Blus. Glad to have this one in my library.


Further Reading:


Wiki Article on The Final Countdown


Movie Mistakes entry on The Final Countdown
 

ahollis

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Yep, this was a very fun and entertaining film. My first viewing was at the Ellis Isle Twin Cinema in Jackson, MS and it was a packed theatre.
 

Jasper70

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Just picked this Blu-ray up for $2 at a library, it was a donation in mint condition.
Very impressed with the PQ. It had been years since the last time I saw it.
Highly recommend.
 

Johnny Angell

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And in my experience as a U.S. Marine, that Japanese pilot was not being properly guarded, especially as a potential enemy combatant. Real Marine guards would have never let that pilot get a weapon in the first place but you know Hollywood, throwing that sub-plot in there for effect sake.
Hollywood has a long history of writing in incompetence when needed for the plot. I have rolled my eyes many times in these films.
 

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