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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the fireworks
The 'old-fashioned' disaster movie scenario enjoyed a brief resurgence in the latter half of the 90s. After the success of Twister and ID4, films like Hard Rain, Titanic, Armageddon and Deep Impact followed in its wake. Like the two competing asteroid movies, Dante's Peak was in competition with the imaginatively named Volcano as THE Lava flow of 1997. Which one is...
Published on 12 Oct. 2007 by Inspector Gadget

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Slight improvement over DVD but is it worth replacing DVD?
I wont review the film as this is a back catalog film and you probably are just looking to replace your old DVD version.
The HD Sound is a big improvement over the DVD version of the film, I would also say the film quality is slightly better but this is an older film and has not been remastered just effectively upscaled. It does look better than the DVD though...
Published on 23 April 2013 by Steviegee


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy the fireworks, 12 Oct. 2007
By 
Inspector Gadget "Go Go Gadget Reviews" (On the trail of Doctor Claw) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Dante's Peak [HD DVD] (HD DVD)
The 'old-fashioned' disaster movie scenario enjoyed a brief resurgence in the latter half of the 90s. After the success of Twister and ID4, films like Hard Rain, Titanic, Armageddon and Deep Impact followed in its wake. Like the two competing asteroid movies, Dante's Peak was in competition with the imaginatively named Volcano as THE Lava flow of 1997. Which one is better? Well, comparing the two is like comparing an atomic blast to a popping pimple.

Pierce Brosnan is Harry Dalton, a Vulcanologist (or James Bond in disguise if you want) who predicts a major eruption in the quaint Pacific-Northwestern town of Dante's Peak. No one wants to listen to him since the town has just been named the 2nd most desirable place to live in America and is in the early stages of a thriving economy. It's the politics from Jaws all over again. Despite being shouted down by his superiors, Harry sticks around to keep his eye on the imposing mountain and woo Mayor Wando (Linda Hamilton), who is the only one who believes the 4000-year dormant volcano might blow its top.

If you've seen one disaster movie, you've seen 'em all in terms of character importance. Yes, it's bloody obvious who is going to die, some of these people might as well have a death clock counting down stuck on their foreheads. And the panicking idiot mobs don't deserve anything less firey. When will nameless extras learn that following the crowd isn't the best way? I guess this is the weakest part of Dante's Peak, it never really distances itself from that single, eternal cliché of disaster films.

But the film is really nothing but a showcase for special effects and it does them surprisingly well. Made before the extreme popularity of CGI, Dante's Peak has a lot of real-life destruction, in-camera effects and stunt-work. Yes, there is a fair bit of CGI and for a 10-year-old film they still hold up really well. All Volano (Zzzz...) had to offer was a very, very slight lava flow and an unintentionally hilarious scene with a melting man but with Dante's Peak we get earthquakes, boiled skinny dippers, lakes of acid, ash blizzards that create a unique atmosphere, thunder and lightning, red hot boulders raining down from the sky, mudslides, lava (of course), a massive pyroclastic cloud and lots of deep, deep bass sound effects.

It's not a life-changing film by any means, but as disaster movies go it's one of the best, has an occasionally spooky score and entertains really well despite Brosnan taking it all so seriously. I would have given it a higher rating if they killed the dog (more original) and deleted the annoying Grant Heslov's utterly pointless character.

The Blu Ray presents the film is gorgeous 1080p 2.35:1 with a brilliant DTS HD-MA sound design. None of the extras from the DVD have been ported over. Why?

For picture and sound alone it's a definite must-have for Blu Ray fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting close to the show, 11 May 2012
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
The best of the slew of 90s disaster movies that cropped up after Twister did blockbuster business, Dante's Peak may offer surprisingly little lava but it's certainly the most spectacular onscreen volcanic eruption to date and offers more than enough devastation and jeopardy for even the most hardened fan of the genre to feel they're getting their money's worth as the Second Most Desirable Place to Live in the USA (population under 20,000) goes up in smoke.

Most of the usual clichés are there, but they're played rather more credibly than is the norm in these kind of pictures. Rather than simply offering evil property developers trying to hush up the warning signs of an impending eruption at a small town's nearby volcano to protect their investment a la Irwin Allen, it gives sound and rational reasons for not putting the town on alert and equally valid human reasons for why the evacuation is delayed long after eruption becomes inevitable. Rather than pepper the cast with big-name but now-affordable actors in cameos it concentrates on a fairly small group of characters - Pierce Brosnan's volcanologist and his team and Linda Hamilton's mayor and her family - and takes its time to get to know them and the town, which prevents it from spreading itself too thin once the fireworks start. When they do, it's not the run-of-the-mill creeping lava that's the film's biggest threat but the huge pyroclastic cloud of gas, ash and burning rock, though along the way they have to brave crashing helicopters (every disaster movie must have one), acid lakes, burning roads and flooding bridges.

While the smart money was on the same year's more high-concept Volcano that saw LA destroyed in a sea of unlikely plot contrivances, Dante's Peak's more identifiable smalltown focus helped make this one the box-office winner (though neither film broke even). It doesn't hurt that it's an extremely well crafted film, directed with a good eye or a striking visual by Roger Donaldson and performed with more sincerity than cheese to keep things watchable while you're waiting for the special effects. And they're especially good effects too, though the mixture of model shots alternating with computer animation is sometimes a little more noticeable on the small screen than the big.

Unfortunately Universal's Blu-ray isn't much of a showstopper, offering an okay transfer with some very obvious edge enhancement and a very underwhelming soundtrack. Worse, not all the extras from the laserdisc or special edition DVD have been carried over - the US release includes the 62 minute documentary on the making of the film, audio commentary and trailer, but not storyboards, production design sketches, digital effects plates and poster designs, while the international Blu-ray release is completely extras free.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "...Second-Best Place To Live In America..." - Dante's Peak on BLU RAY, 19 Jun. 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Setting aside the ludicrous premise of a magmatic eruption in rural USA - "Dante's Peak" (if you'll forgive the volcanic pun) - is a real blast. And it's a looker on BLU RAY too.

Pierce Brosnan plays Harry Dalton of the United States Geological Survey who is sent to the sleepy town of Dante's Peak - overlooked by a dormant volcano. Four years earlier Harry lost his ladylove Mary Ann to a blast he and his pick-up truck couldn't outrun - so his bosses think him good at his job - but also over-zealous when it comes to predictions.

Harry meets the town Mayor Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton) and her family of two kids (Jamie Renee Smith and Jeremy Foley as Lauren and Graham) and soon forms a bond with them. But Harry also finds that the town has recently been awarded the "...2nd Best Place To Live In The USA..." - and the council is eager to keep the $18 million investment of an incoming conglomerate called Blair Industries. Unfortunately they are also a little too willing to overlook the Geologist's warnings that something is going on with the wizened trees, dead wildlife and rising acidity levels in the lake beneath the waking giant. And on it goes to a jug of water shaking on a table at a town meeting and all Hell then breaking loose...

When the big bang/property destruction finally does arrive - Dante's Peak disintegrates with real special effects style and believability - Director Roger Donaldson delivering on set piece after set piece. Brosnan looks fantastic - as does Hamilton - and there's convincing chemistry between them, the kids and Nanny Ruth (Elizabeth Hoffman). Right up to the end - the tension and drama is poured on - danger coming in lava flows through the kitchen, boat trips across sulphuric acid lakes, clouds of molten ash in rotary blades and finally to a crushed car in a disused mine.

Given a budget in excess of $100 million in 1997 - the BLU RAY picture is excellent - especially when it goes to the picturesque town and surrounding mountains (idyllic). The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 rattles your speakers with explosions that will wake the neighbours. Other Audio includes French, Italian, German, Spanish and Japanese DTS-Surround 5.1 - while Subtitles include English SDH, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Korean, Latin American Spanish, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Traditional Mandarin.

"Dante's Peak" is a properly entertaining movie on BLU RAY with a great cast and effects that impress to this day. Boil your bottom on this little hottie...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dante's Peak, 10 Aug. 2008
By 
Andrew Kerr (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dante's Peak [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
I've never been huge fan of disaster films, as I've always found them to be over the top, or just an excuse for some special effects. Nevertheless I decided to give the pre-millennium Dante's Peak a chance and all things considered I'm pretty glad I did as I really enjoyed the film.

Set in Dante's Peak (hence the title I guess) the film tells of a major volcano located in the heart of the town, that's about to blow it top. Despite the increasingly alarming warning signs, the idea of evacuation is considered premature and brushed aside, despite the best efforts of Pierce Brosnan (who plays the volcano expert) to convince them otherwise. There are some really spectacular special effects, but all have been done in such a way that really enhances the film itself. I couldn't help be astonished but the realism and the scale of the devastation caused. Very true to life. The film has been well scripted and obviously well planned out. And there is a good degree of suspense and a building sense of doom. Granted you kind of know that the volcano is going to erupt sooner or later. It's more a question of when. It's also quite an enjoyable and exciting film to watch. The acting is reasonable good, Pierce Brosnan (who to be honest has never been my fravioute actor) is pretty damn good in his role. The DVD also comes complete with some decent special features; the documentary included was actually rather interesting.

Granted Dante's Peak is not entirely believable. As a few other reviewers have rightfully mentioned "can you drive over burning lava?" And some of the acting seems a bit wooden and stereotypical. But if you can ignore a few minor oversights and errors and just sit back and enjoy the film, then it works. So Despite being somewhat sceptical, I rather enjoyed this film. I doubt it's the kind of film that can watch over and over again, but it still deserves to be seen (at least once) by all.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special effects, special effects...and more special effects, 6 May 2003
This review is from: Dante's Peak [VHS] [1997] (VHS Tape)
Dante's Peak is, first, last and foremost, a disaster movie, and consequently it has been comparatively forgotten. But it is a very good disaster movie, one that, whilst containing all the key cliches and stereotyped disaster-flick elements, still manages to be inventive, exciting and visually amazing.
Pierce Brosnan (!!) plays a volcanologist sent to monitor seismic activity on a long-dormant volcano in the Cascade mountains (Mount St Helens, anyone?). Then scary things start to happen (I won't say what they are) and he becomes convinced that the volcano is going to erupt. Of course, nobody believes him, especially not his colleagues, who seem more interested in drinking cups and cups of Linda Hamilton's character's coffee. He still persuades them to call a town meeting to discuss escape plans. And, during the meeting, guess what happens...
Nothing happens and they all go home.
No, I was kidding.
The actors are generally very good, with Brosnan and Hamilton playing the lead roles without going over the top. The film also has a terribly sinister scene where they are all in a metal boat singing to cheer the kids up and they realise that some bad, bad things are happening to their boat. It's really quite scary.
Aside from the occasional blot on the geological copybook with some things happening that are scientifically impossible, Dante's Peak is great-and the special effects are incredible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good disaster movie!, 28 Feb. 2007
By 
This review is from: Dante's Peak [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
This movie is great from the very beginning! It started off rather slow but began to speed up as it went through to the main crisis. Some movies as i say'are very boring, too much talking in them' however, this has something inside it to make the storyline good. E'g- volcanist(played by pierce brosnan) played a good role where he tests out the volcano, in washington. He is seeing if its active or not, whether it will blow shortly etc etc. This eventually gets close to the main happening in the film.
I reccomend! very good and realistic! And the suspician of whats going to 'happen' is shown quite early in the film.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A well-filmed disaster movie, 30 Oct. 2012
By 
Dr. H. A. Jones "Howard Jones" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dante's Peak [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
The movie sets the context of the story at the outset when Dr Harry Dalton (Pierce Brosnan) and his fiancée Marianne are trying to escape in a 4-wheel drive from an eruption in Colombia. Harry makes it but Marianne is killed. Then Harry is sent by his boss Dr Paul Dreyfus (Charles Hallahan) on a routine visit to a dormant volcano near the town of Dante's Peak. Once there Harry detects some disturbing signs that the volcano may no longer be dormant and just might be waking up. Harry warns the town's mayor, Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton) that the town should be put on evacuation alert, but his boss overrules him. On a visit to a local hot spring pool, Harry and Rachel, accompanied by Rachel's two children, discover the bodies of two swimmers who were boiled to death by an eruption into the pool. Now Paul and the team arrive to investigate further. Although Paul is sceptical at first, the discovery that the town's water supply has become contaminated provokes him into action. The children's grandmother lives in a house precariously perched on a hillside not far from the volcano, and Harry and Rachel try unsuccessfully to get her to leave. When the volcano does erupt, the filming of the panic in the streets as people try to leave, and of the eruption and accompanying earthquake shocks is very realistic. This was a tense drama, well filmed and acted.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "This is a none stable system and this town should be on alert", 31 Dec. 2008
By 
Mr. M. Wray "mw" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dante's Peak [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
Dante's Peak, Is one of the most amazing Natural distaster Movies of all time, with brilliant acting by Pierce Brosnan and Linda Hamilton, They play the roles of 2 different live styles, Where Harry(Pierce Brosnan) is a Volcanologist and Studies the wonders of Volcanos, whilst Linda is a Mayor of a Small town called Dante's Peak.. She also has two kids to take care of and a Coffee Business to run...

At their Office in Portland, Harry was phoned in from his vacation, only to discover, that Dante's Peak's Volcano was a Threat to the Mayor's New Award winning Second Best Place to Live in USA town. Harry Went down...

Soon, The whole lot came down after his reports, But For a Few Weeks, His Fears were failing him and they were going to go back the next day,
But He realised that It was a Ticking Bomb, And was waiting for the right moment. But by now, Nobody would listen to him, it was too late, An Evacuation Plan timed out, and the Volcano had already begun...

With Suspension, Heart Pounding Action, and a Thrill, this Movie will keep you seated at all times..So make sure you have the lights out, you have your snacks, oh and have yourselves lol. |This is one trully amazing Disaster Movie of all time. 10/10
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dante's Inferno, 9 Sept. 2012
This review is from: Dante's Peak [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
The small town of Dante's Peak in Oregon is threatened by a volcanic eruption, which soon turns the entire area into something closer to Dante's Inferno. Nobody really saves the day, but most of the main heroes at least get away - barely.

That's the basic plot of "Dante's Peak", starring Pierce Brosnan, Linda Hamilton and Charles Hallahan. Note the bizarre similarity between Linda Hamilton and her "daughter" in the movie!

I'm somewhat ambivalent to "Dante's Peak". On the one hand, it's not bad as Friday night entertainment goes. On the other hand, we have seen most of this before, haven't we? All the usual stereotypes are there. Isn't it amazing how long you can survive close to a volcanic eruption? Not to mention that dog. And no, Hamilton is *not* convincing as mayor of a small mining town in fly-over country. You can take it from me, I'm a feminist!

Still, I give the film four stars out of five. I actually saw it on a movie theatre back in 1997, under very strange circumstances which I won't recount here. So for old times sake...OK, four stars it is.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Explosive and Entertaining, 2 Sept. 2012
I absolutely love Dante's Peak and it remains one of the films I own and watch time and time again. Pierce Brosnan plays Harry Dalton, a Volcanologist and our hero who predicts an eruption in Dante's Peak - the problem is no one will listen to him and he's fighting an uphill battle. Harry sticks around - there wouldn't be a film otherwise - and together with the Mayor Rachel Wando - played by Linda Hamilton - he tries to save the town.

There are some great disaster scenes especially the boiling pool and the scene across the lake is brilliant in its simplicity and gives us an unexpected hero too!

The blu-ray transfer is good if not exceptional but it certainly does the job. The audio on the other hand is the winner in this film, a brilliant DTS transfer the subwoofer and rear speakers get a major working over during some entertaining scenes of destruction. I would have liked a better transfer but the film, although a little dated, still stands up very well to its newer rivals.
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Dante's Peak [VHS] [1997]
Dante's Peak [VHS] [1997] by Roger Donaldson (VHS Tape - 2000)
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