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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Cat's Eye
Cat's Eye
Warner Bros. // PG-13 // October 1, 2002
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Phillip Duncan | posted November 11, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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Stephen King has a long string of films adapted from his work. Some have been good, some bad, and occasionally you get something like "The Shawshank Redemption." More often than not, the films fail to capture the essence of King's stories and they fall short of the printed work. In an attempt to capture the popularity of King's plethora of short stories in the 80's, director Lewis Teague attempted to translate three of them to the silver screen in Cat's Eye.

The stories are linked, only in the loosest sense, by a wandering cat we later learn is somewhat special. Leading off this trilogy of stories is an adaptation of King's "Quitters, Inc." James Woods is Dick Morrison, a businessman who wants to quit smoking. He enlists the aid of a company that promises results, but he may not like the methods in which they deliver. It's an interesting story and one that was slightly ahead of it's time regarding smoking and addiction in the mid-80's. Not terribly creepy and more like and episode of Tales from the Dark Side or the Twilight Zone, it does feature a fine performance by Woods.

The second story is more of the same and is an adaptation of "The Ledge." Robert Hays is Johnny Norris, a tennis pro with a problem. It seems he's slept with the wrong woman and her gambling husband wants to frame him for her murder. In order to avoid disaster, the gambler offers him a way out. He has to walk around the ledge of a skyscraper. Featuring a slight twist at the end, it's still not a movie material story.

With the first two out of the way, the third and only original story starts. The wandering cat is again captured and this time it's actually for good. Amanda wants to keep the cat, but her mother says that cats steal little girls' breaths and that she won't have the animal in the house. What her mother doesn't know is that trolls really do the breath stealing and it's up to kitty to save Amanda when a troll threatens to take hers. This extremely silly story is balanced with a competent looking troll, but again it's not movie material. I remember loving this sequence when younger, but I guess the years have not been kind.

Overall, this is really just a collection of low-budget stories tied together in a movie format. Better stories have been seen on all of the similar themed serial television shows like the Twilight Zone. Pick it up for a dose of nostalgia and a menacing troll in a jester's hat getting thrashed by a cat.

Video: For a 15-year old film with a minimal release, the widescreen 2.35:1 transfer looks good. It's a little dark overall, but there are no glaring errors and the sharpness and contrast all look nice.

Audio: The Dolby Digital Stereo Surround track, unlike the video, shows its age. It's mastered low and the vocals and sound don't match evenly at times. There's not much to hear in the way if effects and the overall sound isn't great, but serviceable.

Extras: For a budget disc like this, director Teague offers up an interesting commentary. He reveals many of the tricks they used to complete the film and the effects shots. It's not the best commentary ever, but considering the film, it's great. The standard trailer and cast and crew highlights are here as well.

Overall: Pick this disc up on the cheap for an interesting combination of stories and a good commentary from a director that enjoyed his work. At least give it a rent and see if you remember like it was the first time you saw it.

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