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AFTERSHOCK: EARTHQUAKE IN NEW YORK

I remember when I was a kid; I went to see EARTHQUAKE in a Manhattan movie theater and thinking how lucky I was to be in New York and not Los Angeles. With the Sensurround soundtrack and the special effects, I though that EARTHQUAKE was a real blast. However, when I grew up and finally acquired the EARTHQUAKE Laserdisc, for the life of me, I couldnít remember why I loved the movie as much as I did. My reassessment placed EARTHQUAKE as an okay movie with some cheesy looking special effects and a soap opera plot that sometimes becomes irritating.

So this brings us to the successor of the mighty EARTHQUAKE movie. AFTERSHOCK: EARTHQUAKE IN NEW YORK ($20) is a pretty entertaining television miniseries with a few cool special effects, and while plot is somewhat soapy, it is actually head and shoulders above the original EARTHQUAKE. As the title implies, AFTERSHOCK: EARTHQUAKE IN NEW YORK takes a look at what might happen if a major earthquake struck the island of Manhattan (I guess my childhood good luck had to run out sometime). AFTERSHOCK: EARTHQUAKE IN NEW YORK strings together several stories of Earthquake victims that survive or die when New York City is shaken down to its foundation.

Tom Skerritt stars as the recently resigned NYC Fire Chief who puts aside his personal problems with the Mayor (Charles S. Dutton) when faced with a monumental catastrophe. As the Fire Chief and the Mayor try to put the cityís disaster recovery plans into action, both men have to deal with the fact that their loved ones may be trapped or killed under collapsed buildings. AFTERSHOCK: EARTHQUAKE IN NEW YORK also stars Sharon Lawrence as transplanted Californian who knows all about earthquakes and is ready to move heaven and earth to find her missing son. Lisa Nicole Carson is the Mayorís daughter, who ends up trapped in a collapsed subway tunnel and Cicely Tyson portrays the Mayorís mother, who discovers that a church basement provides no sanctuary when the earthquake strikes. The cast of AFTERSHOCK: EARTHQUAKE IN NEW YORK also includes Jennifer Garner, Rachel Ticotin, Fred Weller and Erika Eleniak-Goglia.

AFTERSHOCK: EARTHQUAKE IN NEW YORK comes to DVD from Hallmark Home Entertainment and Artisan Entertainment. The DVD presents AFTERSHOCK: EARTHQUAKE IN NEW YORK in its full television aspect ratio, however the DVD presentation is far better than the original broadcast. The image on the DVD is sharper, cleaner and better defined than the miniseries appeared on television. Colors are very vivid and are reproduced without a trace of color noise or bleeding. The blacks are very accurate and the DVD offers a somewhat higher level of shadow detail than one usually gets with television productions. Without commercials, the four-hour miniseries runs approximately 170 minutes and is presented on a single sided, dual layered DVD. There is no noticeable evidence of digital compression artifacts on this well authored DVD.

Contrary to the packaging, which lists the sound as 2.0 Dolby Surround, AFTERSHOCK: EARTHQUAKE IN NEW YORK actually sports a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital soundtrack. Of course, donít expect theatrical quality sound from the mix. The soundtrack is beyond the usual television fare, offering some nice channel separation in the forward soundstage during the special effects laden moments. Also, I could swear I head some subdued split channel activity coming from the rears. Dialogue production is always clean and intelligible. Surprisingly, the only thing this track is missing is the kind of earth shaking bass one associates with a genuine earthquake. There is some bass, but the lower octave activity required to knock one out of their chair just isnít there. The DVD offers no subtitles encoded onto the DVD.

The interactive menus are basic, but supply the expected scene selection feature. As supplement the DVD includes cast and crew biographies/filmographies, a video trailer and earthquake preparedness information.

 
AFTERSHOCK: EARTHQUAKE IN NEW YORK 


Aftershock: Earthquake in New York (1999)

 


DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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