Musings & Thoughts for Saturday, August 6, 2022, or: Old Movies, a TV Set, and Me on a Summer Friday Night in Florida

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on Pexels.com

Another weekend, another hot and stormy day in the Tampa Bay area.

Last night was yet another somewhat unexciting and lonely evening; the Caregiver has taken to staying in the master bedroom after work hours, supposedly grieving over the recent death of her boyfriend and spending countless hours by herself. Sometimes she reads nothing but Danielle Steel novels, and at other times she is engrossed in family chats on her smartphone’s texting app. She doesn’t want to watch anything on the family room TV, either by herself or with me, unless it’s a show like The Bachelor/The Bachelorette or talent shows along the lines of America’s Got Talent, which I used to watch when we dated but never grew to like much.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Since the family room TV was free – the Caregiver’s middle child and only daughter was working at Target, and she’s the only other person in the household who watches that set on occasion – I decided to watch The Final Countdown on Blu-ray “out there” instead of on my newer, slightly better, but smaller 4K UHD TV set.

Made in 1980 by the late Kirk Douglas’ company Bryna Productions and released through United Artists in 1980, The Final Countdown is a science fiction war film in which the USS Nimitz, a 1970s-era nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (and the lead ship of her class) is transported back in time to December 6, 1941 – the eve of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Starring – naturally – Douglas as the skipper of the Nimitz and co-starring Martin Sheen, Katharine Ross, James Farentino, Ron O’Neal, and Charles Durning, The Final Countdown was made with the cooperation of the U.S. Navy and is one of several films – Top Gun and The Hunt for Red October come to mind – which the naval service has embraced as a way to recruit young men and women to join its ranks.

(C) 2021 Blue Underground. The Final Countdown (C) 1980 The Bryna Company & United Artists

Here’s how Blue Underground, the company that reissued The Final Countdown – a film that got mixed reviews and was not a box office hit (it earned only $16.6 million over a $12.5 million budget) – describes this unusual blend of military drama and time travel:

” THIS IS THE U.S.S. NIMITZ WHERE THE HELL ARE WE?…”

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) 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?

Katharine Ross and Ron O’Neal co-star in this spellbinding sci-fi action hit filmed on location aboard the U.S.S. Nimitz with the full participation of the U.S. Navy and the ship’s crew. Now Blue Underground is proud to present THE FINAL COUNTDOWN in a stunning new restoration, scanned in 4K 16-bit from the original 35mm camera negative, with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio, for the ultimate in explosive home theater excitement!

The three-disc set includes the movie in two formats – 4K UHD and 2K HD Blu-ray, plus the original motion picture soundtrack featuring composer John Scott’s musical score on a compact disc.

The set, which was released last year, also includes:

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • WORLD PREMIERE! New 4K Restoration from the original 35mm camera negative
  • Ultra HD Blu-ray (2160p) and HD Blu-ray (1080p) Widescreen 2.40:1 Feature Presentation
  • Audio: English: Dolby Atmos; English: 5.1 DTS-HD; English: 2.0 DTS-HD; French: 2.0 DTS-HD
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Audio Commentary with Director of Photography Victor J. Kemper
  • Lloyd Kaufman Goes Hollywood – Interview with Associate Producer Lloyd Kaufman
  • Starring The Jolly Rogers – Interviews with The Jolly Rogers F-14 Fighter Squadron
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spots
  • Poster & Still Galleries
  • BONUS! THE FINAL COUNTDOWN Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD by John Scott
  • BONUS! Collectible Booklet featuring The Zero Pilot Journal
  • BONUS! Moving Lenticular Slipcover (First Pressing Only)
  • Compatible with D-BOX home theater systems
  • REGION FREE

Special Features May Not Be Rated, Closed Captioned or In High Definition.

Retired naval aviator Ward Carroll discusses The Final Countdown in this fascinating YouTube video.

I saw The Final Countdown once or twice on TV when I was younger, but I only acquired it on home media recently, so even though I was familiar with the basic story and remembered the ending, I at least found some distraction besides my computer, at least for the 103-minute run time of the movie.

I don’t want to review The Final Countdown today; the heat from just outside my room seeps through the walls and makes my socks-encased feet feel uncomfortably warm, and the overall ambiance is shot through with depression (on the Caregiver’s part) and loneliness (on mine), so my creative impulse is not exactly running at full speed ahead. I’ll write a review over the next few days, so stay tuned.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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