Voyage to Bottom of Sea / Fantastic Voyage

Voyage to Bottom of Sea / Fantastic Voyage

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These two 20th Century Fox features make a better pairing than one might imagine, representing the best of the studio's less complex sci-fi adventure films. Producer/director Irwin Allen was a pop culture maven with an eye toward what was in the headlines -- Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was his modernization of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under theSee more details below

Overview

These two 20th Century Fox features make a better pairing than one might imagine, representing the best of the studio's less complex sci-fi adventure films. Producer/director Irwin Allen was a pop culture maven with an eye toward what was in the headlines -- Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea was his modernization of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, even utilizing one key cast member (Peter Lorre) from the Disney movie adaptation. The story of a futuristic submarine and its mission to save the world when the Van Allen radiation belt (then a newly discovered geophysical phenomenon) flares up, is a fairly good thriller, filled with lurking questions of loyalty, sanity, and religious fanaticism; it's also a bit lighthearted, even finding room to exploit co-star Frankie Avalon's trumpet virtuosity (he played trumpet before he sang) and in one scene showing off Barbara Eden's physique. The special effects work directed by L.B. Abbott, particularly the submarine models and the undersea photography, give the story a lot of spark, and though the acting is a little sluggish, that's to be expected in a thriller of this vintage, especially given that Allen was more a producer than a director. The film-to-video transfer is a significant improvement over the earlier letterboxed laserdisc, the color brighter and more solid, the details much crisper and sharper, and the sound is some of the most robust heard to date on a DVD. Whatever Fox's engineers did here, others should follow their lead. Fantastic Voyage, directed by Richard Fleischer, is usually considered the preferred of these two movies, although its pseudo-science about shrinking a surgical team and putting them inside the body of a stricken scientist to save his life, is as risible as that of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Its main virtue was a more serious script and a more earnest and contemporary (in its own time) cast of actors, and more complex special-effects work by Abbott and his team; curiously enough, both movies feature actresses who have since become cultural/sexual icons, Barbara Eden and Raquel Welch. The transfer of Fantastic Voyage puts the late-'80s laserdisc to shame, with richly detailed night scenes in the opening section and very good color reproduction. Curiously, the color scheme of this movie starts out very muted and grows richer and deeper as the movie progresses and moves inside the human body. Stephen Boyd does his best Sean Connery impersonation as a quietly cocky, self-confident counter-espionage agent; the film also features Arthur Kennedy and Donald Pleasence as rival physicians with very different agendas, Raquel Welch as Kennedy's assistant, and Edmond O'Brien and Arthur O'Connell -- giving two of the best supporting performances ever seen in a movie like this -- as the directors of the team on the ground. The disc also includes the trailers for these two movies. Oddly enough, the Fantastic Voyage trailer is cropped at the sides, while Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea is letterboxed. Also present are the paired trailers for both Kurt Neumann's original 1958 version of The Fly and its 1959 sequel, and for David Cronenberg's 1986 Fly and its sequel. The trailer for the 1958 film makes more use of co-star Vincent Price's pensive, horror-oriented screen persona than of any footage from the film itself, while the sequel, 1959's The Return of the Fly, has more direct chills and more of a sense of humor; the Cronenberg film and its sequel are offered in straightforward fashion. The menu is very easy to navigate, and one recommends speeding past the Fox Video promotional clip that opens both sides of the disc.

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/05/2000
UPC:
0024543005803
Rating:
PG
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital Surround]
Time:
3:27:00

Special Features

"Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea":; Anamorphic widescreen [aspect ratio 2.35:1]; Interactive menus; Theatrical trailers; Subtitles: English, Spanish; Audio: English 4.0 Surround; English Dolby Surround; French mono; "Fantastic Voyage":; Anamorphic widescreen [aspect ratio 2.35:1]; Interactive menus; Theatrical trailers; Subtitles: English, Spanish; Audio: English Surround; English mono; French mono

Scene Index

Side #1- Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
0. Scene Selections
1. Main Titles [:20]
2. Nelson's Folly [2:01]
3. The Grand Tour [:47]
4. Take Her Deep [4:00]
5. Emergency [3:28]
6. Fire in the Sky [6:14]
7. The Survivor [:58]
8. Nelson's Formula [:46]
9. Meeting of the Minds [2:45]
10. Crash Dive to Destiny [3:37]
11. Fighters & Fatalists [:11]
12. Tapping the Cable [2:24]
13. The Giant Squid [3:33]
14. Out of Contact [1:22]
15. Nelson's Decision [5:45]
16. The Doctor's Opinion [1:53]
17. Power Outrage [2:55]
18. The Mine Field [4:42]
19. Sabotage [1:19]
20. Fire! [4:49]
21. Death Ship [1:31]
22. Near-Mutiny [3:02]
23. The Admiral's Conduct [1:40]
24. Battle Stations! [1:21]
25. The Sub & the Squid [:51]
26. The Enemies Inside [1:46]
27. Crane's Gambit [2:13]
28. Full Speed for Home [2:57]
Side #2- Fantastic Voyage
0. Scene Selections
1. Ambush at Night [:19]
2. Main Titles [3:30]
3. Grant's Mission [:08]
4. C.M.D.F. [1:34]
5. The Project [4:55]
6. Preparations [3:00]
7. Phase One [2:45]
8. Phase Two [1:44]
9. Phase Three [5:04]
10. Phase Four [2:32]
11. Inner Space [2:20]
12. The Whirlpool [5:35]
13. Off-Course [:16]
14. Through the Heart [1:18]
15. Air [2:55]
16. The Laser Problem [3:00]
17. The Lymphatic Jungle [:26]
18. The Inner Ear [1:39]
19. Attack of the Antibodies [4:30]
20. To Save a Life [1:24]
21. Saboteur [2:51]
22. Killer Corpuscles [1:45]
23. The Eye Has It [5:34]
24. End Titles [7:29]

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