Since I was in elementary school I have been fascinated by the UFO phenomenon. I have also followed closely the cases of abduction, with two cases standing out as credible. The first is the case of Betty and Barney Hill that happened in September of 1961 in New Hampshire. The second is the case of Travis Walton that happened on November 5, 1975 in Snowflake, Arizona. In 1993 the movie FIRE IN THE SKY was released by Paramount Pictures on the Walton case. Though aspects of the case were embellished for the film, it is still a very enjoyable film, at times terrifying. Up until now, a decent release of this title was non-existent. Now, thanks to [Imprint], this film is available with a variety of extras.
I have been looking forward to seeing this movie again for quite some time, but made up my mind I was going to wait until an official blu-ray release. I feel this movie deserves this kind of respect. I have read the books on the Travis Walton case so knew what was embellished and why. Despite this I have always felt that this was a great film, whether you feel it is a documentary or a horror film.
FIRE IN THE SKY has never looked better than it does here. You’d never know it was almost 30 years old. The picture is crisp with sharp colors. The atmospheric scenes also stand out, looking much creepier than I had remembered. A couple of scenes appear grainy but this is how it looked in the theater as well. This is no fault of [Imprint] and I believe cleanup of these scenes would’ve been impossible.
The audio is also excellent here, taking full use of surround sound. Hearing sounds effects go from speaker to speaker just adds to the terror that Travis is experiencing on the screen. One of my favorite aspects of this film is that CGI was not used extensively. The sets were real and the aliens were very convincing puppets. Though the CGI technology for JURASSIC PARK was in full swing at this time, the producers went with practical effects, which to me always looks much more organic.
The extras are also a great addition. Though I did not watch the movie with audio commentary by director Robert Lieberman, I did watch the others. For me one of the highlights was “Fear From Above: The Practical Effects of Fire In The Sky.” Visual effects art director Harley Jessup and visual effects supervisor Michael Owens are very candid. You can appreciate even more the visual effects when they describe how they did everything, especially with how they filmed the weightlessness scenes.
There are also two interviews, one with Robert Patrick and one with D.B. Sweeney. It was interesting to hear how both actors went into their roles, even talking to the actual people that were a part of the Travis Walton event. The interviews themselves are just done through audio, with clips from the movie thrown in. I wish these could’ve been filmed but it is entirely possible that they were recorded during the pandemic.
This movie has achieved a cult following over the years and I am actually surprised that a version like this hasn’t been released sooner. Thank you [Imprint] for making this a reality.
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