Anniversary Edition (1992/Lionsgate DVD)
B- Sound: B- Extras: B Film:
little dispute when it comes to naming the most significant pioneers of cinema,
the name Charlie Chaplin is pretty synonymous with being the early pioneer of
the medium and not only has much been written about him, but there have been
numerous documentaries as well, but Richard Attenborough’s 1992 feature film Chaplin is perhaps one of the most
interesting biographies, especially with the brilliant portrayal of Charlie
Chaplin by none other than Robert Downey Jr.
This is the type of role that if Jr. was able to stay clear from drugs
long enough would not only place him into the upper crust of the elite
character actors, but would also establish him as a human being you wouldn’t
mind hanging out with. It’s a shame that
drugs ruin so much talent.
Charlie Chaplin also lived a rather troubled life as well, which this film
ultimately explores in marvelous fashion without being too facetious. The film also stars a huge lineup of other
great talents like Moira Kelly, Dan Aykroyd, Marisa Tomei, Penelope Ann Miller,
Kevin Kline, Milla Jovovich, Diane Lane, Anthony Hopkins, and even Geraldine
Chaplin, who plays Hannah Chaplin in the film.
Another great film to check out is Peter Bogdanovich’s The Cat’s Meow, which features Eddie
Izzard as the great Charlie Chaplin and is a great companion piece to this
knows that this film is great and that people still appreciate the genius of
Chaplin and this film allows for a greater appreciate of just that. They believe in this film still and have
decided to issue it onto DVD as a 15th Anniversary Special Edition,
which includes some great extras and improved technical aspects.
is presented in a 1.78 X 1 anamorphic transfer, which is a slight upgrade from
the previous non-anamorphic transfer of the film that was released way back in
1998…10 years ago at the time of this review.
Technology has come quite a way in the DVD world since then, so it’s
great to see a film updated a bit here.
The presentation is solid with good color, nice contrast, and overall
pleasing darks and whites. A bit of softness
is noticed throughout as well as a degree or two of resolution that seems to
make the film a little less sharp, but we are working with compression
limitations on a standard definition format like DVD, so the Blu-ray will
potentially correct this. The sound is a
simple 2.0 stereo mix that works well for the material and is sufficient for
extras are the real novelty here as we get three featurettes that were not
issued before, they are: Strolling Into
the Sunset, Chaplin the Hero, and
the Most Famous Man in the World. Also included is a short film that is from
Chaplin’s home movie collection, plus the theatrical trailer.
work continues to appreciate as time goes on and films like this are a constant
reminder to newer generations of his brilliant and masterful mind, even when it
was plagued with troubles. We have
covered other great material from his early works and look forward to other
material either by Chaplin or about him as a true master of cinema we never get
tired of Charlie!
- Nate Goss