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DVD Review: KINGDOM HOSPITAL

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PHOTOGRAPHY

STEPHEN KING'S KINGDOM HOSPITAL

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DVD Details: 12 episodes on 4 discs, Previews, pilot commentary, featurettes, previews, DVD insert (with Stephen King essay)

STUDIO: Columbia

RELEASE DATE: 10-10-2004

PLOT: A group of patients and doctors team up to solve the mystery of Kingdom Hospital and stop the evil that has been haunting Kingdom Hospital before the hospital is destroyed.

ANALYSIS: KINGDOM HOSPITAL is a novel for TV in a way. It is all in it's pacing. Like a few novels, there are low points and padding that doesn't add to the story. I didn't really care for the baseball player episode and the series finale could have been shorter (and cut down on the flashbacks). KINGDOM HOSPITAL is full of humor and eccentric characters plus some characters are looking for something. Dr. Hook is trying to expose another doctor while a patient tries to get to the middle of teh mystery of Kingdom Hospital.

VIDEO/AUDIO: All 12 episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, featurettes are in Full Frame (with letterboxed clips from the show). Colors and blacks are good, but sharpness could be better. If you pause during any episode, you can see how much of a grainy look there is and details tend to get lost when you pause during movement on the screen.

Audio is in English 5.1 Dolby Digital with the option of French subtitles or English Close Captions (if your TV has close caption ability). Dialogue, music, and sound effects can be heard clearly. The episodes sound as good as they were or better than when they first aired on TV.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

INSIDE THE WALLS: THE MAKING OF KINGDOM HOSPITAL is the story of how Stephen King wanted to do an American remake of Lars Von Tier's THE KINGDOM, how all 15 hours were written before shooting began, and the whole show being done like a film with block shooting (all the scenes in the operating room for the series would be filmed together). In some ways, this 15 minutes featurette is a promotional fluff piece.

PATIENTS AND DOCTORS: THE CAST OF KINGDOM HOSPITAL is another 15 minute fluff piece where the crew of the show talk about the characters, and the actors talking about the characters they play and how their characters interact with other characters.

DESIGNING KINGDOM HOSPITAL: A TOUR shows the Kingdom Hospital set in various stages , the production designer showing the set in various stages of the production, and the costume designer talking about the costumes for the show.

THE MAGIC OF ANTUBIS shows how Antubis was created using CGI, test footage, an animatronic version that didn't work well and yet they used it as a stand-in during filming, and other bits of info in what is my favorite featurette of this set.

All of the above featurettes are on disc 4. On disc 1 is a commentary track for the PILOT episode with Stephen King, Craig Baxley, Mark Carliner, and James Tichenor. They do cover some of the same info that is in the featurettes.

PREVIEWS: KINGDOM HOSPITAL, STANDER, SEINFELD, ANNACONDAS- HUNT FOR THE BLOOD ORCHID

FINAL ANALYSIS: If you couldn't get into the series the first time around or loved it when it was on (and some may have missed some episodes), I suggest you check out the whole series that is now on DVD.

this DVD Review is (c)11-10-2004 David Blackwell. This review cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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