TINSEL KOREY (THE TWILIGHT SAGA) AND SHANNEN DOHERTY (90210) STAR IN SYFY’S FIRST EVER ORIGINAL FAIRY TALE DOUBLE FEATURE IN FEBRUARY
NEW YORK – January 30, 2012 – Tinsel Korey (The Twilight Saga) and Shannen Doherty (90210) become embroiled in two dark takes on the increasingly popular fairy tale genre – the first ever Syfy Original Movie Double Feature – while Gina Holden (Flash Gordon) is trapped on a deadly deserted island, in a special three-pack of February Saturday Original Movies.
In Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island, premiering Saturday, February 11 at 9PM (ET/PT),
a group of travelers become stranded on a mysterious island. Confronting vicious pirates, terrifying creatures and an active volcano, they must find a way to escape. The movie, a production of K2 Pictures, stars Gina Holden and Mark Sheppard (Supernatural).
Black Forest, starring Tinsel Korey and Ben Cross (Chariots of Fire), tells the chilling story of tourists lost in a magical forest, who battle evil fairy tale creatures plotting to kidnap one of their babies and slaughter the rest of them. A production of UFO Films, Black Forest airs Saturday, February 25 at 7PM (ET/PT).
Shannen Doherty and Paul McGillion (Stargate Atlantis) star in Gretl: Witch Hunter, premiering Saturday, February 25 at 9PM (ET/PT). Twenty years after his encounter with the witch, a grown-up Hansel returns to the haunted forest, seeking revenge. But there’s a surprise waiting — his sister Gretl (who he thought had been killed) is the witch’s protégée. Gretl: Witch Hunter is a production of Vesuvius Productions and distributed by Sony Pictures Television.
Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (www.Syfy.com), and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)
Fun, a bit dark but still manages to be quite entertaining. It was a bold statement for animation during that time and “The Secret of NIMH” holds up well 30-years later. If you are a fan of the film, it’s definitely a worthy upgrade from the 2007 DVD release.
Images courtesy of © 1982 MGM Television Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: The Secret of NIMH
FILM RELEASE DATE: 1982
DURATION: 83 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Widescreen (1:85:1), English 2.0 Surround DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Surround, French Dolby Surround, AVC@32MBPS, Subtitles: English SDH, French
COMPANY: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/20th Century Fox
RELEASE DATE: March 29, 2011
Directed by Don Bluth
Story Adaptation by Don Bluth, John Pomeroy, Gary Goldman, Will Finn
Produced by Don Bluth, Gary Goldman, John Pomeroy
Executive Producer: James L. Stewart, Rich Irvine
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Edited by Jeffrey C. Patch
Featuring the voices of”
Derek Jacobi as Nicodemus
Elizabeth Hartman as Mrs. Brisby
Arthur Malet as Mr. Ages
Dom DeLuise as Jeremy
Hermione Baddeley as Auntie Shrew
Shannen Doherty as Teresa
Wil Wheaton as Martin
John Carradine as Grat Owl
Peter Strauss as Justin
Edie McClurg as Miss Right
Get ready to meet some runaway rodents with an earth-shattering secret! Suspenseful and heartwarming, this beautifully animated odyssey stars Mrs. Brisby, a mild-mannered mother mouse with a plan to move Heaven and Earth (or at least her house and home) to save her family from Farmer Fitzgibbon’s plow! Along the way she gets some help from a lovelorn Crow, a busybody neighbor mouse and a fearsome Great Owl. Unfortunately, Mrs. Brisby will need an engineering miracle to hoist her home, and for that she must face a mysterious rat, fend off a ferocious cat and claim a magic amulet! But when Mrs. Brisby discovers the astounding secret of NIMH…it could change her life forever! This timeless tale of love, courage and determination will transport the whole family into an enchanting world where the bravest hearts live in the meekest of mice.
When Don Bluth and several Disney animators which included Gary Goldman and John Pomeroy who left Disney to form their own animation studio known as Don Bluth Productions, together they would work on their first feature-length animated film titled “The Secret of NIMH”. An animated adaptation of the 1971 children’s book “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” written by Robert C. O’Brien and a film that was actually offered to Disney but was turned down.
Their goal was to create an animated film and returning to that “golden era” where the focus was on strong characters and story but also to experiment with the unusual. And suffice to say, “The Secret of NIMH” was a story that touches upon the unusual.
But the film was also a major gamble. Because they were a smaller animation studio, to stay within budget, it was a labor-intensive project that Goldman recalled working 110 hour weeks during the final six months of production. With around 100 in-house staff working on the film and cel painting by 45 people who worked in their homes, many of the minor roles were done by in-house staff and in the end was created for $6.3 million.
In fact, the film was such a gamble that Bluth, Goldman, Pomeroy and the executive producers of Aurora Productions (who acquired the film rights and offered it to Don Bluth Productions) each mortgaged their homes for $700,000 to complete the film, of course, with an agreement that their investment would be the first money to be repaid.
The film would received critical acclaim and majority of what was received were nearly all positive reviews. “The Secret of NIMH” made its money and actually grossing over $14 million in the US box office. Unfortunately, the film was going up in competition against Steven Spielberg’s immensely popular E.T. and “The Secret of NIMH” faded in the background.
While the film didn’t make a huge amount of money, the film did receive second life in home video as it was released on VHS and DVD and in 2007, a re-release of the DVD featured a high-definition restoration which included color correction and dirt and dust removal from the cells. And that re-release has been given HD treatment for its March 2011 release on Blu-ray.
The film features Don Bluth’s directorial debut and features a story adaptation by Bluth, John Pomeroy, Gary Goldman and Will Finn. The film would feature the voice of Derek Jacobi, Elizabeth Hartman, John Carradine, Peter Strauss, Arthur Malet, Dom DeLuise, Edie McClurg and Hermione Baddeley. But the film would also feature the voices of young talents at the time, Shannen Doherty and Wil Wheaton.
“The Secret of NIMH” revolves around a mouse, a mother named Mrs. Brisby (voiced by Elizabeth Hartman) who’s son Timmy has fallen ill. She visits Mr. Ages (voiced by Arthur Malet), a friend of her deceased husband, Jonathan Brisby, who has diagnosed Timmy with pneumonia and creates medicine for her to give to Timmy. And he should not go outside or else he will die. He must be kept indoors and rest for three weeks.
While returning home, she encounters an enthusiastic crow named Jeremy (voiced by Dom DeLuise) who has a fascination of strings. As the two go home together, Jeremy nearly gets the two killed when they encounter a wild cat and Mrs. Brisby nearly loses her sons medication.
Meanwhile, as she is returning home, Auntie Shrew (voiced by Hermione Baddeley) is watching over her four children including Timmy but the little one, Martin Brisby (voiced by Wil Wheaton) is a sassy boy who would dare talk back to his babysitter and upset her.
Shrew is a bit offended and Mrs. Brisby tries to apologize. Before Shrew leaves the home, she reminds Brisby that the snow has melted which means that plowing time (by the humans) is about to begin and she must move her family out of the field.
Unfortunately, plowing season begins the following morning and everyone in the field are racing for their lives to move out and escape from the area. But with a sick boy and three young children, Mrs. Brisby can’t just up and leave, knowing that little Timmy can die if he doesn’t get his rest.
Fortunately, both she and Auntie Shrew were able to stop the tractor before it destroys her home but now she needs help moving her home while trying to keep Timmy inside. She is told by Auntie Shrew to visit the Great Owl, which many do not live after meeting with it and most importantly, one should not approach the Great Owl during the darkness.
As Mrs. Brisby goes to meet with the Great Owl, a mysterious being is watching over her through a crystal ball. He worries about her for some reason…
The Great Owl tells Mrs. Brisby that in order to move her family, she needs the help of the rats and must meet Nicodeus, the wise and mystical leader of the rats.
While she visits the rats as the Great Owl has told her, she starts to learn how her late husband is a well-respected mouse. But also learns that the rats and her husband including Mr. Ages were part of a series of experiments (used by humans) at a place called NIMH (the National Institute of Mental Health) and these experiments has boosted their intelligence to human level.
Nicodemus gives Mrs. Brisby an amulet that gives magical power to its wearer who is courageous, but within the rats is the evil Jenner who wants the amulet to himself and will do anything to get it.
Will Mrs. Brisby and the rats be able to move her home in time? Meanwhile, NIMH plans to come to the farm and exterminate the rats. Who will save them from harm?
“The Secret of NIMH” is presented in 1080p High Definition (widescreen 1:85:1). It’s important to note that when it comes to older animation, sure we can expect major companies like Disney to invest the money into major restorizationa nd remastering. “The Secret of NIMH” is not a Disney film, it didn’t make a lot of money in the box office (despite its critical acclaim) and although it was remastered in 2007, you can see quite a bit of dirt and specks throughout the film.
There is also a strong appearance of grain and while grain is a good ting for live action films, for animated films, it gives an appearance of how this film has aged. Fortunately, if one can get past that, and focus on the animation and painted backgrounds, you can tell how much this film was a labor of love for the studio and its animators. The painted backgrounds look very good and the the characters are well animated, the colors are vibrant most of the time and for the most part, I’m sure, most will agree that the Blu-ray release is the best looking version of this film thus far.
But I also believe if “The Secret of NIMH” was given a better cleanup, it may have made the film look even better on Blu-ray.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Secret of NIMH” is presented in English 2.0 Surround DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Surround and French Dolby Surround. I wish that the film was given a lossless 5.1 soundtrack but for the most part, dialogue is clear, action sequences and music by Jerry Goldsmith is clear but it’s all front-channel driven. There are some good effects such as the sound of a storm and even the music during those more action-based sequences but it’s not an immersive soundtrack but I suppose it does sound much better compared to its DVD counterparts.
Subtitles are in English SDH and French.
“The Secret of NIMH” comes with the following special features:
- Audio Commentary by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman – An interesting commentary, very informative especially to learn how they created this indie film on a budget. Also, comments of how animation technology has changed so much since the making of this film.
- Secrets Behind the Secret Featurette – (14:25) Don Bluth (Producer/Director) and Gary Goldman (Producer) talk about the film, how the book became an animated film adaptation, the work that went into creating the film and more. Presented in standard definition.
- Original Theatrical Trailer – (2:20) The original theatrical trailer for “The Secret of NIMH”.
For those family with Don Bluth’s work, one can be appreciative of how he took on animated films and made it accessible not only for the children but also a storyline that can attract an adult audience as well.
Sure, we see a lot of it in today’s animated and CG animated films but back in the late ’70s to early ’80s, with Disney being in disarray at that point in time, I am familiar of the story of Don Bluth and fellow Disney animators who left the studio because they were disenchanted. And what later took place in the ’80s was Don Bluth-related projects vs. Disney films and these two would faceoff with each other for the box office.
But one must realize that back in 1982 and even years before that, these guys were looked at as renegades to animated films and to create animated films, it costs a lot of money. Many people gambled their livelihood on this film and put in an extremely long hours and lived stressful lives in order to get this film done and created within their tight budget.
For me, “The Secret of NIMH” is among one of the few great Don Bluth animated films out there but to me, it’s beyond just your animated film that a studio cranks out every year. This film is a textbook example of how many people sacrificed their time in order to get a project that they probably will not make much money from but to do something groundbreaking at the time and not be affiliated with Disney. As many people today respect independent comic book companies created by those who came from the major companies, this group of talented individuals made it all happen without much funding, without much of a payback but still accomplished their goal.
It’s a shame but at that time, I can easily remember how dominant Spielberg’s “E.T” was in theaters and unfortunately, there was no way the creators of the “The Secret of NIMH” would know how long “E.T.” would dominate the box office and unfortunately the animated film (and other films) were buried under the success of “E.T.”.
Granted, one could have hoped for a better restoration for the 2011 Blu-ray release and possibly be given a 5.1 lossless soundtrack but unfortunately, in this day and age, the only company who is able to spend that much money for restoration and remastering on all their classic animated films for Blu-ray release is Disney and “The Secret of NIMH” is not a Disney film.
Still, those involved in the creation of film did manage to craft a storyline that was fun, a bit dark but still manages to be quite entertaining. It was a bold statement for animation during that time and “The Secret of NIMH” holds up well 30-years later. If you are a fan of the film, it’s definitely a worthy upgrade from the 2007 DVD release but if have been spoiled by Disney’s classic animated Blu-ray releases, one should not expect the same quality but just a slightly better upgrade from its DVD counterpart.
“A spy-action thriller introducing spy agent, Jacob Keane. Action-packed, cool locations and an engaging storyline! A character with so much potential. Definitely and hopefully the start of a new spy action film series!”
FILM: Kiss me Deadly
COMPANY: here! Films, Regent, Liberation Entertainment
DVD INFORMATION: Color, Dolby Digital, 16×9 Widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 2.0 English
RATED: R (For Some Graphic Nudity, Violence and Language)
DURATION: 82 minutes
Written by George Schenck and Frank Cardea
Directed by Ron Oliver
Produced by Grant Bradley, George Schenck, Frank Cardea
Music by Claude Foisy
Edited by Eva Contis
Shannen Doherty, John Rhys-Davies, Robert Gant, Ian Roberts, Fraser Brown, John Colton
Ex-Spy Jacob Keane is pulled away from his boyfriend and daughter and back into the high-stakes world of international espionage when his forger partner Marta (Shannen Doherty) reappears after 17 years. With her memory erased, they now must elude a pair of ruthless assassins and a mysterious villain looking to gain classified information at any cost. What ensues is a fast paced game of cat and mouse as Keane must determine who wants them dead, and why.
here! TV, America’s first gay, lesbian and transgender television network, features many film projects featuring up-and-coming talent.
And with the popularity of the James Bond and Jason Bourne films, I’m sure the question had been posed, “What if there was a spy-action thriller film featuring a gay character?”.
here! films decided to do just that with a George Schenck and Frank Cardea film, directed by Ron Oliver featuring the first gay spy thriller featuring Jacob Keane (played by “Queer as Folk” actor Robert Gant).
The film starts off in Berlin with three agents in a mission. Jacob Keane (Grant), Marta (Shannen Doherty) and Jared (Fraser Brown) on an undercover mission that goes wrong. From then on, everyone goes there separate ways.
Years later, Jacob is now a professional photographer taking photos of models and you find out that his working partner at the photo studio is his boyfriend and he is gay.
On that same day, it is Jacob’s weekend to take care of his daughter and the two have a specially planned weekend until he gets home and receives a message on his answering machine from Marta, who sounds disturbed and in trouble and needs to meet with him.
Jacob leaves his daughter with his former girlfriend or wife (who is shown to also be gay) and heads to the airport to find Marta and realizes that she is being followed. Once he meets Marta, something is wrong because she doesn’t even recognize who she is.
Although Jacob and Marta have been out of the spy agency for years, someone wants them dead. The film becomes a cat and mouse chase as Jacob and Marta try to escape and outwit the thugs that are after them and try to find out why Marta lost her memory and who wants them dead.
“Kiss Me Deadly” is an action-packed spy thriller that delivers. The storyline is engaging and Robert Gant definitely is convingly cast as a gay spy hero and does a great job as Jacob Keane.
After watching “Beverly Hills 90210” actress Tori Spelling on here! films “Kiss the Bride”, I admit that I was surprised to find another 90210 an actress, Shannen Doherty, in another here! films project. It’s safe to say that Shannen Doherty’s reputation of a diva is quite well documented in the television industry but after watching her for years on television in a variety of roles, I wasn’t sure if I could picture her in a film that dealt with international espionage. But she did a pretty good job playing the character of “Marta”.
The film also stars actor John Rhys-Davies who plays the character of Dale who once was part of the spy agency and a person who may have clues on why Marta has lost her memory.
I also found the scouting locations for this film, with the budget that the filmmakers had to work with well-thought out and planned. Filmed in New Zealand, just with certain shots, the viewer definitely gets a feeling of Europe and overall, you get that good feel of international espionage because of the beautiful scenery of the lush greenery to the cool and hip areas where the film was shot.
AUDIO & VIDEO:
The film was shot in digital and featured in widescreen 16×9. The audio selections are either digital 5.1 and 2.0.
The bonus features included on this DVD features a director’s commentary by Ron Oliver. For film students, these are the kind of commentary you like to hear because Oliver definitely goes into details from casting, to props, you name it. Also, watching the film and having questions of certain scenes that he wishes he may or may have not used. So, the commentary definitely is worth listening to.
The “Backlot” is a 24-minute featurette featuring interviews with the cast members and how they saw the film, how it was working with the other cast members and working with director Ron Oliver. A really good behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.
Special features also include the trailer for the film.
I was very entertained by this film. As a big fan of spy-action thrillers, I was really impressed with the storyline. There is a lot of action, it was well-acted and most of all, when it comes to this genre, you need a gripping storyline where the action continues from beginning to end. “Kiss Me Deadly” delivers!
Robert Gant is definitely in a position to be the first gay spy agent Jacob Keane and I hope this film series continues because it definitely breaks new ground for a film that is a gay spy hero. Again, I’m sure people wondered what if there was a gay version of James Bond or Jason Bourne and so, you have it with Jacob Keane.
As for Shannen Doherty, she did a pretty good job in this role. And I really think that when Doherty is paired with a director that is able to work with her, especially on the delivery of some lines (which Doherty gave her ideas to Oliver and Oliver was cool enough to listen), she can deliver.
As for the film, with a good international spy thriller, along with the action, you have to have good locations. And the film crew did a good job in capturing that European feel. So, that was another plus that I found with the film.
Although I did enjoy the film, I did find some scenes rather unnecessary. There was a scene where Jacob Keane needed to get rid of his cell phone and so he sees a young guy at the bar and they go to a bathroom stall to fool around and Jacob puts the cell phone in his coat pocket. Now would an agent like Jacob Keane really have to go that far to get rid of a phone?
Another scene was at the bath house, I just felt that there were shots of naked men there just for the sake of having it in the film. I didn’t object to the bath house, I just felt that certain scenes in the bath house went far too long in terms of pacing.
The other little quirk I had was with the agency. The agency plays a big part in this film and whereas spy films such as a 007 film or a Jason Bourne film, you know that it exists and the director (played by Jonathan Colton) is trying to find out why the agency’s former operatives are either dead or in trouble. You don’t get that sense of urgency and the agency, although not a big part in this film, you just see it lingering and makes you wonder, how powerful is this agency? The director does show up in certain scenes especially an important part at the end of the film. But definitely will expect to see more interaction with the agency and Jacob Keane in future films.
Frankly, I feel that Ron Oliver did a great job directing this film and George Schenck and Frank Cardea really wrote a pretty good script. They really did a good job in crafting a film around a gay spy. The character of Jacob Keane is a character that I hope to see again because there is a lot of potential in this character for future sequels.
Definitely a film worth watching!
Seeing these two on the front cover, makes me feel chills. Not sure if the chills are old school “Beverly Hills 90210” nostalgia or just seeing Jenny Garth and Shannen Doherty together on the EW front cover and curious if any bad blood from the past are just bygones.
Nevertheless, the new “Beverly Hills 90210” starts on Tuesday on the CW and both actresses from the 90’s hit show will be making their comeback.
Should I be stoked? Should I relive my past life when I was studying so hard to become an aesthetics surgeon and to get into med school for UCLA or USC and had that letter from my favorite plastic surgeon giving me advice on preparing for a long road for medical school?
Or that day that I thought Jenny Garth was so hot and my girlfriend at the time was just so pissed off that I loved the show just to see her on it all the time?
Or the fact that I had the Jason Priestly and Luke Perry sideburns at one time?
90210 is where dreams are made of and let’s hope the new batch of talent to take on the mantle of the spoiled rich kids of Beverly Hills High School (chuckle chuckle) will do a good job and hopefully bring CW the ratings!
As for the EW cover, that is a look I have never seen from Jenny Garth. Almost like she’s pissed… Do you think the two may have beat the crap out of each other after the photo shoot?
Photo Credit: ludo06 / celebutopia.net
MOVIE COMPANY: Gramercy Pictures
CAST: Starring Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London, Jason Lee, Claire Forlani, Priscilla Barnes, Michael Rooker and more.
DIRECTED BY: Directed by Kevin Smith
PRODUCED BY: James Jacks, Sean Daniel, Scott Mosier
RATING: Rated R
INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE URL: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0113749
TYPE OF MOVIE: Action, Romance
DURATION: 1 hour and 36 minutes
From Kevin Smith, the acclaimed director of Clerks, comes this outrageous story of two loafers, Jeremy London (The Babysitter) and Jason Lee (Kissing a Fool), who spend way too much time hanging out at the mall.
When Brodie (Lee) is dumped by his girlfriend, Shannen Doherty (Heathers, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun), he retreats to the mall with his best friend T.S. (London), whose girlfriend has also left him. Between brooding and visits to the food court, the unmotivated twosome decide to win their girlfriends back with the help of the ultimate delinquents, Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) and Jay (Jason Mewes), whose continuing adventures take the word “nuiscance” to a whole new level.
• Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
• Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, Dolby, Collector’s Edition
• Commentary by director Kevin Smith, and cast members Ben Affleck, Jason Lee and Jason Mewes, produces Scott Mosier and Vincent Pereira
• Production notes
• Theatrical trailer(s)
• More Than an Hour of Deleted Scenes
• Making-Of Featurette
• Production Photos
• Film Highlights
• DVD-ROM Features: Weblinks
• Widescreen anamorphic format
KNOWN DVD SECRET(S):
Enter the “Special Features” screen and select “Deleted Scenes”. Press Right to highlight the robot’s eyes. Press [Enter] to hear a “stop looking for Easter Eggs” message from director Kevin Smith.
Man, I don’t know where to start. When I first watched “Clerks”, I was like “I don’t get it? Why do people love this movie?” and then I saw “Dogma” and “Chasing Amy” and I don’t know…I became a big fan of Kevin Smith’s work…I even started to appreciate Ben Affleck more after watching the three movies.
Although, I didn’t watch the movies in order, I saw “MALLRATS” after the three and I love it. It was very hilarious and the characters were pretty cool! A few people say…why do you like these movies, I don’t get it? The same with “Seinfeld”, many people said, I don’t get it? How do you like a show about nothing. With Kevin Smith movies, there’s more to the story behind the titles and one of the reason why I respect Smith is his appreciation for having fun, his work and fighting for what he believes what is right despite the corporate execs nagging on him (which you will find out after watching the making of “Mallrats” section).
As for the DVD, “MALLRATS” is awesome! The colors are nice, the audio…this is a dialogue movie, don’t expect major sounds… But aside from the cool movie, the special features is what makes this DVD so awesome! The deleted scenes, damn…this is not 5 minutes worth. This movie has more deleted scenes than “GEN-X COPS” which has 45 minutes, this DVD has over an hour! It’s also interesting to find out the certain things they cut out, they pretty much had a different movie beginning than what you see from the original. Wow! Then there is this interesting live commentary where you can watch them watch the movie and comment. You get to use your “angle” button in this section. Featurettes, a cool inside booklet and much more. So much stuff to keep you busy for awhile!
Oh, btw…the most interesting part is to know how the execs were against having Jason Mewes in the movie. Interesting!!
Highly recommended movie…like all Kevin Smith movies! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!
THE MOVIE: A-
THE DVD EXTRAS: A+
THE DVD OVERALL: A