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Krull
Krull
A Columbia Tristar Home Video Release
1983, 121 Minutes, Color, Rated PG

Starring: Ken Marshall, Graham McGrath, Tony Church, Belinda Mayne, Bernard Archard, Dicken Ashworth, Todd Carty, Lysette Anthony, Freddie Jones, Francesca Annis, Alun Armstrong, David Battley, Bernard Bresslaw, Liam Neeson, John Welsh
Director: Peter Yates
List Price: $24.99 USD, Released 04/03/01
Packaging: Amaray Keepcase, Region 1 NTSC
Disc Format:  Single Sided, Dual Layered (DVD-9)
Video: 2.35:1 Anamorphic
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby 2.0 Surround
French Dolby 2.0 Surround
Spanish Dolby 2.0
Portuguese Dolby 2.0
Commentary Track #1
Commentary Track #2
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai
Captioning: English
Features: Commentary tracks, featurette, Marvel Comics video adaptation, talent files, production notes, photo galleries, theatrical trailers, scene selection, animated menus.

On the planet of Krull, the indestructible Beast and its legion of Slayers have attacked the newly formed kingdom brought about by the impending marriage of Princess Lyssa and Prince Colwyn. During the ceremony the Slayers attack and kill both kings, kidnapping Princess Lyssa and taking her to a fortress that changes position each day. Prince Colwyn, now aided by the wise Ynyr, journeys out into a fantastical world to rescue her and defeat the Beast, but he must first recover the legendary Glaive, a flying blade capable of phenomenal powers.

Even though Krull is presented in a nice 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format, the quality level isn't up to Columbia Tristar's usual snuff. I'm sure that much of the flaws exhibited in this release are the fault of the original print, rather than anything specific done by the DVD mastering team, but even still they detract from the movie. Generally black levels are solid, but on some scenes where they would have been more crucial - and appreciated - levels are totally off. Film grain is quite visible and takes away from clarity and sharpness - some edge enhancement has been used in order to combat this. The transfer has been cleaned up, though both black and white lint can be seen to some degree throughout. Colors and saturation get a passing grade. Krull is stored on a dual-layered DVD containing 7.7 gigabytes of data. The movie is divided into 28 chapters, with the layer change occurring at the beginning of chapter 20, or 1:16.11 into the entire movie.

Krull's audio has been remastered into a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. Although James Horner's orchestral score is often overstated, it comes through with wonderful clarity and full-bodied range. Unfortunately Krull's sound effects suffer from a sort of harsh hollowness that make certain portions of the film a little painful to listen to. Dialogue is recorded at an adequate level, though some scenes suffered from high background noise levels that were obviously muted during sentences. Columbia Tristar packed this disc with numerous other audio tracks, including English and French in 2.0 surround, plus Spanish and Portuguese in 2.0 stereo. Subtitles are available in all of the aforementioned languages, plus Chinese, Korean and Thai. English Closed Captioning data is also included.

As a special edition, Krull has been treated to nice animated menus complete with sound and animated scene selection screens. The Special Features menu starts off with two commentary tracks - one with director Peter Yates and actors Ken Marshall and Lysette Anthony, plus editor Ray Lovejoy. The other is a behind-the-scenes commentary read from a 1982 article in Cinefantastique - something I don't recall being done before.

Extras continue with a 22-minute featurette, "Journey to Krull", originally created for television to promote the movie. You get four photo galleries with cast portraits, behind-the-scenes, design and concept plus vintage advertising snaps that are all much too small to be appreciated. Basic biographies and filmographies are included for Peter Yates, Ken Marshall, Lysette Anthony and Freddie Jones. Theatrical trailers are included for Krull in 1.77:1 anamorphic video and 2.0 sound, Jason and the Argonaughts in 1.33:1 video and 2.0 audio, plus Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, also in 1.33:1 video and 2.0 audio. As an interesting bonus, you also get a Marvel Comics video adaptation of their comic book movie adaptation of Krull. A little confused? What you actually get is 38-minutes of close-up pan and scan views of the 1982 comic book, set to music and dialogue from the movie. Production notes are included as an insert in the DVD case.

Krull is considered by many to be a classic sci-fi/fantasy movie, cutting edge for 1983. Columbia Tristar obviously thought similarly, as evidenced by this DVD release. The sound and picture is as good as it's going to get, and there's more than enough extras here to keep Krull fans busy for some time.

- Reviewed by Daniel Tonks on April 21, 2001.


Movie:
Video Quality:
Audio Quality:
Supplements:
1-Poor 2-Fair 3-Good 4-Excellent
System Equipment
Sony DVP-S500D DVD Player
Marantz SR-18EX THX Receiver
Sony 32" XBR250 WEGA TV using Component
Nuance Spatial Baby Grand 3E & StarSat

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