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Category:    Home > Reviews > Biopic > Biography > Filmmaking > Politics > Chaplin – 15th Anniversary Edition (1992/Lionsgate Blu-ray)

Chaplin – 15th Anniversary Edition (1992/Lionsgate Blu-ray)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B-     Film: B



Charlie Chaplin is hands down one of the biggest pioneers of the film industry and the 1992 Richard Attenborough film showcases the many talents and hardships of a man who touched the lives of many by saying very little.  Watching the Chaplin “15th Anniversary Edition” when the 20th anniversary of the film has almost arrived may seem unusual and I assure you it is.  The film is very well made and has mostly stood the test of time.  There are some elements that seem dated and certainly have the 90’s film making charm, but the performances remain stellar along with the film’s ability to summate so much in a mere 135 minutes.


The film chronicles the life and times of Charlie Chaplin from birth to death, rushing through some aspects and dragging along in others; but overall being succinct and careful enough with the source material to project a solid story.  The scenery and sets are well done, the story development is adequate, the cinematography is admirable, but it is the acting…OH THE ACTING on the part of Robert Downey Jr. that makes the film a success.  There is not much to say about the biopic as it does a ‘good job,’ but without Robert Downey Jr.’s performance the film would be nothing and I can’t imagine anyone else in the role.  When viewers go back to watch this film almost 20years later here on Blu-ray, they will prepare themselves to view the great film they remember; but what they will find out is that the reason they loved the movie was due to the acting, not the film itself.


Hence the acting Oscar and not the film Oscar.


For more on this film please follow the link to the DVD review of the ‘15th Anniversary Edition’ below:





The technical features on this Blu-ray release are shameful and hastily put together at best.  It seems as though this 15th anniversary Blu-ray was released 5years too late.  The picture quality is grainy at best and the colors certainly fall flat.  The 1.78 X 1 Widescreen AVC MPEG-4 is dreadful as from the opening scenes the viewer can see dirt, debris fly across the screen; this on top of the edge enhancement we are treated to throughout the film.  The picture quality lacks all around as the presentation lacks depth, texture and all in between.  The sound is in the same line of bad as 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio track is ‘blah’ with poor speaker range, distant/muffled dialogue, and a muted orchestral presentation.


The extras are the same as those on the DVD release with nothing more to offer.


In the end, for a good film the presentation is worrisome and people should realize this if you just do the math of a 15th anniversary Blu-ray 20 years after the 1992 film was made.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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