Lathe of Heaven, any more re-issue info?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by John DrakeLaw, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. John DrakeLaw

    John DrakeLaw Stunt Coordinator

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    Digital Bits has mentioned the re-issued by A&E of Lathe of Heaven. At Image Entertainment it looks like it will be widesccreen, no mention of anamorphic. Newvideo's release was full frame, presumably as it was made as a tv movie. Definitely classic sci-fi, IMO. Wonder if they've found any way to improve the picture quality, sad if it's already the best it can be. Don't know if anyone can find any inside info on A&E's picture quality or whether this is just a letterboxed version of Newvideo's?
     
  2. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Considering this was in rights hell for decades, I consider myself lucky to be able to own it at all. My guess is that it's not likely to be upgraded much more than it is already--wasn't it shot on video? It's been a while.
     
  3. TerryW

    TerryW Stunt Coordinator

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    John,

    A&E recently produced and aired a tv remake of Lathe of Heaven starring Lukas Haas and James Caan. That is what is being released on DVD in October in widescreen. The original version from 1980 was also shot for television but is not supposed to be in widescreen.

    There is also a 25-minute featurette for the new version DVD.
     
  4. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    I think you're confused. The version of The Lathe of Heaven that aired recently on A&E and is coming soon to DVD is a new adaptation, not the classic broadcast from a few decades ago. This new version stars James Caan and Lukas Haas.
     
  5. John DrakeLaw

    John DrakeLaw Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Yes, didn't realise this was a remake. Anyone seen both versions and like to compare? Or give an opinion on the new one?
     
  6. Jason Borchers

    Jason Borchers Second Unit

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  7. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    I just saw the A&E remake - the DVD had been on my shelf for awhile, and now that I've watched it, my assesment is that this was a very good version of the story. Not as trippy as the original PBS version, but solid acting from Lukas Haas and even (surprisingly) from James Caan. Has nice costume design (a bit over the top in places) and very good locations that convey the "near future" very well.

    Before I comment on the story, let me mention that the A&E DVD appears to have a mastering defect, in which the top line of visual information (from the top of the film's frame) is repeated across the very top of the screen above the black bars (In other words, above the top black bar there's a line of the movie). That's kind of annoying if you watch your movies on a monitor, but overscan will eliminate it on television sets.

    This remake is a credible take on the original story. It complements without competing with the original PBS version, because it doesn't try to be a one-for-one remake of the PBS version. It is similar.

    But here's the weird thing: It doesn't try too hard to be a "remake" of the original book, either; in some ways it seems to be more inspired by the original PBS film than by the original novella. Having read the Ursula K LeGuin story, I fully expected that this second film would try to use parts of the story which were in the book but not in the PBS version, particularly the ending/beginning (it's the ending, but it reveals the beginning...if you've read the book you know what I mean). Yet it doesn't! This is the second film that leaves out the book's main dream.

    So there's still room for a third version of this story, one that actually includes the

    most important dream-made-real -- George Orr's initial, long buried effort to remake the world as he lays dying from the effects of a nuclear detonation. In the novella, it was such a huge thing to undo, and was a central part of the mystery because it was so horrific that he himself was trying not to remember it ever happened.
     
  8. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    I prefer the original version myself.
     
  9. George Cifrancis

    George Cifrancis Stunt Coordinator

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    I too prefer the original but the new version wasn't too bad. I really like the haunting score in the new version by Angelo Badalamenti. I wish the soundtrack was available on CD.
     

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