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Anchor Bay presents
Jane And The Lost City (1987)

"I like to live dangerously."
- Lola Pagola (Maud Adams)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: April 02, 2001

Stars: Sam J. Jones, Maud Adams, Jasper Carrott, Kirsten Hughes, Graham Stark, Robin Bailey
Other Stars: Ian Roberts, Elsa O'Toole, John Rapley, Charles Comyn, Ian Steadman, Graham Armitage, Richard Huggett, Andrew Buckland, Albert Raphael
Director: Terry Marcel

Manufacturer: Crest National
MPAA Rating: PG for (Language, adult humor)
Run Time: 01h:32m:31s
Release Date: March 13, 2001
UPC: 013131137590
Genre: action comedy

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

There are times when one puts on a movie for the first time and discovers a wonderful classic: rich in plot, oozing with sentiment, and performances only the divine could aspire to. A film that evokes powerful emotions and stirs the soul, enriching one's life with the goodness contained therein. Characters spring to life from the celluloid, weaving a tale that can only be considered timeless. A film that makes you wonder why you hadn't discovered it before, and one that will change forever your view of the fine arts, bringing a feeling of peace and tranquility over you and all humanity. Jane And The Lost City is not one of them.

During World War II, Britain's The Daily Mirror ran the Jane comic strip, an escapist fantasy in which bumbling Nazi forces were forever thwarted by their equally dimwitted English counterparts, and Jane would invariably lose some of her clothes during her expeditions and accidentally defeat the bad guys. Jane And The Lost City uses this formula to deliver truly unnoteable performances from its cast, as the blond bombshell takes to the wilds of Africa for the good of jolly old England.

We are deep in the thick of things from the get go, as English agents are in the African jungles looking for the famous Lost City. As one of these agents emerges from the brush, disheveled, with a knife in his back, he utters with his dying breath that he has found the fabled city, and as proof drops a huge diamond. His two companions are then chased down by fierce African warriors, with only one surviving....

Back in the Isles, word of this discovery has reached the British government, who want to loot the Lost City of its diamonds to turn the tide of the war. However, this goal is shared by the SS, helmed by the evil Lola Pagola (Maud Adams), whose henchman sends his brother Herman (Jasper Carrott in triple roles) to snuff out Jane (Kirsten Hughes) and her companions: The Colonel (Graham Stark) and his man, Tombs (Robin Bailey), who are rendezvousing with Winston Churchill. As the English briefing—or should I say debriefing, as Jane has by this point lost her dress—continues, the assassin makes repeated attempts to kill Jane, which she manages to avoid with no particular effort or awareness that she's doing so. She does manage, instead, to kill her assailant—accidentally again—with her lethal remaining clothing. Off we go to Africa, where their transport plane has been hijacked by yet another Nazi brother, who unfortunately mistakes a cot for a parachute as he leaves the plane, which crashes into the sea. Miraculously, Jane and her party survive the ordeal, but are greeted by some rather nasty looking natives upon landing on the beach. However, they are rescued by one Jungle Jack (Sam J. Jones), who escorts them to Abu Abu, where their search for the Lost City will begin. Needless to say, Lola and her sidekicks aren't far behind, and the assassination attempts persist as the two parties continue their hunt for the Lost City. The tale will leave you hanging in suspense as to whether the Brits will triumph over the Nazis in the end. Um....

I have seen reviews for this film which laud it as a classic, which may be true if you are familiar with its source. However, for the uninitiated, it is simply a bit of silly fun, though not all that humorous, despite trying really hard to be so, with continuous one-liners and Jane's miraculously disappearing attire (which never fully disappears in case you were wondering). The production values are decent, though the heavy use of wide-angle lenses tends to be distracting at times. The acting is pretty wooden, though probably originates from the comic book idea. The only thing really brilliant about this release is the transfer, which is far too good for a film so...not good. Jane And The Lost City plays like a Saturday morning cartoon, though does contain a couple of bits of unnecessary foul language and lots of Jane in her skivvies, so wouldn't be fer the youngins. It tries hard to be campy, but doesn't really work. Still, some may like it; I certainly didn't hate it.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: C


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: I think we need to redefine what constitutes a classic and what is classed as a B movie. This way, the current so-called classics could have a transfer as vibrant and clean as Jane And The Lost City, and films like this one could have the muddy, beat up, over compressed transfers some more notable films have gotten. Jane looks stunning, well-saturated, vivid (check out the purple arm bands), with lush greens and rich blacks. The image is also not over-sharpened, lending it a natural film look, with fine grain presented looking, well, grainlike. There is nary a speck on the presentation.

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The English stereo track is without flaw, save for the occasionally uneven location dialogue, which tends to get lost here and there. A fine presentation.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 30 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Alpha
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The film's anamorphic widescreen theatrical trailer is the only on disc extra. The insert booklet features one sheet art, chapter listings and a selection of stills from the picture.

Extras Grade: D


Final Comments

Though not entirely unwatchable, Jane And The Lost City is a pretty unremarkable reworking of the famous British comic strip. Goofy, though not overly funny, the film may be of interest to nostalgia buffs, but I'm sure most will find it mediocre at best. Too bad Anchor Bay couldn't license some more deserving films for a presentation of this calibre.


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