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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Sabrina Down Under
Sabrina Down Under
Paramount // Unrated // February 7, 2017
List Price: $9.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted March 18, 2017 | E-mail the Author
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Sabrina Down Under:
I have no earthly idea why this DVD is being released now, nor why I chose to review it. (If that doesn't set you up with confidence, reader, then I might need to turn in my reviewer's cap.) Sabrina Down Under is not the greatest. It feels like a made-for-TV movie, which indeed it it. Is Melissa Joan Hart nostalgia so pitched in 2017 that we need to see this lackadaisical 1999 effort? And even if it were, do we still need to see this? Do we?

Sabrina is a teenage witch, (of Archie Comics fame) portrayed with preternatural perkiness by the aforementioned Melissa Joan Hart. With little discernable reason, we find Sabrina vacationing in Australia with her English witch buddy Gwen (played with only slightly less preternatural perkiness by Tara (Strong) Charendoff). While taking in the sights and mooning over a marine biologist, Sabrina discovers a merman. Before you can say "what a fluke!" some eco-friendly wackiness ensues. Meantime, Sabrina's magical cat Salem woos another magical cat.

It's a big world we live in, and there are probably tens of thousands of devoted Sabrina fans. Millions perhaps. To you I say; "go to it!" To the rest of you, just know that sit-coms like Sabrina The Teenage Witch don't stretch well to feature length. Certainly the movie is cheerful enough. It generates a laugh here and there. There is mild drama and intrigue. It's all quite competent, if not delivered with the tenor of people who know they're making something unimportant while getting a free vacation. Even Melissa Joan Hart seems to be phoning it in at times, and for an actress who seemed always to throw herself wholly into roles no matter how slight, that's saying something.

Sabrina Down Under is mild in the extreme. This tale of witches and mermen tries to liven things up by including an ecological message and some intrigue, but it's really little more than sparingly doled out chuckles and numerous music video scenes. As a feature-length episode of a goofy TV situation comedy, there's not much to recommend it, except to rabid fans that absolutely have to see everything Hart is in. Salem never disappoints, but the rest of this movie is all wet. Skip It.

The DVD

Video:
Presented in a 1.33:1 ratio, perfect to watch on your old '90s CRT television set, this movie looks ... probably about as good as it did when it originally aired on your '90s CRT television set. But now we also get a little digital grain to go along with the relatively soft image.

Sound:
Dolby Digital Stereo Audio is presented without damage or deterioration, so dialog is clean, clear, and understandable. Soundtrack songs are frequent and mixed loud, for a harsh, startling experience.

Extras:
English SDH Subtitles are the only extra present.

Final Thoughts:
Sabrina Down Under is mild in the extreme. This tale of witches, (from the TV series Sabrina The Teenage Witch and mermen from the sea tries to liven things up by including an ecological message and some intrigue, but it's really little more than sparingly doled out chuckles and numerous music video scenes. As a feature-length episode of a goofy TV situation comedy, there's not much to recommend it, except to rabid fans that absolutely have to see everything Hart is in. Salem never disappoints, but the rest of this movie is all wet. Skip It.

- Kurt Dahlke

~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com

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