Thursday, May 19, 2011

GULLIVER'S TRAVELS: Holiday disaster proves unsung hero on DVD & Blu-Ray

OK, it's not Jonathan Swift, but anyone expec-ting that level is beyond naive. What this new version of the durable classic provides is a solid good time for the family, and it will should be better appreciated now, as the DVD and Blu-ray versions arrive, than was possible during the crowded holiday schedule at the end of 2010 when the film was relea-sed (to pretty-near "flop" status).

Swift may have meant his tale as satire, but this newest version of GULLIVERS TRAVELS, starring Jack Black in fine form, while providing a little of the dark side, remains mostly in the realm of feel-good fantasy -- which it delivers well enough to please kids and adults looking for comedy, fun and special effects. Director Rob Letterman (shown at right) and writers Joe Stillman and Nicholas Stoller keep things short, sweet and swift (the movie runs only 84 minutes, inclu-ding credits) and filled to the brim with events -- and a very good cast.

Billy Connolly (as the Lilliput king), Emily Blunt (above, right, as the princess), Jason Segal (above, left, as her true love) Amanda Peet (below, left, with Black as Gulliver's love object) and especially Chris O'Dowd (from The IT Crowd, as the film's main and very funny villain) get into the spirit of things nicely and help the movie keep spinning. Special effects -- mostly the immense size difference between Black, the Lilliputians and the Brobdingnags, plus a nice storm at sea -- are all fine.

Mostly, though, it's the spirit of fun and adventure that keep the movie going.  That, and the maturing of Gulliver, which Black, below, manages very nicely. The movie's out now on DVD and Blu-ray, awaiting your surprised reaction of, "Hey, this wasn't bad at all!"

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