7.4 C
New York
Friday, December 4, 2020
Advertisement

Fantastic Voyage Blu-ray Review

fantastic-voyage-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

– (scroll to bottom if using mobile os)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

title

Science fiction has been immortalized on film since Georges Méliès’s 1902 silent classic, A Trip to the Moon. Sixty-plus years later, we get the Jules Verne-inspired Fantastic Voyage, a film with some ground-breaking special effects that takes us on a trip to “inner” space.

blue

The story is set during the Cold War and Eastern bloc scientist Jan Benes (Jean Del Val) has perfected the technique for temporarily miniaturizing matter. In an attempt to bring Benes to the West, the scientist suffers a brain hemorrhage during a botched assassination attempt.

ship

As members of a rescue team, special agent Charles Grant (Stephen Boyd) is enlisted by General Carter (Edmund O’Brien) along with pilot Captain Bill Owens (William Redfield), Dr. Michaels (Donald Pleasence), surgeon Dr. Peter Duval (Arthur Kennedy) and his assistant Cora Peterson (Raquel Welch). To enable successful treatment of Benes’s brain clot, this crew will be reduced to the size of a microbe and placed in a miniature submarine, the Proteus, that will be injected into the patient’s carotid artery. The hooker is that the miniaturization process will be limited to one hour after which time, the crew will be vulnerable to Professor Benes’s immune system.

head

What follows is an impressive (particularly for the times) set of special effects that displays an unprecedented recreation of the inner workings of the human body and its circulatory system. Of course, in the true spirit of sci-fi adventures, there are plenty literal and figurative twists and turns to the story, including a subversive member of the crew (but you will figure out who it is in the first 30 minutes), that I will keep under wraps for those coming to this film for the first time.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

panic

“Fantastic” is indeed the word for the remastered results of this film. With some few exceptions, the images are sharp with only a trace of edge enhancement artifact (really only noticeable against the fabricated background scenes).  While there are some minor technical glitches (Captain Owens’s head occasionally loses some of its outline against the backdrop) and Chapter 15 and 18 have significant graininess, the rest of this film is visually impressive. This was an Oscar-winning film for Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects in 1966 and, in viewing this restored print, these awards were clearly well deserved. Famed cinematographer Ernest Laszlo’s knowing hand literally keeps us glued to the picture.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

nodes

There is a simulated DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack with the original version offered in a DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 format. I enjoyed both of them, but from the standpoint of atmosphere, the former was clearly preferable, particularly in its delivery of Leonard Rosenman’s futuristic score.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

blobs

  • Commentary by film and music historian Jeff Bond
  • Isolated Score Track with Commentary by Jeff Bond, Jon Burlingame, and Nick Redman
  • Lava Lamps & Celluloid: A Tribute to the Visual Effects of Fantastic Voyage: 17:40 (English Dolby Digital Stereo 48kHz/16-bit). A fascinating little feature about the creation of how the film’s effects were created.
  • Storyboard-to-Scene Comparison:Whirlpool Scene 2:22  (English Dolby Digital Stereo 48 kHz/16-bit). A little shot of how one of the most effective scenes came to life.
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (English Dolby Digital Stereo 48kHz/16-bit) (13:07)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

general

Fantastic Voyage was a sci-fi trailblazer in its day and many of its special effects will still come across as visually impressive stuff. The cast is much better than the picture’s trite dialogue deserves and, Raquel Welch’s eye-candy role aside (it was her first feature-length film), we get veteran actors making this film nearly believable. When I saw Fantastic Voyage at its 1966 theatrical release, I was a first-year medical student enthralled by the recreation of a biologic world that I would never have been able to see in real life. Even for those who have seen this film before, it remains one terrific watch. Thanks to 20th Century Fox for giving it the revival that it deserves.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B00E9PMMPI[/amazon-product]

raquel

brain

dive

green

crew

ship2

ear

[amazon-product]B00E9PMMPI[/amazon-product]

Advertisement

Related Articles

Netflix Original: Hillbilly Elegy (Movie Review)

A young man's cross-generational journey from poor to successful lawyer in a world that his grandparents and parents had never known is successfully realized by a strong cast and deft direction.

Blade (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

Vampire actioner with Wesley Snipes in his prime as a day-walking half-vampire/half-human self-appointed protector of humanity gets a stunning 4K Ultra HD release from Warner Bros.

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
723FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

Netflix Original: Hillbilly Elegy (Movie Review)

A young man's cross-generational journey from poor to successful lawyer in a world that his grandparents and parents had never known is successfully realized by a strong cast and deft direction.

Blade (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

Vampire actioner with Wesley Snipes in his prime as a day-walking half-vampire/half-human self-appointed protector of humanity gets a stunning 4K Ultra HD release from Warner Bros.

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.
%d bloggers like this: