Saturday, January 31, 2009

20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (Nathan Juran, 1957, USA) The film ends with the sad observation, “Why is it so costly for man to go from the past into the future?” My question would be why wasn’t this film more costly? If only Harryhausen had a decent budget to film in color or the studio hire some good actors and screenwriters maybe they would have had a classic. As it stands, the Ymir is the only good thing about this entire low budget yawn fest; I don’t believe the director new much about pacing, lighting, or photography. The only decent low-angle shots are of the monster and Harryhausen placed the camera for the special effects setup! But the animation is still very cool and the creature is the only empathetic personality in the entire film. Forget the obligatory romance because the Commander and Almost-A-Doctor are annoying…I wish the Ymir would have fallen on them both. I watched this on Blu-Ray and must recommend the original B&W version; the colorization makes everyone’s skin tones alike and looks too fake. Though the transfer in Hi-Def is not spectacular due to transparencies and backdrops used for special effects, it is still worth the upgrade. (C)

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