‘The Jewel of the Nile’ Blu-ray Review
‘Romancing the Stone’ was very successful at the box office in 1984, so with the film doing so well the decision was made to make a sequel. Literally a year later, 1985, the sequel ‘The Jewel of the Nile’ is released in theaters bringing in $68 million dollars just shy of the total made by ‘Romancing the Stone’. With Robert Zemeckis not in the director’s chair, Lewis Teague would direct ‘The Jewel of the Nile’. Teague doesn’t fair as well with the film as opposed to what Zemeckis did with the original, but we still get a very enjoyable adventure.
Following a similar opening sequence as we had with ‘Romancing the Stone’, the film opens with one of Joan Wilder’s (Kathleen Turner) novels coming to real life. This time it is Joan Wilder and Jack Colton (Michael Douglas) that are the heroes in the opening of the novel come to life sequence. While things are rosy in the opening for Joan and Jack, things aren’t going so well for both of them once we switch back to actual time where they are on his boat Angelina. Joan is having a bad case of writer’s block which is causing her to not be able to write. This writer’s block is due to Jack being such a distraction.
Jack wants to ride his boat to Greece and Joan just wants to go back home to New York City. The tensions between the two are escalating. Joan decides to switch gears when she meets Omar (Spiros Focas) an Arab leader that wants her to write a biography about him. Joan decides to leave with Omar. While Jack decides to go his way to Greece, none other than Ralph (Danny DeVito) shows up with intentions of his own. Ralph does inform Jack that Omar has different plans for Joan which isn’t good. While all this is going on, there is also the search for the ‘The Jewel of the Nile’ that all parties will try to uncover.
While ‘Romancing the Stone’ was a rather explosive adventure from the beginning, ‘The Jewel of the Nile’ isn’t. This hurts the film a bit as it is rather slow moving the first act. Once things start rolling, the film does get much better. The acting from DeVito, Douglas, and Turner is again superb being the film’s saving grace. The chemistry between Douglas and Turner is what makes the film enjoyable.
I enjoyed the cinematography in ‘Romancing the Stone’, but here in ‘The Jewel of the Nile’ things don’t seem as engaging and at times more lifeless. There were a lot of scenes that just didn’t turn out so well due to the sets that was being used.
The print is presented in a 1080p encode with a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. FOX engineers keep on pace with a great print here in high definition just like ‘Romancing the Stone’ on Blu-ray. The print is rather clean with small hints of grain, but a very pristine image. Colors are great in this film, but there also appears to be some softness throughout.
The audio is presented in an English 5.1 DTS-HD MA lossless audio mix. The soundtrack for ‘Jewel of the Nile’ is much better when compared to ‘Romancing the Stone’. Again, the soundfield does not take full advantage of moving to a high def audio. The surrounds had some effects coming through, but the rears weren’t as engaging as I would have hoped as the DVD for this one was at a Dolby Digital 4.0 sound mix.
Like ‘Romancing the Stone’ we get all of the Special Edition DVD features from the 2006 DVD release. I found the audio commentary with Lewis Teague to be rather interesting and engaging. Again we have a commentary with all three main stars which is also an interesting piece.
- Audio Commentary by Director Lewis Teague
- Deleted Scenes: (“A Toast to Joan Wilder”, “With the People”, “Need Water”, “This Ain’t Easy You Know”, “Jack, I Wish We Would Have Gone To Greece”, and “The Ceremony”)
- “Romancing The Nile: A Winning Sequel” Featurette with Danny DeVito, Michael Douglas, and Kathleen Turner
- “Adventures of a Romance Novelist” Featurette
- Theatrical Trailer
While the story is not as good as ‘Romancing the Stone’, I still had a great time with the film. The Blu-ray version offers an upgraded video and a bit better on the audio front from the previous DVD release. With the addition of the special features imported from the DVD special edition, this makes ‘Jewel of the Nile’ Blu-ray the ultimate edition of the film to own.
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