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Always a fan of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt sagas, until about the late ’90s

Always great yarns, some far-fetched (like Sahara), peopled with fun characters and great beach / train reading, unlike Churchill’s The World Crisis or The Second World War.

Although I’ve been deaccessioning my HD discs as Blu-rays became available, it was time to gather the remaining titles, and replace the ones essential to a library (for varying reasons) with the most current Blu-ray variants. And gift them along with a player.

The first to be checked out is Sahara, the 2005 Brent Eisner film, shot on film and finished in 2k.

The original HD disc was released in July of 2006. I’ve not run a complete printing history, but Paramount offered the film on Blu-ray at least as far back as June of 2008.

The overriding question to me at this time is what will these films look like in older transfers, presuming they’ve not been updated, and if some have, which ones?

I was able to pick up Sahara for about $7, and expectations were low.

I received a 2017 release of the Paramount film, and all in all, it was fine, with the exception of a couple of minutes of unpleasantly blown-out highlights at around the 15 minute mark. Other than that, it meets expectations fine, although not up to current tech standards.

As a film, it’s a bit of an odd bird. The Cussler novels took on a far more serious attitude – yes, I know, we’re on am adventure to find a Civil War ironside in the midst of the Sahara Desert – climate change and all that.

What caught me off guard was the bent toward humor. Just odd.

So the first of the replacements worked out nicely.

Image – 3.5

Audio – 5 (DTS 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors – Yes

Recommended (for Cussler fans)

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Published by

Robert Harris


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All Things Film Junkie
Senior HTF Member
Jul 30, 2003
North of the 49th
Real Name
Stephen J. Hill
Director Breck Eisner [son of Michael] fared far better with his remake of The Crazies. This one had a bit of a tortured production history. Cussler actually sued the producer for failing to consult him on the script and the production company counter sued. A fair description of the film is a mildly enjoyable mess.


May 26, 2012
Real Name
Joshua Zyber
Director Breck Eisner [son of Michael] fared far better with his remake of The Crazies.

Eisner has redeemed himself as one of the main directors on the sci-fi series The Expanse, where he's done some really excellent work. This movie, though... What a dog!


Mar 12, 2018
Real Name
Marc Fenneuff
I've always thought The Mediterranean Caper or Iceberg would make better films. Not sure how the producers chose "Sahara" unless it was for the Civil War-related fiction. Sure, the ecological disaster and corporate corruption themses were popular themes at the time, but I'm not sure those were even in the original novel.

A lot of this content would play well in a limited series on streaming. I'd like to see the original stories (up until the last good one, "Cyclops") told in an apocryphal, "alternate-history" form, but I'm not sure anyone else would. I came of age reading these novels, starting with Raise the Titanic! What a rush they were for me at the time.

noel aguirre

Nov 28, 2011
New York City
Real Name
Lol I too have this sitting in my HD-DVD collection but never watched cause I heard it was a terrible movie. I’ll have to check it out one day but definitely not dipping for a blu ray.
It will be fun to see Steve Zahn again after watching White Lotus.