Gold MemberUsername: Thx_3417
Post Number: 1506
5 occupants of 817 have all been giving notice to vacate the premises of there home, so that building of a new high rise skyscraper can take its place over the New York skyline. But for one couple Frank and Faye played by acclaimed married couple (Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy) of (Cocoon) fame 1985, team up once again in this delightful fantasy directed by Matthew Robbins, and produced by Steven Spielberg, bring the magic to the screen, originally planed for a short episode in the "Amazing Stories" also produced by Spielberg, got the big screen treatment.
When the plea for help comes in the forum of couple spaceships some very unusually small spaceships with a knack of putting things back together, and with magical aided help of (Industrial Light & Magic) ILM, once again prove that visual effects serve an important role in the storytelling, with very little use of CGI some of the shots shows the outlines or (mate lines) this is mostly apparent in the dark shadowy areas but only to the critical eye, still the effects hold out superbly well even by today's standards where CGI sticks out like a good ole sore thumb.
*High range and jazzy score
(Bill Varney, Michael Casper and Bob Minkler) Oscar winners (Varney, Speed 1994) & (Minkler, Star Wars 1977) show off there talent that leave a smile on my face that goes from one side to the other, most of the sound is place over the three-screen front stage, surrounds are used sparingly thou all the channels in the JBL Control series array are matched for equal sound pressure, flybys fly over gently none of the huge big whooshing sounds that would be commonly heard in the Dolby Stereo optical twin track version due to the nature of the crosstalk within the circuitry of Dolby Stereo matrix surround.
High frequency sounds of some tiny fellas from outer space can be heard right up too 16KHz, not to bad at for a someone that is close to 40 years old, the pitch is widely used in some important key moments where one of the space crafts ventures out into the Big Apple, and only dog whistle used by Harry, played by (Frank McRae).
As the end credits role with (James Horner's) stylized jazzy score fits the film perfectly there is a lot of pre (Casper) score in it as well this is typical of the Oscar winning composer (Titanic)1997, but still he's works are a delight to hear, the instruments have a crystal clear high range sound stings flutes and some percussion is felt at the hands of (Shawn Murphy) 1997, Oscar winning composer (Titanic) fine ear for score mixing and is known for recording in the (Dolby SR) analogue domain. The low end kick in the snare drums gets my thumbs up and some good high hat sounds as well.
A very nice fantasy film for the family or the young at heart who likes a feel good ending...
...and remember this DVD comes without *Batteries Not Included!
Two trailers *Batteries Not Included and E.T. 20th anniversary
Aspect ratio: W/S 1.85:1 Panavision (anamorphic enhanced)
Running time: 102 minutes
Sound: Dolby Stereo (A) type Dolby 5.1 with (split-surrounds)
Distributor: Universal Studios
Year of realise: 1987
DVD year of realise: 2002
Overall rating 7/10
Some of the visual effects that used the (blue screen) approach where the models have been stop motioned via a technique called (Go-Motion) which gives a more fluent motion to the animation, but a little more could have been added into to the illusion where the small spacecrafts are walking on a hotplate, the footsteps could have had a slight bit more shadow animated into the final composite, where it may have some shadow placed to the sides, it's where the feet meet the surface that sales it more, this was also missed out in the hit fantasy (Back to the Future) 1985, where (Marty and Doc Brown) are standing over the fire flames left by the time travelling (DeLorean).