Mr. Chips (WBGH Boston Video)
Sound: B- Extras: C- Film: B
For those that say that made-for-TV movies stink (like I
typically do) than bite your tongue as you watch this particularly great
version of Goodbye Mr. Chips made in
2002 and now released through WBGH Boston Video to DVD. As if the program wasn’t strong enough, the
DVD is also something quite stellar in and of itself, but more on that later.
The origin of our story comes from a fairly popular film
from 1930 starring Robert Donat as the title character Mr. Chipping (Mr. Chips)
and it’s a touching story purely about the recollection of an aging teacher as
he thinks back on his career and life change.
We are rarely treated to such joyful touching stories these days. The story surfaced again in 1969 with Peter
O’ Toole in a passionate portrayal of the schoolteacher and is probably the
more memorable for most people today.
There was also a 1984 mini-series made, which I have not seen, but would
be interested to see just for comparison, but by far this production with
Martin Clunes as the title character is one that I shall remember well. Right off the bat I knew as the DVD started
and I saw the opening sequences that this was not going to be a standard fare
offering. Rather I was quickly swept
into the story despite seeing it before and I was continually impressed with
the overall production.
Technically speaking this DVD is fantastic and I can’t say
enough good things. Perfect? Certainly not, but much higher than expected
and also higher than most standard DVD’s, especially TV material! For starters we have a really color-rich
1.78 X 1 anamorphically enhanced transfer that looks very sharp and detailed. Blacks are appropriately dark and it’s
evident very early on that this is a solid transfer that really helps enhance
the experience. Because it’s such a
great transfer this allows the material to settle in and become far more
believable and more film-like in nature.
This looks more like a big-budget production, but instead it’s a
lower-budget production that is DONE RIGHT!
Hallelujah! The picture is
impressive despite its main drawback being slightly soft at times in certain
detail areas, but overall not too shabby.
The real highlight though comes from a particularly strong 2.0 Dolby
Stereo mix that exemplifies some really great 2.0 channel mixing.
Hopefully my praise throughout this review will inspire
some to check this out, but the DVD is by far the way to check this title
out. It will most likely go above and
beyond most expectations and it’s great to see strong content delivered in a
- Nate Goss