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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 February 2011
This collection contains the colourised versions of `It Came From Beneath The Sea', 20 Million Miles To Earth' and `Earth vs. The Flying Saucers'. Each film is the two disc edition, each comes in a normal size DVD case, all collected into a card slipcase.

It Came From Beneath The Sea - Another entertaining creature feature with special effects by Ray Harryhausen. The basic plot is along the lines of giant squid is forced to rise from the depths in search of food, and finds man to be a tasty snack. The American Navy set out to stop it, and there is a final show down in San Francisco involving the destruction of the Golden Gate bridge and a rail station. For various reasons of the plot, the navy decide the only safe way of destroying it is to explode a bomb inside the creature's brain. It's supremely daft hokum, but as entertaining an 80 minutes as you are likely to watch.

The real joy of this film is Harryhausen's special effects. These never fail to entertain and amaze. The giant squid is pretty well realised and this lends a certain air of professionalism to the film. A must see for all creature feature fans.

Earth vs. The Flying Saucers - Someone is knocking Earth's space probes out of the sky. Dr. Russell Martin and his new bride don't know it yet, but it is the work of aliens in flying saucers, who are specifically trying to contact Martin and give him a message. The message is that Earth will comply with their demands or die. For reasons best known to the aliens they then give Earth 56 days to surrender, giving Martin time to build a new super weapon to defeat the invaders. But will it work? We find out in a thrilling climax as the aliens invade Washington.

At times the film almost feels like a follow on from `Day The Earth Stood Still', due to the likeness of the invaders to the robot Gort in that film, and the presence of Hugh Marlowe. At other times you can see the clear debt that the makers of `Independance Day' and `Mars Attacks' owe this film. It is an entertaining slice of classic `50s sci fi hokum, complete with some bad acting, shaky premise and terribly scripted lines. But when Harryhausen starts to work his magic and most of Washington's monuments are sestroyed by the invaders you cannot help but be entertained.

20 Million Miles To Earth - This is an entertaining creature feature from the height of the genre. A manned mission has flown to Venus and back, picking up a specimen of the local life form whilst there. We enter the story just as the space ship is returning to Earth. It crashes in the Mediterranean, killing all but one of the crew and casting the specimen jar adrift. The jar is found and opened by a young boy who sells the contents to a local zoologist. The egg contained therein hatches and a Ymir is born. The film then follows the struggle between Ymir and man, as the creature starts to grow in an unfamiliar world. The Ymir just wants to be left alone and is by nature not an aggressive creature. But after unprovoked attacks it is driven mad, leading to a final thrilling showdown in then Coliseum of Rome.

It's a reasonably well constructed plot, and moves along at a good pace from one incident to the next. The acting is of variable quality, from the good performance of William Hopper as the space ship captain through to the terrible Italian accents of some of the Sicilian fishermen. But this is all part of the fun of these old B movies. The real joy of the feature is Ray Harryhausen's model work. He manages to imbue the Ymir with a real personality, and we feel much sympathy for the creature. The special effects are quite something, especially in the elephant fight and the rampage through Rome. From a technical and artistic point of view it is as good as only a Ray Harryhausen film can be.

These films have been colourised, though there is an option to watch the original black and white version, and one can even toggle between the two using the angle button on the remote. The colourisation works very very well. The films were originally conceived in colour, and would have been filmed as such except that the cost of colour film was prohibitive, and apparently colour film stock of the era was not of a good enough quality for Harryhausen to make his special effects. I feel that seeing them in colour is how they was originally intended, and the colourisation process has been done so proficiently you cannot see any running or overlay. The discs of special features are all fairly similar, containing a short piece about the colour process which is interesting, an interview between Tim Burton and Harryhausen and a short piece about the composer. All in all it is an excellent package.
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on 22 June 2015
Has anyone else had a problem playing these discs ?
This is my second set and both had the same problem. the disc plays fine for ten minutes or so then switches to black and white and then the picture goes crazy and the lip sync goes. I found if I press the angle button on the remote I get an odd menu on the screen and then restart I pick up again at the right place. However after another ten minutes or so It happens again.
I like the films, so I want to keep them, but it is a very frustrating way of watching them.
I would be interested if anyone else has had similar problems, my DVD player is quite good and I have never had to press the "angle" button before.
After a few months I will delete my review. Thanks.
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on 7 February 2011
I enjoyed all 3 of these films, both as entertainment and for the wonderful stop motion effects. It's fascinating to realise how these B movies now resonate in popular culture. You can see the direct links to Godzilla, Cloverfield, Mars Attacks, The Host, Independence Day and most apocalyptic sci-fi from these films (so much so for some Harryhausen deserves a screen writers credit). But there is also a feel that is across a lot of cinema today; a fascination with fantastic images, and direct imagination that comes from these films.

But enough waffle. These are solid adventure films that rattle along with great charm. The effects are great, and even without allowing for their age they are entertaining films. 20 million miles is probably the most accomplished and is a real classic, well paced good to watch with great lighting especially in the barn scene. Earth vs The Flying saucers is unintentionally hilarious with fantastic dialogue, and great saucers. My favourite is It Came from Beneath the Sea. It roars along, and is a tight film by any standard. What does date it is the acting - Kenneth Tobey as the naval captain is a caricature of a 50s sexist, so greasy and weird looking in the film he oozes slime and seems to belong to a different film altogether.

A sold five stars for the films and their VFM. It's disappointing the extras aren't much and are largely duplicated across all 3 films. A bit cynical to do this and then sell them in a box set. However, I can't bring myself to knock a star off
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on 17 July 2014
As an admirer of Harryhausen's work I felt that the second discs to each of the films in this collection were of more interest than the actual films. You do get a choice of watching the films in the original B&W version or the modern enhanced colour version. Not necessarily the best of Mr Harryhausen's efforts. In fact in parts the animation, whilst technically good, is a bit naff with its presentation. I was not at all impressed by the flying saucers. As for the thing from the sea. . .well ... .what can I say? More comedy than thrilling? As for the monster from space I had a lot more sympathy for the monster than the wooden actors. Perhaps that is what Mr Harryhausen intended.
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on 24 October 2013
When I first saw these films years ago never would I have believed that someday I would see them again but then in colour. Just fantastic. Some earlier attempts at colourising films were in my opinion a flop, the Laurel and Hardy films to name one example. I had to actually check up to see if I was right in thinking I had originally seen these in B&W as the colourising is without fault. Worth every penny if you like early Sci Fi films.
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on 8 January 2012
Having the choice of the old Black & White or updated Coloured versions I thought was brilliant for all viewers.
There is also a bonus disc with each title, with everything you could want to know even compared to the modern day DVD titled films.

Great entertainment from all film tracks and a must in the Sci-Fi enthusiast, and can't recommend these films enough.
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on 22 August 2014
This is a very good collection with a choice of either the original B &W or colorised. The colorizing is the best i've ever seen and there is a huge set of features. At last a collection which recognises the genius that is Ray Harryhausen.
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on 24 May 2015
Great price. Animated creations far outpace the living characters and Ray H, as with all the movies he was involved with truly is the Creator. Kitsch classics, given a master touch.
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on 19 March 2015
I love these sci fi B movies, its all a question of taste with this kind of film. You have to take them for what they are, or hate them :-)
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on 2 September 2016
Amazing, great service, thank you
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