Sheena on DVD
To the uninitiated who might think Sheena is merely Tarzan with a bra, think
Okay, well maybe it is, but despite the action and the animals, this movie
version of Sheena is basically a romance.
A young white girl orphaned when her parents are killed in an African cave,
Sheena is adopted by the Zambouli people and grows to spectacular womanhood
there. For some reason she can communicate telepathically with animals, a nifty
skill that'll come in handy later in the film.
Sheena's living her life, minding her own business, when she finds herself
embroiled in an adventure and a romance simultaneously. The adventure involves
a corrupt prince who would be king - and ruler of the innocent Zamboulis, while
the romance is with a TV reporter (Ted Wass) who until he meets Sheena is pursuing
a much more conventional story.
Sheena, the movie, tries hard, and there are some nice moments in it, but on
the whole it seems to suffer from not really knowing if it wants to be campy,
epic, erotic, or merely fun. What results is mostly a mishmash that's made watchable
mostly because of how Tanya Roberts as Sheena fills out - and gets out of -
her skin bikini. But she can shoot a mean arrow, until push really comes to
shove and it rather inconveniently takes her the entire remaining supply in
her quiver to off the bad guy.
And that's too bad. The director and co-writer behind Sheena were also responsible
for the Dino de Laurentiis remake of King Kong in the 1970's (which, despite
how it was pilloried by the press, was a pretty good movie except for the giant
mechanical ape at the end).
Still, the film gives us some beautiful Kenyan locations, Tanya Roberts nude,
a couple of airplanes (always a welcome sight), and some mild adventure. But
on the whole, this is really just a mostly empty "guy flick" that fans of Ms.
Roberts (who isn't bad as Sheena) will eat up with a spoon.
Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it could have been much more.
The DVD is pretty good, though not state-of-the-art - not that it matters for
this flick. The digitally mastered anamorphic widescreen picture is mostly great
(it's also offered in a Pan&Scan version on the other side of the disc),
with some grainy spots and/or faded colors in places. The audio, which is Dolby
Surround (Pro Logic), is good, though not great, and there isn't a lot of surround.
Extras include some bonus trailers and the usual subtitles.
Sheena, from Columbia Tristar Home Video
117 min. anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 TV compatible/ Pan&Scan
(4x3 TV compatible), Dolby Surround
Starring Tanya Roberts, Ted Wass, Donovan Scott
Produced by Paul Aratow
Written by David Newman and Lorenzo Semple, Jr., Directed by John Guillerman
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