Journey To The Centre Of The Earth DVD Review
PictureJourney is presented in a fairly rudimentary 1.78:1 aspect ratio anamorphically enhanced widescreen picture. Given its age, the state of the picture is understandable but nonetheless it makes for some barely acceptable viewing. With varying levels of detail, we get several scenes that show too much softness (misty at times) and an almost constant layer of grain (which is particularly noticeable for the raft sequences). The colour palette is faded and lacklustre, with a limited array and no depth. Blacks are surprisingly strong, but still sometimes suffer from grain problems. The transfer also exhibits lots and lots of print damage - blotches, blips and scratches frequently gracing the screen.
SoundAll we get for this release is a fairly basic Dolby Digital 2.0 track which is extremely tinny and poor in quality. The (appallingly dubbed) vocals are perfectly coherent from the frontal array, but the effects noises are vastly limited - with water splashing, strange monster noises and screams all restricted to these front channels and given no depth whatsoever. The soundtrack is patchy at best, with frequent parts of the movie (even the 'action' sequences) that simply have no score whatsoever, whilst others have shrill, mini-orchestral moments which only serve to irritate.
ExtrasAll we get is a three minute trailer which merely splices large segments of the movie together to give you an idea of what happens in it. Due to its length, you probably have all of the best bits from the movie right here.
VerdictJourney to the Centre of the Earth is a classic tale that has been told in myriad different ways over the last hundred years or so, culminating in the last few decades' worth of cinematic visions. This is probably one of the more famous interpretations, but it is also so old and simple in design that it is unlikely to keep even the fondest Journey enthusiast interested. Give me something with Doug McClure in it anytime. The video presentation is poor almost beyond belief, the audio tinny and limited and there are no significant extras to speak of (other than a trailer). Only big fans of the movie are likely to want to add this to their collection.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £12.99
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