DVD Review: The Triangle

While falling to some of the usual mini-series issues, The Triangle is wildly successful in keeping its viewers entertained. It's clichéd to say it "has everything," but that's the case here. This is one of the best pieces of original content the Sci-Fi Channel has produced in years, and it's a pleasant break from their usual Saturday night atrocities.

The mystery is here in The Triangle, and the weirder things get, the better it becomes. It's mostly because of the unexplained nature of the actual Bermuda Triangle that keeps it going, knowing the writers have a free canvas to play with. It's a creepy, campy, and wildly original build up.

For a piece of direct-to-cable work, the acting is phenomenal. Lou Diamond Phillips shines here, nearly playing a mute for most of the movie. It's an emotional performance, and his best in years. Underrated Sam Neil portrays the head of massive company, looking to figure out why his ships are going down inside the Triangle.

That's enough of a set up to keep this moving forward for nearly five hours. It still slows down in spots, and there's plenty of room for this to be cut down without losing anything, but it's a minor complaint as the occurrences like rapid aging, disappearing and reappearing people, and mysterious storms begin to wreak havoc on a small group of people. Each new addition keeps the story flowing, while causing a build up of unanswered questions.

The ending is worth picking apart, as its certainly not as original as the rest of the story, and in all actuality more than a little disappointing. However, it's pulled up by incredible special effects and constant production values, the key piece missing to most of Sci-Fi Channel's programming. It's spectacular to just sit back and watch, regardless of how it's actually playing out. You have plenty of time to realize you've been let down later.

While it's easy to be highly critical of this one, the entertainment value is wonderful. It can be taken on so many different levels, from straight camp to flat out serious, and that helps it appeal to a wide audience. Don't expect a revelation and you're sure to have a blast with this one. (**** out of *****)

Video is mixed here, from flawlessly clear moments to those drenched in grain and compression. Sharpness can be stunning, while at other times, small details are too murky to pick out. It's disappointing that it's not consistent, especially when you're spoiled by how stunning it can look. With a little more attention, this would have been gorgeous. (***)

However disappointing the video is, audio is even worse. This barely qualifies as a 5.1 mix since the rear speakers barely make a sound. There are numerous moments for this to happen, but nothing comes through like it should. Aside from some stereo work (which is also all over the place and nowhere near consistent), this is firmly planted in the center with all of the dialogue. Some of these action sequences should have been a DVD audio showcase. (**)

Extras are sparse, including a slew of trailers, some of which are not appropriate given the content of the film (in other words, don't let your kids click on any of them). The final extra is a 20-minute "making of" piece that aired on the network for the very reason of promoting the show. While there is some mildly informative content, it all leans towards being a commercial. (*)

There also deserves to be a little commendation for the DVD packaging. While slipcases are far too common and annoying, when they look like this, it's not much of a concern. The spectacular holographic case is definitely eye catching, and the heavy gloss on the back makes this one stand out. Hopefully it's enough to make people pick this one up.

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