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“Mysterious Island"- {Bluray}
Wayne Klein
Studio: Screen Archives Entertainment
Release Date:
Special Features:

See Below


Although there are some script problems with Ray Harryhausen's "Mysterious Island" (directed by TV and film veteran Cy Endfield)the film holds up remarkably well as an adventure and features some truly memorable visual effects from Harryhausen. The film holds up well due to appealing performances by a group of strong character actors including the marvelous Herbert Lom, Harryhausen's top notch visual effects and Endfield's sympathetic direction. As with previous films Harryhausen and producer Charles H. Schneer worked with a good source (Jules Verne's novel)and crafted the film to meet their needs choosing a director who was capable of working with the material without making it his own.***

Image & Sound:

The previous DVD put out by Sony (which I also have) doesn't look anywhere near as good as this restoration done by Sony and licensed by Twilight Time as a limited edition release. The previous version looked decent on DVD but this restoration improves the film. Colors look bolder without overwhelming the presentation or looking "artifical" and the film is presented in the correct aspect ratio (1.66:1) which makes the visual compositions look better--the tops of heads aren't cut off like some home video presentations of the film and we're seeing the full image as intended.***

The DTS lossless soundtrack for the film sounds marvelous nicely capturing Herrmann's larger-than-life score. Dialogue is crystal clear throughout.***

Special Features:

The whole set like the Blu of Jason and the Argonauts [Blu-ray]is exceptional although the special features are limited what we do get is nice. Ultimately, it's about the movie and transfer and the fact that it looks and sounds as good as it does makes this essential.***

Although the special features are somewhat lacking particularly compared to other Harryhausen Blu's and DVD's, we do get a nice presentation for the Bernard Herrmann's marvelously moody (and occasionally comic)score. We also get the original trailer for the film as well as a TV spot so unlike most Blu-ray titles that are licensed to another company this isn't a bare bones release. Unfortunately, none of the original special features from the DVD are ported over here (that's too bad so you may want to hold on to your DVD version).***

Receiving a nice looking restoration from Sony, "Mysterious Island" has never looked better on home video. Perhaps Sony is licensing out some of their older titles because they have been less profitable or sold less than expected. Either way, I'm glad to see that this release DID see the light of day and didn't sit on a shelf somewhere for years on end. Still, one could hope for a more complete set that included the original special features from the DVD.***

Although a bit stingy with the special features we get a nice isolated music track and the trailer/TV spot for the film.***

Final Words:

For those who don't know the story a brief synopsis follows(SPOILERS):***

A group of Civil War soldiers and a journalist escape a Confederate prison in a hot air balloon including a guard from the prison. Blown out to sea in a storm they land on an island where they discover creatures and food that are unnaturally large. When two women wash wash ashore from a wrecked ship, the soldiers face off pirates and discover that the creatures are the brain child of Captain Nemo who managed to guide his damaged ship the Nautilus to the island.


Copyright @ Teakwood Productions 2000
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