In the summer of 1998, Deep Impact beat Armageddon to theaters by two months. 25 years later, it also beat Armageddon onto 4K UHD. Deep Impact worked for me more because the bombast of Armageddon was so extreme it just numbed all of the proceedings. That remains the case revisiting Deep Impact now.
This is the more earthbound disaster movie. The Washington, D.C. and west coast locations look outstanding in 4K. In both cases, I know that light and those roads and that nature. The transfer maintains the film look but it’s clear and intimate with the survivors.
The space mission provides the visual spectacle. It’s still not trying to be outrageous, but it’s a blue tinted pseudo-accurate Apollo 13 style astronaut mission. Some of the ‘90s CGI feels a little intangible, less photoreal, but you can see the artists putting their all into the material.
It’s the final tidal wave disaster that looks the most dated. Perhaps it still works as an archive of early attempts to depict entire cities. Crowds and weather effects are old hat now but this was a pioneer.