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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Aliens > Science Fiction > The Darkest Hour (2011/Summit Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray 2D)

The Darkest Hour (2011/Summit Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray 2D)

 

3D Picture: B†††† 2D Picture: B†††† Sound: B†††† Extras: C-†††† Film: C-

 

 

Now going down in history as one of the last big productions Summit backed before being bought by Lionsgate, Chris Gorakís The Darkest Hour (2011) did not do well theatrically, even with a 3D release.Emile Hirsch (still trying to come back after Speed Racer) and Max Minghella (The Social Network, Syriana) are two young guys who think they have a big business deal in Russia until they are betrayed by their contact there (Joel Kinnaman of TVís The Killing, reviewed elsewhere on this site), then meet some fine young ladies (Olivia Thirlby, Rachel Taylor) who might make their visit better.

 

Unfortunately, almost invisible aliens have decided to invade the earth and they decimate Russia!!!

 

No, that is not a joke.You read that correctly.That is the story and there is so much wrong with this that I donít know where to begin.Besides wasting some good casting, there is zero suspense here, the effects of the alien when you can see them is like a very dated videogame and totally stupid to boot and the action sequences are so bad they are boring.You donít even have anything unintentionally funny.Going to Russia had no point for this production and Regency was even involved, but this is a pointlessly bad work with no real energy, no story, weak plotting and zero excitement.

 

In addition, it would look totally like a bad TV movie if it were any worse and had a lesser cast.The invisible alien angle usually does not work and they should have stayed so in this case.What were they thinking?If you must watch an invisible menace, try Forbidden Planet (1956, now on Blu-ray and reviewed elsewhere on this site) or my favorite invisible alien story, the They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker (reviewed twice elsewhere on this site) which may have a few bad visual effects, but makes more sense.

 

Darkest Hour never feels like it is happening with any credibility and even Independence Day has nothing to worry about.

 

 

The 2.35 X 1, 1080p full HD MVC-encoded 3-D Ė Full Resolution digital High Definition image is not bad and has some moments, but it is really no better than the 1080p 2D 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer that actually has some surprisingly good shots when bad digital effects and tired stylizing is not getting in the way.Director of Photography Scott Kevan (the Death Race remake) even gives us a few nice demo shots, but this is generally a presentation that lacks character and is a digital shoot.

 

The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is not great but not bad, though dialogue is more towards the front speakers and too much in the front channel, surrounds and soundfield are usually solid and better than the also-included lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.Extras include a feature length audio commentary track, two Making Of featurettes (Survivors and Visualizing An Invasion) and Deleted & Extended Scenes.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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