When first hearing that Arnold Schwarzenegger was starring in a supernatural thriller about the devil trying to reclaim his throne and a bride on the eve of the Millenium and that the script was from none other than the fine writer who proved himself with the script to "AIR FORCE ONE" and "INTHE LINE OF FIRE," it wasn't too hard to have some exciting hopes. Unfortunately, the film was directed by Peter Hyams, who is sort of to directing what Steve Guttenberg is to acting. Hyams can make any scene painfully slow, and the pacing to "END OF DAYS" is hellish to sit through. When an actor as talented as Gabriel Byrne has to go over the top, just to keep the audience awake, it's not a good omen for the film.
The action scenes are never spectacular and the special effects, while dated "now," weren't that impressive for the time it was released either. Schwarzenegger is ok as Jericho Cane, the tortured soul trying to save the world and a bride-to-be of the devil, but he's not as comfortable in this role as he's been in others, and it shows.
UNIVERSAL has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/VC-1 blu-ray release. Hyams is also the cinematographer, which doesn't help the film look that impressive! Most of the image is fine, and with better detail than the dvd, however, colors tend to be restrained, and the image is largely flat, until the last half of the film, wherein things begin to come to life, with greatly improved detail and contrast. It's on par with the generally adequate hd-dvd, but not one of the better looking blu-rays from UNIVERSAL, thus far.
UNIVERSAL has provided a DTS-HD MASTER AUDIO Lossless 5.1 mix. It's hard to discern the difference between it and the immersive Dolby TrueHD mix found on the hd-dvd, but the DTS mix offers slightly better bass. Dialogue is also better balanced. Surround and discrete effects are plentiful and engulfing throughout.
An Audio commentary with the film's director is offered. While he's likeable enough, one can't get over that this guy has been making mediocre crap since the '70s!