Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Lake Placid

Collapse
X
Collapse
  •  
    Ian Jane
    Administrator

  • Lake Placid



    Released by: Shout! Factory
    Released on: July 8th, 2014.
    Director: Steve Miner
    Cast: Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Betty White, Brendan Gleeson
    Year: 1999
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Directed by Steve Miner, 1999's Lake Placid begins in Maine where a small town Sheriff named Hank Keough (Brendan Gleeson) escorts a fish and wildlife officer out to the middle of a remote lake so that he can go tag some beavers. Shortly after the man heads underwater, he's attacked by something and literally chomped in half. Word gets back to the Museum Of Natural History in New York City that a tooth that could be prehistoric was recovered from the corpse and before you know it, pretty young paleontologist Kelly Scott (Bridget Fonda) is sent to Maine to investigate. She's a city girl and Maine isn't on the top of her list, but as the boss she was fooling around with (Adam Arkin) has been recently busted for messing around behind her back with co-worker (the eternally beautiful Mariska Hargitay in an all too brief role), she figures it's just as well.

    So Kelly heads to Maine where she meets up with Hank and another fish and wildlife officer named Jack Wells (Bill Pullman). They set about trying to figure out what exactly is in the lake when they're surprised by a visit from eccentric crocodile enthusiast Hector Cyr (Oliver Platt). Kelly knows that if he's on the scene, there's a very good chance that there's a crocodile nearby. And it turns out that they're right - there's a huge crocodile nearby and it's pretty hungry. As to how it got there from Asia and how long it's been there in the first place, the only one who seems to know anything is an eccentric old woman named Delores Bickerman (Betty White) with a nasty mouth on her… and she doesn't want to cooperate. As the crew gets closer to the croc, Cyr wants to catch it while Keough want to kill it but despite their disagreements, they're all going to have to work together if they don't want to wind up in the massive beast's stomach.

    Briskly paced and offering nice balance of humor and horror, Lake Placid isn't likely to leave any sort of serious lasting impression on you but it is a fun way to kill an hour and a half. It offers up pretty much everything you'd want it to - a decent monster, some solid gore, interesting and fairly likeable characters and some witty dialogue. Through in Betty White and her infamous profanity laden take on her character and it's easy to see why this one remains a pretty popular watch (despite the fact that its name has been soured by a few dire straight to video sequels). White steals the few scenes that she's in but Pullman and Fonda are good as the leads. He's a no-nonsense 'shoot from the hip' New Englander type (sans accent) and she's a city girl, a fish out of water. You know they're going to fall for one another (is there anywhere in this world a woman's cold, cold heart that can't be melted by the charms of Bill Pullman?) and, shucks, we kind of want them to. They anchor the movie and leave Platt and Gleeson, who are considerably more memorable and fun to watch, to provide most of the comic relief. Their characters are considerably more quirky but in many ways they mirror the other two. Gleeson's Sheriff is a small town guy who calls it like he sees it, Platt's character a rich eccentric who wants to do things his way. Their rivalry is the best part of the movie.

    The monster itself is a mix of practical animatronic effects and computer generated imagery. The digital effects look dated but the practical effects hold up well and as such, Lake Placid has aged with a reasonable amount of dignity. The movie is nicely shot, the lake working perfectly as the primary location for all of this nuttiness to play off of - proving a serene contrast to the chaos that inevitably unfolds. Throw in a fairly effective soundtrack work, strong cinematography and quick, efficient pacing and, yeah, this movie is still pretty much just as much fun was it was in 1999.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Lake Placid debuts on Blu-ray from Shout! Factory's horror imprint Scream Factory in AVC encoded 1080p high definition framed at 2.35.1 in a transfer that is generally quite nice. Colors look really good here, the greens of the forest and the browns of the tree trunks offering up really impressive, natural looking hues alongside the pristine lake used as the primary location. Skin tones look lifelike and natural and the blues of the sky are bright and bold without ever looking boosted. During the few underwater scenes some minor banding and compression artifacts pop up but they're not all that obvious nor are they all that distracting. Black levels are pretty strong and the image is clean, free of any obvious print damage with only some very fine grain visible.

    English language tracks are provided in DTS-HD 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo Master Audio formats with optional subtitles available in English only. Both tracks sound nice but understandably the 5.1 mix is the more aggressive and enjoyable of the two, offering some fun surround activity throughout the movie. Levels are nicely balanced and there's good directionality evident during much of the film, the more action oriented scenes where the crocodile attacks being the most obvious. There are times where the track uses the rear channels less than you might hope but otherwise, the audio here is very good.

    The main extra on the disc is a half hour long featurette made up of recently shot interviews with director Steve Miner, leading man Bill Pullman, director of photography Daryn Okada and a few of the guys who handled the special effects work on the movie. It's a pretty decent look back at the making of the movie, some of the challenges that arose on set, where some of the ideas came from and what it was like working with the lovely and talented Betty White on the movie.

    Aside from that we get a five minute long vintage making of featurette that features some footage shot on set during the production as well as some quick interviews with the cast, a few minutes of test footage showing the animatronic crocodile at work, a couple of TV spots, the film's original theatrical trailer, a decent sized still gallery, animated menus and chapter selection. The Blu-ray case comes housed inside a cardboard slipcover and the insert cover art is reversible.

    The Final Word:

    Lake Placid isn't a masterpiece but it is a whole lot of fun, just good popcorn style entertainment through and through. It features some fun effects set pieces, a good cast and one of Betty White's most memorable appearances and on Blu-ray it looks and sounds very good. Through in a few decent extras and this is a solid release all the way around.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!




















      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • Vile 21 (VHShitfest) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: VHShitfest
      Released on: January 30th, 2024.
      Director: Mike Strain Jr.
      Cast: Daniel Skinner, Brian Southwick, Ronnie Sorter
      Year: 1997
      Purchase From Amazon

      Vile 21 – Movie Review:

      Mike Strain Jr.’s 1997 shot on video horror/sci-fi opus, Vile 21, is set in the future of 2020 and introduces us to a scientist named Dr. Walter Hall (Daniel Skinner) who, through hard work and research, has created an experimental serum
      ...
      02-23-2024, 06:57 PM
    • Black Tight Killers (Radiance Films) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Radiance Films
      Released on: February 26th, 2024.
      Director: Yasuharu Hasebe
      Cast: Akira Kobayashi, Chieko Matsubara, Meiko Nishio
      Year: 1966
      Purchase From Amazon

      Black Tight Killers – Movie Review:

      The directorial debut of Seijun Suzuki protégé Yasuharu Hasebe, 1966's Black Tight Killers opens with a scene wherein a war photographer named Daisuke Hondo (Akira Kobayashi) does his best to capture the action during
      ...
      02-21-2024, 03:08 PM
    • eXistenZ (Vinegar Syndrome) UHD/Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
      Released on:
      Director: David Cronenberg
      Cast: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Don McKeller, Willem Dafoe, Ian Holm
      Year: 1999
      Purchase From Amazon

      eXistenZ – Movie Review:

      Written and directed by David Cronenberg in 1999, eXistenZ may not hold the same level of critical acclaim as some of the director's other films - Videodrome and The Fly remake both come to mind. It is, however, a very original
      ...
      02-14-2024, 03:05 PM
    • Darkman (Scream Factory) UHD/Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Scream Factory
      Released on: February 20th, 2024.
      Director: Sam Raimi
      Cast: Liam Neeson, Francis McDormand, Larry Drake
      Year: 1990
      Purchase From Amazon

      Darkman – Movie Review:

      Before Sam Raimi was famous for the Spider-Man films, he'd cut his teeth one another superhero movie. Originally intended to be an adaptation of The Shadow, Raimi created Darkman when the rights couldn't be obtained for that character. The result
      ...
      02-14-2024, 03:00 PM
    • The Swiss Conspiracy (Film Masters) Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Film Masters
      Released on: February 20th, 2024.
      Director: Jack Arnold
      Cast: David Janssen, Elke Sommer, starring John Saxon, John Ireland, Senta Berger, David Hess, Ray Milland
      Year: 1976
      Purchase From Amazon

      The Swiss Conspiracy – Movie Review:

      Directed by Jack Arnold and shot entirely in and around Zurich, 1976’s The Swiss Conspiracy, based on the novel of the same name written by Michael Stanley, begins when a
      ...
      02-14-2024, 02:51 PM
    • Willy’s Wonderland (Shout! Factory) UHD/Blu-ray Review
      Ian Jane
      Administrator
      by Ian Jane


      Released by: Shout! Factory
      Released on: February 13th, 2024.
      Director: Kevin Lewis
      Cast: Nicolas Cage, Emily Tosta, Ric Reitz, Chris Warner, Kai Kadlec
      Year: 2021
      Purchase From Amazon

      Willy’s Wonderland – Movie Review:

      An unnamed janitor (played by Nicolas Cage) experiences a car breaks down more or less in the middle of nowhere. He manages to get a tow truck to help him out but doesn’t have the money needed to cover the cost
      ...
      02-08-2024, 04:50 PM
    Working...
    X