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Tommy Lee Wallace
Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Richard Thomas, Tim Curry, Richard Masur, Annette O'Toole, Tim Reid, John Ritter
Writing Credits:
Lawrence D. Cohen, Tommy Lee Wallace

In 1960, seven outcast kids known as "The Loser Club" fight an evil demon who poses as a child-killing clown. Thirty years later, they reunite to stop the demon once and for all when it returns to their hometown.
Not Rated.

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
English DTS-HD MA 2.0
French Dolby 2.0
German Dolby 2.0
Italian Dolby 2.0
Castillian Spanish Dolby 2.0
Czech Dolby 2.0
Castiillian Spanish
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 187 min.
Price: $14.99
Release Date: 9/20/2016

• Audio Commentary with Director Tommy Lee Wallace and Actors Dennis Christopher, Tim Reid, John Ritter and Richard Thomas


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Stephen King's It [Blu-Ray] (1990)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson and Blake Kenny (September 25, 2016)

Many of Stephen King’s books seem so epic in scale that they can’t fit the standard two-hour film frame. This means his works suit the TV mini-series format, and 1990’s It offers one of those efforts.

For a television show that originally spanned two nights and offered about three hours of content, Stephen King’s It actually tells a simple story. Much of the show takes place in 1960, a time when strange events affect the small, quiet town of Derry, Maine.

More and more young children go missing and some end up horribly mutilated. Only a few residents begin to suspect the truth behind these activities.

The plot basically follows the exploits of seven kids, six boys and one girl who call themselves the “Losers Club”. Nerdy outcasts, the horror that affects the town – and their social status – brings them together and creates a lifelong bond.

Each one of them experiences grisly hallucinations at the hands of a sadistic clown known only as Pennywise (Tim Curry). While the gang keeps their visions a secret from one another for some length of time, they realize that they all went through the same thing.

The seven kids eventually enter the sewers to confront – and apparently defeat – Pennywise. However, decades later in 1990, the menace of Pennywise arises again and creates further menace. This brings the adult “Losers Club” members back to Derry to battle evil anew.

The ending of It seems somewhat anticlimactic and disappointing. While Pennywise exudes a fearsome and foreboding visage throughout the show, the source of this evil comes out in the finale – and it seems laughable.

After almost three hours of It, I expected a little more from the ending. Unfortunately, the climax falters and damages what came before it.

While the first half of It focuses on the “Loser’s Club” as children, the second half largely sticks with them as adults. The cast presents a large roster of “B”-level actors such as John Ritter, Harry Anderson, Richard Thomas, Tim Reid and Annette O’Toole.

None of them succeed in their parts. The main actors tend to over-emote and seem… well, like TV actors. The performers fail to contribute convincing turns.

Except for Curry, that it. Pennywise doesn’t appear a whole lot, but when he does, he comes across as creepy and malevolent.

When all is said and done, I’d being lying if I said I didn’t enjoy Stephen King’s It, at least a little bit. However, on the flipside, I can’t imagine myself having the desire to view it again anytime soon.

While the show does have a few creepy moments, it’s can be a dull and lifeless affair. In fact, a majority of the horror comes from fake blood that gets splattered all over the actors every time anyone has a vision. Blood bubbling out of the bathroom sink, blood splashing people when a balloon pops, blood in tea cups, blood oozing out of photo albums – you name it.

Frankly, this gets a little monotonous – and the same goes for much of It. While not devoid of entertainment value, the movie seems too slow and lackluster to become a winner.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus C

Stephen King’s It appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.33:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. That represented a change from the 2003 DVD, which offered a matted 1.85:1 ratio. Given that the movie was shot for TV circa 1990, I’m betting the 1.33:1 provides the correct dimensions – and director Tommy Lee Wallace implies this during the disc’s commentary.

Whatever the case may be, the Blu-ray looked good given its age and televised origins. Though meant for the small screen, It was shot on 35mm film and that allowed it to provide better than expected visuals.

Sharpness largely seemed fine. Occasional soft spots materialized – usually during interiors – but the movie seemed pretty concise and accurate most of the time. I saw no jaggies or shimmering, and edge haloes remained absent. With a pleasing layer of grain, I didn’t suspect any digital noise reduction, and print flaws failed to mar the proceedings.

Colors were acceptable to good. The movie went with a fairly subdued but natural palette that showed reasonable clarity. While the hues didn’t leap off the screen, they looked more than decent.

Blacks could be slightly inky, but they usually were pretty deep, and shadows felt the same. Although low-light shots could be a bit thick, they showed adequate delineation. This became a generally positive presentation for a 26-year-old TV mini-series.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 2.0 soundtrack, I encountered similar impressions. Given the movie’s tube-based origins, the soundscape lacked a ton of ambition, but it added some zip to proceedings.

Music boasted good stereo presence, and effects contributed a little extra breadth. Most of the material focused on the forward channels, and those speakers presented moderate movement/activity. The surrounds usually stayed with general reinforcement, which made sense and seemed acceptable.

Audio quality seemed dated but decent. While a little edginess affected speech, the lines remained intelligible and fairly concise. Music showed reasonable range, and effects gave us mostly accurate and full information. The age and origins of the audio held it back, but I felt the mix worked fine.

Only one extra appears here: an audio commentary from director Tommy Lee Wallace and actors Dennis Christopher, Tim Reid, John Ritter and Richard Thomas. The track edits together a few different sessions – Wallace and Thomas did solo sessions, but Reid, Ritter and Christopher chat together. (Ritter also offers a few comments by himself.)

The participant look at the source novel and its adaptation, cast and performances, characters and story, sets and locations, period details, and related topics. This becomes a perfectly perfunctory commentary that offers a mediocre discussion of the film. While we get a moderate number of insights, much of the material seems fairly lackluster. The commentary feels average to me.

Though parts of Stephen King’s It work well, the mini-series seems lackluster overall. A product of its TV budget, it seems mediocre in most ways. The Blu-ray comes with generally positive picture and audio as well as a moderately informative commentary. It delivers forgettable Stephen King.

To rate this film visit the DVD review of STEPHEN KING'S IT

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