Irascible Scottish scientist James Mason discovers evidence that an explorer made thejourney of the title. Determined to do likewise, Mason sets off for Iceland (there to descend avolcanic crater that will lead to the centre of the Earth) in the company of Pat Boone (whoseaccent must be heard to be believed). Along the way, they are joined by feisty widow ArleneDahl and towering Icelander Peter Ronson. They are not alone in their journey, however, andthey must confront huma… villainy as well as natural dangers (which include some greatdinosaurs). Not all the special effects, of course, stand up terribly well today, but plenty are stillstrong, and the sense of adventure is utterly infectious. I’ll confess, I’m biased: this thing markedme but good as a kid. Even the cheesy aspects (I mean, c’mon, Pat Boone!!???) areadorable.
The only option for the English track is the 2.0 stereo, and I’m not convinced that is entirelya good thing. You’ve got the usual “surround voices” effect that comes with older films remixed.A fair bit of buzz from the rear speakers comes along with the wraparound dialogue (which itselftends to vary in volume). The music, on the other hand, is rich, booming, vast. Great stuff. Andwhen the sound effects are loud (explosions and whatnot), the surround treatment is verynice.
The layer transition is a bit awkward, and there is a little bit of edge enhancement visible. Onthe other hand, the print is in practically perfect shape, the blacks are fabulous, the flesh tonesaccurate, and the colours are nothing less than superb: very rich, with deep, gorgeous contrasts.The film is at long last in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, a treatment it has long deserved.
Pretty slim pickings here: a restoration comparison, and a clutch of trailers (Journey to theCenter of the Earth and nine other SF trailers). The menu is basic.
Not the first film to feature a lost world with dinosaurs. But easily one of the best all-agesadventures put to celluloid. Seeing this on DVD is an unqualified treat.
Special Features List
- Restoration Comparison