(1919/Flicker Alley Blu-ray)/The
List (1992/Universal 4K
Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)
Ultra HD Picture: A- Picture: B Sound: B-/B-/B-/B Extras:
C-/C+/B+/B Films: B/B/B/A-
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
important classics have arrived at the same time you'll want to see
in these great new editions as soon as possible...
start with Robert Altman's Brewster
McCloud (1970) finally
getting a release and upgrade in the Blu-ray format, though it is
Warner Archive once again handling the release of his first film
was such a tremendous hit. This is what I said about the edgy,
provocative, bold comedy when we covered the Warner Archive DVD
version at this link...
originally made the film in an attempt to have the next
counterculture hit (as they did with Antonioni's Zabriskie
Point around the same
time) and it holds up well, has aged well and is even more relevant
than when we covered the DVD, dealing with dreamers and eccentrics.
Altman is one of our greatest filmmakers and more people miss him
than you'd think. You can enjoy what he was accomplishing with this
film here more than anywhere outside of a high quality scope 35mm (or
maybe 16mm) print.
the only extra is a Original Theatrical Trailer, but it deserves much
more and ought to get it sometime down the line.
a great filmmaker makes the same film twice, literally remaking an
earlier work. It is rare, but it happens and I am not referring to
commercial filmmakers and bad remakes. Able Gance has been
controversial, but always consistently good as a filmmaker. The film
he made twice is J'Accuse,
a sound film in 1938, but he made it a long silent epic earlier back
in 1919 and Flicker Alley has managed to introduce the remarkable
reconstruction and restoration on Blu-ray for the first time ever.
We reviewed the remake on Blu-ray at this link...
was the case later, a love triangle becomes the impetus to get us to
the ravages of war and criticism thereof as Edith (Marise Dauvray) is
in love with a younger man who writes poetry (Romuald Joube as Jean),
though married unhappily to an older one (Severin Mars as Francois)
only for both of them to land up fighting in WWI. She also gets
abducted, but this is 166 minutes long, so the triangle alone was not
going to sustain that length by any means.
expect a long sit, but if you can get into it, it is very rewarding
and may be one of the most impressive silent epics ever made simply
by being able to just sustain its very long length. Both films are
worth seeing and investing the great amount of time and attention in,
so those interested should look into it. It also makes me want to
see Gance's Napoleon, which a restoration of is due soon, we
only extra is Paris Pendant La Guerre (Paris During the War)
from 1915, which the press release describes rightly as a: rare
comical look at Parisian life during wartime featuring several
popular performers of the day, and including François Poulbot's
famous political cartoons. This vintage 35mm tinted print is
courtesy of the Lobster Films Collection with by a Fotoplayer score
by Robert Israel. Wish there was something else, but this is
Orson Welles' very last film finally arrives in theaters, a new
restoration (if not the full length version that seems lost forever)
(1942) has arrived with a huge set of extras from Criterion as they
continue licensing from Warner Bros. all kinds of classics titles for
the first time. However,
this RKO film was originally issued by the company (along with
when Turner Entertainment handled the RKO films and Ted Turner
himself owned the catalog. Now, we finally get a Criterion Blu-ray
edition and it is the best the film has looked in eons.
Cotten and Agnes Moorehead lead the cast as members of the title
family, who once ran and dominated a part of Indianapolis and their
great, well-lived lives there, inly to see the turn of the century
change all that forever. About forty minutes was cut from the film
when Welles was away making a third film for RKO, who betrayed him
and butchered the film in what seems likely a permanent loss.
However, it is still a beloved film and still constantly ranks as one
of the best-looking films ever made. Some of the shots remain
remarkable and the work unmistakably of Welles himself, teamed this
time with Director of Photography Stanley Cortez, A.S.C., so there is
some slight difference between this and Citizen
(lensed by Gregg Toland, A.S.C.) and though we get some variance in
quality due to the cutting down, some of the footage looks as good as
because materials survived at least as well.
did not know what they had or did not care, which led to a dry spell
at the studio that lasted throughout WWII and caused them to be the
butt of many jokes (Bing Crosby's bit about hiding there to be safe
if the Japanese bombed Hollywood because RKO had not had a hit in
years) unnecessarily. Previous copies of the film as it stands were
passable, but this new version brings us closest to the film with a
superior transfer of the film elements and sound upgrade, plus a ton
of extras old and new. This is one of the most written about,
researched and discussed films of all time, so Criterion delivers an
edition worthy of the film. Whether you've seen the film or not,
this is the place to catch it at its best outside of a premium film
print. Then you have a ton of added materials worth your time.
include a booklet that imitates a shooting script, but actually
contain tech info on the film, plus six essays by the likes of the
great critic Molly Haskell and (Blu-ray only) essays by authors and
critics Luc Sante, Geoffrey O'Brien, Farran Smith Nehme, and Jonathan
Lethem, and excerpts from an unfinished 1982 memoir by Welles, while
the Blu-ray disc expands on all previous extras and includes (as the
press release notes) two audio commentaries, featuring film scholars
Robert Carringer and James Naremore and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum,
plus new interviews with scholars Simon Callow and Joseph McBride,
new video essay on the film's cinematographers by scholar François
Thomas, a new video essay on the film's score by scholar Christopher
Husted, Welles on The
Dick Cavett Show
in 1970, Segment
from Pampered Youth,
a 1925 silent adaptation of The
Audio from a 1979 AFI symposium on Welles, Two Mercury Theatre radio
(1938), an adaptation of another Booth Tarkington novel by Welles,
(1939) and an Original Theatrical Trailer.
we have the 25th
Anniversary release of Steven Spielberg's Schindler's
(1992), a film about The Holocaust, evil, hate and how, somehow,
people survived a living hell. An instant classic upon release, it
is the most important film he'll ever make and after recent events,
takes on a new importance no one human would have wished with the
skyrocketing return of hate crimes and the murder and death they
leave in their trail.
Neeson is the title character, a slick, suave businessman who is
willing to do business with anyone, as long as he makes a ton of
money. This is even true if it is the Nazis (and why not since we
found out later big corporations like IBM, Coca-Cola and others put
profits ahead of lives) who welcome in their elite inner-circle of
the huge cash they expect to steal and make with the war and Final
Solution against World Jewry, et al. Schindler's name is established
as money-first and they embrace it without question.
this rolls on, he meets a very dangerous, elite Nazi (Ralph Finnes,
brilliant in a totally thankless role) who also wants the good life
Schindler implies as an unspoken promise of a better tomorrow and
better life for the successes of The Third Reich and those who make
it possible, but even Schindler cannot ignore some of the inhumanity
he sees (even ignoring it initially) and as it gets worse, he very
slowly starts to have the truth dawn on him. His assistant (Sir Ben
Kingsley, excellent in a counterpoint role and performance)
eventually start making a list of people to get them past any kind of
shipping to any death camps and it becomes a race against time when
the Nazis become more angry and desperate as they start losing the
for the fact that anyone who was truly a victim of long stays at any
death camp would have been too sick to make any film about it, this
remains brutally, sickeningly realistic and necessarily so to show
what a nightmare this was from a vivid new perspective that cannot be
called 'looking too old' or 'from the distant past' so the crimes
cannot be denied. It becomes a one-of-a-kind visual experience that
speaks its truth as soon as the start of the film switches from it
rare full color opening to its black and white majority.
has issued it in an incredible 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray set that
delivers the film as clearly as ever, especially the 4K edition with
all kinds of jaw-dropping scenes and moments no other film before or
since will ever deliver and make clear. The cast all around is
amazing including Caroline Goodall, Embeth Davitz, Jonathan Sagalle
and so many others who delivered unforgettable, honest and ugly
moments to make sure we never forget how bad this was.
himself had to leave his usual commercial, grand sense of filmmaking
behind and take an approach he never took before and get his hands
dirty in a way few filmmakers ever have to to get to the truth. He
actually had to edit the first Jurassic Park at the same time
and got so depressed, he turned to one of his best friends of the
time to get him to laugh and help him survive bringing this nightmare
back to life: Robin Williams.
it again after all this time, after the Tree of Life Massacre had
just happened so recently, I could take some solace in the fact that
the truth about such hate had been addressed so accurately, so
strongly and so recently. Such murder and evil did not happen
because no one cared, because no one knew, because no one was paying
attention, but because some people are sick, the hate that caused
such things to happen never totally ended (and has been awakened in
the last few years) and fighting against and having zero tolerance
for that ideology takes a vigilance we can never have enough of.
films and even TV shows were made about The Holocaust were made
List and some more have
been made since. More will fortunately, also be made because all the
stories and truths have still not been revealed or realized, but
went further in full detail about it, the Jewish lives it affected,
the full, well-rounded Judaism they lived by and he perpetual
desecration of that faith in a way most filmmakers could not begin to
put on the screen.
is a landmark that needed to happen and why it will go own as one of
the most important films of the late 20th
Century and of all time.
are included on the regular Blu-ray and include two new featurettes:
Schindler's List: 25 Years Later and Let Their Testimonies
Speak - Stronger Than Hate, then repeat the vital USC Shoah
Foundation Story with Steven Spielberg, Voices from the List
and About Iwitness.
arrived, one of it few critics was French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc
Godard, who has been attacking Spielberg for all kinds of reasons,
but also going overboard in the process. In this case, he said the
film was not shot on 'real black and white film' (HD for feature
films had not arrived yet) in part because real monochrome film has
silver or retains more silver than such stocks now 25 years ago.
Spielberg and Director of Photography Janusz Kaminski created their
own distinct black and white look, something that totally went over
Godard's head, to make the film distinct. Its one-of-a-kind darkness
with tempered light (everyone is in an inescapable hell, whether they
realize it or not) and for Godard who himself made a masterwork of
darkness in black and white like Alphaville
(1965) as one of his best works, its very sad his reaction to this.
2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced
1.85 X 1 Ultra High Definition image is incredible, looking as good
as the high quality 35mm print I saw of the film in its original
release and offers stunning detail, gray scale and more, though
sometimes it is limited in some shots for purposes of realism. Many
scenes exceed my rating, but there are amazingly some shots I think
could even look better as great as they look here. You cannot run
away form or look away from what is here. The 1080p Blu-ray is just
fine with the same framing, but could not compete with the 4K much at
other Blu-rays here look great too including the 1080p 2.35 X 1
digital High Definition image on Brewster McCloud, a nice jump
from its DVD edition, showing off the great Panavision cinematography
and interesting MetroColor (one of the best labs in Hollywood)
throughout. Some of this is stylized to be soft, which meant
naturalistic in the 1970s, so expect that, but it holds up very well.
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
is miraculous in looking as good for its age as it does (now 110
years old as of this posting!) and we should cheer the amazing
restoration we get here because this definitely does not show its
age. A 2K reconstruction, it was worth the effort.
leaves the 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition
image transfer on Ambersons
from a 35mm fine grain nitrate print in 4K that will shock and stun
those who have not seen it for a while or ever in a great copy.
Detail and depth can stun beyond my rating at times and Welles intent
is more vivd than ever, making one wish the longer version survived
even more than ever.
for sound, Schindler's
was recorded very well for its time and for its 4K version, has been
upgraded for Dolby Atmos 11.1 lossless (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 for older
home theater systems) and sounds as great as it ever did. I like how
the soundtrack is constantly picking up small details throughout as
the deadening silence of death haunts the film throughout. It is
very smart sound design, represented on the regular Blu-ray in a
still solid DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 7.1 lossless mix.
rest of the films have simple soundtracks including the DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 2.0 Mono sound on Brewster
which still demonstrates the complex use of sound, dialogue and music
Altman was doing even then before he started innovating multi-channel
sound for filmmaking as Welles had before him on Kane
did in all his films later. That is better here than on the lossy
Dolby Mono DVD.
has a music score in simple PCM 2.0 Stereo that is fine, though it
only does os much for me and sometimes feels more dated than the
image. I like my silent films silent and this plays well just the
with an upgraded PCM 2.0 Mono that comes directly from a 35mm optical
soundmaster that captures more detail and nuance than I ever heard in
the film in my life. You can only do so much for an older theatrical
monophonic film as this one is, but the atmosphere is improved and it
can now keep up better with the amazing visuals.
order the Warner Archive Brewster
Blu-ray, go to this link for them and many more great web-exclusive