Zach C. Gray
A young American boy, Roy Wallace, knows that his dad is Irish yet never thought he would be spending his precious summer vacation in a tiny fishing village in Ireland. He feels a long way from home but before long unexplainable events begin to occur and murmurs of ghosts sweep through the village. Determined to solve the mystery and disprove the superstition of the villagers, Roy takes on the case. When all signs point towards the sea cave, Roy faces his fears and discovers the Secret of the Cave.
Theatrical Release: October 19th, 2006 - Heartland Film Festival
DVD Review: First Look Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC
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|Distribution||First Look Pictures - Region 1 - NTSC|
Average Bitrate: 4.29 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
|Subtitles||English (CC), Spanish, None|
Although it has moments of marvelous clarity the First Look single-layered DVD is interlaced (see last capture - 'combing' in every third frame with motion). I don't know who to trust - but IMdb says it was shot on 16mm - it sure looks like DV to me (I may have missed any mention of this in the commentaries), but anyway the DVD image is flawed for anyone with a better-than-standard home theater system. The problem is accentuated as there are intense moments of handi-cam modulations (for running/chasing etc.) Television tube owners won't notice and as I said it has exceptional moments of detail at times - it probably looked much better on the big screen. The 2.0 channel audio is clear if not dynamic and there are optional English (close captioned) or Spanish subtitles rendered in the same manner as Universal - appearing directly under the character speaking (see sample below). I like this.
There are two optional commentaries - the first with the director Gray and producer/cinematographer David George. They do a decent job discussing the shooting locales/weather and their intent in certain scenes - standard run-in-the-mill stuff. The second commentary is a bit more fun with three participants who represent the 'students' including associate producer Thomas L. Wentworth and film editor Melody George - overall not as professional but they do seem to enjoy the discussion and export some genuine enthusiasm. Also included are a 17 minute 'Making off...' featurette with more background on the production process. Finally a 5 minute short on spelunking with the caveat that it is a cursory overview and cave venturing should be done with a qualified professional. There are also some First Look previews.
The film was a Heartland Film Festival winner (Crystal Heart Award) and if you can get over the hinting 7th Day Adventists leaning - it is a decent family offering with some strong cinematography. I doubt most will be keen but for those with children capable of interpreting the intent (say over 8-9 years old) - it exports some wholesome values. I thought this was an okay film and the DVD price is quite appropriate.