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Gremlins
2002
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When Billy's Christmas present of a Mowgli named Gizmo accidentally gets wet and his babies eat after midnight, devilish gremlins take over the town. - (Baker & Taylor)

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Critics may quibble over the artistic merits of Joe Dante's wickedly inventive little shocker, but for pure unadulterated fun (especially for film buffs, with its numerous cinematic references), Gremlins is hard to beat. Set in the idyllic little town of Kingston Falls, this 1984 dark comedy (which, along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, was directly responsible for Hollywood's adoption of the PG-13 rating) begins on a Norman Rockwell note, as inventor Rand Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) brings home a cute "mogwai" furball he bought for his son Billy (Zach Galligan) in a mysterious Chinese shop on Christmas Eve. But little "Gizmo" comes with three very important pet rules--don't get wet, don't expose to bright light, and don't feed after midnight--which, when broken, turn him into a nasty critter that proliferates like a rabbit, and before you can say "get out of my kitchen," the sleepy town is under attack by a host of gremlins. Gremlins: Special Edition sports a very nice, vibrant transfer and a hell-raising, room-encompassing Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Extras include a pair of engaging commentaries (one a humorous reunion with Dante, Galligan [who is razzed about his mini-afro 'do in the flick], Phoebe Cates, Dick Miller and Howie Mandel]; the other, a more nuts and bolts track with Dante, producer Michael Finnell, and special effects whiz Chris Walas--with scriptwriter and Harry Potter helmer Chris Columbus notably absent); 10 minutes of extra (human, not gremlin) footage, with commentary; the original six-minute "making of," and a photo/storyboard gallery. Highly recommended. [Note: also newly available at the same price, Gremlins 2: The New Batch.] (R. Pitma Copyright 2003 Video Librarian Reviews

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