DVD Review HTF Review: 10.5

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Elliott, Aug 8, 2004.

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  1. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]


    10.5


    Zero Stars/[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]




    Studio: Lions Gate
    Year: 2004
    Rated:NR
    Film Length: 165 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Standard (4:3)
    Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Stereo
    Subtitles:
    Retail Price: $19.95





    Oh, how I miss the golden age of disaster films from the 1970’s. Film like The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno and the Airport series were usually silly and not too realistic but at least they served a lot of entertainment along with their top-notch casts. 1974’s Earthquake with Charlton Heston also featured a big name cast and expensive special effects but I also considering it one of the worst made films in history, although I still enjoy watching it. That film certainly falls into the territory of “so bad it’s good” but thirty years later we get 10.5, another disaster film that was made for television and I suppose was trying to scare people on the West Coast. Trust me, you’d be better off with a real 10.5 earthquake than watching this pile of trash.

    An X-Games biker is riding around Seattle when a massive 7.2 earthquake hits bringing all the buildings down around him. This here gets the attention of the President of the United States (Beau Bridges) who turns this case over to a friend who works for FEMA (Fred Ward). On another part of the West Coast an earthquake expert (Kim Delaney) has a theory that more earthquakes are going to follow due to something dealing with the plates but she also believes a nuclear blast could bring the plates together and stop future quakes. Soon another quake hits Northern California and soon one hits San Francisco and it appears the next quake will his Los Angeles, which would mean no more bad movies from Hollywood. Actually, it means this quake is the big one and the West Coast is going to fall in the ocean. Whatever….

    While Earthquake was a bad movie that was made entertaining due to how bad it was, 10.5 on the other hand is just an incredibly bad film that doesn’t have any redeeming factors. I’m a sucker for this disaster flicks but this one here grows tiresome before the opening credits are over and the bad thing is that we’ve still got over two and a half hours to go. Everything from the acting to the directing to the incredibly bad special effects are worthless making this an incredibly hard film to get through. In fact, by the time part two starts I’m sure most people watching would rather be experiencing a real 10.5.

    The key to every disaster film ever made are the characters who we are supposed to cheer and root on and hope they don’t fall victim to Mother Nature but that’s not the case here. In fact, I kept hoping most of our main cast would fall victim because that would mean we were closer to the finish. Throughout disaster film history we always get stereotypes that are usually so incredibly stupid that we laugh at them and we get the same type of thing here minus the laughs. We get the typical melodrama, which includes and father and son struggling after the mothers death, a father and daughter trying to come together and a husband and wife who are the verge of a divorce. Thankfully, even though fifty million people are evacuating the city they are all able to find one another to make up before the quake hits.

    The characters are so overwrought and obnoxious that you can’t really cheer for them and the worst one has to be the beautiful daughter who hates her father but the quake brings them together. I’m not going to bother mentioning the actresses name but lets just say her acting ability is below the level of Tor Johnson of Ed Wood fame. Beau Bridges usually delivers a decent performance but it’s clear he was just cashing a paycheck here. Seeing him as President of the United States is a joke in itself and he does nothing with the role making us believe he really is the leader of this country. Kim Delaney comes off very annoying and doesn’t make a good lead actress. The film’s one saving grace is Fred Ward who is interesting even if he’s just sleeping. He also gets the film’s only well made scene where he has a final talk with his son.

    I think people are attracted to disaster movies for the same reason they can’t help avoid looking at a car wreck just incase they are able to see a body lying in the road. They watch these films because they want to see disaster and the hopes of a few people beating the odds of survival. The special effects in the film are all CGI and do they look incredibly awful and fake. I’m sorry but CGI is the evil creation of Satan and the lack of imagination really shows this here. And please, don’t give me the fact that these scenes couldn’t have been done without the CGI effects. Check out San Francisco or Earthquake and you’ll see that effects were being done before CGI and they also contained a bit of imagination, which is very important. Just take a look at the scene where the Golden Gate Bridge collapses. Check out the scene where the earth is breaking apart and following a train. Tremors had better ground breaking scenes and it didn’t take a computer to create them.

    With this disaster film we also get a post 9/11 speech that is so forced that you can’t help but role your eyes. There are various political statements made throughout the film and they all come off fake and it’s clear the director is just trying to make this film be something better than it actually is. This film shows the worst of America in the fact that no imagination went into it and the director seems to think that everyone watching would fall for the various tricks and stupidity that is put on the screen. How a film like this could turn out this bad is beyond me but 10.5 is without a doubt the worst disaster film ever made, which is saying a lot considering this genre gave us duds like The Swarm and When Time Ran Out.

    A few questions for those smarter than I:

    1.If blue water swallowed dirt, buildings, cars, people, sand and various other things, wouldn’t that blue water be a bit dirty and not crystal clear blue?
    2.If a 10.5 earthquake struck, would people be able to outrun it?
    3.Is hair gel so advanced in California that when a 10.5 strikes people's hair doesn't get messed up?
    4.Since when can earthquakes chase trains?



    VIDEO---The movie is shown Standard (4:3), which is the correct ratio and how it was shown on television. The picture is incredibly soft throughout and various scenes contain a large amount of grain but after listening to the audio commentary this is apparently the look the director was going for. With that in mind, the transfer appears pretty good without any noticeable print damage, speckles or scratches. The flesh tones look accurate throughout and colors are well detailed throughout. I noticed some minor edge enhancement but I doubt you’ll notice this unless you’re really looking for it.

    AUDIO---The new Dolby Digital 5.1 track serves the film pretty good considering it was made for television but don’t expect something like The Lord of the Rings. Dialogue remains through the center speakers and remains crisp and detailed throughout. The Surrounds get some very nice moments including all the destruction that goes on in the film. The previously mention “quake chasing train” sequence stands out because the camera is set in the center of the tracks while the quake splits them down the middle. This effect sounds remarkably well when mixed between the right and left speaker. During the first quake I noticed some ringing out of the left speaker, which doesn’t seem to belong.

    EXTRAS---The only extra is an audio commentary with the director, which is full of details but considering how bad the movie is I doubt anyone will be listening to this. The director tells a lot of stories about what he was going for and how he planned to make the film look but none of it struck me as being too interesting. Again, I simply hated the film so much that I couldn’t care less about how it was made.

    OVERALL---Normally any disaster film would get a recommendation from me but that’s not the case with this film, which is so beyond bad that I’m really not sure what to make of it. This film is so incredibly worthless that I’d even have a hard time recommending it to fans of bad films. Lions Gate offers a fairly good DVD with a nice transfer and a very good 5.1 mix but good luck with the film.


    Release Date: August 24, 2004
     
  2. Chris:L

    Chris:L Supporting Actor

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    This is funny... a group of scientists come together and want to fuse the tectonic plates together to permit more earthquakes...

    They're not really scientists... they're mad men and women in coats that want to blow up the planet earth.

    Come on.... fusing plates together... well why not fuse volcano's closed?

    Simple. The earth would blow up!
     
  3. Pete Battista

    Pete Battista Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the review. I never got to see this one when it was on and was wanting to see it... not so sure I want to waste any time on this one now!
     
  4. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Don't hold back, Michael... tell us what you really think! [​IMG]

    I missed this on television... I think I'll miss it on DVD, as well. Thanks for the review.

    -Scott
     
  5. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    This is the "What if" sequel to Superman:The Movie.

    "Otisburg!!!"
     
  6. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    Thanks for the review Michael. I also am a big fan of disaster lovies and found Earthquake better than you did, it's one of my favorites, moreso for the sensurround aspect I guess. To me, Volcano was the worst of them.

    I missed this on tv, so have been wanting to see it, and was disappointed to hear how bad it is, especially from a disaster movie fan. I'll still do it from Netflix, because often I find that movies people find bad to be ones I actually like, although it doesn't sound promising in this case. Too bad more movies aren't filmed for HDTV in 16x9.
     
  7. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    It was so horribly bad. He's being generous with the zero stars... [​IMG]
     
  8. derek

    derek Second Unit

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    How bad shows gets good ratings OR are the masses really just a bunch of lemmings????

    "LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) TV movies about behind-the-scenes shenanigans on old shows or people struggling against the odds are fine, but it turns out what people really want to see is California falling into the ocean.
    That, apparently, is the lesson that can be taken from NBC's killer-earthquake movie "10.5," which scored the network's best ratings for a telefilm in five years in its Sunday (May 2) debut. Monday night's conclusion fared almost as well, giving rise to the possibility that we'll see more disaster movies in the future.
    Despite being savaged by critics, "10.5" brought in 20.7 million viewers on Sunday night, more than any NBC movie since part two of "Noah's Ark" in May 1999. It was the most-watched made-for-TV movie on any network since CBS' broadcast of the documentary "9/11" two years ago.
    NBC's target audience of adults 18-49 also flocked to the movie, in which a series of ever-larger earthquakes threatens to separate the West Coast from the rest of North America. Sunday's telecast averaged an 8.1 rating in the demographic, nearly double the network's season average (4.4) for the time period.
    Monday's conclusion held up well against strong competition from CBS, which typically wins the night. According to preliminary Nielsen figures, part two of "10.5" averaged 19.6 million viewers and a 7.8 rating among adults 18-49. Both numbers beat those of CBS' lineup."

    AND the other day read that CBS is working on another un-named disaster miniseries for this fall/winter.
     
  9. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    EXACTLY!!! How else do you explain this film, Ashlee or Jessica Simpson and the majority of TV shows out there?

    I taped this because I LOVE disaster flicks...it was painful to watch. Check out the comments in the TV section of HTF for more "10.5"-bashing.
     
  10. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Even more distracting to me than the awful script and effects was the director's constant "zoom-in-zoom out" style.
     
  11. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Ditto. I'd imagine that some people that saw it got nauseous or perhaps even threw up because of all of the zooming. I couldn't take 30 seconds of it because it annoyed me so much.
     
  12. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    This has to be the first zero star review on HTF, no?

    God I am ashamed to have posted in this thread... [​IMG]
     
  13. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    I take back my earlier post, I may not rent it [​IMG]
     
  14. Jim Dalton

    Jim Dalton Stunt Coordinator

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    My wife is also a BIG disaster movie fan and even she had to struggle to make it through this, uhm, movie when it aired. Needless to say we won't be adding this one to our collection.

    Although that won't stop me from constantly asking her "Now, you're absolutely sure you don't want to get this one?" [​IMG]
     

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