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Treasure Island - 1990 - DVD

A tale about a fatherless boy finding dramatically different father figures throughout a remarkable adventure, Treasure Island is an entertaining coming-of-age story, with themes of family, loyalty, friendship, trust, and honesty at its core. While Robert Louis Stevenson's classic adventure tale is popular film fare, it's never been done this well. Charlton Heston stars as Long John Silver and Christian Bale as plucky Jim Hawkins in this TNT production. Directed by Heston's son Fraser (who also directed the excellent family fare Alaska), the film remains faithful to the novel, and draws much of the spirit and excitement of the book. The action scenes are first-rate, and if the ship Hispaniola has never looked better or more authentic, no surprise: the ship is the original from 1962's Mutiny on the Bounty. The opening scenes are dark and rich, as they capture the period well, with careful attention to makeup (the teeth, the body grime!) and costuming. Oliver Reed and Christopher Lee are frighteningly effective as Capt. Billy Bones and Blind Pew, and the film's first half-hour is theirs. The tone shifts and lightens when Heston appears as the legendary pirate. Look for Pete Postlethwaite, Julian Glover, and Richard Johnson in wonderful supporting roles. The film marks Bale's segue from poignantly promising child actor (Empire of the Sun) to compelling teen (he would later continue to prove his talent as a versatile young actor in Little Women and Velvet Goldmine)
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