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Krull DVD

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There's something inescapably appealing about Krull, a camp Star Wars-meets-The Lord of the Rings knock-off, that encourages the viewer to overlook it's very many silly shortcomings and simply enjoy the fun. James Horner's rollicking music score--written soon after his similarly memorable contribution to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan--certainly helps, as does the epic-scale CinemaScope photography of the breathtaking Italian landscapes. The costumes and extravagant production design are also great to look at, and much of Derek Meddings' visual effects work still looks striking if not exactly state-of-the-art. Of the cast, Freddie Jones stands head and shoulders above all others as the Obi Wan Kenobi-meets-Gandalf character Ynyr: his trip to the centre of the spider's web is both genuinely scary and genuinely touching. The two romantic leads, Ken Marshall as the Luke Skywalker-meets-King Arthur clone Prince Colwyn and Lysette Anthony (with an overdubbed American voice) as his Leia-Guinevere Princess Lyssa, are mere formalities on which to hang the plot. Ironic fun can be had with the all-British supporting cast, which includes Todd Carty of Eastenders fame and Carry On's Bernard Bresslaw, as well as Robbie Coltrane, Liam Neeson and the gorgeous Francesca Annis. On the DVD: Krull comes to DVD in an anamorphic widescreen print, preserving the luscious CinemaScope look of the theatrical release. The Dolby 5.1 sound lives up to the picture. There are two commentary tracks: on the first, director Peter Yates talks through the movie, with contributions from other crew members and leads Ken Marshall and Lysette Anthony. Oddly, the second audio track is just a reading of an article that originally appeared in the November 1982 issue of Cinefantastique magazine. There's also a half-hour "making-of" featurette originally produced to promote the movie at the time, the usual trailer, stills gallery and three talent profiles. --Mark Walker

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Special-effects-laden sword and sorcery epic. The imminent wedding of Prince Colwyn (Kenneth Marshall) and Princess Lyssa (Lysette Anthony) seems to have secured peace between their two communities - until they are attacked by the Slayers and their leader, the hideous Beast. Lyssa is kidnapped and taken to the Black Fortress, so Colwyn sets out to save her, armed with a magical key known as the Glaive.

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