May 152021

The Final Countdown is a thinly plotted but ultimately entertaining sci-fi mystery drama featuring the legendary Kirk Douglas in the lead. While it’s more or less an expanded episode of the old Twilight Zone series, it’s still a fun time.



The Final Countdown
— Limited Edition —

Genre(s): Science Fiction Fantasy, Adventure, War
Blue Underground | PG – 109 min. – $59.95 | May 25, 2021

Date Published: 05/15/2021 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Don Taylor
Writer(s): Thomas Hunter & Peter Powell and David Ambrose (story), David Ambrose & Gerry Davis and Thomas Hunter & Peter Powell (screenplay)
Cast: Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katharine Ross, James Farentino, Ron O’Neal, Charles Durning

Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Theatrical Trailers, TV Spots, Galleries
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray, CD
Number of Discs: 3

Audio (4K/BD): English (Dolby Atmos), English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0), French (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 2.35
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Blue Underground provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures in this review were taken from the included Blu-ray disc
and does not represent the quality of the 4K transfer.

THE MOVIE — 3¾/5

Plot Synopsis: The time is now. The place is aboard the U.S.S. Nimitz, America’s mightiest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier on maneuvers in the Pacific Ocean. Suddenly, a freak electrical storm engulfs the ship and triggers the impossible: The Nimitz is hurtled back in time to December 6, 1941, mere hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. As the enemy fleet speeds towards Hawaii, the warship’s Captain (KIRK DOUGLAS), a Defense Department expert (MARTIN SHEEN), a maverick Air Wing Commander (JAMES FARENTINO) and a desperate Senator in the Roosevelt administration (CHARLES DURNING), along with his secretary/assistant (KATHERINE ROSS), must choose between the unthinkable. Do they allow the Japanese to complete their murderous invasion, or launch a massive counterstrike that will forever change the course of history?

Quick Hit Review: There’s really not much to The Final Countdown. It’s a mysterious yet still simple plot that briefly explores the idea of changing history but there’s not a whole lot of conflict nor very much conflict with these characters. This is an easy watch but don’t expect any sort of explanation on how and why the event happens, and it very much feels like an episode of The Twilight Zone (the old version).

Basically The Final Countdown is simply a fun and entertaining movie. It may not break new ground and when the carrier goes through the portal, the effects are pretty cheesy but everything else works, including Kirk Douglas as the captain.



This release comes with a lenticular slip cover. Inside is a nice booklet and the CD Soundtrack. In addition, the inner sleeve is reversible with the film’s original poster artwork.

All of these features are on both the 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs, and all seem to have been ported over on the original DVD release.

Audio Commentary — Director of Photography Victor J. Kemper

Lloyd Kaufman Goes Hollywood (14:04) is an interview with Associate Producer, and the legendary, Lloyd Kaufman, discussing his role on this production.

Starring Jolly Rogers (31:18) are interviews with The Jolly Rogers F-14 Fighter Squadron.

Also included are three Theatrical Trailers (8:01), three TV Spots (1:42) and lastly Poster & Still Galleries (Posters, Advertising Materials, Japanese Souvenir Program, Lobby Cards, Stills, Behind-the-Scenes, Video and Miscellaneous).



Blue Underground releases The Final Countdown onto 4K Ultra HD where it’s shown with a 2.37 (as measured) widescreen aspect ratio and has been given a 2160p high-definition transfer. Per the back cover, the picture was scanned in 4K 16-bit from the original 35mm camera negative and in a word, this looks great; detail is very sharp and well defined both on the close-ups and mid-range shots, colors are in keeping with the time period and the natural film grain and noise is still present, thankfully not cleaned up, giving this as close to a theatrical look as possible.

AUDIO – 5/5

The disc comes with a new Dolby Atmos track and found this, given the film’s age, surprisingly strong. Dialogue of course comes across with good clarity but where this impressed is with the depth, the LFE channel kicking on for that extra bass, as well as a great score by John Scott (the CD is included in this Limited Edition release). This is available on both the 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs.


OVERALL – 4¼/5

The Final Countdown is a thinly plotted but ultimately entertaining sci-fi mystery drama featuring the legendary Kirk Douglas in the lead alongside Martin Sheen and Katherine Ross. While it’s more or less an expanded episode of the old Twilight Zone series, it’s still a fun time. The 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack from Blue Underground has excellent video and audio transfers and a so-so selection of bonus features.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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