The Bubble (1966) – By Duane L. Martin

A man charters a plane to try to get his pregnant wife home before she has the baby.  Along the way, they run into a severe weather disturbance and are forced into making an emergency landing on what the pilot thinks is a runway, but in fact turns out to be a street.  With the wife desperately close to giving birth, they happen to luck out.  A cab approaches, but the driver just keeps repeating the same thing over and over again, and appears to be in a trance.  In fact, everyone in town is like that.  They just keep repeating the same words and the same actions over and over again.

They manage to get the wife to the hospital and she gives birth to a healthy baby boy.  Unfortunately, everyone in the hospital has been affected by this strange phenomenon as well.  The longer they stay there, the more they realize that something is horribly wrong, and ultimately end up discovering that the whole town, which is basically a living anachronism from various time periods, is completely encased in a bubble from which there’s no apparent escape.  But who did it?  There’s someone watching them all, and now and then someone’s taken up into a spaceship of some sort.  Desperate to escape, they go on the run, trying to find any weakness in the bubble where they can either break through or dig their way out of it, but will they escape before it’s too late?

Ok, I’m just gonna say it.  This movie sucks.  It feels like it could be a pretty spiffy Twilight Zone episode, but it jumps around so much timewise that it just becomes a confusing mess.  Also, not revealing the aliens or the reasons behind what was going on really left me feeling like the whole episode had just been a big waste of time.  The acting isn’t really all that great either, especially on the part of Deborah Walley, who played the wife.  However, that being said, the story isn’t the reason you need to see this movie.  The reason you need to see this movie is because of the Space Vision 3D.

What is Space Vision 3D you may ask?  Well, it’s not that crappy 3D with the red and blue glasses, and to be honest, I’m not sure what it was in the theaters, but on this release, it’s entirely designed to be viewed on 3D televisions and 3D blu-ray players.  Fortunately, because I’m just awesome like that, I have both.  As such, I was able to enjoy this film in all of it’s 3D glory, and let me tell you…it was a serious trip.

Like pretty much all 3D movies, this film had a lot of scenes specifically made to be visually suited to the 3D effect, and while some of it didn’t work that well from a placement standpoint, like a pilot’s chair that appeared to be forward in some scenes and behind the pilot in others, the depth of the 3D effects were really incredible and really bring you into the film.  One of the early effects you’ll notice is a shot from the outside of the plane, looking down the wing toward the body.  It really looks like there’s a wing sitting right there in front of you that attaches to the body of the plane.  Some effects, like the pilot’s chair and the baby in the incubator were a little less successful, but still cool to watch nonetheless.

Unfortunately, 3D stuff has never really taken off the way it should have, and I believe that’s largely because of the greed of the media companies.  3D films often cost about ten dollars more than their two-dimensional counterparts.  I believe people are willing to make the investment in the hardware, which nowadays really doesn’t cost all that much more than the non-3D hardware, but all the extra expense of buying 3D movies is putting people off of the technology.  That’s just my opinion of course, but that’s what I’ve observed to be the case.  I know I certainly don’t buy 3D versions of films just because of the extra cost.  Fortunately, this particular release from Kino Lorber doesn’t come at a premium price.  It’s priced similar to all of their other releases, and is well worth buying if you want a really immersive and nifty looking 3D experience to show off all that spiffy 3D hardware you’ve got.

The film also has a 2D version for those without 3D hardware, but if you’re only getting this film to watch in 2D, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.  As I said, the film itself is little more than a poorly put together Twilight Zone episode.  It’s the 3D that makes it fun to watch, so without that it’s really just a bore.

For special features, this release includes an essay by Bob Furmanek, screenplay excerpts of deleted scenes, trailers, a stills gallery, an alternate opening and a restoration demonstration.

As I said, this movie is nothing special as far as the movie goes.  It’s kind of interesting, but the jumps in the timeline can make it hard to follow at times.  The real reason to own and watch this film is for the 3D.  So if you’ve got the hardware to take advantage of it, make sure you pick yourself up a copy.  If not, then you’ll probably want to skip it.

If you’d like to find out more about this release, you can check out its page on the Kino Lorber website here: http://www.kinolorber.com/video.php?id=1828