John Carpenter's Christine on DVD
She was born in Detroit, on an automobile assembly line. And for some reason,
she harbors an unholy presence somewhere inside her.
Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) is an unfortunate soul. His parents are unnecessarily
and excessively unreasonable, he gets picked on by the bullies at school, and
girls wont give him a second look. His only saving grace is his best pal,
Dennis (John Stockwell), who constantly looks out for him.
Then, after school, Arnie sees a 1958 Plymouth Fury thats in such bad
shape, its amazing it even starts. Despite Denniss advisement, Arnie
buys the thing and gets to work fixing it up.
What Arnie doesnt know is that Christine is not the kind of car to just
sit idly by and let someone get between them. So when Arnie finally starts seeing
a lovely young lady, Leigh (Alexandra Paul), its not long before Christine
tries to take her out of the picture. And when a group of toughs smashes Christine
beyond recognition, she comes back with a vengeance. But of course, cars dont
have minds of their own, so all signs point to Arnie. After all, hes been
acting really weird lately, as if hes been possessed by
Can the people that care about Arnie do something in time to save his soul?
Or is the evil car from hell going to conquer the world?
Horror master John Carpenter directed Christine, bringing his trademark style
to the film. Things start off pretty slowly, and take a while to get going,
but get increasingly intense as time rolls on. Nowadays, the movie isnt
all that scary, but in its time were sure it was considered a screamer.
Besides, just because it isnt scary by 2004 standards doesnt mean
it isnt a fine movie. After all, it's a Carpenter flick!
The characters are established early on, including Christine, who is established
as an evil entity within the first few seconds. We know from the first time
we see Arnie that hes the one thats going to be seduced by the car.
And we know theres going to be more fun with Buddy, the bully, long before
we ever make it that far.
Christine is classic horror from a classic director. Its not great cinema,
but hey, its mindless popcorn entertainment. In that regard, John Carpenter
is the master. Well recommended for fans.
This new special edition of Christine is a worthy one. Video is presented in
2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, and while it suffers from age, it looks pretty
good considering. Colors are handled well, and overall detail is pretty good,
but the print looks soft and is hindered by the occasional bit of grain that
covers the screen (if only for a brief moment).
Christine always sparkles, though, as if she has an unworldly power that prevents
her from being affected by
Audio comes in a Dolby Surround track that does a good job of separating the
elements between the front channels. This film could have really used some surround
sound: for example, every time Christines radio turns on, or the engine
starts (or whatever), it should use the rear speakers most prominently to creep
the heck out of you and add to the feeling of impending doom. But anyway, the
audio is pretty good for what it is, so we wont complain too much.
John Carpenter and Keith Gordon provide an audio commentary on the disc. Weve
always enjoyed Carpenters commentaries in the past (particularly those
with Kurt Russell), and he doesnt disappoint. He seems like a genuinely
pleasant guy who just loves making movies, and he always provides plenty of
information about random stuff. If Gordon didnt get really annoying really
fast, this would be a great track.
Also included are 20 deleted and alternate scenes that range from really good
character bits to completely superfluous ramblings. Three featurettes explore
the making of the film, from Stephen Kings original story to the post-production
process. Running about 45 minutes in total, these are much more generous than
we were expecting. Finally, there are a few previews for other Columbia Tristar
horror movies, including Underworld and Kingdom Hospital.
Christine, from Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment
110 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital Surround
Starring Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Robert Prosky
Produced by Richard Kobritz
Screenplay by Bill Phillips, Directed by John Carpenter
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