End of Days—Universal (Blu-ray)

Video: 3.5/5
Audio: 4.25/5
Extras: 1/5

When a burned-out former New York City cop named Jericho is assigned to security detail for a mysterious and foreboding stranger, Jericho thwarts an incredible assassination attempt. During the ensuing investigation, he and his partner save the life of the beautiful and terrified Christine York, whose destiny involves death, the devil and the fate of mankind. Now it's up to Jericho to save the girl, the world and his own soul as he comes face to face with his most powerful enemy ever.

This was one of the later Arnold films and the producers were jumping on the latest string of apocalyptic tales that were flooding the theaters. People were going crazy with their doom and gloom stories of the new millennium and this fit that scare to a tee. Aside from that, this was actually a pretty entertaining ride for what it was. Arnold hadn’t been putting out a lot of great stuff around that time but this one’s production values and storyline made for a fun ride. It was also a bit of a departure role for the star who normally plays a stoic impregnable badass.

This is the third HD release of this film for Universal. We saw this one on D-Theater and HD DVD and both times the film looked pretty good. This Blu-ray encode looks largely the same as I remember it looking before but I didn’t have the old copies for direct comparisons. Detail is consistently strong throughout the title though some of the darker sequences soften up a bit. The image tends to be a bit on the dark side for most of the movie but shadow detail is good and overall dimensionality is average. Brighter sequences provide a lift in overall detail and depth of image. While not a reference title this is still a good looking presentation.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is a great example of a summer blockbuster’s prototypical sound design. It is big when it wants to be and doesn’t hold much back in terms of dynamic range. Low bass energy is intense at times and the surround soundstage is quite enveloping throughout. Dialogue is balanced nicely within most of the time but I did think it dipped down a bit too low at times.

The only real feature to be had here is a feature commentary with the film’s director.

End of Days is one of the better films before Arnold left the Hollywood spotlight but still only a glimmer compared to his earlier work. The film’s themes played a bit better eight years ago but still offer some fun. Universal has done a good job with the presentation but don’t expect a big difference from the previous HD presentations.

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