Children of the Corn (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 18 Old 08-28-2009, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 9,090
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked: 467
attachment.php?attachmentid=151183&d=1251491077
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

81






Studio and Year: Anchor Bay - 1984
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 92 Minutes
Genre: Horror

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, John Franklin, Courtney Gains,
Directed by: Fritz Kiersch
Music by: Jonathan Elias
Written by: George Goldsmith based on the story by Stephen King
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 25, 2009







"In their world adults are not allowed.to live"



Film Synopsis:

When a young couple finds themselves stranded in the isolated community of Gatlin, Nebraska, they discover that all of the town's adults have been slaughtered by a religious cult of twisted children who worship a mysterious cornfield deity. Can these adults escape the fanatical wrath of these adolescent zealots, or will they become the next blood sacrifices to 'He Who Walks Behind the Rows?'



My Take:

It seemed like there was a stretch when making Stephen King books/stories into movies was all the rage. Films like Carrie, Cujo, Christine, The Shining, The dead zone, and Salem's lot had everyone clamoring to see what was next. To that point I hadn't read any of his books but was pretty well versed in works that had been released on film to that point. When Children of the corn we were first in line for out tickets. After seeing the film I couldn't help but feel disappointed. The concept of the small town of Gatlin being taken over by its children who seemed to be part of a cult that worshipped/feared the unseen element living in the cornfields was fine but the film just didn't have the compelling impact of the others mentioned. I recall being frustrated by the storyline and not being convinced that there was anything supernatural going on at all until the final moments of the film which were probably its best (in that regard). Watching it today I had very much the same reaction as I did then which is a lukewarm one. Issac was pretty creepy then and twenty five years later that hasn't changed. I can't believe he was nearly 25 when he played this role. Hearing him say Malachai's name still sounds a little eerie. The special effects hold up about as well as they did then. This was a low budget film and that was always obvious but I thought that they made the most of what they had to work with. Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton were very young when they did this movie. It was interesting watching them now after seeing the success they had afterward. The film seems dated now but I couldn't help but have nostalgic feelings while watching it. This included the 80's style clothing, hair, and dialogue. It apparently did well because six Children of the corn themed films have followed it. I haven't seen any of them nor have I had the desire to. This one is special because it was the original and is based upon King's story. I haven't read the book and am not passing judgment on it. From what I understand the movie is generally considered a good adaptation. For me this isn't one of the best Stephen King story based films. I am sure that its fans are thrilled to see it come to Blu-ray. I imagine they will be even happier when they see how good it looks in high definition. Read on



Parental Guide:

The rating is for violence, thematic material and frightening images.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 78



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692



Video: 84


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Children of the corn comes to Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 mbps and lossless Dolby True HD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 3.4 mbps.

Here is a great looking encoding from Anchor Bay Home Entertainment that reflects this catalog Blu-ray release in a positive light. Images are resolute with excellent definition and sharp, lucid, clarity. There are a few soft spots and at times I noticed the video took on an edgy quality but I didn't feel it was excessive or intrusive. Colors are bright with clean rendering and deep primary highlights. Fleshtones are a little on the warm side which gives complexions a mildly rosy tinge. Blacks are dynamic and punchy while appearing just a tad crushed. The films dark sequences exhibited very good balance between light and dark content with appreciable but not definitive visibility of detail in backgrounds. Grain is present and appears moderate with only a few instances where it takes on more prominence. I didn't see any signs of digital noise reduction or other fidelity damaging manipulation. The lossless Dolby TrueHD soundtrack readily handled the elements contained in the recording. The presentation retained a front loaded perspective with well defined and clearly articulated dialogue that extended well into the room. I would have preferred a bit more depth/weight to sounds and voices but that is a limitation of the recording and not the encoding. I would rather have it sound natural than artificially enhanced and hokey. The soundfield is one dimensional but has discernible front channel separation and good clarity. The soundstage opens up nicely during the explosive finale and provides bass response that is proportionate and adequate. Considering the age of this recording dynamics had fair solidity and impact. The rear channels supply ambient extension that broadens the soundfield and enhances envelopment. Compared to today's movie soundtracks this presentation sounds a bit dated however all things considered I was pleased with it.




Bonus Features:


  • Fast film facts pop-up trivia feature

  • Featurettes:

    1. (HD) Welcome to Gatlin: The sights and sounds of Children of the corn - 15 minutes
    2. (HD) It was the eighties! With Linda Hamilton - 14 minutes
    3. (HD) Stephen King on a shoestring - 11 minutes
    4. Harvesting horror: Children of the corn - 36 minutes

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer

  • Still galleries

  • BD-Live enabled


Final Thoughts:

Children of the corn is a popular and mostly well remembered Stephen King story adaptation that for me is an average genre film that lacks the execution of some of his other works that have come to the big screen. I am pleased to report that is presentation on Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay finds it looking impressive for a 25 year old film. This release offers a good compliment of fan friendly bonus supplements that look inside the production from the perspectives of the filmmakers and star Lind Hamilton. If you're a fan this disc belongs in your collection.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 Old 08-28-2009, 04:57 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Mr.G's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,445
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
Liked: 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Films like Carrie, Cujo, Christine, The Shining, The dead zone, and Salem's lot had everyone clamoring to see what was next.

Ralph, thanks for your review, I guess I'll pass on this. Of the films you mentioned here the one I am most eagerly awaiting is the BD release of The Dead Zone. Possibly my favorite of all the Stephen King movies.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Movies

Mr.G is offline  
post #3 of 18 Old 08-28-2009, 05:16 PM
Advanced Member
 
Filmmaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
I've never had a BD where there was as big of a gulf between what I expected it to look like and what it actually did look like. Anchor Bay's done a phenomenal job here and fans will be astounded at the level of clarity on display for such a low-rent, quarter-of-a-century-old B-movie.
Filmmaker is offline  
post #4 of 18 Old 08-28-2009, 05:43 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DJ Matt's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 1,746
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Definitely want to give this a rent. I have it at #1 in my queue. I have actually never seen it before, but I have had people tell me that I have to see it. Its good to hear that the picture quality holds up well on this release. I will be looking forward to it.
DJ Matt is offline  
post #5 of 18 Old 08-29-2009, 10:56 AM
Senior Member
 
gridbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 233
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 17
"OUTLAAAAAAANNNNDERRRRRR!!!"

Will rent!
gridbug is offline  
post #6 of 18 Old 08-30-2009, 08:18 PM
AVS Special Member
 
butsu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks,Ralph for this nice review.This one is worth defintely renting.
butsu is offline  
post #7 of 18 Old 08-31-2009, 09:39 AM
Advanced Member
 
bviss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 527
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Ralph, the lack of oomph you perceive from this 80's adaptation is due to the fact that Children of the Corn was just a short story first published in Penthouse then in a book of shorts called Night Shift. Maximum Overdrive, The Lawnmower Man, Graveyard Shift, and The Mangler all came from this book. Many of these shorts were written when he was unknown and needed a buck, then were compiled into one book. As you can see from that list, making a movie from his short stories isn't quit the same as using his novels. They have messed up some of his greatest stories too though (Thinner, Apt Pupil, Running Man), which were all novellas, but some others like Shawshank and Stand by Me were excellent. Running Man is much more like Minority Report than that Arnold mess they made and I would love to see a faithful remake, and if they ever get The Long Walk made I can die happy. If you haven't read Different Seasons or the Bachman books you should because all these movies came from those 9 short novels.
bviss is offline  
post #8 of 18 Old 08-31-2009, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
Blu-ray Reviewer
 
Ralph Potts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Middletown NY
Posts: 9,090
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked: 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by bviss View Post

Ralph, the lack of oomph you perceive from this 80's adaptation is due to the fact that Children of the Corn was just a short story first published in Penthouse then in a book of shorts called Night Shift. Maximum Overdrive, The Lawnmower Man, Graveyard Shift, and The Mangler all came from this book. Many of these shorts were written when he was unknown and needed a buck, then were compiled into one book. As you can see from that list, making a movie from his short stories isn't quit the same as using his novels. They have messed up some of his greatest stories too though (Thinner, Apt Pupil, Running Man), which were all novellas, but some others like Shawshank and Stand by Me were excellent. Running Man is much more like Minority Report than that Arnold mess they made and I would love to see a faithful remake, and if they ever get The Long Walk made I can die happy. If you haven't read Different Seasons or the Bachman books you should because all these movies came from those 9 short novels.


Greetings,

bviss, thanks for the background.


Regards,

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviews
AVS Forum
My Home Theater
My DVD/HD DVD/Blu-ray Collection
Ralph Potts is offline  
post #9 of 18 Old 08-31-2009, 01:54 PM
Advanced Member
 
Filmmaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by bviss View Post

They have messed up some of his greatest stories too though, [like] Apt Pupil

What?! APT PUPIL was one of the most accurate-to-the-original-novel Stephen King translations yet; if you feel this movie was a "mess up", then you'd have to consider King's original story to be a mess up.
Filmmaker is offline  
post #10 of 18 Old 08-31-2009, 02:09 PM
Advanced Member
 
bviss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 527
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filmmaker View Post

What?! APT PUPIL was one of the most accurate-to-the-original-novel Stephen King translations yet; if you feel this movie was a "mess up", then you'd have to consider King's original story to be a mess up.

I agree the movie was fairly accurate in regards to the book, and so was thinner. What I mean is, they didn't seem to be nearly as good of a movie as they were a book, and I'm not a "the book was better" type. I thought Misery, Shawshank, Green Mile, and Stand by Me were much better made movies. It's easy to make a not so great movie while being faithful to a really good story. Especially with King who is an "all in the journey" type writer.
What I'm trying to say is Apt Pupil and Shawshank came from the same book of 4 novellas, and I really liked both of them tremendously, but I only like one of the movies tremendously.
Some others though were completely changed like Running Man and Lawnmower man.
bviss is offline  
post #11 of 18 Old 08-31-2009, 03:09 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Djoel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 7,522
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
Liked: 160
Hold the train ,Apt Pupil was writen bt SK WOE...Did not know this.

Djoel
Djoel is offline  
post #12 of 18 Old 08-31-2009, 03:48 PM
Advanced Member
 
Filmmaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by bviss View Post

I agree the movie was fairly accurate in regards to the book, and so was thinner. What I mean is, they didn't seem to be nearly as good of a movie as they were a book

But you said "messed up", not just "meh". THINNER may follow the bones of the book but it has some of the most tragic acting and direction (as well as fake-ass prosthetics) I've ever seen. Perhaps you feel that APT PUPIL wasn't altogether as engaging as the book, but how was it actually a faulty film?
Filmmaker is offline  
post #13 of 18 Old 09-01-2009, 07:54 AM
 
mussady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.G View Post

Ralph, thanks for your review, I guess I'll pass on this. Of the films you mentioned here the one I am most eagerly awaiting is the BD release of The Dead Zone. Possibly my favorite of all the Stephen King movies.[IMG]http://www.***************/img/io/iy.gif[/IMG]

Yep, I love The Dead Zone, one of my all time favorites, Eagerly waiting for the release.
mussady is offline  
post #14 of 18 Old 09-01-2009, 12:29 PM
Advanced Member
 
bviss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 527
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filmmaker View Post

But you said "messed up", not just "meh". THINNER may follow the bones of the book but it has some of the most tragic acting and direction (as well as fake-ass prosthetics) I've ever seen. Perhaps you feel that APT PUPIL wasn't altogether as engaging as the book, but how was it actually a faulty film?

This one definitely wasn't as good an example as the other two. It just was a let down for me, and also I felt like it was a good enough story to be more commercially successful/fan producing than it was. Sometimes the movie ends up just being boring when you've read the book, whereas with Shawshank or Misery, seeing them come to life made the story even better. I'm not saying it was a bad movie like Running Man.
bviss is offline  
post #15 of 18 Old 09-02-2009, 09:05 AM
AVS Special Member
 
taz291819's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Huntsville, Al
Posts: 5,983
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filmmaker View Post

But you said "messed up", not just "meh". THINNER may follow the bones of the book but it has some of the most tragic acting and direction (as well as fake-ass prosthetics) I've ever seen. Perhaps you feel that APT PUPIL wasn't altogether as engaging as the book, but how was it actually a faulty film?

"Apt Pupil" wasn't a faulty film, I think the problem lies with the casting of Brad Renfro. He just doesn't have the it-factor of someone that could/would pull that off. I think Ryan Phillipe (ala Cruel Intentions) could have played the part more convincingly.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
taz291819 is offline  
post #16 of 18 Old 09-02-2009, 02:29 PM
Advanced Member
 
Filmmaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by taz291819 View Post

"Apt Pupil" wasn't a faulty film, I think the problem lies with the casting of Brad Renfro. He just doesn't have the it-factor of someone that could/would pull that off.

I don't know...considering how he turned out in real life, I'd say it was inspired casting. Apparently, several years prior, a version starring Ricky Schroeder was being filmed but remains uncompleted due to lack of financing; wonder how Mr. Silver Spoons would have faired as a Nazi-sympathizing lunatic...
Filmmaker is offline  
post #17 of 18 Old 09-03-2009, 07:42 AM
Advanced Member
 
bviss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 527
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filmmaker View Post

I don't know...considering how he turned out in real life, I'd say it was inspired casting. Apparently, several years prior, a version starring Ricky Schroeder was being filmed but remains uncompleted due to lack of financing; wonder how Mr. Silver Spoons would have faired as a Nazi-sympathizing lunatic...

He would pull this one off by going by "Rick".
bviss is offline  
post #18 of 18 Old 09-03-2009, 11:19 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
alfbinet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Old Brooklyn (Cleveland), Ohio
Posts: 3,068
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I watched Children of the Corn blu-ray the other evening. I felt like Ralph did, just not enough Oomph.

Now Apt Pupil on the other hand REALLY made me uncomfortable...but I think is a excellent film. Who would have thought that good, kind, generous Gandalf had been a loony Nazi in a previous performance? And we shouldn't forget David Schwimmer (Ross was my favorite clumsy character on Friends) I would like to see Apt Pupil on BD.

Chad Billheimer rocks as a ISF Calibrator for Ohio.
Roller Coaster season is upon us. Proud member of American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) Woodies Rule!
alfbinet is offline  
Reply Official AVS Blu-ray Disc Reviews

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off