Eye For Film >> Movies >> They Live (1988) DVD Review
Reviewed by: Gator MacReadyRead Daniel Hooper's film review of They Live
Filmed in Panavison, the anamorphic DVD does NOT present the film in its original aspect ratio. Immediately after "Directed by John Carpenter" disappears from the opening credits, the AR changes from 2.40:1 to 2.05:1. It's a very noticeable difference and still spoils many shots.
Gary B. Kibbe's cinematography seems awkward and off-balance. A curiosity indeed. However, the quality of the picture is top notch. It's bright and colourful, with hardly any grain, or dirt. The black-and-white shots look brilliant, too, but one can only image how better many of the well-framed shots would look had the movie been presented in 2.40:1.
As with Prince Of Darkness, there's no 5.1 remix here. The sound is basically stereo, but still adequate. There isn't much opportunity for the sound design to go crazy, anyway. Everything is basically in the front speakers and only the occasional ambience, or gunshot, would really benefit from a Dolby Digital soundtrack.
Any John Carpenter commentary is cool, as long as he has someone to chat with - usually Kurt Russell. Those who have listened to the Vampires commentary will know that when he's on his own, he is just not interesting. Thankfully, he's got his buddy, Roddy Piper, here and they get on great and both have amusing personalities. Roddy can remember almost everything about the shoot and he never shuts up. Definitely one of the better commentaries of late.
A 1988 featurette is included. It runs seven minutes and superficially skims the basic assembling of the film. A couple of quick behind-the-scenes footage, incorporated with interviews, is all you're likely to get. It's better than nothing!
In the special features menu, select the eyes of the ghoul to take you to another page, where you can select talent files of Carpenter, Piper and Foster. They are basically recycled footage from the featurette and last two minutes each.
No trailer is included.Reviewed on: 27 Oct 2002