DVD Review: JULES VERNE’S MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (From SYFI Channel)

BY: Laurie Coker

GRADE: C-/B-

RELEASE DATE: 29th May 2012

DISC INFORMATION: 1 Disc – Wide-Screen Edition

RUNNING TIME: Approximately 91 minutes

SPECIAL FEAUTURES: None

GENRE: Sci-Fi

STUDIO: Green Apple Entertainment

Price: $26.98

I have been attempting to read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne to my grandson off and on for some time, but honestly the author is far too verbose for my now 8 year-old little fellow. He did enjoy Journey 2 Mysterious Island, starring Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine, but for me it fell a bit flat – too silly and over-done for my tastes, but the SYFI Channel decided to make a version of its own and Green Apple Entertainment sends it to DVD on May 29th.

This version of Verne’s novel begins with the tale of five Northern POWs from the Civil War escaping in a hot air balloon only to land on a desert island, where these Yankees discover they must face sinister pirates, frightening mutant creatures and of course, a volcano about to go erupt. They also find two pretty women from the future (2012) whose plane crashed after a flight near the Bermuda Triangle. tale of five Northern POWs from the Civil War escaping in a hot air balloon only to land on a desert island.

The cast including: Gina Holden, Lochlyn Munro, J.D. Evermore, Caleb Michaelson, Edrick Browne, W. Morgan Sheppard, Susie Abromeit, and Pruitt Taylor Vince – does an fine job and this says a great deal coming from me because I LOVE to heckle made-for-TV movie actors, they are notoriously bad – not all, but many.  This cast and exceptional direction by Mark Sheppard make up for less than average special effects and the at times corny dialogue, but it is the dialogue that makes this film more Verne’s in feel and acceptable as a family film.

My grandson and I both liked it and Sheppard does offers some exciting and suspenseful moments. For me, the finale left me a bit unsatisfied, but Case (my grandson) reasoned that the ending was meant to feel mysterious – I bright little fellow. I wanted more, but he felt wholly satisfied with the ending, which I won’t spoil here.

I am placing a B-/C+ in my grade book. We watched it on a Sunday morning and I am glad we did. With this, the SYFI Channel and Green Apple Entertainment offer us good family entertainment. Could it have been better? Perhaps, but as a made-for-television movie, it shines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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