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JON9000
03-14-2008, 03:27 PM
I watched this on dvd last night since I hadn't seen it in 20+ years and all I can say is "wow." I was iffy about it as a kid, but I am pretty blown away now. With the possible exception of those by Danilo Donati (Flash Gordon) I cannot think of another movie with cooler sets. That observatory has got to be on the short list of coolest ever. It's a shame they had to take it apart.

The old school Jim Henson creatures were really slick as well, easily a step up from most of those in the original trilogy, and certainly on par with Yoda and Jabba. I totally remembered the Skeksis and the podlings and all the others, especially Frank Oz's Chamberlain, with his sly smile and "hmmmmm" noises.

Another thing I wasn't able to appreciate as a kid was the use of color and the attention to detail. Imagine if a whole movie took place on Felucia, that is the level of care given to one of the environments, filled with creatures everywhere. The movie takes its time with these as a few moments are spent simply tracking the camera along a forest floor.

The only downside is that the story is a pretty paint by numbers "quest" deal, and the movie drops a lot of hints as to what the resolution will be from the start.

Oh, and it marks the only time I was fearful for a muppet!

Anyhow, give this a spin, as it appears that a sequel is in the making.

Jargo
03-14-2008, 04:41 PM
It's on my 'to buy' DVD list. just not sure which version is the best one to get.

jjreason
03-14-2008, 08:22 PM
This is yet another movie I keep meaning to watch again. I used to read the novelization again and again... but I think I only saw the movie once. If I run into a well priced DVD copy, it will be mine. oyes.

Banthaholic
03-14-2008, 09:48 PM
I've always been a big fan of Labyrinth, but never saw the Whole Dark Crystal movie yet. I had a ex-girlfriend that loved it. Maybe one of these days I'll have to see Dark Crystal

stillakid
03-14-2008, 10:09 PM
I had a DVD splurge moment a few weeks ago and put the new Dark Crystal and Labyrinth releases on the pile. I truly enjoyed the special feature docs. For every reason that the ESB Yoda works better than the Prequel CG versions do, the creatures in Dark Crystal and Labyrinth are as real to me as the stunning Jennifer Connelly. The Muppet Show is still a favorite of my own kids (and me) and the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth films are held in the same light. We can only hope that any future work is of the same caliber.

Jargo
03-14-2008, 10:17 PM
i've seen three different versions out there. one is the anniversary version and one is the superbit version. i forget what the other one is. it confuses me. frankly if a better version comes out the older inferior ones should be deleted.

Banthaholic
03-16-2008, 12:38 AM
The Muppet Show is still a favorite of my own kids (and me) and the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth films are held in the same light. We can only hope that any future work is of the same caliber.

Rumor has it that Disney has started the process of writing the next Muppet Movie http://www.muppetcentral.com/news/2008/031208.shtml

I can only hope this has some promise. For the Post Henson Muppets I enjoyed Treasure Island and Muppet's Christmas but Muppets from Space and Wizard of Oz didn't do much for me.

I recall in grade school when we got to see a Muppet movie it was like the the best day of the year. I can only hope they make something worthwile that I can watch with my kids.

El Chuxter
03-16-2008, 12:43 AM
My niece is fifteen and doesn't know what the Muppets are, aside from some guys in a show at Disneyland. :( It's sad that these older shows like Muppets, Muppet Babies, Fraggle Rock, even classics like Bugs Bunny, just don't have a presence with kids anymore. They should stop airing carp like that stupid show about talking pinatas and put a half hour of this older stuff on.

Speaking of which, when was the last time you saw The Little Rascals or Our Gang on TV? Yeah, it has stereotypes that weren't problematic at the time but seem tasteless today. But I loved them growing up, and I never even considered becoming a racist.

IIRC, I read somewhere two or three years ago that a certain "love him or hate him" animator who was born in Russia and likes to make Mace Windu jump really high is going to direct....

preacher
03-17-2008, 05:31 PM
Pinata? Hell, what about that rediculous spongebob squarepants. I swear I think I may have watched 2 minutes of one episode of that idiot. It doesn't have near the intelligence of good ol Bugs Bunny. I can watch a Loony Tunes episode and catch something new each and every time. Pink Panther is another series that has always cracked me up.

These new cartoons are just dumb. I can't sit with my kids I watch a single second of it. Its enough that I can hear whats going on. The animation is much lower quality. They have dumb characters, dumb writing, and dumb plots. Its ushering in a generation of idiots. For as silly as Bugs Bunny is at least it has thousands of references to great classics.

Sadly, Dark Crystal isn't appreciated. Its a cool flick with great sets as has been pointed out. But because there aren't references to various parts of the human body, and the movie is slower paced kids (my kids at least) dismiss it. But yeah Dark Crystal is up there on my list and has been for many many years. mmmMMMMMM Gelfling!

JON9000
03-17-2008, 05:49 PM
But because there aren't references to various parts of the human body, and the movie is slower paced kids (my kids at least) dismiss it.

The pacing was an issue to me as a kid also. I think that is why it appeals to me more as an adult. That, and perhaps the huge plasma television and DVD resolution opened up the visuals in a way the old pan and scan days on a 27" television couldn't.

The jokes are above the heads of children anyway- like when Kira sprouts wings and Jen is incredulous:

"Of course you don't (have wings), you're a boy." Kids won't pick up on the Freudian reversal of a joke like that! :lipsrsealed:

K M Toydarian
03-18-2008, 05:38 AM
The jokes are above the heads of children anyway- like when Kira sprouts wings and Jen is incredulous:

"Of course you don't (have wings), you're a boy." Kids won't pick up on the Freudian reversal of a joke like that! :lipsrsealed:

Dark Crystal is one of my favorite movies!
I remember the Mad magazine that spoofed it and it had that wing joke in it. Classic.
The Dark Crystal 12" figures from Sideshow are some of my favorite collectibles.

Jargo
03-18-2008, 07:24 AM
so, which version on DVD should I buy?

El Chuxter
03-18-2008, 09:22 AM
I have the one that looks like it's in book binding from a few years ago. I have no problem with it.

JON9000
03-18-2008, 11:25 AM
I hear the 25th Anniversary has a much cleaner transfer than the old version. Superbits come with absolutely no extra features. I would get the 25th if I were to purchase it or wait for the inevitable blu-ray release.

Jargo
03-18-2008, 12:54 PM
I'm refusing to buy anything Blu-Ray. it's far too expensive. and i can't be arsed buying a new machine just to play the disks or a stupid sized tv to watch it on. I live in a very small house where the tv is mere feet away . what do i need a wall sized screen for. it'djust screw up my eyesight. regular DVD's are just fine. stoopid blu-ray.

and I'm really torn now. I've found the anniversary version and I've also found the collectors edition. The collectors edition has all the extras like deleted scenes and galleries of designs etc. the anniversary edition just seems to have the movie across two disks and nothing else...... I really hate it when etailers don't know what they're selling and have scant information about products.

JediTricks
03-18-2008, 10:54 PM
Dark Crystal freaked me out as a kid, too grotesque for the age most parents were bringing their kids.

As far as I know, there's nothing rumor about it, Genndy is indeed directing the Dark Crystal sequel, currently titled "Power of the Dark Crystal" (which honestly is awful).

Jargo
03-19-2008, 08:40 AM
I was reading an interview with Lisa Henson last night, she said it's CGI enhanced but still uses puppetry. Jen And Kira will be voiced by the original actors Stephen Garlick and Lisa Maxwell and it'll probably go straight to DVD with no theatrical release. Gendy is directing and Brian Froud is onboard as production designer while Trevor Jones will again be scoring it. Jerry Nelson also returns to add his skills as voice talent and who knows maybe puppetry too.

Qui-Long Gone
03-19-2008, 09:49 AM
I loved this movie, but yes, JT is right, it was too dark for kids.

I can't see a sequal working without the Skeksis...and since they were joined with the urRu to reform the urSkeks....who are the bad guys?

Man I am such a dork for knowing those names...;)

Jargo
03-19-2008, 12:56 PM
the Urskeks get split again. somehow. and the action happens beneath the world. below the castle in the dar place. where a renegade gelfling helps one of the race of U-mun people steal a crystal shard which plunges the upper world into chaos and darkness. so back come the skeksis and garthim. Mystics and aughra. Jen and Kira in supporting roles. and a production team who seem to be culled from original movie team members and people who are psyched about and sympathetic to the themes and notions Jim Henson was. Alan Lee of LOTR prod design fame is onboard too. CGI will be used for backgrounds and settings. for hiding the puppeteers and for special effects. the thrust of the movie is puppetry same as was in 1982.

aparently. no mention of Fizzgig though. :(

El Chuxter
03-19-2008, 02:06 PM
As long as they work in the old lady with one eye who sounds like she's pinching a loaf whenever she sits down, it can't go wrong.

Droid
03-19-2008, 02:35 PM
I think that the number of people who know enough about the Dark Crystal to have there be a sequel is too low for this to make sense. Who are they shooting for? What kids today have seen the Dark Crystal? Are they hoping people posting in this thread will see it?

El Chuxter
03-19-2008, 02:43 PM
Seriously, I'm assuming they'd be going straight to DVD, trying to get the people who loved the first Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, and who bought Mirrormask.

JON9000
03-19-2008, 05:55 PM
As long as they work in the old lady with one eye who sounds like she's pinching a loaf whenever she sits down, it can't go wrong.

Edie Brickell?

Jargo
03-19-2008, 08:36 PM
interestingly Jim Henson didn't want a sequel. and in some respects the plot of this movie is just retreading old ground. but part of the reason they're doing it is further Jim's obsession with using puppetry and technology together. I can understand why Lisa Henson would get behind this heart and soul rather than produce something Muppets based. even if the story on 'the power of the dark crystal' sucks it will be an interesting experiment. I think kids would get into this after they've seen the narnia movies, harry potter and LOTR. probably more so than a lame Muppets movie with weak jokes and bad songs. Dark crystal may be a forgotten movie, it may be gloomy in tone but it certainly has more depth and detail than any Muppet movie. they're a more sophisticated audience these days. kids expect more than stuffed animals singing and dancing. and if there are kids who want that then they only have to wait til disney churns out cash cow 'new' Muppets ADD friendly fluff in the very near future.

JediTricks
03-19-2008, 09:19 PM
That's weird, I just read that this movie was being done based on Jim Henson's old notes for a sequel, before he got disenfranchised with the whole situation due to the public's inability to grasp the project.


BTW, The Muppet Movie is one of the movies that really gets me, while the others are all more commercial and flat by comparison, but I actually thought Muppets from Space kinda worked on a similar, if less powerful level. I felt that Gonzo's story was pretty good, he's an unusual character and the movie speaks to other unusual characters out there and where the fit in life.

Jargo
03-19-2008, 10:47 PM
from what I've read the writer of this movie is using his memory of a treatment he pitched to Jim for a sequel that Jim turned down. citing that technology wasn't advanced enough to do the project justice. Not forgetting how much dark crystal cost at the time and how much time and effort it took to create.

maybe audiences weren't ready for it back then. puppets and humans sharing the stage worked as evidenced with Muppets projects and Yoda but tere was nothing else at that time that was comparable and Jim was known for his lighter humorous side. dark crystal was so leftfield it's not surprising it didn't really speak to Henson project audiences. over the years whenever i've spoken to people about the movie they always cite Fizzgig before any other character, probably because he resembles a Muppet the most out of all the characters.

Now people are used to the weird and wonderful of fantasy. grotesque animatronic creatures and nightmarish visions. it's highly unusual these days to have characters bursting into song and expected that there'll be more orchestral soundtrack than dialogue. people will willingly sit through extremely long cinematic passages with nothing but visual and musical clues as to what's happening. so in that sense i can accept that Jim was reticent about a sequel. it would explain why Labyrynth is the movie it is. full of song and puppets behaving in a far more Muppet like way. Labyrynth is a compromise of sorts. slamming the Muppets and dark crystal together.
The storyteller is another example of that compromise. I'm sure jim would have loved that to be all puppets. at the very least it gave him a place to experiment further.

I don't think it matters that the sequel goes straight to DVD. I think what does matter is that it's a piece of work that actually adheres to Jim's vision. and dedication to his craft. The Muppets have spun of and gone bad. everything they get used for is just pure commercialism. there's no joy and life left in them. they're all wrong and just puppets now.
It seems like the power of the dark crystal is a project dedicated to Jim. a tribute. as if to say 'look what we can do now thanks to you.' And if it only has a small audience at least it'll be an appreciative one. probably one that sat in a theatre watching the original all those years ago, open mouthed in awe. it doesn't mean people have to love the movie it's enough to know that it's a movie coming from a place jim wanted to be at. a place jim strove for and inspired others to strive for too.

2-1B
03-19-2008, 11:31 PM
As long as they work in the old lady with one eye who sounds like she's pinching a loaf whenever she sits down, it can't go wrong.

May I suggest she try the Squat Toilet ? That could alleviate some strain on her bowels. :thumbsup: