Seattle Superstorm (2012/DVD/ Arc Entertainment) Review

I love disaster movies. The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, the idea of desperate souls appeals to me. The Birds, Independence Day, these things begin the same. A normal life, a normal day, and then bamo ginsu and fries with a side of panic. Giant monsters, German terrorists, a worldwide enema, “a thing on the wing”, the unpredictable wins out. Everyday, we don’t know what’s out there. In film, we relax and embrace our fears. Entertainment soothes the senses. Sitcoms, the radio, video games, the lies speak to the unspeakable. The fear of death, The Final Frontier, we all want to be Mad Max. Except we can’t, which is why we watch.

TV movies are hit or miss. Brian’s Song, Duel, those are fine. Most drop the ball or fail to excite. Commercials, the FCC, only cable scratches the surface. Even then, my love of film draws first blood. “I simply remember my favorite things.” And that’s it. Television was never my bag. There’s plenty I like, yet little I fancy. Columbo, Knight Rider, camp serves the greater good. Humor pacifies the beast. The boob tube jets when it wants to. Even when going nowhere.
Superstorm highlights a family. The modern day Brady Bunch, a scientist, a military mom, two teenage kids. Bickering, splintered, only chaos unites them. A UFO, flying debris, the kids fend for themselves as Tom (Esai Morales) and Ema (Ona Grauer) answer the call. Tornados, hard water, a Russian Kris Kringle, by the end only the four are standing. Flying soot, Jack and the Beanstalk, this is Seattle Superstorm. A race against time where little is shown and scenes go on forever.
Photoshop has better real estate. Chim Chim Cher-ee meets The Weather Channel. The Space Needle, The Seattle Waterfront, low budget Thor wages war on the city. Is this Volcano or Hannah Montana? The kids spit and claw. Between green speak, he said she said, and grating delivery, my mind turns to aspirin. Only Beavis and Butt-head are more obvious and that’s on purpose. Remember Peanuts and all that garble? This is worse.
Now of course they come together. The apocalypse puts stuff in perspective. Maybe not for Captain Rhodes, but for most people. Pollyanna pulls a brainwave. The roles reverse and the parents play catch-up. Tanker trucks, driving on the sidewalk, the MacGyvers rig a cure. The seams show. Television pauses, cutaways, epic blandness, Jeopardy delivers better thrills. The line readings, dialogue, the way characters die, “Where’s the beef?” The saltine needs a chaser and I’m all out of dip.
The Arc package is above average. The video reveals all the quirks and problems with the film. Glossy, good detail, the picture performs. The audio choices include a Dolby Digital 5.1 track with a Dolby Stereo 2.0 option. The goodies are the trailer and a few coming attractions. This is a TV movie and as Darnell mused, “Ya know Pepper, ya can't polish a turd.”

                                                                  1.5 out of 5 scalpels!

-- B.L. Matthews

Director: Jason Bourque
Lead Actor/Actress: Esai Morales
Genre: Disaster/Action Adventure
Blu-ray Release Year: 2012
Theatrical Release Year: 2012
Time Length: 88 minutes
Rating: NR
Region Code: Region A
Release Company: Arc Entertainment
Website: http://www.arc-ent.com/