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At the Earth's Core [Blu-ray]
(Kevin Connor, 1976)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: American International Pictures (AIP)
Video: Kino Lorber
Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 33,464,220,871 bytes
Feature Size: 23,733,970,944 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.97 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: January 13th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1646 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1646 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1747 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1747 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
• Commentary by director Kevin Connor
• Interview with Actress Caroline Munro (28:43)
• Interview with director Kevin Connor (22:03)
• Making of Featurette (5:43)
• Originaltrailer (2:53)
Description: They're in it Deep now! Murderous monsters, scantily clad prehistoric playmates and telepathic pterodactyls inhabit the center of our world in this colorful fantasy-adventure about a manned "drill-craft" boring its way to the center of the Earth! Starring sci-fi superstars Doug McClure (The Land That Time Forgot), Peter Cushing (Nothing But the Night) and Caroline Munro (Maniac), this subterranean chiller is the most endearingly whimsical entertainment on - or under - the planet's surface! There's more than lava at the Earth's core. There's also Pellucidar: an underground empire where gargantuan pterodactyls torture and enslave all humanoids - including the lovely Dia (Munro). But all that could change when a surface-dwelling scientist (Cushing) and an American businessman (McClure) drive their powerful "Iron Mole" straight into Pellucidar... stirring up a great deal more than dirt, rocks and lava! Wonderfully directed by sci-fi specialist, Kevin Connor (The People That Time Forgot).
This is the second sci-fi adventure based on a novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first being 1975's The Land That Time Forgot. At The Earth's Core stars Doug McClure as explorer David Innes and Peter Cushing as professor Abner Perry, whose experimental "iron core" drill goes out of control and leads them to the underground kingdom of Pellucidar, where the Wing People are ruled by the monstrous, flying Mahars. With the help of the professor, Innes leads the Wing People in revolt against their evil masters. Monsters and mayhem abound in what is essentially a well-produced, if somewhat juvenile, knockoff of The Time Machine.
While 1974's The Land That Time Forgot discovered prehistory alive at the North Pole, here Messrs Cushing and McClure run astray while testing their mechanical mole and discover the lost world of Pellucidar at the end of the journey to the centre of the earth outlined in Edgar Rice Burroughs' source novel. Scantily clad Ms Munro, vengeful telepathic pterodactyls and cut-price explosions comprise a familiar mix, but it's daft enough to enjoy if you're in a schoolboy mood. The winged dinosaurs seem specially conceived so they can be played by blokes in suits, inspiring the sort of glee now lost forever to these days of tediously flash CGI effects.Excerpt from Timeout located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Well, let's just say that the 1080P transfer of At the Earth's Core on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber is far superior to the film itself. Perhaps some would say much better than the film deserves. This is dual-layered with a max'ed bitrate and is easily as good as the film has ever looked on digital. There is a tightness and depth - skin tones and colors look balanced. The only issue is that the high resolution further identifies the modest effects. Contrast is layered with no noise or damage and overall the video is quite solid.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1646 kbps does a competent job of exporting the film's verbose effects of 'creature' and 'native' sounds. There is a bit of weakness in the high end but I can only anticipate that this is a function of the 40-year old production's audio production values. The score is by Michael Vickers (The Sex Thief). It seems a bit juvenile but gains some depth via the lossless. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Kino Lorber include an interesting and amusing commentary by director Kevin Connor (The People That Time Forgot, The Land That Time Forgot, Motel Hell even an episode of Space: 1999) who I like and it's light and perfect for the level of film. We also get interviews with Actress Caroline Munro (1/2 hour) and more with director Connor (for 22-minutes.) There is also a vintage Making of Featurette showing some storyboarding and production details and lastly an original trailer.
January 7th, 2015
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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