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DVD Shopping Bag: George Pals The Power and Atlantis

The Warner Archive Double Feature

By Robert T. Trate     October 05, 2010
Source: Mania.com

The Power and Atlantis both from the Warner Archive Collection
© Warner Home Video


Sadly, a copy of the new Exorcist Blu-ray did not arrive in time for this week’s column. I did happen to catch a theatrical screening of the Blu-ray last week and in a word it was incredible. While the brief glimpse at the special features was also a treat, the oddity to them was that it did not include any interviews with Father Merrin himself, Max Von Sydow. Nevertheless, The Exorcist (Extended Director's Cut & Original Theatrical Edition) Blu-ray makes my top 5 of the week. In non genre related titles, Warner Brothers strikes twice with two essential Bogart’s movies on Blu-ray. The first is The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; the one where “we don’t need no stinkin’ badges” comes from. The other, is “the stuff that dreams are made of”, The Maltese Falcon. Both have identical special features to their previous DVD releases, but the transfers alone make them worth it.
This week I thought I would give two titles a chance that are a little harder to come by. Unlike the three mentioned above you won’t find them on Amazon.com or on the rack at Best Buy. You will find them as part of the Warner Archive Collection, available at the WBShop.com. Ironically enough, both are by director George Pal (The Time Machine) and not your usual sci-fi fare.
The Power(1968)
Who has The Power? The Power to control minds, move objects, and murder by telekinesis? That’s what scientists at a space lab want to know when they realize they are targeted by one of their own – someone who possesses a superhuman power and a terrifying secret agenda” (Warner Brothers).
This is an interesting, if not unique, plot for this sci-fi fantasy thriller. Sadly, it takes way too long to establish motives for the killings as well as clues to who the killer may be. Initially, George Hamilton is either our hero or our killer. Hamilton, bronzed even way back then, plays a more serious role than his later films such as Zorro the Gay Blade or Love at First Bite. The role of sleuth is clearly not in the cards for him as he is neither engaging nor clever. People are dying constantly and yet he gives us very little to care about. This film also may have the longest build up to a third act ever. Only an hour had past and already there were way too many characters involved to even have an inclining on who the guilty party was. There is a reason you probably have never heard of The Power, it isn’t very good.
“Rejoice, citizens of Atlantis! Princess Antillia, lost upon uncharted seas, has been guided home by intrepid Greek fisherman Demetrios. In a strange act of Atlantean gratitude, Demetrios is cast into slavery. He will endure the macabre House of Hell. Fight for his life before a cheering arena throng in the Ordeal of Fire and Water. And rescue the princess again as they flee the realm’s volcanic doom. Welcome to Atlantis, the Lost Continent, where royal guardsmen wear uniforms that could easily be from the wardrobe of Ming the Merciless and where some unfortunate slaves are turned into bovine-headed beasts” (Warner Brothers).
This film is a great almagram of several different types of films. As Warner Brothers indicated it is a bit of Flash Gordon with an ancient Grecian fisherman as the hero. It also has a lot of Spartacus in its plot as well as elements from the Island of Dr. Moreau. Anthony Hall who plays Demetrios and Joyce Taylor as Princess Antillia are no Kirk Douglass and Jean Simmons. They are not even Sam Jones or Melody Anderson. They flip flop quickly between their love/ hate relationship so much that it is laughable. At the point in which I was ready to give up on the film a giant blue King Neptune emerged from the water; thus sparking my cheese ball curiosity. From this point on the almagram of movies begins making the film incredibly predictable.
George Pal 101
While watching both The Power and Atlantis I realized I had only ever seen one George Pal movie in my life, The Time Machine. Clearly Pal had a style which is evident in all three of these films. The breath taking matte paintings, the miniatures and his film’s messages are staples of the director. Even the colors of the film ear mark them as Pal’s movies. The one thing that also stood out in both The Power and Atlantis was the use of Paul Frees’ voice overs. Unaccredited in his performance, outside the narration, Frees dubs two actors in Atlantis. His voice is also heard in The Power. If The Time Machine is also the only George Pal film you remember seeing, Frees was the rings that talk. There was little to find about their relationship but the use of this particular actor is again a staple of Pal’s films.
Warner Archive Collection on Blu-ray?
There is an excellent chance that many of these films will never bee seen on Blu-ray. I have managed to watch a couple of the sci-fi films from the collection. They have a uniqueness to them as well as a curiosity. These are, after all, films that aren’t normally on the SYFY Channel, AMC or Turner Classics Movies. Personally, I recommend Genesis II starringMariette Hartley, which is an excellent sci-fi Rip Van Winkle type tale. The price is a bit much for each of these titles and not something the average movie buyer is going to spend. My suggestion to Warner Brothers is to package them in giant Blu-ray sets. Pick a theme, artists, genre, or whatever and place several on Blu-ray. Throw in some trailers for a few others and make a night of it. Much like that of Warner Brother’s “Night at the Movies” special feature on the Bogart films mentioned above. These films, in this format, are just going to remain lost without better marketing.
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
1. Beauty and the Beast (Three-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)
2. The Exorcist (Extended Director's Cut & Original Theatrical Edition) [Blu-ray]
3. The Maltese Falcon [Blu-ray]
4. Grindhouse (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]
5. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre [Blu-ray]
HORROR (in October Horror Films Come First)
30 Days of Night: Dark Days (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Kiele Sanchez, Mia Kirshner, Diora Baird
30 Days of Night: Dark Days
30 Days of Night / Prom Night (Two-Pack) [Blu-ray] Starring Josh Hartnett, Melissa George, Brittany Snow
2001 Maniacs [Blu-ray] Starring Bill Moseley, Lin Shaye, Christa Campbell, and Nivek Ogre
A Nightmare on Elm Street Starring Jackie Earle Haley and Rooney Mara
A Nightmare on Elm Street [Blu-ray]
The Blair Witch Project [Blu-ray] Starring Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, and Joshua Leonard
Bram Stoker's Dracula / Wolf (Two-Pack) [Blu-ray] Starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins
Dead By Dawn/Insight Of Evil [Blu-ray] Starring Anthony Cortese and Chris Simis
Dead By Dawn 3: The Revenge Starring Anthony Cortese and Chris Simis
Destined to be Ingested Starring Suzi Lorraine, Kitty Cole, Kris Eivers, and Noshir Dalal
Don't Look In The Cellar Starring Randal Malone, Shevaun Kastl, Tara Shayne, and Jed Rowen
The Evil / Twice Dead (Roger Corman's Cult Classics) Starring Richard Crenna, Tom Bresnahan, and Todd Bridges
The Exorcist (Extended Director's Cut & Original Theatrical Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, and Lee J. Cobb
The Farm Starring Jack Lowe, Louise Cargin, Cathal Reilly, and Neill Fleming
Fingerprints [Blu-ray] Starring Leah Pipes, Kristin Cavallari, Josh Henderson
Ghastly Grabs Vol. 5 - 3 DVD Movies (Cannibal Suburbia, Spree, Ravage) Starring Secret Mango, Donkey Punch Disco, Joe Uras
Ghastly Grabs Vol. 4 - 3 DVD Movies (Sins of the Father, Deader Country, The Stragglers) Starring Pete Barker, Richard Redmond, Isabelle Stephen
Ghastly Grabs Vol. 6 - 3 DVD Movies (OC Babes and the Slasher of Zombietown, Hellbride, Rock and Roll Frankenstein) Starring Elissa Dowling, Eleanor James, Natalie Milner
Grindhouse (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring Rose McGowan, Bruce Willis, Freddy Rodriguez
The Grudge / Silent Hill (Two-Pack) [Blu-ray] Starring Radha Mitchell, Laurie Holden, Sean Bean
The Human Centipede Starring Ashley C. Williams and Dieter Laser
The Human Centipede [Blu-ray]
Ichi 1: Origin (Sub) Starring Nao Omari
Open Water / Open Water 2: Adrift [Blu-ray] Starring Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis, Saul Stein
The Slumber Party Massacre Collection (Roger Corman's Cult Classics) Starring Michelle Michaels, Crystal Bernard, and Yan Birch
They Call Her Cleopatra & One Armed Executioner Starring Franco Guerrero
Troll 2 [Blu-ray] Starring Michael Stephenson, George Hardy, Margo Prey
Troll 2
Yoga (horror movie) Starring Su-Na Cha, Ha-Na Hwang, and Yoo Jin
Bad Lieutenant (Special Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring Harvey Keitel
Battle of Britain (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Harry Andrews, Michael Caine, and Trevor Howard
Battle of Britain Starring Harry Andrews, Michael Caine, and Trevor Howard
Bullitt Starring Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn
Donnie Brasco / Arlington Road (Two-Pack) [Blu-ray] Starring Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Jeff Bridges, and Tim Robbins
Good Bad & Ugly Starring Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Aldo Giuffre
High Tension [Blu-ray] Starring Cécile De France and Maïwenn Le Besco
Home of the Brave Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Brian Presley
In the of Line Fire / The Devil's Own (Two-Pack) [Blu-ray] Starring Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo
La Femme Nikita / Run Lola Run (Two-Pack) [Blu-ray] Starring Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Anne Parillaud
The Long Riders/Stagecoach/Es... West/The Ride Back! Starring David Carradine and Robert Carradine
The Last Rites Of Ransom Pride [Blu-ray]
Mad Max (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Mel Gibson and Tim Burns
Navy Seals Starring Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn
Oxford Murders Starring Elijah Wood and John Hurt
Oxford Murders [Blu-ray]
The Thomas Crown Affair (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Pierce Brosnan and Denis Leary
Full Metal Panic FUMOFFU - The Complete Series [Blu-ray] Starring Luci Christian, Tiffany Grant, and Chris Patton
Beauty and the Beast (Three-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo in Blu-ray Packaging)
Beauty and the Beast (Three-Disc Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo in DVD Packaging)
Ben 10 Alien Force, Vol. 9
Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales Starring Wesley Singerman, Serena Berman, Corey Padnos
Doctor Who: Dreamland
Peanuts Holiday Collection (A Charlie Brown Christmas / It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown / A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving) [Blu-ray]
The Secret of Kells Starring Brendan Gleeson, Mick Lally, Evan McGuire
The Secret of Kells (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
The Year Without a Santa Claus [Blu-ray] Starring Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn
All the President's Men Starring Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden
Dog Day Afternoon Starring Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durning, and Chris Sarandon
The Maltese Falcon [Blu-ray] Starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, and Peter Lorre
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre [Blu-ray] Starring Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, and Bruce Bennett
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Groundhog Day / So I Married an Axe Murderer (Two-Pack) [Blu-ray] Starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Mike Myers, and Nancy Travis
National Lampoon's European Vacation Starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Dana Hill, and Jason Lively
Secretary [Blu-ray] Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader
Three Stooges Collection Starring Larry Fine, Moe Howard, and Curly Howard
Home Alone Collection [Blu-ray] Starring Macaulay Culkin and Joe Pesci
The Last of the Mohicans: Director's Definitive Cut [Blu-ray] Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, Russell Means
The Mission (Amazon Exclusive) [Blu-ray] Starring Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons
Rocky (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Carl Weathers
Rocky II (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Rocky III (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Rocky IV (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Carl Weathers
Rocky V (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Burgess Meredith
Ronin (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Robert De Niro and Jean Reno
Delgo (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Val Kilmer, Anne Bancroft
Hancock / Ghost Rider (Two-Pack) [Blu-ray] Starring Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Sam Elliott, and Will Smith
Invasion of Pod People & Final Days Planet Earth
The Rig Starring William Forsythe, Art LaFleur, Marcus T. Paulk
Splice (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) Starring Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley
All in the Family - The Complete Seventh Season Starring Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton
Benny Hill: The Complete Megaset - The Thames Years 1969-1989 Starring Benny Hill
Blue Mountain State: Season One [Blu-ray] Starring Alan Ritchson, Darin Brooks, Chris Romano, and Ed Marinaro
Blue Mountain State: Season One
Bones: The Complete Fifth Season Starring David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel, T.J. Thyne
Bones: The Complete Fifth Season  [Blu-ray]
Caprica: Season 1.0 Starring Eric Stoltz and Esai Morales
Gunsmoke: Fourth Season, Volume One Starring James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, and Ken Curtis
The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Complete Seventh Season Starring Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod
Medium: Seasons One-Six Starring Patricia Arquette, Miguel Sandoval, Sofia Vassilieva
Medium: The Sixth Season
Monk: Complete Series Limited Edition Box Set Starring Tony Shalhoub, Jason Gray-Stanford, and Ted Levine
Rumpole of Bailey: Complete Series Megaset Starring Leo McKern, Jonathan Coy, and Julian Curry
Sgu Stargate Universe: Complete First Season [Blu-ray]
Chato's Land/Duel At Diablo/Escort West/The Ride Back! Starring Charles Bronson, Jack Palance, and James Whitmore
Day After Tomorrow & I Robot & Day Earth Stood Starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal
Hide & Seek & Omen Starring Robert De Niro
Hoosiers/The Jackie Robinson Story/The Pride Of The Yankees Starring Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper
Jackass Unrated 3-Pack Starring Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Brandon Dicamillo
MGM Sci-Fi Movie Collection (Six Films) Starring Matthew Broderick and Lea Thompson
Robocop Trilogy [Blu-ray] Starring Peter Weller and Ronny Cox
Sunshine/X-Files/X-F... 2 (Triple Feature) Starring Ralph Fiennes
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


Showing items 1 - 4 of 4
Hobbs 10/5/2010 7:14:58 AM

I'm not sure how I feel about old B&W movies being transfered to blu-ray.  I've never really noticed that big of a difference before but then I don't think I really should seeing how old these movies are.  I have Treasure Of The Sierra Madre on DVD and don't see a need to upgrade but if I didn't have it I would be curious.  Great movie for those that haven't seen it, the ultimate movie about greed.

The only old time movie I think might be worth a 2nd watch on blu-ray is Gone With The Wind but I still dont' know how much more you can get out of it from regular DVD to blu-ray.

redhairs99 10/5/2010 8:24:18 AM

Hobbs, I'm not sure about how the blu-ray transfer does with B&W films.  I don't think I've seen one just yet.  The closest I've come to that would be The Wizard of Oz, which is AMAZING in Blu!  You can actually SEE burlap texturing done in Scarecrow's face paint! 

Actually for my money, Blu-Ray really shines when you pick up an older film.  Flynn's Adventures of Robin Hood has never looked better.  Kubrick's Spartacus is quite excellent as well.  And by far, my favorite Blu-Ray transfer has been Hitchcock's North By Northwest.  I can't wait for Psycho later this month!

fenngibbon 10/5/2010 3:15:39 PM

 Doesn't a Blu-Ray sort of run counter to the look and feel of a film like The Blair Witch Project?  "The grainy, handheld amateurish footage never looked so clear and crisp!"

doublec 10/5/2010 10:47:47 PM

Bob, the only George Pal movie you'd seen was The Time Machine? You've never seen War of the Worlds or When Worlds Collide? Not to mention the wonder and the glory that is Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze....



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