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The Dark Crystal: Quick and Dirty DVD Review
Reviewed by Joe Hourcle, © 2002

Format: Movie
By:   Jim Henson (director, writer)
Genre:   Fantasy
Released:   Original Release Date: December 17, 1982
Review Date:   August 22, 2002
Audience Rating:   Rated PG
RevSF Rating:   6/10 (What Is This?)

Pssst! Remember, Joe is reviewing the DVD, not the movie. A DVD of Batman & Robin could get a 10 if the features are cool enough. And A Clockwork Orange could wind up with a 1. Got it? Good.

Before I review "The Dark Crystal", let me just say that my DVD player (I don't know if it's everyone's -- okay, it's not even mine, it's my roommate's, damnit) seems to have an issue with some images. It's not all images. The movies are just fine. When there are scenes from the movies in the menus, they tend to be fine. Line art, however, can be absolute crap. Anything that looks like your generic 'computer art' will pop up on the screen for a second, just fine, and then blur itself.

Typically, I just get it on the line art and such that they pack in as extra features, but this time, for this movie, it affected the menus throughout the whole thing. The text is big enough, that in this case, it's not an issue, but the weird pulsing effect gives me a bit of a headache.

Anyway, once we get past all of that, we have your typical scene select (with the blurring issue). We also have an hour-long 'making of' documentary, with some commentary about the making of the movie, surprisingly enough. It’s got that guy who sounds like Kermit the Frog in it, and some other guys, and they shove their hands up the . . . um. . . .

Okay, so, besides that part, we also have a deleted scene, which is a bit of a bad print; but this is a bit of an older movie, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. For all we know, they dug this up out of a trash can. There are also a few 'work print' scenes, which, well, I guess 'work print' means 'bad print' or something, but again, they're old, weren't preserved right, whatever, so we can't be too hard on 'em. They do, however, compare the original version of the scene with the final version, so that's pretty nice.

You then get some concept drawings for the characters, some trailers, and your normal 'talent files'. I do like the fact that they give multiple trailers for the movie. We all know that they spend some serious cash on these trailers, to attempt to sucker people into the theatres, and they don't just normally produce one of 'em. I'm okay with them putting trailers for The Storyteller and Labyrinth on here, because they're all Henson movies, and they're not the 'just in theaters/now on DVD'-style pimping that we're getting from other studios, where there's no clear connection between them and the movie you're watching.

I'm not really sure where to rank this one in the end. I want to give it a 6, but that whole blurring problem bothers me. So, if you've ever seen that blurring issue on your player, consider this to be a 5. For the rest of you, who don't have this issue, you can treat it as a 6.

Behold, RevSF columnist Joe Hourcle heralds the dreaded return of the era of HUTA jokes.

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