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January 6 2015
These Final Hours Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
31/7/201410/12/2014Village RoadshowZak Hilditch
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD MA 5.1MA15+Nathan Phillips

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These Final Hours is a fantastic Australian film.

Without doubt one of my favourite movie genres involve disasters or apocalyptic end of the world scenarios. Be it the over the top visual effect filled 2012, the comedic This Is The End or the more serious Titanic or Towering Inferno they all capture my attention. It's rare though to see a film such as These Final Hours where the story focuses on the emotion and characters more than the actual disaster, but this film is an absolute cracker.

It's the last day on earth, twelve hours before a cataclysmic event will end life as we know it. James (Nathan Phillips) makes his way across a lawless and chaotic city to the party to end all parties. Along the way, he somewhat reluctantly saves the life of a little girl named Rose (Angourie Rice) who is desperately searching for her father. Stuck with the unexpected burden of responsibility, James is forced to come to terms with what really matters in life as the final hours tick away.

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Nathan Phillips is superb as James.
These Final Hours is a film that will tug at your hearts and more importantly will have you question what you would do in exactly the same scenario - would you party, spend time with loved ones, go on a crime spree, or commit suicide to avoid facing those agonising final moments. This film explores all those options as society collapses and while this isn't what we would call a "happy" movie by any stretch of the imagination it is a remarkably effective film in conveying this apocalyptic scenario.

Playing the central character of the film, Australian actor Nathan Phillips does an admirable job in conveying the often changing emotions as James. Kudos too must go to the young Angourie Rice who plays Rose - a child who is surrounded by very adult concepts and themes. In her first feature film role (she has acted in short films including the post-apocalyptic Transmission for the same director - Zak Hilditch), she puts in a very solid performance in such a hard role. It's nice to see that she has since received a role in Shane Black's upcoming film The Nice Guys.

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These Final Hours has a warm tone to the image.
One thing is certain, unlike American studios which seem to be making movies rated only for young teenagers, this film could hardly me more adult if it tried with swearing, nudity, sex, drugs, drinking, and sporadic graphic violence. This is a film definately worthy of the MA15+ rating, and not one for youngsters, but it only adds to the realism of the films scenario.

Of course a film about the end of the world told realistically isn't going to be a "happy" experience for the most part, and that isn't the case here with people committing all sorts of crimes, and suicides, but it's a gorgeous film that asks the ultimate question - what would you do? Thought provoking, well-acted, and gorgeously shot, this is one of the best Australian films in years.

Despite being a low-budget film shot in Australia this really is a great looking release on Blu- Ray. The film has a warm, reddish sepia tint to it - much like real Australia - but this also adds to the apocalyptic feel of the film.

The AVC MPEG-4 encoding, at the film’s original 2.40:1 aspect ratio, looks fantastic from start to finish with plenty of fine detail on everything from characters faces, to the smallest grasses and shrubs.

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Streets have turned to chaos.
These Final Hours includes a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (24-bit/48Khz) track on Blu-Ray which allows for a stunningly clear experience from start to finish. Despite the film being set at the end of the world there are few moments for the sound field to come alive as it is very front channel dialogue based. Still, in the few occasions when there is a need for the sound field to liven up the surround sound channels get a decent workout.

At the 32 minute mark Jimmy and Rose reach a dance party which not only fills the surround sound channels but will have your sub-woofer thumping to the music.

There is only one other audio track on this disc - an English Audio Description track for the Vision Impaired which is encoded in a pretty disappointing Dolby Digital 2.0 at 224kbps. There is also only one single subtitle track, a Descriptive Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired which is accurate to the on-screen dialogue and noises.

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Rose (Angourie Rice) is searching for her father on the last day of mankind.
Sadly there are no extras at all on this disc besides some trailers at the disc startup for the Australian film Felony, the action packed The Expendables 3 and Denzel Washington starring The Equalizer.

These Final Hours is one of the best apocalyptic films we have seen for years with a focus on characters over action sequences. It also makes you think - what would you do in the same circumstances? Ultimately, this is a movie which we highly recommend checking out.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyright© Village Roadshow. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.