Category Archives: james venable

20,000 Leagues Under Turok

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ~ The 1952 Disney version is by far the best and most entertaining of this Jules Verne classic. I love the classic Disney opening with the book opening just like their animated films, even though this was their first live action film. Seeing Kirk Douglas sing “Whale of a Tale” is worth watching all by itself. Douglas and James Mason as Captain Nemo make this one rock. It does swerve into True Life Adventure territory from time to time and gets preachy in some places (as in the book) but this is still one of the best. I love Douglas’ comment about Peter Lorre’s eyes looking like soft-boiled eggs. One note about the closed-captioning on TCM however – it’s very streamlined, changing the dialogue slightly for time, and it didn’t make me very happy. Otherwise this is a great flick.

The Enchanted Cottage ~ Perhaps one of the greatest love stories ever filmed, this 1944 remake was originally written by Arthur Pinero to give hope and inspiration to soldiers who had been wounded in the first World War. It’s a magical film, and I watch it every time it airs. Heartily recommended.

The 3 Worlds of Gulliver ~ Despite the fact that they are missing at least one if not more worlds that Gulliver visited this is still a pretty entertaining flick. The highlights include a wonderful score by Bernard Herrmann and not enough effects by Ray Harryhausen. Enjoyable for kids for than adults.

Turok: Son of Stone ~ Turok first began as a Dell Comics hero back in 1954, and began a rocky (pun unintended) journey through several other comics companies, like Gold Key, and later Valiant and Acclaim. The character has long achieved cult status eventually leading the property to become a video game and now, a direct-to-DVD movie. Always a reliable formula, Turok was a Native American warrior who stumbles upon a land inhabited by dinosaurs, hilarity ensues. Yes, Turok is a great character and it’s a shame that he’s pretty much wasted here. The animation is much the same simple stuff seen in the recent Marvel DVD features, no frills stuff. About all I can recommend here is the excellent score by James Venable which is superb.