(1959/Godard/Criterion 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray)/Hugo
(2011/Scorsese/MVD/Paramount/Arrow 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray3D
(1922/Flicker Alley Blu-ray w/DVD)/Queen
(1933/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/Spanish
Ultra HD Picture: B+/A- 3D Picture: A- Picture:
B/B/B- & C+/B/B- Sound: B & C+/B/B- & C+/C+/B
Extras: B+/C+/B/C/C Films: B+/C+/B/B/B-
Blu-ray is now only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.
classics and a film about
the dawn of cinema are all here for you to know about...
start with a fine upgrade to Jean-Luc Godard's
(1959) which we have reviewed a few times over the years. Here is
our coverage of the Criterion Blu-ray-only version:
is now starting to get 4K releases of his films and I hope they are
as good as this one. More on the welcome technical improvements
below, but I remembered an interview with the late, great William
Friedkin where the editor kept flipping which camera was shooting him
in the digital video set-up the studio had and explained that it was
all Godard. Not that they understood what he was saying, but Godard
such editing and switching was considered sloppy (often still is) and
would be considered only that, pointless, confused and proof the
person(s) behind the scenes did not know what they were doing. Here,
it suddenly became a way to speed up visuals, allow a book-like
narrative to flow in new ways and/or make the European writerly
approach freer if a filmmaker would go down that path.
does all three here and opened up cinema to endless new possibilities
as a result. That is why having such a classic in 4K matters so
much, even on top of it being such a great film.
are the same as the older Blu-ray-only Criterion edition, including
the thick booklet on the film.
(2011) is the director's
only 3D film, but not his only biopic and is interested in the rise
of filmmaking and cinema worldwide. I was expecting something
darker, I guess, but he surprised many by also making this the
closest thing he would ever make to a 'children's
though it is far from childish or pointlessly commercial. It does
well to deal with the old days where everything was an experiment,
trial and error and Ben Kingsley is a solid choice to play Georges
starts with two orphan children and their story, based on the Brian
Selznick book, then this eventually leads to the main core of the
film, how Melies not only created many short movies, but movies with
all kinds of elaborate trick photography, unusual sets, setups and
visual ideas ahead of their time.
cannot make a bad film and I have seen every one of them, but even
with all the talent involved, but I could never get into this one and
time did not change that. I even like Melies'
surviving films, many of which are reviewed elsewhere on this site.
The film still holds up well enough, but you'll
have to see it for yourself to decide.
to the cast, including Chloe Grace Moritz, Sacha Baron Cohen,
Christopher Lee, Asa Butterfield, Christopher Lee, Emily Mortimer,
Ray Winstone, Jude Law, Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour and
are many and (per the press release) include:
ULTRA HD BLU-RAY LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
ONE & TWO - FEATURE & EXTRAS (BLU-RAY + 4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY)
THREE - BONUS DISC (BLU-RAY)
five archival featurettes on the making of the film: Shoot
the Moon: The Making of Hugo,
Cinemagician: Georges Melies,
Mechanical Man at the Heart of Hugo,
Effects, Small Scale
Baron Cohen: Role of a Lifetime.
was only the famed director's
third film ever and was so critically and commercially successful
that he was one of the hottest filmmakers alive as the film was a
huge critical and commercial success. The first feature film to cost
a million dollars (adjust for inflation if you must) and it shows,
the money is up one the screen and even if it was made for the
then-smaller Universal Pictures, he also stars in it!
to be a Russian diplomat, he plays a con artist trying to get cozy
with the wife of a U.S. diplomat to blackmail her for money, but can
he pull it off? He has been doing this kind of thing for a while,
but this time, things will not work out as he or anyone suspects and
the screenplay is able to keep this going with ease for its full 147
that makes it just long enough to be an epic and if the image of him
in his upscale clothes looks familiar, it became one of the first
massively iconic images of anyone from any major film. Some of would
be sent up at times later (think The Carol Burnett Show) and
left a lasting, permanent impression and even when he fell from grace
two years later 'going too
far' for the Hollywood studio
moneymen to handle with his masterpiece Greed, even that did
not erase his image.
we have the film restored and the original was even longer, but there
is more than enough of it here to really see why he was an early
cinematic visionary and also showing that Hollywood and the U.S.
could produce and keep producing feature films of the highest quality
and artistic merit to match anything being made by any country in the
world. It is so good, you start to forget you are watching a silent
film and the visuals are often stunning throughout. It even has a
color sequence done by hand so good, you'll
think it was some early color format.
cast is great and fits in smoothly into all of it, including Dana
Fuller, Albert Edmondson, Cesare Gravina and an uncredited Robert
Edeson. The money is absolutely on the screen and it still looks it
a century later. That part will still shock you.
Alley has once again pulled off a priceless, key release for all
serious film fans and film history.
(per the press release) include:
A detailed, behind-the-scenes look at the brand-new restoration,
with film restorer Robert Byrne
von Stroheim and Hollywood's
First Million-Dollar Picture:
A short documentary on the background of Foolish
presented by MoMA film curator Dave Kehr
Waves and the Merry-Go-Round: On Location with Erich von Stroheim:
A documentary short presented by cultural historian Brad Rosenstein
excerpt from Pathe's
featuring rare behind-the-scenes and on-set footage from
restored by the San Francisco Silent Film Festival
examination of the elements consulted and used in the film's
clip comparing original film elements to the newly restored version
100 rare on-location stills, publicity and trade press material, and
photo excerpts from a French novelization of the film
a new essay by James Layton ''Searching
The Decades-Long Effort to Reconstruct Erich von Stroheim's
excerpts from an examination of Foolish
by film critic[, great film scholar] and author David Thompson, an
introduction to the newly commissioned score by Timothy Brock, as
well as additional production stills and promotional materials.
more iconic images, this time by Great garbo in one of her best films
as the 17th Century title character, building her country a
formidable political force defending country and their Protestant
religion, battling all comes who want to invade and destroy their
culture, faith and lives, replacing them with that of any said
victors. A queen since 5-years-old, this is the only life she has
continues to lead them to victory when she unexpectedly falls for a
foreign ambassador (John Gilbert) in a situation that could
compromise her, her future and her country. Thus, this unique live
triangle happens in the midst of all this warfare. An epic and a
biopic, we even get some character study and Garbo does not back down
form playing her boldly, sexual ambiguity and all.
film holds up very well for turning 90 this year and the production
values (MGM was the #1 studio and they knew how to spend to make a
film work) and Garbo can more than compete with the actors, sets and
massiveness of the production. Now you can really see that in this
amazing new restoration, with the film looking as good as I have ever
seen it and about equal to the best clips and stills I have run into
all these years, including many a book and coffee table book. A
must-see film for all serious film fans (like so many here) it is
great it has survived to look and play so greatly as intended.
Keith, Elizabeth Young and Lewis Stone also star.
include an Original Theatrical Trailer and 1956 episode of The
major star actress Pola Negri as a gypsy fortune teller who is about
to get involved with the title character (Antonio Moreno) in a
romance that has epic drama in the background and even some
commentary on class division that eventually involves a love triangle
and the accompanying conflicts. When this was made, this was fresher
material and as produced by Paramount Pictures in their early, is
richly made, has more money in it than you might expect and shows why
they were one of the biggest movie studios in Hollywood.
with all that in the background, Negri steals the show and the
romance storyline is played up effectively enough. Moreno was also a
big star in his time, but is not as remembered, though a recent
documentary with the title of this film tried to correct that. That
the film was not available in any long version and after seeking and
working on many varied copies, they managed to reconstruct the film
to 95 % (!!!) of its length is miraculous in itself. And to think
this was a hit film and was still almost totally lost.
rest of the cast is great and includes Wallace Beery, Kathlyn William
(who 110 years ago this year was the first female cliffhanger star,)
Anne Shirley, Gareth Hughes Robert Agnew and Adolphe Menjou. They
are really good in this and remember, this is a silent film.
to yet another amazing restoration by Milestone.
include a restoration demonstration, feature-length audio commentary
track by film historian Scott Eyman and dance historian Naima Prevots
and an interview with music composer Bill Ware.
for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.85 X 1, Dolby
Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced
Ultra High Definition image on Hugo
is very well shot and mastered, thanks to Scorsese and Director of
Photography Robert Richardson, A.S.C., delivering another impressive
and impressing visual experience.
1080p 1.85 X 1 MVC-encoded 3-D - Full Resolution digital High
Definition image on Hugo
is also very impressive and like Hitchcock making Dial
'M' For Murder
came at the end of the 1950s 3D cycle, this came as the latest 3D
craze started to end, even if you can still see select films in 3D in
1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on the regular
2D version of Hugo is just fine for the format, but 4K and 3D are the
ways to go, especially if you have not seen the film and are
2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.33 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD
Ultra High Definition image on Breathless
is better than the previous-yet-decent Blu-ray editions we have
covered before, including the 1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white
digital High Definition image transfer on the regular Criterion
Blu-ray that is included here. Yes, the new 4K edition can show the
age of the materials used, but this is far superior a transfer to all
previous releases of the film and will impress everyone. The lossy
sound on the older Blu-ray, highly atypical for Criterion, has been
replaced with lossless mono on the 4K edition and that is highly
1080p 1.33 X 1 black & white digital High Definition image
transfers on the remaining three Blu-rays look really good,
especially on the newly restored versions of Wives
(which includes maybe the most impressive hand-painted frame-by-frame
work in cinema history) and Dancer
(shot by no less than the legendary James Wong Howe, A.S.C.; it
includes tinted sequences in golden sepia and blue) painstakingly
saved and preserved beyond anything we could have expected for two
silent films that could have been lost and are celebrating turning
100 years! The
1.33 X 1 (anamorphically enhanced in a 1.78 X 1) image on the Wives
DVD (with lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) is good for the format and
good to have, but it is no match for the Blu-ray's
has also been restored very thoroughly and looks amazing, another
great release by Warner Archive delivering playback results that only
a pristine film print (or 4K edition?) could surpass. It also shows
why we still talk about Garbo after all these years. The DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mix is also as good as the film will
ever sound, but despite the money MGM spent on the film at the time,
the sonics still
stop showing their age. This is still impressive just the same, as
is the combination.
PCM 2.0 Mono on its Blu-ray edition is just fine and Dancer
offers its impressive new music soundtrack score in both DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 or 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes
Warner Archive Blu-ray, go to this link for it and many more great