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Geostorm (Blu-ray Review)

The ‘ol disaster movies have their respective fans and place in our cinematic calendar year. There are many corner, low budgeted ones that come around in places like the Sci Fi channel much of the time, but almost once every other year, we see one try to grab that success on the big screen. And usually, these things (Especially Roland Emmerich ones) tend to be global hits. Get a solid cast of veteran actors and a star or two, threaten the Earth, give us stakes by showing significant landmarks destroyed, corny one-liners, fake science and WAH-LAH! This year’s contribution was the much delayed and reshot Geostorm with Gerard Butler. The trailer itself looked quite crazy and didn’t warn of Earth destruction, but for audiences domestically not to come to the theater. However, you’ll be able to see it from the comfort of your couch on Blu-ray January 23rd!

Film 

After an unprecedented series of natural disasters threatened the planet, the world’s leaders came together to create an intricate network of satellites to control the global climate and keep everyone safe. But now, something has gone wrong: the system built to protect Earth is attacking it, and it becomes a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything and everyone along with it.

While people demand a cut of a movie that might not even exist in that of Justice League, nobody is going to clamor for one that actually does in Geostorm. Gerard Butler’s 2017 disaster movie was a disaster itself upon its first test screening. Immediately the film’s trailer was pulled, the release date abandoned and extensive reshoots were commenced. I can’t guarantee that cut would be drastically different, but I do know that I know someone who was in the film, having a solid supporting role and told me of events with his character, nothing of which appeared or even hinted at in the final film.  Its very possible there’s a different version of this movie lying around somewhere. But this isn’t a fanboy movie, so nobody cares and we just move on with our lives.

I don’t know if its a good thing that Geostorm proves to be a little more competent than you’d think, or if it should have been more sloppy.  There are people out there saying this is a candidate for a “so bad its good” cult classic, but I really have a hard time seeing that. It wallows a bit too much in mediocrity and genuinely satisfying spectacle to fully commit to being that. I wish Geostorm could have been that kind of movie, but its not. Though, its not utterly terrible which is something, too. The film is a decent pieced of background cinema that you have on and do some other things and are satisfied overall by your experience. No way in hell Warner Bros wanted to put a reported $120 million into something that you check your phone while watching, but I’m not going to tear this to shreds and call it awful, because its not.

The film features a pretty solid cast led by Gerard Butler, Abbie Cornish and Jim Sturgess. Everybody is solid and nobody gives any sort of really comedic, goofy or fun character actor turns. Which, the lack of a fun goofy character(s) is probably what hampers the film a bit to go with its spectacle destruction. I suppose Andy Garcia is fun, but that’s about the extent of it.

Geostorm needed to be infused with more Armageddon here to work than something like Deep Impact. I feel it may have serviced its story, action scenes and actors better had it felt that kind of drive. Nonetheless, its solid popcorn munching entertainment that doesn’t require much commitment or for that regard, attention. This will make for good runs on TBS, TNT or whatever movie channel you’ll be flipping through and catch it on.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: No 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray for Geostorm. However, this standard Blu-ray looks just fine in its debut on the format. Its got a crisp picture that rolls around in terrific detail. The computer animation holds up quite well and the colors look quite well in this transfer.

Depth:  Solid spacing work here in the image. Many of the CG heavy sequences look quite three dimensional without this being a 3D Blu-ray disc (Also being released same day). Much of the movement is smooth, cinematic and features no real issues with jitter or blur.

Black Levels: Blacks are pretty true, holding on to most detail and no real crushing present in the image.

Color Reproduction: The color palette here holds pretty strong and features some really fun looking imagery throughout. Bright, neon-ish lights pop quite well throghout and the colors are pretty well saturated for this being just a standard Blu-ray.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent throughout the film. Facial features like stubble, wrinkles, sweat and more come through quite well from medium and close up shots.

Noise/Artifacts: Clear

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English Descriptive Audio French Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish

Dynamics: Warner Bros decided to forego the 4K UHD format for this one, fine. I get not wanting to put any extra money in a big bomb like this. However, you’re telling me in 2017 this ultra-weather disaster movie was packing nothing more than a 5.1 mix? If there was a genre of movie that was built to relish in the Atmos of DTS:X formats, its the disaster film. What we get here is a 5.1 track that winds up getting the job done, being solid and not much else. Unlike the Nolan films recent releases, that made us quickly not care it was merely 5.1, this one isn’t as loud and the intricacies are just all right. This pretty much just gets the job done and I’m sure is just fine for those renting it on streams and such.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Crude weather, thunder, crashing, engines humming, space station/ship travel and more rumble your subwoofer.b

Surround Sound Presentation: This proves to be a solid 5 channel mix with good attention to sound travel. Back channels carry some accurate and distinct sounds (One fun moments announces a car’s arrival via horn from the back right) and fulfilling ambiance.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp with good clarity no matter how loud the absolute destruction on screen is.

Extras 

Geostorm comes with the DVD edition and an UltraViolet Digital Copy.

Wreaking Havoc (HD, 6:30) – This is a brief featurette on all the weather and crazy disaster stuff with members of production.

The Search For Answers (HD, 4:13) – This one focuses on the idea for this movie coming Dean Devlin’s daughter years ago and the weather invention in the movie.

An International Event (HD, 5:40) – A featurette on the international cast for the film and make it a movie that speaks to the whole world.

Summary 

Geostorm proves to be a harmless little piece of trash cinema that works well as some decent background noise but not much else. This Blu-ray release has a solid presentation, but definitely underwhelming in terms of your expectations for the audio and the quality of the extras. If you’re a fan of the film, this one surely will be a $5 bin staple probably before we even get to summer.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

3 Responses to “Geostorm (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Gerard Iribe

    A mere 5.1 soundtrack? A DTS-HD MA 5.1 is not just mere. You make it seem like it’s an old dvd or something. A lossless 5.1 soundtrack is still the industry standard.

  2. Brandon Peters

    Considering most big studio action/spectacle films (Especially Warner Bros) nowadays are putting things in 7.1 DTS-HD MA, Atmos or DTS:X, I would say that’s a pretty solid let down to not have Geostorm’s home video release with one of those.

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    Guys, if we can’t get along by way of Geostorm, then who is the real Geostorm?