Worlds of Dark Crystal "making-of" program, as well as deleted footage and alternate scenes when the script was still using subtitling for the Skeksis so they had their own language.">
  10/30/2014  
Reno 911!: The Complete Series on DVD Nov 4Merlin: The Complete Series on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 4Maleficent on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Nov 4My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 28Cook's Country: Season 7 on DVD Oct 28Zombie Hood VOD & Limited Edition DVD Oct 21An Evergreen Christmas on DVD Nov 4

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Reno 911!: The Complete Series on DVD Nov 4...
Merlin: The Complete Series on DVD & Blu-ray Nov 4...
Jay and Bey get 'royal' treatment at 'Nightcrawler' pre...
Maleficent on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Nov 4...
My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks on Blu-ra...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

MZ Mark Zimmer

STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...
STORAGE WARS: SEASON ONE...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

RR Rich Rosell

LES VAMPIRES (BLU-RAY)...
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE (BLU-RAY)...
EXORCISMUS...
THE DEVIL'S ROCK...
THE NESTING...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
Star Trek: The Motion Picture...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
The Dark Crystal (Superbit) (1982)

"When single shines the triple sun what was sundered and undone shall be whole. The two made one by Gelfling hand or else by none."
- Jen (Stephen Garlick)

Review By: Dan Lopez  
Published: June 03, 2003

Stars: Stephen Garlick, Lisa Maxwell, Percy Edwards, Barry Dennen
Other Stars: Billie Whitelaw, Jim Henson, Frank Oz
Director: Frank Oz and Jim Henson

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: PG
Run Time: 01h:32m:44s
Release Date: March 04, 2002
UPC: 043396008700
Genre: fantasy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A B+A-B+ D-

DVD Review

As I've touched upon in other reviews I've written, I believe there was once a time when true visionaries in cinema worked on children's films designed to be more serious, stimulating, and potentially exciting than the average fare. Like many children from different generations, I grew up on the work of Jim Henson and his groundbreaking shows like Sesame Street and The Muppet Show which, even today, are loads of fun to watch even as an adult. The Dark Crystal marked a movement by Henson to make a film for younger audiences, but those slightly more advanced than may have attended the Muppet films and such; something dealing with dark fantasy, mysticism and magic. The end result is one of the greatest fantasy films of the 1980s, and truly a wondrous kids movie to boot. Done entirely with either hand-operated puppets or full-size costume puppets on scaled sets, the film was a radical vision of a strange, new place that kept its reality all to itself thanks to skilled use of these special effects.

The Dark Crystal is set in a world where the two central races are that of the Skeksis and the Mystics. The Mystics are devoted to peaceful Earth magic and harmony with nature while the cruel, reptile-like Skeksis are interested only in power and domination over the land as they rule from their cold castle. At one time, the two races were one (the Urskeks), but when their great crystal of power was cracked, these "old ones" split into two halves and the Dark Crystal powered the Skeksis. Once there was a prophecy that a small Gelfling (one of the races in this fantasy realm) would eventually cause the downfall of the Skeksis and a re-birth of the Urskeks, so the Skeksis had all Gelflings killed off...or so they thought. As the film opens, we meet young Jen, the last Gelfling in the world who has been raised by the Mystics and taught their ways and their magic. As the leaders of both the Skeksis and Mystics are dying (their fates are interrelated as they are still one in a spiritual sense), Jen is told that he must go forth and locate the broken piece of the Dark Crystal in order to heal it and restore order to the world. It's a huge burden laid on his shoulders but he bears it well. So, he sets out on a quest to bring about the destruction of the Skeksis, but the problem is, they know what's going on. These evil, power-mad creatures now use their Garthim (giant, roving beetles) to hunt him down and kill him, thus ending the propehcy.

None of this would be believable at all if it weren't for the amazing artistry of Jim Henson, Frank Oz, and the rest of the crew putting together this amazing story. From the smallest details on a costume or set, to the most majestic matte-paintings and special effects, the film is oozing with atmosphere and detail, thanks in part to the work of artist Brian Froud, who contributed to the overall look and design of the film. The photography also adds a lot to the film, allowing the puppets and marionettes to seem very much a real and comfortable part of this environment. Because of this "otherworldly-ness," the minor flaws in the film are totally forgettable. If anything, the story is a little simplistic, but then, it has to be a bit shortened in order to run a reasonable length of time for your average "kids" film, which is usually 90 minutes. That said, this is also a relatively dark film; not particularly for small children in the way, for example, a Pixar film would be. It is this interrelation between darkness and light, however, that drives the simply beauty of the film, which is all about that root element of pure storytelling.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: I hate to say it, but unless I'm missing something, I really detect no major difference between this disc and the original Dark Crystal release. While the source print could have used some more cleaning up here-and-there (it can get quite dirty and grainy in some places), it looks about as good as the original disc with no real upgrade in quality. Some of the aliasing is lessened, probably as a result of the lower compression and new approach to the DVD. Differences in version aside, fans should be pleased with wonderfully rich colors, nice black level detail (it is a rather dark film), and adherence to the original 2:35:1 aspect ratio, which allows long-time fans to finally enjoy the real composition.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno
DTSEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Both the Dolby 5.1 and DTS mixes are based, I presume, on the 5.1 track done for the original DVD. The track is actually the original Dolby Surround with a newly remastered and remixed 5.1 musical score. Again, I really didn't discern any major differences between the 5.1 here and the 5.1 on the original disc, although any fan of the film will notice the upgrade to the musical score (by Trevor Jones), which comes beautifully out of the entire soundstage to surround the viewer. The two tracks sound pretty much the same, with the DTS version coming across slightly more "airy" and in need of some more bass (you'll want to turn up the bass a little on your system, or up the subwoofer). While there is little directionality or pure surround effects, the soundtrack is still quite clean and clear. It is a great piece of mastering work that adds new life into the old film by just making a few subtle touches.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Englishk, French, Spanish with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Being a Superbit disc, there are no additional features to take up room on the disc. The menus are slightly based on the original disc, only now using the metallic, Superbit imagery as it's basis.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

The Superbit version of Dark Crystal makes a nice entry into the series, but to be honest, nothing here really screams "must buy!" when compared to the original DVD, which had the original Worlds of Dark Crystal "making-of" program, as well as deleted footage and alternate scenes when the script was still using subtitling for the Skeksis so they had their own language.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

comedy, fantasy, celebrity, jay z, byonce, amc loews lincoln square, nightcrawler, jake gyllenhaal, rene russo, animation, kids, television, reading rainbow, lavar burton, kickstarter, seth macfarlane, family guy, movies, ouija, keanu reeves, john wick, fury, brad pitt, gone girl, box office, cooking, music, cream, jack bruce, eric clapton, ginger baker, sunshine of your love, holiday, movie, birdman, michael keaton, edward norton, alejandro ganzalez inarritu, babel, 21 grams, biutiful, emma stone, zach galifianakis, comedy-drama, crime, thriller, renee zellweger, kathie lee gifford, nicole wallace, surgery question, foo fighters, wrigley field show, chicago, sonic highways, hbo series, mystery, world war ii, logan lerman, shia lebeouf, jon bernthal, michael pena, war, documentary, warner bros, 10 super hero movies, jason mormoa, aquaman, ezra miller, the flash, batman v superman: dawn of justice, internet, cbs all access, $5.99, hbo, web-delivered television, oscars, neil patrick harris, host, the academy of motion pictures arts and sciences, tonys emmys, abc, out of the woods, good morning america, 1989, jack antonoff, bleachers, yamaha dx7, minimoog voyager, superhero, robert downey jr., captain america 3, marvel studios, chris evans

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

DVD Marketplace

Snappy Planet

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store