CHRISTINE Special Edition

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DVD Review: CHRISTINE Special Edition

by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 110 minutes in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, commentary with John Carpenter and Keith Gordon, 20 deleted and alternate scenes, 3 featurettes, filmographies, and previews


PLOT: A teenage geek buys an evil car that soon causes some murder and mayhem while possessing the teenager over time after making him feel cool.

ANALYSIS: Once John Carpenter's plans for an adaptation of FIRESTARTER fell apart due to the poor box office of THE THING, he went to do CHRISTINE. CHRISTINE is one of the rare times when a movie is in production when the novel isn't even out yet. Although this one doesn't reach the greatness of HALLOWEEN or PRINCE OF DARKNESS, CHRISTINE is a solid John Carpenter movie with some genuine drama, some horror movie moments (like the car on fire scene), and one of the best scores ever in a John Carpenter movie.

Anyway people do have fond memories of the first car they bought as a teenager. The same car they bought to be cool and/or to get the chicks. Also some would buy a car to fix it up and make it look cool. The car is a part of the high school experience for many. That is what may attract some people to this movie including going to the drive-in to make out with their girl in the car.


VIDEO/AUDIO: CHRISTINE is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Columbia did a beautiful job with this transfer. The colors and blacks fit the way the movie looked like when it was released. The picture is nice and sharp. I see no artifacts and no noticeable dirt.

Language tracks are English and French (Dolby surround), Portuguese and Spanish. Subtitles can be in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Thai. Dialogue can be heard clearly. The music and sound effects come across strongly.

SPECIAL FEATURES: On this DVD, there are three new featurettes. The featurettes have interviews with the cast (Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, and Alexandra Paul) and crew (director John Carpenter, the producer, and others). CHRISTINE: FAST AND FURIOUS (29 minutes) tells the story of a by-the-seat-of-your-pants production of a movie based on a Stephen King novel from the multiple cars fixed up to do certain things, the dangerous "car on fire" stunt, the practical joke Alexandra Paul pulled with her identical twin sister, and the stuff that had to be shot later (or reshot). Tons of behind-the-scenes production photos and little behind-the-scenes production footage is seen throughout this featurette and the other two. CHRISTINE: FINISH LINE (7 minutes) talks about the music, how the movie did, and the good reviews it received. CHRISTINE: INGITION (12 minutes) is the story of the movie's pre-production and the actors cast for the movie (including a story about how Kevin Bacon was cast only to back out because he was offered FOOTLOOSE). The 2003 copyright on one of the featurettes suggests that the Special Edition of CHRISTINE might have been originally planned for DVD Release last year for the movie's 20th anniversary.

Then the movie commentary with director John Carpenter and actor Keith Gordon (who is now a director) features comments about the production of the movie, about the camera moves/lighting and editing, the locations used, and John explaining to Keith how some of the sequences were done. They talk about directing, praising other actors in the movie, and CHRISTINE was a fun movie to work on. Their recollection of the movie is a little rusty at times.

Also on the DVD are twenty deleted and alternate scenes (26 minutes in total) in 2.35:1 widescreen that is a fascinating look at what gets cut from movies. The second deleted scene is funny (Dennis picks up a part that fell off Christine as Arnie drives Christine to Darnell's. The quality of the scenes have lots of scratches and dirt, and makes these scenes look like they have come off film spools that have been abused from several showings in a movie theater.

Rounding out the special features are filmographies for the main members of the cast and crews, and some previews.


FINAL ANALYSIS: Columbia has put together a nice Special edition of CHRISTINE. Even though CHRISTINE isn't one of my favorite John Carpenter movies (and luckily it isn't one of his worst), this DVD has made me appreciate the movie a little more. Now I hope we eventually see Columbia put together Special Editions of GHOSTS OF MARS and STARMAN. The CHRISTINE Special Edition DVD won't disappoint fans of the movie, the director, and Stephen King.

this review is (c)9-22-2004 David Blackwell. this review cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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