11/20/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

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

MGM Studios DVD presents
Frogs (1972)

"Frogs attacking windows, snakes in chandeliers. These aren't exactly normal things, Mr. Crockett"
- Pickett Smith (Sam Elliott)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: September 17, 2000

Stars: Ray Milland, Sam Elliott, Joan van Ark, Adam Roarke
Other Stars: Judy Pace, Lynn Borden, Mae Mercer, David Gilliam, Nicholas Cortland
Director: George McCowan

Manufacturer: Sunset Digital Studios
MPAA Rating: PG for (violence, mild language)
Run Time: 01h:30m:01s
Release Date: September 19, 2000
UPC: 027616852922
Genre: horror


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

DVD Review

I remember being transfixed back in 1972 by the amazing poster for the movie Frogs, with its enormous frog, complete with human hand protruding from its mouth. The movie didn't quite measure up to the poster, even then. Now on MGM's new DVD release of this weird little film, the PR folks have determined that the mesmerizing poster can be relegated to a little picture on the back, and that they'll sell more copies with a butt-ugly graphic of various body parts and reptiles and a rearranged version of the original graphic. I'm not sure I agree on the marketing strategy, but the movie itself holds up surprisingly well.

Frogs, not surprisingly, bears more than a few similarities to Hitchcock's The Birds. Once again, nature is on the attack, apparently in retaliation for man's abuse of the environment, although this link is much more apparent in this later film. Frogs opens with Pickett Smith (Sam Elliott) paddling his canoe around a swamp, taking photos of toxins and raw sewage pouring into the water. He is dunked by the drunken Clint Crockett (Adam Roarke), who speeds by in his motorboat, along with his sister Karen (Joan Van Ark). Karen insists that Smith join the family at their retreat in the swamp to get dry and join in their Independence Day festivities.

At first this feels like a setup for 2000 Maniacs, especially when we meet crotchety old Crockett patriarch Jason (Ray Milland, a long ways from Lost Weekend). Soon we learn that Grover, a laborer hasn't returned from his task of spraying insecticides in the swamp to help control the bugs and the frogs. Before long, of course, all hell breaks loose as frogs, snakes, spiders, birds, a gigantic snapping turtle and all the other swamp fauna lays siege to the house and eliminates anyone who dares venture out.

While there are plenty of icky creepy-crawlies assaulting the cast, the gore is restrained and almost entirely happens off-camera (no doubt a requirement of the low-budget origins of the film). This helps make the tension more effective, although sometimes victims seem to just be screaming and thrashing at nothing in particular. More care could have been given to the script. The cast seems not to notice that characters seem to be disappearing one by one, and the stubbornness of Milland's character seems downright self-destructive. The participants are almost willfully stupid in this film, although at least Clint has his drunkenness as an excuse. One place that Frogs has it over the Hitchcock classic is that there's actually an ending instead of the movie just stopping abruptly.

Probably the most effective part of the film is Les Baxter's subtle and highly disturbing score; full of dissonances and the musical equivalent of swamp noises, it magnifies the suspense and tension of the film significantly. There were apparently some serious problems shooting on the water, since the movie is constantly going in and out of focus during these segments. After a while, one starts to feel a little seasick. The montage near the end of the film, of Jason's hunting trophies glaring at him accusingly, with their glassy eyes, is in particular well done and raises the hackles nicely.

Overall, a surprisingly effective little shocker, although the script has its problems.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesno
Anamorphicyesno


Image Transfer Review: MGM does a very nice job on the image of this film, giving us a new 16:9 anamorphic transfer. Artifacting is minimal, even in foggy and dark sequences, with very good blacks and excellent color. Shadow detail is very good. The occasional loss of focus is clearly a problem of the source materials. Frame damage and speckling are few and far between, although there a couple irritating frame jumps that should have been remedied.

The full-screen side of the disc is an open-matte presentation which, while disrupting the compositions, at least does not lose significant amounts of picture information.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Both an English and Spanish 2.0 mono track are included on the disc. Dialogue is clear, and Baxter's music comes through without distortion. Hiss is barely perceptible. While the original track should always be included, I can't help but feel that this film, with all its swamp noises, would have made for a terrific 5.1 remix. But as it is, the audio is perfectly satisfactory.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Alpha
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: All we get is a trailer, in fairly poor shape. The chaptering is very good, and there are French and Spanish subtitles. But MGM, why no English subtitles? If there's both a Spanish track and Spanish subtitles, shouldn't English speakers get the same consideration?

Extras Grade: D

 

Final Comments

PETA members will probably enjoy this film; although they will be upset by the number of animals that are killed in the process, in the big picture the animals get even quite nicely. A surprisingly chilling variant on The Birds, except with an ending, given a very pleasing transfer by MGM, considering this is a fairly minor catalog title. Worth a rental.

 


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

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

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