Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
Twilight Zone: The Movie(1983)
Four separate stories in one movie. First a racist businessman gets the tables turned on him when he is transported back in time to being persued by Nazis in 1940s France, becomes an African-American at a KKK rally in the 1950s South, and and then a Vietnamese in 1960s Vietnam. The second story centers around an old man who makes the wishes of residents at a retirement home come true when he transforms them into youthful versions of themselves. In the third story a young woman on the road gives a ride to a little boy and ends up trapped with other people in an alternate reality created by the boy's imagination. And in the final story a man on a plane sees, but cannot convince anyone else that a mysterious creature is on the outside wing of the plane trying to sabotage the aircraft.
For more about Twilight Zone: The Movie and the Twilight Zone: The Movie Blu-ray release, see Twilight Zone: The Movie Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on March 1, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Jeff Bannister, Patricia Barry, Peter Brocco, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow
Directors: Joe Dante, John Landis (I), George Miller, Steven Spielberg
» See full cast & crew
Twilight Zone: The Movie Blu-ray Review
This re-imagining of several iconic episodes of the original TV series arrives on Blu-ray.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, March 1, 2008
You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone.
Those iconic words, spoken by the eloquent Rod Serling, served as the introduction to one of the most popular, groundbreaking, and trendsetting television programs ever, "The Twilight Zone." Originally aired on CBS from 1959-1964, the show proved one of the most admired and respected series both then and now, setting the pace for science fiction, horror, and fantasy programs for decades to come, and influencing many top-flight science fiction, horror, and fantasy programs in the years since, such as "The Outer Limits," "The X-Files," and even "Masters of Horror". The show remains a form of popular escapism in syndication today on the Sci-Fi channel. "The Twilight Zone" experienced a rebirth on television for a brief stint from 2002-2003 with actor Forrest Whitaker (The Air I Breathe) assuming Rod Serling's role as narrator. Both critics and audiences found this new series a disappointment, so much so that UPN dropped the program after only one season. Half way between the original and the remake Hollywood offered us Twilight Zone: The Movie. In the tradition of the show, the movie features four segments, each hearkening back to an episode the original show had to offer (featuring the actors Dean Stockwell, Billy Mumy, Ernest Truex , and William Shatner). The four segments offered in the film featured the direction of Hollywood masters Joe Dante ("Masters of Horror: Homecoming"), John Landis ("Masters of Horror: The Dear Woman"), George Miller (The Road Warrior), and Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind ).
Dan Aykroyd (50 First Dates) and Albert Brooks (The Simpsons Movie) provide an amusing introduction to the film, discussing Serling's "The Twilight Zone," and humming for entertainment a number of old television program theme songs. This short prologue leads to a somewhat scary reveal by one of the characters that will ultimately be one half of the film's bookends. After the opening title sequence played to the theme music from the original show, the first segment, directed by John Landis and starring Vic Morrow, begins. Its inspiration is Rod Serling's original story "The Quality of Mercy," which starred Dean Stockwell and Leonard Nimoy. Morrow plays Bill Connor, a man whose prejudices against Jews, blacks, and Asians lands him in hot water. After losing his job to a Jewish person, he rants and raves against all three of these groups whilst sharing a drink with two of his friends. Upon leaving the bar, Connor finds himself time shifting from Nazi-occupied Europe, to an old-south lynching, and to the jungles of Vietnam, seeing himself as himself but appearing to be Jewish, black, or Vietnamese to others. He finds himself in each of these time periods transformed into a person against whom he holds deep prejudices--Jews, blacks, and Asians--and tortured respectively by Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and American soldiers fighting in Vietnam. In essence, he walks in the shoes of people whom he claims to hate. It was during the filming of this episode that actor Vic Morrow and two children died on the film's set when a helicopter fell from the sky, killing all three. Despite the tragedy and the legal action that followed, the studio completed the segment and released the film to theaters.
The second segment plays very similarly to another Serling-written episode entitled "Kick the Can." This Steven Spielberg directed segment definitely has the famous filmmaker's magic touch, and even if you didn't know which segment he directed going in, there is no mistaking that this is his product. Though *Batteries Not Included and Cocoon are not Spielberg films, this segment shares a similar feel to both. At a retirement home, a guest named Mr. Bloom (Scatman Crothers, The Shining) convinces the residents that a simple game of "kick the can" can rejuvenate them, rekindling their childhood and making them feel young again. Of course, when the residents literally do become young once more, they must consider whether the joys and hardships they experienced throughout their years would make life worth living again, from youngsters to aged citizens. Although this segment is often ranked as one of the lesser of the four, I enjoyed it. Between the ease with which Spielberg creates a touching, pleasant, and somewhat supernatural world and the excellent portrayal of Mr. Bloom by the wonderful Scatman Crothers (who is absolutely perfect in this role), this one is definitely worth watching and has me yearning to see the original episode on which it is based.
The Joe Dante directed third segment, based on the original episode "It's a Good Life," stars Kathleen Quinlan (Breakdown) as Helen Foley, a teacher waiting for something, anything, to break up the monotony of her dull, routine life. Following a minor accident between her car and a boy on a bicycle, she offers to give the boy, Anthony (Jeremy Licht, TV's "Valerie"), a ride home. When the two arrive at his home, Helen finds he lives in a "Leave it to Beaver"-style 1950s home with overly friendly, almost cartoonish relatives. In fact, cartoons play on numerous television sets throughout the house. When hamburgers with peanut butter, potato chips, candied apples, and cookies are served for dinner, Helen becomes even more suspicious of both Anthony and the all-too-perfect, kid-centered life he lives. Of course, a dark secret looms, and as the mystery is revealed, Helen must choose between flight or acceptance of this new, upside- down world. A solid entry, Joe Dante has created a cartoon come-to-life in this segment, replete with the sounds, colors, and wild and imaginative things that go along with it.
The final segment of the film, and perhaps the most energized, stars the ever reliable John Lithgow (Dreamgirls) portraying airline passenger John Valentine, a man whose fear of flying is so extreme that he sweats profusely and remains in the plane's restroom for as long as possible. When he is finally forced to return to his seat by sympathetic yet annoyed flight attendants, he begins to see a creature attacking the wing of a plane. Already in a violent storm and having lost one engine to a lightning strike, the plane's crew attempt to subdue an unruly, supposedly hallucinogenic passenger. As the plane moves closer to its destination, he becomes more and more convinced that something is out there, bent on destroying the plane and killing her passengers and crew. Director George Miller may be the least-known of the four directors, but his segment was, for me, the most entertaining. What a way to cap off the film! A man with a bout of paranoia coupled with a fear of flying--a phobia shared by many--makes this one intense, scary, and definitely worthy of both the Twilight Zone monicker, and the original episode on which it is based, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, starring William Shatner and directed by Richard Donner (Superman II).
For the most part, this film is simply an updated version of four classic episodes. Each fan of the original series will no doubt have a unique reaction to this movie. The movie does stay rather true to the television series, never takes advantage of the film medium, and refrains from being gory or turning into a horror movie. Other than having a major studio behind it to lure in A-list actors and directors, and a slightly bigger budget, I don't think this offering really benefits from a full-length movie release. It would have been equally as effective as a kick-off to a remake of the series on television. Nevertheless, it is what it is, and every fan of the original series will want to check this out if they already haven't and decide for themselves.
Twilight Zone: The Movie Blu-ray, Video Quality
Warner Brothers brings Twilight Zone: The Movie into this dimension in 1080p high definition and in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. For a film released some 25 years ago, this one looks about as good as one could hope. Save for the third segment, the image is often drab in appearance, staying true to source material that sports less than vibrant colors, especially evident in the first segment. Along with black levels that are good but not great, the image we see is clear, free of distortions on the print, and of a fairly high level of detail. Flesh tones sometimes appear on the redder side of natural. Segment one looks good. It's a bit grainy in places, detail is only moderately high, and skin tones look moderately good throughout. The second segment is perhaps the most balanced, though a few outdoor shots look a bit hot, especially the whites. With the nature of the story and being familiar with the look of Spielberg's work in general, I would guess this is how he wanted the image to appear. The third segment is definitely the best looking for my money, sporting a crystal-clear picture and lifelike imagery, and save for the actor's hairstyles, this one could pass for being much newer than it is. It's detailed, crisp, and colorful with no visible wear on the print. Segment four, like the first, is fairly dark in nature. It is perhaps the grainiest of the bunch, and black levels fare just a bit worse here than in the first segment. Despite some bright colors, such as the reds of the seats and the blanket Valentine covers up with, the palette seems a bit muted and lifeless. Overall, the image looks good, but there is a lack of fine detail, depth, and clarity visible on newer movies and prints. For a 25 year old film, however, this one looks just fine on Blu-ray high definition.
Twilight Zone: The Movie Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The included PCM 5.1 high definition soundtrack accompanying Twilight Zone: The Movie is sometimes good and at others, otherworldly. When the film's opening credits come up, there is some very discrete use of sound. A voice moves around the room, glass shatters over your left shoulder, and various, bizarre sounds swirl throughout the listening area, at a rather pronounced and high volume. Each segment offers a unique, crisp and defined sound track that is loud, hot, and engaging. The militaristic music in the first is especially impressive. There is quite a bit of active, kinetic use of sound throughout the picture, especially in the third segment near its conclusion. Robust hardly even begins to describe it. Sounds come at you from every direction, and it makes the segment all the more cartoonish and fun. Dialogue reproduction, especially the narration that leads off each segment, is clear, natural, and pleasantly spooky. I'm very impressed with Warner's efforts on this one, and the engaging use of sound makes each segment all the more effective, and the inclusion of a high-definition soundtrack elevates this one to unexpected heights.
Twilight Zone: The Movie Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
A film ripe for a plethora of supplemental materials, Twilight Zone: The Movie on Blu- ray includes only the film's theatrical trailer, presented in 480p 4:3 (black bars on the sides of the image). Probably due to the controversy surrounding the film because of the deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two youngsters, the studio has foregone the inclusion of extras, and the problem likely lies in little to no interest in revisiting a sore subject and sad period in filmmaking history. Still, extras pertaining to the discussion of the differences and similarities of each of the original episodes on which these segments were based would have been most welcome.
Twilight Zone: The Movie Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Twilight Zone: The Movie will likely be a love-it-or-hate-it type film for fans of the original series. Although the spirit of the show stays true to the feel of the iconic television program, presenting what are in essence remakes of four of the most popular episodes seems, to me, a cop-out rather than an homage. I feel that the best homage is one that stays true to the source but creates a new story that adds to the lore rather than re-imagining it, and only one of these two criteria are met in Twilight Zone: The Movie. For fans of the movie, picking up this disc on Blu-ray should be an easy choice to make. It sports an image quality that is about what one would expect for a film of this stature and era, and the uncompressed PCM soundtrack delivers a fine, loud, and engaging presentation. Supplements are next to non-existent save for a horrible looking 4:3 trailer. While I enjoyed each segment, none of them struck me especially noteworthy. As a fan of science fiction and the paranormal, I was eager to see this movie for the first time but walked away just a bit underwhelmed and disappointed. I can only recommend Twilight Zone: The Movie as a buy for established fans of the film.
Twilight Zone: The Movie: Other Editions
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Twilight Zone: The Movie. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Twilight Zone: The Movie in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Twilight Zone: The Movie Blu-ray, News and Updates
• E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial Blu-ray (Updated) - July 21, 2012
As part of its 100th Anniversary this year, Universal Studios Home Entertainment will offer special Blu-rays of selected catalog titles, and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial will arrive in the fall wave. Director Steven Spielberg's classic science-fiction fable focuses ...
Twilight Zone: The Movie Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Twilight Zone: The Movie Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Twilight Zone: The Movie Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.