HTS Moderator , Reviewer
HTS Overall Score:64
What’s a better way to spend the holidays than watching a SyFy channel disaster movie? Originally titles “Christmas Icetastrophe” this little nugget of joy was released in mid-December, just in time for the holidays. The SyFy channels has put out these disaster movies once a year like clockwork and they always have the same basic plotline. Something disastrous happens in a small town and the heroes have to fight for survival. Almost like the wonderfully cheesy “Sharknado” films, but not as fun.
We might have been ready for Christmas this 2014, but rogue asteroids really don’t give a hoot about that. All they care about is lumbering along and wreaking devastation upon the earth and all its inhabitants. That’s exactly what happens in a small town in the northern part of the U.S.A. (even though it HAS to be Canada with the amount of SyFy actors and half the cast of “Continuum” joining the crew) as a rogue asteroid falls through the orbit and breaks into two pieces, one heading off to the mountains and another crash landing in the middle of town. As joy and Santa would have it, the meteor fragment causes a chain reaction, flash freezing anything in its path and unleashing a cold storm of epic proportions. Charlie Ratchet (Victor Webster), is our protagonist for the next 87 minutes as the blue collar demolitions expert (that’s going to come in handy methinks) who tries to help the town get to safety. Partnered with a doctorate student who was tracking the asteroid, named Alex Novak (Jennifer Spence), Charlie has to find a way to set things right.
While the rest of the town runs around like morons, doing moronic things, Alex and Charlie figure out that there are TWO pieces of the asteroid and that while one is unleashing cold storms on the town, the other generates heat, and once combined they cancel each other out, making a normal comet (I know I know, I was face palming too). With the help of heat resistant gloves, Charlie picks up the heated fragment of the meteor that is generating enough head to keep a cold storm at bay in the mountains (those are some awesome gloves, I wonder if I can pick them up at Tractor Supply?) and takes it back down the mountain to reunite it with the other half of the meteor and, like the Grinch, save Christmas (and probably the world if that meteor spread any further).
“Icetastrophe” is a movie best watched while imbibing large amounts of alcohol. I suggest either a 5th of Vodka or at least a 12 pack of beer. It’s so horrible, so cliché ridden, and so full of cheese that I couldn’t help but giggle hysterically throughout the movie (or was that the beer doing that? I’m not sure), and even though every bit of the film is painful to sit through I couldn’t help but have a little fun with it as well. You know what the outcome is going to be. I mean these SyFy disaster flicks are anything if not predictable, and the actors pretty much know the outcome too. A warm bed and a few asprin after having to recite those bad lines one too many times! Obviously you don’t go into a movie titles “Icetastrophe” expecting a while lot, and if you’ve seen one SyFy holiday disaster flick, you’ve seen them all. So be warned, there be danger ahead (and said danger is not just the asteroid).
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=45466[/img]“Icetastrophe” comes to DVD with the standard 1.78:1 Mpeg2 encoded DVD that fits the bill quite nicely. Detail is good, and showcases some decent black levels. The cheap CGI is a sore sight, but then again, that’s what the SyFy channel is known for in their movies and can’t really be a complaint on the video encode. The colors can be bright and vibrant at times, but the film is coated in a slightly flat blue/grey tint when the ice storm comes to town. It robs the image of contrast and gives skin tones an icy white hue to them. Overall a good encode, shot digitally and gives a nice glossy look to the end result.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=45474[/img]For a TV soundtrack, the 5.1 Dolby Digital track is a nice surprise. It’s a tad front heavy, as expected, but there’s enough usage of the surrounds with the roar of the storm and the pop pop of the humans efforts to make me tip my hat in appreciate. LFE can be mild for some of the movie, but there are some nice booms and throbbing low tones when the craters impact, or an ice spike spears a car, causing it to explode in a ball of flame. Dialog is mostly clean and clear, with only a few times where I noticed the vocals faded in and out for brief instances. It’s a low budget track, but it does the job with admirable effort.
“Icetastrophe” is not “Citizen Kane”, heh, it’s not even a bad movie, it’s just the SyFy channel doing what they do best. Try and entertain us with $25 CGI effects and bribing the actors with a BBQ after the filming wraps. Go into it with an attitude that you’re seeing some of the best, worst that Television has to offer and you very well may have some fun. Audio and video are solid for the release, and as usual, the extras are nil. Rental at best, but still a rental.
Starring: Victor Webster, Jennifer Spence, Richard Harmon
Director: Jonathan Winfrey
Written By: David Sanderson
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English DD 2.0
Runtime: 87 Minutes
DVD Release Date: May 12th, 2015
Buy Icetastrophe DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Cheap Rental at Best
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