• V
  • V


4.0 13
Director: Kenneth Johnson

Cast: Faye Grant, Michael Durrell, Peter Nelson


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Warner Bros. has reversed a trend with this disc: Where a number of DVDs have had films reformatted to 1.33:1 from other aspect ratios, the disc for V sees the original material being matted to 1.85:1 and given an anamorphic transfer for the DVD release. Curiously enough, this reformatting actually seems to work quite well, indicating that director KennethSee more details below


Warner Bros. has reversed a trend with this disc: Where a number of DVDs have had films reformatted to 1.33:1 from other aspect ratios, the disc for V sees the original material being matted to 1.85:1 and given an anamorphic transfer for the DVD release. Curiously enough, this reformatting actually seems to work quite well, indicating that director Kenneth Johnson was framing for widescreen in the first place. Warner Bros.' transfer engineers have done a very good job of creating the DVD master, using excellent source materials. The image is generally sharp and clean throughout, with good color balance and fairly good blacks. The transfer does suffer from being fairly low contrast, however, which lends it a certain flatness, which is common for television, but belied by the kind of movie-look Johnson was aiming for. Audio is presented in Dolby 2.0 Surround, and is more than adequate, though lacking a little on the bass end. The stereo mix opens the soundstage somewhat, but does not actually turn it into a Surround show, alas. There is also a French-language track, with a fairly good cast and dubbing. Subtitles are available in English, French, and Spanish. The chief extra on the disc is the commentary from writer/director Kenneth Johnson, who talks rapid-fire throughout, not only providing amazing amounts of detail about the production itself, but also practically gives a three-hour class on filmmaking. This commentary is well worth repeated listening, though. The "Behind the Scenes" documentary piece is, for a change, really a behind-the-scenes production, consisting of footage shot during the production, presented raw, a good way to see Johnson at work on the set.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Although its special effects pale in comparison to the modern CGI norm and its dialogue and characters seemed pretty wooden even when it first aired, this seminal '80s miniseries remains a watchable piece of sci-fi world making thanks to Jane Badler's campy and creepy lead villainess, former Beastmaster Marc Singer's regular-joe hero, creator Kenneth Johnson's idea-laden though heavy-handed script, and the memorable scenes in which the aliens reveal their true colors: lizard green. Although most of the effects involving space ships are obvious blue-screen jobs, and the distorted voice effect applied to the aliens' dialogue has dated poorly, nostalgia actually works in V's favor; revisiting the Reagan-era hairstyles of Badler's dominatrix-like Diana provides some undeniable though ironic entertainment value. Full of allusions to events both historical (World War II) and science-fictional (Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Day the Earth Stood Still, to name a few), V tries valiantly to please fans of both creature features and political allegory. Unfortunately, its tone is closer to a second-rate soap than to a piece of weighty "issue" filmmaking -- even when Leonardo Cimino is forced to draw painfully obvious parallels between the plight of the movie's ostracized scientists and the travails of the Jews in Nazi Germany. Johnson is on far surer ground in exploring the corrupting effects of power on Cimino's character's grandson, Daniel (David Packer), who joins the equivalent of the aliens' Hitler Youth movement and soon turns his back on everyone he loves. In a parallel plot thread, the interactions between thief Elias (Michael Wright) and doctor Ben Taylor (Richard Lawson), a pair of African-American brothers, seem in retrospect to have been fairly pioneering for '80s TV. These and other subplots provide the human-interest hook that keeps V watchable even when the mechanics of the central narrative fail. The script doesn't do a particularly good job explaining why the world's governments would so easily allow the Visitors to erode their power base, or why the alien villainization of scientists and doctors everywhere wouldn't raise a few alarm bells among the populace. Still, there are some nice bits, including the ascension of alien troop leader Brian (Peter Nelson) to Tiger Beat hunk status in the eyes of belligerent schoolgirl Robin (Blair Tefkin), whose flirtation with the handsome reptile would produce one of the more interesting plot threads -- and characters -- in the follow-up miniseries, V: The Final Battle.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Feature-length commentary by writer/director Kenneth Johnson; Behind-the-scenes documentary; Dolby Surround stereo; Interactive menus; Scene access; Languages; English, Français, Español

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Faye Grant Julie Parrish
Michael Durrell Robert Maxwell
Peter Nelson Brian
Jane Badler Diana
Mark Singer Donovan
Rafael Campos Sancho Gomez
Robert Englund Willie
Richard Herd John
Neva Patterson Eleanor Dupres
Andrew Prine Steven
Penelope Windust Kathleen Maxwell
Michael Alldredge Bill Graham
Camila Ashland Ruby Engels
Frank Ashmore Martin
Bonnie Bartlett Lynn Bernstein
Jason Bernard Caleb Taylor
Leo Cimino Abraham Bernstein
Diane Civita Harmony Moore
Viveka Davis Polly Maxwell
Stephanie Faulkner Assistant Director at News Room
Myron Healey Arch Quinton
Mary Alan Hokanson Ruth Barnes
Joanna Kerns Marjorie Donovan
Evan Kim Tony Wah Chong Leonetti
Richard Lawson Dr. Ben Taylor
Curt Lowens Dr. Maurice Jankowski
Marin May Katie Maxwell
George Morfogen Stanley Bernstein
Jenny Neumann Barbara
David Packer Daniel Bernstein
Tommy Petersen Josh Brooks
Stack Pierce Captain Jake
Hansford Rowe Arthur Dupres
William Russ Brad
Jenny Sullivan Kristine Walsh
Michael Swan Bob
Blair Tefkin Robin Maxwell
Michael Wright Elias Taylor

Technical Credits
Kenneth Johnson Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Daniel H. Blatt Producer
Joe Harnell Score Composer
David J. Latt Producer
John McPherson Cinematographer
Robert Singer Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. V: Part One
1. Cast and Dedication [1:14]
2. War In El Salvador [3:48]
3. Sky Surprise;Credits [2:15]
4. UFOs everywhere [5:54]
5. First contact [2:01]
6. Meeting at eight [5:51]
7. The Supreme Commander [3:48]
8. The mothership [5:02]
9. Techinicians arrive(Star Wars) [3:28]
10. Party observations [2:25]
11. First Casaulty [1:06]
12. "I am Just." [3:42]
13. New Spokeswoman [3:15]
14. Rescuing Caleb [1:23]
15. The Compeitition [3:14]
16. Good night,Ruth [1:35]
17. Two ships passing [2:52]
18. A conspiracy [4:59]
19. Left-handed [2:44]
20. The stowaway [3:04]
21. True colors [4:01]
22. Face to Face [2:17]
23. Making a statement [4:25]
24. Marital law [4:59]
25. One side of the story [3:58]
26. Getting organized [2:19]
27. On the run [2:07]
28. A place to hide [4:14]
29. Trouble at Kristine's [3:30]
30. Asking about Brian [2:05]
31. Wounded in action [2:32]
32. Ben's sacrifice [3:00]
33. For victory [:59]
34. End Credits [1:05]
Side #2 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Cast And Dedication [1:55]
2. Awful eyes [2:40]
3. Hidden key [2:00]
4. Danny's toast [1:51]
5. Roadblock [4:42]
6. Betrayals and rewards [5:35]
7. Captives for transport [3:17]
8. The shootout [1:46]
9. Some kind of rebel [3:05]
10. Break in the ranks [3:48]
11. Mike's escape [4:11]
12. So damn sincere [4:03]
13. Plan of resistance [3:21]
14. An experiment and a bargain [5:57]
15. Prime objective [2:34]
16. Diversionary tactics [5:14]
17. Assault on the armory [3:29]
18. Visitors' intentions [1:44]
19. Human storage [2:55]
20. Experiemental results [2:14]
21. Sky pursuit [4:18]
22. Under attack [2:38]
23. Stand up and fight [4:28]
24. Aftermath [3:55]
25. Robin's condition [1:22]
26. Separate survivors [1:45]
27. A Blinding light [3:56]
28. Just beginning [1:25]
29. End Credits [1:08]

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