Director: Jim Henson
Starring: David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud
THE DARK CRYSTAL
Director: Jim Henson and Frank Oz
Starring: Jim Henson, Kathryn Mullen, Frank Oz
The early 80s were something of a golden age for the
fantasy film genres, and few movies were as imaginative, or ambitious, as
these two inventive films from puppet master Jim Henson.
The Dark Crystal, from 1982, features a storybook
fantasy world populated entirely by strange creatures. The film has never
looked nicer in any of its various home video incarnations, and comes
highly recommended, especially to anyone whoís never seen it in itís
original widescreen ratio (2.35:1, here enhanced for 16:9). The sound has
been given a thorough overhaul, too, and is now presented in 5.1 channel
Dolby Digital. The DVD is stuffed with extra features, including a
terrific hour-long contemporary behind the scenes feature, The World of
the Dark Crystal, and eight deleted scenes (or early versions of
scenes) taken from a low-quality work print.
Only the Region 1 version of The
Dark Crystal features Trevor Jonesí baroque score isolated in
digital stereo, however, which was a significant bonus to soundtrack fans
before the film's score was finally officially released on CD, in 2003 by
Numenorean Music. (In fact, the Complete Film Score section of the
two-CD set was taken from the DVD's isolated score track. The music on
disc one is the music from the original LP masters).
George Lucas was the Executive Producer of 1986ís Labyrinth,
the story of a young girl (Jennifer Connelly) whose baby brother is
kidnapped by goblins. In her journey she encounters many odd creatures,
ala Aliceís Adventures in Wonderland. The new DVD version
presents the film in anamorphic widescreen ratio, enhanced for 16:9 TVs.
The sound is 2.0 channel Dolby Digital (at 256kbps), expanding the filmís
ambience and giving more weight to Trevor Jonesí score. Note that the
sleeve claims the audio is 5.0, but it isn't. The disc also features a
contemporaneous fifty-seven minute behind-the-scenes documentary,
Inside The Labyrinth: a real treat for fans of
the movie or anyone interested in animatronic effects.
versions of both films are available (both stripped of bonus materials),
as an alternative, offering marginally improved picture quality, and DTS
UPDATE - Special Edition re-releases of both
films are also now