Treasure Island (1990) – DVD Review

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Treasure Island 1990 -DVD

Treasure Island features some fairly household names, including Charlton Heston and one of Christian Bale’s earliest roles. The film draws on the novel “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson and features Bale as Jim Dawkins and Heston as the one-legged cutthroat Long John Silver.

So… by what criteria do you review a film just released on DVD and over 12 years old. Is it fair to compare it to current films like Transformers or X-Men? Or do we compare it to other films of 1989? How does this movie compare to Pet Sematary, Dead Poet Society (one of my all time favorites), or Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Or do we just review the quality of the DVD transfer in terms of picture and sound?

Let’s try a bit of everything …

The Story (C+) – If we stay true to reviewing this film based on other films released in 1989, this movie isn’t going to compare favorably to the top films of that year. It feels like the film plods along (131 minutes long!) but was engaging enough so that I didn’t fall asleep. It got a bit better as the film went on but there was a long build up just to get to Treasure Island.

As with most pirate movies and buried treasure journeys, this will be a lot more interesting to guys than girls (as my wife’s snoring through the movie will attest).

The DVD (C) – We watched this it was on a 52” Sony XBR 6 with surround sound. That’s a lot of TV and sound for an old film and we definitely noticed the issues. The biggest was the poor audio quality. It seemed the ‘sound effects’ were much louder than the speaking volume and there were certain parts of the movie where it was simply easier to try and guess what was being said than try to strain and hear.

The picture was adequate and seemed to make the transition well. There were some amazing shots which we would credit the director for and make the whole experience quite realistic.

The Conclusion (C) – If you don’t want to read the book for school the movie should suffice … otherwise it’s a pretty long two hours.