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Stephen King's The Stand
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 (Standard TV Ratio)
Audio: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
Features: Interactive Menus; Scene Access; Production Notes; Cast/Crew Filmographies; "Making Of" Featurette; Storyboard Comparisons; Make-up Gallery; Audio Commentary (featuring Author/Screenwriter Stephen King, director Mick Garris, editor Patrick McMahon and actors Rob Lowe, Ruby Dee, Miguel Ferrer and Jamie Sheridan)
The Movie: Based on Stephen King's mammouth (1100+ pages) book, the ABC mini-series aired over 4 nights in May of 1994. The tale is this: A bio-engineered super-flu is accidentally released from a government lab. In 4 weeks time, 99% of humanity is wiped out! The survivors here in the good ole' USA become physically linked through their dreams and begin to assemble into two camps: the good are located in Boulder, CO and led by the ancient and angelic Mother Abigail (Ruby Dee). Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe, Adam Storke, Ray Walston, Bill Fagerbakke, Ossie Davis and many others are among her flock. Meanwhile, the evil have assembled in Las Vegas, NV. (where else?) and have fallen under the spell of the charismatic but evil demon, Randall Flagg (Jamie Sheridan). His legion include Miguel Ferrer, Matt Frewer, Laura San Giacomo, Corin Nemec and many others. The time comes when these two armies must fight and the good must make their stand.
The Picture: "The Stand" is the first movie to be put on the much-heralded DVD-18 disc. This means that only one disc (using both sides) can hold plenty of stuff. Anyway, Artisan Entertainment has done a wonderful job transferring the 16mm print to DVD. The picture is sharp, clear and the beautiful colors of the American Southwest shine.
The Sound: As this is a standard TV sound mix, I hear no problems. The death and destruction come out clear as a whistle!
The Extras: Here is where the disc excels. The featurette is short-but-sweet, while the commentary is entertaining and insightful. Make-up stuff and storyboard comparisons are also treats. This is what all DVDs should contain whenever possible. Bravo, Artisan!
Conclusion: I loved this damned movie! I loved the damned book! Most of all, I loved the damned DVD! This is one of the scariest movies ever made. The first part of the series is terrifyingly-realistic, as the plague sweeps across America, causing society to collapse; oh, and the nightmares are creepy as well. Besides "Salem's Lot" (refer to my review on that), "The Stand" is a worthy Stephen King adaptation and an even worthier DVD to add to the collection. Slap it on the player and take the highway to Hell!