There have been so many "B" movies available on film and dvd, that it's easy to group them all together, or at least in categories(B-Westerns, B-horror,etc) but few make for great entertainment on the scale that "20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH" does! In addition to dated, but engaging stop-motion effects created by Ray Harryhausen, the story unfolds in a great, campy way at every minute. After a rocket returning from a mission to Venus crashes in the ocean near Sicily, a small creature is found, craving sulfur(which apparently can be found on a farm in bundles!) As the creature grows rapidly, danger ensues and it needs to be captured.
The acting is appropriately stilted at times, and the projection backgrounds are noticeable and entertaining in the best way! The film doesn't just hold up(in terms of fun value)50 years after its original release, it's actually improved upon with age! Even with its "flaws," it's much more entertaining than the majority of sci-fi/adventure films of today.
SONY certainly recognizes this fact as do filmmakers like Tim Burton, featured within an extra here, interviewing Harryhausen.
SONY has gone so far as to offer the original(restored)version of the black&white film, along with a "colorized" version. While film purists, like myself, should be initially rattled by this decision, the colorized version doesn't fail to impress. It doesn't suffer the way virtually all other colorized films have suffered. The "angle" button allows one to switch between the two for comparison, although we noticed a slightly longer than usual delay between switching, so it's not exactly seamless. Still, the colors feel accurate and really help offer a very different, fun version. Since Harryhausen has already stated he originally wanted to shoot in color, but was limited by budgeting, it doesn't seem like a real sin. Regardless, fans of the original are sure to be happy with the re-mastered b&w version on hand.
SONY has provided the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 release. While the transfer varies in amount of grain, depending upon the scene, it's notably sharper than the dvd version. The colorized version varies in stability at times, but overall, it's surprisingly solid, and enjoyable! The film can't look better than it did originally, and this transfer does a great job in replicating that original image throughout.
SONY has provided a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix, and while it has been created from the original mono mix, it manages to impress, with well chosen effects, and terrific fidelity. While not an aggressive mix, by any standard, it's solid and entertaining.
SONY has provided a variety of extras, including a still gallery, interviews, featurettes and a great commentary!