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JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH

The two-part television miniseries JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH ($20) is non-taxing escapist entertainment that features some cool CGI dinosaurs, which makes it the perfect kind of DVD to pass a rainy Saturday afternoon. Base upon the Jules Verne story, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH stars Treat Williams as Dr. Theodore Lytton, a 19th century scholar whose unconventional manor bares a striking resemblance to Indiana Jones (thanks Hollywood). Lytton finds himself engaged by the beautiful Alice Hastings (Tushka Bergen) to undertake a journey deep beneath the surface of the Earth to locate her missing husband, who mounted his own ill-fated expedition several years earlier.

With the aid of a guide named McNiff (Hugh Keays-Byrne) and his nephew Jonas (Jeremy London), Lytton and his financier begin their descent into the sweltering bowels of the planet. Of course, Lytton and his party are completely shocked to discover an entire thriving world at the Earthís core, complete with an ocean, a jungle, living dinosaurs, a tribe of primitive humans and of race of evolved reptiles known as the Sauroids. The cast of JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH also features Bryan Brown, Petra Yared and Tessa Wells.

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH is a Hallmark Entertainment Production that has been released on DVD by Artisan Entertainment. The television miniseries runs 139 minutes, minus commercials, and is offered on a single sided, dual layer DVD. JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH is presented in the 4:3 full screen ratio of its original television broadcast, but the image on the DVD is definitely superior to anything that goes out over cable or satellite. The image is very clean, and provides a healthy level of detail. Colors are fresh, vibrant and well reproduced, without any anomalies. Blues, greens, oranges and reds are all strong, as are the healthy looking flesh tones. Blacks are accurate, plus the image delivers a respectable level of shadow detail and pleasing contrast. Digital compression artifacts maintain a very low profile throughout the presentation.

The Dolby Digital 2.0 channel soundtrack decodes to standard surround, but this is a television mix, without any sonic extremes. There is some channel separation in the front and a good deal of ambience in the rear. Dialogue is strong, intelligible and focused in the center channel. The music is pleasingly recorded and nicely reproduced. Bass isnít (center of the) Earth shattering; in fact, it has television production shallowness.

The interactive menus make use of full motion video and sound. Through the menus, one can select between part one and two of the miniseries, as well as individual scenes within each. Cast and crew biographies/filmographies are provided as a supplement, and can be access through the menu system.

 
JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH 



 

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DVD reviews are Copyright © 2000 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.


 

 

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