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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film for the whole family
Fox Studios was so successful with this film that they immediately made another Verne classic, "The Lost World" with Claude Raines as Professor Challenger. "Lost World" didn't fare as well. The reasons were obvious.
"Journey" was put together by a team of Hollywood professionsls at all levels: script, direction, actors, production...
Published on May 12 2004 by Allen Eaton

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good DVD restoration of an uneven film
To anyone considering this DVD, know that the gentleman claiming this DVD was colorized from black-and-white prints is quite mistaken. This DVD is from a new internegative, and what that means is that they made a new color film using what is known as "black-and-white separations." These separations are a B&W film of each of the 3 primary color spectrums (cyan, magenta,...
Published on Aug. 1 2003


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good DVD restoration of an uneven film, Aug. 1 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Journey to the Center of the Earth (DVD)
To anyone considering this DVD, know that the gentleman claiming this DVD was colorized from black-and-white prints is quite mistaken. This DVD is from a new internegative, and what that means is that they made a new color film using what is known as "black-and-white separations." These separations are a B&W film of each of the 3 primary color spectrums (cyan, magenta, blue - tech talk for these separations is Y-C-M) which put together make real full color. They are made that way to preserve a color film. The B&W doesn't fade like color negatives and most prints do (the color spectrums also fade unevenly). So you'd always be able to put them together to make a fresh new color print. You can also control the color better by blending the intensity of each color spectrum. They used this technique for this movie in order preserve the badly aged and neglected negative and to use the blending ability in making a new print to compensate for much of the fading of the negative. Separations should exist for all color films but sadly they don't.
You can now figure out that the question of how this will look depends on how bad the negative was before making the "separations" from it, the quality of workmanship, and how carefully they blended the separations when making the film we see on this DVD. They did a good job. It isn't perfect, but it does more or less reflect the color scheme the filmmakers went for in 1959, which is why it might seem a little like fake color to some. If you have a good monitor, it looks colorful in a slightly artful way that many older films intentionally strove for.
The sound is a bit out of synch at times but not much. Many videos have that problem. It could be better but most people won't notice. The hiss is fine since it doesn't distract and is better left in than having the sound muffled by filtering it. There are some other strange artifacts in the sound that shouldn't be in there. What is sloppier is that they get the left and right channels reversed at times! This is also not uncommon in the second rate attention usually given older films. In fact this DVD sounds unusually good! It even allows the bass end to remain intact, a big plus in the music for this film. Fox needed to proofread this DVD. It says it is modified (cropped to fit the TV) while in fact it is in its original widescreen on this DVD. This DVD is a commendable job and far superior to the horrid junk this studio released in previous releases of this movie.
You must have an appreciation of the absurd to enjoy this movie. If you like absurd or have an appreciation of the absurd, you will find this movie amusing and enjoyable. If you expect clinical or hyper-reality, hyper-violence or gritty realism, you will not like this film. You should also be able to enjoy a story that is in no hurry and be able to enjoy hand-made special effects and some simple stage-like backdrops. I did enjoy the Atlantis setting, it's a shame it didn't make more use of that. There are many things it glosses over in favor of things I wouldn't have bothered with. You may agree. Of course the lady stays a '50's movie lady, and extravagantly made-up and coiffed no matter how long away from a salon. As you no doubt know, many shows still pull that trick. At least she is given a backbone. If the handling of the villain is a little dubious, at least the lead, James Mason's role, is well played and easy to associate with if you have that appreciation for the absurd. If you are fine with all that then you should enjoy this movie.
The score is the best element of this movie. I'm not talking of the transient ditties Pat Boone throws off. I mean the scoring by Bernard Herrmann. Many people like the score far better than the movie itself. I agree. Music and film students will find this score a must. Particularly of interest is the instrumentation. There are superb uses of organ including the seriously low registers (a subwoofer is worth using for this film). Another interesting thing is the extremely rare use of the distinctive, long-obsolete medieval instrument called a "serpent." This instrument is used for the unnerving tones portraying the (what else!) giant serpent.
This movie is not as dramatically valid or creatively solid as Walt Disney's 'Twenty-Thousand Leagues under the Sea' (1954). 'Twenty-Thousand Leagues' has also aged better. If you want a classic Jules Verne film, get the excellent DVD of 'Twenty-Thousand Leagues'. Then consider this one. 'Mysterious Island' is another, but I'd suggest it after the aforementioned. Also of possible interest to you is a film also requiring an appreciation of the absurd and a taste or tolerance of the "cheesy" in even larger measures, but possibly also stronger in its strengths than this film, 'In Search of the Castaways' (1962 - not on DVD at this time). 'First Men in the Moon' (1964) is also in a similar spirit to this. I hope you'll now be able to chose whether to buy this DVD and what to get if you enjoy this film.
- C.J.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film for the whole family, May 12 2004
By 
Allen Eaton "aleaton3" (Longmont, CO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Journey to the Center of the Earth (DVD)
Fox Studios was so successful with this film that they immediately made another Verne classic, "The Lost World" with Claude Raines as Professor Challenger. "Lost World" didn't fare as well. The reasons were obvious.
"Journey" was put together by a team of Hollywood professionsls at all levels: script, direction, actors, production deisgners. They were all dedicated to one goal: to entertain the audience while not pandering to them. The actors take their roles seriously, bringing them to vivid life.
This is a long film for a general release, family oriented project. It goes into good, solid character development, rather than settling for action over story, as they did with "The Lost World." The only thing both films have in common appear to be dinosaurs.
The special effects are excellent. Try not to compare them to what can be computer-generated today. Matte painting artists of the old Hollywood studio system could truly be called artists; this film is a prime example of this art.
Bernard Hermann's score is one of the true stars of the picture. It supports the film; it is like a character all its own; it complements the story rather than overpowering it.
This is a movie that can be seen over and over through the years and it still appeals. Once again, the DVD format presents the film in its original CinemaScope aspect ratio, which is the only way to appreciate a truly excellent example of the old Hollywood in its finest form.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rated "G" for "Great", April 30 2004
By 
C. T. Mikesell (near Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Journey to the Center of the Earth (DVD)
This movie captured my imagination as a child, and I'm pleased to say that it retains all its adventurous charm twenty-five years later.
Based loosely on the Jules Verne novel, the movie tells the story of a group of scientists (and a scientist's widow ... and a hunky Icelander ... and a duck) as they follow the trail of a long-dead explorer into - wait for it - the center of the Earth. The film is partly a vehicle for Pat Boone's singing career, partly an excuse to design one fantastic set after another (partly filmed in Carlsbad Cavern National Park), but it's mostly a decent adventure story with the ever-wonderful James Mason leading the way. Sure, some effects are poorly done with blue screens, matte paintings, and miniatures (not bad by late '50s standards, though), but it doesn't take much suspension of disbelief to get into spirit of the thing (my 4-year-old screamed at the Dimetrodons), and an emotional connection is built between the audience and the characters (Count Saknussem's fate is richly deserved). Be sure to watch for Alfred the Butler (Alan Napier) as a University of Edinburgh dean.
The limited bonus materials are all worthwhile (as opposed to DVDs that cram in the extras, mostly mediocre). Included are movie trailers for nine Fox sci-fi movies (Sean Connery's Zardoz must be seen to be believed) as well as the trailer for Journey. The only other bonus is a before-and-after comparison of how the film was restored. There's no documentary showing the process, but the side-by-side and split-screen comparisons help you realize how close this treasure was to being lost.
This is a great film that deserves to be part of anyone's collection. The effects may be dated, but the adventure and characterizations are as powerful today as they were in 1959. If you're looking for a film the whole family can enjoy that isn't so sugary sweet it necessitates a visit to the dentist, Journey to the Center of the Earth fits the bill.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY BEST MOVIE, Feb. 3 2003
By 
laercio luiz lamana (São Paulo, São Paulo Brazil) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Journey to the Center of the Earth (DVD)
This is the best or one of the best movies I ever watched . It happens in a cozy environment , the story is fantastic with a touch of innocence and beauty . The actors are fantastic and the thrilling story process amazes the audience like no other film .
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Herrmann, May 21 2005
By A Customer
Why are all the reviews here for the movie and not the soundtrack for sale? Somebody get their wires crossed?
If you're interested in the soundtrack, it's wonderful. Anyone who is familiar with Herrmann's music, from back when film composers could actually compose symphonic music, will know what they're in for; a wonderful sonic treat.
As a film scorer myself, it's a pleasure to have such a fresh-sounding recording of this classic score, and well worth the small price-tag.
You can also listen to the "Sunrise" music that Herrmann wrote here and understand why Elfman, who wouldn't know an orchestra if it hit him in the head, calls Herrmann his favourite composer.
You'll note a VERY familiar theme in that "Sunrise" cue, without which a certain Dark Knight wouldn't have made Elfman a lot of money. Favourite composer, indeed!
In short, if you're thinking about it, don't hesitate. Buy this priceless stereo recording from a true master.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT CLASSIC, May 13 2014
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This review is from: Journey to the Center of the Earth (DVD)
VERY GOOD CAST WITH LOTS OF ACTION AND LOTS OF FUN IN IT CONTENT.WOULD RECCOMEND IT TO ALL AGES JUS A GREAT MOVIE
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey to the Center of the Earth, Aug. 13 2012
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This review is from: Journey to the Center of the Earth (DVD)
This movie is my all time favorite. I love James Mason, his acting is so good. Pat Boone adds some humour. DVD was in excellent condition, I have the movie on VHS but wanted to have it for always so I bought it on DVD. So glad I did. I will enjoy this movie for years to come.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey to the Center of the Earth, May 6 2012
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This review is from: Journey to the Center of the Earth (DVD)
The reason I wanted this film is that I saw it when it came out. I have seen remakes of it but this original is the best that I have seen. T'was a pleasure seeing it again.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fox could have added a "behind the scenes" feature...., Sept. 30 2003
This review is from: Journey to the Center of the Earth (DVD)
It's very surprising that Fox (which is known for putting together good DVDs) kind of played the cheap route for this movie. I would have liked to have seen a "Behind the Scenes" feature on how this movie was done. I'm sure they could have put together something for it, like they did with "The Day The Earth Stood Still". This is a good movie and deserves better treatment on the DVD format. I feel like I wasted my money.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, bad DVD, June 4 2003
This review is from: Journey to the Center of the Earth (DVD)
Those who know and love this movie, beware:
The film was remastered from black-and-white stock and then colorized. Looks like all cheap, colorized movies. Read the notes carefully. Not that you should have to.
The so-called "restoration comparison" is dishonest. It shows old stock against remastered (true color) version from the '90's. NOT from this release.
Finally, the soundtrack is not in synch with the actors' lips. Looks like it was dubbed, which it wasn't.
Bottom line: Major disappointment.
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Journey to the Center of the Earth
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Henry Levin (DVD - 2003)
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