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Neil Middlemiss

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Deep Impact is a film that has gotten better with age. Since its release 25 years ago this year, we’ve seen a slew of movies concerned with world-ending events, like 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Moonfall, Knowing, and the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still, and that’s not counting all the plague, zombie, and monster movies out there. As we look back over these recent years, what stands out is how Deep Impact is a more mature, but not always successful dramatic approach to the subject matter. Directed with a sure hand, strong screenplay, performances that range from reasonable to wonderful, and a brilliant score by the late James Horner, come together to deliver something a little different from the end of the world subgenre. If it’s been a while since you saw it, now’s a good time to rediscover how good Deep Impact can be, now with a fine 4K release.



Deep Impact (1998)



Released: 08 May 1998
Rated: PG-13...

Continue reading...
 
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jayembee

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I remember back when this and Armageddon came out, and so many people seemed to love Bay's film and really disliked Leder's. It's one of those things that mystify me. I found little to like about Armageddon beyond a reasonably exciting opening scene. But Deep Impact I thought was terrific. Every time I've watched it since: cable, DVD, and BD, I shake my head and wonder why so many people didn't like it. I've got the UHD, and just need to find the time to watch it. Glad to know that it's one of Paramount's good ones.
 

Malcolm R

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I'm not sure if people actively disliked Deep Impact, but simply saw it as the "lesser" of two films with similar themes coming out in the same season. Armageddon had the big name stars (Bruce Willis with Ben Affleck and Billy Bob Thornton who had just both won Oscars) who were popular at the time. A popular director, Michael Bay, at the time coming off hits The Rock and Bad Boys and hadn't yet been sucked into the Transformers black hole. A huge rock music soundtrack (4x Platinum) with popular new music from a resurgent Aerosmith and videos all over MTV. It also featured more action and special effects sequences and a sappy love story with a happy ending. I think Armageddon was just perceived as the quintessential "summer movie" while Deep Impact was seen as more of a drama with some FX.

As noted in Neil's review, long stretches of Deep Impact were mostly drama with dialogue. There were only a couple of action sequences and they were pretty brief. Their stars were Tea Leoni and Elijah Wood. There was no flashy soundtrack or pop singles with music videos. Deep Impact actually had the bigger opening of the two films ($41 million vs. $36 million), so that seems to show there was good anticipation for the film. But for many of the reasons I noted above, Armageddon had better legs with more repeat business during the summer.

Both films were profitable (DI $350 million worldwide gross vs. Arm $554 million worldwide) but Armageddon cost nearly twice as much to make (DI $80 million budget vs. Arm $140 million).
 
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Colin Jacobson

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I'm not sure if people actively disliked Deep Impact, but simply saw it as the "lesser" of two films with similar themes coming out in the same season. Armageddon had the big name stars (Bruce Willis with Ben Affleck and Billy Bob Thornton who had just both won Oscars) who were popular at the time. A popular director, Michael Bay, at the time coming off hits The Rock and Bad Boys and hadn't yet been sucked into the Transformers black hole. A huge rock music soundtrack (4x Platinum) with popular new music from a resurgent Aerosmith and videos all over MTV. It also featured more action and special effects sequences and a sappy love story with a happy ending. I think Armageddon was just perceived as the quintessential "summer movie" while Deep Impact was seen as more of a drama with some FX.

As noted in Neil's review, long stretches of Deep Impact were mostly drama with dialogue. There were only a couple of action sequences and they were pretty brief. Their stars were Tea Leoni and Elijah Wood. There was no flashy soundtrack or pop singles with music videos. Deep Impact actually had the bigger opening of the two films ($41 million vs. $36 million), so that seems to show there was good anticipation for the film. But for many of the reasons I noted above, Armageddon had better legs with more repeat business during the summer.

Both films were profitable (DI $350 million worldwide gross vs. Arm $554 million worldwide) but Armageddon cost nearly twice as much to make (DI $80 million budget vs. Arm $140 million).

My comment above aside, I don't think "Impact" is a bad movie. It's just kind of a mess, with too many competing storylines and too little focus.
 

Noel Aguirre

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So Paramount puts the old audio on the new 4K image but couldn’t bother to include the commentary on it as well? Meaning you’ll be forced to watch the dated blu-ray image if you want to listen to it. That’s a major fail if ever there was one. I can’t imagine it would cost that much more to pay the commentators extra even if their contract called for that. It’s bad enough this wasn’t given the “Paramount Present” treatment and I will purchase it but the commentary missing and lack of a new Atmos soundtrack really irks me.
However thanks for the excellent review of this excellent film Neil!
 

cineMANIAC

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Watched a good chunk of the film last night. It hasn't lost any of its impact (no pun intended) and, while I enjoy both films, DI is my go-to favorite. These kinds of films work better as dramas IMO. After all, they're about the end of the world. What would be the point of showing just carnage and aftermath?

I thought the new 4K scan looks very good overall if not a bit inconsistent. Shots of crowds look like they were shot yesterday, while others look a little dated if that makes any sense. Anything outdoors in broad daylight looks great, of course. I'm happy with this upgrade.
 

JoshZ

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I remember back when this and Armageddon came out, and so many people seemed to love Bay's film and really disliked Leder's. It's one of those things that mystify me. I found little to like about Armageddon beyond a reasonably exciting opening scene. But Deep Impact I thought was terrific. Every time I've watched it since: cable, DVD, and BD, I shake my head and wonder why so many people didn't like it. I've got the UHD, and just need to find the time to watch it. Glad to know that it's one of Paramount's good ones.

I may need to revisit this sometime, but I didn't particularly care for either Deep Impact or Armageddon when I first saw them. Of the two, I suppose I disliked Deep Impact less than I disliked Armageddon. but I agree with Colin's assessment that it was too messy and unfocused. I also felt that the attempt to dress it up as a prestige drama only served to undermine what was in reality just another silly disaster movie.
 

Tino

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On sale on iTunes digitally for $6.99 now. Has been as low as $4.99 too.
 

KeithDA

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I bought this based on the reviews here and because I wanted something new to watch on my recently acquired LGG3 OLED. I thought I must have seen the film on TV at some point, but I hadn't. I really enjoyed it. It takes its time to deliver quite a lot of different story lines and it doesn't pull back many emotional punches either.
It definitely holds up after 25 years. :thumbsup:
 

Jonathan Perregaux

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I was watching this late at night and reluctantly had to shut if off and go to bed. It was during the part where Messiah was on its way to the comet. Prior to that moment was Téa Leone's brief character journey as an investigative reporter cracking a story. It showed her unwittingly (but not witlessly) bluffing herself through what she initially thought was a hackneyed cover-up. She managed to get from "Ellie" to "E.L.E." by relying on her instincts—and also keeping a straight face in front of very powerful people. In a lesser film, this would have been ridiculous (and maybe it is, but it was played well).

So when I picked up on Deep Impact again the next night, I actually skipped backwards to re-watch all of that again. I found it more fascinating than the comet striking the earth. So, in other words, Téa acted her way above an apocalyptic event, which is usually treated as destructo-porn (*cough* Armageddon, 2012, etc. *cough*).
 

YANG

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it was not surprising that Armageddon gained lots of attentions then when Deep Impact was screening at the same period.
one a popcorn flick, another a Stephen Spielberg production that could be too serious on plot and boring.
when we have to pay USD$12.50~$20(depending on region) for a entry ticket, which comet crashing earth flick will offer more value?
 

Malcolm R

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They weren't technically playing against each other all the time. Deep Impact was released close to two months before Armageddon, (May 8 vs. July 1) so it mostly wouldn't have been an either/or choice at the theater.

Deep Impact was still playing in over 1,000 theaters when Armageddon was released, but it had already made the bulk of its gross. It made about $5 million of it's $140 million gross post-Armageddon. ;)
 
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Lord Dalek

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They weren't technically playing against each other all the time. Deep Impact was released close to two months before Armageddon, (May 8 vs. July 1) so it mostly wouldn't have been an either/or choice at the theater.

Deep Impact was still playing in over 1,000 theaters when Armageddon was released, but it had already made the bulk of it's gross. It made about $5 million of it's $140 million gross post-Armageddon. ;)

If anything, it was The Truman Shpw that took a serious whack at Deep Impact's final cume.
 

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